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41+ Survival Foods, Prices, Shelf Life & Checklists

Ever been on a diet?

Good. Then you’ll know how much it sucks.

In theory you can survive 3 weeks without food: This guy actually survived for 382 days without eating in a laboratory in Scotland.

He had “no ill symptoms” during the fast and lost 267 pounds (121 kg).

So why bother with survival food?

Starving affects your body from the very first day.

Within 24 to 48 hours you will start to feel dizzy, have flu like symptoms and lose strength. With every passing day thereafter you’ll be weaker, more exhausted and mentally fogged until you die.

But when you’re in a life threatening situation you will need all your physical and mental capabilities to survive.

Imagine you hadn’t eaten for five days and were just too exhausted to brave the very mountain that would bring you back to safety.

Second, TEOTWAWKI is always around the corner.

Our food supply system is incredible vulnerable:

One earthquake, chemical spill or flood can bring down the whole food chain.

Supermarkets stock only enough food for three days and will emptied by looters and hoarders within hours of an emergency.

To stock three months of survival food for yourself and your loved ones is the most important emergency preparation you can do.

You can avoid armed conflict, protect your family and property from natural disaster, but you can’t really survive without food.

And since everyone hast to eat survival food becomes one of the best trade and barter item in a world after SHTF.

What you’ll learn: There are eight categories of survival foods. To survive you’ll need to stock at least some foods from each category. You’ll learn what the best survival foods are, how much they cost and how to store them properly.

What makes a decent emergency food?

  • Health: You can’t survive on candy bars only. Your body needs vitamins, minerals and energy. If you deprive your body of essential nutrients you’ll become weak, slow, depressed and ultimately… die.
  • Storage: Survival foods need to have a long shelf life, low weight and volume and you shouldn’t need a degree in rocket science to store them properly.
  • Delicious: In emergencies food must be prepared quickly, without a need for fuel or appliances, but still taste good. Because your kids wont stay sane eating nothing but military MREs.
  • Cheap: Because we’re all honest folk here and no friggin’ bankers. Right? Keep reading to prevent your family from starving.

Energy: The 3 Best Staple Foods

  • White rice
  • Instant mashed potatoes
  • Steel cut oats or “Irish oatmeal”

BAD survival staple foods: Hard grains, wheat flour, pasta.

Nutrients: Fruits, Vegetables And Nuts

Some fresh fruits and vegetables can be stored for a surprisingly long time:

Fruits: Apples, oranges, pomegranates (citrus fruits in general)

Vegetables: Onions, garlic, potatoes, carrots, squash (pumpkin, acorn, winter), celery, radishes, beets, cabbage shallots, raw green beans mixed with salt.

After raw fruits / vegetables expire you can make them last longer by:

  • Freezing
  • Canning
  • Drying

Also do / storage:

  • Plant a fruit tree / garden
  • Keep a good multi-vitamin supplement
  • Homemade jams
  • Nuts

Protein Sources: Meat, Fish And Beans

You’ll survive without carbohydrates but without protein you will die.

Protein is the most satisfying food group and proteins are essential for proper muscle and brain function.

Long term meat storage:

  • Frozen
  • Canned
  • Smoked / salted
  • Dried (beef jerky or pemmican)

Other great protein sources with a long shelf life:

  • Cheese
  • Beans, peas and lentils (dried or canned)


Important for long term health, especially salt.

Salt is not as unhealthy as you think and probably the most scarce survival food in any long term survival situations unless you live by the ocean.

Without salt you die.

Salt is great for many other things like: Food storage, medical applications, homemade toothpaste, seasoning…

Other condiments you should stock:

  • Salt & pepper
  • Sugar
  • Honey
  • Alcohol
  • Dried herbs (pepper, cinnamon, vanilla, paprika…)
  • Apple cider vinegar (cleaning, cooking, antibiotic properties)
  • Baking soda (great for cleaning too)
  • Baking powder
  • Yeast
  • Cocoa powder or maple syrup
  • Bouillon cubes
  • Tomato paste

Best oils to store: Most oils store for a long time but coconut and olive oil are the healthiest.

Staying Sane: Comfort Foods

Reasons to stock comfort foods:

  1. The biggest danger in survival situations is not lack of food but going crazy.
  2. If you change your diet your body needs time to adapt.
  3. Some comfort foods are really great survival foods too!

Best survival comfort foods:

  • Peanut butter
  • Chocolate
  • Energy bars
  • Trail mix
  • Jello & pudding mixes
  • Candies


Can be life saving if you’re injured and can’t prepare or cook anything. Offer a good weight to calorie to cost ratio.

  • Coffee / tea (caffeine addiction)
  • Instant milk
  • Powdered fortified juice (vitamins)

Livestock Food & Seeds

Sooner or later you’ll need a renewable food source. Livestock or a garden can will increase how long your survival food stock will last.

  • Pet food for dogs
  • Livestock breeding pairs, “livestock emergency food” and medicine
  • Seeds

Don’t Forget: Water

Often forgotten but oh so important.

You – hopefully – have a well in the garden, a river nearby and a couple barrels of stored tap water in the garage.

Why should you still have water tucked away in your pantry?

The pantry is the best place to store a small quantity of distilled water to have close at hand for emergencies that happen right there in your home.

Distilled water is basically a step up the ladder from purified water. You don’t usually drink that stuff but use it when you need to be absolutely certain that the water you’ll use is 100% free of any contamination’s.

You use distilled water to cool your cars engine. If you’d put regular water in your cars radiator you’d ruin your engine over time because non-distilled water still contains contaminants like lime or chlorine.

Why is this important?

People prepare for all kinds of doubtful disasters like bear attacks or tanks rolling down the street but often overlook simple and boring everyday emergencies.

Imagine your wife is giving birth due to a shortage of condoms and good TV shows. Do you really want to clean the freshly cut umbilical cord of your newborn baby with water from the river that contains God knows what?

Do you have enough of time to hike to the river, break the ice, bring the water home, boil it and then help your wife deliver the baby?

What if you break a leg fixing the kitchen sink and no one else is home? Do you really want to crawl to the damn well and purify some water to clean your wound?

Bottom line: Distilled water is cheap (you can even make your own), extremely useful and doesn’t need to be rotated in storage. You should keep at least 3 gallons (10 liters) handy in your survival food pantry.

More uses of distilled water:

  • Best cleaning agent for open wounds from minor injuries to major surgery.
  • Used to maintain and extend the lifespan of machine parts like cars, batteries or generators.
  • Safe drinking water when no other water source is available.
  • Helpful for everyday survival: Use it to cook without worrying about water contamination or fill your steam iron to flatten your Bug out Suit.

Now you know what to put in your survival pantry.

But why do I advise to store only enough food for three months?

The truth is that most people are way too obsessed about their survival food pantry.

If an emergency cuts your family off the food supply for longer than three months no amount of stockpiled peanut butter will save you.

In the long run you’d better get down to the grind of setting up a renewable food source like farming, hunting or fishing.