Emergency preparation is a practical and smart thing to practice. It’s wise to have a plan for if disaster strikes to ensure you and your family stay both safe and healthy. Emergency rations are one of the most important items you should include in your survival kit, vehicle or disaster shelter to keep your body healthy and capable in an emergency scenario. Storability, portability and nutritional value are the big three to keep in mind when purchasing rations for your fallout shelter or any emergency situation.
Whether you want to stock your home shelter with food to hold out through nuclear fallout, want some rations for your truck when driving on remote roads during white-out winter conditions or just need some food items for your boat when going offshore — we’ve got you covered with a solid list of emergency food supplies. There’s options here ranging from energy bars that will get you through an overnight on the side of the road, to full on month long supply kits for holding out in a home shelter.
Check out our top 5 post on emergency food storage containers for some other options in stashing away emergency rations, and don’t forget to consider what kind of camp stove and packable mess kit is best for your needs. Nutrition is absolutely key to pushing through any survival situation, so prepare yourself for any potential scenario by stocking up on some hearty and healthy emergency food supplies.
1. Best High Calorie Food Bar: S.O.S. Rations Emergency 3600 Calorie Food Bar
If you have a home shelter purposed for holding out through long term disaster scenarios, then you’re going to need to stock up on some long term, power packed food rations. There’s a ton of options out there for food items that both store efficiently and provide adequate nutrition. Remember that high protein foods require more water to digest than carbohydrates when choosing what to stock your shelter with. I like these calorie bars by S.O.S. Food Labs because of their compact size and high calorie content. Ideally, you should store a variety of food items in your fallout shelter to maintain good nutrition, but these bars are a good staple for any shelter pantry. This product is U.S. Coast Guard approved for a five year shelf life under any climatic conditions, so this is a smart buy if you want to ensure you have some long-lasting survival rations. Reviews of these calorie bars claim that the coconut flavor actually tastes pretty decent and that they will not provoke thirst. This $54 purchase gets you ten bars that are each good for three days of food for one person — a pretty great value.
Price: $54.39 & Free Shipping
- Store effectively and have a long shelf life for long term use in a shelter
- Taste decent enough and don’t provoke thirst (compatible with drinking water restrictions)
- High calorie content makes these perfect for use as serious emergency rations where you might need to hold out for a few days/weeks
- These food ‘bricks’ are not terribly portable for use in a survival backpack
2. Best Rations for Long Term Use: Valley Food Storage 1 Month Emergency Food Supply
Here’s a great value, long term emergency food supply option by Valley Food Storage. This kit has 85 servings of food for one person to persist up to a month. If you’re looking for some rations to add to your home shelter for enduring a long term disaster scenario, this is a great choice. Valley Food Storage also offers a year long food supply for those who want to prepare even longer term. This product has a 25 year shelf life so you can buy in confidence that your rations will last. Valley Food Storage uses high quality, re-sealable mylar bags for packaging their freeze-dried foods that protect from light, oxygen and moisture. The bags are zippered and reusable which could be handy for a number of reasons in a disaster scenario. The food items here do not contain any hydrogenated oils, GMOs, MSG, or trans fat — Valley Food Storage proudly boasts all natural ingredients. The meals included with this kit are highly reviewed for their taste and for satisfying hunger — all you need to do is boil water. If you’re going to be held up in a shelter for weeks or months, you’re going to want some decent tasting food that’s more appetizing than just calorie bars. That being said, make sure you have a camp stove or alternative option for boiling water in your survival shelter — check out our Top 1o Best Portable Cookers for Camping post for some easy heating options to include in your survival kit.
Price: $144.95 & FREE Shipping
- Great long term food storage option (25 year shelf life)
- Rations are portioned out for proper serving sizes during emergency scenarios
- Valley Food Storage uses natural ingredients in their products and have kept essential nutrition as the top priority
- This product requires you to add boiling water, so these packets might not be ideal for use in your vehicle or boat
3. Greatest Nutrition for the Smallest Possible Volume: Survival Tabs 8-Day 96 Tabs Emergency Food Ration
Here’s a highly compact and easy to ingest survival ration. These ‘survival tabs’ are perfect for the emergency prepper who wants to get the most bang for their buck while saving both storage space and money. The idea here is to provide you with all your essential vitamins, minerals and calories with the smallest possible volume of food. These tabs store super efficiently and require no preparation — perfect for use in your shelter, vehicle, boat or individual survival kit. Each pouch is a different flavor and collectively contain sustenance for one person for eight days (four pouches total). Each pouch contains 24 tabs, each tab containing about 20 calories. These pouches are made with optimum nutrition in mind and customer reviews support that the tabs do in fact satisfy your hunger and provide you with adequate energy. For a highly compact survival food item, you’ll be hard pressed to find anything that will pack better than this.
Price: $22.95 & FREE Shipping on orders over $25
- Very compact and portable option — great for your vehicle or boat
- Quite affordable
- Four different flavors
- Everything you need nutritionally in the smallest possible volume
- Not ideal for use as a long term food supply — best paired with other food items if you plan on subsisting for weeks or months
4. Best Tasting Energy Bars: Millennium Energy Bars Assorted Flavors, 36 pack
Energy bars are not for living off of, but they can be a great addition to your emergency shelter or survival backpack none the less. These 36, 400 calorie bars will provide sustenance for three people for three days. They are high in sugar, which is for providing you with short term energy. These are a great thing to have in your vehicle or boat to prepare for roadside breakdowns or engine failures. Alternatively, if you need to flee your home shelter and evacuate your local area to get to safety, these bars are an easily packable, hunger satisfying option that will keep you going. There’s a five year shelf life on these, so they will hold up just fine in your survival kit. Customer reviews insist these bars are quite tasty (high in sugar), so make sure you hide them away for emergency use so they are still there when you need them.
Price: $47.99 & FREE Shipping
- Highly portable
- Provide energy when you need it — great for use on hiking treks or survival scenarios that require high energy expenditure
- Variety of well reviewed flavors
- Includes a book of survival tips
- The nutritional value of these bars are not ideal for long term use, these are excellent to include in your survival rations but don’t contain a lot of the nutrients you will require long term
5. Best Nutritionally Packed Calorie Bar: Grizzly Gear 3600 Calorie Bars – 3 Day Supply
Here are some calorie bars by Grizzly Gear that are a bit more suitable as a survival ration than the previous bars listed. These bars contain some of the essential vitamins and minerals your body needs to continue to healthily operate. If you want a compact, high energy and calorie food bar, this might be your best bet. These bars come at an exceptionally reasonable cost and come from a respected manufacturer. One $13 purchase gets you nine pre measured 400 calorie rations — enough for one person to subsist for three days. These rations are US Coast Guard approved for a five year shelf life and come in trusted mylar packaging. They are designed to endure extreme temperatures so they make a great survival ration for adding to your vehicle. Have a few of these bars on hand for use traveling or as an additional supplement in your shelter when rations start to run low.
Price: $11.20 & FREE Shipping on orders over $25
- Calorie bar that includes essential vitamin and minerals– not just energy through sugar
- Very portable and packable
- Highly affordable
- This product is Kosher
- Probably not the best tasting ration to rely on for long term survival scenarios
6.Best Portable Emergency Water Supply: DATREX Emergency Water Pouches
Water is the only thing more important than food rations during an emergency scenario. Your home shelter should ideally be stocked with clean drinking water so you and your family don’t have to worry about thirst. Here’s a link to a top reviewed, highly innovative water storage system for long term, high volume storage. These 125 ml packets by Datrex are ideal for scenarios where you need water on the go. This product is fine for use in a home shelter as well, but it will likely be more cost effective to purchase water storage containers for at-home use. These are premeasured portions ideal for storage. Datrex offers a few different sized packages (12, 18, 64 pouches, ect) depending on what you need. These packets are US Coast Guard approved and have a five year shelf life — perfect for stashing some water wherever and whenever you might need it.
Price: $11.20 & FREE Shipping on orders over $25 (12 pouches)
- Highly portable water supply
- 5 year shelf life
- Premeasured and easy to store
- Good value
- Not the most effective way to store a large quantity of water
7. Wise Company Emergency Food Variety Pack (104-Serving)
Here’s a pretty tasty option for an emergency food supply. This 104 serving variety bucket by Wise Company has a nice variety of different meals. All you need to do is add water to the prepackaged meals and they rehydrate in about 15 minutes. There’s breakfast meals, fruits and vegetables and four different entre meals all included here for some good variety. If you want to effectively prepare for a long term emergency scenario it might be nice to have some variation in your food supplies so you don’t go nuts eating calorie bars for weeks. There’s a 25 year shelf life on this product so don’t worry about all these meals going bad. Because this product is as simple as adding water, it’s a good option for survival rations that don’t require any cooking. The bucket is stackable as well so it will store nicely if you purchase a few of these for your shelter.
Price: $129.99 & FREE Shipping
- No cooking required — just add water
- Great variety of meals (fruits, vegetables, dairy, grains, ect)
- 25 year shelf life
- Buckets are stackable for storage
- More expensive than a lot of other options — but the quality of the food is top notch for an emergency food supply
8. Most Nourishing and Tasty Emergency Food Supply: Mountain House Just In Case Essential Bucket
Here’s another emergency food supply “bucket” — this one by Mountain House. There’s enough food here for one person for three and a half days, and the package comes with three different meals (rice and chicken, chili mac with beef and spaghetti with meat sauce). You just add boiling water to a packet (12 packets total) and it’s ready to eat in ten minutes. I like this product particularly because you can eat the meals directly out of the packets themselves — perfect for use backpacking or for on-the-go emergency meals. These are pretty tasty meals that you will actually enjoy instead of grimacing through when you’re in need of some emergency rations. The convenience and good taste of these meals makes them great for adding to your RV’s pantry or to your survival backpack. These meals do contain soy, wheat and milk, so be mindful of any allergies in your family when purchasing this product.
Price: $67.99 & Free Shipping (8 percent off MSRP)
- Good tasting, hearty meals
- Variety of meals — don’t go crazy eating solely survival bars
- Can be eaten right out of the packets, no preparation or cleanup necessary
- These servings are packaged according to a generous 2,000 calories per day serving
- 30 year shelf life with no refrigeration required
- These are tasty and filling meals, but they are not made to support particularly long term nutritional health
9. Best Option for Adding Variety to your Emergency Food Supply: Mountain House Chili Macaroni with Beef
Here’s another option from Mountain House that will make a great addition to your emergency food supply. If you’re looking to purchase a variety of good tasting meals for your home shelter or bug-out bag, then these 10, one cup serving cans of freeze dried meals are an excellent choice. There’s ten packets within each can — this is a great way to add variety to your emergency pantry if you purchase a few different meal types by Mountain House. There’s beef stroganoff with noodles, lasagna with meat sauce and breakfast skillet meals to name a few. For long lasting freeze dried food, Mountain House has some tasty, high calorie options.
Price: $20.92 & FREE Shipping on orders over $25
- Purchasing a few different meal types is a great way to add variety to your emergency food supply
- Just add water — easy no mess emergency meals
- High calorie content and exceptionally long shelf life (30 years)
- Definitely not the most cost effective emergency food supply, but one of the most nourishing and tasty
10.Best All Inclusive Emergency Food Supply: Augason Farms 30 Day All-in-One Emergency Food Storage Pail
Here’s one more emergency food supply all-in-one “bucket”. This product by Augason Farms contains 35 food pouches for a total of 307 servings. There’s 54,670 total calories here — so that’s about 178 calories per serving or 1,822 calories per day. Augason claims this is an “all-in-one” bucket because they include a fire starter/heat source as well as a water filtration bottle with the pre-packaged meals. The fire starter doesn’t count for much in my opinion but the water filter is a pretty cool and practical addition to this kit. There’s eight different meals with this product and one packet of cheese powder for added flavoring — not a bad variety of food. There’s oatmeal, soups, macaroni and potatoes to name a few meals. For the price, this is a pretty good valued assortment of rations. Most meals are meant to be added to boiling water and then simmered over a heat source — a bit more intensive than a lot of other emergency rations but also more wholesome food than most competitors. This is a heavy (36 pounds) bucket so it’s probably best used in your home shelter or perhaps your RV. For emergency or disaster preppers who want to ensure they have a variety of hearty foods, this is another affordable and effective option.
Price: $111.97 & FREE Shipping
- Includes a fire starter/heat source as well as a water-filer bottle
- Good value considering the amount and variety of food here
- Up to a 20 year shelf life
- Meal preparation is a bit more involved than some other emergency food products
- The individual packets can be easily traveled with, but the bucket as a whole 30-day supply will not be practical for transport in a survival backpack
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