You’ll never know when emergencies arise, so it’s better to be prepared than sorry. When preparing your bug out plan, never forget to stock on food that will last longer, has nutritional properties, and can be prepared easily.
Here’s what you need to know about the best survival food for emergencies and SHTF:
What Makes the Best Survival Food the Best?
Before we get into the list of the best survival food to stash in your prepper pantry, you need to know why they’re considered the best in the first place. Emergency food needs to fulfill all or most of these criteria:
- They have a long shelf life
- They require little to no preparation
- They’re packed with calories
- They have a lot of nutritional value
The Top Food You Should Store for Emergencies
Emergency Ration Bars
These don’t taste good—that’s established. But emergency ration bars have been around since the early 1900s because they work and will keep you alive in case SHTF. These high-calorie ration bars are compact and can easily be stowed into a bag or kit in case you need to evacuate.
While various ration bars have been made over the years, you can also go out on a limb and try making your own at home.
Peanut butter is one of the best survival food out there. It’s cheap and widely accessible. With its shelf life of up to 2 years, it’s ideal for short-term emergencies. Peanut butter also has a high nutritional value from fat, protein, and carbs—two spoonfuls a day can get you going. Plus, let’s face it, it tastes great and can be enjoyed by everyone in the family, even pets.
All of these are good reasons to make it a staple in your survival pantry.
Bouillon cubes don’t have a lot of nutritional value, but many preppers still have them in their emergency kits. Why? Since bouillon cubes are chicken or beef stock in a compressed powder form, they can drastically improve the taste of otherwise bland emergency food.
You can mix them with instant ramen, rice, or even just boiled water to make it taste like broth. Most bouillon cubes tend to have high sodium content, so if you have salt restrictions, make sure to stock the low-sodium variety.
Dried fruit like raisins, prunes, and apricots make some of the best survival food. They’re high in fiber and can still taste pretty good even when stored for a long period of time. Mixed in with nuts and some cereal, you’ll have a pretty decent breakfast, even in a bleak survival situation.
Canned or Preserved Meat
In emergency situations, you can’t expect to find fresh protein—unless you hunt for it. You’ll have to settle for canned meat like tuna or spam, which you can mix up with rice or beans. There is also a lot of freeze-dried food available in the market, which you can easily reconstitute with some water.
Freeze-dried food may be more expensive, but they’re one of the best survival food around. They retain much of the taste and nutritional value that often gets lost in the canning or drying process.
If you’re up for it, you can also make your own pemmican from meat and berries.
Nuts and Legumes
Nuts and beans are insanely rich in protein and fat. Combined, they can be a good substitute for dairy or meat.
Both prove to be good sources of calories. You can prepare your own trail mix using a variety of nuts. Meanwhile, there are a variety of meals that you can prepare with beans—you’ll just have to get creative. When stored properly in an airtight container, beans like pinto, kidney, mung, and garbanzo can last up to 8-10 years.
Rice and Other Grains
Rice is the world’s staple food. Many preppers prefer brown rice for its nutritional value, while others prefer white because of its longer shelf life. Either way, rice has high carbohydrate content, which would keep your energy up. When stored properly, can last for a long period of time. Rice goes well with any protein and can also be made into porridge.
Other grains like oats, wheat, and quinoa should also be mainstays in your survival pantry.
Milk spoils fast, more so when the power’s out and there’s no fridge to keep it fresh. Good thing there are powdered varieties that you can keep for a long time. These powdered varieties have been enriched with vitamins and minerals like vitamin D and zinc. They’re a good source of protein and calcium, too.
Remember when archeologists uncovered a jar of honey in an Egyptian tomb? They figured that the honey was still fit for human consumption—thousands of years later! If its indefinite shelf life isn’t enough to convince you, honey also has many nutritional and medicinal benefits like treating sore throat and cough. As a natural sweetener, it not only helps with taste but can also improve morale.
Some people even swear that raw honey might just be the best survival food of them all.
These are the best survival food that you should add to your survival stash. Most of them might not taste that great, but you can’t discount their nutritional value and long shelf life. Learn how to properly store them, and you’ll be more than prepared when SHTF.