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High Calorie Must Have Survival Foods for the Outdoor Enthusiast

by Bruce Haring

When you are planning a trip or vacation outdoors in the wilderness, it is not a bad idea to prepare and pack as though you were preparing for the zombie apocalypse. Remember that no matter how meticulously you plan your wilderness vacation, things can always take a turn for the worse when you are out in Mother Nature. It may be a change in weather of epic proportions, a natural calamity, a plane\boat crash, or you may even just be lost.

Therefore, it is essential that you always pack for the worst and have all the resources you need handy, because this might just be the difference between life and death in such situations. In previous articles we have discussed about survival techniques and tips for when you are stranded in the wild, but now we will focus mainly on the type of foods\drinks you would benefit from carrying to an outdoor adventure, in case you were to become stranded waiting for search and rescue.

Here are some essentials you might want to add to your checklist.


There is a reason water is first on this list. The human body may be able to go for several days without food, but without water you are going to become dehydrated and die within a couple of days. You might get lucky with rain water, or natural sources of flowing water if and when you are stranded, but this is not something you can count on.

Sometimes you may be in a more dry area and you will not be able to find even a drop of water, therefore carrying plenty of drinking water for your expedition is a wise idea. You also need to be able to find water. If you can get to a nice stream or creek or perhaps a nice fresh water lake that has water flowing into and out of it, you should be able to quench your thirst.

Peanut Butter

As long as you don’t have a nut allergy, peanut butter is a prolific source of calorie dense nutrition of which only a couple of spoons will fuel you and keep you going for the rest of the day. It is a high protein food which is also packed with good fats. It has a lengthy shelf life and need not be refrigerated.

Assorted Nuts and Trail Mix

Nuts are a fantastic source of protein and micronutrients which will keep you energized and healthy while outdoors. They, like peanut butter, will stay edible for a long time and are small and easy to store. Nuts also provide omega 3 fatty acids which is essential for your body. Just a handful of almonds, cashew, peanuts, etc. and you will be replenished for a good 3-4 hours.


The poignant thing about honey is its shelf life. It simply never goes rotten. It may crystallize, but all you need to do is simply reheat it and it will melt back into the viscous and delicious liquid we all know it to be. 3,000 year old honey was found in a tomb in Egypt and it was still edible. Wow!

Dried Meats

Meat is fantastic because it is pure protein and almost zeros carbs. Unlike many plant based proteins, animal proteins are complete proteins which mean they have all the essential amino acids that your body requires for the process of protein synthesis. However, meat can go rotten, but by drying meat you are essentially greatly increasing its shelf life. That’s why carrying some beef jerky will really come in use when you don’t have a refrigerator handy.

Dried Fruits

Removing the water or moisture content from a fruit will allow for the fruit to be stored without refrigeration for a long time. You can just pack dried fruits into ziplock bags and you will be all set. Drying the fruit does not cause it to lose its vitamins.


Salt has gotten a bit of a bad name due its over consumption and consequent problems, but in a survival situation salt is essential as it will be the source of sodium you very much need and iodized salt will also help provide iodine which is required for healthy thyroid function.

Be Ready to Eat Anything

When you are trapped in wilderness, you are not really going to get a menu for dinner. Sometime you will have to make do with frogs, rats, snakes, insects, etc. to stay alive.

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