How To Preserve Meat In The Wild

  • by

If you are interested in hunting or roaming in the jungle, you may have faced the challenge of preserving food for survival. Even if you carry surplus food items with you, your stay in the wild may extend due to unavoidable reasons. This situation calls for quick fixes and smart problem-solving using survival instinct. 

This guide on “how to preserve meat in the wild” will describe the meat preservation methods. You can use these quick fix preservation methods for satisfying your hunger pangs in the wilderness.

Goal of preservation

The ultimate goal of preservation is to remove moisture from the meat. This inhibits the growth of microorganisms inside the meat. Besides controlling moisture, saving meat from oxygen, high temperature and flies is also crucial. The aim of preservation is to slow down the decay process due to microbial and chemical reactions.

We have curated a list of methods to preserve meat in the wild. Use these preservation methods to get plenty of protein and carbs ready at your disposal.

Why do we need to preserve the meat in the wild?

Unless we aim to eat the meat within few hours of the killing, preparing to preserve it is crucial. Or, you may decide on the spot to hunt your small animal for a late-night party. You may need to carry surplus meat with you later on. You may get hung up alone in the wild due to a car breakdown. And also you may come across any such situation. Knowing the  Knowing the preservation techniques will come in handy at such times.

When staying in the wild, you do not have the luxury of a refrigerator to store and preserve meat. Meat is among the food items that get spoiled quickly. The reason for its getting rot quicker is due to the high percentage of water in it. At optimal temperature and water level, microorganisms grow at a faster rate. 

In order to preserve meat in the wild, we need to adopt primitive means of preservation. Otherwise, the meat may not remain safe for human consumption. This process cannot be reversed even at higher temperatures later on. It is an absolute necessity to preserve the meat properly to prevent its degradation process.

How to preserve meat in the wild without salt?

Salt helps soak out the water from the meat pieces. But, what to do if you do not have salt at your disposal? There are many other methods other than salt to preserve meat. However, you will need to follow the instruction carefully in order to use the method to its maximum benefit. 

Some of the methods of preserving meat without salt include dehydrating it, freezing it, or smoking it properly. As we want to preserve meat in wild, we cannot use the freezing method unless it is cold weather. Other techniques like pressure canning and using honey are also not the best options. As carrying cans, honey or other essentials would cause an unnecessary burden.

For the sake of brevity, we’ll discuss the process of dehydrating and smoking.

Dehydrating method

It is clear from the name of the method that it involves removing water from the meat. The presence of a high amount of water is conducive to the growth of yeast, and bacteria. The simplest way for removing excess water is to keep the meat under the sun to dry for itself. Later on, the dried meat should be kept in air-tight containers in a cold and dark place. 

You can also use an electrical dehydrator or sun dehydrator as well. Alternatively, you can also remove water by putting meat in the oven or dehydrator stove. However, this method needs extreme care and caution. You can choose the best option suited to your resources.

Smoking method

Another method of preserving meat is to smoke it wholly. Smoking also involves dehydrating the meat. In this method, meat is kept at a certain temperature. We need to keep the meat at a certain temperature level. The level of temperature will let it dry. This method is a feasible option in the wild as the wood is at our disposal. Meat can be smoked after curing with salt. Smoke not only helps in drying the meat but gives it’s a distinct flavor as well. 

The source of dehydration is smoke instead of sun heat or electrically induced heat. Smoking is the best way to preserve meat in the wild if the survivor doesn’t have access to salt.

How to preserve meat in the wild with salt?

The natural salt known as sodium chloride in scientific language is the primary element of meat preservation in wild.

Our forefathers didn’t have any modern means of freezing food items. They solely relied on natural ways of food preservation. One of the ancient methods to preserve meat is curing. The term curing simply means the preservation of meat. To know more about curing, read on.

For centuries, marinating the meat with salt has been the most commonly used meat preservation method which is also used today. Salt soaks up the water trapped inside the meat and also fights the growth of micro-organisms. This slows down the decaying process of meat. Many times the natural salt is used in combination with brown sugar to preserve the meat. 

There are two types of curing methods:

Dry curing

In dry curing, salt is directly applied to the meat pieces sometimes, with seasonings and brown sugar. Then, it is contained in an airtight jar or container. It is important to let the meat dry before containing it in the jar. Otherwise, it will get spoiled sooner than you expected.   

It is up to you to keep the process simple as adding seasonings is totally optional. A fine ratio of salt and sugar will do the work for you. This is the simplest and commonly used method for preserving meat for months provided the meat was dried.

Wet curing

Wet curing is the process of applying the salt mixture to the water. It is also known as brining. Wet curing is used to preserve the meat of fish, pork, and beef. However, you can also use it to preserve other types of meat. 

A saline solution is made by mixing salt in the water. One can also add brown sugar for better taste and longer preservation. But, you will need a lot of jars to safely preserve the finely cut meat pieces. So, this method may not be suitable for preserving meat in the wild.

We hope this article on preserving the meat in the wild will let you enjoy your hunting without worrying about the food for surviving. The guideline will also benefit you in a situation when you get trapped in the wild all alone.