NTOA Rated and ApprovedAmerica's Best Built Bug Out Bags

Ultimate Bug Out Bags are professional grade survival systems designed by Survivalists for Survivalists. Ultimate Bug Out Bags proprietary survival systems is the only platform that allows you to have complete control over the design, quality and cost of your Bug-Out Bag.

 

When you buy a Ultimate Survival System you are not buying a single-use flimsy chinamatic survival kit. You are buying quality items and you are buying experience. We tap into a collective of over 100 years of survival experience when designing and testing each system to ensure they do exactly what they are supposed to do, keep you alive.

 

All of our Bug-Out Bag Systems are built with double and triple redundancy on "mission critical" items like water, fire and shelter. Redundancy and scalability is just one of the many thought processes that go into each and every Ultimate Survival Systems; which is why they are the renowned favorite survival kit of military operators and police officers across America.

 

All UBB's are designed and built in America. They are hand packed on the Survivalist Ranch, in the Appalachian Mountains of Georgia with the absolute best gear we can find for the job. When ordering, please allow a 3-7 day lead time, as all bug out bags are hand packed specifically for you to order.

 

Current Promotion: Bug out bags are part of out warehouse clearance sale. All bug out bag inventory in stock has been marked down roughly 30% through the end of the month and will receive free shipping to the lower 48.

Shop All Bug Out Bags






Survival Food 101 – (Click to Open Close)

Survival Food 101


1. The Philosophy of Buying Food Storage.
(If you skip the other sections, read this one)

Keeping Everyone HonestI promise that I won’t waste your time in this tutorial by trying to convince you to buy food storage. You’re already here and reading this, which means that you have probably already concluded that it’s smart to have some food storage around the house.

However, I do need to "set the stage," so to speak, in order to make my point. Please bear with me …

There is a certain "mind-set" you should have when approaching the food storage buying decision, and grasping that philosophy is probably the most important aspect to getting your best deal when buying food storage.

Think about this, twenty five years ago a gallon of milk cost 50 cents. Compare that to a gallon of milk today that costs $3.50 or more. Your grandparents could never have imagined spending that much money for a gallon of milk. Much like we have a hard time imagining having to pay $7.00 or more for a gallon of milk twenty five years from today, but it is a reality.

So, if you spend $400 on food storage today, how much will that food be worth in twenty five years? Probably almost twice its value, that is if the food is edible. If the food is inedible, then it’s worth nothing.

To a greater degree, food storage can be generalized into two categories:

  • The kind of food storage you want to eat, Or
  • The kind of food storage you hope you never have to eat.

The two are easily distinguished. The first being the food storage with the higher price, and the second is the one that makes you ask yourself, "why is this so cheap compared to the other brand?" The rock-gut brands usually advertise their packages slightly over half the price as the better known name brands.

Cheap food storage tastes bland at best, and nasty on average. Imagine Lipton’s Cup-O-Soup with less flavor wrapped into mylar bags. Now imagine how that food will taste when it’s 25 years old. I’ll give you a hint, not good. Yes, it will save you in an emergency, but you will not eat it unless you have to eat it.

For this reason, when I am asked "which food storage company should I buy," I tell people to buy the food that looks and tastes the best to to them, regardless of the price. Well of course I’m going to say that, I’m in the business of selling food storage, right? Fair enough, but follow my reasoning for just a minute.

The fact is: you will (try to) eat your food storage before you die, or you will die before you eat your food storage. This is the foremost thing that should be on your mind when buying food storage.

The vast majority of us buy food storage with the mind-set that it will never be used, which simply isn’t true. This thought process has the tendency to have us gravitate towards the cheapest lesser known off-brands.

Ask yourself, if I invest hundreds, or thousands of dollars into food storage today; am I going to simply chunk it into the garbage on year 25? Of course not, you will eat it. That is unless you open it and it’s nasty or inedible, or you’re dead.

Fast-forward twenty five years from today. The $300 that you spent on the cheap off-brand food will most likely go into the garbage and your $300 is gone. Alternatively, had you spent $400 on quality food, that tastes good, you will have saved over $500. This is because your food storage is now worth an estimated $800, PLUS you can actually eat it as part of your regular diet!

The long-winded lesson being: If you buy food storage that you really want to eat, as opposed to the food storage that you hope you never have to eat, you will not lose one penny. In fact, you will have saved money.

 

2. Choose Your Packaging First

Seems a little odd to begin with how the food is packaged, but it really is best to decide how you will store and consume your food storage. Food storage, by in large, comes in three types of packaging.

  1. Cook in Pouch Meals – 10-12 years Shelf Life
  2. Number 10 Cans – 25+ years Shelf Life
  3. Mylar Bags in Buckets – Up to 25 year Shelf Life

The biggest difference is the convenience and shelf life. Cook in pouch meals typically contain 1.5 – 2 servings per package and are the most convenient way to store food storage. However, they also take up the most room and are the most expensive.

Number 10 cans and mylar bags in buckets are, for all intents and purposes, the same product, in as much as they both keep food for up to 25 years. If you’re splitting hairs, # 10 cans get the nod for longevity. These two types of storage containers divide the meals up into 10 – 20 serving packages depending on the serving sizes.

What the 25 year packaging means to you is less packaging, less space to store, less money, and it’s also less convenient. Instead of adding water to the package, as you do with "cook and eat" packaging, you pull the amount of food that you want to cook from the master container and add it to boiling water in a pan or container of some sort.

Another thing to consider when considering the larger 25 year food storage containers is that you need to use all of the food in 5-7 days after opening the master container. Food storage stays fresh and edible because it is stored in a zero oxygen environment, one you open the container and air hits the food the clock starts running. You have about the same amount of time to cook opened food storage as you do to eat leftovers from the fridge.

A good food storage buying strategy used by many is to buy the bulk of your food storage in the 25 year variety, cans and buckets, then add a "buffer" element to your preps with the "cook and eat" pouches.

This strategy allows you to have handy food storage for short natural disaster that may only last a few days while keeping the bulk of your food storage socked away for 25 years. The cook and eat pouches will also come in handy for camping and other outdoor activities.

It’s good to note, when storing these products that the #10 cans tend to stack better horizontally, i.e. under a bed, whereas the buckets tend to stack better vertically, i.e. a closet. The pouches can lay flat, or stack vertically if you keep them in the box they’re packaged in. Pouches take up approximately twice the the room as cans and buckets.

(If you look to the filters on the left, you can filter by food packaging)

 

3. Be Skeptical of Time Estimates and Servings.

Serving sizes are probably the biggest problem, other than quality, that you will encounter. Serving sizes are subjective and differ greatly from company to company. Food producers have been playing hard & fast with portion sizes and servings since they figured out how to package and market food products; long-term food producers are no different.

Keeping Everyone Honest

Smaller portions equal lower costs, which means that they can sell their “xxx serving bucket” for less money than their competitors can. Then, all they have to do is market their product by the servings (i.e.1500 Servings for $999) instead the actual contents of the package because the lower priced packages always win in this scenario.

If you buy food storage packages that are advertised by the “serving” you will most likely get too little food and spend too much money. Each food supplier and retailer has a totally different idea about how long their food storage should last the “average person.”

If you buy food storage based on the time recommendation (we actually offer this option) you will most likely burn through your supply much sooner than their recommendations unless that company lists calorie counts to prove their claims. If you are looking at food storage that does not list the total calorie count, you are paying too much.

 

4. Who is This Company?

If you haven’t heard of the brand, it’s probably for a reason. There are only a handful of true-blue freeze dried food producers. The rest are simply companies that “white label” their chosen brand names through mass dehydrated food producers.

Keeping Everyone Honest

These companies are marketing companies masquerading as a food company. If you read our blog you will see that we are no fan of these types of companies. They buy their ingredients from the cheapest sources, who use overseas suppliers and then have their products assembled in a thin mylar bag and throw in an oxygen absorber.

These companies could care less about the quality of their product or your satisfaction. 98% of all companies selling food storage have been in business for less than 10 years, 95% less than 5 years. So, how do they really know that their product will be edible in 25 years? Will they be in business in 25 years?

If you pick one of these companies, do your homework on who produces their food for them. Seriously, this is a HUGE problem in the industry. Many brands open to sell “cheap food storage” then simply change their name when bad reviews and customer complaints mount.

Here at survivalist 101 we carry a microcosm of all of the different brands that you will find on the market. Wise, Legacy, Mountain House and Alpineaire are representative of ALL the different survival food manufactures you will find on the market today. You may find food storage that is packaged and sold differently, but that’s about all.

 

5.Compare Calories.
(Use the Food Calorie Calculator Below)

Keeping Everyone Honest

How often do you eat the recommended servings on the food that you prepare right now? If you’re like me, not very often. So, it goes to reason, if you buy your emergency food storage by the serving, should you ever need it, someone is going on a diet, or you are going to burn through your food preps much quicker than you had anticipated.

Think about this, when you buy groceries, do you buy food based on how many servings each product has, or do you buy the amount of food that your family actually eats?

Calories do not lie, marketers do. If you compare the total amount of calories that you are buying in each package you will be able to accurately judge how long your food storage will last and better compare the true cost of the food. Do not buy a food storage package that does not list the total calories for that package! We get into this in detail below.

Once you've established that there are enough calories for your family in an emergency food, the next step is to make sure that the calories are good calories and not just fillers. Some ready made food storage packages are advertised as having 400 calories per serving, but then the majority of the calories come from things like drinks and desserts packed with sugar, or filler foods like shortening and butter.

Cheap fillers like these will not sustain a person or family in an emergency situation. It's better to look for calories that are made from real food that is nutritious and calorie-dense all on its own. One of the reasons we carry the brands we do here at Survivalist 101 is because they offer a good caloric mix in their packages and do not use the the tricks and tactics we just mentioned.

 

6. TVP (Textured Vegetable Protein) is Not the Same as Meat

Keeping Everyone Honest

A lot, I would say most, long-term food storage suppliers purposely create all of their main entrees to be vegetarian in order to appeal to a larger audience. They then offer freeze dried meats sold separately as add-on packages to supplement the vegetarian food entrees.

In order to give these vegetarian entrees the texture of real meat they use a meat substitute, TVPs (textured vegetable proteins.) I actually don’t have a problem with TVP’s except, when comparing products.

TVP’s cost a lot less than using real meat which means products, like Mountain House, that use real meat in their products will appear to be more expensive than the ones using the meat substitute.

When in fact, If you were to include the cost of adding the meat package add-on to the vegetarian entrees you would see the prices line up to be much closer than it appears. Also, it is important to note: that the USDA (United States Department of Agriculture) only inspects food storage companies that use real meat in their meals.


Food Storage Calorie Calculator

Calorie Calculator

Add Calories for Adults
 
1.
2.
 
Total Calories for Adults:
Add Calories for Children
 
1.
2.
 
Total Calories for Children:

Calories per Day:

Number of Days:

Calories Total:

How Much is Enough?

The American Council on Exercise gives a simple formula to calculate roughly how much an average person needs to survive: Adult males should multiply their weight by 12; Adult females should multiply their weight by 11.

So if you are an adult female and weigh 140 pounds, your bmr would be roughly 1540 calories per day. Keep in mind that this formula calculates the amount of calories a person would need just to survive in his/her current state while performing no physical labor.

In a true emergency situation, you may have a much greater need for calories because of the extreme physical exertion and high stress that may be involved. The bmr is only a starting point. It is a good idea to gather at least that many calories for the people in your family and then work up from there.

A good goal is to shoot for 2000-2500 calories per person. Once you figure out how many calories your family will need in a day, you then need to decide how many months' worth of food you will stock up on.

To some extent this time period is dictated by personal preference. Obviously, the longer period of time you are supplied for, the better, but most people can't afford to go out and buy a year's worth of food right now.

The best recommendation is to start where you can. Build up a three- month supply first. Once you have this, work up to a six-month supply, then a year. Keep your food storage supply as big as you want it to be to feel safe and able to provide for your own in a disaster.

<<< Use The Calculator On The Left to calculate your family's daily caloric intake; as well as a total caloric count for a specific time frame. (e.g. 7 days, 30 days etc.) Once you have that number, simply use the filter in the left menu "Shop Calorie Ranges" to find food storage packages that meet your needed calorie count. Buying food storage doesn't get any more exact or easier!




Single ItemsSingle Items
Short Term SupplyShort Term Supply
1+ Month Supply1+ Month(s) Supply
3+ Month Supply3+ Months Supply
6+ Month Supply6+ Months Supply
12+ Month Supply12+ Months Supply



Main EntreesEntrees & Breakfasts
Main EntreesMain Entrees
BreakfastsBreakfasts
Freeze Dried FruitFreeze Dried Fruit
Freeze Dried MeatFreeze Dried Meat
Freeze Dried VeggiesFreeze Dried Veggies
Staples & SidesStaples & Sides
See All AvailableSee All Available
Beverage / DairyBeverage / Dairy
Kelly Kettle Review

The Kelly Kettle Overview

The Kelly Kettle is a unique water boiler that is essentially a water jacketed double walled aluminum chimney with a removable aluminum fire pan. To use, a small fire is built in the pan, the water filled chimney is placed on top and the fire heats the jacketed water. The images show the Kelly Kettle’s operating principle and normal use, respectively….
Today we are reviewing the Kelly Kettle “Trekker” and the add on cook set. This is the smallest version you can get. For just boiling water the kettle is great, and it boils water within a few minutes using various natural fuels such as sticks, leaves, and pine straw.

When it comes to the kettle itself, the volcano effect created by the separate water chamber works as expected. Boiling water for purification is rather quick with the Kelly Kettle Trekker. Being made of aluminum the entire apparatus cools in an acceptable time frame. It’s great for starting fires in wet conditions and working your way up to a larger, warmer fire. [click to continue…]

Survival Knives 101

 

[click to continue…]

Long Term Food Storage: #10 cans or Mylar-Type Bags

10 cans or mylar-type bags

#10 cans or Mylar-Type Bags

If you have been shopping for long term food storage recently you’ve probably wondered about the difference between food producers that use #10 cans or Mylar-Type Bags. So I thought I would go over some of the differences to help you decide which one is best for you.

Unlike most websites that carry food storage, we carry brands that use both methods, so we really don’t have a vested interest in persuading you either way. Two of the three companies we carry use Mylar bags inside of buckets (Legacy and Wise) and Mountain House uses #10 cans inside of boxes.

Most food storage providers offer two different types of packaging, the shorter shelf-life “cook in pouch” meals and the longer term variety that is stored in larger mylar bags or #10 cans. This article focuses on the longer term variety. [click to continue…]

MRE vs. Freeze Dried Food – Do You Know the Difference?

MRE vs. Freeze Dried Foods

Do you know the difference when comparing MRE vs. Freeze Dried Foods? One of the most common mistakes people make when considering food storage is the mistake that MRE’s and freeze dried food are synonymous, which they are not.

The first and most noticeable is the difference in how the food is eaten and prepared. MRE stands for “meals ready to eat.” MRE”s come in sealed packages of already prepared food that can be opened and immediately eaten.

MRE vs. Freeze Dried FoodThese packages usually contain “heaters” that set off a chemical reaction and warm your food within minutes. MRE”s are the “ultimate” on the go food and were designed for our military for that very reason.

Freeze dried and dehydrated foods come in packages where the food can be “cooked” or “rehydrated” in the container that it comes in by adding boiling water, or in larger packages that you pull a specific portion size out of and “cook” in a separate bowl or pot with boiling water. [click to continue…]

Survival Food Storage Do’s and Don’ts

Survival Food Storage Do’s and Dont’s

5 Golden Rules of Survival Food Storage

Having been in the survival food business since 2008 we have seen a lot of survival food storage companies come and go; as well as a lot of different marketing techniques. These strategies can leave the consumer guessing on which way to turn when considering survival food storage for their family. So, being self proclaimed survival food storage experts, we decided to put together a short tutorial to help shed some light on the subject.

If you’re new to this, and depending on how much survival food storage you intend to buy, this tutorial can actually be worth hundreds or thousands of dollars. We suggest that you take a few minutes to understand how survival food storage is packages and sold. First read the Five Golden Rules, then you can read the rest of this short tutorial to learn everything you ever wanted to know about survival food storage. [click to continue…]

Bug out Bag Gear Redundancy Solutions

Bug out Bag Gear

Redundancy in Bug out Bag Gear

This may seem obvious but redundancy in bug out bag gear doesn’t always mean having two of something. It’s closer to the old saying, “There’s more than one way to skin a cat.” Redundancy in survival gear means having more than one way to cover a basic function. For example, some kind of stove can do the cooking, such as a backpacker’s butane stove. You can also cook over an open fire. The trick is that either way you also need an appropriate cooking pot.

That’s the key to redundancy; you need to have all the pieces that can be used to achieve the same effect in different ways. If you know your movies, the classic example of improvised redundancy was in “Apollo 13,” where NASA figured out how to replace the function of the broken carbon dioxide scrubbers by building something with a pile of everyday items found in the space capsule (socks, duct tape and the like).

That kind of redundancy is a little extreme, but it saved the astronaut’s lives. Redundancy in bug out bag gear can do the same for the survivalist. This doesn’t mean you fill the bags with a lot of miscellaneous gear, just for the odd case where it can be repurposed into something vital. It’s better to look at your survival gear and figure out some redundancies ahead of time – and stock your bag accordingly. [click to continue…]