Now you’ve got enough water and some shelter it’s time to turn your mind to your stomach. Whilst the average adult can survive more than a week without food they won’t be functioning too well.
Food will keep you energised, help stop you from getting sick and most importantly boost your morale.
For your go bag food needs to satisfy a few requirements:
Weight – You’re going to be lugging it around, so tinned food is out. You need to go for food that is light and in lightweight packaging.
Energy – To keep you going you’re going to want to eat small amounts often. So nutritious, energy dense food is important.
Water – You’re already using your limited supply for drinking so you don’t want to be re-hydrating food, or cooking something. By the same token foods that are very dry or salty will make you thirsty, putting further strain on your water supplies.
Shelf life – You don’t expect to be needing your go bag on a regular basis, so your food needs to last a while. At least six months is a good length (change it when you do your smoke detectors and other emergency kit maintenance). Don’t forget that there’s a difference between the various forms of labelling “best before” dates.
Taste – At the end of the day though you want food you like. This will boost your spirits and make it easier to rotate your stash so it doesn’t go stale.
All these factors limit your options pretty significantly. Think about packing Muesli/Granola bars, trail mix (aka scroggin), nuts (unsalted), some chocolate, dried fruit, some crackers and spread (in a tube or plastic container) and other pre-packed snacks. I know some folk who swear by tubes of sweetened condensed milk, but that’s not everyone’s cup of tea. Others will get some army rations/MREs, but these aren’t necessarily terribly tasty. Just make sure there’s some variety.
As for the amount there isn’t really any rule of thumb. You probably should have enough to stretch out over 2-3 days, but this may not be practical depending on what else you have in your go bag and how much weight you’re willing to carry.
Do you have a favourite food for your go bag? Leave a note in the comments and I’ll add it to the post.