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Hardcore rations: 2 must haves for emergency survival

If you have ever been a historian of the Civil War or an aficionado of Native American history, then you will know about the two survival foods that took both the Indians and the Europeans through many of their wars.   I speak of course about Pemmican and Hardtack.  Both of these survival foods are easy to make and will last a long time. Hardtack may even last forever. Both are made from some pretty common items, both are filling and calorie laden, and you could begin stocking up on both very easily. Here is how to make them.


This was the primary mainstay of Native Americans when they were on the trail. Much like beef jerky, it was easily packaged and carried, and didn’t require any preparation for consumption. Unlike beef jerky, it contains fruits, vegetables, and tallow to give a more filling, energy boosting meal than one could expect from just dehydrated meats. To make Pemmican:

  1. Separate meat from fat and jerk the meat. Then melt the fat.
  2. The jerky should be so dry it crumbles, and the fat should be strained to get the detritus out.
  3. Grind the jerky in a coffee grinder.
  4. Grind up any berries or nuts that you want to incorporate.
  5. Mix 50/50 jerky and filtered tallow
  6. Add nuts or berries.
  7. Store in a cool dark and dry place, or freeze. Can keep for years.


This is the food that many a Civil War soldier awoke to for breakfast on both sides. Hardtack and coffee was a common meal, because often the hardtack had to be soaked in the coffee in order to get et. Hardtack is super easy to make, and can last as long as fifty years without getting spoiled. There is nothing easier to make than hardtack, and though it won’t be everything you wanted, it will keep you alive for a very long time. This is how you make Hardtack:

  1. Gather the ingredients, 3 cups of white flour, 2 teaspoons of salt, 1 cup of water.
  2. Mix together in a bowl adding water until it doesn’t stick to your hands.
  3. Heat the oven to 375.
  4. Roll the dough out.
  5. Cut it into squares
  6. Poke holes in each square.
  7. Bake for 30 minutes on each side.
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