Rod (rodshark) wrote in good_survival,

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Episode 8: The Spice of life

Having some good food stuffs in your survival kit is all well and good, but to actually make the best of being out in the wilds, nothing turns a wilderness stew or salad from something you have to barely choke down to something that might actually resemble (sort of maybe) good eats is a good selection of spices to add to your kit. Of course what kind of spices to bring and what to keep them in is very important.

Of course, if you have the money and space you can always get a portable spice kit like this;

But, unless you do a lot of tailgating or cooking at your campsite it is somewhat overkill. Tasty, tasty overkill.

I much prefer these for spice containers to include in your survival kit.

They are metal, stackable, durable, are great multi-taskers, and can also be used to boil water or as insect traps once the spice has been used up. Plus you can buy them on an individual basis for your own spice and space needs.

For those on a budget, or just kind of cheap, the little packets of seasoning you get from fast food places can also be great (and free) ways to bring some traditional seasonings along with you. But you should put them into a container of some sort to prevent them from getting wet or torn.

But whatever container you choose to put your spice/seasoning in, make sure it is durable and won't break/shatter/or tear in your pack cause NOBODY likes a survival kit that is filled with pepper, chili powder, or other spices. It should also be fairly small and lightweight and not too bulky. Airtight, screw on lids with colored or solid walls to keep light out and preserve freshness.

Now that you have your spice containers, what to bring along?

1- Salt: This is a survival essential. Not only will it add flavor to almost anything, it also helps replenish sodium lost through sweating and physical exertion. PLUS many animals consider salt to be a more irresistable treat than sugar and can be excellent hunting bait.

2- Chili powder: While Salt can add flavor, chili powder can mask it completely and allow you to eat otherwise fairly nasty food fare.

3- Pepper: Also an excellent seasoning and can add good flavor to the food you manage to get while surviving.

4- Tabasco sauce: Although it can be somewhat difficult to transport (since it usually comes in tiny little bottles) it surpasses chili powder in it's ability to mask the taste of unpleasant food.

5- Garlic and Onion: Although not nearly as good in powder form as it is fresh, they can provide a lot of flavor and benefits to the party. When eaten with garlic, many times somewhat raw meat can be somewhat safer to eat (steak tar tar anyone?)

One of my favorite "cheats" to save space is to use a spice called "Garlic Pepper Salt", which provides the benefits of all three at one third the space and weight.

But no matter what spices you include in your kit, you should replace them on a regular basis. Although they can keep a long time properly stored, they will lose their flavor and effectiveness over time so you should really replace the spices in your kit twice a year.

So, whether it be wilderness stew, a rabbit roasting on a spit over the campfire, or you are camping and need something to flavor your chili or beef stew with, spices are a very important part of your survival kit. Although they aren't absolutely Required having them can make survival food seem much more enjoyable.
Tags: cooking, food
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