Best Freeze Dried Survival Food Essentials

published on 13 January 2024

When preparing for emergency situations, we all want to have nutritious, easy-to-prepare food on hand.

The best freeze dried survival foods check all the boxes - high in nutrients, extremely long shelf life, and requiring only hot water for preparation.

In this guide, we'll explore the benefits of freeze dried foods for emergency prep, review top-rated products for individuals and families, and provide tips on building a robust long-term food supply.

Introduction to Freeze Dried Survival Food

Freeze dried food is an essential component of any survival kit or emergency preparedness plan due to its nutritional value, long shelf life, and ease of preparation when water may be scarce.

Defining Freeze Dried Food

Freeze dried food refers to food that has had all moisture removed through a process called lyophilization. This removal of water allows the food to be conveniently stored for up to 25 years. Common freeze dried ingredients include fruits, vegetables, meats, and full meals.

Benefits for Emergency Situations

Freeze dried foods are perfectly suited for disasters when access to fresh food is limited. Key benefits include:

  • Nutritious: Freeze dried ingredients retain 97% of their nutritional value. Meals supply complete, balanced nutrition.
  • Long shelf life: Properly stored freeze dried food can last over 25 years, ensuring you have an emergency food supply when needed most.
  • Lightweight: With the water removed, freeze dried food is lightweight and compact yet supplies needed calories. Easy to transport to bug out locations.
  • Requires only hot water: Freeze dried survival food can be prepared with just a camp stove and hot water, making preparation simple when cooking resources are limited.

Ease of Preparation With Just Hot Water

A major benefit of freeze dried survival food is that it only requires hot water for fast, easy preparation. For example, Mountain House meals take just 10-15 minutes to hydrate when hot water is poured into the pouch. This simplicity allows anyone to create nutritious, delicious meals with limited resources - perfect for uncertain disaster situations when access to clean water and cooking facilities may be restricted. Wise Company buckets provide over 60 servings that can sustain families in emergencies. By stocking up on freeze dried ingredients like ground beef and vegetables, you can customize meals and extend your backstock of survival food.

Selecting the Best Freeze Dried Food Options

When building an emergency food supply, it's important to select freeze dried foods that will meet your nutritional needs, have a long shelf life, and be easy to prepare if disaster strikes. Here are some key factors to consider when choosing freeze dried foods for your stockpile:

Nutritional Value of Freeze Dried Foods

Freeze dried foods can pack a powerful nutritional punch thanks to a process that removes water while preserving nutrients. When comparing products, check the calorie, protein, carb, and vitamin content to ensure a balanced diet. Prioritize options with:

  • High calorie counts to fuel your body in stressful situations
  • 20+ grams of protein per serving for strength and endurance
  • Fruits and vegetables for essential vitamins and minerals
  • Ingredient lists with whole foods over artificial additives

Mix and match single ingredient pouches to assemble nutritionally complete meal kits tailored to your family's needs.

Long-Term Shelf Life: 25-Year Emergency Food Supply

For true long-term preparedness, look for freeze dried foods with a 25+ year shelf life. The extremely low moisture content allows them to last for decades when properly stored. Popular options include:

  • Mountain House Essential Buckets
  • Augason Farms Emergency Food Kits
  • Wise Company 25-Year Emergency Food Supply Pails

Stash a supply to feed your family for months or years. Just add water when you're ready to eat!

Convenience and Ease of Preparation

In an actual emergency, you'll want food that's fast and easy to prepare with limited resources. Seek out freeze dried options that:

  • Only require the addition of hot water
  • Can be eaten straight from the pouch after hydrating
  • Include accessories like camp stoves, water filters, and mess kits

MREs (meals ready to eat) are designed for fast, no-fuss preparation in the field. For grab-and-go portability, S.O.S. Rations bars are ultra-compact.

ReadyWise Emergency Food Supply Review

ReadyWise offers pails and buckets packed with freeze dried staples rated to last 25+ years. Their "Vegetarian Preparedness Pail", for example, contains 120 servings of rice, beans, potatoes, oats, pasta, and more. Just add water to rehydrate. With 1,200 calories per day, this pail can sustain one person for a month. ReadyWise also sells affordable add-ons like dairy, produce, and protein boosters to customize your food supply. Their kits are nutritious, convenient, and designed to keep your family eating well no matter what lies ahead.

When selecting freeze dried foods, prioritize nutrition, shelf life, and ease of preparation. Products like ReadyWise enable you to stock up on an emergency food supply built to last.

Top Picks for Family Emergency Food Supply

When preparing an emergency food supply for a family, it's important to have adequate servings and a balance of meals and snacks to support good nutrition. Here are some top-rated options designed for a family of 4.

Emergency Food Supply for Family of 4

When looking for an emergency food kit for a family, make sure to get one with enough servings to sufficiently feed everyone for multiple days or weeks. Many kits are designed for 1-2 people, so you'll want a bulk supply. For example, the Wise Company 1 Month Emergency Food Supply provides over 120 servings. Their meals feature comfort foods like pasta alfredo, cheesy broccoli rice, and apple cinnamon oatmeal.

You'll also want to make sure your food storage has snacks in addition to meals. Granola bars, trail mix, and dried fruits are good options that store well. These help round out nutrition and give variety.

Mountain House Emergency Food Kits

Mountain House is one of the most trusted brands when it comes to freeze-dried emergency food. Their 3-Day Emergency Food Supply has 18 total servings with a good balance of breakfasts, entrees, sides, and desserts. All their meals are easy to prepare with hot water and have a shelf life of over 25 years.

Mountain House also offers individual pouches, so you can customize your own emergency bucket. Good meal options include their Ground Beef and Rice & Chicken. These provide protein to help keep your strength up.

Survive2Thrive Vegetarian Preparedness Pail

For those wanting plant-based meals, the Survive2Thrive Vegetarian Pail is a great choice. It contains 100 vegetarian servings with unique options like black bean burgers, lentil stew, and apple cinnamon oatmeal. The organic ingredients offer whole food nutrition from non-GMO sources.

With a 25+ year shelf life, this pail gives you essential vitamins while avoiding meat. It covers breakfast, lunch, dinner, and snacks for emergencies.

Augason Farms Emergency Supply Food Kit

If you're looking to build up a substantial emergency stash, Augason Farms is a reliable brand. Their 30-day food kit gives you over 90 meat-based servings, while their 1-Year Supply has an incredible 4320 total servings.

These kits allow you to supplement meals with additions like freeze-dried cheese, emergency drinking water, and food bars. Augason Farms also has gluten-free and vegetarian options to suit different needs. Their products are lab-tested to verify nutritional content and can last up to 25 years when stored properly.


Individual Emergency Food Solutions

Highlighting the best individual emergency food solutions for solo adventurers or those needing a personal backstock of single ingredients.

Good To-Go Emergency Food Kit

The Good To-Go Emergency Food Kit provides tasty meals conveniently packaged for individual use. With a shelf life of up to 25 years, these kits offer nutritious options like southwest chicken and rice, Thai curry, and herb mushroom risotto. The meals come in lightweight pouches that only require boiling water for preparation, making them easy to pack and quick to eat. With well-balanced macros and minimal sodium, Good To-Go meals make an excellent addition to any emergency supply.

Mountain House Freeze-Dried Ground Beef

For those looking to add protein to meals in a disaster situation, Mountain House Freeze-Dried Ground Beef is a handy staple. With a shelf life of over 30 years and requiring only hot water for reconstitution, this ground beef adds 12 grams of protein per serving. It can be used in recipes, tacos, chili, pasta sauce, and more, offering versatility in an emergency food supply. Compared to fresh meat, the freeze-dried version from Mountain House is lightweight and compact yet nutrition dense.

S.O.S. Rations Emergency Food Bars

S.O.S. Rations Emergency Food Bars provide a high-calorie boost in critical situations where access to food is limited. Just one bar offers 600 calories and 18 essential vitamins and minerals. With a 5 year shelf life and individually wrapped portions, these food bars are designed for convenient emergency nutrition. While not as tasty as other options, the bars are dense, portable, and give the body quick energy when needed most. S.O.S. Rations are best suited for short-term emergency food storage rather than long-term meal solutions.

Survive2Thrive Organic Preparedness Pail

For those wanting an emergency food supply free of GMOs, preservatives, and artificial ingredients, the Survive2Thrive Organic Preparedness Pail is the way to go. Certified organic, this pail includes nutritious breakfasts, entrées, and fruits & veggies. With a focus on whole food ingredients, Survive2Thrive meals offer enhanced nutrition compared to other emergency food brands. The pouches have a shelf life of up to 25 years and only require hot water for preparation. While pricier than conventional options, this organic emergency food kit provides quality nutrition from natural sources.

Preparing an Emergency Food Supply: Short Term Food Storage

Creating an emergency food supply that meets both short-term needs and long-term storage requirements can be challenging. By following a few key best practices, you can effectively prepare freeze dried foods that retain nutritional value, long shelf life, and ease of preparation when you need them most.

Creating and Storing an Emergency Water Supply

Having an emergency supply of water is just as critical as food when preparing for a disaster situation. Aim to store at least one gallon of water per person per day. Use food-grade plastic containers and replace the water supply every six months. A water filter like the LifeStraw can purify questionable water sources when your stored supply runs out.

The Role of a Camp Stove in Your Emergency Kit

A portable camp stove allows you to heat water and prepare meals from your emergency food supply when traditional cooking facilities are unavailable. The ability to boil water is especially important for preparing freeze dried ingredients. Integrate a camp stove like the Coleman Classic into your emergency supply kit.

Tips for Effective Short Term Food Storage

When building your emergency food supply, prioritize ingredients with long shelf lives that retain nutritional value like freeze dried fruits, vegetables, and meat. Store in a cool, dark place and use air-tight containers to maintain freshness. Plan your supply to account for a minimum of 3 days, but ideally 2 weeks or more. Regularly cycle out and replace ingredients in your short term storage.

60-Serving Option for Immediate Needs

For portable, short term needs, the Mountain House Essential Bucket provides 60 servings of assorted freeze dried foods like rice, chicken, and vegetables. With a shelf life of up to 30 years and requiring only boiled water for preparation, it covers 2 people for 2 weeks - meeting immediate emergency needs while building towards more extensive long term storage.

Long-Term Emergency Preparedness Strategies

When it comes to being prepared for emergencies, having a long-term strategy is key. This means maintaining adequate food and water supplies, as well as other essential gear, to sustain you and your family for extended periods of time if a disaster strikes.

Building a 25-Year Emergency Food Supply

A 25-year emergency food supply may seem extreme, but it ensures you have ample nutrition on hand for worst-case scenarios. To build this stockpile:

  • Invest in bulk pails of freeze-dried foods with a decades-long shelf life. Popular options like Wise Company and Mountain House offer ingredient varieties to meet different tastes and nutritional needs.
  • Supplement with canned goods like vegetables, fruits, meats, and broths. Although shelf lives max out around 5 years, rotating stock makes cans a versatile addition.
  • Store foods in a cool, dark place to maximize freshness over time. Consider adding mylar bags, oxygen absorbers, gamma seal lids, and desiccant packs if available.
  • Take inventory annually and consume oldest items first to cycle through supply. Donate any excess to food banks as expiration dates approach.

Wise Company 1 Month Emergency Food Supply

Wise Company offers packaged entrée kits with around 1,200 calories per day for one month. These convenient buckets provide stable nutrition in an emergency without preparation needed. The food stays fresh for up to 25 years when stored properly. Kits come with breakfasts, lunches, dinners, drinks, and snacks. Consider adding a 1-month kit to your reserves as a nutritious stepping stone toward the 25-year supply.

Mountain House Ground Beef Cans for Versatility

In addition to full meal kits, having #best freeze dried survival food ingredients on hand allows you to get creative and vary your diet over decades if necessary. Canned freeze-dried ground beef from Mountain House is an ideal item for your reserves. The meat rehydrates in 10 minutes and offers a reliable source of protein to incorporate into many dishes. Cans have a shelf life of over 30 years and provide recipe versatility you’ll appreciate for the long haul.

Survival Kit Supplies Beyond Food

While emergency food tops the list for #best freeze dried survival food preparedness, essential gear like first aid kits, flashlights, batteries, masks, tools, and sanitation items also deserve space in your stockpile. Store sufficient quantities to outfit your household for at least one month. Replenish any goods as you use them. Develop checklists to cycle through inventory and ensure nothing expires without a backup on hand. Prepare for medical needs, light sources, communication channels, and hygiene necessities alongside your long-term food supply.

With adequate food, water, and gear stockpiled in a safe storage environment, you can have confidence to withstand extended emergencies. Use best practices like rotating stock, maintaining equipment, and taking inventory to keep your survival supplies in peak condition over the long term.

Final Tips for Freeze Dried Emergency Food

A few best practices can help you get the most out of your freeze dried emergency food supply and ensure it is ready when you need it.

Take Inventory Annually

  • Check expiration dates once a year to ensure nothing has expired or become damaged
  • Organize items so you know exactly what and how much you have
  • Replace anything that is expired or opened
  • Consider supplementing existing items to build a more robust supply

Integrate Into Regular Meals

  • Open a pouch and prepare it as a side dish every so often
  • Get familiar with preparation methods ahead of time
  • Rotate stock by using and replacing food before expiration dates

Have Contingency Plans

  • Store some portable, lightweight options like food bars in case you must evacuate
  • Identify what you would do if unable to shelter in place long-term
  • Map out backup locations and routes ahead of time

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