For years, and I mean for years I have kept a food bag in my bug out / camping bag. For the most part the food bag contains a single burner stove for a bug out bag, pot for cooking, eating utensils, lighter and matches for the stove and for building a camp fire, hand sanitizer,,,, and other odds and ends.
The purpose of a Bug Out Bag is if you and your family have to leave home in an emergency, the bag provides a few days of supplies for each person. Lets say there is a chemical leak near your house and your family has to evacuate. Everyone grabs their bag, and heads to a shelter or friends house.
My main bug out bag use to be a large ALICE pack. But a year ago I bought a large MOLLE pack with internal sleep system, which is currently my main bag. To add a little more room to the pack, 2 sustainment pouches were added.
Lets talk about this food bag in a little more detail.
The main bag is made of a brown cloth, has a drawstring at the top, when empty laying flat on a table, the bag measures 18 inches tall, 15 inches wide and has a 7X9 rectangle bottom. In a bag this size, someone should easily be able to carry at least 3 days worth of dehydrated food.
For about 13, maybe 15 years I kept a single burner propane stove in my bug out bag. I finally got tired of packing that large propane bottle around, so I bought a single burner Coleman Max stove that uses a blended fuel of butane and propane.
The 1 pound bottle of propane took up an outside pouch of a large or medium ALICE pack. In comparison, the bottle of mixed fuel is stored in an extra serving bowl with a lid. The bowl is not air tight, its just a snap o – snap off lid. The bowl serves a dual purpose of being able to hold a serving of food, and a storage container for the bottle of stove fuel. The plastic bowl helps protect the bottle of fuel from bumps and from having the threads damaged.
Back “in the day” when I was using a single burner propane stove, the stove was stored in the radio pouch of my ALICE pack. The hull of a shotgun shell was cut down to about an inch long, and wrapped in electrical tape so that it fit into the threads of the stove. This was to help prevent damage to the nipple that sticks out of the bottom of the propane stove.
Another nice thing about the mixed fuel stove, the support arms move around to make the stove very compact for storage. I store my stove inside of a MSR Alpine Stowaway 775 ml stainless steel pot. The pot is not only used to cook with, but its also used to store and protect the stove. Inside the pot with the stove is lighter and a couple of paper towels. The paper towels are used to cushion the stove from the inside of the metal pot.
Ok, lets talk about food for the bug out bag. My ideal loading is 3 days of eating good, and 5 days of eating spartan.
2 Meals Ready to Eat MREs
3 Mountain house Pro-paks from a Just in Case Kit. This should probably be increased to 4 meals, 2 breakfast and 2 main meals. The Pro-paks are heat and eat meals. Just add water to the pouch, wait about 10 minutes and the meal is ready to eat. My first exposure to these Mountain House Pro-Paks were on a 3 day camping trip on the Angelina River back in November – December 2010.
4 pack Ramen noodles
1 box tuna and crackers. Another one of these could be added to the pack
2 breakfast / snack bars
Accessories pouch, this contains a couple of spoons, hand sanitizer, various packs a tea for mixing into a canteen or water bottle, matches,,,, just various stuff like that. A spork really needs to be added to accessory pouch.
As a general rule, I try to carry as few canned goods as possible. After getting the food out he can, the can has to disposed of properly. Some people might bury their trash, some might pack it back to the trailhead. But either way cans can be an issued that needs to be dealt with.
When my buddies and I used to go camping along the bayous and marsh around Bridge City and Orangefield, Texas, canned goods just got in the way. We would bring along our food, but we would have to either bury of pack the empty cans out. On camping trips in hot weather, you o not want to be carrying rotting food in the cans. The food attracts flies and other undesirables.
Post your comments in this forum thread about your Bug Out Bag Food List.