How to Cook Survival Food Outdoors Under the Radar

Pouring boiling water from a solar kettle into a cup to cook survival food

If the time ever comes that you have to bug out, you will probably need to spend some time outdoors before you are able to locate a suitable indoor shelter. And if that situation occurs, you will have to cook survival food outdoors, most likely in a woodsy area.

Now, maybe you’ve already done this plenty of times before, or perhaps it would be a completely new experience for you. But in a bug-out scenario, the chances are that this time you will want to stay as far under the radar as possible.

If things get bad enough that you’re only choice is to bug-out, you will not want any authority figures, troublemakers or wild animals becoming aware of your campsite due to the sighting of smoke or fire, or the smell from your food that animals are sure to notice.

But how in the world could you possibly avoid either of these scenarios if you’re cooking food in the wild? Authorities might be looking for just this type of occurrence, especially if martial law is in effect. Some people who do not bother to prepare for an uncertain future will probably be on the lookout for people they can take advantage of. And animals have a sense of smell far superior to that of humans.

Unfortunately, there is no perfect solution to this problem. But there are a few things you can do to lessen the odds that your outdoor meal will be interrupted by uninvited guests. Here are a few…

  • Find a hidden spot away from main roads. Even though it will be inconvenient, make sure your cooking site is at least a 10 or 15-minute walk from the road. Since roads are easiest to navigate, most people will stick to them. Cooking your meal far from roads will increase your chances of not running into any trouble. If you are worried about animals, try to cook your food away from your campsite.

  • Stick with precooked meals. Emergency food, often featuring long shelf lives, will emit weaker smells than cooking fresh meat and some other foods will. For a tasty, hunger-busting survival food option with no prep, consider picking up an order of the 4Patriots emergency food bars. They require no cooking, water or heat and last up to 5 years on the shelf. Plus they are easy to throw in your bug-out-bag.

  • Douse your campfire. This is important anytime, but in this case it will help keep other people from noticing it and either finding you there or following you to your campsite.

  • Use sealed canisters for transporting food. In a perfect world, you’ll consume all of your cooked food at the cooking site. But you don’t want to waste leftovers, so if you transport them from your campsite, use sealed canisters to hide smells rather than plastic baggies, which are less effective.

  • Clean your utensils. Smells will linger on knives, forks, spoons and any other utensils you use for cooking and eating, so wash them thoroughly before you leave your cooking site.

  • Cook using a solar kettle to avoid building a fire and being spotted by troublemakers. Survival food often requires boiled water. So, you should always make a solar-heated water kettle part of your practical preparedness strategy. You’ll have hot water without fuel, flames or smoke just by using the power of the sun. Along You can also use a solar kettle to boil water for sterilization, sanitation, and the opportunity to make warm tea or coffee (a critical necessity for some of us).

  • Assume the worst. Always assume that unwanted visitors and/or animals will be arriving at your cooking site soon. That will keep you motivated to eat and clean in a timely fashion before returning to your campsite. It will also remind you to keep your head on the swivel and always be prepared.  

By taking some of these precautionary steps, you will reduce the odds that you’re eating will bring unwanted people or animals your way.