Emergency Survival Food List

Making a survival food list for short-term emergencies (a week or less) is all about getting as many calories as possible to sustain energy. MREs, SOS rations and energy bars are good options.

survival food list - canning

But making a long term survival food list is no different than organizing your weekly trip to the grocery store. Attention must be paid not only to minimum caloric requirements, but also to vitamin and nutrient content.

In other words, you still need a balanced diet. And amazingly, it is possible to enjoy “fresh” produce from a can.

Survival food manufacturers offer a dizzying array of fruits, vegetables, meats, dairy, grains, breakfasts, lunches, suppers, desserts, snacks and drinks all packaged for long-term storage. And these are not the typical canned fare. Since moisture is removed, much of the original flavor returns when water is reintroduced.

These foods are usually freeze dried or dehydrated, then sealed in a #10 can. This can size is standard for survival food packaging and is like the feed-a-small-army cans found in the grocery sections of your local Taj-Mart or BuckingSam Palace.

Creating a Long Term Emergency Survival Food List

Many survival food stores offer 72 hour, 1 week, 1 month, 3 month, 6 month and 12 month supplies of food, bundled into convenient, nutritionally-balanced packages. Buying a year’s supply will set you back anywhere from $1,000 - $4,000, but is a good way to stock your emergency food coffers without a lot of thought.

But if you’d prefer to build your own supply (recommended) you can get exactly what you want. You might save some money too, especially if you already own a vacuum sealer and food dehydrator.

4 Tips For Buying Survival Food

  • TIP #1: The year’s supply is usually cheaper than buying the same ingredients separately, but you can save money by picking up certain items (spices, pasta, rice and dried sauces, for example) at supermarkets, rather than the survival food store.

    Off-the-shelf dehydrated foods that are then vacuum-sealed will last for decades and can cut costs by 50% or more. Click here for more food preservation techniques for building your survival food list.

  • TIP #2: If you plan on placing a large order with a survival food store, it is definitely worthwhile to check if they offer a volume discount. But don’t email, call. It’s often easier to make a deal while talking to a real person, rather than through cyberspace.

  • TIP #3: When choosing survival food, buy what you’d eat normally. Though in an emergency food is food, there’s no sense in adding stress at the dinner table if you can avoid it. Remember to get the whole family’s input!

  • TIP #4: Start small. If you’re still unsure of what to order, buy a sampler. Many survival food stores sell products in small quantities for this purpose. This will also help you practice the re-hydration and other preparation techniques for cooking freeze-dried food.

Survival Food List

Below is a compilation of common freeze-dried or dehydrated survival foods available from manufacturers like Saratoga Farms (TM), Mountain House and Provident Pantry. All are packaged for long-term storage.


  • Apples
  • Apple sauce
  • Apricots
  • Bananas
  • Oranges
  • Blackberries
  • Blueberries
  • Strawberries
  • Raspberries
  • Cherries
  • Mango
  • Peaches
  • Pineapple
  • Raisins

Grains, Pasta

  • Barley
  • Cornmeal
  • Crackers
  • Flour - white, whole grain
  • Popcorn
  • Oats
  • White Rice
  • Spelt
  • Wheat - hard red, hard white, soft
  • Macaroni
  • Spaghetti
  • Egg noodles
  • Pancake mix

Beans, Legumes

  • Black beans
  • Kidney beans
  • Lentils
  • Pinto beans
  • Red beans
  • White beans
  • Soy beans, edamame
  • Peanut butter
  • Split green peas
  • Re-fried beans


  • Brownies
  • Raspberry crumble
  • Muffins
  • Cheesecake
  • Ice cream
  • Pudding
  • Cakes
  • Cookies


  • Scrambled Eggs w/ bacon, ham
  • Cereals
  • Granola

Lunch, Supper

  • Beef stroganoff
  • Macaroni and cheese
  • Chicken ala king
  • Chicken Alfredo
  • Chili Mac
  • Fettuccini Alfredo
  • Lasagna
  • Pasta primavera
  • Rotini
  • Spaghetti with meat sauce
  • Sweet and sour beef, chicken, pork
  • Teriyaki beef, chicken
  • Turkey tetrazzini
  • Rice pilaf
  • Beef, chicken, vegetable stew
  • Potato soup
  • Tortilla soup
  • Bacon potato chowder


  • Green beans
  • Broccoli
  • Carrots
  • Cauliflower
  • Celery
  • Corn
  • Potatoes
  • Mushrooms
  • Onions
  • Peas
  • Peppers
  • Spinach
  • Tomatoes
  • Zucchini

Meat, Eggs

  • Beef
  • Chicken
  • Bacon
  • Sausage
  • Turkey
  • Egg white powder
  • Textured vegetable protein - imitation beef, chicken, ham, sausage, bacon


  • Spaghetti
  • Broth - beef, chicken, vegetable
  • Gravy - beef, chicken
  • Taco
  • Enchilada
  • Sloppy Joe
  • Pesto


  • Butter powder
  • Clarified butter
  • Buttermilk powder
  • Cheese - monterey jack, colby, cheddar, mozzarella, cottage
  • Instant Milk powder
  • Sour cream powder
  • Yogurt

Spices, Baking

  • Allspice
  • Basil
  • Chili powder
  • Cayenne powder
  • Cinnamon
  • Garlic powder
  • Italian seasoning
  • Onion powder
  • Pepper
  • Salt (iodized)
  • Vanilla powder
  • Margarine powder
  • Cornstarch
  • Baking powder
  • Baking soda
  • Honey
  • Shortening powder
  • Sugar - white, brown


  • Fruit punch
  • Grape
  • Lemonade
  • Orange
  • Strawberry
  • Raspberry

For more survival food list ideas check out my Ultimate (Really) Survival Gear Checklist.

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