When you begin creating a Bug Out Bag or an emergency pantry stocked with food and water, one of the first things that you will probably be asking is: just how much food and water does one person truly need in a survival situation? While it’s tempting to just estimate based on what you consume in your daily life now, realize that comfortable portion sizes to make you feel satiated are not even close to a reflection of what you absolutely have to have in order to stay alive.
There’s an old adage that says a person can survive three weeks without food, three days without water, and three minutes without air. This has been proven true time and time again, and it’s important to keep in mind when you are creating a survival bag or pantry. If you absolutely had to, you could hold off on using your food stores for at least three weeks – this means you can stretch any stores you have for nearly a month extra.
The adult human body needs between two and three quarts of water a day; however, much of this comes from what we eat. But when you are creating a survival bag or pantry, you need to store water for washing, cooking, and rehydrating food as well. For consumption needs only, one gallon per day should be the goal.
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Food stores can be based on the calories you need for your age, gender, and size. For most adults, 1200 to 1500 calories per day is a comfortable survival diet. Dipping below 1,200 calories can lead to health deficiencies. Whether you choose to store high-calorie foods that allow you to get all you need in a single meal, or a variety of lower-calorie foods to offer a more rounded diet, your pantry will be ready to support you so long as you calculate enough calories per person, per day, for the length of time you want to survive on just your own stores.