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Ask Tess: What is the best type of food to store in a Vehicle Bug Out Bag

A reader is interested in learning what the best types of food to add to her bug out vehicle are.


What is the best food to store in the go bag for a car? Temperatures in the summer time can get real hot. Hopefully, you can direct me on where to purchase them.


 A Reader

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There are lots of great foods you can store in your vehicle for emergencies. If you haven’t already prepared a bug out bag for your vehicle, click here for some insight into this topic. Further, ensuring that you always maintain your bug out vehicle so that it is always ready to go will help you in staying as prepared as possible. Here are 5 ways to keep your vehicle bug out ready.

When choosing which types of food to add to your BOV, I want to emphasize temperature fluctuations in your vehicle will greatly affect the shelf life of your food sources. Overtime, the lifespan of the food can and will greatly diminish if they are not rotated regularly. Therefore, you want to regularly rotate these foods to ensure they are used in a timely manner. I change out our vehicle food supply every 3 months or at the beginning of each season.

Ensure that the foods you choose will give you an adequate amount of nutrition and have sustaining energy sources that will burn slowly. Finding foods that are high in complex carbs and dietary fiber are more efficient from a dietary standpoint and will keep you feeling “fuller” longer.

Some energy efficient food sources to consider are:

  • Fruits/Vegetables – Obviously, having these dehydrated will lighten the load and give you something nutritious to snack on. Keep in mind  that dehydrated foods can last for 12 months or longer, provided they have been stored properly. Pack fruits and vegetables that are the most calorie dense. Look for small boxes of dried fruits for easy meal assembly.
  • Whole vs. White – We all know that whole grains are better for you. But did you know that they keep you fuller longer. Also, whole grain breads with seeds and nuts can provide added nutrition. Look for whole grain pancake mixes, crackers, pastas and bread to get good sources of whole grains.
  • Nuts – This food source is one of the most nutrient dense foods and is also full of fiber to help you stay full longer. Due to the high protein count of these lightweight nutrition powerhouses, can be an efficient meat replacement. Look for non-salted nut varieties to keep you hydrated longer.
  •  Meat Source – Protein sources are imperative during an emergency  and can also cut down on stress. The amino acid in meat, specifically Tryptophan, binds to protein and becomes a precursor for the neurotransmitter serotonin. Increased levels of serotonin may help you cope with stress. Freeze dried meats or TVP (textured vegetable protein), dehydrated meats or canned meats of beef, chicken or tuna would be good choices to add to your pack.

A lot of people prefer to have “ready to eat meals” that are shelf stable such as canned soups and stews, MRE’s, Freeze dried meals, etc. Ensure that you have water in your car for consumption as well as in case you need to add to freeze dried meals. My family always has a case of water bottles in the car just in case.

In my vehicle, we have freeze dried meals to cut down on weight and space. I also have snacks in the bag such as crackers, granola bars, and dry cereal. This article can help you in getting some ideas of meal planning. Remember to keep lightweight, easy to prepare foods in your vehicle.

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  • Canned goods with pop top lids
  • Granola bars
  • Dried fruit and nuts
  • Freeze dried meals
  • MRE’s
  • Peanut butter crackers
  • Single packs of meat
  • Beef Jerky
  • Datrex bars
  • Water
  • Eating utensils

This article may be able to give you some solid advice on what foods to pack. I hope this helps you get started!

Best of Luck,

Tess Pennington


This article was originally published at Ready Nutrition™ on October 21st, 2013

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