Buyer's Guides

Best Survival Food Kits for 2021: Reviews with Comparisons

Natural disasters and other life-shattering events always happen to other people… until they don’t. In keeping with the adage of hoping for the best while preparing for the worst, the first step to ensuring that your family will survive whatever nature or man can throw at you is an ample, nutritious, and varied food supply. Read on to find out about the best survival food kits and how they can turn out to be the smartest purchase you ever made.

Survival Food Kits Reviews

Mountain House 14-Day Emergency Food Supply Kit

As long as you have water on hand to mix this with, it makes for a really good 2 week food supply for multiple people. They all just need to be mixed with hot water, and they are good to go. If you need a really large survival food kit for you and your family, we can hardly see a better option than this.

Product Highlights

For one, the variety included in this Mountain House 14-Day Emergency Food Supply Kit is ideal. To list some of the foods you get here, included are 5 breakfast skillet portions, 3 biscuits and gravy, 2 x scrambled eggs and bacon, scrambled eggs with ham and peppers, granola with milk and berries, pasta primavera, mac and cheese, beef stroganoff, noodles and chicken, Italian style pepper steak, chicken teriyaki with rice, and much more. The bottom line here is that you get a full 100 servings of food, which should be more than enough to last 3 or 4 people around 2 weeks.

The Mountain House 14-Day Emergency Food Supply Kit has a 30 year shelf life, which is very impressive to say the least. This is a feature that makes it a true survival food kit because it will still be good to go years down the road. Ideally you should add hot water to the pouches to eat them, but in the worst case scenario, cold water will do as well.

Furthermore, this kit weighs 12 pounds and is perfectly square, so it is lightweight and easy to store. There is also the fact that this kit comes loaded to the brim with nutritional content for survival.

The Good

The good part here, for one, is that this kit comes with a massive amount of variety, so you won’t ever get bored. Moreover, being fairly lightweight and compact does make it easy to transport and to store. Finally, the amount of nutrition, such as carbs, fat, and protein here, is pretty high, which is always important.

The Bad

The bad part about the Mountain House 14-Day Emergency Food Supply Kit is that it takes over 70 liters of water to fully prepare all meals. This can be a big problem if water is in short supply. Also, there seems to be next to no veggies or fruits included here, which can be a problem when it comes to vitamin requirements.

Pros

  • Lasts for 30 years
  • Enough for a whole family
  • Lots of variety
  • Lots of protein, carbs, and fat

Cons

  • Not too many vitamins
  • Requires a very large amount of water to make

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Life Gear Emergency Food, Water and Thermal blanket

Food is but one side of the triangle of life essentials, water, and warmth being the other two. When sudden disaster strikes, missing just one of them can quickly make for a desperate situation. You should always have a small supply of food and water stashed in the back of your trunk, and that’s exactly what this convenient 3-day kit by Life Gear was designed for.

Product Highlights

This kit comes in a small box which you can put in your car, garage, or cabin without taking up much space. It contains energy bars with high nutritional value, packets of clean water, and a space blanket. The 9 protein bars have 400 calories each. They aren’t exactly gourmet food, but they do taste faintly sweet, fill you up for a few hours, and don’t cause thirst. When you do get thirsty, you can take a swig from one of six 4.2-oz water packets. Finally, there’s the space blanket. It is thin yet retains heat surprisingly well.

The Good

Everything is well put together and all the items are packaged so that there’s still a little room in the box for small items like bandages or some extra water. The kit fulfils its purpose of ensuring your survival for three days well and is a great value for the money. This lets you stock up and place multiple kits throughout your home so there’s always one at the ready in case you only have time to grab a few essentials.

The Bad

25 ounces of water will keep you alive for three days, but if you depend on this small supply alone, you’ll be dehydrated by the 3rd day. There’s no way of resealing the energy bars once you open one, so they can’t be split and saved for later. Both the water and energy bars have a shelf life of 5 years. Life Gear has been known to ship packs that were well into their 2nd or 3rd year of life, considerably limiting the kit’s usefulness.

Pros

  • Easy to transport and store
  • Excellent value for the money
  • Everything you need to survive for 3 days

Cons

  • Could use more water packets
  • Energy bars can’t be resealed
  • Received items aren’t always fresh

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Wise Company Emergency Food Variety Pack

This is another one of those super-sized survival food kits that should last you and your family for several weeks. It comes complete with 104 servings of food. Therefore, it should last around 2 weeks for 3 people, give or take depending on how much is eaten per day.

Product Highlights

Something that really stands out about the Wise Company Emergency Food Variety Pack is the fact that it comes complete in an airtight bucket. This is good because it stops animals, mold, moisture and other intruders from getting in. Also, the bucket itself is square, which makes it easy to store, plus it comes with a handle for easy carrying too.

Another thing which stands out about the Wise Company Emergency Food Variety Pack is that it truly does come with a whole lot of variety. Here you get items such as creamy pasta with veg, pasta alfredo, stroganoff, tomato soup, whey milk, bananas, corn, strawberries, peas, apple cinnamon cereal, pudding, yogurt, and a few other things too.

The Good

The good part about this Wise Company Emergency Food Variety Pack is that it comes with a whole lot of fruits, vegetables, grains, fats, and carbs that you and your family will need to stay alive. Coming in an easy to store and transport bucket, as well as having a 25 year shelf life are also big bonuses.

The Bad

If you like meat and meat protein, the Wise Company Emergency Food Variety Pack is not the best to go with. It really doesn’t contain any meat protein at all. Also, beware that sometimes these containers might already be a couple years old when shipped, which will cut down on the effective shelf life for you.

Pros

  • Lots of fruit and veg
  • Pretty good variety
  • Convenient and secure bucket
  • Will last 3 people roughly 2 weeks

Cons

  • Some containers may be a couple years old when shipped
  • Virtually no protein
  • Requires a lot of water to eat

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Survival Tabs 8-Day Food Supply

The survival food you store might contain a balanced mix of carbs, fats, and protein, but how will it make you feel in the long run? Vitamin deficiency is a serious factor to consider when planning on consuming emergency rations for a long time. Fortunately, Survival Tabs offer a convenient solution – they’re great-tasting tablets which provide the complete recommended daily intake of 15 essential vitamins and a couple of calories to boot.

Product Highlights

The tablets come in lightweight airtight bags that can be stashed in a bug-out bag/backpack or stacked on shelves. Each bag contains either 12 or 24 tablets which should be eaten every hour. Their flavors are vanilla, chocolate, butterscotch, and strawberry. All have a nice flavor and chewy texture. Survival Tabs emphasizes that their products are free from gluten and GMO.

Each tab contains 200 calories and is made up of 60% carbs, 25% fat, 10% protein, and 5% vitamins and minerals. They were originally designed as astronaut food with the goal of minimally straining the digestive system. Your body will absorb 99 percent of a tab’s nutritional value, giving you a surge of energy that can be felt within minutes of taking it.

The Good

Survival Tabs work best as a food supplement. You’ll want to have them in the pantry as there aren’t many multi-vitamins with a 25-year shelf life, but they’re also perfect for snacking, as a lunch substitute for people on a diet, or a quick energy boost when you’re out in the wild. Most survival foods are freeze-dried and require water to be prepared properly. Survival tabs can be eaten with no preparation and don’t drain your water supply.

The Bad

This is survival food designed to barely sustain life. A normal human should take in 2,000 calories daily and a 24-hour dose of Survival Tabs amounts to only 240, making them insufficient as a single food source even if you’re conserving calories as much as possible. Milk is used in their production, so lactose-intolerant people won’t be able to eat them.

Pros

  • Excellent source of vitamins and minerals
  • Compact, portable and not dependent on water
  • Great taste

Cons

  • Too low calorie count to be your only food source
  • Contains lactose

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Augason Farms Lunch and Dinner Emergency Food Supply

When planning ahead, the way in which you store emergency food is almost as important as the food itself. A well-organized pantry lets you find the right meals quickly and have a good overview of expiration dates. The answer? A handy storage pail, like the one Augason farms’ 11-pound emergency food supply comes in.

Product Highlights

Augason Farms has been making long-lasting emergency food since the 1970s. That experience shows as soon as you taste any of the 11 meals contained in the pail. There’s a healthy variety of soups and main courses to choose from. You even get chocolate pudding! The food is split up into large Mylar packets that can hold as much as 10 servings. The total calorie count equals 21,020, which is enough for 11 days of regular use but can be stretched out to 15 or more without issues.

This version of Augason Farms’ bucket contains lunch and dinner meals. They also make one which contains meals for breakfast and dinner. Four of these put together are enough to last a month for two people. The shelf life for either pail is 20 years.

The Good

While the food itself is nutritious and could pass as home-cooked, the best thing about this supply is the pail it comes in. It’s airtight and has a seal which retains freshness. A handle makes for easy transport, while the pail’s square shape allows you to stack one on top of another and maximize the use of storage space. The plastic the pail is made from is BPA-free and tough enough to keep rodents from chewing through it.

The Bad

All freeze-dried meals require you to add boiling water, but some Augason Farms dishes need to simmer in it for 20 minutes. This will use up a lot of fuel and water which you might not be able to spare. The packets are large and can’t be resealed so you’ll need to consume one’s contents quickly once opened.

Pros

  • Excellent storage pail
  • Good variety of flavorful food
  • Rich in calories

Cons

  • Some dishes need to simmer
  • Opened packets can’t be re-sealed

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Buyer’s Guide

The variety of survival foods on offer is staggering and one can quickly become confused by the different sizes, meal varieties etc. Since this is a purchase you may never need to use but will depend upon if you do, it’s important to take your time and go over what to look for.

Weight

From small packets whose weight you won’t even feel in a backpack to 20-pound buckets, the weight of survival food is truly diverse. The best thing to do is to buy food of varying weights so your options are open. It makes sense to buy food like flour and powdered milk in bulk so it’s cheaper, but also having a good amount of cans and food packets will ensure that you can quickly take them if there’s a need to evacuate.

Packaging

Survival food packaging needs to provide a clean, contaminant-free environment for the food to stay fresh. This often involves vacuum sealing. The packaging also needs to be rated as food-grade, meaning that it won’t transfer any harmful substances onto the food by being in contact with it. The packaging also needs to be able to handle temperature extremes and high humidity levels while keeping the food inside intact. Mass-produced survival food is contained in cans, Mylar packets, and food-grade buckets, but you’ll need to be mindful of the packaging you use if you plan on making home-made supplies.

Capacity

Capacity is dependent on the size and type of packaging. Mylar bags are the smallest and their capacity is expressed in servings. Each survival food company has a slightly different idea of how much food a serving should contain. Two servings are most common per packet while one can contain as much as ten. It’s important to consider a packet’s capacity since you might not be able to re-seal them. Some companies put their packets in buckets of varying sizes for easier handling.

Expirations

The shelf life of emergency food depends on the process used in preparing it. Freeze-dried food lasts the longest, between 20 and 25 years. Dehydrated foods like flour, dried fruit, and powdered milk last up to 15 years. Canned goods have the shortest shelf life and last up to 5 years.

Keep in mind that these are just the maximum values – conditions in your storage space contribute a lot to your survival food’s life expectancy. To maximize it, keep the food in a temperate, dry, and dark place. Be sure to also take a regular inventory and update the food as the expiration date draws nearer and your family’s dietary preferences change.

Container Style

There are four main types of containers for emergency foods, each with its pros and cons.

Glass jars

They’re reusable, let you see the state of their contents, and can be vacuum-sealed. A hurricane or earthquake can make short work of them though, causing the shards to become a serious hazard.

Plastic containers

Food inside is visible, they’re pest-proof, and can be easily opened. They’re not airtight though so oxygen and moisture can spoil the food.

Mylar packets

Provide an airtight environment, are adequate for storing small portions, and take up little space. They can be chewed through by rodents and can be hard to come by.

Food-grade buckets

Can securely store large quantities of food, are stackable, and pest-proof. There’s no easy way of checking if the food inside is still good and a lot of it needs to be thrown away if it isn’t.

Survival Food Kits FAQ

What food to store for emergency?

For short-term emergencies you’re sure will happen like hurricanes or floods, it’s best to keep a variety of non-perishable foods at hand. You’ll want to avoid anything that needs cooking as that will drain your water supply. Overly salty foods are out of the question for the same reason.

The best foods to have in such a situation are dried or canned fruit and vegetables, protein bars, dried meat like low-sodium jerky, plain crackers, and an assortment of unsalted nuts and similar snacks. There should be at least three days’ worth of food for each family member, plus a little extra if your neighbors weren’t as well-prepared.

What is the longest lasting nonperishable food?

In absolute terms, sugar, salt, and baking soda are the longest-lasting as they don’t have a shelf life. Honey is up there as well since it can be kept for 100 years if handled properly. Dried beans, rice, and pasta are the longest-lasting foods you can actually fill up on and have a shelf life of 30 years. Freeze-dried pre-packaged meals last for 25 years, as do dried carrots. Powdered milk can be good for 20 years if kept in a dry environment, and most dehydrated fruit and vegetables are still edible after 15.

What foods are good for emergency storage?

Any food which is packaged in food-grade material, has good caloric and nutritional value, and isn’t too salty will do for an emergency.

What foods to stock up on for survival?

For long-term survival, it’s best to think in terms of energy value and shelf life. Freeze-dried food offers the most value since it’s pre-made with nutritional value in mind and can last for 25 years regardless of the flavor. Other long-term foods you should stock up on are beans, rice, cheese if you can get it wax-sealed, powdered milk, energy bars, and various dehydrated foodstuffs. If you’re in it for the long haul, set aside some room for creature comforts too – chocolate, tea, coffee, and powdered fruit drinks will make your existence more tolerable and can become valuable trade commodities too.

How to store survival food?

Survival food is likely to remain in the same place for decades. You need to create an environment in which it won’t spoil. Heat, sunlight, and moisture are the main culprits of premature food expiration, so plan where to store it with them in mind. The food should be neatly stacked, clearly labeled, and laid out in a way that lets you access most of it at any time.

Conclusion

Based on quality, taste, calorie count, and convenient packaging, the emergency lunch and dinner pail made by Augason Farms is our top pick for best survival food kit with that from Valle Food Storage right on its heels. Let’s hope you’ll never have to rely on them, but you’ll be glad you paid for a great balance of quality and quantity if you do.


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