Fast Food For You Bug-Out Bag

By Brian Dolge

As I work my way through the process of making up a 72 hour kit/ bug-out bag I thought I would post parts of my work here for others to use as they see fit. As there has been a bit of talk here lately about what to do for long-term compact food I thought I’d start with this part.

Brian’s High-Density High-Calorie Easy-to-Prepare Exceptionally Yummy Infinite(almost)Shelf-Life Readily-Available Food Packets

What more could you ask for? The ingredients are:

ItemNumber UsedCalories/ItemCost/UnitNotes
Hard Candy16020/piece$1.30/bag33/bag, indiv wrapped, assorted
Power Bars9230/each$1.35/eachAvailable at sports stores
Granola Bars20110 each$2.20/box2/foil pouch, hard, el cheapo
Slim Jims2050/each$3.40/box12/box
Drink Mix Pouch465/each$5.25/4Do It Yourself Mix

Further Notes

Hard candy is one of the most compact forms of calories available, is stable under most conditions, but provides no vitamins or other nutrients and no feeling of fullness;

Power bars also provide lots of calories in a compact form as well as a decent supply of vitamins, etc. however, they are expensive and taste like condensed peanut butter, I like them, but they get old fast;

Granola bars are bulky but light and provide plenty of roughage for fullness and to keep your lower GI tract in working order;

Slim Jims are my least favorite item, they provide protein, but way too much fat, while fat also adds to the feeling of fullness I worry about it going rancid despite all the preservatives;

The drink mix is half orange Koolaid (with sugar) and half orange Gatorade, enough for 2 quarts of each, mixed well, about 3 fl.oz of powder in each of 4 1 qt. zip-lock bags, this provides calories, electrolytes, and reminds you to drink your fluids. I did not use a protein drink/instant breakfast mix because I have had trouble getting them to mix up properly from powder and I really don’t like the taste/texture or the bowel problems they give me. I used all dry stuff to save weight/volume and to reduce the chance of messy accidents. Obviously you will need H2O to go with this, but that’s another letter.

Everything except the drink mix is ready to unwrap and eat (please don’t litter!). My own kit also contains 1 multi-vitamin per day and 3 fiber laxative/diet pills because I like to keep my vitamins up and I get hungry a lot. All these items were bought in a suburban supermarket (except the Power Bars, which came from a 7-11(or an outdoor store)) at the normal prices. You can probably get them cheaper by the usual methods. I am assuming you have qt. and gal. zip-lock bags and a cup of sugar. If not add the price of those to the following calculations.

Total cost

6 bags candy$1.30 ea= $6.50
9 Power Bars$1.35 ea=$12.50
2 boxes Granola$2.20 ea =$4.40
2 boxes Slim Jims$3.40 ea =$6.80
1 Drink mix$5.25 ea =$5.25 (with leftover Gatorade)
Total cost of food for 4 days = $35.10 or $8.77 per day (less than a pizza with everything!)


  • Total Calories=9540
  • Calories/day over 4 days=2435 (plenty for hard work/on-the-run/Disaster clean-up)
  • Calories/day over 7 days=1391 (enough to wait out most anything)

Packing and Transportation

The ingredients are spread out among four 1-gal. zip-lock bags:

  • 40 pieces candy
  • 2 power bars
  • 2 pouches granola bars
  • 5 Slim Jims
  • 1 pouch drink mix in each bag

1 bag gets an extra power bar, 2 get extra granola.

With the air squeezed out each bag weighs about 1.5 lbs. and is about 9 in. long and 3.5 in across. Total: 6 lbs. in a 9×7 squishy rectangle. Very portable.

I would like to hear any comments anyone has on this set-up. I have put in a lot of work/experiment/testing on this, but I’m always eager to learn more.


About The Author

Survival Spot is dedicated to helping everyone learn philosophy and fundamentals of preparedness and survival.

6 Responses

  1. Chris

    Thanks for the tips! I never even considered hard candy as an energy source. I'll be adding that for sure. I keep the small Propel or Gatorade drink mix foil packages in my bag. You can sometimes find free samples online. I also keep the foil wrapped Spam singles as a daily protein source. They have a recommended average 2 to 3 year shelf life and provide 250 calories per serving. They do have very high sodium content though 990mg, and carry a bit more weight than the SlimJims.

  2. Jack

    Hey Brian. A lot of people focus on their BoB, and still prep for the bug in. Personally, I sometimes think I go a little overboard with my BoB and gear because it is 'something to focus and refine, continually.' However, in a "Bug In" situation where utilities have been interrupted, etc, and those who may not have a lot of the proper bug in tools for cooking, (portable ovens for baking, etc.). i.e. I live in an apartment just outside NYC. I was wondering what your thoughts were on "Fast Foods" for the bug in situation, more specifically, in seasonal situations, because as you know in the winter your body will need more calories to generate its own heat for warmth than summer, etc.. Keep in mind, I have 35+ gallons of potable water stored in my apartment, as well as about 3 – 4 months of various food items. This is really for the edification of the reader and my own curiosity of your thoughts.

  3. TodaysSurvivalShow

    Jack, I can add something to your bug in question if you don't mind. I store a lot of canned goods like canned meats and fruits. I also pack a lot of the same high calorie energy bars that I do in my bug out bag. If services are interrupted, it will make cooking much harder obviously and the less I have to cook, the better, I figure. I like to also keep a lot of canned fish and I'm a big organic buff. So I store a lot of organic and natural foods too. Anything that can be stored a room temperature is a good thing. Because you are in an apartment, space may be limited, but with good packing, you can fit a lot if a few large Rubbermaid bins. Obviously, a manual can opener is a necessity, I have 3 of them actually. Hope that helps a bit.

  4. bug out bag

    Thanks Alexinawe for sharing such a nice information…I am happy to find your distinguished way of writing the post. Now you make it easy for me to understand and implement the concept. Thank you for the post.

  5. Katy

    I suggest you add a multivitamin per day to your rations. This takes care of your nutritional quandry. As for protein, carbs, etc. I would also suggest a portion of powdered protein shake mix, available in a variety of flavours (including flavourless!) from a variety of sources (health food store, Wal Mart, Amazon, etc.).

  6. guest

    PPl are crazy, do you really think the average Joe needs 3000 calories a day to bug out? 23 years in the US army infantry…other are times you may need all that to get through, but was easily can make it on much less. On average I can drink water eat a pocket, split a cord of wood in 90 degree weather, eat a ramen noodle and a banana and be fine the next day. You won't lose weight to the weight you are supposed to be!!! But then it is easy to maintain. The amount of endure to hump 18 miles a day with a 80 lb ruck(which you'll need) really boils down to your head and ability!! All the calories in the world
    Won't help….with out the precondition needed. Period!


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