Humans need food to live, and in a situation where one is just trying to survive, simple food is desirable. Most people would prefer to have foods that are flavorful as well as simple and some of these can be found below. Having emergency food is a great plan, but if it cannot be prepared, it is useless. If power is out, preservation is also harder, so having food that keeps at room temperature or making only enough food for each meal will remove the need for a fridge or freezer.
Easy to Make
When you are cooking a meal for survival, simplicity is key. Some of these meals take longer to make but they are still very easy.
Beans and rice are a meal that is complete and satisfying. Use equal amounts of beans and rice and three times as much water (3 cups water for 1 cup beans and rice). Soak beans overnight after rinsing, then boil for about two hours. Add rice and cook another half hour. Add salt, spices, and garlic to taste.
Trail biscuits are a simple biscuit that can be made at home or in the wild, and cook equally well in a skillet, oven, or Dutch oven. Mix up 3.5 cups of flour with 2 tablespoons of baking powder, a teaspoon of salt, a half cup of fat (butter or lard), a cup and a half of milk (buttermilk is good if you have it, but not necessary), and an egg, if available. Mix gently – don’t overmix. Drop onto a pan or into a Dutch oven. If baking in the oven, bake at 370F for 20 minutes or bury a Dutch oven in a hot fire for 15 minutes or so. Baking in a skillet may result in a heavier bottom but should cook ok. They go well with jelly, jam, or sausage gravy.
Make Ahead Foods
These foods can be made ahead of time and stored for easy meals in a survival situation. They require very little preparation at the time of eating because it was all done earlier.
Bannock is bread cooked in a skillet over a fire. Because of this, it is sometimes referred to as skillet bread. It is made of flour and buttermilk, a little sugar and salt, leavened with baking soda, and can have fruit or herbs added.
Biltong is dried meat that has been seasoned before drying. Rather than being slices or chunks, biltong is dried as a whole piece and sliced afterward.
Dried fruit is nutritious and full of vitamins and minerals that are needed to stay healthy. They also taste great! A dehydrator or oven will dry out fruits that have been dipped in lemon water (to help them keep their color) and the fruit can be packed into airtight containers for storage. If an oven or dehydrator are not available, the dashboard of a car will do. It may take longer for the fruit to dry completely.
Hardtack is a basic cracker made of water, flour, and sometimes sugar or salt. They last for a very long time if kept dry. The general proportions are 5-6 parts flour to 1 part water. Mix, roll, and cut into squares. After poking through all layers with a fork or skewer a few times, bake at 375 30 minutes per side (flip after the first 30 minutes). If it needs to be kept longer, an extra 30 minutes at 250 will make it last longer. Eat when needed. For more flavor, add honey, fruit jellies or jams, or other flavored spread, or dip into stew or soup.
Jerky is usually tasty, high in protein, and long lasting. Thinly sliced lean meat can be dried in a dehydrator or in the oven after being marinated in sauces and seasonings to taste. It keeps in an air-tight container for several weeks, and in the freezer for years.
Pemmican is a protein food that combines fat such as lard with chopped or powdered lean meat. Extras such as berries, dried fruit, or nuts can also be added. Traditionally, the fat to meat ratio is 1:1. Salt is usually added to aid in preserving the meat and it also helps the flavor. Even with this, though, pemmican lasts longer if kept cool (refrigerated or frozen). Room temperature may last several days, refrigerated a couple weeks, and frozen up to a year. It can be eaten as-is or tossed into a pot of soup or fried up into a sandwich filling.
Ration bars are not as tasty as some of the possible food items, but they are easy to make, full of nutrients and energy, and store well. Made of mostly oats, protein powder, honey, peanut butter, and coconut oil, they can also include chia seeds, a little flour, a bit of fruit powder, or other dry add-ins. They will be dense and filling.
There are survival foods prepackaged and ready to store but making them at home will save money.
Emergency Food Supply
124 servings of emergency food will store for a long time and is easy to prepare in an emergency situation.
Freeze-Dried Eggs and Bacon
9 servings of just-add-water breakfast are easy to store and easy to make.
Survival Foods to Stockpile
This handy book offers 57 foods that are shelf-stable and excellent for having available for emergency situations.
Plant seeds and grow the foods needed to survive. Save for post-disaster planting or plant to preserve against a potential catastrophe.
Identifying and Harvesting Plants
In a disaster situation, knowing which plants can be added to food for flavor and nutrition can make the difference between surviving and thriving. This handy field guide can teach how to find plants for food and medicine.
Prepper’s Long-Term Survival Guide
Food is important, and covered in this book, but it also includes information on shelter, power, and other self-preservation skills and items.
Wood Burning Camp Stove
If home is not where survival is happening, having a portable stove and oven can make food preparation a lot easier and more convenient.