(Bugout.news) You might not think it makes much difference the kind and type of food you pack in your bugout bag, but it’s much more important than you think.
For one thing, the food you pack has to be portable. For another, it should be able remain fresh and edible for quite some time, since you’ve no idea when you might need it.
Your food should also be labor-free; that is, it should require little to no preparation.
Finally, your food should not require the use of water to reconstitute; water is as precious as your food source, if not more important, so you don’t want to be using it to prepare your food.
While someone in a crisis or survival situation should care more about calories and nutrition than flavor, it’s always a good idea to keep culinary herbs and spices on hand to make storable foods more palatable, as well as provide additional health benefits.
With that in mind, here are the five best foods you should pack in your bugout bag, because they are portable, will remain fresh for years, don’t require any cooking and are self-constituting – no water needed:
— Military Meals, Ready-to-Eat (MREs): This might seem obvious, but you’d be surprised at how many preppers overlook these simple, self-contained and highly nutritious, calorie-filled meals. As you can see below, they come in a simple pouch you can use to store any uneaten food items or use as a mini-trash bag when you’re through.
In the old days, when MREs were first introduced, many contained dehydrated food items (mostly fruits like apples and pineapple) that required a small amount of water to reconstitute. Here’s a tip: If your MRE contains a food item like that, you don’t have to reconstitute it, you can simply consume it as-is (dry). The MREs come with a device that reacts with water to heat food; however, like other options on this list, the food is already cooked and can be consumed cold.
— Canned pasta foods: While these may not be the healthiest of foods to consume in normal times, they meet all of the necessary criteria – long-term freshness, portability, ready to eat – and they come in enough variety that you’ll be able to find something that you like. Don’t forget to pack a portable can opener, but if you do, the video below will show you how to open your cans.
— Compleats: These meals are meant to be microwaved (more about the dangers of microwaves here, by the way) or boiled but are already cooked and can be eaten right out of the packaging. Plus, they last for quite some time and their portable size makes it possible to pack several in your bugout bag. This will be an advantage for you if it takes longer to get to your bugout destination than planned (and about that time you’ll be seeking out any advantage you can find). These meals have an impressive amount of protein and calories, but they won’t cover all of your nutritional needs.
— Granola packages/bars: Granola products are hearty, and not only do they contain essential vitamins and minerals, but they also contain the necessary calories to get you through a tough situation. Many hikers have said that, after a quick rest and a couple of granola bars, they were all set to go and could continue for miles. You will definitely need calories as you make your way out of chaos to the serenity of your pre-planned destination, so be sure to pick up a granola product that contains fruits, nuts and even a bit of chocolate.
— Peanut butter: This old lunch staple is chock full of calories (about 170 calories per ounce) and is easily carried, stored and transported. Storage weight is as important as items stored, so you’ll want to get the most caloric value for the least amount of weight, as you will be carrying many other things in your bugout bag (such as water, clothing, first aid materials, ammunition, personal care items, etc.). Also, peanut butter (see below) comes in pouches, which can maximize your portability.
There you have it – five types of food that are easily obtained, ready for long-term storage, portable and self-contained (no liquid needed). There are many variants of these foods – and you may want to pack a variety of them – but these five are a great place to start and will give you an idea of what to look for.