Best Survival Food Kits

This post contains affiliate links. If you click on a link and make a purchase, we may earn a commission at no additional cost to you.

By Dennis Howard •  15 min read

Long term food storage is an issue with which most of us struggle when prepping for survival situations (e.g., urban, or wilderness).  There are several considerations in setting up a long term food storage program for yourself and your family.  One of the best methods I have found is to purchase survival food kits.  There are several companies of survival food kits in the US today, and their products have come a long way since long-range patrol rations and MRE’s were the choices.

Best Survival Food Kits in the market

In truth, there are several different ways you can approach long term food storage.  My personal method is a three-tiered approach.  I try to keep a three month supply of what we use the most from the grocery store.

At the second tier, I store a supply of things that are shelf-stable for 12 to 18 months.  I must admit that most of this is food that I pressure can fresh out of our garden.  The third tier is a supply of long term survival style food (e.g., these can be emergency food bars).  Most of what I keep have a 25-year shelf life when stored according to the manufacturer’s direction.

What to Look For in Long Term Food Storage?

What to Look For in Long Term Food Storage_

There are things that I believe are essential in any product that you purchase as a long term food storage solution.  Some of them have to do with the product and some of them are related to the packaging.

Eatability

This is my term and its number one on the list for a reason. Eatabiity encompasses several factors.  The three that are the most important are

Sustainability

The whole concept of survival preparedness is built around the concept of looking into the future and trying to anticipate what might happen, what may be needed, and what conditions may exist at that time. Your survival food has to meet the sustainability challenge. In other words

Affordability

Can you afford to stockpile enough of the product for you and your family? Can you start a buying program to incrementally build up your long term food reserve?  Are their bulk buying options?

Those are the things that I look for when choosing long term food storage options.  I used these three criteria when looking at what ar the best survival food kits to used for my stash.


Best Survival Food Kits: My Top 6 Survival Food Companies

Here are my top picks at a quick glance:

FOOD KITS DETAILS
  • Easy preparation. Just add water.
  • 30 year guaranteed shelf life.
  • Many sizes from individual meal packages to #10 cans..
Check Price on
Amazon.com
  • Freeze-dried meats.
  • Vegetables in abundance.
  • 25-year shelf life on their products.
Check Price on
Amazon.com
  • 25-year shelf life.
  • Gluten-free and organic buckets available.
  • Stack well and make for efficient and compact storage.
Check Price on
Amazon.com

1. Best Freeze Dried Survival Food Kits – Mountain House Review

Mountain House Biscuits and Gravy, 4.94 oz, Pouch

If you spend any time in the outdoors camping or hiking, you are familiar with Mountain House.  Originally a producer of freeze-dried bulk foods, the company, then known as Oregon Freeze Dry, won a contract from the US Military to produce freeze-dried meal packets for soldiers in the field.  That was the birth of what was to be known as LRP’s or long range patrol rations.

Mountain House brought the concept to the civilian market and scored a huge success with outdoor enthusiasts of all kinds.  Mountain House has expanded its product line from simple pouch meals to include Pro-Paks, #10 cans, buckets, and kits.

Check out our detailed Mountain House hands-on review.

Pros

Cons

  • Easy preparation. Just add water.
  • 30 year guaranteed shelf life.
  • Many sizes from individual meal packages to #10 cans..
Check Price on
Amazon.com

2. Runner up Freeze-Dried Survival Food Kits – Thrive Life Foods Review

Thrive Life FUJI Apple Snackies | Pack of 6 | Healthy Freeze Dried Snacks |...

Upfront, let me be clear.  Thrive Foods is technically not a survival food product.  They don’t advertise toward the preparedness crowd, nor do they package their products into kits or packs or buckets.  They don’t, for the most part, package complete meals.

However, that being said, if you are building a long term food storage stockpile in your home or other location, you really need to consider Thrive Life Foods.  I sold these products when I had my retail store and they were immensely popular with many people who were building big pantries for really long term food storage.

Why did Thrive come in as a runnerup?  They made my list because of the selection of products that they offer.  I have always believed that the most likely scenario for me was a long term shelter in place condition where the whole food supply chain has ground to a halt.  Stocking a long term pantry with products from Thrive is like stocking my three-month pantry.

Pros

Cons

If you really want to explore the Thrive Life line of freeze-dried foods, you can visit their website here.

  • Freeze-dried meats.
  • Vegetables in abundance.
  • 25-year shelf life on their products.
Check Price on
Amazon.com

3. Best Long Term Survival Food Kits – Wise Company Review

ReadyWise Long Term Emergency Food Supply, Breakfast and Entree Variety (9...

Wise is probably the best-known brand in long term survival food storage kits.  The product line from Wise Company includes everything from their Grab-and-Go kits to bundles designed to meet the requirements for entire families.

Wise even has a line of emergency kits dogs and cats, automobile emergency kits and survival packs. Wise even has specialty buckets for anyone shopping for long term survival food but needs a gluten-free option or wants only organic foods in their supplies.

I carried Wise products in my store and, on more than one occasion, when I was alone and busy, I enjoyed a Wise meal when I could work it in.  The food tastes good, comes out looking good, and doesn’t turn into mush.  Wise is a wise choice.

Pros

Cons

  • 25-year shelf life.
  • Gluten-free and organic buckets available.
  • Stack well and make for efficient and compact storage.
Check Price on
Amazon.com

4. Runner Up Long Term Survival Food Kits – Augasaon Farms Review

Augason Farms Freeze-Dried White Meat Chicken 100% Real Precooked Chicken...

Augason farms have a long history of producing food products.   They have been in business since 1972.  Now their products can be found in most of the big box retail superstores and in the membership bulk purchase stores across the country.

The Augason Farms product line is deep.  You can purchase everything from bundles kits to individual packages of soup and drink mixes.  Augason also now carries a complete line of prepper supplies to help you round out your long term preparations.

Pros

Cons

  • 25-year shelf life.
  • Square pail packaging makes storage convenient.
  • Free shipping.
Check Price on
Amazon.com

5. Best Alternative Survival Food Kits – Valley Food Storage Review

If you want to carry your concerns about organic foods, non-GMO ingredients, and MSG-free food, then you should look to Valley Food Storage products.  This company offers a variety of individual survival food options as well as kits and bundles for families or groups.

Valley Good Storage has taken their survival thinking a step further with their Kid’s Favorites Selections.  These additional kits include things like mac and cheese, freeze-dried fruits, and a host of other foods that will keep kids satisfied and happy.

Pros

Cons

Unfortunately, Valley Foods Products are not available except through dealers or the Valley Food Website here. Our team performed a hands-on review of Valley Food which you can check out for more details.

6. Best Intermediate Survival Food Kits – Meals Ready to Eat Review

Ozark Outdoorz 01/2018 Pack, 01/2021 Inspection US Military MRE B Case with...

=I admit it. I threw MRE’s on the list out of nostalgia.  I have too many great memories of nights at a deer camp, or on the lake fishing, sitting around the fire and enjoying an MRE with my friends. It’s a tradition I have carried on with my own kids and now, my grandkids.

There are some civilian versions of the military MRE’s available. I prefer military issue products.  I have my favorites among the meal selections included in the cases.  One of my all-time favorites is the Mexican style Chicken Stew.

These shouldn’t be considered long-term survival food kits.  Under the best storage conditions, you can only expect MRE’s to retain their full nutritional value and flavor for ten years.  If they are stored where they are exposed to extremes of temperature, that can be shortened to 5 years.

However, for intermediate emergency food storage, MRE’s are a great option.   Even now, I will grab one from my closet and head out to the park and sit by the lake, enjoy an MRE, and watch the sun go down.

Pros

Cons

  • Genuine US War Fighter Rations.
  • Ships lightning fast.
  • Serious MRE consumers who want the best, longest shelf life.
Check Price on
Amazon.com

Open Questions about Survival Food Kits…

What about Water?

Almost all of our picks require water to prepare the food.  This is true of any dehydrated of freeze-dried food.  Your long-term survival food kit plan should include the means to produce clean portable water for you and your family.  There are many good water filtration and purification systems on the market.

Where should I store my survival food?

Where should I store my survival food_

The enemy of any long term survival food product is temperature.  Any extremes in heat or cold can seriously compromise the quality and nutritional value of your stored food.  Each manufacturer has recommendations on how to best store your long term survival food, and you should follow those recommendations.

How much survival food do I need?

How much survival food do I need_

More than anything that depends on what you are planning?  Different scenarios in a plan require different approaches to deciding how much long term survival food storage is appropriate.  There are lots of questions to be answered.

Personally, I try to keep at least a 12-month cache of long term survival food in my cache all the time.  There are other extenuating circumstances that you may need to consider.  Planning a long term survival food storage system should be undertaken carefully.


As you begin exploring the emergency food kits

As you begin to plan and procure your long-term survival food kit, I hope that you now have a better understanding of what you should think about and what is on the market.  You are making a sizeable investment and you want to be sure that you are getting the best possible outcome for your money.

Our suggestion is the Wise Company.  From personal experience, I know their products to meet my three essential tests of being the best survival food kit.  The Wise kits meet the eatability test.  The meals are tasty.  As far as Sustainability, their packaging is superior and their 25-year shelf life meets my goals. You won’t find a company that meets the affordability criteria better than Wise.

Dennis Howard

A life long hunter, fisherman, and outdoorsman, after surviving a devastating tornado in his home town, he saw the effects on people's lives as they struggled to cope. He built his first bugout bag a few weeks later and has been a dedicated prepper/survivalist since that time. After a career as a fireman, Dennis opened a retail store (FFL approved) catering to the military, law enforcement, and like-minded individuals. The store built their own AR platforms. Furthermore, Dennis was also an NRA instructor in both long gun and handgun as well as a certified range safety officer. Read his full interview here.