What Is The Best Survival Food With A Long Shelf Life?

What Is The Best Survival Food With A Long Shelf Life?

Look, no one wants to spend the next 25 years planning for a disaster to happen, but statistics show that you should definitely be preparing for it anyway. A big part of that preparation is ensuring that your family will be self-reliant when it comes to long-term food storage and water in case of an emergency, and our job is to make that as simple as possible for you.

We’re going to break down the best survival foods with long shelf lives so that you can stock up and spend less, worry less, and waste less time over the next 25 years and beyond.

5 Survival Foods That Can Last 10 Years

Honestly, in terms of seriously long shelf life foods, 10 years isn’t a lot. However, it’s a great place to start when looking for what to buy for survival food, and these five items should definitely qualify as staples on your survival food list. You’ll have to keep an eye on them for rotation every decade, but these long shelf-life foods also supplement your daily diet when they need to be replaced in your long-term food storage.

Powdered Whole Eggs

Protein is a must-have when you’re fueling your body in an emergency. Meat can be difficult to store long-term (unless you snag some freeze-dried meats for your food storage), so powdered whole eggs are a great way to get some vital nutrients as well as the protein your body will crave. They’re incredibly easy to make—just add water and heat—and bonus, they’re really light and easy to pack around in case you’re not hunkered down in one house for the next 10 years.


Many grains like oats, barley, and quinoa, are finicky for long-term storage and because of oil content can go rancid sooner than other grains. However, cornmeal, when properly prepared and stored, can last up to 10 years in dry, sealed containers. It’s also a great ingredient to have around for delicious cornmeal recipes like cornbread, corn mush, dumplings, and even cornmeal chocolate chip cookies.

Pre-Packaged Mixes 

It’s pretty well guaranteed that come disaster time, you’re going to need a little comfort. Properly packaged pancake mix is an awesome survival food with a long shelf life that offers more than just calories. Every little bit of “normalcy” you can muster in uncertain times—say, Saturday morning pancakes—can make a big difference for your family. You could also add Jell-O or pudding to your long-term food supply if packaged in airtight containers and stored in a cool, dry place.

Potato Flakes 

Mashed potato-lovers rejoice: instant potato flakes are yet another good survival food with a long shelf life. They’re both relatively inexpensive as well as versatile when it comes to using in an emergency or rotating through your daily diet. Instant potatoes are also easy on the tummy and can last for up to 10 years when stored properly—again, airtight containers in a cool, dry place.

Powdered Beverages

Powdered drinks like milk, instant coffee, cocoa, and even certain teas are another great way to add some variety and even routine back into your life during an emergency. Powdered milk is an especially good survival “food” with a long shelf life because you can add it to things other than water to increase calcium intake like oatmeal, baked goods, and sauces for rice, pasta, or meat dishes—all of which can be made with a properly curated emergency food supply.

5 Survival Foods That Can Last 25 Years (Or More!) 

The best survival foods with a long shelf life are ones that you truly don’t need to worry about for decades at a time. Keep in mind that each of these foods requires proper preparation and storage for them to last up to 25 years or more, but luckily, we’ll make that easy on you, too.

White Rice 

White rice is one of the best foods for survival [LINK TO RICE POST WHEN AVAILABLE] for many reasons. First off, it can last for over 25 years on the shelf without worry. Rice is also a great nutritional survival food (think easy carb energy, plenty of fiber, and B vitamins galore!), plus it’s cost-effective, versatile, easy to prepare, and easy to store. Just make sure you keep it in airtight containers with oxygen absorbers, preferably around 40 degrees Fahrenheit. But don’t worry, if you keep it under 70 degrees, it should be fine.

Dry Beans 

Hey, beans go hand in hand with rice for a reason, right? They’re another great survival food with a long shelf life. They can be stored easily in your pantry—again, packaged well and sealed to prevent any type of pests—but they do get drier with time so make sure to account for some extra water storage since you’ll need to rehydrate your beans to make them edible in an emergency.

Freeze-Dried Fruits & Vegetables 

Fruits and vegetables sometimes get forgotten when it comes to long-term food storage but you’d definitely regret their absence after a few days of straight rice and beans! Aside from the incredible variety of flavor they can add to your emergency meals, the added nutritional value of freeze-dried fruits and vegetables will be crucial when dealing with the extra physical and mental stress disaster brings. When prepared and packaged properly, like Hibernate’s fruits and veggies are, you’ll have another source of delicious survival food with a long shelf life. Bonus—they’re also awesome for snacking!


Now, for all the flavor and variety fruits and vegetables bring to a meal, we strongly recommend storing some long-lasting condiments in your emergency food supply as well. When kept dry and pest-free, things like salt, whole spices, soy sauce, bouillon, vinegar, honey, table sugar, maple syrup, and vanilla extract can last beyond the 25-year benchmark. And they’ll do wonders for taking just a little more stress off the table during difficult times.

Hibernate Freeze-Dried Meals

Let’s be honest, when times are tough, the last thing most of us want to do is get gourmet in the kitchen. Having something simple and easy to prepare that the entire family will dig into—and that will fuel them with quality nutritional ingredients—is a top priority. So adding Hibernate freeze-dried meals to your emergency food storage is one of the best ways to not only ensure you’ve got food that will last 25 years but survival food that actually tastes good and is cost-effective as well.

Overall, your goal when creating your emergency food storage supply is to get a variety of quality foods that are sure to last. Picking the right survival foods with a long shelf life will save you time, effort, money, space, and plenty of stress in both the short and long run.


More On Food Storage: 

How Do You Store Your Emergency Food Supply? 

Camping Food Ideas

How Much Food Do I Need to Feed My Family In An Emergency?