In today’s world, people are concerned about updating their disaster plans and purchasing survival food kits. Most of us never imagined stores could run out of toilet paper, meat, and water. In response to the uncertainty of the last year, we’ve prepared a list of the best survival food kits to help you get started on your disaster planning.
Everyone from campers to hikers, preppers, and survivalists can use these kits to prepare themselves for any possible emergency or disaster.
Best Survival Food Kit Overall
ReadyWise 30 day supply kit is the #1 selling survival food kit with an average customer rating of 4.4 out of 5 stars on Amazon. ReadyWise has many options for survival food kits, but the 30-day two bucket kit is crucial to your home survival kit.
The ReadyWise 30-day Emergency Food Supply two bucket packs have a daily count of 1,800 calories and 50 grams of protein.
ReadyWise products have a shelf life of up to 25 years when stored correctly. It met the necessity of simple to prepare food. Simply add hot or cold water to prepare the meals, and sit for 15 minutes. You can use a small charcoal grill or camp stove outdoors to heat the water if the power goes out. Candle warmers, cooking dishes, and fondue pots can keep prepared foods warm if this option is available.
Another feature of the ReadyWise brand is the emergency food calculator available on their website. I found it beneficial to determine what size of a kit I needed. You enter the number of people you have in your home. The number of calories everyone in the house needs, and how many days of emergency food you want to purchase. After entering your numbers into the emergency food calculator, the website will show you what options meet your needs.
Best Budget Option
Augason Farms kit is our top pick for the best budget option. This product is available at many retailers, including Walmart, Associated Foods, WinCo, Sam’s Club, and Costco, so there is no need to wait on shipping with this kit. The 72-hour emergency food kit scored well with customers on Google, with their average review score being 4.5 stars.
Planning survival kits for a family can be overwhelming. We chose this kit because it supplies enough for four people and has a decent variety of foods. The cost is affordable, and the packaging is convenient, with all 16 meals separately packaged. Augason Farms 4-Person 72-Hour Emergency Food Supply kit includes
- 2,230 calories each day per person with a total of 26,440 calories
- 176 servings of food
- Seven varieties of entrées, soups, breakfast, and low fat, dry powdered milk
This survival food kit is priced at $64.89 online at Walmart.
Valley Food Storage came in the #1 spot for best tasting. Creating survival food kits for 15 years, “they are the healthy alternative to other one-size-fits-all food storage options.” Another essential feature is that each meal is individually sealed, and each package is resealable, so no wasted food is super important.
Valley food storage has a wide assortment of options, from long-term kits, starter kits to smaller meals, snacks, candies, protein snacks, and even seed kits. Another plus is the assortment of meals they have available. Unlike other companies who stick to traditional high-carb meals, they offer a wide variety of meals, such as mac and cheese, potatoes, and noodle dishes. Some of the yummy menu items they carry are listed below.
- Irish pub and Cheddar soup
- Chicken a la King
- White Bean and Lime Chilli
- Chicken Teriyaki
- Sweet and Sour Asian Rice
- Mango Habenaro Chilli
Survive 2 Thrive has a vegetarian preparedness pail that is 100% organic and vegetarian. Only three companies with meals in stock offered vegetarian meal options besides meal replacement pills. Survive2Thrive bag has a 40 day supply with a 10-15-year shelf life. Each pail contains 258 servings and comes with a suggested menu, preparation, and food combinations guide. Each kit includes
- 1 pound bag of pancake mix
- 5 Lb. bag of rolled oats that need to be soaked 20-30 minutes before eating.
- 4 Lb. bag of white rice
- 4 Lb. bag of millet is another grain rich in amino acids, minerals, B vitamins, and other nutrients.
- 3 Lb. bag garbanzo beans high in protein, fiber, and fatty acids.
- 3 Lb. bag of lentils can be soaked overnight and then rinsed twice daily for 2-3 days until they sprout.
- 2 Lb. each of black beans, pinto beans, and quinoa
- 1.5 Lb. Chia seeds give you a full feeling and allow your body to digest food more slowly. They can be eaten dry as a snack and followed with water, and then the seeds absorb the water to keep you hydrated.
- Fermented Miso Powder is an organic fermented vegetable stock that is rehydrated with water and added to the beans or grains as they are warmed up.
Ready Wise Gluten Free is the pick for the best gluten-free product. With so many people having gluten allergies, even a tiny kit of Gluten-free food products is a must for an emergency. There are not many companies that carry gluten-free survival kits. The ReadyWise gluten-free line has the most significant gluten-free foods and kit options. The grab-and-go bucket divides each pouch into four servings to not waste food.
We chose the ReadyWise for Best gluten-free option because they have a wide selection of Grab and Go buckets, dried fruit, and vegetable bundles. If you only have one member of your family allergic to gluten, the kit with the least servings is the 84 serving Grab and Go bucket. There is an option of a 48 serving soup bucket or freeze-dried fruits and vegetable bags. Their best selling 84 serving gluten-free Grab and Go bucket includes
- Three pouches of teriyaki rice
- Four pouches with loaded baked potato casserole
- Three pouches, potatoes, and chicken flavor pot pie
- Three pouches of tomato soup
- Seven pouches, creamy yogurt style dessert
Best Combo Kit
The Stealth Angel 4 person 72-Hour Elite Survival Kit has everything your family needs to survive on the move for at least 3 days. Combo kits are pre-packed with food supplies, essential survival tools, and other items you would need to stay away from home for a period.
We included this because you may have no choice but to abandon your home and stay on the move when emergencies happen. In those situations, a 30-day survival food kit may not be taken if you have to leave on foot. This disaster supply kit has food for up to 3 days for four people. The kit also includes survival equipment and food items suitable for up to 5 years.
- 24 – 4oz. Water Pouches
- 24 – 400 Calorie Food Bar’s (9600 Calories)
- 40 Water Purification Tablet’s – each tablet purifies 1 liter of water
- radio flashlight
- emergency candles
- waterproof box of matches
- Four emergency survival sleeping bags
- 4 16 hour body warmers
- Four emergency ponchos with hoods
- 16 function tool
- leather work gloves
- 50 feet of nylon rope
- safety goggles
- sewing kit
- Four hygiene kits
- toothbrush and toothpaste
- wet naps
DIY or Pre-packaged Food Kits
Readers ask me if DIY or pre-packaged survival food kits are best. It all depends on what you are looking for in a survival kit. A DIY can be more affordable in some cases, but if you want to stockpile a DIY food kit, there are some things you need to keep in mind.
Pre-packaged survival food kits have a shelf life that will last longer than most DIY survival food kits. A DIY survival kit will need to be changed out and checked regularly for freshness. The last thing you want in an emergency is spoiled food. Pantry foods, such as canned goods, can last up to 6 years. Canned beans, meats, and soups are a yummy option for a DIY kit, but freeze-dried foods last much longer, up to 25 years.
Remember, shelf life can vary with freeze-dried foods, and freeze-drying can be expensive. Deciding whether to purchase or make a survival food kit comes down to convenience and reliability.
Purchasing a survival food kit from a trusted manufacturer gives you a product with a much longer shelf life than anything you could do on your own.
Pre-packaged food kits have a standard that you expect from your purchased product. There are no surprises.
With all available products, deciding which food survival kit will meet your needs is challenging.
How to Choose Your Kit
When choosing a survival food kit, there are many options, but we will guide you through how to narrow down the best selection for your family.
When choosing a food survival kit, ask yourself what features are most important to you or your family.
First, you should decide how large a supply you initially want to purchase. You can buy a one-day kit or up to a year supply with some brands. According to FEMA and the American Red Cross, you should have a minimum of 2 weeks emergency food supply available.
FEMA also recommends having up to 3 survival food kits, one for your home, car, and backpack. A survival kit in your vehicle and a lightweight bag with emergency supplies allow you to be mobile. Whether you are traveling by car or on foot, you will have access to food at all times.
Many companies that produce the survival food kits also sell pre-packed survival backpacks. The difference between life and death in an emergency may depend on whether you have a survival food kit ready for an emergency.
When selecting a kit, pay attention to calories per serving. Recommended caloric intake varies depending on age, sex, health, and activity level. The standard recommended amount of calories for a female is 2,000 calories. In comparison, a male should take in around 2,400 calories each day.
If someone in your family has a health issue, consult a doctor on their dietary needs. They may need additional calories or supplements stored with the kits. When purchasing your survival food kit, figure out how many calories your family will consume each day.
During an emergency, the last thing you need to worry about is how to divide up calories. Calorie intake should be calculated higher than your usual calorie counts for an emergency.
It is important to consider food preferences and tastes when selecting your survival food kit. Consider dietary restrictions, allergies, food preferences, such as vegetarians and those who eat organic. There are options for each family member, and we have included the best vegetarian and organic options in the list above.
Now that you have nailed down how many calories your family will consume each day for how many days, the next decision is nutrition.
In an emergency, you may use more energy than usual, and nutrition will play a big part in how well your body functions during this stressful time. The CDC recommends selecting foods high in protein and low in salt. Maintaining high energy levels is vital in an emergency, and carbohydrates and protein can help support this.
Depending on your family’s needs, you may need to pay attention to nutrition information if someone has diabetes or other special dietary needs. Some of these kits can be high in salt, sugars, and other fillers with little to no nutritional value. Many meals are high in carbohydrates because they are for emergencies.
Your body will need as much energy as possible in an emergency, and we get that from carbs. So keep this in mind when selecting what products work for you and your family.
Packaging may not seem important, but you want a container and packaging that stand up to the elements. Buying a kit without a sturdy container could put your survival foods in danger of water damage.
Think about the possible natural disasters that you may be prone to and worst-case scenarios. Are the packaging and container waterproof? Can they be resealed, and are the food packets themselves resealable?
Ask these questions and figure out what is vital to your needs when deciding what brand to go with.
Size of the Kit
The size of the kit is essential because it needs to be lightweight if it is a mobile kit. If you are using it as your primary source of survival food for your home, it needs to be in a container that fits where you store it. If you live in an apartment, make sure it fits in a closet or other storage area.
Preparing the best survival food must be done quickly and easily. The best survival food kits can be made easily by adding hot or cold water. The last thing you want to do in an emergency is spend unnecessary time and energy making your food.
Storing the Food
Correctly storing your survival food kit is essential to maintain its quality and freshness.
The ideal place to store survival food kits in your home is in a dark, cool place. You may think your basement is the perfect place to store your survival kit with its cool, dark corners. Many basements hold moisture, which can deteriorate the quality and freshness of your food.
You can store the survival food kit in your basement if you have a dehumidifier and dry the air. These kits need to be held between 55 and 70 degrees to maintain the maximum life expectancy of your kit.
What Food Options for Your Family
Once you decide what size survival food kit you will need, food choices are next. Many companies with survival food supplies have pre-packed kits with various meal options. These may include preselected breakfast, lunch, and dinner items.
There are also survival food companies that sell meal replacement pills, protein, and calorie bars. Discuss what options work best for your family.
Some people choose a mix of a few self-packaged items, nuts, and canned food from their pantry, a pre-packaged survival food kit, and a pack of calories and vitamin replacement pills. All 3 options will allow your family to have options and not get burned out on one type of food.
Most food options are comfort foods high in carbs and easily prepared. FEMA recommends choosing comfort foods you are familiar with to relieve stress and comfort your family. The available foods for lunch and dinner are noodle dishes, soups, rice, and casseroles. Snacks and breakfast include:
- Freeze-dried fruits and vegetables.
- Chocolate pudding
If you have a picky family member who may not eat some selections in the survival food kit, you can add on meal packs that range from 18 to 240 servings.
I also recommend sampling and preparing an item from your food survival kit. If you have to be on the move in an emergency, you don’t need to worry about prep food. Having a practice run at home, you can experiment with the best way to prepare the food and adjust the taste with pepper or seasonings to familiarize yourself with the product.
Survival food kits can range in prices from $30 to $3000+. Many factors influence the cost of these kits.
The kits can be as small as a one-day supply for one person or a multi-week supply of meals. Food quality can also impact price, with lower quality foods containing more fillers and fewer nutrients.
The companies that produce these food survival kits sell everything from survival food kits to survival equipment and tools. Access to clean water is as vital as food. A water sanitation kit or tablets are as necessary as food. Many of the companies on our list sell survival tools.
FEMA recommends a minimum of 3 days of drinking water per person and pet. Each person should have access to at least 1 gallon of water per day for drinking and cleaning themselves. Water is needed to prepare most food survival kits.
- Survival water sanitation kit
- First Aid kit
- Extra Batteries
- PRescriptions and Tylenol
- Infant formula, diapers, wipes
- Pet Food and water for the pet
- Cash or traveler’s checks
- Change of clothing and sturdy shoes
- Fire extinguisher
- Feminine Supplies
- Mess kits, paper cups, paper towels, and plastic utensils
- Paper and pencil
- Books, games, and puzzles
Plastic bins with secure lids, bug out bags, or backpacks are perfect for storing these items. You can pack the supplies in a bag for an easier way to carry them.
Survival Water Sanitation Kits
Drinking water is an essential item that every survival kit needs. Not everyone has room to store gallons of water, so they use a water sanitation kit. These filters also replace the need to carry water with you, so you have room for other necessities.
Patriot personal water filter
One of the most compact filters works well as a personal water filter. Each filter can produce around 26,417 gallons of water. Storing this water filter for an extended time will not reduce its lifespan.
Survivor Filter Pro hand Pump Camping Water Filter
This hand pump can work for camping, hunting, survival, or bug-out bags. The hand pump is a tall tube with a filter inside. Once you begin to pump the water, it travels through the filter and is clean. They are not too bulky, so you can pack them easily when moving. Small to medium-sized groups can use this pump.
Food Survival preparation is an integral part of the emergency preparedness list. Reviewing your family’s emergency plan is essential, along with stocking supplies and ensuring you have a minimum of 72 hours of food, water, and necessities. At ready.gov, there are helpful tips on making a preparedness plan for your family and what supplies to have on hand.