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Old 07-17-2011, 09:50 PM
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Default Bug out bag food list

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Lets talk about food someone would keep in their bug out bag

For years, and I mean for years I have kept a food bag in my bug out / camping bag. For the most part the food bag contains a single burner stove for a bug out bag, pot for cooking, eating utensils, lighter and matches for the stove and for building a camp fire, hand sanitizer,,,, and other odds and ends.

The purpose of a Bug Out Bag is if you and your family have to leave home in an emergency, the bag provides a few days of supplies for each person. Lets say there is a chemical leak near your house and your family has to evacuate. Everyone grabs their bag, and heads to a shelter or friends house.

My main bug out bag use to be a large ALICE pack. But a year ago I bought a large MOLLE pack with internal sleep system, which is currently my main bag. To add a little more room to the pack, 2 sustainment pouches were added.

Lets talk about this food bag in a little more detail.

The main bag is made of a brown cloth, has a drawstring at the top, when empty laying flat on a table, the bag measures 18 inches tall, 15 inches wide and has a 7X9 rectangle bottom. In a bag this size, someone should easily be able to carry at least 3 days worth of dehydrated food.


For about 13, maybe 15 years I kept a single burner propane stove in my bug out bag. I finally got tired of packing that large propane bottle around, so I bought a single burner Coleman Max stove that uses a blended fuel of butane and propane.

The 1 pound bottle of propane took up an outside pouch of a large or medium ALICE pack. In comparison, the bottle of mixed fuel is stored in an extra serving bowl with a lid. The bowl is not air tight, its just a snap o – snap off lid. The bowl serves a dual purpose of being able to hold a serving of food, and a storage container for the bottle of stove fuel. The plastic bowl helps protect the bottle of fuel from bumps and from having the threads damaged.

Back “in the day” when I was using a single burner propane stove, the stove was stored in the radio pouch of my ALICE pack. The hull of a shotgun shell was cut down to about an inch long, and wrapped in electrical tape so that it fit into the threads of the stove. This was to help prevent damage to the nipple that sticks out of the bottom of the propane stove.

Another nice thing about the mixed fuel stove, the support arms move around to make the stove very compact for storage. I store my stove inside of a MSR Alpine Stowaway 775 ml stainless steel pot. The pot is not only used to cook with, but its also used to store and protect the stove. Inside the pot with the stove is lighter and a couple of paper towels. The paper towels are used to cushion the stove from the inside of the metal pot.


Ok, lets talk about food for the bug out bag. My ideal loading is 3 days of eating good, and 5 days of eating spartan.

2 Meals Ready to Eat MREs

3 Mountain house Pro-paks from a Just in Case Kit. This should probably be increased to 4 meals, 2 breakfast and 2 main meals. The Pro-paks are heat and eat meals. Just add water to the pouch, wait about 10 minutes and the meal is ready to eat. My first exposure to these Mountain House Pro-Paks were on a 3 day camping trip on the Angelina River back in November – December 2010.

4 pack Ramen noodles

1 box tuna and crackers. Another one of these could be added to the pack

2 breakfast / snack bars

Accessories pouch, this contains a couple of spoons, hand sanitizer, various packs a tea for mixing into a canteen or water bottle, matches,,,, just various stuff like that. A spork really needs to be added to accessory pouch.

Canned foods

As a general rule, I try to carry as few canned goods as possible. After getting the food out he can, the can has to disposed of properly. Some people might bury their trash, some might pack it back to the trailhead. But either way cans can be an issued that needs to be dealt with.

When my buddies and I used to go camping along the bayous and marsh around Bridge City and Orangefield, Texas, canned goods just got in the way. We would bring along our food, but we would have to either bury of pack the empty cans out. On camping trips in hot weather, you o not want to be carrying rotting food in the cans. The food attracts flies and other undesirables.
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Old 07-17-2011, 10:08 PM
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Great post.

A lot of folks tend to be very critical of food items in survival kits and bug out bags, etc., etc., but nothing feels better than fire and warm or hot food and drink when everything else seems to be going wrong around you. It's true that you don't have to really be concerned about food for at least three weeks...but that's really extreme anyway. I mean, you never know what is going to happen and you should really have emergency food on hand, as you have above, if you want to even consider yourself "prepared."

I gravitate towards easily fixed foodstuffs as you have displayed and I am incredibly fond of MetRx and Clif Bars. Give me a cup of that Starbuck's instant coffee that is so good it doesn't even taste like "instant coffee," a little bit of sugar and some creamer and a Blueberry Crisp Clif Bar and I can face just about anything. 8-)
Old 07-17-2011, 10:18 PM
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I normally only keep Mountain House in my pack since I am already set for hiking and camping. I find that I can get two meals out of my Mountain House packs. I just split the contents in half. I try to keep 4 days worth of food in my pack at any given time. I do add the smaller stuff like energy bars and beef jerky though. I try not to ever carry cans because of the weight and disposal issues.
Old 07-17-2011, 10:32 PM
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thnx Kev! that helps..
Old 07-17-2011, 10:42 PM
George Newbill George Newbill is offline
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The weight issue is because canned food is not dehydrated, water is heavy, the dry stuff is great but you end up carrying extra water so it ain't all that much lighter at all.

As for the cans themselves, once empty turn them upside down and stomp them into the soil, gone and they rust away to nothing in a few years.
Old 07-17-2011, 10:51 PM
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I wanna see more set ups!! Im hungry LOL
Old 07-17-2011, 10:53 PM
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My main Bob has 5 MREs, 2 3600 Daytrex bars and 6 pints of water! My car GHB has several Datrex or Mainstay bars and 10 8 oz cartons of water ( always have a gallon of water in the car) But in my truck I keep a large plastic tote so i have more room for a small stove so I have several MH pouches, Daytrex, food tabs, and 6 gallons of water! And of course coffee in all bags!
Old 07-17-2011, 11:32 PM
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I carry Jerky, Gorp, & Millennium Ration bars as the primary foodstuffs for three days. In winter I add pemmican for the extra fat. And lots of water.

The game cart carries quite a bit of additional food of several varieties, including more of the Jerky, Gorp, & Millennium ration bars, but also MREs, Mountain House campers' freeze-dried meals, lentils, a few canned items, packaged foods like single serving grits, oats, hot chocolate, etc.
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Old 07-18-2011, 09:44 AM
Cumulunimbus Cumulunimbus is offline
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A few days ago I was challenged to make a food packet for a extremely light weight BOB. The challenge being that it could weigh in not above 1 kg (2.2 lbs), had to last for 3 days, could be stored in room temperature for at least 3 months and be very easy to rotate.

Here is what I came up with using just items from my pantry:

Starting at the top left side the items are:
Chocolate, Hot chocolate powder, margarine, coffee, packet of flour-dry milk-salt-dry yeast, almonds and raisins, rolled oats, three freeze dried dinners and some crisp bread.

Calories: 4545 kcal total. Not much, but perhaps enough to keep the worst hunger at bay. Ideally I would consider, at least twice that to be a minimum for a three day trek, but here the priority was to travel light.
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Old 07-18-2011, 12:23 PM
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My main BOB supplies are Datrex bars and MRE peanut butter/crackers. I also carry some snack mix for nibbling while hiking.
Old 07-18-2011, 12:59 PM
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I carry a mountain house and broken down MREs (a lot of junk hte MRE I do not care about except for the main meal and may the crackers) but I prefer homemade using dehydrated foods. They pack smaller, individual portions, and they do not have the nasty crash. They also vacuum seal well too. The Mountain House and MRE are great for it is pouring rain or a long day means I am to exhausted to deal with pulling out the pots/pans.

You can use Ziploc freezer bags, shove all your ingredients in there, dump in a cup or so of boiling water, wait a couple and enjoy. I cheat though and use my backpack stove and cups to make them. Paired with the GSI spice missles and a couple small containersof spices, sugar, oil, dried milk, and flour I use I am always satifyied. Worst case I kill a squirell or catch a couple fish I can enjoy eating them since most food is bland.

I also cheat and on a piece of paper towel that has exactly what the meal contains such as how much salt was added, what else was put in, etc. This serves two purpose I know exactly what I am eating (such as is that southwest rice dish spicy or plain) and I have a napkin/cleaning rag.

For heat I carry around 2 8 ounce butane/propane canisters and a MSR Pocket Rocket. I also can do it over a small bed of coals if I needed too since I carry a firespark with the pocket rocket since it is the easiest way to start it.

All my food and stuff is shoved in a sea to summit waterproof 12l sack. Been on enough canoe trips where the canoe was dumped and even though food was vacuumed sealed the seal had broken or it got popped and the food was nice and river soaked.
Old 07-18-2011, 01:02 PM
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For breakfast quick oats are awesome too along with cous cous. Can add raisins, sugar, other dried fruits and know you have a complete meal.
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Old 07-18-2011, 01:09 PM
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I travel quite a bit, by car, and have a GHB as well. My question is "any problem with mountain house kept in the car" during summer heat and winter cold.
Old 07-18-2011, 01:19 PM
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If you are bugging out to a known location, why not pre-cache food/fuel/water/ammo. Thus your pack would be lighter and you could move faster. Make sure to pre-cache multiple routes in case one or more are somehow compromised later. Just bury a half dozen ammo cans full of goodies along your routes.

One caviot, remember where you put them by marking on a map and subsequent marking on a tree or other landmark. Make notes of your cache on 3x5 cards (draw a treasure map on back then laminate) and take measurements using 100 ft of paracord and compass bearing.

If you are traveling through national forest lands, take advantage of pre-marked "bearing" trees located near the corner section pins. Take photos of your cache sites and keep them with your maps in case the terrain changes somehow. USGS benchmark pins (brass caps) can also be used, as they are six feet deep.

A gps waypoint is fine as long as your gps is working and the system is still up. Traveling with the least amount of weight and moving fast may be key to your survival and making it to your BOL.
Old 07-18-2011, 01:22 PM
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When I think of the "Bug Out" situation, I look at the food in terms of 2 categories. Bugging out... and slowing down. In the "Bug Out" phase, I see this as putting faster distance between me and my starting point (aka Getting the hell out of dodge). In this phase I would think fast food with little to no prep time, such as cliff bars, jerky, GORP, mainstay, Datrex, etc. something I can eat on the move, containing high calorie/carb content.

In the "slowing Down" phase (arriving at my location, or finding a safe environment to bed down for a bit) THEN I would use food that required prep work or cooking. This I would consider comfort food. A hot meal with time to actually sit down and eat it.

But thats just me.
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Old 07-18-2011, 01:27 PM
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Originally Posted by hoosierliving View Post
I travel quite a bit, by car, and have a GHB as well. My question is "any problem with mountain house kept in the car" during summer heat and winter cold.
My understand is that type of food hates extreme heat and cold.

I keep food in my laptop backpack bag and it comes in with me to work.

Great part is I have access to boiling water already at work so if I cannot get up to the cafeteria or do not want to leave I have food.
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Old 07-18-2011, 01:38 PM
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Got a mountaineering buddy of mine who will take nothing but a bunch of ramen noodles. He puts them all in the same bag and just tosses the flavoring packets in there. When it comes time for lunch or dinner, he grabs a handful and just cooks a handful at a time. It allows him to stretch his ramen out for longer periods of time. We also just heat up the water and use our Fair Share mugs to cook the noodles in. This eliminates any necessity to clean our pots or stoves (ie: Jetboil) since they are only being used for boiling water.

I highly recommend the Fair Share Mug.
Old 11-11-2012, 07:53 AM
icantfindnonameforme icantfindnonameforme is offline
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i have a BOB and a inch bag,my BOB is for short and long bug outs becouse it has not so mouch food and its not so heavy as my INCH bag i will say you what food i carry in my INCh bag that is way heavyer then my BOB (my bob has 50 pounds and my INCH 80)
2 small bags of rice and beans(maybe 800 caloryes all in one)
1 big box of orange tic tacs and vitamin C
3 small bags of seeds (tomatos,beans,etc.)
4 snikers (2 mint snikers and 2 super-snikers)(all in one maybe 1000 calories )
2 rammen noodles(maybe 400 calories per pack)
3 3600 emegracy food bars (lemon-cinamon mainsady)
3 canned breads (good to combine with other stuff,500 calories per can)
2 knorr´s(maybe 600 calories per pack)
1 SPAM and one DAK!(SPAM has 1000 calories and DAK!700)
5 mountain house meals(maybe 400 calories per pack)
coco powder,lemonade,ice tea,coffee,tea.
1 bag of trail mix (frits and nuts like apples,berrys,peanuts,bananas,walnuts and plumbs (when combined with hot watter they make a good drink)
1 small jar of peanut butter(700 calories)
small jar of honey(maybe 400 calories)
2 cans of tuna(one can is proplybility 400 calories or more)
5 cliff bars(one bar=230 calories)
5 big jack links beef jerky(one pack has 75 gramsall in one about 1500 calories)
canned butter(500 calories)
3 brigdfort sandwiches(350 calories one sandwich)
1 MRE(2900 kcal=one day)
2 mountain house napoltan ice cream(one servivng=300 calories)
2 1200 energy bars(1200 calories=2 meals,2400 calories=4 meals)
2 solders fuel (270 calories per bar=540 calories=one meal)
2 5 hour energy (good if you need it)
20 snares,victor rat traps,2 foothold traps,gun,handgun and ammo for securing meat,and a book of wild eadible plants.

all in one i have cca. 40000 calories eating really GOOD 15 days and eating spartan 28 days.
in you INCH bag or long term survival bag its is important to have mouch food becouse you are there for ever or for a long period of time so whout food you are going to starve,i also keep other survival stuff in my INCH bag like tools,shelter,warth,fire
not only foods

i also carry mouch watter:
3 L cambelack watter bladder(it has 2 L of watter in it)
1 0.5 L watter bottle (not full)
1 military style canteen with cup(full)
1 watterskin (half full)
platypus container (not full)
nelgane bottle (full)
4 emegracy drinking watter (250 ml tastes almost like normal watter)
2 AQUA(250 ml tastes almost like normal watter)
survival straw
katadyn watter filter
2 aqamira watter purification tablets
1 coleman watter purification tablets
so thats my watter thnx for reading
Old 11-11-2012, 10:30 AM
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Being that I live at my BOL, the only thing I need is to get home. The only place I even go anymore is to the city, 40 miles away to the doctor. So I only need to get home. I don't keep any food. If I had to walk home I will either A) stop in to a store and get me a hand full of candy bars. Snickers or Payday. Maybe some imitation beef jerky they sell in these places. Or B) Just hoof it home. I figure at my age and health it will take me two days, being careful. Skipping a day or two of eating won't be the end of the world.
Old 11-26-2012, 11:09 PM
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I live in an area where water is (relatively) plentiful, so freeze dried starts to make sense if I was going any longer than 3 days. As it stands now, I have snacks for eating on the go (Clif bars, etc), stripped down MREs for meals, and finally an "iron ration" consisting of a 2,400 cal Mainstay for situations where I'm out unexpectedly long and it's that or resorting to bugs. I might squeeze in a couple dehydrated things where able depending (oatmeal packets, small macaroni or ramen packets, etc)

I'm still thinking of a stove solution. Currently I just have an esbit stove and MRE heaters for when I'm just pausing for a break, and if I'm pausing for the night I'd just as soon make a small fire.

Stripped down MRE entree consists of entree pouch, heater, spoon, moist wipe and drink mix in the box it came in. There's enough room that the box doesn't bulge with all this in there.

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