Top Survival Foods That Have Long Shelf Life – Complete Guide

In the United States, food is abundant, and people can buy and eat as much as possible. However, in times of uncertainty or unrest, food prices are always the first to skyrocket because people generally rush to stores and supermarkets to buy what will be sufficient for them and their loved ones for a reasonable period.

This can lead to food scarcity and hunger. Survivalists are focused on long-term sustainability; this means that they have to plan for food, shelter, water, clothing, and security. If you live in a remote area and you already have a safe shelter, an alternative electricity source, and a good water supply, the next thing on your list should be a steady food supply. Survivalists have been known to build greenhouse farms to suffice for feeding.

However, it is better to stock up on food when available and cheap so that you will always have a steady supply to fall back on if the disaster finally happens. The nature of most food items and products prevents you from keeping them for too long, but other food items are uniquely suited to last for years.

This article has compiled some of those food items, and the knowledge of this will help you when you begin stocking your food store. Enjoy!

Top Survival Foods With a Long Shelf Life

Before we begin, it is important to note that oxygen, heat, moisture, and light can cause rancidification of food items. Even though these food items are uniquely suited to stand the test, these elements must be absent for that to be possible. With that in mind, these are the top foods with a long shelf life.

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Wild, white, basmati, and jasmine rice can last up to 20 years if you store them in the right conditions. It is important to store the rice with an oxygen absorber and away from water.


Grains like millet, barley, quinoa, rye, buckwheat, and others can last between 8 to 12 years. It would be best to get your grains from a seller that specifically sells food for long-term storage. Purchase these grains in bulk and store them with an oxygen absorber and away from moisture.


Flour reacts negatively to heat, oxygen, and moisture. If all these elements are absent, your flour can last up to 15 to 20 years. Flour should be kept in a cold environment, and it should be packaged with an oxygen absorber.

Dry Pasta

In its original package, Pasta can last up to 18 months. However, if it is sealed with oxygen absorbers, Pasta can stay on the shelf for up to 30 years. Pasta should be bought in bulk from suppliers that sell long-term foods.

Rolled Oats

Storing your oats with an oxygen absorber will make it last up to 30 years. Oats are known to last long, even without special treatment. As long as they are kept dry a room temperature, they will not go bad.

Dehydrated Fruits

Fruits like apples, raisins, and apricots can last up to 30 years if all the moisture contained in them is completely extracted. You can dehydrate your fruit at home, or you can buy it from long-term storage food companies.

Dried Corn

The best way to store your dry corn is to freeze it. Without moisture, your dry corn can last for up to 15 years.

Dried Meat and Freeze-Dried Meat

Freeze-dried Meat can last up to 15 years if stored in the right conditions and remains unopened. Dried Meat can last for up to 2 years, but if you remove all the fat and keep it away from heat and oxygen, it can last much longer.

Raw Honey

If honey is moisture free, it can last till infinity. This is the purest sweetener available, and you can keep as much as you want at any room temperature


Sugar can also be stored indefinitely. However, it would help if you took care to seal it in a tight package to keep away ants and prevent moisture from getting into the package.

Powdered Milk

Milk is pure protein, and if it is properly stored, it can last up to 20 years. Powdered milk mostly comes in a tin can. These cans should not be opened until you are ready to use the milk. Keep it at cool room temperature and away from moisture.


This food has the approval of survivalists because of its duration period. It can last up to fifty years, and it is a great source of protein. Pemmican is a unique combination of berry powder, animal fat, and powdered lean meats.

Peanut Butter

If you want your peanut butter to have a long shelf life, then the powdered form would be the best to buy. The popular peanut butter in a jar also lasts long, but it is only good for two years at maximum.

Long-lasting Nutritional Bars

Companies have started producing high-nutrition bars designed to last long and provide your body with the basic nourishment it needs. Survivalists can stock up on these snacks in case of emergencies.

Cocoa Powder and Tea

Pure cocoa can last for more than ten years if stored in the right conditions. Tea can also last up to two with factory packaging. It is, however, important to keep moisture far away from it.

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Top Survival Foods That Have Long Shelf Life – Comprehensive Guide


Having more food is always better than having less. Without food, the human body can only survive for three weeks, and I hate to think about what would happen if there is a global food scarcity problem. As survivalists, storing food is one of the core purposes of the survivalism movement.

It is useless to store food that gets worse, and that is why this article has shown you the food items that you can immediately begin to stock and keep for years. It is important to do further research and ask many questions about the storing processes of these food items before purchasing any of them in bulk.

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  • Dan Gregory

    Dan Gregory grew up in Oklahoma City, Oklahoma, and spent much of his youth going on camping trips, and developed fond memories. After being drafted into the American Army, Dan gained more survival skills from military life. He got married and had two kids during that time as they moved around from one country to another. The military family lived in countries such as Japan and the UAE and eventually settled in Boulder, Colorado. Dan is now an army veteran and attended cooking school, as he is a cook at a restaurant. He enjoyed spending time with his family by going on exciting outings.