The odds that an “event” whether natural or man-made will happen are great.
To combat against the real possibility supplies and gear must be obtained it will be difficult to acquire just before and during this emergency.
Most preppers or survivalists tend to maintain well stocked larders and a secure source of water to get through during these difficult times.
Often overlooked however is the real possibility you will have to leave this well supplied compound and be forced to seek an alternate but safe location (Bugging Out) hopefully to a location of your own choosing.
Brief on Bug Out Bag(s)
A well assembled Bug Out Bag (BOB) is important for you and each of your family members is key to making it to your designated locale safely and soundly.
The question arises, besides the other important gear you will need in your bag, what food and water items will you most want in your BOB during this most potentially dangerous period in your life.
Not all Bug Out Bags are the same. This fact is commonly overlooked.
In my research the most mentioned bags, kits or gear focused on (in order of size and quantity of emergency preparedness items) are Everyday Carry (EDC) gear/kit/bag, Get Home Bag (GHB) and the most popular 72 hr. or 3 Day Bug Out Bag (BOB).
Instead of talking about BOBs in detail, I will discuss them briefly and then point out some limitations when it comes to water or food you should consider when “Bugging Out:” is your only option.
The EDC bag/kit gear is a hodge podge of various survival pieces carried in your apparel (ex. mini pocket survival kit), clothing ensemble (ex. hat/cap, belt, etc…), on your body (ex. kubotan around neck chain) or attached to other EDC’s (ex. mini LED light on your Key chain).
These survival articles are used when your other BOB’s are unavailable or stored items in an immediate crisis.
The Get Home Bag (GHB) provides you with enough stored supplies for a day or two to get you home or to your Bug Out Location (BOL).
Thus it must be smaller in size and extremely discreet. You typically need keep it in a safe place at work, school or car (different than a Bug Out Vehicle Bag [BOV]).
A 72 hr. Bug Out Bag contains the most emergency preparedness items necessary to get you through at least 3 days or until you get to your secret but guarded site in one piece.
Your 72 hr. BOB is kept at home ready to be used at a moments notice. It is recommended that everyone in your household have a completely outfitted BOB although age, weight and height must be taken in consideration to properly equip each bag correctly.
The Ultimate Prepper Food and Water Items List
I completed and compiled the most thoroughly researched Bug Out Bag List focused on the items the top emergency preparedness and survivalist experts suggest for any of the three types of Bug Out Bag.
I present below an excerpt from this master list to illustrate the products associated with food and water. Notice that the list does not only focus directly on food and water but other items related to drinking and eating.
For the top 5 Food/Water items in your, EDC, GHB and BOB click here
Although, I gathered and presented the data from the words of survival and prepper specialists, I wanted to add some of my own thoughts.
When it comes to food in the EDC kits or gear, there is very little one can keep. However, having packets of sugar or little honey packs in sealed mini plastic bags last indefinitely.
Another choice would be to have energy gum in your kit. It not only fends off hunger but also keep you alert. Hard candy although said to last for about 2 years has been recorded to have lasted for over 50 years and still edible.
Heat and moisture are the major culprits that affect the shelf life of candy (and food in general) you might pack. This significant tidbits to consider when selecting your Bug Out location (BOL).
Lastly, the 72 hour bag has lots of food options to fill your BOB. I wanted to mention a few points on a few of the food products.
There is a definite tradeoff between selecting MRE (Meals Ready To Eat) and Freeze Dried Packets of Food. MRE’s tend to be complete meals to eat out of the bag. They also have the advantage of containing water in the meal.
This makes it a bit more efficient and takes up less space. However, issues arise with regards to weight and cost. Both can be significantly more (i.e. average weight 1.5 lbs. and approx. $6.00 pr. pack respectively).
Generally the shelf life of MRE’s although longer than most canned foods (5-6 years) if kept at cool temperature, still cannot compare to the longevity of freeze dried foods (five to 25 years).
There are obviously advantages with freeze dried food.
They tend to be lightweight (but with the water you need it may affect you overall carrying weight).
They have a long storage life typically 5-25 years again depending on temperature. The issue that I see is that they need water. Extra water can add overall carry weight for you to lug.
In an article regarding the weight, there was an increase when adding water to a freeze dried pouch.
The increased the weight of the package was approximately six times (6 grams to 24 grams).
Nevertheless, it still makes sense to have at least one of these items in sufficient quantities (approx. 2500 cal. per day) to make your journey less stressful.