Floods, hurricanes and other disasters can turn your world upside-down. Regardless of where life takes you, it’s critical to stay nourished and hydrated.
Welcome to the Food and Water Buyer’s Guide. These are handy, inexpensive products that will keep you and your family full and happy on the survival trail.
1. JACK LINKS
Key Features: High protein, tasty, lightweight
MSRP: $6 to $12 per bag
Description: There’s nothing like a burst of protein to keep your energy high during physical activity, and there’s a lot of it packed into each of these little bags. Grab a handful of Jack Links jerky while you’re waiting in your deer stand, sitting in a boat or on the trail so you can enjoy a high-protein, low carb, low fat snack. Thanks to the jerky’s amazing flavor options, you’ll be glad you brought along this easy-to-carry bag on your next survival trek.
“Tableware for a fireside meal doesn’t have to consist of a plain old tin can and paper plates.”
Model: Polypropylene Bowl
Key Features: Sturdy, easy to clean, inexpensive
Description: Tableware for a fireside meal doesn’t have to consist of a plain old tin can and paper plates. Instead, grab a few of these colorful but sturdy bowls that you can clean up in a snap, stack for later use and pack away quickly. They won’t stain, even after serving scores of camping meals, and you can even use them in your home kitchen after your survival trip ends, because they are dishwasher and microwave safe.
Model: Sports Bottle Holder
Key Features: Mounts to a tree, lightweight
Description: If you’ve ever sat in a deer stand for more than a few minutes, you know how cumbersome it can be to try and secure your water bottle in the tree crotch or your pocket. Those days are behind you thanks to this simple and inexpensive solution, which allows you to screw the bottle holder into the tree with no tools. Even if you don’t plan to climb into a deer stand, the tree mount can be great for camping/survival trips when you don’t have time to set up a table. You can keep your drink right next to your hammock, and it won’t fall thanks to the strong mesh material.
Model: Grandpa’s Fire Fork
Key Features: Lightweight, easy to carry
Description: Want a strong and durable cooking source but you have no room to pack a three-foot skewer? Secure Grandpa’s Fire Fork to a dead branch, and you’re halfway to enjoying a great meal. At just four inches in length, you can choose the size of your cooking handle by selecting just the right size branch you need from the ground. Once the fork is secured to the end of it, you can get your hot dogs, game meat or fish cooking securely over your fire in no time.
Key Features: Convenient, hardy, long-lasting
MSRP: $995 to $3,295 delivered
Description: You’re bugging out and on the run, but you don’t have room in your pack for a pantry’s worth of food. The solution? Dig out the E.A.T. Pod that you buried underground last year, and you’ve got hundreds of servings of food for your family. E.A.T. stands for “Eat Abundantly Tomorrow,” and the product is very true to its name. The company has packed preserved food into a 17.5-inch or 31-inch long corrugated black HDPE underground water pipe tube, which you can bury underground or keep above board (your choice), and it will survive heat, cold and humidity. The company has pre-loaded the tube with well-balanced, delicious food ranging from full MRE meals to freeze-dried meals, and welded the other end shut, allowing you to bury the preserved fare. The Pod is waterproof and tests up to six PSI, ensuring that it will last you just as long as you need it.
Model: Camp Fork Rest
Key Features: Lightweight, easy to clean
Description: Holding your camp fork over the fire is fun … for the first few minutes. But then the arm fatigue sets in and you find yourself switching the fork back and forth between hands to give yourself a break. The Coghlan’s Camp Fork Rest offers the break for you. Simply secure it into the ground near your fire, and then rest your cooking handle or camp fork in the slots to keep arm fatigue at bay.
Scrubbing pots at a campsite can be excruciatingly difficult because you don’t normally have your kitchen cleaning tools with you. A simple tip that many campers use is to boil a pot of water while you’re making your dinner over the fire. When you’re finished cooking, you can soak your cook pots, plates and utensils in the hot water so the food lifts off more easily, making cleanup faster.
Model: Meal Replacement Bar
Key Features: All-natural, delicious, filling
MSRP: $2.79-$3.29 each
Description: Ever peek at the ingredients list on a grocery store energy bar to find that you can’t pronounce half of the ingredients? Time to move on to Kate’s, the all-natural, hand-mixed, freeze-proof meal replacement bars that allow you to fuel up on the trail without having to stop and gather your dinner. We loved the convenience of these small-sized meal bars, which stash easily in a backpack pocket—but what really sold us on them was the taste. Whereas some of the other healthy bars taste too grainy and the grocery store bars are a bit chewy, Kate’s is just right, so you’ll get to enjoy your food as you continue on the trail to your destination or ride out the storm.
Editor’s note: A version of this article first appeared in the 2013 print issue of American Survival Guide.