The Most Basic Survival Food List Ever

Article Posted: August 18, 2013

Rice Buckets

The following article tries to detail what could be considered the most basic of survival foods. The 10 items listed below are absolutely necessary to your survival. If you disagree please post in the comments section and we will consider making changes to the list. No biggie.

When it comes to survival, three things are necessary. Water, warmth and food. Essentially, you can live without everything else, although it's nice to have clothes and shelter. As long as you have access to relatively clean water, such as from a stream or lake, a way to start a fire and a way to feed yourself and those with you, staying alive may not be much fun, but you will survive.

With a flint and steel, you've got fire. Having a place to go such as a cabin or a house with a fireplace will be a huge help. A nearby stream or lake takes care of the water issues and a rain barrel can be worth it's weight in gold as well. But what about food? You can buy a cabin near a lake or stream easy enough and firewood takes an ax and some patience. While hunting and searching for edible roots, berries and even having a scratch garden can put food on the table.

But what about emergencies, situations where going out isn't possible, etc.? What should you have on hand that has a long shelf life, is inexpensive enough to stock up on now and will keep you alive?

Here are the top 10 things you'll want to have on hand:

1. Beans - Dried beans will last basically forever (10 years in a good, airtight container) as long as moisture can't get to them. They're easy to fix, extremely nutritious, high in protein and all types of beans, such as pinto beans, lentils, red beans, black beans, etc. are perfect.

2. Peanut Butter - Regardless of the date on the jar, it'll last up to 5 years on the shelf, is high in protein, packed with calories and has lots of uses in recipes aside from sandwiches.

Dated Rice Buckets

3. Rice - Like beans, rice is calorie and carbohydrate packed, lasts up to 10 to 20 years if stored right and is cheap to pick up. A couple of extra bags of rice every time you go to the grocery store makes stocking up easy.

Vacuum sealed mylar foil bags full of rice with a few oxygen absorbers placed in an air tight 5 gal bucket will last for 20 years. You can make several 5 gal buckets for under a hundred dollars. Be sure to mark date on bucket, and keep out of the sun.

Dried Pasta

4. Pasta - Another high carb food that is lightweight and cheap. A bit less storable than rice or beans, pasta still makes a great alternative to add variety while keeping up your energy levels.

5. Cornmeal - While both cornmeal and flour will keep with the right preparations, cornmeal generally has a better shelf life (up to 2 years), is packed with carbs and is generally more flexible than flour. Making tortillas and cornbread will ensure you have breads on hand to use with other foods.

6. Sugar / Honey - While this may seem like a bit of a luxury item, sugar is necessary on many levels. Not only is the carb count needed but the flavor sugar adds is helpful to other foods as well. Properly stored, sugar will store for up to 10 years. If you can get honey it will store practically forever and makes for a great sugar substitute. They have found Honey in Egyptian tombs that is still edible.

7. Salt - Salt has more uses than you can imagine. From curing meat to adding flavor to your meals, salt is one of the most essential things you'll need in survival mode. Your body needs salt to survive. Also, salt keeps forever and is very inexpensive.

8. Canned meats - While hunting for game will put meat on the table, and smoked meat can help you through the winter, having canned meat available means you don't have to panic. These will typically keep for 6 to 10 years and makes a reasonable change from wild game and fish.

Canned fruits and vegetables

9. Canned fruits and vegetables - During the first phases of a crisis (whether domestic disturbance, natural disaster or apocalyptic event), having canned fruits and veggies will get you through until you can plant a garden and possibly locate fruit trees. While heavy and somewhat expensive compared to the calories they provide, most canned goods like these will still last up to 5 years.

10. Lard - This may not be the "healthiest" of foods to have around, but as a cooking oil that can be reused multiple times, lard has a high calorie content, lasts for 2-3 years stored properly and, in a pinch, can be used as a lubricant and protectant for metals.

You may consider MREs or freeze dried foods, but these are expensive, and often unappetizing solutions. Even with bulk purchases, the price for one MRE could be equivilant to the cost two bags of dried beans, a bag of rice and a couple of cans of fruits and vegetables. While MREs and freeze dried foods do keep and are very portable, they definitely aren't the most cost-effective solutions. Stick to the list above and the cost of survival won't be more than you can pay.

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