When one thinks of survival food the thought always goes to the freeze-dried or to other disgusting “pastrugni” and in fact it is quite realistic as a supposition. However, many times we find ourselves bewildered or confused to which foods to choose to be included in Bug Out Bags or EDCs. So what are the alternatives for survival food and the so-called “long life food storage” (ie our stocks)?
To try to make things easier, we divide into 3 classes of needs and requirements:
- Food for E.D.C. (Every Day Carry)
- Food for B.O.B. (Bug out bag / 72h backpack)
- Food for L.L.F.S. (Long life food storage)
It is assumed that for an EDC kit, which is therefore very light and transportable on a daily basis, it is sufficient to face a drop in sugar or a reintegration of mineral salts and proteins. Therefore, you do not need a complete meal as you might need in a Bug Out Bag. In this case, more than a meal you can talk about a snack to calm the symptoms mentioned above.
In addition to this, the c.d. “Ration Pack” must be ultra-light and compact, have a good supply of sugar, proteins and must not require neither water nor cooking to require excessive consumption of water for the consumption of the meal: if you are eating a dry, chewy or too concentrated food, it will be spontaneous to drink and we will not always have water available.
Solution for the EDC Ration Pack
- 2 energy bars with cereals, chocolate, dried fruit like the Enervit sport power time;
- 2 Sachets of sugar;
- 1 sachet of potassium / magnesium;
- 1 bag of salt;
Optional: if there is a long-life packet available. It can be easily replaced with a small bottle of water, but surely the sachet is a bit ‘more “TactiCool”!
Food for BOB
Here, the calculation is a bit more complex. A very timely approach to estimating when “survival food” is needed is to calculate the caloric intake and consumption of personal energy by parameterizing the right equivalent in food. However, to avoid losing our mind in calculations and simulations, we take a more pragmatic approach. Let’s see specifically which foods and, above all, in which quantities, are necessary for the famous 72 hours. Needless to think about bringing two weeks’ stock into a Bug Out Bag. That said, if you have not yet done Buggin Out in 72 hours or your strategy is Buggin In or you have failed the evacuation plan, then you will have to improvise!
Solution for the BOB Ration Pack
Water: the usual 2 liters per day per person. However, I would like to point out that for 72 hours (3 days) are 6 liters per person and equivalent to 6kg container excluded. If you feel dared you can lower your supply to 4 liters and insert tablets and filters to make water, but you must be sure you can get the water.
Food: 3/4 packs of MRE or freeze-dried foods. 3 days for 3 meals a day are equivalent to 9 meals per person, as you are not a camel I doubt you can weigh the weight of crockery, dishes and voluminous wrappers. The optimal solution would be the MRE but they are a bit ‘difficult to find (not to mention the cost). Therefore freeze-dried foods could be the cheapest solution. However you will need extra water (about 1.5lt more), cooker, pot and cooking fuel, which translated is more weight.
Solution # 1: 3 MRE, 5 liters of water, 4 protein bars and 4 Beef Jerky;
Solution # 2: 3 lyophilized bags, 5 liters of water + 1 for cooking, 2 boxes of nrg5, 1 bag of cereals, 2 energy bars, dextrose tablets and condensed milk;
Solution # 3: 6 lyophilized bags, 6 liters of water + 1, 4 chocolate bars, dextrose tablets and condensed milk, peanut butter, 3 energy bars.
For the freeze-dried products there are two alternatives: opt for technical foods (such as those of the Mountain House) or choose risottos and other soups such as those of Knorr to be clear, available at normal supermarkets or purchased online. Solutions 2 and 3 require at least one container for cooking. A good alternative to the classic apprenticeship is the JetBoil, an excellent compact and very fast cooking system, but which unfortunately requires gas to operate.
Food for L.L.F.S.
Finally, we arrive at the last scenario hypothesized at the beginning of this article regarding survival food. With this acronym (LLFS) we mean “long-term food” and its storage. In this case it is not about rations to “take along” but it is presumed to find these foods in their Bug Out Location.
Here there is no measure to determine the exact quantities. The only possible limit is established by you, and it is how many provisions you succeed, or have succeeded, in storing and storing.
The ideal would be to choose foods that can be easily stored with very long shelf life (cereals), cereals, flour and canned food, as well as the inevitable water that must be treated. Attention to the canned food, for the botulino question that we will elaborate in a second moment.
To preserve these foods, special containers and aluminum bags are needed to prevent oxygen and light from triggering the oxidation and decomposition processes. Also useful for our purpose are moisture and oxygen absorbers (here you can make a culture: oxygen absorbers).
Remember to also store seeds to grow your own food. Sooner or later your stocks will end and you will have to repack them as time passes. In detail, to store the seeds for a long time a temperature of around 5 ° C is needed (the refrigerator one to be clear), while for an “annual” storage it is sufficient to store them in a cool, dry room, for example, a cellar. Also in this case the rules of long-life foods are valid, therefore envelopes that isolate light and do not pass oxygen.
Long Life Food Storage Solution
Store your food with suitable containers and suitable additives;
Store canned goods and often check the expiration dates by turning in FIFO * (First In – First Out) all products avoiding to make them expire (everyone hates the wasteful!).
Properly stock the vegetable seeds, and useful plants such as medicinal plants.
Store enough water, write down the bottling date and renew your inventory every year.
* FIFO – The first product that is stored is also the first product to be consumed.