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Pemmican vs. Jerky: Which One is Better for Survival Situations?

When it comes to survival situations, having a source of food is essential. Two popular options for preserving meat are pemmican and jerky. But which one is better? In this article, we’ll compare pemmican and jerky and explore which one is more suitable for survival situations.

What is Pemmican?

Pemmican is a traditional food of Native American and Canadian First Nations people. It’s a mixture of dried meat, fat, and berries that’s ground into a powder and then compressed into small, dense cakes. Pemmican has been used for centuries as a portable, high-energy food source for hunters, trappers, and explorers.

What is Jerky?

Jerky is a dried meat product that’s been popular for centuries. It’s made by cutting lean meat into thin strips and then drying it in the sun or a dehydrator. Jerky is lightweight, portable, and can last for months without refrigeration.

Nutritional Value

Both pemmican and jerky are high in protein, but pemmican is a more complete food source. Pemmican contains not only protein but also fat and carbohydrates. The fat in pemmican provides a slow-burning energy source, which is essential for survival situations where food may be scarce. In addition, the berries in pemmican provide vitamin C, which is important for preventing scurvy.

Jerky, on the other hand, is primarily protein. While it’s a great source of energy, it lacks the essential fats and carbohydrates found in pemmican.

Preparation Time

The preparation time for pemmican is longer than that of jerky. Pemmican requires drying the meat, berries, and fat separately before grinding them into a powder and compressing them into cakes. This process can take several days.

Jerky, on the other hand, can be made in a matter of hours. The meat is sliced, seasoned, and then dried in a dehydrator or the sun.


Both pemmican and jerky can be stored for long periods without refrigeration, making them ideal for survival situations. Pemmican can last for years if stored in a cool, dry place. Jerky can last for several months but may lose some of its flavor and texture over time.


The taste of pemmican and jerky is a matter of personal preference. Pemmican has a rich, savory flavor that comes from the combination of meat, fat, and berries. Jerky has a smoky, salty flavor that’s popular among many people.

Both pemmican and jerky are great options for preserving meat for survival situations. Pemmican is a more complete food source, providing protein, fat, and carbohydrates, as well as vitamin C. However, it takes longer to prepare than jerky. Jerky is a quick and easy way to preserve meat, but it lacks the essential fats and carbohydrates found in pemmican.

Ultimately, the choice between pemmican and jerky comes down to personal preference and the specific needs of the situation. Both are great options for survival situations and can provide essential nutrition when food is scarce.

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