Is Nutritional Variety Really All That Important in a Survival Situation?

Cade here. 

During the initial stages of any life-threatening situation, your only mission is to stay alive. Give 150% of everything you have, by any means necessary, simply to survive.

But if you're looking at a prolonged situation or what I refer to as "long haul" survival, there are other things you must consider.

One very important item is accessing your caloric intake, and what you have available to keep you going. When I was in S.E.R.E. (survive, evade, resist, escape – POW) school in the Navy SEAL teams, I went seven days without eating while "on the run." Even the idea of finding a ketchup packet sounded like a five-course feast.

After the conclusion of this training and the loss of 25 pounds, the local Outback Steakhouse more than fulfilled this desire.

That said, if you find yourself in an emergency that lasts months vs. days (a "long haul" scenario), you need to prepare now for the requirements of your body.

Let's be honest. If you're in this situation, it will not be easy. And the daily physical demands will be very taxing. To maintain the energy required, you are going to need to "feed the furnace."

That means not only consuming the appropriate number of calories, but also sufficient variety.

Generally speaking, the ideal combination is as follows:

  • 30% Protein
  • 20-30% Fat
  • 40-50% Carbohydrates 

Could you survive for a year on a single food? Yes, but I can guarantee you'd wish you'd spent some time focusing on variety – both for nutrition and morale. 

Now, if you've already ordered a 4Patriots Survival Food Kit, you are in great shape. It's an excellent foundation.

 But to put yourself and your loved ones on stronger footing, you need to consider the addition of nutrients your body needs to operate at peak performance. That's why I highly recommend continually upgrading your survival supplies, to increase variety, taste and available nutrients. 

A cache of free-dried berries adds welcome nutrition, as well as a versatile way to "change it up," even if access to fresh fruit is impossible. (Oatmeal and pancakes are filling, for sure, but a punch of berry nutrition adds flavor and much needed variety, especially in a long-haul scenario.)

Let me once again state that a survival situation will be very difficult. It will push you to the limit and impose demands that you've probably never felt before in your life.

But what is the alternative? Quit? 

That's why I constantly preach that preparation is 90% of surviving any situation. 

Take the time NOW from the comfort of your home to prepare. Take stock of your supplies on hand and add to them to give yourself more than a fighting chance, support your health, add welcome variety and reduce your discomfort.

One recommendation for adding to your survival food stockpile is the Fruit, Veggie & Snack Survival Food Kit from 4Patriots. 

Good for 25 years under proper storage conditions, it provides 120 servings of fruits, veggies and snacks in disaster-resistant packaging.

Here's how to get yours…   

Be a survivor, not a statistic,

Cade Courtley

Former Navy SEAL / 4Patriots Contributor 


  • Linda - September 27, 2022

    I add variety and nutrition and stretch my long-term food thus: vegetables from my “victory garden” added to fireside stew; shredded cheese to top off chili Mac, hot dogs cut into Mac and cheese, etc.

    I would appreciate reading other ideas for variety and food extensions.

    P.S. My food will never see 25 years. I eat some every week and replenish when good deals are offered.

  • Charles Archer - September 23, 2022

    As a former Army S.E.R.E. instructor, I agree with you, but there are a couple things I would add to that. You also should practice basic skills like firebuilding and learn to use ANYthing available to your advantage. I used to teach the Scouts to look at things differently, look for ALL of its characteristics and determine how it can be applied to your current needs. They came up with various quite creative solutions to problems, like using plastic straws cut to length to store single portions of meds or spices or even bare essential fishing kits by sealing them using hot pliers. I found many of my S.E.R.E. students lacked basic simple skills like fire building, knot tying (useful to make field expedient backpacks, bags, fishnets, or carrying straps, etc.) or chopstick use (much simpler to make than carving a fork). Your mind and knowledge can help you get through very tough circumstances on minimal resources. It might be useful for 4patriots to create and sell some simple basics learning kits to alleviate these issues.

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