Buyer’s Guide To The Best Survival Food

Dried Food From Bags

When you’re out in the wilderness trying to survive, you don’t exactly have the tools on hand to cook up a gourmet feast each night. Although it would be nice to have something tasty and nutritious on offer in a survival situation, the reality is that you really only need the nutritious part. Enter, survival food. This often bland food alternative might not taste that amazing, but it can honestly save your life.

The world of emergency survival food has seen so many changes in the last 20 years, now including a whole range of specialized options. Gluten free survival food, organic survival food, and innovative survival food kits have ushered in a whole new space in the market for these types of rations. While their taste might not have improved much, the nutritional value and convenience certainly have.

Depending on your personal circumstances, how many mouths you have to feed, how much space you have to carry your supplies, and any dietary requirements you might have, you’ll probably look for something unique in your survival food list. Whether you’re after the best canned food for survival or prefer the pouch variety, there’s no shortage of options out there.

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What Should You Look For In the Best Survival Food

With literally thousands of options available online for survival food, it can be a tricky area to maneuver when thinking of survival situations. So, what is the best survival food for you? You’ll need to determine how much you need to eat, for how many days you’re planning on feeding yourself for, and any other benefits you might be looking for from your supplies so do this before you make your purchase.

  • Quantity - All survival food supplies should come clearly marked with their serving size, caloric value, and how many days they’re intended to last.
  • Quality - The quality of survival food supplies has only gotten better over time, but if there are specific things you look for in your food such as organic content then you’ll be able to find something to suit.
  • Taste – although you shouldn’t expect a gourmet meal from survival food pouches, you might require just a little bit of flavor. For some, though, the taste won’t matter as long as they’re getting the energy from it.
  • Shelf Life – check labels carefully as these products may have a long shelf life but once opened won’t last as long as you would hope. Survival food storage will vary for each product so be sure to check the labels.
  • Packaging – whether it’s canned or pouches, the packaging of your survival food will depend entirely on your preference. Survival food packs offer greater variety and volume than single servings alone.
  • Transportability – how easy is your food to transport, and do you plan on leaving it somewhere such as a cabin or will you be taking it along in your survival kit?

The best thing to keep in mind when purchasing survival food is that it should be viewed as fuel for your body, and nothing else. While it would be nice to have something that’s flavorsome and delicious, the reality is often quite far from that in an emergency situation.

Best Survival Food Product Under $50

LifeStraw Personal Water Filter System

  • Portable product that can be reused for up to 1000 liters of water
  • Removes minimum 99.99% of waterborne bacteria and waterborne parasites
  • Comes in a sealed bag for emergencies
  • Millions have been sold since 2005

When we think of survival food, we are often quick to discount water as one of our most precious supplies. While it’s true that most people organize their water and food separately, we couldn’t pass up the chance to talk about the amazing LifeStraw.

LifeStraw Personal Water Filter System On White Background

This personal water filter system is a handy and compact device that you can carry on you at all times, which will allow you to drink directly from contaminated water without an issue. The amazing device has won countless awards for its ingenuity and remains one of the best products for any emergency prepper to have.

The LifeSmart Personal Water Filter System removes over 99.99% of waterborne parasites and bacteria from water, so even if you don’t have a supply of clean, filtered water on hand you will be able to safely drink from nearby streams, lakes, and other bodies of water. The best part is, it does all of this without any harmful chemicals.

One issue with the LifeStraw is that unless you have access to water, it’s not going to help you out. Any good emergency prepper should still carry filtered water with them for emergencies, but this is a nice backup all the same.

Mountain House Beef Stew Canned Food

  • 10 servings of beef stew, at one cup size per serve
  • Uses all natural beef, carrots, and potatoes for a genuine flavor
  • Preparation is easy as you just add water and heat
  • 30-year guarantee means you can store it away for an emergency

Mountain House is a trusted name in survival foods, and they’re known for creating meals that taste a little better than the average pouch. Regarded as some of the best survival food kits, their canned food product contains 10 serves of a 1 cup size of beef stew and there’s enough to last you just under a week.

Mountain House Beef Stew Canned Food On White Background

When you compare the price per serve on this, it does cost a little more than the others, but these meals suit those who are happy to spend to get a better tasting meal. The beef stew contains all natural beef, along with carrots and potatoes, for a hearty meal that will fill you with nutrition and energy. To prepare it is simple, just add hot water to each serving and wait for 10 minutes until it’s ready.

This canned food comes with a 30-year shelf life, but once opened you’ll need to eat it within a few days if stored correctly. So this type of survival food probably isn’t ideal for a solo traveler. However, if you’re stocking up for multiple people then some of these will be ideal to offer variety.

The other issue with canned food is that it’s not as easy to transport as pouches, however, if you’re storing the cans in a cabin or other space then it won’t present a problem. Overall, the Mountain House range is worth spending a few extra dollars to get something that you will actually enjoy eating.

Best Survival Food Product Over $50

Augason Farm’s Food Supply Pail

  • Food contained in one handy 7-gallon pail for easy storage
  • Over 30 days of emergency food available for one person or a week for a family of four
  • 307 servings provided in 35 pouches
  • Will last for up to 20 years unopened
  • Food supply equals over 1,800 calories per day for each person

If you want to get serious about your survival food storage and don’t feel that 10 serves is enough, a product like Augason Farm’s Food Supply Pail could be the right product for you. With 35 pouches of food providing over 300 serves of food, there’s more than enough here to feed a family comfortably for a week or a single person for a month.

Augason Farms 30-Day Emergency Food Storage Supply Pail

These larger food supply pails can’t be packed away in your survival backpack, but because they’re divided into smaller pouches you can choose just a few to keep stored away. Keep in mind, though, that with this particular product once opened you will need to consume the food within 12 months.

This food supply pail by Augason Farm’s has quite a variety within, which means you won’t get bored with your choices. Everything from macaroni, chicken soup, powdered milk, and more has been provided to give you an option for breakfast, lunch, and dinner. This brand offers great value for money, but you might want to bring along the salt and pepper to give them a little more flavor.

Although the hope with these foods is that you never have to actually use them, it wouldn’t be the worst thing in the world if you did. Augason Farms is known for providing quality food supplies in their products, however, the taste may take some getting used to.

Mountain House Classic Assortment Bucket

  • 30-year shelf life for food within the bucket
  • Delicious and nutritious food including stroganoff and granola
  • 12 serves of food to last a single person over three days
  • Each daily serving is worth 2,000 calories so can be adjusted accordingly
  • Preparation is simple with hot water

Another of the popular survival food bucket options comes again from Mountain House. Unlike their smaller canned food varieties mentioned earlier, this larger supply of food will end up costing a lot less per serve. However, it’s still far more expensive than the other brands but people are happy to pay this extra amount to get food that tastes good as well.

Mountain House Classic Assortment Bucket On White Background

The Mountain House Just In Case Classic Assortment Bucket comes with 12 serves of food, so there’s enough to feed a person comfortably for over three days. Each daily serving equals 2,000 calories so if you require less than that to survive you may be able to stretch it even further. To prepare, simply add hot water and wait, giving it a no-fuss approach to eating.

The range of food within the Mountain House bucket is truly exceptional, with everything from Beef Stroganoff to Granola and Blueberries. This isn’t your usual tasteless survival food, and you might even be tempted to give it a try even when you’re not in an emergency. You’ll need 21 cups of water available to make the food up, though, so ensure you have planned for this as well.

This product is considerably more expensive when compared to others on the market, so it really depends on what you pride more with your survival food. It will last up to 30 years, so you can make it stretch quite a while, but the cost can be quite hefty when you consider it may never be eaten.


With so many interesting options now available for survival food, your personal preference will again play a huge role in determining which is best for you. For those who want to save their pennies and are happy to sacrifice taste, the Augason Farms is exceptional value for money. Although they might not taste as good, they will give you more than enough nutrition to keep your energy up.

However, if you only purchase one pack of survival food in your lifetime and are happy to spend a little more, you won’t be disappointed with the taste and variety you can get from the Mountain House Just In Case Classic Assortment Bucket. They look so enticing you might even want to open them early to try a sample for yourself.

Spaghetti With Meatballs In Cooking Pan

Of course, no survival food supply kit should be complete without water, so a SmartLife straw can be an absolute lifesaver in an emergency. However, you should still have plans in place to bring along clean, filtered water in your survival gear too. The LifeStraw is just a nice backup plan to have in case you find yourself running low.

If you have any questions or comments about our top picks for survival food, please feel free to leave your thoughts below. Alternatively, you can email us directly to discuss it further by clicking here. Although survival food is a necessity in an emergency, it’s not an area you need to concern yourself with too much provided you have just one of these products in place.

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