Survival Foods

Cliff Bars

Widely available in countless flavors. Roughly $2 at grocery, fitness and health food stores.<br /><strong>Nutrition:</strong> 190""230 calories, 10""19 grams of protein and 2""50 grams of carbs per bar.<br /><strong>Shelf life:</strong> Six to nine months.<br /><strong>Packaging:</strong> Tightly sealed in thin but airtight plastic wrappers; lightweight and compact.<br /><strong>Taste:</strong> There are a million and one different flavors, but nobody buys these things for their taste.
Developed for the military, these high-energy bars are now available to the public. $21 for 15 bars at hooahbar.com. Nutrition: 280 calories per bar, with 60 percent complex carbohydrates and a blend of vitamins, proteins and electrolytes. Shelf life: One year Packaging: The military version is encased in a heavy-duty trilaminate foil pouch that's designed to withstand an 8,000-foot fall. The commercial version employs a thick metalized polypropylene wrapper. Taste: Surprisingly, it actually tastes like chocolate.
A 3.75-ounce fruit-and-nut bar made of all-natural ingredients including wheat germ, raisins, walnuts, wheat bran, pecans, grape juice, honey, corn, barley, soy flour, soy oil and nonfat milk. $2 at mealpack.com. Nutrition: One bar provides two servings, each of which contains 210 calories, 29 grams of carbs and 8 grams of protein. Shelf life: Six months. Packaging: Tightly sealed in a transparent plastic wrapper. Taste: The texture is rather dry, but the flavor is complex. Also available in a carob-cocoa variety, which is more like a brownie.
Out-of-this-world dried meat, literally: It has gone into space with astronauts. $26 per pound at beefjerky.com. Nutrition: A 1-ounce serving provides 80 calories, 770 milli-grams of sodium, 1 gram of carbs and 17 grams of protein. Shelf life: Three months from date of purchase. Packaging: Vacuum-sealed in a resealable transparent bag. Taste: Tougher to chew than the stuff you get at your local convenience store, but very flavorful.
"Meals ready to eat" are made for combat zones and can be eaten cold right out of the bag or warmed by a variety of methods, including a heat pack. $5 to $10 online or at military surplus stores. Nutrition: Each MRE provides about 1,200 calories. Shelf life: Five years or more when stored at or below 85 degrees Fahrenheit . Packaging: Very durable, but somewhat heavy due to wet content. Taste: Tastes like coagulated chicken noodle soup. Might be better warm, but it wasn't too bad cold.
Preserved through a combination of freezing and dehydrating to maintain nutrients and eliminate the elements that cause food to spoil. From $3 to $5 from mountainhouse.com. Nutrition: A single serving of spaghetti with meat sauce provides 490 calories with high carb and protein counts. Shelf life: Five-year minimum while stored under cool, dry conditions. Packaging: Durable, lightweight and compact. Requires water for rehydrating. Taste: Bland, but at least it was hot .