The basic storage foods will keep you alive in an emergency home situation. But, in most survival situations food will not be the critical factor in getting out alive. You can last many days, even weeks, without eating any food at all. It is important to consider adding a multivitamin to your food storage program. Since the basic food groups are often lacking in complete vitamins in the required amounts, adding a simple multivitamin to your survival diet can optimize health, making survival more assured.

The military use MRE(Meals Ready to Eat) when on missions. Your suvival will be a mission. You can include in your BoB cans of Sterno or 91% Alcohol with a touch of kerosene for color to heat meals.

I like to carry an alcohol stove and a wood burner combo such as Evernew’s Appalachian Set (Light but costly!). They all fit together and weigh very little in my backpack. Now, I am able to use whatever type fuel I might have my hands on. Trangia makes some nice kits and combined with the Swiss Army Volcano Stove or with a cat alcohol stove makes a nice cheap little kit and between these it’s about all one needs on the trails.

You could get a little Coghlans Emergency Stove Which comes with 24 fuel tablets and additional tablets can be purchased cheaply. Actually, if your going to make/buy an alcohol or woodburner you can just get the tablets and use them in either at the proper height.  These tablets burn about 5-10 minutes each and when doubled or with twigs can boil a cup of water in about 5 minutes. Use these only when you cannot get a campfire going due to stealth etc. and a few packs should last quite some time.

If you wish to make a cheap alcohol stove, which runs on 91% rubbing alcohol or better yet, “heet”, it amounts to no more than a few different cat cans or soda/beer cans and some hole punching.  A good link on Alcohol stoves can be found here at Zen Backpacking Stoves.

For wood, it amounts to no more than a quart paint can and few other cans put together plus some venting holes.  Here is a link to a good build on the cheap:

Besides a few dozen strike anywhere matches, get a Coghlan’s Magnesium Fire Starter to light fires, a good small carbon steel utility knife and a hand-operated can opener(even if you do not include cans, this will come in handy someday). Focus on high-energy foods such as peanut butter, nuts and granola, ready-to-eat canned, freeze dried or vaccum packed cooked meats, fruits and vegetables. Food is going to be a personal choice. Don’t carry what you don’t like! I personally like rice and mac meals, but both will require water added. Spam might be a good canned meat? to carry “if” you like it! You will have to decide how much you want to carry. if your carrying extra water for meals, you may as well go the ready to eat can way. The can is no different than freeze dry and add water when it comes to weight. Your carrying that weight in water. Although, if your finding your water on the trail, then obviously these concentrates are going to lighten your load alot!

Anything over a three day supply of meals will load you down. You will have to learn to hunt, scavenge, snare, or fish for your food. Suggest carrying energy bars, jerky and then your spices and some flour, powder milk, baking powder etc. Keep all these items in nice ziplock bags and all those bags within another watertight bear bag.

Meats – The best choice is a dried meat like beef jerky. Some canned meats pack alot of calories in fat and oil that they counterbalance the weight of the package. Even after accounting for the weight of the can, Spam packs 80 calories per ounce, even though most of the Spam is actually fat. A can or two of Spam or something similar can add a little variety to the backpacker’s meat course. Spam now comes in flat foil pouches as well as Starkist tuna packs, another alternative. These are lighter and easier to handle.

Noodles – Ramen packets is a great food choice. They are cheap, durable, portable, high in calories and come with their own flavor packet. Olive oil packs a mammoth 240 calories an ounce, so another way to go is to combine elbow macaroni with some olive oil and a little oregano and garlic powder.

MRE’s weighs approximately 1.5 pounds and contains around 1,200 calories and each MRE (meal, ready-to-eat) includes tea, sporks, packet sugar, moist towelettes and other items that a backpacker looking to get down to the minimum weight can easily discard. The basic entree portions of MREs are dehydrated food packs, so you can either buy these dehydrated food packs straight from a vendor or buy a case of MREs, then pick and choose among the pre-packaged components. You can find dried meals such as Moutain House at your local trail store and wal-mart! These come with their own bag to eat in and can be zipped locked to eat thru-out the day.

Don’t leave out your spices. Salt, pepper, garlic and oregano go a long way to making meals much more pleasant to the taste buds. Liquid butter, olive oil will add to any meal. Maybe some hot sauce packets. Most of this can be gathered during your week at your favorite fastfood counters. enjoy the free offerings with your meals.

Breads – My favorite is Jiffy cornbread.  kept in a ziplock bag with some powder milk and just add a bit of water to a fire. Liquid butter can come in handy here and make a good breakfast turn out fantastic! Learn to make basic flat breads, corn or flour and water with spices for taste. Anything without a yeast will last a long long time. A bread can be cooked in the morning for breakfast and last all day long on the trail to go with your spam and jerky.

The following recipe provides enough bannock bread for one day. Stored in a waterproof bag, it is easy to carry a weeks supply. 1-cup whole wheat flour, 1-teaspoon baking powder, 1/4-teaspoon salt, 3-tablespoons butter, 2-tablespoons milk powder. Mix all the ingredients well, making sure the butter is evenly distributed throughout. Slowly add water while mixing until a dough ball is formed. Make the bannock dough into a cigar shape and wrap it around a green stick. Try to keep the thickness of the dough about 1/2 inch. Slowly roast the bannock over a hot fire, rotating occasionally until it turns a golden brown. You could also place it in your mess pan and fry it that way. Very enjoyable and expandable recipe. You can use any flour, remember different flours have different longevity, wheat about 3 months, all purpose about 8 month, rice flour will last forever if tightly sealed. Add in some sugar, nuts, butters, animal fat to make your own unique recipe.

Fur trappers from Scotland, who explored all across North America in the 1800′s, couldn’t bake regular breads in the regular way. Instead, they put a dough mixture of flour, water and fat from hunted animals, on a stick, and baked it over their campfires. They called this “bannock” which means bread in the Scots Gaelic language. A bread you can make on the barbecue or campfire. Enjoy the bread that’s been made for centuries in the wild.

A stainless steel mess kit and cup will cook all your food over an open fire. And please, BUY stainless steel, not aluminum or any other. Stainless Steel will not change the taste of your food, will clean up easily and last a lifetime. I like a full Chow Set , thats just me. other than that, I like the old fashion Military Style Stainless Steel Camping Mess Kit which can fry my food and has a double plate for other items. And instead of the old fashion canteen, I perfer a Stainless Steel Cup that will allow bottles to slide over them, this cooks my soups and stews also. Do not skimp here. Stainless Steel all the way!

One silent and good weapon used for centuries on small game is also a very cheap and light addition to your pack. Check into a nice Slingshot and remember to get some extra Band Replacements and Steel Shot . Once the ammo runs out, you always got pebbles and rocks laying around.

Get a small spool of 18-22 gauge wire for your survival BoB, Making snares for Small Game. You can also use paracord for these purposes. Note: this is not something to be used for cruelty, this is for survival situations. there are many ways of doing this, this is just a few. More can be found on, just pick your style!

Rabbit Snare

1) Cut a 20 to 22 inch piece of the steel wire (18 to 22 gauge galvanized steel wire) or paracord

2) Make a small loop at one end leaving enough wire to wrap around the bottom of the loop about 6 or 8 times

3) Secure the loop by wrapping the wire tightly around itself at the bottom of the loop

4) Feed the unlooped end through the looped end and pull until the whole wire makes the shape of a 9

5) Keep adjusting the 9 until the top part is a 3 to 5 inch diameter lasso (test by putting your fist through the hole – it should fit with ease)

6) Make a slightly larger loop at the unlooped end to attatch to an anchor

7) Repeat steps 1 through 6 until you have all the lasso snares you want

First you have to find the perfect habitat to snare a rabbit. I look for a field full of knee high scrub next to a lightly wooded area. Find and follow any trails you may find in the grass and where they intersect and meet the wooded area because these are good spots to set some snares. Be sure to keep an eye out for rabbit droppings as you walk. Cut a 4 to 6 foot length of green (living branch) wood with your cutting blade of choice. Sharpen the thicker end and drive the stick diagonally into the ground overhanging the trail. Work to get at least 8 or 10 inches of the stick into the ground and tug it firmly in each direction to make sure it is sturdy. Make a loop in the end of the spool of steel wire large enough to slip over the stick and slide it down far enough to overhang the center of the trail. Take a little more wire to wrap tightly around the loop and wood a few times, and twist to tighten. Unroll the wire until it is about a foot and a half above the ground and cut it. Pull the piece of wire you just cut through the final loop you made in the snare itself and adjust it until the wire is hanging 4 to 6 inches above the ground. It will now be in the shape of a 6 when you look at it because it is hanging upside down. Use grass, twigs, and leaves to narrow the game trail a little so the rabbit has nowhere to go but into the noose. Place a few small pieces of bait on either side of the snare to spark the interest of game coming from either direction.

Squirrel Snare

1) Cut a 12 to 14 inch piece of steel wire or paracord

2) Make a small loop at one end leaving enough wire to wrap around the bottom of the loop about 4 to 6 times

3) Secure the loop by wrapping the wire tightly around itself at the bottom of the loop

4) Feed the unlooped end through the looped end and pull until the whole wire makes the shape of a 9

5) Keep adjusting the 9 until the top part is a 2 to 3 inch diameter lasso

6) Thread and hook through the unlooped end and make a slightly larger loop than the previous loop around it ( the i hook is the anchor here)

7) Repeat steps 1 through 6 until you have as many as you want

Ideal squirrel habitat is any area wooded with nut bearing trees like oak and fruit bearing trees like apple. Find a place to sit quietly and observe the goings on around you. Listen for chattering and barking sounds coming from the trees and look for squirrels nests. (They look like balls of sticks and grass in the crook of the branches of a tree) To set the snares, simply screw the I hooks into deadfall and limbs, and bend the wire so the lasso is about an inch off of the wood. Smear peanut butter on each side of the lasso and sprinkle with bird seed or nuts or Find a dead but still sturdy branch 5 feet or longer. Screw the squirrel snares with i hooks into the wood about every 8 inches to a foot apart. Leave about 6 inches of space from each end where there are no snares. Smear each end of the wood with peanut butter and sprinkle with birdseed or nuts. Wedge your newly made snare pole firmly against the trunk of a tree or in the crook of a few branches.

Remember to READ and study what edible plants might be right next to you. Peterson Field Guide on wild edible plants is a good book along with their Medicinal plants book.  A good website for edible plants is , checkout their archives.

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