9 Portable Emergency Foods to Include in Your Bug-Out Bag

two people sitting in camping chairs cooking in a small pan over a portable stove in the outdoors

Emergency preparedness means you should also have a plan for bugging out if the situation calls for it. Your bug-out bag will need to contain plenty of food to keep you and your family fed, but you don’t want to lug around heavy cans or food that takes hours to cook. Be ready to pack up and go with these nine portable emergency foods.

Choosing the Best Food for Bug-Out Bags

When choosing food to include in your bug-out bag, there are a few key factors to keep in mind. 

  • Shelf Life: You don’t know how long your bug-out bag will sit around before you use it. You also don’t know what type of weather you’ll encounter. Choose foods that have long shelf lives and durable packaging. 
  • Size and Weight: You have limited space in your bug-out bag, and you have to carry it wherever you go. Avoid heavy canned foods and bulky packaging. 
  • Nutrition: You need food to fuel yourself during a crisis. Look for calorie-dense foods that contain the nutrients you need to stay in peak mental and physical shape
  • Ease of Preparing: Most foods will need some sort of preparation or cooking. You want bug-out food that is easy to cook so you don’t have to worry about hauling a bunch of other gear around. Look for options that are ready-to-eat or only require boiling water. 

1. Three-Day Survival Meal Kit

It’s recommended you have at least three days’ worth of food in an emergency. That’s a good amount of food to keep in your bug-out bag, too. The 72-Hour Survival Food Kit provides 16 servings of tasty, nutrient-rich survival food. You’ll get about 3,760 total calories out of this kit, averaging 1,253 calories per day.* The food items in the 72-hour kit come packaged in durable, lightweight pouches that are easy to stash and carry in your bug-out bag.    

2. Emergency Food Bars

Sometimes, you need food that requires no preparation and you can eat while walking or completing other important tasks. Protein bars and other food bars can come in handy. 4Patriots Emergency Food Bars are a simple, calorie-dense no-prep survival food jam-packed with the fuel you need to keep going. Each bar contains 400 calories, and their small size is perfect for stashing in your go bag.

3. Freeze-Dried Fruits

Freeze-dried fruit is another great no-prep option. Fruit is crucial to a well-rounded diet, but fresh fruit goes bad fast. Freeze-dried fruit packs all the same nutrients with a longer shelf life. Snack on the fruit right out of the bag, or add freeze-dried fruit to some of your favorite survival food recipes

4. Instant Oatmeal

Instant oats are easy to make and a must for your bug-out bag. Oatmeal is full of nutrients, and cooking only requires boiling water. Use the Sun Kettle Solar Cooker to boil your water, and you’ll have tasty oatmeal in minutes. Top with freeze-dried fruit or chocolate chips for more flavor and a hint of sweetness. 

5. Meal Replacement Shake Mix

You might not have the time to sit down and eat a meal while on the go. A meal replacement shake can give you the energy you need while you stay moving. Protein powder can work in a pinch, but it usually has a shorter shelf life than other options. 4Patriots Chocolate Survival Shake pouches are designed to last 20 years and contain 29 grams of protein per serving. Simply add cold water, shake, and enjoy!

6. Freeze-Dried Meat

Like freeze-dried fruit, freeze-dried meat is another great item to keep in your go bag. Freeze-dried meat is full of protein and other necessary nutrients that can keep you fueled while bugging out. Unlike freeze-dried fruit, you can’t eat the meat right out of the bag. However, it’s easy to rehydrate and include in your favorite recipes for that hit of extra protein. 

7. Instant Rice

Rice is a survival food staple. When you’re on the go, you don’t want to have to worry about taking the time to cook traditional rice. Instead, opt for instant rice that can be made in a few short minutes. Dress up instant white rice with freeze-dried meat and other toppings, or choose flavorful rice packets that can act as a snack or quick meal on their own.

8. Tuna Pouches

Tuna is another great source of protein and usually has a shelf life of a few years in cans or pouches. You can put cans in your bug-out bag, but they can be bulky and heavy. Instead, opt for pouches if your favorite tuna brand offers them. You can usually find flavored tuna pouches that are perfect for eating on their own or adding to crackers, rice, or bread. 

9. Instant Coffee

Coffee might not be high on your list of survival food must-haves, but it’s still good to have on hand. That morning cup of Joe can give you the jolt you need to get your day started. Freedom Joe Survival Coffee comes in convenient, durable packaging and is easy to make. Simply boil water, scoop in the coffee, and serve. Add more or fewer granules to strengthen the coffee to your liking. 

Order Bug-Out Bag Food from 4Patriots

Find the best food for your bug-out bag at 4Patriots. Shop 72-hour kits, freeze-dried fruits, ready-to-eat snack bars, and more online. Fill your bug-out bag with delicious, filling food that will keep your energy up while you’re on the go.

*These kits are designed to provide energy and nutrients for one person in stressful emergency situations. They are not intended to be complete caloric replacements during “normal” times. You’ll want to make sure you have additional food items on hand so that in an extended emergency you’ll be able to supplement your daily calorie intake, nutrients and variety with additional food items available on this site, food you have stockpiled in your pantry, fresh produce from your garden, etc. An average adult needs approx. 2,000 calories per day to meet their energy needs. This kit provides approximately 1,253 calories per day for one person. This may not be enough for optimal nutrition, especially for an extended period of time, or if you’re pregnant, a child, elderly, or have other health conditions.

**Your survival food is designed to last 20 years on the shelf. Storage conditions impact the shelf life of your food. For best results, always protect your food from heat, air and moisture. Avoid prolonged exposure to temps above 75 degrees F. Keep food sealed until ready to eat. Shelf life will vary based on storage conditions.