Jerky is dried spiced meat which has many virtues.
It is possible to survive for weeks on jerky and little else, no matter what your mother might have told you. It is made from either beef or turkey provides a valuable source of protein at times, or in places, where no fresh protein may be available.
Jerky is one of the best foods for travellers to carry. It takes up little space, weighs very little, and can stay edible for a good while. It is ideal for those of us who have to go great distances and are packing light because carrying 30lbs of rations is just plain inconvenient.
Use as a Decoy
Jerky is a great tool for people who may have accidentally trespassed onto the property of a misunderstanding individual who owns many vicious attack dogs. Throwing jerky onto your fleeing path will almost always buy you some precious moments with which you may make good your escape. This seems to be an intelligent alternative to fighting off six Dobermans with a stick.
Besides that, you can easily gain a canine companion, such as a stray dog, simply by giving it some jerky and being kind to it; this will earn you a friend for life if done properly. On a bipedal note, jerky is also great for just breaking the ice with someone. If you don't know what to say to someone you've just met, you can usually get things moving by offering them a bit of jerky.
There are a few varieties out there from which to choose. First, there's the meat itself: turkey or beef. Beef is recommended, for it is generally more accepted, inexpensive, and beloved. Then you have the flavour to consider: smoked is the most common, and a good place to start; then there are teriyaki, kippered, peppered, sweet, and many others. Experiment with different types to see which one you like best.