Having stored food for emergencies is always a priority. In your home is easy to do and normally you should have a suitcase or a shelf with canned food and water for emergencies.
Things change when it comes to survive outside the urban environment, far from home, as the ability to move swiftly and without greater effort is needed so that it becomes almost useless to bring canned food. Weight, not only from the can, but the preservative liquid (although useful too) can make you slower and get tired faster.
That's why you always have to think about the foods that must be carried on a journey of survival. I am currently a paramedic and the area that fascinates me is the Mountain Search and Rescue, so survival techniques are implied. During my studies in this career I have learned several useful things about how the equipment should be carried, including most importantly, the food.
During my survival practices I always bring the same 5 foods : Ramen, sweets, dried meat, cereal bars and bread. This time I will show how to do the last three, as the Ramen and sweets can be obtained anywhere without problem.
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Step 1: The Dry Meat - Very Spicy Version -
There are hundreds of ways to prepare dry meat (Cecina), but particularly I have always made the same recipe without any changes, as this is what I like while still being easy to prepare.
WARNING: This is a very spicy version. If you do not hold your food too spicy, I recommend to change the spicy ingredients or even try a different recipe where the meat is marinated with plenty honey, brown sugar and pineapple juice, resulting in a sweet meat.
- Meat - pork or beef -
- Worcestershire Sauce
- Beer - Your preferred one-
- Chili powder
Optional - Marinade for meats, store-bought.
Cleans and remove fat from meat, cut into thin strips about 1/4 inch thick and 1 inch wide (not strictest measures). Prepare the marinade, in this case I bought a marinade for meat that contains most of the ingredients already included and I have added Worcestershire sauce, a pinch of salt, beer and a bit of honey. I recommend to use a pre-made marinade to simplify the work. Put meat with the marinate in the refrigerator for about 12 hours.
Once the meat is marinated, dry it with paper towels, then mix the dry ingredients, which are: pepper, cumin, thyme, paprika and chili powder, then smear the meat in this mixture, covering it completely.
Place the meat on a grill and take it in the oven at 140-160 °F for about 4 hours, leaving the oven lid slightly open to release the moisture. Check regularly to flip the meat and dry evenly.
Once the meat is dry, with a rustic, tough, fibrous appearance, then it's ready. You could stored it in bags or mayo jar, leaving some holes so the moisture can escape.
Step 2: Hardtack - Hard Bread - the Most Ancient Bread
Hardtack is hard because no has added yeast, and this is what makes it last longer. Yeast is a bacteria that helps to ferment the bread, filling it with CO2 and making it light and fluffy, but in the end the bread also may damage .
Retiring the yeast (and any other potentially perishable ingredient) will make the bread lasts much longer and is the perfect item for long trips and an essential source of carbohydrates.
The preparation is extremely simple and only requires three ingredients :
For every 2 cups of flour: 1 cup of water + 1 tablespoon salt.
Only mix these ingredients until you get smooth consistency and the dough is not sticky (add more flour if it becomes necessary). Then extend the dough, cut into squares and prick with a fork.
Place in the oven for 30-40 minutes at ~ 370°F, until is a bit hard. In this case I did it in a pan, to show that it is not always necessary to have an oven. Place in the pan, with a little flour, the dough pieces and cook for about an hour at medium heat, until the dough is hard.
After cooking the pieces of bread, left it cool to harden more and then can be stored in a cool, dry place. This bread will last for quite some time. I have one in a paper bag for 3 months and still intact.
Fun fact: If you pay attention, in many movies with old theme, you can sometimes see people eating bread that seems very hard, is this kind of bread. In The Lord of the Rings, Froddo and Sam bring this type of bread for their journey to Mordor, in the novel is called Lembas or Elven Bread =) (Thanks to TheSurvivor99, for extend this info)
Step 3: Cereal Bars - Tasty and Full of Energy -
These bars can also store just about forever. I asked to my brother, a food engineer, about the shelf lifetime of Jello, and am happy to say that although there's an expiration date on the box, the shelf life is truly “indefinite". All the other ingredients, based on their shelf lives, should be last for around of twenty year!! Obviously in a good storage. (I'm testing it too, 6 months with two cereal bars in a zipploc bag, still intact!)
- 2 cups oats
- 2 1/2 cups powdered milk
- 1 cup sugar, brown sugar would be nice too
- 1 package jello ( 3oz | 85gr )
- 3 Tablespoons water
- 3 Tablespoons honey
Mix the oats, powdered milk, and sugar together in a large bowl.
In a medium pan, mix the jello, water and honey and boil at medium-low temperature just for a while (around 3 minutes). Remember: You will only use 3 tablespoons of water, not the showed in the jello box.
After you boil the jello, mix it with the dry mixture with a spoon or a electric mixer. It could be a little hard to mix it well at the beginning, you could add water if the mix is too dry, but just a little!
Once it have a smooth consistence, put and press dough into a rectangular pan covered with parchment paper and bring it to oven for around 1 hour at ~200°F. If you have a dehydrator, you can use it too, but I prefer the baked ones.
Put the cereal bars in airtight containers, like zipploc bags or mayo jars.
Step 4: To Finish - Some Advices -
As you have seen, the recipes contain the three main sources of energy in the body: Carbohydrates, Proteins and Sugars.
The idea of taking these foods on a journey of survival is not to have the most delicious food, but also nourish the body efficiently to withstand wear and the elements of nature. Still, cereal bars and dried meat are delicious, the hardtack not so much ... But still a good source of carbohydrates.
When outdoors, remember to always bring foods that can be really helpful to provide a large amount of carbohydrates and calories, not forgetting water or a tool to get it. If you manage to meet the energy requirement of the body, you can overcome any obstacle that the wild puts upon you.
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