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Best backpack survival food?

Say you were on some sort of hiking trip in the desert and you suddenly get stuck/lost in the wilderness (think Aron Ralston). What would be the best kinds of food to have in your backpack to keep you going as long as possible (beans, nuts, granola bars, etc)?

4 Answers

  • Mark M
    Lv 6
    9 years ago
    Favorite Answer

    If you get lost or injured out hiking, particularly with one arm stuck between two rocks or cut-off, you are not going to be mixing separate ingredients to bake a pie. What you will want is something to provide short-term nutrition to maintain energy levels necessary to think clearly and support the physical activities necessary to survive and/or walk-out to rescue. So I would focus on compact, lightweight foods that require little or no preparation.

    Jerky is a great source of protien, iron and sodium, but provides little to no fat, vitamins or minerals. 1 pound of lean beef results in about 6 ounces of Jerky; which is about four daily servings of protien. Jerky is lightweight and will last months in an airtight container (vacuum-packed with an oxygen/moisture absorber is best) without refrigeration.

    Peanut butter is also a good source of fat, protien, fiber, iron and sodium. It is somewhat heavy but will last months without refrigeration.

    Dry beans such as navy beans are a good, lightweight source of fiber, protien, iron and other minerals. Unfortunately, they take a lot of time and effort to prepare: you need to soak them for 8 hours the simmer for 60 to 90 minutes. You can put a cup of beans in a Nalgene bottle then fill with water and stick it in your pack during the day, just open the bottle periodically to relieve pressure.

    Rice is good for carbs. Parboiled or instant rice takes less time and effort to prepare. Pasta is also a good source of carbs, whole wheat pasta would be more nutritious than regular flour or semolina pasta.

    Beans, rice and pasta will last for 5+ years in dry, air-tight containers.

    There are lots of freeze-dried food options, including complete meals in a bag or individual ingredients that you can mix to create your own meals. Nutritional balance varies with the meal/ingredient selection. Preparation is easy: just add boiling water. Most freeze-dried foods will last up to 25 years in unrefrigerated storage.

    Lifeboat emergency food ration bars were originally designed for, as the name implies, marine crew survival kits. These come in sizes from 1200 to 3600 calories, with 800 to 1200 calories being the recommended daily intake (depending on activity level). They have a 5 year shelf life when unsealed, are designed to be nutritionally balanced and to not promote thirst.

    Whatever else I carry in my pack and BOB for food, I always have at least one 2400 or 3600 calorie food ration bar as a back-up.

  • 9 years ago

    In the desert anything dried or salty will dehydrate you. That being said, water is much more important than food. Without water in the desert you could die in a day or even less, while you will last a few weeks without food before dying. But to answer your question, chia seeds are the nearly perfect survival food. It may not taste very good, but chia seeds are considered a super food. Here is a link to all the nutritional information.

    Source(s): personal research
  • 9 years ago

    Probably peanut butter, jerky and dried fruits for nutrition to weight/volume value. But you mostly need water so food should not be the priority. You can only last for days, even hours, without water. You can survive weeks without food and many people have.

  • 9 years ago

    Parched corn and Biltong.

    Corn meal or self-rising corn flour, baking powder or soda

    And of course lard, since animal fat is hard to come by in the desert.

    Not to mention the old standbys, rice and beans and if I had thought ahead, some salt pork (available at most big grocery stores).

    Hey, gotta have some American food to go along with those roasted lizards, eh?

    Oh, and always carry salt in the desert.

    And Cayenne pepper. (It also has medicinal properties.)

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