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Survival Food Bars

In our calorie counting society, it might seem silly to be considering making, storing, or carrying something like high-calorie survival food bars. However, in an outdoor adventure or emergency, these bars are a great way to stay fueled. 

Man hiking at sunset mountains
Pack survival food bars for your outdoor adventures

What Are Survival Food Bars

Survival food bars can be both made at home and bought. They are usually made from calorie-dense foods like oats, rice, peanut butter, honey, and foods high in fat. When survival food bars or made up of these kinds of ingredients you can get the most bang for your buck from just a few bites. 

Survival food bars are sometimes similar to things like power bars or hiking bars. They can be made with a bunch of healthy ingredients or they can be literally made up of things like flour, sugar, corn syrup, and protein powder. For the sake of survival, these food bars are designed to get you the calories you need so that you can keep going. 

PROS of Survival Food Bars 

  • High Calorie
  • Ready to eat NOW! 
  • Store long term

CONS of Survival Food Bars 

  • No Meat Protein
  • Light on nutrition and mostly empty calories
  • Boring to eat over time
Organic Almond and Raisin Granola Bar
Make your own survival food bars

Homemade Survival Food Bars

You can make your own survival food bars at home. There are a number of recipes out there. This is a recipe that I use that is more focused on nutrition. You get a shorter shelf life from the olive oil (2 years) but they are tasty and nutritious.


1 2-inch-deep baking pan
1 wooden spoon
1 small saucepot


3 Tablespoons Olive oil
2 Cups Maple syrup
4 Tablespoons Raw Honey
2 Tablespoons Peanut butter
1 Cup Frosted Flakes
3 Cups Oatmeal
1 Cup Protein powder
1 Cup Almonds
1 Cup Raisins


1. Place the oil, syrup, honey, and peanut butter into a saucepot

2. Bring it to a simmer

3. In a large bowl add the rest of the ingredients

4. Pour over the warmed liquid ingredients and mix well

5. Dump it all into a baking pan or muffin pan and bake at 375 for 20 minutes

6. Cool and store in an airtight environment

The Best Survival Food Bars

If you decide to buy some survival food bars there are some that are nutritious and some that are great for packing on the calories.

Millennium Food Bars 

My Favorite

Millenium bars are harder to find these days but they are worth it! These incredible food bars each pack 400 calories! Millenium bars are delicious and individually wrapped. They are super lightweight and come in a variety of flavors.

Each bar is mylar vacuum packed which benefits the shelf. These bars are designed to make it 5 years and still be delicious. However, they are packed to last much longer than that! If you are just looking at downing calories then you can do that for the long haul with Millenium Survival Food Bars.

Mayday 3600 Calorie Food Bars 

Long Trip

Mayday 3600 Calorie Food Bars are designed to be broken up into 3 days worth of calories and that can have a huge effect on your adventure or emergency. These tasty apple cinnamon ration bars are tasty and filling. 

They remind me of eating some kind of dessert three times a day which is not the worst thing. Most of these bars do well with a cup of coffee to balance out all the sugar. 

The vacuum-sealed Mylar means gives these survival food bars a recommended shelf life of 5 years but I bet you could get an easy 10 out of them if you stored them in a cool dry place. 

1/3 of a bar per person per day to get the most out of each package. Remember these are going to give you 1200 calories per day if you manage them right. It’s not optimal but it will keep you going. 

Datrax Survival Food Bars

Datrax Bars have a great reputation amongst the coast guard and other naval responders. These bars are frankly very similar to the Mayday and the Ready Hour bars. That is not necessarily a bad thing it is just the way these bars are made. 

Datrax bars are tasty and will provide you with the nutrition and energy you need to keep going. These bars are wheat flour-based and contain things like cane sugar and coconut. Make sure you are not allergic to the things in your survival food bars or that will be a big problem. 

The manufacture date and expiration date are both on the package. These bars have a 5-year shelf life like most others that we have mentioned. Each pack comes with 12/200 calorie bars. 

Datrax has been in the survival food bar industry for a long time. Their product is time-tested and approved by people who require them for rescue operations. 

Ready Hour 2400 Calorie Survival Bar

Ready Hour is one of my favorite companies for long-term food storage and they also make a great survival food bar. This survival food bar is broken into 12 different pieces that are 200 calories each. This makes for an easy product to share or break up into meals. 

These bars taste like a cookie and when you are hungry you will really enjoy them. Ready Hour bars are flour-based and with 2,400 calories you can pack a few of these and you will be able to eat if you get lost, cannot catch some food, or just need a quick meal.  

These bars are also incredibly lightweight so you can carry more than one 2,400 calorie bar. They are 4.66oz each so it would take 4 of these bars to eclipse the one-pound mark. 

Where to Pack Your Survival Food Bars

Survival food bars can be stored in a variety of places and are great to include in a number of emergency kits. 

Emergency kits are a great place to store your survival food bars
Emergency kits are a great place to store your survival food bars

Bug Out Bag 

These bars are lightweight and deliver that high calorie-punch you need when you are trucking to your bug-out location.

Camping Survival Kit 

All sorts of things can go wrong on a simple camping trip. Your camping survival kit should assure you safely return home. One thing you will need to do that will be energy. Survival food bars are perfect for that! 

Emergency Car Kit 

If you find yourself stranded on the side of the road and waiting for help the emergency car kit can be your lifeline. These emergency food bars come in handy and are easy to store in a car kit. 


Anyone who has ever had issues out on the water knows that hunger and crankiness come quick! Store some survival food bars on board. They are even waterproof! 

Cabin or Vacation Home 

Why not have a little food storage in that cabin or vacation home. You can swap these out or eat them every 5-10 years and know you have something there waiting for the next time you arrive.

Long Term Food Storage 

Survival food bars are a ready-to-eat option that you can add to your long-term food storage. There is no need to heat, cook, or anything.

Survival Cache 

For the die-hard preppers and survivalists, these bars are great to bury in a survival cache. The package protects them from water thanks to the Mylar packaging and would be great to combine with other things in a more fortified cache. 

Don't forget to add survival food bars to your emergency food supply
Don’t forget to add survival food bars to your emergency food supply

Shelf Life

Most survival food bars come packed in a vacuum-sealed mylar package. These things are designed to be stored in bags and kits for a long time. Most people store them and forget about them. These aren’t the kinds of granola-type bars that you are going to eat on a daily basis. 

The average shelf life on survival food bars is around 5 years. Well, that is the recommended best by date from the producers. A best by date is designed to give you an idea of how old the food can be before it loses its flavor and texture integrity. 

In other words, a Millenium Bar is guaranteed to taste like a Millenium Bar for 5 years. After that, it won’t be harmful but it might not taste the way the producer wants it to taste. So that becomes their measure for shelf life. If your bars are vacuum sealed and stored in a cool dry place (not in a backpack in your car trunk all year) they will be edible for 10 years! 

Defense Against Hunger

Survival food bars are an incredible addition to your survival and adventure plans. They are an unbeatable line of defense against hunger. If you find yourself lost or just need a little more energy you can open these packaged bars up and eat a serving. 

Now you know that these survival food bars can serve you in the car, boat, cabin, and even in your long-term food storage. It’s time to build your own stockpile.