Foods To Fit Your Bug Out Bag

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In this discussion the topic of easily portable foods will be discussed. When a bad situation comes about you want to be able to grab your pack and go (see our free bug out bag starter guide, link on the homepage). The key points you want to account for taking portable foods in a situation where you have to pack out of an area quickly will be:

  • Weight
  • Shelf Life
  • Nutritional Value

Related Article: Best Bug Out Bag Backpacks

Food scale


The weight of the food you decide to keep in your pack or have ready to travel with is important because there are a lot of other items you will need and want to carry.

You want to look for simple things that are light with good packaging that won’t get holes poked in or get torn easily.

This is the one category where canned goods lose out.

They generally have a great shelf life and good nutritional value, depending what you get, but tend to be very heavy for the amount of room they take up. There is a reason that militaries use MRE’s instead of sending soldiers into combat carrying a cabinet full of heavy canned foods.

Related Article: How to Build a Bug Out Bag

foods shelf life

Shelf Life

Next you should address the issue of shelf life of foods. This is important so you can go longer than a couple days without having to eat something all at once. There are quite a few good items that have long shelf lives due to good packaging and the way they are processed. Air tight packaging ensures shelf lives are maximized and keeps food fresh. Not all foods such as correctly processed dehydrated foods, i.e. jerky, nuts, dried fruits, need completely air tight packages and will remain good for a time even after opening. If you look at the packaging of foods they will give a best by date or a use by date and its best to follow these guidelines.

foods nutrition

Nutritional Value

Now we come to nutritional value. This is very important because some processed food can do more harm than good when you are already at a disadvantage such as dehydrated.

Protein is key in these situations because during times of stress your body burns protein before any other macronutrient. In general higher protein foods will make you feel more sustained as well for a longer period of time after consumption.

Foods high in carbohydrates are great as well due to the energy production they can give your body. Fats give you energy as well and also make up a layer around your cells that ensure good energy production and also help with a lot of different hormonal releases. If you have to go and get out quick you will need good quality foods to fuel you not inhibit you.

Related Article: Picking the Right Bug Out Bag

foods dehydrated

Quick Tips

Lastly I will list some of the foods I enjoy and consider great emergency foods. First of all packets are of tuna. They are sealed well and hit good marks on all the requirements especially nutritionally value. The only downside to it is that once it has been opened there is no way to reseal it.

Granola bars are good items as well because they have good carbs and are light to carry. Pumpkin seeds are great because they have a high amount of protein and fats and are good carbohydrates and are light and do not spoil easily and usually come in a decent sized amount with a Ziploc type bag.

Dried cranberries are another favorite of mine because they give you a good amount of energy and a lot of good vitamins to ensure deficits are taken care of when other foods are not as nutrient dense. Jerky is another protein packed light food and store brands come with Ziploc style bags most of the time.

Making your own jerky at home is a great option because you can custom make the amount of slices and how much get packaged as well as dehydrated more to make it even better to travel with.

There are more options for this list and I will probably make a shopping list so people can just print it and go and grab some of the items for an emergency bug out bag. Thanks for reading and check back for more content.

Garrett W.