1500/2000/2500 Calorie 72 hour kit menus

The argument, “My 72 hour kit just has to keep me alive for 3 days,” is patently false. During a crisis, if you’re not injured, you’ll probably be fleeing a disaster, setting up camp, performing rescue operations, contacting and locating family members, removing debris, making repairs, calming children, or performing first aid. 600 calories a day just isn’t going to cut it.

But don’t take my word for it — here’s what one military dietician says about dietary needs during extreme conditions: “During field operations you may burn as much energy as a competitive endurance athlete. Eating right can help decrease fatigue, increase endurance, prevent dehydration, maintain mental alertness, reduce diarrhea and constipation, reduce risk of injury, help maintain emotional stability, maintain morale and strength, and prevent muscle loss. Remember vitamin[s] and mineral[s] can’t make up for a poor diet. What and how much you eat and drink can mean the difference between top performance and struggling to complete the mission. In extreme conditions, it could be the difference between life and death.” (CPT Lisa M. Giese, RD, LN; High Caliber Nutrition in the Field)

You’ll also need to store 64 ounces (4 lbs) of water per day per person. 64 ounces equals 1/2 gallon or about 2 Liters.

The following menus are available in printable form or spreadsheet form, or in brief text form below:

MALE AGE 12-40 – 2,500 CALORIES – POUCH ONLY MENU
Kashi TLC Trail Mix Bar
Kashi TLC Trail Mix Bar
Sam’s Choice Mountain Trail Mix Individual Size
Rice-A-Roni Express Asian Fried
Austin Toasty Crackers with Peanut Butter
StarKist Tuna Creations Garlic and Herb
Idahoan Original Mashed Potatoes (prepared)
Planters Nutrition Heart Healthy Mix 1.5 oz
Great Value Tropical Trail Mix 6 OZ
Price: $6.38/day
Weight: 1 lb 15.8 ounces

MALE AGE 12-40 – 2,500 CALORIES
Quaker Instant Grits Red Eye Gravy and Country Ham – 1 packet
Quaker Instant Grits Red Eye Gravy and Country Ham – 1 packet
Del Monte Tropical Fruit Salad 8.25 oz
Sam’s Choice Mountain Trail Mix Individual Size
Sam’s Choice Mountain Trail Mix Individual Size
Tyson Chicken Breast Salad Kit
Hunt’s Snack Pack Pudding Cup Chocolate Daredevil
Planters Nutrition Heart Healthy Mix 1.5 oz
Dinty Moore Chicken and Dumplings 7.5 oz
Great Value Tropical Trail Mix 6 OZ
Nabisco 100 Calorie Packs Chips Ahoy
Price: $7.33/day
Weight: 2 lbs 12.2 ounces

FEMALE AGE 6-30/MALE AGE 6-12 – 2,000 CALORIES – POUCH ONLY MENU
Kashi TLC Trail Mix Bar
Kashi TLC Trail Mix Bar
Sam’s Choice Mountain Trail Mix Individual Size
Rice-A-Roni Express Asian Fried
Austin Toasty Crackers with Peanut Butter
StarKist Tuna Creations Garlic and Herb
Idahoan Original Mashed Potatoes (prepared)
Planters Nutrition Heart Healthy Mix 1.5 oz
Nabisco 100 Calorie Packs Chips Ahoy
Price: $6.83/day
Weight: 1 lbs 10.4 ounces

FEMALE AGE 6-30/MALE AGE 6-12 – 2,000 CALORIES
Quaker Oatmeal Express Baked Apple
Raisins 1.5 oz box
Sam’s Choice Mountain Trail Mix Individual Size
Del Monte Tropical Fruit Salad 8.25 oz
Bumble Bee Tuna Salad with Crackers
Great Value Tropical Trail Mix 6 OZ
Hormel Roast Beef and Gravy with Mashed Potatoes
Hunt’s Snack Pack Pudding Cup Chocolate Daredevil
Price: $6.29/day
Weight: 2 lbs 0.2 ounces

CHILD YOUNGER THAN AGE 6 – 1.500 CALORIES – POUCH ONLY MENU
Kashi TLC Trail Mix Bar
Sam’s Choice Mountain Trail Mix Individual Size
Austin Toasty Crackers with Peanut Butter
Sam’s Choice Mountain Trail Mix Individual Size
Idahoan Original Mashed Potatoes (prepared)
Raisins 1.5 oz box
Nabisco 100 Calorie Packs Chips Ahoy
Price: $2.73/day
Weight: 0 lbs 15.6 ounces

CHILD YOUNGER THAN AGE 6 -1,500 CALORIES
Kellogg’s Apple Jacks .95 oz
Austin Cheese Crackers with Peanut Butter
Hormel Cheezy Mac N Cheese
Planters Nutrition Heart Healthy Mix 1.5 oz
Raisins 1.5 oz box
Hormel Lasagna with Meat Sauce
Barum’s Animal Crackers
Price: $4.77/day
Weight: 1 lb 13.8 ounces

POOR MAN’S 72 HOUR KIT MENU – (Meets Caloric, protein, and carb needs for 1 male or female adult for 3 days w/o exceeding sodium daily values)
Jif Reduced Fat Creamy/Crunchy 18oz
Great Value Unsalted Tops Crackers
Great Value Tropical Trail Mix 6 OZ
Great Value Tropical Trail Mix 6 OZ
Great Value Tropical Trail Mix 6 OZ
Great Value Tropical Trail Mix 6 OZ
Price: $7.30/person for 3 days
Weight: 5 lbs 14 ounces

NOTES
None of these menus require any cooking, hot water, or refrigeration.

I had my friend, a doctor, take a look at these menus (especially the Poor Man’s Menu) and he said they were safe.

Instant grits come in a pouch that’s coated on the inside, so all you have to do is pour water in the pouch and let them sit to prepare them. Water temperature doesn’t matter. Same for oatmeal, but grits taste a lot better than oatmeal when cold.

If you substitute menu items be sure to compare with the full chart to ensure you’re getting similar amounts of calories, sodium, protein and carbs.

What to look for in choosing items for a 72 hour kit menu:

1) adequate calories
2) adequate protein and carbohydrates
3) keep sodium as low as possible
4) plenty of water – 2 L or 1/2 gallon per day per person
5) ease of storage
6) ease of food preparation
7) weight (include water needed to prepare food)

Food needs under extreme conditions

“Remember the rules of thumb of performance eating.
1) Eat the right amount of food. Energy in equals energy out. Not enough food = fatigue. Too much = unwanted pounds.
2) Lots of carbohydrates. Now I know carbs may have a bad rep right now, but they are a MUST in the field and in the rear. Carbohydrates (55-70% of your calories) give you a quick start and provide nutrients for the long haul. They prevent fatigue by keeping your blood sugars up and filling energy-giving glycogen stores.
3) Adequate protein. Protein (12-15% of your calories) helps build and repair those muscles and tissues plus heal wounds and fight infections.
4) Lots of fluids. Fluids help prevent dehydration. The best choice is water, but if you don’t like the taste include juice, sport drinks, and UHT boxed milk. Remember unlike water these have calories.
5) Not too much fat. Fat can be used for energy, but carbs are your body’s first choice. About 30-35% of your calories should come from fat.
6) Vitamins and minerals. Think of these as your spark plugs to keep your body running. Vitamins and minerals from food sources are better absorbed so eat a variety of foods….

“Some of [the] better choices are high carbohydrate, low-fat snacks. Examples include cookie bars, canned fruit, bread, crackers, granola bars, juice, bagels, fruit newtons, and instant noodles. Snack foods that are higher in fat are harder to digest and might decrease your appetite. The following snacks can lead to quick weight gain and affect your performance: sunflower seeds, nuts, pumpkin seeds, candy bars, snack cakes, sausage, canned Smokey’s, cheese, and jerky.” (High Caliber Nutrition in the Field; CPT Lisa M. Giese, RD, LN)

Need for Carbs:
Carbohydrates or “carbs” (pasta, bread, cereal, rice, fruits, milk, yogurt, potatoes, etc.) are especially important for athletes because they supply the body with glucose (blood sugar) for energy. Extra glucose is stored in the muscles and liver as glycogen, your energy reserve. During short bursts of exercise such as sprinting, basketball, gymnastics, or soccer, your body primarily uses glycogen for energy. If you don’t have enough glycogen you can feel very tired, which will affect your athletic performance. During longer exercise, your body uses the glycogen stores first and then uses fats stored in your body to fuel performance. (Center for Young Women’s Health, Children’s Hospital Boston)

Need for Protein:
Your body needs protein every day to build and repair muscles and other body tissues, to make hormones, and to make enzymes that it needs to function normally (enzymes speed up and help certain chemical reactions to occur in your body). If you don’t eat enough protein, your body may start to break down your muscle. (Center for Young Women’s Health, Children’s Hospital Boston)

If [y]our diet is too low in calories (from all food sources) the body will begin to use protein as an energy source. It will take the protein in our muscles to convert into calories. This is not good because when this happens important muscle mass is lost and our bodies become weaker and flabbier. People who are dieting and severely restricting their calorie intake run this risk. (Proteins)

High protein intake can result in over-working your kidneys and more frequent urination, which potentially could lead to kidney problems, dehydration, loss of water-soluble vitamins and nutrients and build up of waste products (gout, kidney stones and uremic poisoning). (Become a PRO on Protein)

Muscles rely on glycogen (the energy they use for fuel) to perform work. When bodybuilders replace carbohydrate with protein in their diet, they have lower muscle stores of glycogen. For that reason, a high protein/low carbohydrate diet cannot provide enough glycogen for our muscles, so they feel weak, tired, and fatigue quickly. (FYI, three grams of water are needed for each gram of glycogen we store in our muscles.) — So on Poor Man’s 72 hour kit menu, be sure to include dried fruit to up the carbs you take in. (Do bodybuilders and other weightlifters need more protein?)

Questions

Here are some questions that were emailed to me about these kits:

Q) Your 72 hour kit menus were very interesting to me as I have been on the same quest lately to improve the health and nutritive qualities of my family’s 72 hour kits. I have a couple of questions regarding your menus. In your pouch only menus are you putting them in the foil pouches from the storehouse or do you just mean each item is self contained in it’s own pouch?

A) I mean each item is self contained in its own pouch. You can think of my pouch menus as the poor man’s MRE kit. These items could, of course, be sealed with a storehouse or stake sealer to keep them safe from water damage, but a ziploc bag would suffice since they’ll need to be rotated fairly often.

Q) Also I noticed you didn’t make any mention of expiration dates. I looked at some of the same items you have listed, but had found that they didn’t last even a year, such as the austin peanut butter crackers. What is your rotation schedule?

Preprepared food items are just like the ones in your pantry, and should be rotated every 6-12 months. A common way to remember to rotate items in a 72-hour kit is to eat the food in the kit during General Conference. That helps you keep your kit current with fresh food, helps you determine what your family will or won’t eat, and makes you open up your kit to update it (prescriptions, dietary needs, clothing sizes, caloric requirements, etc. may have changed).

Q) Did you find all of the items you have listed in one place? Thanks for the info.

A) Yes. I bought them all at a Super Wal-Mart. If you choose different brands than I listed, be sure to check that the sodium, carb, and protein values are similar. For example, the Kashi brand of granola bars was a lot healthier than some other brands.

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