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How To Choose A Survival Food Kit

Preparing a survival food kit for an emergency is one of the smartest moves you’ll make for yourself and your family. No one knows when an emergency will cause power outages or food shortages.

Whether you put together your foods together or buy a ready-made survival food kit, here are the most important factors to consider:


Picture of the Nutritional Facts Label

The amount of energy you get from your food is one of the most important factors to consider when choosing your food. The health of you and your family should be your number one priority, and reaching your daily calorie intake is the best thing you can do for survival.  

In an emergency, you’ll likely require more calories than normal as stress and higher exertion means burning through your calories faster.  

Make sure you have 1600-1800 calories per day.  


Picture of Nutrition

Calories are important but you'll want to reach for foods with high nutritional value to keep you going long-term. Choose meals with calories relatively balanced between carbs and fats, containing lots of fiber and other nutrients.  

Many prepackaged survival food kits are very carb-heavy with high sodium content and low nutritional value. It’s important to check the package and be informed about the nutrients you and your family need for optimal health.  

Numanna is a good model for what a nutritionally balanced kit looks like.   


Picture of some of the Ingredients before cooking

Now it’s time to get a little more specific. What ingredients should you buy and store? You won’t have the option of going to the grocery store in an emergency, so you're going to want to pick foods that you know how to cook, are nutritious, and have a long shelf life. 

Shoot for foods with a variety of cooking and storing methods. You don’t want to only rely on frozen foods and risk the power going out in your home. Alternatively, you don’t want only canned goods, as those can be heavy and hard to transport if you need to move quickly.  

Related  – Best Prepper Food Checklist

Cooking Methods

Picture of meat grilling

How you’re able to prepare your food will impact which foods you decide to put in your pack.  Keep in mind - the majority of prepackaged food packs require boiling water to prepare.  

While dried foods like rice and beans are great high calorie & low space foods, you’ll want to have a variety of other foods on hand in case you don’t have immediate access to boiling water or equipment. Foods such as dehydrated, freeze-dried, or canned foods are all good to have available, as they don’t require fire or boiled water.


Picture of a man tasting food

Taste is often placed lower on the survival food kit importance scale, but it shouldn’t be ignored. Keeping up morale is a critical factor in an emergency, and nothing improves mood and morale quite like a good tasty meal.  

Kids are often the most difficult to please, and they may not eat at all if the food doesn’t taste good. Packing your kit with tasty meals will ensure you only pick up junk foods.     

Protip - If you’re buying prepackaged foods check online reviews as users often include their opinion of the product's taste.  

Specialized Diet

Picture of Food variety

The consideration of dietary needs and allergies is essential. In an emergency, you may not have access to life-saving medicine if someone has a bad reaction, so you want to avoid any chance of having a negative reaction to your food.  

Make a list of all dietary restrictions and allergies you and your family have before putting together your survival food kit or buying any prepackaged meal kits.   

Survival food kit companies have greatly improved their products in recent years to cater to a wide range of dietary needs and restrictions. Make sure to thoroughly check that the product you’re buying is safe for you and your family. 

Weight & Storage

Picture of Food Storages

The storage of your food is another important element of your survival food kit. You need to consider how much space you have in your home, as it is recommended to have at least 1-2 weeks of rations minimum.  

You should pick a storage place in your home that’s cool and dry, with good ventilation.  Basement or root cellars are generally the best options.  

If you’re preparing a bug-out bag, you’ll want to choose foods that don’t have unnecessary packaging or ingredients. Choose foods that are relatively lightweight such as freeze-dried and dehydrated foods.  

Protip – Top-quality containers can add years or even decades to your food’s shelf life, so choose carefully. We recommend something like Nutrient Survival Food Kit for kits that are light weight and have a long shelf life.   

Shelf Life

Picture of a spoiled fruit

Above everything else, the shelf life on your food is perhaps the most important factor to consider when buying a survival food kit.  No one knows how long food shortages will be in an emergency, or how expensive food will get when in short supply.  

If you have to camp out for long periods, you want the peace of mind to know the food with you won't go off. Don’t rely solely on frozen or refrigerated foods, as the power often goes out at the worst times.  


Need more help putting together your survival food kit?  Check out our extensive range of products designed for any condition and budget.  We’re always here to help, so give us a call and we’ll be glad to answer your questions!

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 info@wildoaktrail.com

Joshua Abedoza
Joshua Abedoza

Meet Josh, Wild Oak Trail's solar generator and prepping powerhouse, celebrated for his friendly approach and readiness to assist. With over two years at Wild Oak Trail, Josh seamlessly blends professional advice with caring expertise. His experience stretches from the nuances of harnessing solar power to the art of preparedness, always delivered with a warm smile and an eagerness to empower our community through knowledge.

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