If you're preparing for an emergency situation, whether it's a natural disaster or any other catastrophic event, you probably already have stockpiles of canned food and dry staples in your pantry or basement. This covers the long-term situations. You might also have some MREs or freeze-dried food packets in your 72-hour bag or vehicle for medium-length survival situations. But what about the short-term events?

FIFO food storage medical supplies organization prep 3

Items in the pantry may be long-lasting, but they're usually not compact enough for pocket carry.

There are plenty of instances where you might need a quick meal, but don't have time or resources to heat, mix, slice, or rehydrate anything. For example, you might be having a particularly busy day and need to eat while driving or walking. Or maybe you're packing light for a quick day hike, and don't plan to bring prep-intensive foods. In any case, it's advantageous to have survival snacks in your pocket or get-home bag to tide you over until the next meal.

Freeze-dried foods are filling, but require boiling water and prep time.

Freeze-dried foods are filling and tasty, but require boiling water and prep time.

For the purposes of this article, we have a few considerations for these survival snacks:

  • No prep — can be opened and eaten quickly, ideally without using utensils or making a mess
  • Compact — should fit into a pocket or small pouch
  • Reasonably shelf-stable — it may not need to last for years like the items in your home pantry, but it shouldn't spoil after a few days on the trail
  • Calorie-dense — the food should have a decent ratio of calories and nutrients compared to its size and weight

Millenium bars can provide 400 calories, enough to replace a full meal.

If not for the above points, you might as well whip out an MRE or boil some water for a freeze-dried meal. Fortunately, there are lots of choices to consider in this category. Check out our poll below for a list of potential survival snack options, and select the foods you currently carry or prefer. Some items, like aged hard cheeses, can offer a surprisingly-long shelf-life and break up the monotony of carb-heavy trail foods. Others, such as energy gels, gained popularity from ultralight backpackers and runners.

STAY SAFE: Download a Free copy of the OFFGRID Outbreak Issue

In issue 12, Offgrid Magazine took a hard look at what you should be aware of in the event of a viral outbreak. We're now offering a free digital copy of the OffGrid Outbreak issue when you subscribe to the OffGrid email newsletter. Sign up and get your free digital copy

No Comments