Bug Out Food at the supermarket

Items to keep you alive in the event you must evacuate: discussions of basic Survival Kits commonly called "Bug Out Bags" or "Go Bags"

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Bug Out Food at the supermarket

Post by Luthifer » Sun Jan 09, 2011 4:30 pm

About a year ago, I participated here at ZS in a thread that discussed calorie density and packability of Bug Out foods.

http://zombiehunters.org/forum/viewtopi ... d#p1234935" onclick="window.open(this.href);return false;

I've noticed since that time that more and more food items or dishes are becoming available in pouches and other easily packed, easily prepared forms. I'd like to continue the discussion, with folks adding items that they've discovered, or tried, and/or are using.

I think that most of us are aware of the pouched tunafish, and the pouched spam, and the pouched Tyson chicken. More than a few of us make up homebuilt MREs using things like the items just mentioned, as well as pouched rice dishes, and dried fruit, candy, etc. Unslung calls his MaREs- Meals (almost) Ready to Eat. Mags has a similar setup in his BOB thread, as do others.

I'm interested not only in the products themselves, but people's impressions and reviews of them as well. I'll start, with a few new things I found yesterday.

Image

The mashed potatoes are pure win- ready to eat about a minute after you pour boiling water on them, and delicious. I just had the 'loaded baked' flavor for lunch- little bacony bits with chives and sour cream. Not as good as the real thing of course, but great for what they are. $.98 for 440 calories.

I'm aware of the Knorr sides, and already carry them, but this is a new flavor I noticed. I had really high hopes for the cheesy bacon mac, but it didn't work for me. It's probably great on the stove, or in the mic, but I tried it thermos-style, and it was full of starchy, pasty fail. It wants 4oz of milk added with the 12oz of water to prepare, so I tried about 15g of dried milk with the mix, but no go. I'll try it again on the alky stove with the simmer ring, and try to get a good 6-7 min simmer, and it might be better. $1.00, 400 cal.

The smoked salmon I will try tonight, and report back. My wife was raised semi-Norwegian, and was forced to eat herring and salmon as a kid, and now won't touch the stuff. The smell alone annoys her, so I get my fish on when she's elsewhere. She's working tonight. $2.68, 120 cal, 21g protein.

What are you folks eating and putting in your packs? I almost asked what you're packing, but that's a different forum. :wink:
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Re: Bug Out Food at the supermarket

Post by TEXAR » Sun Jan 09, 2011 4:50 pm

This is something I have struggled with,right now i have the following in my BOB...

Image

13,130 calories and weighs 10.5 lbs.

I like to have both ready to eat items in case the situation does not allow setting up and cooking or boiling water and also lighter weight foods that do need preparation for when it is feasible to cook.

Peanut butter is hard to beat for it's high calorie to weight/size and has a fair shelf life but eating that for 7 days straight would cause intestinal problems for me and would get old also !

Few places to shop here,I never see a lot of the ready meals I see others posting. Might have to drive to a bigger town and see what they have.The items I do see either don't really have that many calories or have a short shelf life and I have enough to things rotate here without adding anything else.

On the Spam singles,I checked on those one time and actually the cans (alum BTW) weigh less than an equivelant amount in the pouches IIRC.

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Re: Bug Out Food at the supermarket

Post by Amapola » Sun Jan 09, 2011 7:47 pm

Good call on the Idahoan potatoes! They're really good (the only powdered potato mix I'll eat), and I make them sometimes at home, but for some reason never thought of them for camping or the BOB.

Eden Organic sells resealable pouches of various grains. I keep a 16-oz bag of millet in my BOB. It's on the heavy side, but makes about 10 servings. The thing about millet is that it's got way more protein than other grains (double that of brown rice, for example), and is also more vitamin/mineral/amino acid complex than most other grains. Also, it's very tasty (IMHO), and not much more difficult to prepare than couscous.

Other than that, my stash is probably pretty typical: tuna & chicken in pouches, Kashi bars, oatmeal packets, Starbucks VIA instant coffee packets, tea packets, lemon juice packets, a few of those individual serving peanut butter packages, individually wrapped prunes (old lady jokes aside, they're really good, and last forever), small pack of almonds. A pouch of uncrystallized candied ginger from Trader Joe's: you can eat it like candy, or make tea with it; it's 8 oz., and with ginger's medicinal uses, is well worth the weight. Right now, I've got a small can of fire roasted Hatch green chiles; aside from being tasty, they have an insane amount of Vitamin C. However, I've been meaning to look up an old ZS thread about tomato leather, and turn the green chiles into green chile leather. Oh, and airline sized bottle of Scotch. :lol:

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Re: Bug Out Food at the supermarket

Post by 111t » Sun Jan 09, 2011 8:08 pm

Some have already been mentioned, oat meal, cliff bars, granola peanut butter (wal mart has packets here) Jerky. trail mix. Also these pastas are good:

http://www.barillaus.com/Pages/Product- ... ?brandID=2" onclick="window.open(this.href);return false;

A 1/2 lb of dehydrated 90% ground beef added to a velveeta shells and cheese tastes like mana from heaven after a long hike.
Add the beef to the water as soon as you put it on the stove. Add pasta when the water boils. Boil 10-11 minutes. Drain. Mix in cheese sauce pack. (i like to add some garlic powder, and pepper) mmmmm.

isn't there an 'eats and drinks' sub forum?
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Re: Bug Out Food at the supermarket

Post by Luthifer » Sun Jan 09, 2011 8:36 pm

Ok, I'm eating the smoked salmon right now, crumbled into some Knorr butter sauced fettucine, and it's good. Real good, like quite a bit better than the smoked salmon I bought in Seattle and brought home. Pretty salty, but good. A nice change from tuna, albeit a little pricier.

Amapola:
Individually wrapped prunes are a great idea. I love prunes, although I like to think of them as dried plums. :P

Candied ginger is great, I snack on it regularly. Try a hunk of ginger and a few almonds at the same time- great flavor combo.

111t:
Peanut butter packets at Wal-Mart? That's great news, I'm checking tomorrow. That's exactly the sort of info I'm looking for, thanks.

Great idea on the dehyd. beef. Do you mail (internet) order that? I wonder if dried chipped beef would work? I'm still beating that sig line, obviously. I'll find a new one eventually.

Texar, I see you carry Ramen, and you seem to have given it some thought. Ramen gets a bad rap around here, for various reasons, but I bought some yesterday, it seems to be fairly calorie-dense and lightweight. I'm going to find room for some in my pack. I'm a huge PB fan, and I like the packet idea vs a jar. Good info on the Spam. I think that's the first time that particular sentence has ever been typed...

BTW there is an Eats + Drinks forum, but I really wanted to focus on the mobile nature of Bug Out food and it's availability at supermarkets, so I posted here. Mods, please feel free to relocate.
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Re: Bug Out Food at the supermarket

Post by miles » Sun Jan 09, 2011 8:46 pm

I love the Idahoan potatoes but be mindful of the expiration date. They don't have the shelf life of some other instant potatoes maybe because of the included butter powder or other ingredients. Some of them have "Best Before" dates of only 6 months or so. Not a deal breaker but just be sure to cycle more often.

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Re: Bug Out Food at the supermarket

Post by 111t » Sun Jan 09, 2011 9:21 pm

I was lucky enough to get a qualty dehydrator from my future mother in law for christmas last year and a food saver for my birthday. I highly recommend both. For ground beef, you buy the 'good ground beef' 90% lean or better. Ground venison would be perfect as it's very lean. Then you brown and drain it. Then you dehydrate it till the consistency of gravel. I put it in an unsealed ziplock bag and then vacuum seal it. Why? because the beef is sharp enough to poke holes in the foodsaver bags by themselves. i do a few pounds at a time and store it in plastic rubbermaid cannisters.

look up high for the pb packs. they're on the top shelf @ my local store.

check the ingredients for these recipes:

http://www.backpacking-guide.com/backpa ... cipes.html" onclick="window.open(this.href);return false;

rice breakfast and cheesy bacospuds are good home mixed dishes.
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Re: Bug Out Food at the supermarket

Post by Luthifer » Sun Jan 09, 2011 10:03 pm

miles wrote:I love the Idahoan potatoes but be mindful of the expiration date. They don't have the shelf life of some other instant potatoes maybe because of the included butter powder or other ingredients. Some of them have "Best Before" dates of only 6 months or so. Not a deal breaker but just be sure to cycle more often.
Good catch, I might not have noticed that. I'll likely pull the mashers out of the bag for summer, but I'll make sure to rotate stock.
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Re: Bug Out Food at the supermarket

Post by aa1pr » Mon Jan 10, 2011 12:14 am

I also have some of these sealed foil food packets in my gear like Chicken of the sea BBQ chicken, salmon, crab & the other item(s) is Mrs. Grass soup mixes.

Image
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I like to have a variety

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Re: Bug Out Food at the supermarket

Post by SouthPAW » Mon Jan 10, 2011 12:58 am

I'm a major fiend for jasmine green tea, so I went to the asian market to see if they had any interesting teas to try.

I also like honey in my tea, so I checked to see what they had honey-wise, and found an interesting item.

Crystallized honey. Or, honey crystals! I got a 1.5 lb tub for about $5. The shelf life is about 4-5 years according to them (though, regular honey has an indefinite shelf life, practically forever). It also seems to be somewhat concentrated. I usually take about 2 1/2 spoons of honey in my tea, and when I added an equal amount of crystals, it seemed almost too sweet.

The nice thing about the crystals is that it's much easier and cleaner to measure out a little of the powder for hot drinks or as a sweetener for cooking. It's also lighter weight because the water is removed.

For those who like honey in their hot drinks, or as a general sweetener, this stuff is great. More portable and without the stickiness of liquid honey. You can even take a pinch as a sweet treat!

I like to keep some tea in my BOB, and this stuff will be used in place of liquid honey. Though, I'll probably keep some regular honey on hand for other purposes as well.
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Re: Bug Out Food at the supermarket

Post by Luthifer » Mon Jan 10, 2011 8:49 am

Excellent! There's some great info happening here. The honey crystals look really cool, and the label says they're made here. Is honey the only ingredient, or is there other weirdness in them?

aa1pr, I didn't know about the bumble bee chicken, I'll keep an eye out for it. The chili looks cool, too, how's it taste? The soup mix looks great, how do you handle a half-gallon of soup?
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Re: Bug Out Food at the supermarket

Post by goblin » Mon Jan 10, 2011 9:52 am

Pop tarts, Spam and Vienna Sausages = GTG! 8)
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Re: Bug Out Food at the supermarket

Post by starkill » Mon Jan 10, 2011 10:59 am

Luthifer wrote:Excellent! There's some great info happening here. The honey crystals look really cool, and the label says they're made here. Is honey the only ingredient, or is there other weirdness in them?

aa1pr, I didn't know about the bumble bee chicken, I'll keep an eye out for it. The chili looks cool, too, how's it taste? The soup mix looks great, how do you handle a half-gallon of soup?
They carry this brand of soup mix at my grocery store, and I've seen it at Walmart here also. Not sure about others, but the way I handle the half gallon soup mixes is divide the dry mix in half, then each of those halves in half, giving me 4 fairly equal parts. Since it's 8 cups for one whole packet, I just use 2 cups of water, one of the quarters of soup mix, and you have 2 one cup servings.

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Re: Bug Out Food at the supermarket

Post by Krustofski » Mon Jan 10, 2011 4:39 pm

Luthifer wrote:I've noticed since that time that more and more food items or dishes are becoming available in pouches and other easily packed, easily prepared forms.

[...]

Image
I've noticed this as well, and got pretty excited about the "meals in pouches that aren't expensive MREs" thing. Then I tried them out and realized that most of this stuff at my local supermarket else TASTED like crap, or WAS crap.

I have to say though, that I like this "Mediterranean rice dish".

Image

I keep one in my BOB. It's quite tasty when you add one Burger King pepper package, and one table spoon of boiling water (you can eat it as is, but then it will be dull, dry, and cold :P ). It's only 120 kcal or so, but after the 5 day supply of BP5, energy bars, and vitamin pills, it will be a morale booster for sure.

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Re: Bug Out Food at the supermarket

Post by Dubbya » Mon Jan 10, 2011 5:15 pm

Not very packable, but Dinty Moore meals work great too. Just toss them in boiling water to cook them.

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Re: Bug Out Food at the supermarket

Post by NoAm » Mon Jan 10, 2011 6:04 pm

starkill wrote:
Luthifer wrote:Excellent! There's some great info happening here. The honey crystals look really cool, and the label says they're made here. Is honey the only ingredient, or is there other weirdness in them?

aa1pr, I didn't know about the bumble bee chicken, I'll keep an eye out for it. The chili looks cool, too, how's it taste? The soup mix looks great, how do you handle a half-gallon of soup?
They carry this brand of soup mix at my grocery store, and I've seen it at Walmart here also. Not sure about others, but the way I handle the half gallon soup mixes is divide the dry mix in half, then each of those halves in half, giving me 4 fairly equal parts. Since it's 8 cups for one whole packet, I just use 2 cups of water, one of the quarters of soup mix, and you have 2 one cup servings.
I originally found the Wylers Creamy Rice Soup (amazingly good) at Go Grocery Outlet. Unfortunately all they ones they had went quick and I haven't been able to find anymore. I have found Bear Creek at WalMart it is very good too, but about $1.00 more a package. I still can't complain though for $3.50 we can feed a family of 3 and there is plenty for more! Just make sure to have a big enough pot if you have in your BOB
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Re: Bug Out Food at the supermarket

Post by NYKh » Mon Jan 10, 2011 6:27 pm

Me and the misses stock up on what we call Indian MREs.

There made by various manufactures and are ready to eat packages of various flavors of Indian main dishes. I generally place a entrée and a pouch of uncle Bens Batsamie rice that I have made a small opening, in to my canteen cup and fill with water and then boil the water.

Give it about 5min remove the pouches and eat, then use the water in the cup for coffee.

We find them in the speciality food isle of our local Food lion and Giant. A plus is there low in sodium and organic. 

A pouch that is the size of Uncle Bens precooked rice is about $2.50.
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Re: Bug Out Food at the supermarket

Post by aa1pr » Mon Jan 10, 2011 6:31 pm

NoAmnesty wrote:
starkill wrote:
Luthifer wrote:Excellent! There's some great info happening here. The honey crystals look really cool, and the label says they're made here. Is honey the only ingredient, or is there other weirdness in them?

aa1pr, I didn't know about the bumble bee chicken, I'll keep an eye out for it. The chili looks cool, too, how's it taste? The soup mix looks great, how do you handle a half-gallon of soup?
They carry this brand of soup mix at my grocery store, and I've seen it at Walmart here also. Not sure about others, but the way I handle the half gallon soup mixes is divide the dry mix in half, then each of those halves in half, giving me 4 fairly equal parts. Since it's 8 cups for one whole packet, I just use 2 cups of water, one of the quarters of soup mix, and you have 2 one cup servings.
I originally found the Wylers Creamy Rice Soup (amazingly good) at Go Grocery Outlet. Unfortunately all they ones they had went quick and I haven't been able to find anymore. I have found Bear Creek at WalMart it is very good too, but about $1.00 more a package. I still can't complain though for $3.50 we can feed a family of 3 and there is plenty for more! Just make sure to have a big enough pot if you have in your BOB
I have only tried a few of what I have in my inventory of soups, not bad I tend to add a bit more water though.

BumbleBee also has salmon and crab, so does Chicken of the sea for assorted flavors

I try to keep a one month supply for the family (5 people) on hand and rotate them out as they near their expiration date(s)

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Re: Bug Out Food at the supermarket

Post by eugene » Mon Jan 10, 2011 7:29 pm

Found those knorr sides myself recently and though about using them as bug out food and then saw a couple pictures on here of others doing the same thing. I like that they can be a side or a meal, you can add other things to them like canned chicken or canned vegetables to make them more filling.
Now for BOB stuff it is nice to have a warm meal or two but I also pack things like breakfast/cliff bars, pop tarts, etc. I want things I can eat on the go as much as possible.
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Re: Bug Out Food at the supermarket

Post by shoggoth80 » Mon Jan 10, 2011 8:18 pm

Bear Creek soups are good. I particularly like the Cheesy Potato/Cheddar Potato, Chicken Noodle, and Tortilla varieties.
Also, those little Indian entrees were lunch every day for a while... can't complain at all! They were very tasty, and not bad for you, based on a cursory scan of the label. I'd buy a bunch of them if I could find them again. Any idea which big chain stores to hit?

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Re: Bug Out Food at the supermarket

Post by Dogan » Mon Jan 10, 2011 8:47 pm

Excellent thread! This will be of great aid when I build my MRE/MARE packs!
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Re: Bug Out Food at the supermarket

Post by Luthifer » Tue Jan 11, 2011 10:11 am

Thanks for all the responses, I'm going to be looking for the Mrs. Grass (Wyler's) and Bear Creek soups. I've got a local market with a decent selection of that sort of thing.

I actually had a chance to throw my pack on and trudge around in the snow yesterday afternoon, just a few miles, and made it back to the car about twilight. I fired up the penny stove and made a mugful of the Idahoan potatoes, and I still think they're pure win.

I found the individual PB packets at WalMart, but at $.68/oz, I may just carry a small jar, or knock up some packets on the foodsaver. I know that minumus.biz has all kinds of packeted condiments and such, I just never get around to placing an order.

My main problem with the grocery store foods is that most of them are 2-4 servings, a little much for my 18oz GSI glacier cup. I don't want to carry my old Stanley widemouth thermos, because it weighs about the same as a 105mm howitzer shell. My solution- the jumbo travel mug, 3 bucks at WalMart. It's 34oz capacity, so plenty of room for stirring and whatnot, and it weighs less than a pound empty. It's big enough to cram stuff inside it in the pack, and although it won't keep stuff as hot for as long as a true thermal flask, it'll keep stuff plenty hot enough to take your time eating, or go back for seconds.

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Re: Bug Out Food at the supermarket

Post by SouthPAW » Tue Jan 11, 2011 2:59 pm

Luthifer wrote:Excellent! There's some great info happening here. The honey crystals look really cool, and the label says they're made here. Is honey the only ingredient, or is there other weirdness in them?
Ingredients list only honey & cane syrup. No weirdness! (at least according to them)

They taste pretty good. So far, I like them. "Real" honey tastes slightly better, but I like the crystals better for portability.

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Re: Bug Out Food at the supermarket

Post by ninja-elbow » Tue Jan 11, 2011 6:24 pm

Idahoan Spuds are a staple in my pantry. I've been eating them for years now. Back in my drinking days I'd get home at 0230 and fix up some of these with cheese and whatever. Now, great for a quick meal with left overs for the next day. Perfect for outdoors, though a whole batch is a bit too much for one sitting for me now. Last year I started to halve them and mix it with some dehydrated corn/peppers or peas or something.

The Knorr stuff is great too. I just stay away from ones that need more than water (milk) for ease of prepping outdoors. I usually replace the "butter" needed with olive oil. I have also used butter flakes. Olive oil is better. One of the better meals I had outdoors was Knorr tereyaki noodles with smoked salmon.

Somebody posted about the boil in bag Indain fare? That stuff is pretty good too. A lot of different brands out there. I like to mix the Indian stuff from the pouch in my cup with some minute rice (saving weight) or Uncle Bens rice packs (not caring about weight). Also good with rice noodles. You can add meat (I like chicken packs) to it if you don't want veggie.

Don't forget about fiber! Oatmeal and dried fruit in the mornings!!

If you can do the math right, it's nice to be able to buy big packs of all this kind fo stuff and break it down into ready to go packs. As I stated above, I like to make a ziplock full of half a pack of Idahoan Spuds, some dehydrated veggie and dehydrated meat. Doing the math I can figure this will need 1 1/2 cup of boiling water to make edible. Open ziplock, dump it in a cup, boil 2 cups water in Jet Boil, pour 1 1/2 of that into cup with food, keep 1/2 cup of hot water to wash face and hands, eat goop in cup 10 minutes later.
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