What Is The Best Survival Food?

When you are out trekking or in a survival situation, then you want to know that you have the best and most essential things to help you through that situation.

What Is The Best Survival Food?

This can include knives, water, shelter, first aid kits, and one of the most important things: food.

Food is the thing that will give you the energy to keep moving forward and keep going in tough conditions.

Without it, your body will start to become slow, lethargic, and eventually malnourished, which will cause problems to your survival.

Therefore, it is necessary to know what food to bring, as different food will give you different nutrients and calories.

As such, we have written an article about the best survival food and why it is so good to bring along with you for a trip.

Guidelines To Follow When Picking A Survival Food

Considering that this food needs to get through some potential tough and life-threatening situations, you need the food to be able to reach some criteria to ensure that it aids in your continued survival:

Shelf Life

The food needs to be non-perishable and have a very long shelf life. This is because food that doesn’t have a long shelf life will often go bad when placed under stress or pressure.

Not only that, but you may be in a difficult situation for a while, so having it go bad after a week may make things difficult for you.


The food needs to take limited preparation. If you are out in the wilderness, you will not have access to the same level of equipment as at home.

If your food requires you to roast it in the oven, you are simply not going to be able to do that. As such, it should take only a few things to make and prepare.


Nutrient is a key element in survival. Without the right nutrition, your body and brain won’t function right, and you may start to struggle in a difficult environment.

Survival foods need to have a good amount of nutritional value, and they need to have a balance between different nutritional needs within the food.


You will need to be able to store the food to make it work (Also check out Food Caching Tips & Tricks). If you cannot carry it, if it requires additional storage equipment, or if it can be destroyed easily, then it is not good as a survival food.

It should be a hardy, easily stored food that can last in a bag for a long time.

Best Survival Foods

There are quite a few foods that are good as a survival food, but there are a few that stand out among others. We will split these into long term survival foods and short term survival foods:

What Is The Best Survival Food?

Long Term


Rice is a fantastic survival food. It is high in calories, it is filling, and all you need to prepare it is a pot, water, and fire.

There are two other important reasons rice is good for survival.

The first is that rice expands in water, meaning that you don’t have to carry or store a huge amount, as only a little rice can become a whole plate full when boiled.

The second is that rice can last for up to 25 years when stored in a dry place, which makes it perfect for long term survival.


Sugars are hard to find in survival situations, as they tend to come with seasonal fruits. But one teaspoon of honey has a lot of sugar, as well as other nutrients, inside it.

Honey is also one of the longest surviving foods, as in the right conditions it can survive for thousands of years and still be edible.

Dried Meat

Protein is another hard one to find in survival situations unless you are good at and are willing to kill game.

Dried or cured meat is made to last and not go bad, with it often lasting for up to 25 years before you can’t eat it.

The curing process basically prevents any bacteria from entering and rotting the meat, making it a good choice for survival.

Short Term


Though not a food, this is vital for short term survival, as in natural or man-made disasters the first thing they switch off is the water supply.

Having a supply of fresh water (Check out How To Desalinate Water For Survival) separate from the main is imperative if you want to survive in these scenarios.

Canned Food

Food can come in a lot of varieties when put in a can, which means that you can get a lot of different nutrition from a lot of different foods – vegetables or meat.

Not only that, but a lot of canned foods are ready to eat without having to cook them, making them perfect for immediate nourishment.

Peanut Butter

While peanut butter is supposed to be refrigerated, many people keep it in the cupboard once opened, and it is fine.

It is also a food that is just full of concentrated energy, vitamins, minerals, and calories, making it perfect for an immediate boost of nutrition in your diet.

What Foods Should Not Be Considered Survival Food?

Any food that needs to be fresh to be eaten is bad, as it will go off after a few days or even the day after you purchase it.

Likewise, any food that needs a lot to prepare them is also bad, as you will need to be able to provide the perfect conditions to do this.

Finally, anything that needs refrigeration or freezing is bad, as it will need immediate consumption, or it will not be edible the next day.


Survival food should have a long shelf life, need little preparation, have good nutrition, and only need minimal storage.

When you are preparing survival food, ask yourself whether it meets these guidelines more than whether you will enjoy eating the food itself.

In a survival situation, enjoyment is going to be the last thing you need to worry about, and so you should consider the essentials instead.

Tim Roth
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