If your bag is so heavy that you can’t carry it more than a few miles, you’ll have to ditch some of the items, anyway. And what’s going to happen if you have to run from attackers, jump walls, and climb fences? Having a bag that’s too heavy could get you killed. Ideally, a bug out bag should weigh about 15% of your body weight, assuming you’re in decent shape. 20% of your body weight should be the absolute maximum.
Canned food is heavy and not portable – which means that if push comes to shove, it will be difficult to travel with a large amount of it. Canned food should be a part of your survival food plan though — it can be the food that helps you get by the first few weeks, as long as you don’t have to evacuate or travel (particularly on foot). If you have canned food, you should also have a survival multi tool with you (rather than a can opener). A can opener is a single use tool – and generally you want to avoid those.
Brown Rice is high in calories and protein, as well as essential vitamins and minerals like iron. As a dry, non-perishable food, brown rice also has a long shelf life making it a great survival food. Brown rice has one problem though: Typically, it must be boiled for several minutes (30 minutes or longer — even up to 1 hour with some brands). During a long term emergency where no electricity is available, the last thing you want to do is use precious fuel to cook food for this length of time; whether that’s on a propane, butane, or wood burning stove. So, for an extended survival emergency, where you are stocking up your pantry, “brown rice hot cereal” is potentially better choice because it cooks in just 5 – 8 minutes and is still packed with nutrients and high in calories (one cup of brown rice hot cereal provides 600 calories, 12 grams of protein, and 16% daily value for iron and is easily rationed out in to smaller portions).
Can you imagine what it would be like to eat freeze dried food, day after day, month after month, in a time of extended disaster? Not only can packaged, processed foods be harder on a person’s health (due to food additives and preservatives, high cholesterol, sodium, etc., in some freeze dried products), but it may also get very, very boring in time.
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When loaded and put on properly, your hips should carry the bulk of your pack’s weight. Because of this, extra padding in the hip belt can make a lot of difference. However, you should also make sure the hip belt isn’t so bulky that it ends up rubbing your hip bones or ribs uncomfortably. In an ideal world, your bug out bag’s hip belt should fit comfortably between the top of your hip bones and the bottom of your lowest ribs.
Guess what? Your best survival tool is always going to be your mind. Stop making that wanking motion and listen, okay? This book of 100 survival skills was compiled by a Navy SEAL based on experiences in the goddamn killing fields, so I think it can probably help you survive a week or two camping. But really, it doesn’t matter what tools you have if you don’t understand how to use them, or how to use the environment around you. This book carries you longer than any single tool could.
In the longer term for fresher tasting foods, you will need to consider either growing your own food in a garden and/or obtaining necessary protein through subsistence hunting and fishing. Accordingly, you should properly store an appropriate variety of seeds for your area as well as have on hand fishing equipment and hunting firearms, which can also double for self-defense of your home if necessary.
A bit off topic here, but if you’re new to prepping, survival foods is only the first step to a thorough plan for surviving a catastrophic disaster, with the greatest risk being to those who live in or near major cities. If there is ever a disruption in the food supply, major cities will suffer the hardest and first due to the insanely high number of people who need food and water (into the millions in certain cities).
Every survival kit and emergency preparedness plan should include emergency blankets and lights. Mylar blankets effectively reflect body heat, and can keep you warm throughout a cold night. Their extreme lightweight and compact size make them an ideal part of a survival kit. To ensure you have adequate light in the event of a power failure, chemical snap lights are a convenient solution that doesn’t rely on batteries. Many snap lights last for 12 hours or more, and have a five year shelf life, so you know they’ll be there for you when you need them.