I will be travelling for a couple of days to remote regions of Laos.

I would like to take some kind of "emergency" food if nothing is around (or nothing trustworthy).

People with a sweet tooth have the perfect solution: Granola bars. But I really don't like them - pretty much like any of this swee-ish stuff.

Things like dried sausages or Beef jerky goes the right direction but it lacks carbs - particularly some form of bread - without that I still feel hungry and these things do not work.

There are some things that include crackers (tuna salad or chicken salad) but crackers are too salty, to less carbs (same as chips) and set up my stomache rather than feeling full afterwards.

In Germany there are things like Pumpernickel: This (together with some sausage) would come close: It can be densely packed, exists even in canned (in military) has high energy and you feel full afterwards. The problem is that US people don't like it that much so it's hard to get in the US (particularly in small packages, not to mention canned version).

Most ideal would be some pizza-, burrito-, sausage- whatever stuff that is highly densely packed, durable and available.

What I'd be looking for would have the following properties:

  • Savory taste: Pizza, burrito, Burger, Hot Dog etc but also Salami
  • Readily available in the US
  • Nothing that requires preparation or hot water
  • Includes bread or at least some meaningful carbs
  • Is densely and seperately packed (each portion), like a granola bar
  • Is durable and good for a long time, even in hot or wet conditions (like canned food)

Any idea if something like this exists?

  • Not sure how remote are you talking, but pretty much anywhere in Laos finding food should not be a problem. Even in non*touristy small towns there are some kidnd of eating places, market snacks or similar.
    – april rain
    Nov 14, 2018 at 9:32
  • 1
    I'm mixed on relevance of this in TGO. It might be more suited in https://travel.stackexchange.com/ especially since you need to find something that you can take out of the US and into Laos (there might be regulations against importation of fresh fruit, veggies, and/or meat) or directly from Laos.
    – Gabriel
    Nov 14, 2018 at 13:49
  • How about using tortillas? You can wrap up just about anything you want in them and they will keep for a decent amount of time. Quite popular with US backpackers. That said, I agree with Gabriel C that you may have issues taking food into Laos. You certainly would coming the other direction. It's also a lot of extra weight/space for travel so I'd just buy whatever will meet your needs once you land.
    – topshot
    Nov 14, 2018 at 18:53
  • Pumpernickel is quite moist, you'd be carrying around > 50 % water in that emergency ration. That's fine for a package in the car, but not for, say, hiking. May 24, 2019 at 22:13

5 Answers 5


Today, there are wide variety of bars that can meet many tastes. Otherwise, a package of nuts can be a good food.

Though there is also the ultimate emergency food, pemmican.

There are many recipes for this online. Here is a good example one:


Basic Pemmican Recipe

All ingredients are mixed in equal ratios so it’s easy to adjust for quantity

1 lb venison jerky

1 lb rendered bear fat or substitute with wild boar fat, beef suet etc.

½ lb dried cranberries, blueberries etc.

½ lb pine nuts or substitute with cashews or walnuts

Drying meat is a simple process that can be done in the oven or a dehydrator. But instead of using plain dried meat, you can also use jerky. The salt cure will increase shelf-life and add flavor. Try using this recipe. Whether you are using jerky or plain dried meat, you must have a very dry product to make pemmican properly. You want jerky that cracks and crumbles when bent. Grind the dried meat or jerky into a rough powder. You can use a food processor to do this quickly. Do the same with the dried berries and nuts. Next, you’ll need to mix the dry ingredients with rendered (cooked and liquefied) fat. Here’s Steve’s method for rendering bear fat. You can substitute duck fat, pork fat or beef suet for bear fat. Once the pemmican is well-mixed, you’ll need to pour it into a mold to set up. Muffin pans or cookie sheets work well for this. After the pemmican has rested, remove each piece from the muffin pan or cut the pemmican into blocks on the cookie sheet and then package pieces individually with a vacuum sealer to keep them clean while out in the field.


I would go with a mix of foods, with dried meats as you mentioned, plus small packages of nut-heavy trail mix. Trail mix is high in starches and protein, quite filling especially mixed with meats. I can get 250g resealable packets of decent trail mix at the dollar stores here (in Canada). Good trail mix will have no added sugars or salt, so it shouldn't be too sweet as long as it is heavier on the nuts rather than fruit.

Throwing in some crackers as well might be a nice idea but they take up a lot of space vs their calorie count.

Dried fruit, like mango or apple, can also be filling when combined with proteins, and is often available in small resealable packets. Maybe too sweet for your tastes.

These are all foods I like to keep on hand in my vehicle and when camping/travelling for potential emergency situations.

I would also guess the further you get out of cities and into smaller villages the more likely you are to find reliably safe and delicious food, but that is pure conjecture on my part having never travelled in Laos.


Rusk, which is twice-baked bread, like Melba toast in the US (images) is cheap, light, has a long shelf-life and mainly contains carbs.

Various flavored variants may be available. A package can contain sub-packages with 4-10 pieces or so.

If you look for higher calorie value, look for biscotti or other variants with nuts.


Emergency food is tricky because it should keep really well,though in your case it's not so important.

For planned consumption I make a savoury flapjack - oats, cheese, a little egg, spring onion, chillies, nuts/seeds. I'm not sure of the keeping properties so reckon on a couple of days at room temperature, a week in the fridge, or freeze (which allows making big batches). Plenty of recipes online though I prefer to use less egg and more cheese. Making it requires access to an oven.



Pemmican was a high energy food used by the Native Americans, who introduced it to the early explorers and fur traders in North America.

There's no specific ingredients for pemmican, but it's basically meat/fat, berries, and whatever else you have on hand, but there are plenty of different pemmican recipes you can find online.

The virtues of pemmican are that it's a rich food source, and it keeps for a long time. Properly prepared it can be preserved for years at room temperature.

  • There is already an answer that says pemmican and that one includes the recipe Nov 14, 2018 at 16:51

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