Whether you live in your RV, travel regularly, or only head out on the occasional special camping tip, an RV is a great way to prepare for disasters like massive power outages or even property damage. However, whether you live in your RV, camp regularly, or only head on for special occasions, there are a lot of things that could go wrong on the road as well.
While things like breakdowns, freak accidents, and traffic may have you stopped in town for a few days, the real worry is finding yourself in your RV running out of power and food. Many people just starting their adventures into the RV lifestyle tend to over-prepare with pallets of bottled water and canned goods taking up valuable space inside the cabin and added weight to their gas mileage. However, for those who are RV veterans, you know that the key to real preparation is a balance between paranoia and practicality. You don’t need your whole garage full of tools, just one of everything that could be used to repair the rig. You don’t need all those disposable water bottles, just a full fresh water tank and a portable water filter just in case.
The worry about running out of food can be prepared for along the exact same lines. Rather than stacking up boxes of emergency rations or simply buying way too much at the grocery store on your way out of town, you can ensure an extra week or more of light eating presumably waiting for rescue by packing a few simple foods that keep well in the pantry between trips as well.
Tortillas and Refried Beans
A huge percentage of the southern population and a somewhat lower percentage of the northerners grew up eating simple, delicious burritos. Packed with healthy protein and carbs, a single burrito made out of only a tortilla and about two tablespoons of refried beans can take the place of a ration bar without that chalky aftertaste or inflated price.
This ration meal is also incredibly easy to store. A large bag of 48 tortillas costs about $3 and will keep for three weeks in the pantry, six in the fridge, and six months in the freezer. Five cans of beans (several days worth) might cost as much as $8. For flavor and variety, you can also snag a jar of salsa and one of nacho cheese which will keep on the shelf basically forever with the refried beans. Besides, you can always actually use the ingredients for nachos if all goes well.
Instant Oatmeal and Sugar
There’s nothing quite so filling, healthy, and fast as instant oatmeal. A good source of fiber, a minor source of protein, and guaranteed to ease an upset stomach, oatmeal is a wonderful emergency ration because it’s useful in so many different emergencies. You or a traveling partner get terribly sick on the road? Alternating between oatmeal and chicken broth should help them keep down calories until the illness passes. Little one won’t eat anything you packed? A bowl of oatmeal and a few spoons of sugar are usually enough to break the breakfast boycott.
Fridge goes out and all your perishables perish? Once again, oatmeal will feed everyone while you get to the next town for repairs and another grocery run. Not only that, it’s cheap, can be stored in a compact canister, and is delicious when combined with almost anything sweet from non-perishable sugar to those apples that are about to go off. A single enormous canister of Quaker Quick Oats costs $5 or less and will feed your family for a week or more.
Keeping everyone healthy while living off of non-perishable foods can be challenging but absolutely possible. Of course, this is only the first half of our two-part article on packing your RV with rations for emergencies either family camping or using the RV to escape a disaster at home. Join us next time for the second half where we’ll talk about the value of rice and healthy non-perishable snack foods.