Is Spam Good Survival Food? Survival 101

Spam is one of those food items that has been talked about, almost jokingly, in many circles as a staple to have in a prepper pantry.

Is Spam a Good Survival Food

More times than I can count I have heard something along the lines of “I’m all ready to go because I have my beans and Spam.” 

Of course, the above statement is a bit tongue in cheek, but I know plenty of people who love this salty meat, and on occasion so do I. 

With all the talk about Spam I came across the question as to whether or not it is a good survival food, especially since it gets a bad rap for being unhealthy.

After thinking about this for a good long while I have concluded that Spam would be a decent survival food and here are my reasons why. 

Reasons to Have Some Spam 


The health question about Spam is probably the most pertinent one to answer. During normal times I can see why people frown upon consuming it. 

While it is high in protein it is also high in sodium and fat. 

Most of us have diets that could be better and when we are eating three meals a day supplemented by drinks and snacks, eating Spam regularly probably isn’t the healthiest choice. 

Remember, everything in moderation. 

However, in a survival situation, we are not going to be eating three squares a day and there will be more physical activity.

Salt can be hard to come by naturally, is required by our bodies, and we lose it through sweating. Fat is used as an energy source and protein is needed for our muscles.

When you consider our diets will drastically change in a survival situation, you can begin to see how a little bit of Spam could be beneficial. 

Shelf Life

Cans of Spam that I have seen do not have expiration dates but best by dates. I have heard that if the can remains sealed it can remain good for many, many years beyond the date on the can.

However, results are varied on the edibility of its long shelf life. The consensus towards its freshness seems to lean towards a lifespan of two to five years.

Even on the low end of that range, a two year shelf life without refrigeration is pretty good.



I like Spam because it can be eaten or cooked in several different ways. 

It can be eaten cold right out of the can.

It can be sliced and put onto a sandwich. 

It can be fried up and served with eggs which by the way is very tasty!

It can be cut up into cubes, pierced with a stick, and cooked over an open fire. 

Or small chunks of it can be added to bland soups or stews to help give it more flavor. 

Wrapping It Up 

In a survival situation, Spam will help to provide salts, fats, and proteins that our bodies need. But like most things’ moderation should be used. 

Having a few cans of Spam in your pantry wouldn’t be a bad idea but planning to survive on it alone, is not going to be the healthiest choice. 

Thanks for reading and stay prepared!

Lovers of Spam sound off in the comment section below and let us know what you think of this canned meat as survival food.

Written by Bryan Lynch

Bryan grew up in the Midwest and spent every waking moment outdoors. Learning how to hunt, fish, read the land, and be self-reliant was part of everyday life. Eventually, he combined his passions for the outdoors, emergency preparedness, and writing. His goal was to spread positive information about this field. In 2019, Bryan authored the book Swiss Army Knife Camping and Outdoor Survival Guide. His second book, Paracord Projects For Camping and Outdoor Survival, is scheduled to be released on March 2, 2021. Read more of Bryan's articles.