Non-perishable food – hopefully with a long shelf life – is one of the most important items you can have in your bug-out bag.
But if you fail to also include a nice variety of cooking utensils and wrapping items, you may have a very difficult time eating that food when you need it most.
Here are a few you should have on hand, especially if you have to bug out:
Silverware for each person in your party is an essential. Big box store sporting goods areas have interlocking knife/fork/spoon sets. To keep the weight of your bug-out bag down, there might be a temptation to pack plastic or extremely lightweight utensils. But you might have to use these utensils for a while, so pack sturdy ones.
Knives, forks and spoons are great for transporting food from your plate to your mouth, but when it comes to getting food from the pot or pan to your plate, items such as spatulas, ladles and meat forks are much preferable. You could live without them, but they will make food preparation much more enjoyable.
Plates, Pots & Pans
The three P’s – plates, pots and pans – can be found in a store-bought mess kit, usually designed for one, two or four people. They’re usually priced at about $10. They include a small frying pan and a plate on the outer shell, a drinking cup or bowl, and a boiling pot and lid. They’re easy to carry, use and clean, and pack up again.
If you anticipate the possibility of bugging out with others, someone in your party might want to carry a large cooking pot with a lid. This will help cook up large meals including stew. When it’s clean ad in your bag, smaller items can fit inside it. Add a lightweight, soft, folding bucket for carrying water.
Not everyone will want to include a small coffee pot in their bug-out bag, but I can’t imagine living without one. If you’re like me, you’ll probably choose to lash a small percolator to the outside of your bag. That will keep it from banging around or breaking. And you can fill it with small, clean clothes when it is inside your bag.
Most people do not pack a small, portable stove in their bug-out bag. But if you have a party of four or more and can place more than one person’s belongings in one of the bags, you may be able to pack an extra bag for larger items such as this. A camp stove can replace a fire, to cook, keep warm and dry wet clothing.
While it does not qualify as a cooking utensil, have at least one military grade canteen in your bug-out bag. It should be able to hold at least one quart of water. Some of the better ones also include a matching cup (which can double as a boiling pot), an insulated carrier and a utility belt. High-quality canteens keep beverages hot or cold longer.
You may have to use these cooking utensils for a while, so keep them clean and germ-free with a non-breakable, non-spillable bottle of dishwashing liquid. Another usage for dishwashing liquid is coating the bottom and sides of cooking pots and pans prior to cooking over an open flame. It will make removing black soot buildup much easier.