4 Long-Lasting DIY Survival Food You Can Make at Home

In stockpiling emergency food, shelf life is the name of the game. While you can always stock on items that will last several months, some food products out there that can actually last for years—even indefinitely. Aside from their long shelf life, these survival superfoods can also supply adequate calories and nutrients to keep you going despite being in a SHTF situation.

The best part? You can make them right in your kitchen.

Here are four awesome DIY survival food to get you started:


Pemmican is a survival food product made from dried meat, rendered fat, and dried berries. This superfood was invented by Native Americans in the 1800s (possibly, even earlier) as a source of nutrition.

Back then, they used meat and fat from game like elk, deer, or bison and added some wild berries into the mix. Eventually, they shipped pemmican out and traded them with early European settlers, who used them as a long-term food source during their grueling expeditions.

How to Make This DIY Survival Food

Today, pemmican is often touted as the ultimate survival food by preppers as it has high energy content and can last for years when made and stored properly. And no, you don’t have to hunt down an entire bison to make pemmican. These days, you can use red meat like beef to create it.

The protein is dried and ground into fine powder. The same goes with the berries. Mix them together with the rendered fat or tallow and compress them to make little bars or cakes. Then, they are allowed to sit and cool until they turn solid.

And that’s it!

Keep this DIY survival food in airtight containers or zip bags and store it in a cool, dry place—and you’ll have a reliable food source that can last for years.

Survival Bars

Survival bars are a staple in every bug out bag or emergency kit. These food products pack large amounts of calories and nutrients in a single, compact bar that’s easy to carry around and store.

Survival bars are meant to last for a long time. Most commercially made bars have a shelf life of up to 5 years. They’re usually made with oats, berries, nuts, and other protein sources. You can make various survival bars at home, adjusting them to your specific needs.

How to Make This DIY Survival Food

Start out with some chocolate chia survival bars. This DIY survival food tastes pretty good and is easy to prepare and store. The chia seeds are great energy boosters—they are rich in carbohydrates, essential fatty acids, antioxidants, and proteins.

The chocolate makes it taste less like survival food and more like comfort food, which boosts morale and gives you a sense of normalcy amid a stressful situation.

If you really want to pack a lot of energy in your survival bars, you can use this DIY survival food recipe to create as many as 3,000 calories a batch.


A lot of people know hardtack as a civil war staple, used by Union and Confederate soldiers to stave off hunger during the war. It’s also been adopted by sailors and explorers, earning the name sea biscuit or sheet iron, because of its hard consistency.

Sure, eating hardtack could be, well, unappealing, but in a survival situation, you can count on it to keep your stomach full enough to survive. It can even last for decades when made and stored properly.

How to Make This DIY Survival Food

Hardtack is made from three basic ingredients: flour, water, and salt. You mix all these together to create a stiff dough.

The dough is rolled flat, shaped into biscuits, poked to make some holes, and baked. In some cases, this DIY survival food may even be baked a couple of times over or left to dry to remove any excess moisture that may lead to spoilage. The end result is a hard biscuit that may very well outlast the crisis itself.

Hardtack is usually dunked in milk or coffee to soften it before consumption. It may not be the most enjoyable thing you’ll ever eat, but its long shelf life may want you to consider making this DIY survival food at home for your stash. Learn how in this tutorial.

Beef or Venison Jerky

jerky is one of the easiest DIY survival food to make

Jerky is widely known as a snack, but it also makes for great survival food. Since jerky has to be made from really thin slices of meat, it contains a lot of protein and little fat. The drying process takes out the moisture and makes jerky last for a very long time. You can make jerky from beef or from game meat like venison.

How to Make This DIY Survival Food

All you need are thinly sliced beef or venison cuts and some marinade or dry rub. Once you’ve seasoned the meat, all you have to do is dry this DIY survival food using either an oven or a dehydrator. Once your jerky is dry and leathery (make sure no juice comes out when you try to squeeze or fold it), you’re good to go.

Jerky doesn’t last as long as pemmican or hardtack, but it’s pretty shelf-stable at around one or two years. Don’t forget to store it in an airtight container to maximize its shelf life.

Final Thoughts

These types of survival food are a great addition to your survival stash.

Not only do they provide calories and nutrients, but they are also shelf-stable and can last a long time. You waste very little and you don’t have to worry about rotating them very often. Making your own DIY survival food can improve your storage and preservation skills, too. It makes you more aware of your nutritional needs and makes you think of how and where to store your food properly.

Have other DIY survival food ideas you want to share? Comment down below!

Advertising and Affiliate Disclosure

We put a lot of effort into all of the content on tactical.com. We are able to provide this content for free because we earn money for advertisements on this site. We also earn small commissions for sales generated via our affiliate links. While these commissions do earn us income, they do not cost our readers anything additional. Clicking on our ads or links helps support our staff and we sincerely appreciate your support.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.