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The 9 Best Survival Food Companies

Thanks to the war in Ukraine the world is facing serious food production consequences. Russia is the number one exporter of nitrogen fertilizers and the second-largest supplier of phosphoric and potassic fertilizers.

Farmers are bracing for a very tough growing season and the head of the UN World Food Programs has said this is the worst global food crisis since WWII.

Sounds like a good time to be storing extra food. Right?

Food storage shelves in basement with food

Well, there are a lot of survival food companies out there. How can you know which emergency food kits are going to be the best for you and your family? Well, the good news is I have eaten from every one of them.

Let’s take a look at these survival food companies and see which ones are the very best for you.

What is Survival Food?

Survival food is any kind of food that has a long shelf life. This will vary depending on the type of survival food we discuss but survival food should be able to last a long time. Personally, I break survival food down into four main categories.

This will help you understand your options and what you should add to your emergency supplies but it also helps me better prepare. When I know what types of survival foods I should purchase next and where I want to plug them, it becomes money well spent.

Let’s look at these 4 categories so you can see what is available to you and your family.

Long Term Food Storage Staples

These are single ingredients staples that you can use to build your pantry and long-term food storage plan. Sometimes these ingredients are freeze-dried. Things like meats and vegetables will be freeze-dried.

Sometimes these ingredients are simply shelf-stable ingredients that are stored with oxygen absorbers and protected from the outside world by things like Mylar bags. These staples are things like sugar, flour, rice, beans, lentils, and powdered milk.

If you know how to cook and you enjoy preparing meals these survival food staples are very affordable and can be used to make custom meals for your family. This category makes up my favorite type of survival food to keep on hand.

packages of beans, rice, peanuts, raisins, lentils and other varieties

Freeze Dried Meals

The same survival food companies that sell the long-term food storage staples also sell freeze-dried meals. These types of meals make up the majority of the emergency food kits on the market. These meals need to be reconstituted in simmering water for around 20 minutes.

These can be wildly convenient meal options in an emergency. They take one pot and just 20 minutes of simmering to feed everyone in your home. They are often packed in larger quantities so that feeding a family of 4 can be done very easily.

All of the top names in survival food production offer up a variety of freeze-dried meals. When you see ads for those grab-and-go food kits or the 72-hour kits, those are made up of these freeze-dried meals.

Freeze-dried foods are light and take up less space than traditional shelf-stable foods.

Cook in Pouch Meal

There are only a couple of survival food companies that offer cook-in-pouch meals but I am always impressed by the food. Companies like Mountain House offer up delicious foods in an individual pouch. You then add boiling water to the pouch, stir it well, and seal it up for around 15 minutes. All the heat in the pack reconstitutes the food inside and when you open it you are ready to eat!

I always take brands like Backpacker’s Pantry and Mountain House on my outdoor adventures. The convenience is hard to beat. Rather than lug a cooler around, you can have bacon and eggs in the morning and all you have to do is boil water!

These are easily the most expensive option but they offer up lots of calories per day, they are tasty, and use almost no fuel to prepare them.

Traveler is eating freeze dried food during camping

Survival Food Bars

These high-calorie survival food bars are a much different offering than what we have talked about so far. These bars are quite literally emergency rations. They are not the kind of thing you would want to be eating each day for the long term but they will keep you alive.

Survival food bars usually offer between 1200 – 2000 calories depending on the size and brand. These bars are usually made up of butter, oil, flour, flavoring, and sugar. These things are not the height of nutrition or taste by any stretch.

However, they are great options for food storage in cars, boats, or cabins. They can be part of your long-term food storage plan, too. It is always good to have lots of options.

Woman eating freeze dried food

The Best Survival Food Companies

I have purchased food from and reviewed all of these survival food companies in the past. I know where each shines and where they fall short. I want you to come away with an understanding of the types of food to buy and the best companies to buy them from.

Long Term Food Storage Ingredients

1. Augason Farms

One of the first long-term food storage purchases I made was from Augason Farms. It was a 5-gallon super pail of oats. Augason Farms is my top pick for long-term food storage ingredients. They offer a wide range of unique ingredients.

Augason has a bunch of fruits and vegetables that are freeze-dried in number 10 cans and will last on your shelves for a very long time. They also have affordable freeze-dried protein options like dried butter, eggs, and milk that are priced around $1 per ounce of freeze-dried food. For proteins that is a reasonable price.

  • PRICES: Mid to Low Prices Depending on the Product
  • AVAILABILITY: High Availability (many companies stock Augason Farms)
  • PREPARATION TIME: Varies by ingredient

2. Legacy Food Storage

Legacy Food Storage is an immense value. Their average cost per lb of food and total calories beats most survival food companies. They have a wide variety of ingredients that are sold. These are proteins, dairy, fruits, vegetables, grains, and even some specialty items like variety packs and honey.

I am not a fan of the premade meals and meal kits that are created by Legacy Foods. I think they are some of the most tasteless on the market. However, they do a great job with the staples. I am always impressed by what they offer and the price.

  • PRICES: Low prices and great value
  • AVAILABILITY: Most items are available
  • PREPARATION: Varies by ingredient

3. Emergency Essentials

My first food storage purchase was from Emergency Essentials. They started a whole new life for me because from that moment on survival food became a line item in my personal budget. It should be a line item in yours, too.

Emergency Essentials have been around for a long time and they are solid. Their food is top quality and they have massive inventories.

They offer some larger freeze-dried meal kits, too but where I think they really shine is in this category of staples. EE used to do much more with larger quantities of these staples. However, now they focus on the sealed number 10 can. You can really set up a pantry well with their freeze-dried foods and grains.

  • PRICES: Mid to High Priced
  • AVAILABILITY: All products are abundant and on hand
  • PREPARATION: Varies by ingredient

Freeze Dried Meals

ReadyWise Emergency Food Supply on display from one of the best survival food companies

4. Ready Hour

This is a newish brand in the world of survival food. It wasn’t till about a year ago that I got a chance to eat the delicious Ready Hour foods. When it comes to the big producers of freeze-dried foods I was blown away by the flavor and the price.

Ready Hour seems to have set out with a few things in mind. The first is the desire to create an affordable emergency food supply for the average person. The second is to create some of the best-tasting survival food kits on the market.

Ready Hour has a massive variety of meals. I have eaten a few of their entrees and the seasoning and texture are both on point. Seasoning and texture are two areas that most survival food kits struggle with.

  • PRICE: Low to Mid
  • AVAILABILITY: Most items are in stock
  • PREPARATION: Bring to a boil, simmer for 20 minutes with the lid on the pot

5. Readywise

If your singular motivation is to store the best tasting emergency food for a survival situation then Readywise is my recommendation. There is something about Readywise foods that just taste better than the other survival food companies I have tried.

This type of food, freeze-dried, long-term 25-year shelf life food, can often be bland with very little by way of texture. Indistinguishable bits floating in some hollow-tasting sauce can best explain a meal or two that I have had from a survival food company or two.

The first meal I ever tried from Readywise was something that should have been mediocre at best. It was the Teriyaki chicken with rice. The rice was cooked perfectly, the teriyaki was very flavorful and the chicken rehydrated well. On top of that, you had bits of carrot, green and red pepper folded into it all.

Each ingredient was distinct and the flavor was top-notch. I went on to try several more meals from Readywise and found they are at the top of the heap in flavor and texture. They are also at the top of the heap in price.

  • PRICE: High
  • AVAILABILITY: Most products are available
  • PREPARATION: Bring water to a boil and simmer food for 10-12 minutes

Cook In Pouch Meals

A package of Mountain House freeze dried food

6. Mountain House

Mountain House foods have been dominant in the camping food and survival food category for a long time. The cook-in pouch meal is an incredible ally in the woods and when time and fuel or in short supply.

When I reach for a Mountain House it is usually after a long morning of hiking or fishing and I wanna sit down and eat quickly. Building a fire and preparing food for 20 minutes is not what I want to do. With a simple butane or propane camp stove, I can boil water in a minute and pour it into a Mountain House bag, stir, and be eating in 15 minutes.

Mountain House makes some really great food! I think they really shine at breakfast. Mountain House breakfast is a great way to start the day.

You can buy Mountain House foods in individual packs or larger food buckets. This means you can store them as a long-term storage option to meet your food needs.

If you are trying to store a lot of survival food then you need to know that Mountain House is very expensive. In comparison to other types of survival foods, the cook in pouch category is always the most expensive.

  • PRICE: Expensive
  • AVAILABILITY: Inventory always seems full
  • PREPARATION: Add boiling water to the pouch, stir well, close the pouch for 15 minutes

7. Backpacker’s Pantry

These meals are very similar to Moutain House and they serve a very similar purpose. I do think that these pouch-style meals have a purpose in your life and even in an emergency situation. Backpacker’s meals are great for tossing into survival kits, cars, and boats.

Backpacker’s Pantry meals are another option if you like pouch-style meals. They have some really awesome complete meals like chana masala, chicken lasagna, and chicken larb.

Backpacker’s Pantry foods are awesome and great to stack for the outdoors, short-term emergencies, and even long-term food storage. These are as much as a dollar or cheaper than Mountain House.

  • PRICE: Mid-range
  • AVAILABILITY: Full Inventory
  • PREPARATION: Add boiling water to the pouch, stir well, close the pouch for 15 minutes
Bug Out Bag Emergency Items

Survival Food Bars

8. Datrex Emergency Rations

One of the biggest names in emergency rations, Datrex Emergency Rations, produces some seriously high-calorie bars. These bars come in quantities of 16 bars with 200 calories per ration bar. So each pack runs about $16 per pack depending on the seller. 200 calories for $1 is not a bad price point.

From a nutritional standpoint, these things are not the best. You would not want to build your entire food storage game plan around emergency ration bars. These bars are mostly just flour, sugar, and fat. Over time this would just ravage your health.

However, in a wilderness emergency, adventure, short term emergency you will be able to do some real good with

  • PRICE: Cheap
  • AVAILABILITY: Multiple Sellers

9. Mayday Emergency Rations

The Mayday 2400 calorie food bars are a great option as a survival food ration. These Mayday bars can be used in just the same way that Datrex bars are to be used.

These bars are a combination of wheat flour, shortening, flavoring, and sugar. Again, these are not rations that you store to reach your peak level of nutritional health. They are a quick answer to a need for calories in an outdoor adventure or security.

The calorie cost is a little higher than Datrex but you might have a preference in flavor. They are very similar in texture but the tastes of the two are a bit different.

  • PRICE: Cheap
  • AVAILABILITY: Multiple Sellers

Tools for Preparing Survival Food

A lot of people store food without considering the process of cooking that food in an emergency. What are the tools you need to cook emergency food? Here are my three must-haves.

1. Stove

Coleman Gas Camping Stove | Triton Propane Stove, 2 Burner

 out of stock
as of June 26, 2024 4:31 pm

The two-burner Triton by Coleman stove is probably the best option for backup cooking of survival food. These propane stoves are great for cooking when the power and gas go out. If you are experiencing widespread disaster and long-term outages, this stove gives you options.

2. Fuel

Coleman Propane 16 Oz Camping Cylinder (12 Pk.)

$95.75  in stock
17 new from $95.75
as of June 26, 2024 4:31 pm

Whichever emergency stove you decide on be sure you have plenty of fuel that you can use. Stockpiling plenty of fuel will assure you can simply boil water or simmer emergency food for 15 minutes until they are fully prepared.

I buy the one-pound Coleman propane tanks by the case because they fit the Triton and they are a lot of fuel. It will take time for you to use up all that fuel even when cooking big pots of fuel.

3. Mess Kits

Stanley Adventure Camp Cook Set - 24oz Kettle with 2 Cups - Stainless Steel Camping Cookware with Vented Lids & Foldable + Locking Handle - Lightweight Cook Pot for Backpacking/Hiking/Camping

$17.27  in stock
2 new from $17.27
3 used from $16.35
Free shipping
as of June 26, 2024 4:31 pm

Mess Kits are particularly important if you are going to be preparing food at a bugout location or in the woods. At least be sure you have a pot to cook in and some dishes and utensils to eat with. There are a number of great mess kits on the market and things like bush pots that can be perfect for cooking survival food.

Options for Best Survival Food Companies

You have a lot of options when it comes to the types of food you store. You also have a growing list of options when it comes to the very best survival food companies. I hope that our article has introduced you to the different types of survival food out there.

I have personally eaten all of the food from these companies. They meet my needs and demands on survival food. Make sure you figure out what matters to you when it comes to building an emergency food stockpile.

While prepping your food stockpile, check out our Food page for more survival food information.