Getting your survival food figured out now will put you in a great position in the case of short or long term emergencies. We’ll tell you everything you know to complete your survival food list, and even mention some quality survival food kits to save you time. If you’re venturing into the outdoors, you’ll be looking at our Short Term Survival Food section. If you’re preparing for emergencies, we recommend a hybrid approach. A little bit of short term, and more of the Long Term Survival Food.
Short Term Survival Food:
These are best suited for backpacking, hunting, bushcraft, and short term interruptions of services in cities or towns. They’re tasty, filling, healthy meals that will get you through a few days of activities or emergencies. The biggest brand is mountain house survival food, and they provide great freeze dried or dehydrated options in a ton of different meals. These are a favorite amongst outdoor enthusiasts.
We recommend keeping enough of these meals around for 3 days, or purchasing before going into the field. That will get you through most situations without having to break the seals of your long term survival food supply.
Most of these types of meals do need to be cooked, but as people that have spent a lot of nights outdoors say, don’t underestimate the power of a hot meal at the end of a hard day to boost morale.
If you want to save a bit of cash, there are some great options to take in the field with you. Remember that for the few days it will often take to be rescued in the field, or for services to resume, you don’t have to get fancy. We prefer options that don’t require any cooking for these kinds of short term storage/snacks. The Snickers candy bar is not only delicious, but has a great mixture of macro nutrients (Protein, Carbohydrate, Fat) for those shorter trips. Cured meat products like salami keep well, and are packed with calories. Sports drink packets can be used to flavor your drinks, and replenish your electrolytes.
If you want to do a small amount of preparation before heading out, we love this ?Moose Goo? recipe.
http://www.ultralightbackpacker.com/moosegoo.html We wouldn’t want to live on it full time, but it’s a great snack or meal replacement on those shorter trips.
Short Term Emergency Water:
For those heading into the backcountry, a good water bottle will do the trick for the short term.
If you’re preparing for an emergency, this is probably the most overlooked item. Most of us carry an impressive amount of spare calories on our bodies. A common rule of thumb is 2 weeks without food, but only 2 days without water. In bad situations, clean water is often more difficult to find than sustenance. Keeping 3-6 days supply in professionally sanitized packaging is our recommendation.
Because water is hard to store long term, and weighs quite a bit, we recommend a filtration or water treatment system for your longer term needs. We’re currently researching the options for an article on long term water.
Long Term Survival Food Storage:
The short term survival food packs are great, but they’re certainly not the cheapest option even when purchased in bulk. For longer term options you want food staples that keep for years, pack a lot of calories into small physical spaces, and contain the macro and micro nutrients you and your family will need.
Dry goods make up the base of excellent preparation. Dried rice, beans, lentils, stored in a cool dry location can keep for years, but it’s often difficult to buy them locally in large quantities, and storing them properly can be difficult. Because of that, companies like wise food storage have put together survival food kits based on the number of months you need that are well packaged, and designed to last. The company claims up to 25 years of safe storage. These packages come in multiple different meal types so you won’t be getting sick of dried beans for the 100th meal in a row. They’re incredibly convenient. Here are just a few of the example meal options:
- Apple Cinnamon Cereal
- Southwest Beans and Rice
- Pasta Alfredo
- Chilli Macaroni
- Hearty Tortilla Soup
Here’s a video showing some meal options and the professional packaging:
Even if we went the DIY route, we’d include a smaller pre-packaged case like this for some nice variety every now and then.
For those in need, there are also gluten free options. A bit of a rarity in the survival food business.
DIY Long Term Storage:
If you’re on a budget, you can try to source the following products locally. Very good info can be found at http://www.ready.gov/food, but here’s a good starter list to see if you want to head down this road.
- Dried Beans
- Dried Lentils
- Rice (white stores longer)
- Pasta (stick is much more compact than shapes or spirals)
Canned Goods: (Be sure to cycle through these to avoid expiration)
- Manual Can Opener
- Mixed Vegetables
- Mixed Fruits
- Meat Products
- Meal products? (Chilli, etc)
- Salt (this is a mandatory pick)
- Spices you enjoy to make the bland meals a little unique
High Calorie Options: (Except for honey these tend to expire quickly)Peanut Butter
- Coconut Oil
- Olive Oil
For DIYers, don’t underestimate the power of spices. They keep well, and will make much of the above bland food more interesting.