Must-haves for Keeping Those Calories Coming
While survival skills and knowledge are crucial, even the best-prepared people need some equipment to handle whatever disaster comes into play. Whether it’s gear for getting more food and water, storing what you have or getting ready for long-term survival, you’ll need something in your hands to complement what’s in your head.
These food-related products will help you keep what you already have, prepare it for use and even get more if the situation lasts for a very long time.
Camp Chef Wood Fire Cook Wagon
Fire is a crucial element for survival, and wood is the earliest form of fuel for that fire. The Wood Fire Cook Wagon is designed specifically for using wood to cook food and can easily be used to keep warm when the weather turns cold. This wood grill is made of 10-gauge steel for years of use and can also cook with charcoal.
- Assembled size: 29x22x36.75 inches
- Weight: 87 pounds
- 8-inch steel wheels for mobility
- Removable griddle and grill grate
- High-temperature black finish
MSR WhisperLite Universal Backpacking Stove
When on the go, a lightweight, portable cooking source is truly important for making food edible—and possibly even making water potable. However, fuel could become a hard-to-come-by resource, so a stove that can run on a variety of fuels can be an important tool in a go-bag. The Whisperlite Universal stove can use propane, white gas, kerosene and gasoline to boil water in fewer than four minutes.
- Minimum weight: 11.2 ounces
- Stainless steel legs
- Includes fuel pump, wind screen, heat reflector and parts kit
- Canister stand included, but not the canister itself
QuickStove Cook Kit
While a portable gas stove is a great tool for on the go, eventually, gas will become a limited resource, which is what makes the QuickStove Cook Kit such a great idea. This lightweight stove and pot are made of aluminum for durability and reduced weight. The stove comes with two fuel disks that burn for up to 35 minutes. However, the best feature is that this unit also works with gel fuel (Sterno), alcohol burners, charcoal and even wood.
- Boils water in about four minutes
- Weighs under a pound
- Folds to 4x4x2.75 inches
- Pot holds up to 7 cups
- Comes with lid that doubles as a plate
Zippo Ultimate Fire Starting Bundle
Whether needed to cook food, boil water or just get warm, fire is a crucial element for survival. The Zippo Ultimate Fire Starting Bundle comes with everything to get wood burning, regardless of conditions. The bundle features the Typhoon Match Kit, the Emergency Fire Kit and the Mag Strike in an easy-to-carry package. All this provides everything needed—both heat source and tinder—to create life-giving heat.
- Water-resistant storage container
- Ferro rod and striker
- Zippo flint wheel and paraffin-coated tinder
- 4-inch-long, windproof and waterproof matches
- Five lightweight paraffin wax-coated tinder pieces
Open Seed Vault Survival Garden
After making it through winter, one of the best ways to ensure food for the long term is by planting a garden. And while saving seeds every year is an option, a better one is the Survival Garden from Open Seed Vault. This packet includes 32 varieties of non-GMO heirloom seeds, along with planting and plant care instructions, to provide an everlasting food supply.
- From 10 to 3,000 seeds per variety
- 20-year shelf life
- At least 15,000 seeds
- Sealed in moisture-proof Mylar bag
- Comes with growing and seed-saving guide
Augason Farms 30-Day One Person Food Supply
When an emergency happens, especially one involving a power outage, most folks will utilize the foods in their fridge and freezer first. If the situation lasts, they will move on to foods stockpiled for just such an occasion. Augason Farms is a family-run business that produces a wide variety of emergency food—from specific meals to 30-day kits and all the way up to a full-year’s supply for four people.
- 307 servings of food
- Averages 1,822 calories per day
- Includes entrees, soups, breakfasts, powdered milk and fruit snacks
- 8.5-gallon, watertight pail weighs 29 pounds, 4.37 ounces
- 10- to 20-year shelf life, depending on food type
Yeti LoadOut High & Dry Bucket
There are many reasons to have a bucket, and you might as well have the best on the market. The Yeti LoadOut Bucket is virtually indestructible. It is large enough to carry and store a variety of tools, seeds, food, water and more. Its HeftyHauler Handle is comfortable for carrying full loads for long periods of time, and the durable strap will last as long as you do.
- Size: 15.875×12.875 inches
- Empty weight: 5.8 pounds
- Tie-down slots for secure transport
- See-through LoadOut Lid
- BearFoot nonslip ring on bottom
WaterBrick Standard FoodBrick 2-Pack
The FoodBrick is made of high-density polyethylene. Its 3.5-gallon size holds up to 27 pounds of dry food, providing an airtight and water-resistant seal to keep food preserved. Even better, the FoodBrick is designed for interlocking stacking for efficient and stable storage. These containers can also be stacked with the company’s WaterBricks to keep a variety of supplies readily accessible and safe.
- Size: 9x8x6 inches
- Empty weight: 2.12 pounds
- Recommended maximum stacking height: 4 feet
- Lid: 7.25×4.5 inches with moisture-resistant gasket
- Meets FDA standards for food-grade containers
- Handle is sold separately
Harvest Right Medium Freeze Dryer
There is no doubt that having freeze-dried food on hand is great for long-term survival and nutrition. However, pre-packed food can be expensive, and it does eventually go bad—unless you have your own way to turn large quantities of fresh food into survival food. The Harvest Right Medium Freeze Drier is not cheap, but the benefits can be enormous, because it can be used to turn leftovers into survival food. It can also be great for creating barter items.
- Size: 20x25x30 inches
- Runs on 110-volt outlet
- Works with fruit, vegetables, meat, dairy and more
- Processes about 7–10 pounds of food per batch
FoodSaver GameSaver Wingman
A central point of preparing for disasters is using available tools to be prepared. The GameSaver Wingman is designed to handle up to 60 seals in a single session, making your preservation process more efficient. This unit vacuum-seals all types of food items, as well as other contents. And it even has an accessory port for use with the canner system. It preserves foods for up to three years.
- Size: 3.8x9x17 inches
- Weight: 3.5 pounds
- Removable drip tray
- Roll storage and cutter bar
- Includes 5 pre-cut bags, an 11-foot roll of bag material and accessory hose
ReadyMan Total Survival Kit
Lightweight tools are absolute musts. The Total Survival Kit was designed by U.S. Special Forces veterans and skilled outdoorsmen to be useful and easy to keep handy at all times. This kit includes four parts: the Wilderness Survival Card, Hostage Escape Card, Medical Card and the Fisherman Survival Card (shown here). Each is about the size of a credit card. These cards are also available individually.
- Total of 67 tools in four cards
- Made from 301 stainless steel
- Each card weighs just .03–.04 ounce
- Can be carried inside your wallet
Once a fire is started, it takes fuel to keep it going. The Zippo AxeSaw, which includes a hatchet and saw in a single package, is a great way to keep the flames fed. This lightweight tool with a 420 stainless steel head can easily chop or saw through branches and trees to make firewood or shelter. The back of the head can be used to drive tent stakes in the ground. The sheathed head doubles as the handle for the saw.
- Overall length: 20.3 inches
- Weight: 2.6 pounds
- Hollow polymer handle stores 15-inch saw blades
- Cam and self-adjusting saw blade tension compensator
- Cuts branches and trees up to 4 inches in diameter
Grim Workshop Fishing Hook Micro Tool
While stored food is great, for long-term survival folks will need methods to obtain more food, particularly fresh protein. The Fishing Hook Micro Tool is about the size of a large paperclip and provides two fish hooks that can be used to bring fresh fish to the table, regardless of time of year, on a holder that can be easily attached to a pack, keychain or zipper pull. In addition, the company makes a wide variety of survival tools, including an arrow, gig, handcuff key and much more.
- Thickness: .039 inch
- Retention system retains tool after use
- Made of stainless steel
PSE Mustang Recurve Bow
Silence is golden when trying to hunt food for your next meal. For this reason, a bow is a wonderful tool. And while a compound bow is good, a recurve allows the use of any arrows found and additional arrows made with available materials. The Mustang is a takedown recurve that is available in either hand and in four draw weights to work for practically anyone.
- Length: 60 inches
- Stabilizer bushing
- Crafted from hand-selected woods
- Brace height: 7–7.5 inches
- Draw weights: 40, 45, 50 and 55 pounds
Beman ICS Bow Hunter Arrows
While a bow is useful in many ways, it is pretty much useless without arrows. Sure, arrows can be built using reeds and feathers, but having a stockpile of reusable arrows is best. The ICS Bow Hunter Series arrows are built to a straightness rating of +/- 0.006 and are durable enough to handle countless shots in all three available sizes.
- Direct-fit S nock is pre-installed
- Seamless ICS C2 carbon construction
- Aluminum inserts included
- Non-glare matte finish
- Available in 340, 400 and 500 spine
MSRP Starting at $30 per half dozen
Editor’s note: A version of this article first appeared in the Prepper Fall, 2018 print issue of American Survival Guide.