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Prepper | Packing Food For Bugging Out or Evacuation

Prepping Food For Evacuation Cover
Coming under evacuation orders or facing a SHTF situation can be daunting, but don't worry. There can be a method in the madness.

As you may know we don’t advocate ‘Bugging Out’ as a primary option in most cases. This of course is case by case dependent on the individual situation. You may live in a high rise and have a great location twenty minutes away. In such a case it would make sense that Bugging out would be your first option. However, as a general rule we want to build our fortress where we live. Even so, that doesn’t guarantee that bugging out won’t be necessary. For this reason Bugging Out should absolutely be part of your prepping plans.

Move Out Tactical Bug Out Bag

One of the most likely situations you’ll find yourself in where bugging out is appropriate are natural disasters or  localized type events. A hurricane, nuclear plant meltdown, or earthquake are just a few that come to mind. In such cases bugging out may be your only option, or may be the best option.

This can certainly be heartbreaking for a prepper who has done everything they can to mitigate crisis scenarios. None of us love the idea of leaving all our preps behind, but at the end of the day we’re prepping to survive and that is always the priority. Not the stuff!

Recognizing evacuation is a real potential we want to ensure we’ve set ourselves up for success in such cases and one area is that of sustenance.Ideally, you’ll already have a kit packed that meets the recommendations below, but even if you don’t it’s important to have an understanding of what you’ll want to pack. Worst case scenario that you don’t already have such a kit prepared in most cases the authorities before known disasters will issue evacuation orders. At which time you can try and get it all together before you head out. Note…that’s worst case…prepack to avoid that.

Bug Out Bags

Regardless of where you’re evacuating to you want to have a minimal supply package with you. In fact I even travel on vacation with such a package. This is because you never know if something may happen along your route that strands you in the middle of nowhere for an extended time until discovered or self recovered. I recommend the absolute minimum of 3 days of sustenance. 

By having such a supply on you, you won’t have to worry about starving or dehydrating during a short lived crisis which in turn allows you to focus your effort on recovery rather than basic survival.

The moment you determine the need to evacuate, you need to grab your pre-packed  bug out kit or begin packing food from your stores. But what do you pack? Follow these guidelines and tips below for best success.

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  • Water by far is the most important item on the list! You can last without food much longer. The challenge with water is it’s heavy and takes up a fair amount of space. None the less it’s critical to pack. There are many methods you can use to carry it such as store bottles, bags, or specialized containers for the purpose of water storage. I recommend some water bricks as they are durable and pack very well. Additionally, I recommend some store packaged case bottled water for convenience. Make sure and pack at least one gallon per person per day and don’t forget to pack for any pets traveling with you. Pre-calculate your needs for this. Additionally, I highly recommend packing the ability to purify water on the go as this greatly extends survivability while taking up minimal space.
  • Pack light items. Datrex Food calorie bars are a great choice as they offer a dense amount of calories for the space and weight taken. Additionally items such as rice, pasta, and oatmeal that you can easily cook with boiling water work well too. These will still fill you up. Finally, MRE (Meals Ready to Eat) type foods like our Variations Offered Here are a great choice as they have everything tightly packed and optimized for this very type of purpose.
  • Canned food is heavy and bulky so not ideal for this purpose. If you’re packing them, stick to tuna and spam or other canned meat as they are high in protein and provide a decent return for the space. Tuna packages which have become popular are a great item to throw in as they are light and pack easy. While they don’t offer a lot of calories they do provide a good source of protein.
  • Ramen is a great simple filler food. You can easily pack 5 to 7 packets of ramen noodles in your backpack with negligible weight They only take minutes to prepare, and can even be eaten raw. I’m not a fan of them raw, but know some people that love them like that. They’re great to satiate your hunger in a pinch.
  • Your method of evacuation obviously dictates how much you can take along. A vehicle provides you a good amount of space, while if you’re walking you’re much more limited. One important note here. Even though your plan is to move out in a vehicle you should also have a segregated kit (it can be part of the same package) for moving on foot. Having it set up this way will save you the time of figuring it out on the fly if your vehicle won’t start, roads are disabled, or you just break down somewhere along your route, but still need to continue movement.
  • In the event you are on foot or for other reasons need to stay outdoors make sure and take measures to protect your food from wild life and insects that could ruin your stores…or simply take them.
  • Ensure all your food (and kit in general) is weather proofed. This may be the case with the manufacturing package such as our MREs, but for other items seal them up yourself in plastic bags or the like to ensure you don’t suffer loss through inclement weather or a water crossing.
  • As a rule you want to avoid “Fresh” items for this packing list. Things like fresh produce and raw meat pose additional challenges to transport and can spoil faster. They also pose the potential to contaminate your other stores.
  • As I mentioned earlier the ideal situation is to have this package ready at all times so you don’t have to rush when time counts. Just ensure you’re rotating the food out so you’re not evacuating with 5 year old jerky and you’ll be good to go. Regardless of whether you have it pre packed or not, you still want to have a documented packing list. You never know when you may have to add a pack, or for some reason your pre packed kit is destroyed. This inventory document will allow you to quickly put together a package under duress with less chance of making a mistake.
  • Even if you’re planing to drive only you still want each family member to have their own backpack so they can carry their own food and other supplies. This is more efficient for initial packing the vehicle, with you simply providing oversight, but also imperative in the event of a breakdown.

Following these general rules will provide you a much greater success during an evacuation or bug out scenario if you find yourself in that unfortunate circumstance. Have any questions on this topic? If so put them in the comments below and let’s talk about it.

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10 Must Know Prepper Kit Terms

Master the language of preparedness with our comprehensive guide to Prepper Kit Terminology. Learn about EDC, Bug Out Bag, INCH Bag, Get Home Bag, Vehicle, Medical, Survival, Pandemic, Pet Survival, and Power Outage Kits to enhance your readiness for emergencies

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An image showing a burning urban landscape with a damaged street. In the foreground, text reads "10 Must Know Prepper Kit (Terms)" alongside an illustration of a green backpack.

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10 Must Know Prepper Kit Terms

Master the language of preparedness with our comprehensive guide to Prepper Kit Terminology. Learn about EDC, Bug Out Bag, INCH Bag, Get Home Bag, Vehicle, Medical, Survival, Pandemic, Pet Survival, and Power Outage Kits to enhance your readiness for emergencies

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