Thanks to the booming body building and fitness industry there are a ton of great products on the market that are outstanding sources to provide macronutrients or the building blocks of the body: protein, carbohydrates, and fat. All three are important to your survival. Protein with help maintain your muscle which will be essential to your ability to hunt and defend yourself. Carbohydrates will recharge your batteries; they supply the energy stores in your muscles and liver. Finally, fat, which is essential to brain function, your joints, and a small amount of fat storage is necessary to protect vital organs. Most of these also provide micronutrients such as vitamins and minerals, which will help in functions throughout the body.
How much do you need? A 200 pound man walking at a slow pace of 2 mph burns approximately 250 calories an hour. If you weigh more with your bug out bag you will burn more calories, if you walk faster you will burn more calories. If you don’t take in calories you will grow weaker especially if you have very little body fat. Here’s a calculator if you want to run numbers more applicable to your body mass.
So here are my recommendations:
My top recommendation is the Zero Impact Bars by VPX. They are very similar to the consistency of the cakes that are in the military MREs but taste much better. Unlike most of the bars on the market these are not coated in chocolate so they will not melt in the heat. They provide a great mix of carbs, protein, and fat at a substantial 440 calories. Additionally unlike many fitness bars the carbohydrates are from complex sources like oats and sweet potato instead of simple sugars. The fat and fiber will help slow down digestion for longer lasting energy and will leave you feeling full. In a bad situation something as simple as a full stomach will boost morale and keep you in the fight.
Many people keep Clif Bars in their bags, which are great for energy and also aren’t coated in chocolate so they will survive the heat. However they have a lot less protein than the Zero Impact Bars. Remember protein is an essential nutrient for your muscles which will be taking a beating while you move, hunt, and fight. Clif Bars are also smaller and contain fewer calories. They do have an outstanding amount of complex carbohydrates and fiber so if you don’t have the Zero Impact Bar these are a great alternative.
Some runners up are:
Clif Builder Bars
EAS Myoplex Strength Bars
I recommend getting one of each so that you can try them all and figure out which ones you like best. There are plenty of other easy to pack, store, and carry food options all over the Internet many of them are obvious such as beef jerky, standard granola bars or trail mix but these don’t provide the ratio of macronutrients we need in the quantities we need them for the long haul. You will get a lot more bang for the buck carrying these meal replacement bars in your bug out bag.