When it comes to surviving the great outdoors, the most important things a person should remember to take along are food and water. Both are necessary to ensure a person’s well-being while on camping trips. These days, drinkable water is easy to have in the wild if you know how to collect water and pass it through portable filtration devices. Food is entirely another issue.
In the wild, it could be dangerous to eat just any fruit or vegetation that you come across, unless you have experience in foraging. There are many different plants that may look edible, but are actually poisonous. Hunting and fishing are also other options, but again, unless you have experience making traps or fishing lines, these will weigh down your pack but still won’t guarantee you food.
Why is food important?
It cannot be emphasized enough that food is the source of the energy the body uses in order to function properly. While a person can survive weeks without food, they won’t be functioning properly. The breakdown of food creates energy and makes nutrients available for different parts of the body. Without food, the body resorts to breaking down stored fats in order to survive.
That said, while people could survive without food, there are major downsides to being starved. The most important side effects that starvation has on the body are fatigue and poor decision making. When on survival trips, a person needs to be physically and mentally well to avoid accidents.
What foods are good to bring?
All that said what kinds of food are good for survival trips? The food should be easy to eat, but also nutritious. Another important factor is that the food won’t weigh you down while you are hiking, nor would it bulk up your pack that much. The following are the usual foods that people bring.
Trail mix is essentially an assortment of granola and nuts. These can provide good nutrition and are ready to eat. The best part about trail mix is that it can be eaten on the go, so if you’re hiking, you don’t need to stop in order to get that little energy boost. Trail mix can be bought in packs, or can be prepared at home and brought along in sandwich bags. It goes without saying that those with nut allergies should not eat trail mix with nuts in them.
Canned food like tuna and tinned meat are easy to eat, especially if they are in easy-open cans. Canned beans are also easy to heat near small campfires. There’s nothing like good protein to keep your energy up while on a camping trip. Meat isn’t the only canned foods available. There are also canned fruits and veggies that could liven up a meal.
The only downside to canned food is the bulk that they add to your pack and the waste that they would produce. Most campsites would have a designated garbage area, but if you’re roughing it out in the wild, and you want to preserve the area, you would have to bring along the empty cans that your food came in.
Jerky is good for hiking trips because it’s protein, it’s easy to eat, and it’s easy to pack. It comes in different flavors and different meat sources. The downside about jerky is the sodium content, which would make you thirsty. As important as food is while on survival trips, hydration is more important.
Grains and Beans
Grains like oats, rice, and corn and also other staples like beans, are good to have along because they can give you a major energy boost. They are rich in carbohydrates which are the main source of energy for the body.
Oats can be mixed with honey to make granola before the trip. Corn and beans come in cans that are easy to heat and eat. Rice meals can be prepared before the trip, or you can buy rice pouches.
There are downsides to these staples. Like canned goods, these could also weigh down your pack, rice and beans especially. Another downside is that rice, dried oats, and beans that don’t come in a can need water to be cooked, so unless you have a water filter and a readily available source of water, these aren’t a good choice.
All in all, there are different food options for survival trips. So it really depends on the person and the length of the trip on what food to bring.