Emergency Preparedness Kit Recommendations Compare Survival Kits

5 Criteria for Perfect Survival Food

survival food bar

Survival food is available is a wide variety of forms. For one person it may simply be stockpiling extra groceries. For another it may be buying cases of freeze dried food. But what happens if you are stranded in your vehicle or get lost hiking? What happens if you are out in your boat and can’t get back in? Those stockpiles of food won’t help you much.

What makes the ideal survival food?

A perfect survival food should meet these 5 criteria:

1. It should provide plenty of calories – The average adult needs around 2000 calories per day, give or take depending on age, gender and activity level. However, according to the U.S. Army Survival Handbook, 600 to 1000 calories per day are enough to survive with a minimal activity level. This level of calories will force your body to use its stores to keep you alive, which may not be a bad thing if you have a little extra around the middle.

2. It should provide maximum nutrition – Even if you have plenty of calories, 2000 calories of candy isn’t going to help you as much as 2000 calories of nutritious food. Your body needs certain nutrients to function properly. Deprive it of what it needs and you could have real problems.

3. It should be compact, easy to carry and ready to eat – If you are going backpacking or boating, you aren’t going to want to carry around cans or pouches of food, water to hydrate it and a way to cook it. You want something you can just throw in your gear bag and have it when you need it.

4. It should have a long shelf life – Ideally, you will want to keep emergency survival food in your car, on your boat or in your backpack. You don’t want to check it every couple of weeks to make sure it hasn’t spoiled.

5. It should taste good – Seriously, if your life depends on it, you may be willing to eat anything you have to in order to survive. But wouldn’t you prefer to have something you actually like?

This may seem like a tall order, but really it isn’t. ER Bars are the perfect survival food because each pouch gives you a 3-day ration of food that gives you enough calories to survive. It is easy to carry anywhere and is good for 5 years, even if stored in extreme temperatures (like in your car), so you don’t have to keep replacing it every few months.

ER Bars are nutrient dense so your body will get what it needs while you ride out the emergency. They actually taste good and it won’t make you thirsty. (Of course, you should also have some emergency water on hand – you can’t live without water.) And they are affordable, so it is easy to get a supply to keep everywhere – car, backpack, home, office, etc.

ER Bars are approved by the U.S. Coast Guard, so you can feel confident with your purchase.

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72 Hour Bug Out Bag

A 72 hour bug out bag is designed for a person to get through the aftermath of a major disaster. It should contain items that will help you survive the most traumatic time immediately after a disaster, and each member of your family should have one ready to grab and go.

That disaster could be an earthquake, getting lost in the woods, having your car break down in the middle of nowhere, or even a disaster that causes you to be confined to your place of work or school. For this reason, it is wise to have a bag in several locations so you are ready for anything.

Each bag should have things you can use for shelter, fire, covering, light, hygiene and first aid. And of course, each bag should have food and water for three days.


At the very least, your bag should have a tarp that you can construct into a tent. You can also find small backpacker tents that will fit the bill nicely.


Have several ways to build a fire. This can include a lighter, matches, kindling and a fire steel, or any number of other things. Practice making a fire so you know what to do in an emergency. A disaster situation is not the time to be learning new skills, so make sure your skills are already sharp when you need them.


Have extra clothing, including shoes. Also, pack a blanket. An emergency blanket is compact enough to carry anywhere but can be a lifesaver if you get chilled in an emergency.


Pack a durable flashlight with extra batteries. Even better, pack two, just in case. Some flashlights have the ability for emergency signaling to let possible rescuers know where you are and that you need help. Consider getting a small emergency radio with a built in light as well as a flashlight.

Hygiene and First Aid

Pack various hygiene items including toilet paper, sanitary pads and hand sanitizer. Also pack at least a basic first aid kit. Make sure you are familiar with the items in the kit and know how to use them. Consider taking a basic first aid course.

Food and Water

Food and water is essential but you don’t have to try to pack full meals into your 72 hour bag. Meal bars are compact and provide the calories you need to survive. You can also pack sterilized water that will stay good for years so you won’t have to replace it often. Just pack it and know you will have what you need in an emergency.

Your Pack

Ideally, you will keep these items in a backpack that you can easily grab and carry. To simplify your preparations, you can purchase a survival backpack that already contains most of the items you need. Then you can customize as needed.

What would you include in your 72 hour bag?

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