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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I'm in the process of piecing together a small emergency kit for each of my cars -- mine, the wife's & my 17-year-old son. They each already have basic kits with jumper cables, flare, poncho, gloves, fix-a-flat, etc. just looking to extend these with a few more items in case one of us gets REALLY stranded somewhere.

I'd like to include some food items in case of an extended "stranded" moment but not sure what would work best. I'm looking for something that requires little or no preparation, and will keep pretty well through the temperature extremes we have here in KS. 10 below zero in the winter, 100+ in the summer (meaning 130+ inside a car sitting in the sun). I don't mind having to swap it out every 6 months or something, I just don't want something that will turn into melted (or rotten) pile of goo after a day or two at 100+ F.

I've considered MRE's but they tend to go bad pretty fast in the heat. Plus my wife won't touch them no matter how hard I try . . .

Mountain House meals maybe -- but then I really need to include a way to heat water to make them palatable.

Any suggestions?
 

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This is a good question that I have pondered heavily. In Alberta you get the +90F to the -30F and you are right, if you are parked in the sunshine interior temperature will destroy food and medicines very quickly. In the end I abandoned the idea of keeping any perishables in the car. Most driving is local, during the week anyway. There is a car kit in the car to deal with breakdown emergencies. As for food, medicines, water, stove and fuel, they are in a GO bag in the entranceway closet that gets picked up whenever any of us drive outside the city. Multiple kits so that all can be out at once. Doing this not only preserves the perishables bjut it also means that if we have to decamp (Bug Out, Evacuate) apart from the personal kits there are multiple food, water, medicines, stove and fuel kits that don't have to be assembled but are already to be picked up and tossed into the vehicle. The car kit contains all the normal breakdown gear such as road flares, cables, gloves, flashlights but also pry bar and extra clothes and rain wear.
 

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Not the healthiest food, but cheap, can eat them in -20* temps. I'd imagine they might get messy at 100* but still doable. It'll keep ya alive and thats whats important.

I keep a few packs in my car bag and try to rotate them twice a year or so.
 

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hard candy individually wrapped, jerky, the cereal based granola bars, keep in a small insulated bag in a part of the car which would be shady, such as the back of the trunk..
if it is in the car in case of breakdowns and not shtf, that should probably cover things or no harm will be done if nobody eats for 12 hours or so. If long trips are planned, of course carry stuff for longer term, loaded up for that trip.
 

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Mainstay 3600 calorie meal bars - no animal products to break down, their supposed to withstand temps up to 300 degrees, and have a 5+ year life expectancy. And, they are not supposed to make your thirsty.

While we are the topic of stuff for a car, I just have to throw this in - I keep the eco twistr flashlight in the glove box of my wifes SUV. That way I dont have to worry about batteries. The flashlight is small enough that it does not take up a lot of room, but bright enough to see what your doing.

 

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I have put the following items into vacume packed seal a meal bage with good results for the past couple years now;
Pop tarts
Single serve tuna / salmon packets
Used to find Spam in single serve packets but not lately
Mayo / ketchup packets
Beef jerky
Granola bars
Peanutbutter crackers as shown in other post
Plain crackers in small tupperware containers to prevent them from getting crushed.

Toss a case of bottled water in the trunk.
 

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I just keep some snack food in my EDC bag (which doubles as my car bag)

Cheese n Crackers
Slim Jims
Granola Bars
Jerky
M&Ms
Peanuts

Probably 1000 calories. Just enough to make it through a night if I were to break down. If I had a concern that I would need more, I just throw the BOB in the car.

I also keep $6 in quarters in a film canister, in case I find a vending machine.
 

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Remember that cars get extremely hot in the summer. Foods need to be heat stable and most aren't. Either use foods that you eat regularly and can rotate often, or go for things like Datrex/Mainstay which store fine in the heat. I keep Datrex, MRE crackers and peanut butter (rotated regularly) and some dried veggies and minute rice.
 

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Remember that cars get extremely hot in the summer. Foods need to be heat stable and most aren't. Either use foods that you eat regularly and can rotate often, or go for things like Datrex/Mainstay which store fine in the heat. I keep Datrex, MRE crackers and peanut butter (rotated regularly) and some dried veggies and minute rice.
This is the correct answer. It's the temperature swings that are the biggest problem with storing food in your vehicle. The Datrex/Mainstay bars are nearly impervious to temperature swings. MREs will go bad quickly in 100+ degree heat (a few months is what you can realistically expect). Freeze dried food will take extra water to prepare.

I use Aqua Blox boxed water and Datrex bars in my truck and car. I sampled what I had stored in the truck a few months ago, after being stored there for about 3 years (I live in Nevada, so we get the freezing cold and the 100+ temps). Both the water and the Datrex bars were tasty.
 

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Maybe it's just me, but everyone keeps mentioning 'shelf life' as it relates to E-food in the vehicle. In my experience, it never stays in there for more than a few weeks before someone forgot a meal and raids it.

I just keep it rotating with stuff from inside the house.
 

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Really, you want food that they won't touch
... that way they won't snack on the stores casually and they will be there when needed.

I throw a bag of corn chips and a can of almonds behind the seat in the winter.
Meh, I go the other way, even with our regular preps. I buy what I know everyone will eat. I just buy A LOT of it. Then, we eat what we prep, nothing goes bad and I know if it is ever needed, everyone will be used to the diet (more or less).

But that is just one approach.
 

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Discussion Starter · #20 ·
Thanks for the suggestions all!

I think I am going to stick with some saltines in a small tupperware container and maybe a small jar of peanut butter for now. I bet if I wrapped the peanut butter up in a few layers of newspaper or something it would help keep it from getting cooked so bad sitting in a hot car. We always do that with frozen items placed in the cooler when we go camping, and it really does help keep them frozen longer.

Not looking for something to sustain anyone for a long haul, I can deal with not eating for 12-24 hours if needed. Having water on-hand would be the big issue especially if it was really hot out. Mostly it's my little ones I'm worried about -- hungry kids would be just one more issue to deal with in an already stressful situation.
 
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