Beyond Water – Survival Beverages for Bugging Out

packets of drink mixes
Packets like these are great for bug out bags and other emergency kits.

After watching a video in which Bear of Bear Independent (and Refuge Medical) discussed keeping packets of freeze-dried coffee and sports drinks in his bugout bags, I jumped on the bandwagon and purchased some for myself.

I bought 30 packets of Gatorade Thirst Quencher Power Sticks and 60 Nescafe Taster’s Choice Instant Coffee packets for a total of approximately $33. While it may sound like I got more coffee, that’s not the case. Each Gatorade packet is to be mixed with 16.9 ounces (500 mililiters) and each Nescafe packet does just 8 ounces, so they are darn close to equal amounts when mixed with water.

The coffee came in small boxes with 5 packets per box and cost less than the Gatorade. I stuck a box or two in all our bugout bags, get home bags, and homestead defense bags. I took three of the Gatorade packets and squeezed them into the tiniest snack size zip lock baggies. Theses went into my smaller bags. I also fit six of the packets into a sandwich baggie and added these to our bugout bags and to the bucket cache, which is still in the preparatory stages and has not yet been toted over hill and dale and buried. (By the way, I have gathered enough gear to know it will take more than one bucket. I am thinking at least two, and maybe three.)

The drink packets leftover went in our grab-and-go food boxes, where they took up almost no room. These are boxes that once held reams of paper and now hold foods and related supplies. If we bug out in vehicles, we grab the boxes and throw them in.

Three packets of Gatorade fit into the snack-sized plastic baggies. This adds less than four ounces to a bug out bag.
Three packets of Gatorade fit into the snack-sized plastic baggies. This adds less than four ounces to a bugout bag.

Why Gatorade?

I have packets of oral rehydration salts in my primary first aid kits, but I do not have any in our bugout bags. Bear made the point that if you are walking, hiking, or even running away from your home during an emergency, you could suffer from dehydration. The electrolytes in Gatorade will help combat the loss of these essential elements and make you feel better while you quench your thirst. This made sense to me.

I bought the original Gatorade with sugar instead of the sugar-free for the same reason. If we are on the run, we will benefit from some fast calories. Each packet is 130 calories. The Gatorade Zero pouches have less than ten calories. If it is taking up room in my pack, I want the calories, not chemicals.

Why Coffee?

I am not a coffee drinker, however, if I need a burst of caffeine to stay awake during an emergency or to give myself an energy boost, I will drink the coffee. Sure, most people drink hot coffee, but the crystals will dissolve in a cold bottle of water, giving you ice coffee, or at worst, room temperature coffee.

My wife will love the idea of having a cup of coffee on a cold morning. We will be far from comfortable crouched in the woods somewhere, so every little bit will help.

I could see adding a few teabags or packets of hot chocolate powder during colder weather.

To Bug Out or Bug In

Given a choice, I prefer to bug in rather than bug out. Our entire life is designed for bugging in, and we would be far safer and more comfortable if we can stay in our mountainside home with its gravity-fed water and wood heat. But even though I do not plan to bug out, I have a bugout plan just in case something forces our hand.

What could force our hand? A landslide tops the list. A forest fire is below that. An invasion by 8-foot tall aliens with enormous eyes might also get me moving. None of these are probable, but all are possible (although I’m hoping the aliens stay in California).

More likely, we will need to use a get-home bag if we are out when the SHTF. Because the nearest town is a two or three-day walk, we may need every calorie and drop of energy we can squeeze out of our get-home bags. Those packets add just a few ounces to our load, so it is a good tradeoff.

After the SHTF, we may need to use our homestead defense bags. As I have described before, The homestead defense bags are small packs you grab when your homestead is under attack or perhaps being overrun. It includes loaded magazines, food, water, water purification tablets, camouflage head wrap, and first aid supplies. If we are facing a superior force, we can use the bag’s contents and the items in our hidden caches to harass the enemy and resupply ourselves. Since this could include lots of movement and maneuvering at night, having a hit of coffee or some Gatorade isn’t a bad idea.

Copying Bear

I freely admit that this is the second idea I have lifted from Bear, and I thank him for it. After 30 years of prepping, there is not much out there in the preppersphere that influences me to change my behavior or add to my preps. The idea of an enhanced beverage is a good one, and he is the first person I have seen to recommend it. While I have never been a huge fan of Gatorade off the sports field, I think I will add more of it or a similar product to our preps for those hot summer days when we are working in the fields and sweating buckets.

I encourage you to check Bear out on YouTube or join his Patreon.

By the way, I have USA-made a tourniquet in my cargo pants pocket right now and a tac med kit in both my EDC bag and my car. I started carrying a tourniquet as part of my EDC after the Boston Marathon Bombing. If you don’t have a tourniquet, monitor Bear’s videos and pick up a couple when he has a sale. And no, I don’t get any financial or other benefit from these links. I just like supporting a smart businessman and a serious prepper who has lots of free content.