It is no secret that being able to cook for yourself offers financial, health, and survival advantages. That being said, if you are in a major crisis, limited ingredients and heating resources may make it difficult to provide nutritious and safe meals.  Even though you may have thousands of recipes and variations to choose from, learning these ten may give you a survival advantage.  By using these simple, basic recipes, you can easily adapt and customize as needed to meet the situation at hand.


Hardtack With Packaging

By SKopp (Own work) [CC BY-SA 3.0 (], via Wikimedia Commons

If you must travel and have little time for cooking, hardtack is a nutritious alternative to yeast dough.  Once fully cured, you will not need to refrigerate the hardtack. Just keep it in a waterproof, airtight container and consume within a few weeks. Under proper conditions, hardtack can last for years.


  • 4 ½ cups flour
  • 2 cups water
  • 3 – 4 teaspoons salt

Oven temperature: 375 degrees

To prepare hardtack, simply mix the flour and salt into the water.  Next, spread the dough out into a ½ inch thick layer and cut into squares or rectangles.  Bake at 375 degrees, and then let set in open air until it is completely hard. Store away once it is done hardening.  To use the hardtack, simply let it sit in water, soup, or milk for about 15 minutes to soften it up.

I do not recommend adding flavoring to hardtack because fats and proteins can break down faster and cause the hardtack to rot. It is better to add flavorings at the time you are ready to eat it.


Pemmican is a mixture of powdered and smoked meat, animal fat, and berries.  It can last for weeks on end and will provide both fat and protein.  There are several different recipes that you can use.  If you decide to add spices to the pemmican, make sure they are safe for preserving meat.  Unfortunately, some herbs have oils in them that go rancid very quickly.  As with hardtack, it is better to add spices later on while you are preparing meals that will be consumed immediately.

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