Food. It’s the first thing most people think about in a survival situation. “I’ve got to find something to eat!”
Maybe it’s because we’re so accustomed to eating regularly throughout the day and our stomachs remind us when it’s getting close to mealtime. Maybe it’s a comfort activity; something that can be done to preserve a sense of normalcy in a situation that seems beyond our control. Whatever the reason, food is the first thing that most people think about in survival.
In reality, there are much more important things to worry about. If you recall the Rule of Three you know that air, shelter, water come first.
Nevertheless, you’ve got to eat sometime so carrying a lightweight, nutritious meal with you that can provide a bit of warmth on the inside is a good idea. It’ll help give you boost of energy and lift the spirits.
Instant Oatmeal: It’s All Good
You heard the axiom “Store what you eat and eat what you store.” They are words to prep by. That’s why one of the items I like to carry with me in my 72 hour kits is instant oatmeal.
- Lightweight. With some foods, you’re carrying around a lot of extra weight in the form of liquid. Not with instant oatmeal. It’s lightweight and easy to carry.
- Nutritious. One packet of instant oatmeal contains 20% of most of the FDA’s Recommended Daily Allowance of vitamins and minerals like Vitamin A, Iron, and Folic Acid. (Not that I put a lot of stock in the FDA’s recommendations, but that’s another story.)
- Servings. Since instant oatmeal is packaged in individual servings, it’s easy to carry and use only what you need.
- Preparation. It’s easy to make instant oatmeal. If you can boil water, you can make instant oatmeal.
- Packaging. The packaging is flammable. That can come in handy when you are trying to start a fire in the wilderness.
I typically carry my instant oatmeal in a homemade MRE (Meal Ready to Eat). The MRE contains 2 packages of instant oatmeal, a granola bar, a teabag, a paper towel, and a plastic spoon. It’s all vacuum sealed so it should stay fresh for a long time.
Although I haven’t actually tried it, I suspect that I may be able to boil water in the plastic vacuum seal bag. I’ll give that a try sometime and let you know in another post about homemade MREs.
In a true survival situation, you’ll burn a lot of calories just trying to stay alive. Making a shelter, gathering firewood, searching for water, all take energy.
Instant oatmeal, when prepared with water, only contains around 130 calories per serving. That’s not a lot. It is high in carbohydrates, though. But you’ll need to supplement your instant oatmeal with other sources of calories if you’re going to be stranded for quite some time.
So, what about you? What do you carry for survival food?