Packing the perfect bug out bag is a true art form. You have to strike a balance between the size and weight of the bag and the utility of what you manage to fit inside. Pack too light and you’ll find yourself without the important tools and resources you need; pack too heavy and you’ll lose your strength, speed, and agility. Thus the reason for preppers and survivalists spending so much time honing their bug out bags…
That said, ready to eat food is an often overlooked but exceedingly important ingredient for packing the perfect bug out bag. Granted, you don’t want to count on bringing enough food to keep you fed for weeks – that’s what your hunting skills are for. You do want to have enough to keep you going if things get hairy, though. And that’s exactly what the foods listed below are good for.
Instant Carby Foods
When you’re sustaining yourself in the wilderness, it’s all about having access to plentiful sources of your three major macronutrients: fat, protein, and carbohydrates. As you can imagine, foods that supply those three things aren’t exactly easy to find in the middle of the woods, especially not carb-rich foods. That’s why it’s a good idea to bring along some instant sources of carbohydrates.
We’re talking about things like instant mashed potatoes, parboiled rice, and instant oats. All you need to prepare these items is a little boiling water, and you shouldn’t have too hard of a time getting that.
Shelf-stable fish in cans or bags gives you two crucial macronutrients in one convenient package. They’re rich in both fat and protein, and they require zero preparation. You can choose from a wide variety of fish too. Tuna, salmon, herring, perch, and sardine can all be found in preserved containers.
You may want to avoid cans due to the added weight, but canned sardines are a particularly good option because they’re typically packed in oil. The result is a nutrient dense snack that will give you tons of energy.
If you’re looking for a lightweight food item that gives you a ton of bang for your bug out bag space, look no further than jerky. There’s a reason why your ancestors ate so much of it. It’s tasty, convenient, and keeps for an eternity. Plus, you can get broad range of different types; you can even chow down on alligator and ostrich!
You can also make your own jerky at home to avoid the pricey, preservative-laden options that line most supermarket shelves. If you’re forced to buy pre-made jerky, look for MSG-free brands made from quality meats.
More health conscious readers will probably balk at this one, but there are several good reasons why you should have a couple Snickers candy bars in your bug out bag (or a peanut-free version if you’re dealing with a nut allergy).
First of all, these bad boys have a respectable serving of all three major macronutrients. That means you can get a nice boost of protein, fat, and carbs from just a couple bites of a single food item. Then there’s the matter of regulating blood sugar. If your blood sugar is tanking and you need something to bring it back up quickly, nothing can replace a candy bar. This is especially important for diabetics, although they should be making other bug out bag preparations for their condition as well.
Your kids will be happy about this one. Peanut butter, although not something you’d think of right off the bat, is an awesome bug out bag food. And the reason why, again, boils down to how it packs so much nutrition into so little space.
Peanut butter is about as complete of a food as you can fit into a jar. It has respectable servings of all three macronutrients, and it tastes pretty darn good too!
What foods are you planning to but out with?
These are some of our favorites, but we’d like to hear what yours are too. Tell us about your best bug out bag foods in the comments!