5 Easy To Carry Foods For Your 72-Hour Kit

Today is a guest post from Chett  over at FoodInsurance.com.


When something unexpected happens and your family needs to evacuate your home, either by car or on foot, a proper 72-hour kit can provide everything you need to sustain yourself for up to three days.  Many people tend to overburden their kits with food—forgetting that they are for survival, not gourmet dining.


Because 72-hour kits must be packaged in containers small enough to be carried, such as a backpack or plastic tote, it’s important to choose food that is both easy to carry and nourishing. Remember to include food items that you and your family will actually eat, and don’t underestimate the power of a few comfort foods to ease stress during what could be a difficult and traumatic time.


Here are five long-lasting, easy to carry foods essential to a lightweight 72-hour kit:


1. Beef jerky: Long-lasting and delicious, beef jerky is a survival kit staple. It has a long shelf life, doesn’t require cooking and is packed with flavor. As an added bonus, jerky contains high levels of protein and zinc. Jerky is also high in sodium, however, which can increase your thirst, so eat it sparingly.


2.  Canned foods:  Adding canned foods to your 72-hour emergency kit gives you a range of meal options, such as tuna, soup, stew, chili or pasta with sauce. Look for low sodium options with high nutritional value. Don’t forget to include a can opener. Some traditional canned foods are even available in vacuum-sealed pouches—so look for variations of tuna, stew and other ready to eat foods packaged this way for a lighter weight alternative.


3. Energy bars: Whether you invest in high-calorie survival bars or the basic granola bars, these can give you a burst of energy when you need it most. Choose those bars with higher protein and calorie content and put in a range of flavors for variety, such as coconut, peanut butter or banana nut. Make sure the bars are individually wrapped for maximum storage advantage.


4. Trail mix: Buy commercial trail mixes or make your own, but the best blends for survival kits mix dried fruits (such as raisins or cranberries), sweets (small chocolate chips or candy-coated chocolate) and nuts (such as almonds or peanuts). Trail mix provides you with several nutrients and lots of calories in a salty-sweet blend of crunchy goodness. Portion out homemade blends into doubled-up, zippered plastic sandwich bags for easy portability.


5. Drink mixes: Gain extra physical and psychological advantages with a range of drink mixes. Ideas include packets of hot chocolate mix, cider mix, instant tea, fruit drink mix, powdered milk and breakfast shake powders. You’ll need to stay hydrated in an emergency situation, and these mixes can entice you to keep on drinking, plus provide much-needed calories.


Cycle through your 72-hour kit every six months to check that your food items haven’t expired and replenish where necessary. When an emergency occurs, you’ll be glad you prepared your 72-hour kit with all the items you’ll need to survive and thrive during the next few days.


This guest post is written by Chett Wright of Food Insurance, a supplier of emergency food storage supplies. Get your own food storage plan together by visiting FoodInsurance.com.



14 comments… add one
  • irishdutchuncle November 4, 2013, 8:31 am

    I would add individual jars of peanut butter to the list. (although you need to eat it extra carefully, unless a cold glass of milk is also available)
    it’s important to have items you won’t mind eating unheated. you may not be able to stop and cook, or there may be gas leaks in the area. (which would preclude the use of your camp stove)

    • smokechecktim November 4, 2013, 3:54 pm

      someone needs to work on a packaged PBJ sandwich. One of nature most perfect foods!

      • irishdutchuncle November 4, 2013, 5:30 pm

        yeh, that’s what I’m talking about!
        (been thinking about it all day)

  • Steve (From the Cape) November 4, 2013, 10:24 am

    Great ideas. Aah Dutch Uncle; PB practically a universal food! Everything but canned goods can go into the get home bag in the car. I’m thinking of some canned goods (and PB) in a bag in my office that could be added to the get home bag in the car when necessary, but could be kept from freezing here in winter in the northern climes. The alternative is freeze dried I suppose.

    • j.r. guerra in s. tx. November 6, 2013, 8:10 am

      And the emptied peanut butter jar is very reusable, very tough container that can repurposed later for buried can cache, varmint resistant food container or makeshift canteen.

  • Steve suffering in nj November 4, 2013, 1:15 pm

    A nice piece of gear is a MSR rocket stove. The stove itself stores in a hard plastic case about the size of an eyeglass case. It screws onto a fuel tank about the size of a grapefruit. For minimal space you have the ability to boil water to sanitize and or make hot drinks. Also warm soup, chili etc. Bought mine for 39 bucks or so. I’m told the fuel tanks can freeze up in prolonged cold. I haven’t had any such issues. The fuel tank lasts allot longer than you would expect. The gas burns very hot so the stove is always on a low flame setting. Also great for backpacking or power outages. I strongly recommend this piece of gear.

  • irishdutchuncle November 4, 2013, 6:13 pm

    in the distant past my idea of cuisine in the field was a can of Dinty Moore, heated on a Sterno stove. the heat from the Sterno was low enough, I could heat the stew in it’s own can.
    (no dishes to wash) I’ve never had an MRE, but I will need to look into them. some of them have a (flameless) built in heater.
    I’d like to have a real backpacking stove sometime, like the MSR rocket. (see Steve in nj comment above) I’m worried about not being able to use it due to local conditions.
    I don’t have any bug-out food packed so I’m starting over from scratch. I like canned soups, chilli, stews etc, but most don’t seem too appetizing served cold.

    • smokechecktim November 5, 2013, 12:20 am

      irish: look up the supercat stove. I’ve used one for years. a teaspoon of 100% alcohol will boil a cup of water in 3 minutes. You use a 6oz cat food can and a 3oz cat food can. The stove fits inside my GSI minimalist pot. I store the alcohol in a small metal drinking bottle. Low weight and basically free to make.

      • irishdutchuncle November 5, 2013, 1:34 am

        thanks Tim, I’ll have a look.

  • Tolik November 4, 2013, 6:36 pm

    LRRP ration entres .

  • javelin November 4, 2013, 8:37 pm

    Don’t forget about dried fruit, dates, figs, apples, raisins, bananas and yes, even prunes. all a great source of low weight portability and high energy. They will also help you to feel more full.

  • Ray November 5, 2013, 5:31 am

    Pemmican , pasta, dry fruit, hard tack, dried beans, dried peas, jerky , dried parched corn, whole grains,& salt pork . Will all keep you in better health and on your feet far longer than energy bars, candy , MRE’s or freeze dry’s. Just carry a bottle of “one a day’s” to make up for the lack of greens(and harvest wild greens nuts & berries when you can) and you can last months on very little.

  • j.r. guerra in s. tx. November 5, 2013, 7:32 am

    Raisons and peanuts lasts a good while left in kits, I’ve eaten the contents from bags found in my ‘deer kit’ with no bad ‘after effects’. Well, the raisons were a LITTLE hard . . . :^). Provides good energy, no cook and you can even eat while moving about. This and home made dried meat (jerky) is good outdoor food, the problem with the last one is that one tends to eat it quickly (Its good grazing!).

    A small supply of sweets are appreciated too, I like Atomic Fireballs, a cinammon flavored ‘jaw breaker’ type of candy I sometimes use to wake up during long uneventful days on hunting stand. They come individually wrapped and the one’s I’m eating are at least 4 years old with no detection of bad flavor.

    One last tip, this one gleaned from one of Cody Lundin’s books. Cans can opened with no opener, the can’s metal rims are very thin folded over pieces and can be scrubbed across an abrasive surface to wear it away. So ‘wax on – wax off’ and when you see the liquid beginning to seep out, you are nearly done. I’ve tried it – just takes a couple of minutes.

    Beats beating the can against a rock is all I’m saying . . .

  • Danny November 10, 2013, 12:15 pm

    I have the tab opening cans of beans and meats. I attempted the parched corn yesterday- birds and squirrals liked it -I made pemmican and jerky recently,haven’t tried the pem. yet. jerky is almost gone. Dried a lot of my garden veggies so they are just waiting to add water. Have dried fruits also. Have packaged rice meals like Rice-a-Roni and quakers oats. The hamburger helper is easy fixing over the camp fire even.Works without hamburger if you are hungry enough.


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