The Smart Prepper

Life is hard, it's harder if you're stupid – John Wayne

October 04, 2015

Backpacking Cookware

When you go backpacking you will most likely need to boil water either to purify it or rehydrate your food. If you are allowed to have fire pits where you are going backpacking then the only cookware you will need is something to cook your food. If going to other places that do not allow fires then you will need to take a small portable cooker with you. Backpacking cookware at a minimum consists of a pan that can cook over a fire. A great pan set is the Coleman Mess Kit. I’ve used one of these since  I was a kid. They are very light weight and have everything you need. A pan, pot, cup, and a bowl. The best part is how compact they get. If you want a nicer version then try this 8 piece cookware. Another must have with either of these pan sets is to get a stainless steel utensil set. This set is also very compact and great because it can fit into any nook or cranny in your backpack. These items also are great for bug out bags because they are cheap and lightweight.



October 03, 2015

Survival Food List

Survival Food List

What makes good survival food

Survival Food ListWhether the food is going in a bug out bag, or you are planning to store food in case of an emergency then make sure you have the right foods. For example having food that is rich in carbohydrates will give you longer lasting energy. This can really be any grain – like rice, wheat, or oats. Just because the food is meant for survival “Survival Food” does not mean that it needs to be bland or horrible to the taste. If you are ever put into a real survival situation having foods your body is familiar with will give you more energy, and having delicious food will even boost your moral. Survival food should also be light weight. You do not want to carry around a bag full of MREs (Meals Ready-to-Eat) . MRE’s last a long time, but they are heavy and meant more for storage in a static location. Along with being lightweight, survival food needs to either be sealed or loaded with preservatives. You cannot afford to have food spoil on you in a survival situation. A lot of foods my family uses are dried and you simply need to add water. While Mountain House makes some great freeze dried foods, they can be kind of expensive. There is no need to go buy $12 meal packages when you can get something for $1 or less. Rather than giving an exhaustive list of things you need to buy for survival food here is a list of things you need to look for in survival food and characteristics you should avoid in survival food.

Most importantly is make sure you eat the ‘survival’ food on a regular basis, which subsequently helps rotates old food by taking stored survival food by eating it and replacing it with food that expires farther out in the future. With my family we eat most of our survival foods on a regular basis. We generally get asian noodles like Mama’s Noodles or Lau Thai Noodles. They taste much better than the ramen noodles you get at your local grocery or Walmart. Each package of noodles is under a dollar and it constitutes a full meal. A lot of families have kids that love macaroni and cheese. Mac & Cheese has a long shelf life, is light weight, and super easy to make. In order to keep food light weight to keep food light weight you should have water on hand or go with a better option and get yourself water purifier. All you would need to do is have a water source near by. Water is heavy and you don’t want to be carrying large amounts.

Survival Food List DOs

  • High in Carbohydrates – rice, noodles, oats, breads
  • Lightweight – survival food should not be heavy as you might have to carry it around for a period of time
  • Eat Regularly – make sure this is food that you will want to eat
  • Freeze Dried – fruit or vegetables that have been freeze dried are rich in fiber
  • Dehydrated – this is not the same as freeze dried, simply have foods that just need water to rehydrate them
  • Distant Expiration Dates – find food that will not expire for a long time.

Survival Food List DON’Ts

  • High Sugars – sugar will give you a quick burst of energy, but it does not last. In a survival situation you need to have energy that lasts longer
  • Heavy Foods – if you need to carry the food for a long distance having canned food or food that is hydrated already
  • Short Expiration Dates – food on the shelf for a long time needs to have a long shelf life


Now that you know what to look for in survival food you need to go make your own survival food list. Ultimately what you use for survival food is different for everyone. Take your food camping or out on a picnic in order to test your survival food list’s legitimacy.