Bug Out / Wilderness

The Bug Out Dilemma for Those With Troubled Bowels


For most people I would assume this isn’t a huge concern–though it could turn into one for even the most “regular” among us–for others, however, it could be a big deal. I’m talking about making a huge switch in one’s diet for days on end while bugging out.

Typically, the advice to anyone while bugging out is to not only continue eating as you normally would (e.g., three squares a day) but quite possibly to consume more food if you can because you’re likely expending more energy and consuming more calories and, obviously, your body NEEDS the extra food.

But, what if you’re one of millions that already have very significant bowel troubles? You know, difficulty in the “# two business” when things are normal and your diet regular? I’m wondering if it’s actually better for you to eat much less than you normally would on a bug out for the simple fact that you will be consuming foods (e.g., freeze dried meals, MRE’s, survival bars) that you would NOT typically consume as a part of your normal diet.

Just think how much havoc consuming nothing but foods you normally do not eat would cause to your digestive tract! I would imagine an immediate stoppage of the works would ensue.

And while I’m sure this problem will pass eventually and I know there are some OTC medications that can help here but you’re still probably in for days of very significant discomfort one way or another. As such, if you’re expected to be very active during this time, well, bowel troubles caused by a big change in diet could become very problematic.

I know, I know, just suck it up, you say! Consider, however, if this person is already stressed, tired, scared, and so on… for them it might not be that straight-forward and easy. You might then suggest they start incorporating these foods into their diet. Ok, maybe. But how dedicated would somebody be to eat such foods even a few times a week? Probably not that dedicated over many months or years and it’s not like they’re super-cheap to purchase either.

Fortunately, I don’t have this problem. I can eat darn near anything and be fine but I’ve honestly never tried to eat days worth of my bug out food only. In fact, this reminds me of an experiment a guy did on YouTube (I think it was CutleryLover) where he ate only survival bars over 72 hours and I don’t think it ended very well for him! Anyway, I do know people who have very significant bowel troubles and even small changes in their diet would be a problem, let alone very large changes like what I’m talking about here.

Now, you and I both know that a person won’t starve in only a few days if they eat but one meal a day or even nothing at all, for that matter. That said, being drastically under-nourished does pose other problems such as affecting one’s cognitive thinking skills as well as seriously reducing their stamina… neither of which are conducive to bugging out effectively or safely. So, I’m not suggesting they eat nothing but perhaps a single meal in the morning is a good compromise? That way a person gets the energy they need to move during the day but has time to “process” things the rest of the day and night.

Ultimately, I’m not saying that purposely eating less food is the right thing to do here. I really don’t know. I am suggesting, however, that you think about how you would tackle it if you do have bowel problems because I’m sure this is a problem nobody wants when they’re literally running for their lives.

What do you think? Should a person eat as they normally would even if they currently have very significant bowel problems AND will be consuming foods they do not eat or should they purposely limit their intake of these foods as I propose?

By Damian Brindle

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6 replies on “The Bug Out Dilemma for Those With Troubled Bowels”

Something I’ve been concerned about since I started. My daughter has ulcerative colitis and every other month gets an infusion of drugs to keep her in remission. I’m at a loss for what to tell her. And I worry.

The MOST important factor is to drink lots of liquid, ie water. Even if you ate high fiber foods or dried fruit you would still have to increase your liquids. Most fresh plants and fruits would help, so should be considered as a supplement to MRE’s and eaten whenever possible.

I’ve actually given this a lot of thought. Since many people only like to go at home, or can’t go if their diet changes, I highly suggest that the average prepper throw a box of Phillips caplets in their bug out bag. Problem solved.

Laxatives are definitely an addition to include for this problem but they don’t always work (or fast enough) for some people and can cause additional “have to go” problems at the most inopportune times.

Phillips is one of the oldest continuously produced products in America ………empty bottles of it have been found in civil war dump sites .

I have heard from discharged soldiers and other people that eating regular MRE’s for a period of time will give you constipation . However , I have also heard that the LRRP rations are much better , they are made by the same people that make mountain house camp meals , and taste about the same .

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