Building up your food pantry is one of the key elements to being prepared for an emergency. In times of trouble, food can be scarce, expensive, or not available at all. Buying the right food stored in proper containers will ensure you and your family are safe and well fed in case of an emergency.
Here is a list of long shelf life foods to store during hard times.
What To Consider Before Shopping
Before you do your shopping, you should have a good understanding of important elements to consider when planning your prepper food list. Here are the general criteria to follow.
- Easy to store
- Easy to prepare
- Long shelf life
- High in calories
- Meets special dietary & allergy needs
Bulk Dry Foods
Dried foods should make up the bulk of your food prepper pantry. Lightweight, long-life, and nutritionally dense, dry foods are versatile and store well.
- Beans & Legumes (Pinto, Kidney, Black, Chickpea, Lima, Navy, Black-eyed)
- Wheat Pasta
- Wheat Berries
- Flours (potato, corn, etc.)
For best results, keep dry goods stored in food-grade containers purged of oxygen with oxygen absorbers and Mylar liners. Keep in mind, some dry goods do require processing, so make sure you have the necessary equipment on hand to do the work.
Canned foods are quick, convenient, and easy to prepare pantry staples. You can find almost anything in a can, but be careful of expiry dates, as the shelf life for canned goods is typically 2-3 years. Here is a list of commonly stored survival food pantry canned items
- Canned Meat (Ham, Chicken, Sausages, Spam)
- Canned Fish (Tuna, Salmon, Sardines)
- Vegetables (go for higher calorie veggies like potato, yams, etc)
- Meals in a can (prepared chili, ravioli, stews, etc)
- Canned Soup
Fats and oils are essential for a healthy diet. Oils and fats are a nutritional powerhouse that satisfies hunger and keeps you going. Be aware though, most fats and oils have a shelf life of 1-3 years.
- Nut Butters (also good protein)
- Vegetable Oil
- Olive Oil
- Canola Oil
- Coconut Oil
- Animal Fats (Lard, Ghee, Tallow)
Water of course is your most important “food” to have on hand, but other beverages are lightweight, long-life, and add much-needed flavor to boost morale and enjoyment.
- Koolaid Powder
- Gatorade Powder
- Coffee Granules
- Hot Cocoa
- Powdered Milk (Good for cooking & baking as well)
Spices & Seasonings
Spices & herbs not only make your food taste better, but some of them can last forever if properly stored. Ground spices may lose potency over the years, but remain edible for many years.
- Soy Sauce
- Black Pepper
- Garlic Powder
- Chicken/Beer bullion cubes
Pro Tip – Buy whole spices and grind them yourself for longer-lasting spices!
Freeze Dried & Dehydrated
Dehydrated and freeze-dried meals have sprung into the mainstream in recent years and include a huge range of delicious, nutritious options.
Freeze-dried and dehydrated full meals are a survival food prepper’s dream offering up lightweight, calorie-dense, ready to go meals all in one package. They can be costly compared to buying bulk & dried goods, but their ease, convenience, and long shelf-life make them a great addition to your prepper pantry.
Some of our recommended dehydrated food kits include:
If you are looking for the best quality freeze dryer, we suggest Harvest Right.
Foods To Avoid Or For Short Term Use Only
If you’re looking at decent storage and long shelf life there are a few normal staples you might instinctively reach to put in your survival food kit but should be avoided.
- Seeds & Nuts – High-fat content means spoiling quickly
- Granola Bars – great for hikers, but won’t last long
- Brown Rice – much lower shelf life than white rice
- Whole Wheat Flour – much lower shelf life then bleached flour. If you want the nutritional benefits of whole wheat, you can buy whole-wheat berries which last much longer, and grind them yourself.
You can customize your survival food prepper list to suit your exact needs, preferences, and dietary requirements. This list is by no means a complete rundown of items you must have. As long as you remember to have nutrition, shelf-life, storage, cooking methods, and dietary needs in mind, your survival food storage kit can be extremely versatile and satisfying.
At Wild Oak Trail, we are here to help and happy to answer any questions you have. Give us a call at 1-844-945-3625 or email firstname.lastname@example.org