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Best Foods to Keep in Your Disaster Kit

Best Foods to Keep in Your Disaster Kit

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We never know when a disaster might hit. It could be anything from a hurricane to an earthquake. Either way, we want to make sure that we are prepared. Making a disaster kit is one of the easiest ways to do that. But sometimes figuring out what to put in one can be a bit daunting. Water is a necessity. Make sure you have more than enough water, in jugs or in bottles. But what about food?

There are some things you have to think of when choosing foods to put in your kit. The first is shelf life. You want foods that will last a very long time because you never know how long you might need them for. A good rule of thumb is to change the foods in your disaster kit once a year, to make sure that nothing’s spoiled. The second thing to consider is cooking. You don’t know whether or not you’ll have access to heat, so choosing foods that require little or no cooking is best. The final thing you have to think of is personal taste. You want to make sure that the foods you choose are foods that you and your family will eat. Don’t forget to account for any allergies or health issues you or your family members may have when buying foods for your disaster kit.

To make it easier on you, we’ve compiled a list of must-have foods for your disaster kit.

High-Fiber, Ready-to-Eat Cereals

We emphasize high-fiber here because the higher the fiber the fuller you will feel, and the longer that satiety will last. Keeping a variety of different cereals will decrease stress that may come from having to eat the same thing day after day. We suggest Quaker Oat Squares or Cheerios. They are high in fiber, but they also are tasty.

Canned Soups

You want to make sure that you have a variety of both vegetable and meat soups. Chili is a great option because it provides a lot of carbohydrates, which you will need. Avoid getting any of the cream-based soups because they will go bad quicker and won’t taste as good unheated. Soups with beans, vegetables, and differing meats will give your family much-needed nutrients.

Peanut Butter

Peanut butter is packed with vitamins. It’s also highly caloric, which in a disaster is a good thing. You want to get as many calories and nutrients as you can in the smallest amount of food. Peanut butter is perfect for this. Avoid peanut butters that require refrigeration after opening, though. You don’t know whether you’ll have access to electricity.

Canned Fruits and Vegetables, Dried Fruits, and Fruit Juices

Keeping fruit and vegetables in your diet is important even during a disaster. Even if you can’t have fresh produce, canned and dried options, as well as juices, will provide you with some of those necessary nutrients. And they’ll last for up to a year.

Comfort Foods

This one isn’t a nutritional necessity, but having some hard candies or prepackaged cookies on hand will help during when the times are really tough. Especially for kids, the stress of being in a disaster can become a lot to handle. Sucking on something sweet will help ease your mind a little. Just make sure you’re not having it too often. You want to remain as healthy as possible.

This post was originally published on June 20th, 2014.

Best Foods for Your 30 Day Emergency Storage (With List)

By now you hopefully know that you need an emergency food storage to be prepared for disasters like hurricanes, earthquakes, EMP, or even personal disasters like losing a job.

If you are an absolute beginner to prepping, then start with a 72 hour kit of emergency supplies. Once you&rsquove got that covered, move on to 30 day emergency food storage.

30 days of food is the absolute minimum you should stockpile for emergency preparedness. You&rsquoll also need 30 days&rsquo worth of water (read how much water to stockpile ).

Getting emergency food for 30 days may seem simple enough, but don&rsquot just go out and buy a zillion cans of soup, boxes of crackers, and bulk grains.

Disaster prepping should always be done with a plan!

If you don&rsquot plan what to get and how you will use it, you could end up with a lot of unusable food items in the aftermath of a disaster.

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Hurricane Preparedness Tips

During any natural disaster that cuts access to running water and power, the two most important factors for survival are staying hydrating and consuming enoughꃊlories. You&aposll also want to prioritize਎nergy-rich foods high in protein and fiber to help you stay focused in the case of an emergency.ਏollow these five preparedness tips to make sure your emergency food supply is hurricane-ready. 

Stock enough water, no matter what.

Having a sufficient amount of water on hand should be your number one priority during a natural disaster. FEMA recommends at least one gallon of water per person (and pet) each day for hydrating and preparing certain foods. Above all, proper hydration is key to survival𠅌onsume at least a half gallon daily, taking into account that children or those who are pregnant will need more. Never ration water, even if your supplies run low. Be aware of alternative safe water sources in your home, such as the hot water tank or pipes, and know how to access them. The Centers for Disease Control has additional information on ensuring safe drinking water during a natural disaster.

Choose comfort foods carefully.

While potato chips and candy bars can be comforting during a stressful time such as a hurricane emergency, try to limit your consumption of these foods. Many processed items are loaded with salt and can encourage dehydration. Also be wary of junk foods with added sugar (like Pop Tarts). Smart choices include baked veggie chips, multi-grain tortilla਌hips, pita chips, flavored whole-wheat crackers, and dark chocolate candy. 

Focus on energy-rich foods.

When relying on a limited food supply, it’s important to choose foods that offer the most bang for their buck energy-wise. Beans, apples, dried figs, and some whole-grain cereals are high in fiber and protein to help keep you full. Foods rich in healthy fats such as salmon, almonds, and walnuts will also help you feel more satisfied after eating.

Consider special dietary needs.

If one of your family members has a food allergy or follows a restricted diet, make sure you have the proper food on hand. From gluten-free to dairy-free to nut-free, stocking safe foods for specific dietary needs is essential when access to a doctor or hospital is limited. Consider emergency medicine such as an EpiPen in the case of an unexpected allergic reaction. If you have high blood pressure, make sure to have low-sodium food options.

Don’t forget kitchen tools and supplies.

You may have all the necessary healthy emergency foods, but do you have the proper tools and utensils for them? Attempting to pry open a can of beans without a can opener puts you at risk for injury𠅊void this, and other adverse scenarios by keeping these tools and products on hand:

Calorie Foods In Your Vehicle 72-hour kit

While you will be much less likely to actually consume these (reserved for actual emergency or SHTF or bugout), you should consider counting enough calories for 3 days (general rule of thumb).

That’s potentially a lot. You’re looking at 2,000 calories per day.

So how are we going to come up with enough food that will actually fit somewhere in the vehicle without getting in the way?

I keep an assortment of MRE’s, specific high calorie food bars, some cans of chicken, even some peanut butter which is very high in calories (energy food!). Can opener, fork & spoon too.

1. Water

While water is not food, it is more vital for survival than any food. On average, the longest a human being can survive without water is only three days. It is therefore essential to stock up as much water as food or even more.

  • The easiest and safest way to store water is in the bottles you buy it in
  • If you decide to store tap water, buy your storage containers from camp supplies stores and thoroughly clean them before adding the water

2. Canned Food

Besides being ready to eat, canned foods have a long shelf when stored under the right conditions. What&rsquos more, they are more convenient to store away, which allows you to get a wide variety.

Here, focus on getting canned foods with the most extended shelf life and ones that you can consume. It may include vegetables, soups, stews, and proteins.

  • Remember to stock up a can opener too
  • Since some canned foods have an infinite shelf life, expect a change in taste when you consume these. This doesn&rsquot, however, mean that the food is spoilt.

3. Dried Beans

Any bean you can lay your hands on will do here. Beans can store well over a couple of years to as long as 30+ years, especially when stored in a cool, dark, and dry place in vacuum packaging.

This way, you will still use them for a considerable period even if they do not last as long as 30+ years. You are better placed if your favorite types of beans naturally last long, like pinto.

Note: Poorly stored beans are tough to cook and might need a pressure cooker which might not be accessible during a disaster.

4. White Rice

While its brown counterpart is more nutritious and packed with tons of minerals and vitamins, White rice is more convenient for survival situations. This is mainly because of its longer shelf life.

Unlike brown rice that will not last more than a year as its oils oxidize faster, white rice will still be viable for up to four years.

Tip: You can stock up on brown rice if it&rsquos your family&rsquos favorite. That way, you can rotate your supply frequently.

5. Pasta

You can pretty much expect your pasta to last for up to 15 years if you can store it in traditional Mylar bags that are equipped with oxygen absorbers. It is even better to freeze it for four to five days before storage to kill any larvae present.

Tip: It will also help to consume pasta that is closest to expiry.

6. Dried Hazelnuts

Besides being a great source of healthy fats and protein, hazelnuts have a relatively longer shelf life than other nuts. When stored in freezing temperatures, hazelnuts can go for as long as two years.

7. Whole Grains

Stocking up on whole grains is more convenient than flour due to shelf-life concerns. Flour can last as long as six months, while whole grains like rye, whole wheat, or barley can last longer.

Note: It is advisable to store the ingredients of a product instead of the processed product to increase shelf life.

Tip: Remember to pack a grinder to mill your whole grains.

8. Powdered Milk

You need this excellent protein source in your stockpile despite having other protein-rich foods because it is a complete protein. It, therefore, has essential amino acids that our bodies need for proper muscle regeneration, among other bodily functions.

9. Honey

Honey is a stockpile-worthy food for every day as well for a survival situation. With honey, you do not have to worry about shelf life, and it is a convenient energy source. What&rsquos more, it is a versatile food that can be used for medicinal purposes.

10. Smooth/Crunchy Peanut Butter

Stocking up on some comfort is not such a bad idea, and peanut butter checks the box mainly because of its 10+ years shelf life. However, you have to store it in a cool, dry, and dark place to enjoy this benefit, not to mention that you only go for quality brands like Skippy.

Tip: check to ensure that it is still soft and creamy and that it has maintained its color before consumption.

11. Iodized Salt

Photo by Thomas Trompeter /

While most canned foods will not need salt, it is vital to stockpile your table salt. It provides us with iodine which is critical for our bodies and is an excellent method of preserving foods like meat. Another upside of stocking up on salt is that it can last you a lifetime.

12. Sugar

Sugar is also a great source of energy and can last you for a considerably long time. Store it in Mylar bags but skip the oxygen absorbers.

13. Freeze-Dried Foods

The idea behind freeze-drying foods is to remove any trace of water. It makes such foods ideal for survival in bugging out conditions due to their lightweight.

To consume freeze-dried foods, you need enough water to reconstitute them. Keep this in mind in case you need to stockpile more water.

14. Cocoa Powder

With a shelf life of at least two years, you are better off stocking up on cocoa instead of processed chocolate. What&rsquos more, it is versatile and can be used to make a wide array of edibles that can come in handy during a survival situation like brownies, homemade chocolate, brownies, chocolate fudge, and more.

15. Pink Salmon

Of all canned fish foods, pink salmon has the most extended shelf life of three to five years. This is, however, only if it is stored in the right conditions and remains unopened.

When you open it, consume it in two to three days and keep it frozen between consumptions.

16. Cooking Oil

Photo by Tea Talk /

Besides cooking, oil can be used for emergency lighting. The best part is that most of the oils used for cooking, like olive, sunflower, and coconut oil, have a long shelf life. It is, however, vital to consider the expiry dates during purchase.

17. Hardtack

Hardtack is a type of cracker that is also known as sea bread or sea biscuit. It is made of water, salt, and flour which you can choose to store as individual components to make the hardtack anytime your want.

18. Spices and Herbs

Just because you are in the middle of a disaster doesn&rsquot mean that your food should be bland. Consider storing away your favorite spices and herbs in a Mylar bag with oxygen absorbers.

Anything from basil, oregano, rosemary, or cinnamon will do. Remember to remove the herbs from their packaging.

19. Jams and Jellies

Nothing beats homemade jams and jellies with the freshest fruits like strawberries and blueberries. Though most sources suggest consuming these within a year, you can expect a 5+ years shelf life.

20. Protein Bars

Photo by Zety Akhzar /

In addition to having a relatively long shelf life, protein bars are convenient to add to your bug-out bag. Whether you stock up on protein or energy bars, only use them as emergency food as they contain preservatives and are relatively expensive than peanut butter.

There is a wide variety of protein bar brands that you can choose from. Millennium bars have a long shelf life and a variety of flavors.

21. Popcorn

Popcorn is yet another comfort food that people are bound to crave and enjoy during and post-disaster. Lucky for you, it has a long lifespan when adequately stored except for already popped corns or microwave popcorn.

22. Juice Powders

The list of the available options for juice powders is endless. Getting as many as you can to diversify and add to your pantry will be great in the long run, especially with stores closed.

What&rsquos more, certain meals only pair well with juices. The best part is that they can last for a very long time.

23. Hard Candy

Trying to maintain a sense of normalcy during a disaster is crucial, especially if you have kids around. Store some hard candy in an airtight and treat your family to some now and then.

As long as you keep them away from light, heat, and moisture, you can skip the oxygen absorbers for this one. The best part is that choices for hard candy are endless, with some like skittles and candy canes lasting between two to three years.

24. Baking Soda

Besides using it as a raising agent in your cakes and pancakes, you can use baking soda for other household uses like making homemade toothpaste and cleaning purposes. In some cases, you can also use it to treat heartburn.

25. Powdered Cheese

Photo by Zety Akhzar /

Dehydrated cheese has a shelf life of 10+ years and is an excellent addition to your pantry to make comfort foods like Mac n&rsquo Cheese.

26. Powdered Eggs

It&rsquos easier buying these than making them at home, as store-bought powdered eggs can last for at least five years. Consider adding some seasoning and pepper to make your omelet taste great. Luckily, there are several brands in the market.

27. Multivitamins

Most minerals and vitamins tend to react with themselves when stored away for long. However, stockpiling them in Mylar bags with oxygen absorbers makes them viable for a couple of years.

Try storing each vital vitamin supplement separately and rotate them as often as possible. This doesn&rsquot translate to relying on supplements for your daily micronutrient needs.

28. Coffee

Coffee is an excellent energy source, but you are better off stockpiling on green unroasted coffee beans as these have a longer shelf life than processed coffee. Pack them in Mylar bags with Oxygen absorbers, and do not forget a grinder.

29. Tea

Tea has a relatively long shelf life, but it helps to store it in a Mylar bag with Oxygen absorbers. This way, you can still have your favorite drink even with stores closed.

30. Vinegar

Photo by ThamKC /

Vinegar is a must-have in every household because of its versatility. Add a tangy flavor to your soups, or use it as a cleaning and disinfecting agent around your home. Due to its acidic nature, you do not have to worry about it going bad.

31. Instant Potato Flakes

Instant potato flakes are okay being stored as you would your white rice. In addition to a Mylar bag and oxygen absorbers, consider keeping them in a cool and dark place.

32. Seeds

Stockpiling on seeds ensures that you have a way to start up a survival garden after a disaster. To narrow down your choices, consider seeds that will thrive in your climate zone and then familiarize yourself with how to store and grow them.

33. Bouillon Cubes

Though they will likely go rancid past their one-year shelf life, they are a great way to spice up your meals during and after a disaster. They also contain a salt level that is ideal for our bodies.

34. Pemmican

This is a blend of protein and fat from large game animals like deer or buffalo. Its shelf life will depend on the quality of the ingredients used and storage conditions. Though not necessary, chilling it in the fridge makes it last longer as it prevents the fats from going rancid.

35. Yeast

Photo by Alex Yeung /

Nothing beats the calming feeling of fresh and warm homemade bread or dinner rolls. If anything, these might not be available during a disaster. Freeze your yeast, and it can last for more than three years.

36. Hard Liquor

Photo by Monticello /

Several glasses of vodka are a great way to escape reality during a disaster&mdashstockpile on as many distilled beverages including whisky, scotch, or vodka. Steer clear of beer as it does not have a long shelf life.

37. Dehydrated Fruit

Various dehydrated fruits have a varying shelf life, but they should last for at least a year in proper storage conditions. The best part is that you can dehydrate practically any fruit you wish in the sun if you do not have a dehydrator.

38. Granola Bars

Though granola bars have a relatively short shelf life, they are stockpile-worthy because you can safely consume them past their expiration date, are convenient for your bug-out bag due to their small size and weight. Lastly, you can extend their shelf life through proper storage in a dark, cool, and dry place.

39. Pet Food

Pets will be a source of joy for you and your family when there is no electricity or internet for entertainment. The catch is to rotate your pet food as often as possible due to its high-fat content.

Watch this video by PBS Terra on disaster preparedness 101: don&rsquot miss these go-bag and pantry essentials:

There you go, preppers. Being self-sufficient during a disaster calls for significant preparation. It, however, doesn&rsquot have to be financially draining because you do not have to buy all these foods at once. Also, it will help to be on the lookout for promotional discounts to get the best economical deals.

What other food do you think should be on this list? Let us know in the comment section below!

Calling all preppers, craftsmen, bushmasters, outdoorsmen, and all-around skilled people, Survival Life needs YOU! Click here if you want to write for us.

Don&rsquot forget to stay connected with us on Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, and Instagram!

How to Make an Emergency Preparedness Kit

Even if you never use it, you'll feel better knowing it's there.


Photo by: Don Farrall/Getty

Getting stuck at home for an evening because of a mild snowstorm can be fun getting stuck at home for several days or weeks because of an emergency can be stressful and anxiety-inducing. And while it’s a good idea to not panic, it’s also a good idea to gather an "emergency preparedness kit" at home, just in case.

Your emergency preparedness kit is a stockpile of basics that will keep you fed, hydrated, safe and clean if you truly aren’t able to leave the house for a given amount of time. Both the Red Cross and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) give recommendations for such essentials. Keep in mind that different emergencies can have different impacts a natural disaster might leave you without water or power for days, while a pandemic may require that you don’t leave the house at all. That said, you never know what exactly will happen in the face of one of these emergencies. Here’s what you should have at home to feel prepared.

10 Foods To Keep in Your Emergency Kit

Over the past few years, the U.S. has experienced several serious natural disasters. Tornadoes, hurricanes, wildfires, floods, and other events have left people without electricity and clean drinking water, sometimes for days or weeks.

If you were to experience a natural disaster that knocked out the electricity , would you be prepared with enough food and water? With a well-stocked emergency food kit, you’ll be ready to weather the storm. And when your kit contains these 10 essential healthy foods, waiting for the disaster to pass is much easier (and tastier).

1. Clean drinking water

Every emergency kit should have a supply of drinking water. Avoid single-use plastic water bottles and purchase larger water jugs, such as this 4-gallon rigid water container from Amazon , which is also easy to stack and store.

2. Jerky and other dehydrated meats

Jerky is a great source of protein, and you can find flavors that range from traditional beef to more unique flavors such as ostrich and lamb. While jerky is long-lasting, it should be stored in a sealed, airtight container to retain freshness.

3. Canned fruits, veggies, and legumes

Make sure your diet is full of vitamins and nutrients, even in an emergency. Grocery stores often have sales on canned food, so don’t forget to watch for low prices on emergency essentials.

4. Canned soups and stews

Many canned soups and stews are high in sodium, but that doesn’t mean they don’t deserve a place in your survival kit. Look for soups that are ready to heat and serve, such as our Three Sisters Stew.

5. Canned meats

Tuna isn’t your only option for long-lasting canned meats. Salmon, sardines, Freeze-Dried Chicken, and other meats are also available. With a bit of creativity, and a sprinkle of our Camp Master Spice Blend, you can have a great tasting meal ready in no time.

6. Dried fruit

Like jerky, dehydrated fruits can last for a long time when sealed properly.

Make your own at home using a dehydrator, or grab some from the grocery store. If you can get to a Trader Joe’s or similar store, you can choose from a variety of delicious pre-made fruit mixes.

7. Crackers

Crackers last longer than bread, making them a good fit your for emergency food kit. Eat them with some canned meat, and you have a quick, easy, and filling meal or snack. Just be sure to check the expiration dates regularly, since most crackers stay fresh for several months.

8. Shelf-stable beverages

Shelf-stable drinks don’t require refrigeration until they’ve been opened. Canned or boxed milk, almond milk, rice milk, soy milk, and juices are all great options. Electrolyte drinks, like Gatorade, can also come in handy.

9. Granola and protein bars

For a quick snack, nothing beats a protein bar or granola, like our Granola with Bananas, Almonds & Milk. Keep a package or two of your favorites in your food kit for an extra energy boost while you’re waiting for the power to be restored.

10. Freeze-dried meals & desserts

Keep a stash of freeze-dried meals on hand, and you can enjoy a gourmet-tasting meal anywhere. Be sure to give our fan-favorites and ambassador picks Chana Masala and Fettuccini Alfredo a try. There are also tons of Backpacker’s Pantry Emergency & Survival Freeze-Dried Meals and Emergency Meal Kits to choose from, that have everything you need to stay safe and satiated. To satisfy your sweet tooth, we offer an array of Freeze-Dried Desserts as well.

Our meals have the added advantage of an extended shelf life, which is 10 years in most cases.

Remember to check expiration dates annually

When stocking an emergency kit, it’s important to remember that certain grocery items, like crackers, jerky, and shelf-stable drinks, typically have a shelf life of 18 months (at best). That’s why it’s so important to check expiration dates at least once per year. Food that’s getting close to the date should be eaten, composted, or thrown away.

Get the bug out bag checklist

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What is the best food for a bug out bag?

1. Instant oatmeal

2. Instant grits packets

3. Granola bars — These are ideal if you’re on-the-go.

4. Muelsi — Add dried milk, water, and prunes or raisins for a hearty breakfast!

5. Cereal — Choose nutrient-rich cereals that are low in sugar such as Quaker oatmeal squares.

6. Long-term food packets — These include MRE’s and Military rations. They can be expensive and some are high in sodium so eat them in small amounts.

7. Freeze-dried foods — These include camper meals such as Mountain House dried packs.

8. Beans — Cooked or refried beans in a pouch are ideal. Cans are too heavy and may require a can opener.

9. Lentils — These have a high nutritional value and cook quickly.

10. Instant rice pouches — Pre-cooked rice requires minimal cooking. If you’re unable to cook it for any reason, however, you can still safely eat them straight from the bag.

11. Ramen noodles — These are high in sodium but if you get the pouches, you can reduce the salt content by only using half of the broth envelope.

12. Soup mix — Get a veggie soup or dehydrated stew mix that is high in calories.

13. Knorr / Uncle Ben side dishes — These cook quickly and are filling.

14. Instant falafel mix — These are easy to reconstitute. They can be added to a soup or stew to thicken up the consistency.

15. Sardines, smoked oysters, and kipper snacks

16. Tuna in a pouch — Any other meat in a pouch will do, such as chicken. For bug out scenarios, it’s better if they’re packaged in oil rather than water because it increases the fat content.

17. Meat jerky — Jerky is a great source of protein but is also high in salt content, so eat it in small quantities to prevent dehydration. Beef, venison, elk, and buffalo jerky are great options, as well as pemmican.

18. Shelf-stable pepperoni and dry salami — Just like jerky, these are great options to have in small quantities.

19. Corned beef

21. Pork and beans in a pouch — Canned pork and beans are heavier and may require a can opener.

22. Potato flakes — Instant mashed potatoes can be reconstituted with water and eaten as is or added to soups and stews to make them thicker.

23. Meal replacement bars — There are many healthy protein bar brands out there, including MetRx. Some other popular brands are Mackerel, Tiger Milk, Cliff, Kind, and Larabar. Look for a bar that is high in protein, carbs, calories, and fats. Remember you need the energy and this is not your typical everyday diet. Keep the bars in the fridge for an extended shelf life, but leave a note on your bug out bag to remind yourself to grab them before you go.

24. Your own dehydrated meals — Dehydrated fruit and veggie powders can fortify any meal. Anything you make should be packaged and sealed properly for longevity.

25. Unsalted or lightly salted nuts — This includes cashews, peanuts, pecans, almonds, and trail mix.

26. Seeds — This can include sunflower and pumpkin seeds, as well as sesame bars.

27. Dried or dehydrated fruit — This includes banana chips, apple chips, dates, mango, pineapple, apricots, raisins, berries or any other dried fruit of your choice. They can be eaten as is or added to instant rice and oats. Fruit leathers are also great!

28. Dehydrated veggies — Dehydrated seaweed and kale snacks may have a shorter shelf-life but are highly nutritious and lightweight.

29. Tortilla chips

30. Peanut butter

31. Jelly and nutella

32. Crackers — Some options include peanut butter, cheese crackers, or unsalted saltines.

33. Matzo bread

34. Animal crackers

36. Pop tarts

37. Twinkies

38. Hard cheeses with wax coating

39. Dehydrated hummus

40. Fruitcake — Fruitcake that is vacuum sealed in slices can last a long time. These are great because they include fruits and nuts that provide protein, fats, sugars, carbs, some fiber, and deliciousness!

41. Candy — Candy will be a comforting treat to spike up your energy when your sugar levels are running low. Payday is preferred because it contains nuts. Snickers and peanut M&M’s are good options too, but only during the winter season since hot climates will melt the chocolate. Hard candies are possibly the best options in terms of candy.

Additional things to add a boost of nutrition and flavor:

42. Emergency food bars / Lifeboat rations — These are not ‘food items’ per say, but they can become vital when the food runs out. They’re high in calories to keep your energy levels high. They’re essentially designed to keep your body moving but should not be used in place of a meal— you will be hungry. Some popular brands include Millenial ration bars, SOS, Mayday, Datrex, and Survival of Life at Sea (SOLAS) Bars.

43. Decaf coffee — Regular coffee may give you a boost of energy in the morning but because it contains caffeine, it can dehydrate you. One small cup a day should be okay but if you drink more than that, it’s best to have a decaffeinated option.

44. Powdered milk

45. Tea bags — They’re lightweight and provide comfort in the morning or evening.

46. Hot chocolate mix

47. Sugar packets

48. Salt packets

49. Seasoning packs — This includes ground pepper and other spices.

50. Bouillon cubes — Use this in moderation since it contains a high sodium content.

51. Honey packets — These are good to use as a sweetener and can fortify oatmeal.

52. Coconut oil packets — These contain antioxidants and can fortify meals.

53. Electrolyte drink powder — Pedialyte is a well-known brand.

54. Rehydration and mineral replacement tablets

55. Nutritional protein and whey powder

56. Emergen-C packets

57. Tallow — Keep this in an airtight container to prevent oxidation.

58. Horlick’s malted milk tablets — These are great for keeping your energy levels high while you're on the move.

59. Multivitamins and supplements

Along with food, we recommend you include these items in your BOB:

  • Camping mess kit and titanium spork
  • Lightweight means to cook such as small stove and sterno kit
  • Sharp knife
  • A few spare plastic bags
  • Fire kit which includes multiple ways to start a fire
  • Lightweight fishing kit which include at least fishing line and hooks
  • Snare wire
  • Multitool that includes an axe
  • Slingshot for small game
  • Water purifier

Other Items

Beyond the list above,ꃾMA recommends keeping a fire extinguisher on-hand along with waterproof matches. Important family documents and some cash should be stored in a waterproof container or bag. Warm blankets, or sleeping bags for each person in your family are also a smart purchase. Don&apost forget to pack at least one full-set of dry clothes, including a rain jacket or hoodie, to stay warm and dry. Have extra fuel for a generator and your vehicle.

Entertainment should be considered too, especially if you have kids — and remember screens will likely not save the day in a stormy situation. You can&apost go wrong with a deck of cards, building blocks, or crayons and drawing paper.

Plant-Based Milks

From almond, oat, soy, macadamia, to coconut, there are plenty of plant-based milks out there that will last longer than regular milk. Be sure you're choosing the best one out there, though.


"Regular and quick-cooking oats can last in the pantry unopened or resealed for two to three years," Laura Burak MS, RD, CDN, and founder of Laura Burak Nutrition, told us in a previous article. Most likely, you might just have some that are still good to eat! But even if you buy a new box of oats, it's a great investment as it's a fiber-filled food that is great for lowering cholesterol. And hey, there's nothing like a bowl of hearty oatmeal to keep you full.