Emergency preparedness: Handy snacks to prep for your bug-out bag
05/03/2021 / By Zoey Sky / Comments
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Emergency preparedness: Handy snacks to prep for your bug-out bag

When SHTF and it’s time to evacuate, your bug-out bag (BOB) must contain enough gear and supplies so you can survive the trip to your hideout.

To keep your energy up as you travel, bring handy snacks like homemade trail mix or dried fruit. (h/t to FoodStorageMoms.com)

Some items in the list below can be prepared in advance, and this ensures that the snacks in your BOB are made with healthy ingredients that you’ve carefully chosen. If you’d rather buy items like granola bars or trail mix, choose products that don’t contain harmful additives or too much sugar.

Beef jerky

Beef jerky is full of protein that can help boost your energy as you travel to your hideout when SHTF. If you’re buying beef jerky, opt for products that are made from grass-fed cows and aren’t full of added sugars and other preservatives. Alternatively, you can pack turkey sticks.

When making beef jerky, use flank steak because it’s lean, affordable and very flavorful. Always buy the freshest meat you can get.

Try the recipe below to make beef jerky at home using an oven. If you have a commercial dehydrator, follow the marinade recipe then check the manufacturer’s directions.

Homemade beef jerky


  • 1 Beef flank steak (1-1/2 to 2 pounds)
  • 2/3 Cup of reduced-sodium soy sauce
  • 2/3 Cup of Worcestershire sauce
  • 1/4 Cup of honey
  • 3 Teaspoons of coarsely ground pepper
  • 2 Teaspoons of garlic powder
  • 2 Teaspoons of onion powder
  • 1-1/2 Teaspoons of crushed red pepper flakes
  • 1 Teaspoon of liquid smoke


  1. Trim all visible fat from the steak, then cover and store the meat in the freezer for 30 minutes or until firm. Freezing the meat will make it easier to cut into thin slices.
  2. Carefully slice the steak along the grain or the long, fibrous streaks until you have 1/8-inch thick strips. Cutting the slices as thinly as you can will produce chewy jerky.
  3. Place the meat in a shallow dish. In a small bowl, whisk together the remaining ingredients. Add the mixture to the beef. Toss and stir the meat in the marinade to coat each slice evenly. Refrigerate the marinated meat for two hours or overnight, turning occasionally.
  4. When you’re ready to cook the jerky, preheat the oven to 170 F.
  5. Transfer the beef and marinade to a large saucepan, then bring the mixture to a boil. When you start to see rolling bubbles, reduce the heat and let it simmer for five minutes.
  6. Use tongs to remove the beef from the marinade. Discard the marinade and let the meat drain on a paper towel-lined plate. Pat dry the meat after it simmers.
  7. Arrange the beef strips in a single layer on wire racks on top of 15x10x1-inch baking pans. Let the meat dry in the oven at 170 F for four to five hours or until the beef turns dry and leathery. Rotate the pans occasionally.
  8. Once the jerky is dried completely, take it out of the oven. Set it aside to cool. Use paper towels to remove any oil from the jerky.

To extend the shelf life of the beef jerky, cover and store it in the fridge for up to a week. Use a food vacuum sealer before storing the beef jerky in the freezer.

Dried fruits

When SHTF, you can snack on dried fruits. To keep your sugar intake in check, stock up on dried fruits that are unsweetened or are naturally sweetened using apple juice.

Avoid buying dried fruits made with the preservative sulfur dioxide.

Here are some of the best dried fruits to stock up on for your BOBs:

  • Apricots
  • Bananas
  • Blueberries
  • Cherries
  • Figs
  • Mango
  • Raisins

Granola bars

If you’re bugging out with children, you can sneak healthy ingredients into their snacks with homemade granola bars.

Alternatively, you can buy granola bars made with natural ingredients so you have healthy snacks in your BOB. If you stock up on granola bars and energy bars, check the expiration dates regularly because they don’t usually last as long as the other snack items on this list.


Nuts are salty, delicious and very nutritious. A handful of nuts contains fiber, protein, and healthy fats that will help you stay full longer if you’re in a hurry to reach your bug-out location.

Store various nuts like almonds, peanuts, or walnuts in your BOB so you can enjoy a quick snack while bugging out.


Pemmican is a traditional Native American food with a very long shelf life. When stored properly, it can even last one year. (Related: Food supply 101: Unusual sources of food when SHTF.)

Pemmican is made with ingredients like dried meat (such as bison, deer, elk, moose, etc.) or fish, dried berries and animal fat. Make some pemmican at home if you need a snack that will give you an energy boost.

Try the recipe below to make pemmican for your BOBs. Use a dehydrator or oven to dry the meat before making the pemmican.


  • Red meat like game meat or beef (If you use five pounds of meat, you’ll have one pound of pemmican.)
  • Tallow, which is rendered beef or mutton fat (Use a 1:6 ratio of fat and dried meat.)
  • Salt (1 teaspoon per pound of meat)
  • Dried berries, herbs, spices, or honey (Optional)


  1. Remove all the fat from the meat.
  2. Salt the meat to season it and help prevent bacteria growth.
  3. Turn the dry meat into a powder. You can use a meat grinder, blender, or food processor. The meat “powder” is done when it has no big chunks in it.
  4. Turn the berries into a powder, then combine the powdered meat and powdered berries.
  5. Heat the fat until it liquefied. Pour the fat over the powdered meat and berry mixture. Use a 1:6 ratio of fat to dried mixture.
  6. Let the mixture cool, then form it into balls or bars.
  7. Wrap the pemmican in wax paper or plastic bags before storing.

Extend the shelf life of pemmican by storing it in a cool, dark, and dry place. When stored in an airtight container, pemmican should last at least six to 12 months.

If you live in a humid and hot area, it’s better to store pemmican in the refrigerator.

Salmon or tuna packets

If you need protein in your BOB, add some salmon or tuna packets. Fatty fish like salmon and tuna contains protein, B vitamins, fiber, and omega-3 fatty acids.

Pair salmon and tuna with healthy crackers for a quick bug-out meal.

Trail mix

Trail mix is another sweet and salty snack that’s perfect for your BOB. You can also make a batch at home with natural ingredients like various nuts and dried fruits. To make your own trail mix, combine nuts, seeds and dried fruits. Add a bit of candy to the trail mix if you have kids in the group.

Before SHTF, prepare tasty and nutritious snacks for the whole family. When it’s time to bug out, you can keep up your energy with homemade snacks like beef jerky, pemmican, or trail mix.

Sources include:




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