Although buying food seems so convenient in our modern world, it won’t be the same when disaster strikes. In an emergency, you can’t just walk to the store with ease.
Even if you can, food supplies will have likely run dry, and you’ll be completely stuck.
No matter what disaster you are anticipating, a survival food kit is necessary to keep you going. Not only will food keep you energized during times of struggle, but you quite literally couldn’t live without it.
The agreed rule of thumb is that the human body can survive without food for around three weeks. Yet three weeks is a long time to feel weak and tired in a disaster scenario.
Many preppers will focus on having the right gear, but food, one of the most crucial components for survival, can get overlooked.
There are lots of factors to consider before purchasing a survival food kit, with a variety of kits available on the market.
That’s why we’ve reviewed five of the best survival food kits to help you make the best decision and keep you alive during times of need.
Mountain House Classic Bucket
This survival food kit from Mountain House Classic Bucket comes with 12 food pouches, containing a variety of meals.
Whether you are an Italian food fan, or you prefer chicken and noodles, the Classic Bucket has you covered.
With 12 meals included, this bucket is designed to feed one person for around 3.5 days. Arguably a standout feature of this food kit is its 30-year taste guarantee, so you can keep this bucket stored away for up to 30 years without needing to replace it.
Preparing these meals couldn’t be more straightforward either, as you simply need to add water, and your food is ready to eat.
The bucket comes with a handle, so it is relatively easy to transport with you. It is not only great for storing at home, but also for taking with you in case of a last-minute emergency. It is tightly sealed and designed to allow for easy stacking and storage.
As the lifespan of this food is as high as 30 years, that does arguably factor into the price, as it is not the most budget-friendly option for a short-term, one-person survival food kit.
- 30-year taste guarantee
- Ideal for at-home emergencies or outdoor survival
- Varied meal selection
- Not budget-friendly, especially if you want to serve more than one person
Sustain Supply 9-08400 Emergency Survival Kit
Ideal for two adults, the Sustain Supply Emergency Survival Kit should last you for up to 72 hours of survival.
This kit comes with plenty of survival essentials, such as a firestarter, a knife, an LED lantern, and bathing wipes. There isn’t much that you’ll need for three days that isn’t already included in this 72-hour survival food kit.
The food within this durable and water-resistant backpack is also ideal for keeping you alive during those first crucial 72-hours. It contains 12 servings of easy to prepare food, along with the tools to eat it. The kit comes with one portable stove and two bowls, making it a convenient survival kit to have on hand.
If you are concerned about the taste of the food, then there is variety here to make sure you feel satisfied. Rather than ration bars that only focus on giving you enough calories, this food survival kit comes with hot meals that you can prepare. These include meals such as macaroni and cheese and chicken noodle casserole.
Simply add hot water (using the portable stove), wait 10 minutes, and you have a nutritious warm meal, perfect for those dark and cold nights in the wilderness.
It is worth considering the benefit of this being a 2-person kit, however, as some of the items don’t come in pairs, such as a blanket and a lantern, which could cause issues.
- Durable and water-resistant backpack
- 12 servings of food that are easy to prepare
- Varied meal selection
- Comes with additional survival gear
- Some items need to be shared between two people
- Not budget-friendly
Legacy 60 Serving Food Storage
The Legacy 60 Serving Food Storage comes with sixty large servings of a variety of meals.
The whole container of food is around 25,000 calories in total, with an average of 408 calories per serving, so you are guaranteed filling food to keep you going.
Legacy claim to have the largest serving-size in the emergency food industry, with serving sizes 1.5 to 2 times larger than their competitors. Each meal comes in a 4-serving Mylar pouch, so it is ideal for families rather than smaller groups. The pouches have an oxygen absorber and nitrogen flush, and they’re heavy-duty and easy to stack if need be.
One of the standout features of this food kit, besides the quantity of food, is the range of meals that it offers. Meals include a variety of pasta dishes, enchiladas, chili, and more, so during a crisis, you won’t feel worse from eating the same food every day.
Not only does this food survival kit come with a wide range of meals, but the food is also vegetarian-friendly, with some meals also being gluten-free. It is useful to consider the inclusivity of the food choices here, as you wouldn’t want people to fall ill during an emergency.
Despite the benefits of this food kit, its large size means it is not appropriate for sudden disasters where you may need to leave the house or shelter. Some customers choose to store their food buckets in an RV so that they can leave the area while still having food supplies. However, this is not applicable to everyone, so bear in mind that you will struggle to carry this container while running out in the wilderness.
The amount of food and 25-year shelf life also means it is not a budget-friendly option and is perhaps best purchased as a long-term investment rather than for short-term survival.
- Larger serving size is ideal for families or big groups
- Lots of meal variety
- 25-year shelf life
- Not easy to transport or use outdoors
- Not budget-friendly
EVERLIT Earthquake Survival Kit
The EVERLIT Earthquake Survival Kit is designed to cater for two people for up to 72-hours. As it is a tactical backpack, it is built to be taken at a minute’s notice and is suitable for outdoor survival.
That means this Everlit kit comes with a whole host of features that include more than just food.
Your survival needs are covered with this useful kit, as it includes a flashlight, thermal blanket, and a first-aid kit. The bag itself is sturdy and comes with padded straps on the shoulders and hips, for extra comfort when you are on the go.
The food and water in this kit should last two adults for 72-hours. It includes 24 125ml packs of emergency drinking water, and two packs of food bars, that equate to 3600 calories each. While this may not sound like much, 3600 calories should be enough to keep you going, despite your increased movement.
The food bars have a shelf life of 5 years, so they are not the most suitable if you want long-term storage. This kit is more appropriate for last-minute disasters where you need to leave as soon as possible, rather than more anticipated incidents such as a power failure.
It is also worth mentioning that the food is US Coast Guard approved, which can reassure you that it should be able to suffice during a disaster.
However, while this tactical backpack is convenient and offers a lot of useful features, the food bars feel more like basic rations, rather than tasty food to keep you feeling satisfied. It is worth considering the full intention of this kit. The food is not here with taste and enjoyment in mind, but rather to keep you alive, which is, of course, the most important thing.
If you are looking to stock up on food for an extended emergency, this bag may not be the most sensible choice, as the food only provides basic nutrients to keep you alive in the short-term. This is also clear by its 5-year shelf life. However, for last-minute survival expeditions, where you are anticipating around 72 hours of survival, then you could always pack your own snacks that would last long enough.
- Suitable for two adults
- 24 125ml drinking water packs
- Two 3600 calorie food bars
- Well-stocked general survival kit
- Food bars are only suitable for short-term survival
- Food bars only provide basic nutrients with no variety in taste
Tac-Bar Ready to Eat Tactical Food Rations
The Tac-Bar Tactical Food Rations are secured in a compact, plastic ammo that is designed for easy transportation on the go.
You get more for your money than just food bars, however, as these rations also come with an emergency blanket, a magnetic compass, and fishing equipment, amongst other survival gear.
They also come with 10 Aquatab 49mg Tablets, which you can use to purify around 50 liters of water. These are a great addition to a survival kit and could be beneficial if you are stuck for clean water.
The bars themselves are high in nutritional value, fortified with vitamins and minerals to improve your energy levels. Each bar divides into three sections – one for each meal of the day. They are high in calories, with each section containing 840 calories. Some customers have noted that the bars are quite crumbly in texture, but overall this shouldn’t be too much of an issue when you need to survive.
If you are looking for flavorsome ration bars, the Tac-Bars may be the right choice for you. They contain a variety of ingredients, but the taste of the bars can be likened to cookie dough, which is excellent if you have a sweet tooth. There are a variety of ingredients in the bars, such as honey, whey protein, and oats, so bear this in mind regarding any allergies you might have.
One issue that lets these bars down is the packaging. While they are sealed and protected well, they are difficult to open and might require a knife, which is inconvenient. The pouches are also not resealable, so if you want to save some of the bar for later, you would need to carry your own resealable pouches.
- Comes with additional survival equipment
- Bars are high in nutritional value and calories
- Bars designed to last five days, making them ideal for short-term survival
- Not suitable for long-term survival prep
- Pouches are not resealable
Quantity of Food
Although you can’t always guarantee how many people will need to be fed, you should take into account whether you will need large quantities of food.
Larger survival food kits can be cumbersome and difficult to store, so they are best purchased only when it is indispensable.
For example, if you have children or a big family, then a larger food kit seems like a sensible option.
It is also worth accounting for the unexpected (as always with survival prepping!), by potentially having more food available than you think you need.
You never know when disaster will strike, and it could be at a family party or event.
You also can’t be sure of how long you will be stuck needing to survive. No matter how large your survival food kit is, it will have a limited number of servings, so bear in mind that you may be in an emergency situation for an extended period.
The quantity of food you should purchase will also be budget dependent. If money is of no issue to you, then you could perhaps invest in food kits that are longer-lasting, and therefore more expensive.
This could be a food kit with a shelf-life of around 25 years, for example.
However, if you are on a budget but want to prioritize your survival preparation, you could look into food kits that have a shelf-life of around 10 years instead.
They will typically cost less money than longer-lasting kits, but you’ll still have peace of mind that food supplies are available.
Spice Up Your Food Choices
It is all well and good having a great food survival kit, but you won’t be inclined to eat if the food doesn’t taste good.
Your sense of taste can help you to enjoy the food more, and therefore feel fuller and more satisfied, ready to face the situation.
While junk food might taste good, however, that doesn’t mean you should stock up on donuts and candy.
Investing in a food kit that provides healthy options is a smarter choice for optimum survival. Be cautious of food kits with high levels of salt and sugar, particularly artificial sugars, as these ingredients can cause your energy levels to crash.
However, you could also consider having food that feels comforting to you. This may help during the inevitable emotional times that will come during a disaster, and having a few food items to ease this feeling might be worthwhile.
As well as being nutritional, your food kit should also be high in calories. Typically, food survival kits range from around 800 to 3600 calories per serving, which should be sufficient enough to keep you going, and to maintain your weight.
It is usually agreed that your food should contain around 500 extra calories during crisis times, as you are likely to be on the move more and need your energy to last longer.
Even though you could potentially survive off of the bare minimum, an increased calorie intake will allow you to feel stronger and healthier during the worst of times.
I would recommend not skimping on the calories or the taste, and instead choosing a food kit with plenty of nutritional value and variety, especially if you are anticipating a lengthy survival situation.
One of the most important aspects to think about when purchasing a survival food kit is how easy it is to transport.
If you are anticipating being on the run, then your food should ideally fit into your bug-out bag or survival backpack. This means looking at kits with fewer utensils and unnecessary items.
If you are looking for food kits to keep in a shelter, however, then the portability may not be as big of an issue. As long as your kit is easy to store and doesn’t take up too much space, then a larger size should be sufficient.
Sealed and Safe Packaging
In addition to the size of your food kit, you should also take into consideration how well it is sealed. Your food kit should be airtight and food-safe, and it is more efficient to have resealable packaging, so the food doesn’t spoil.
Ideally, your survival food should not come into contact with moisture or light, as these factors can damage the quality and longevity of the supplies.
Look out for food kits made from aluminum cans, anti-light-permeable packaging, and thermal-resistant material when considering this.
How long the food will last is one of the most significant features of a survival food kit. Be conscious, however, of panic-prepping and overbuying food stocks.
If you don’t end up using the food kits, you will have to replace them, and your money will have gone nowhere.
Of course, we hope that you never have to use a survival food kit. But just in case a disaster occurs, you should consider how much food you should realistically stock up on.
It is also worth noting that if a food kit does not last more than five years, it is not suitable for long-term storage. You are more likely to find five-year food supplies in tactical backpacks.
As we have mentioned previously, packaging plays a key role in the lifespan of your food.
Also, if your food kit comes with a small number of servings, you should remember that once a packet is opened, the remaining food will not last forever.
Shelf-life and serving sizes go hand in hand, as the more servings you can get, the longer your food kit will last for you.
Easy to Prepare
If the food in your kit requires a lot of preparation, it will be an inconvenience and maybe even useless during an emergency.
Aim to choose a food kit that has easy to cook meals, as you don’t want to be spending lots of time boiling or cooking things during a crisis.
However, as simplistic as many food kits are to prepare, there will still be some aspect of preparation involved with most emergency food supplies.
As a precautionary measure, take as much water as you can with you when you are on the go, as most freeze-dried foods are ready quickly once mixed with water.
In regards to freeze-dried meals in particular, make sure your water is boiling before serving, as this will kill any harmful bacteria.
If you are worried about preparing food in the wilderness or outdoors, then it is advisable to practice beforehand.
You could try this with budget-friendly emergency food, so you don’t make mistakes or waste any food when you really need it.
For your health and safety, prepare all of the food in clean containers, that are also easy to clean afterward.
It would make a bad situation far worse if you were to fall ill during a time of survival, due to food poisoning or dirty dishes. Using easy-to-clean containers will also save you time and require fewer supplies.
Despite all of these survival food kits having positive aspects, my choice for the overall best option would be the Sustain Supply Co. 9-08400 Premium Emergency Survival Kit.
This kit provides you with food for survival, as well as additional survival items, so that you can grab this kit with you at a moment’s notice.
If you are looking for an outdoor survival food kit that gives you more than just basic food rations, and the tools to prepare it, you can’t go wrong with this kit.
We hope this review has given you a closer look at survival food kits. Whether you are looking for an emergency survival food kit, or a 72-hour survival food kit, there will be something available to help you survive.
Please let us know your thoughts in the comments below, and if you have any suggestions for topics, we’d love to hear them!
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