In times like these, with the pandemic, extreme weather, and who knows what else, we nomads are uniquely equipped to handle it. We’re already packed up, so we’re ready to get out of Dodge, go somewhere safe, and wait it out. As long as we have food and water. So, today, let’s talk about emergency food.

Augason Farms Premium 1-Person Emergency Kit

You could have a month’s worth of dehydrated meals, 307 servings, providing about 1,800 calories and 46 grams of protein per day, for about $120. Augason Farms also offers two-week and 72-hour packs. There are also 12-serving cans of single dishes. So if you really like one of their entrees you can get that and skip the rest.

Yes, much of Emergency Kit is carbohydrates—potatoes, rice, pasta, cereal—so it’s not great if you’re on a low-carb diet. But we’re talking emergencies here, even if the emergency is simply being short on money.

You could use the meals as-is, use them as side dishes, or dress them up with other ingredients, like veggies or meat. Or you could eat them when you just want something quick and easy.

If you want single ingredients, Augason Farms has bulk cans of eggs, lentils, black bean burger mix, rice, berries, banana chips, mixed vegetables and more.

The Augason Farms Emergency Kit is a foot square and 20 inches tall—about five inches taller than a 5-gallon bucket. But the meals could be transferred to smaller containers as the supply is used.

And, of course, you need a way to heat water.

Mountain House #10 Cans and Buckets

Mountain House is well known in the camping and backpacking world, usually in individual packets. But they offer larger, more economical packaging as well.

The Classic, Essential, and Expedition buckets (ranging in price from $110 to $135) contain 11 to 15 two-serving pouches with a variety of meals. The two-serving size is handy if there are two of you, or if you have a huge appetite. Otherwise you need to either measure out half, or prepare the whole thing, eat half and store the leftovers.

The #10 cans, priced $40 to $55, hold 9 to 15 servings (depending on the dish) of one food—all Breakfast Skillet or Chili Mac with Beef, for example. There are also #10 cans of basic ingredients like diced chicken and ground beef that can be the foundation for your own culinary creations.

Like Augason Farms, Mountain House meals are also heavy on carbs. However, they tend to feature slightly more meat and vegetables. That’s one reason Mountain House is pricier. Another reason is they’re aimed at different markets; Mount House for the active outdoors people, Augason Farms for those whose main concern is food storage and emergency preparedness.

Meals-Ready-to-Eat (MREs)

We’ve included MREs in this discussion because there are those who will ask. We don’t think they’re a very good option because they’re more expensive, bulkier, and have a shorter shelf life. MREs are ready to eat because they’re not dehydrated. That means you’re buying the convenience of not needing to rehydrate. However, that could be good if you have no way to heat water.

I hope by the time you read this article the pandemic will be winding down and the supply chain—and prices—will have returned to a more normal state.

You can use these products as your main food supply or just hold onto them for emergencies, including when your food budget has to go somewhere else.

If you live in a car, van or RV, you always have a roof over your head. All you have to worry about is food. This is a way to worry less.