14 Best Survival Foods That are Long-Lasting

This site contains affiliate links to products. We may receive a commission for purchases made through these links.

It came as quite a surprise when the world didn’t end on December 21, 2012, as millions of people supposed, addressing what Mayans predicted a couple of centuries ago. However, this doesn’t mean that we should be unprepared, as natural disasters have always been and will remain a threat.

26afe079 7767 4ea1 ac60 b4aab59569b8

For this reason, apart from other preparations, such as having a suitable shelter, you should stockpile certain foods that can last for years, if not decades. With this in mind, and following The Lost Ways guide by Claude Davis, we prepared a list of the best survival foods that you should include in your pack when going out in nature. Let’s take a look at what you need to be prepared!

Best Survival Foods List

Honey – For Those With a Sweet Tooth

It is safe to say that honey is one of those foods that almost everyone enjoys. Yes, it is full of sugar, but that is the main reason why it can’t expire. The thing is, bacteria and other harmful microorganisms can’t affect honey because of its high sugar content.


Additionally, not only is it something that you can store and enjoy for years, but it is also an energy and mineral bomb, making it a fantastic choice if you are about to have a physically exhausting day. Not to mention, the fact that the level of moisture is minimal in honey is another reason why you can rely on it for survival.

Don’t get confused or scared when it starts to crystallize, as this is a normal reaction, and you can get it back to its liquid state by heating it up to a low temperature.

Uncooked Rice – Great Carbohydrate Source


It is not a secret that rice is one of the best carb sources out there. What you should know is that the commercial 5-minute rice can last for up to 5 years as long as it stays in the original bag. On the other hand, if you have a vacuum container or a regular bag and a vacuum sealer, then you can preserve uncooked white rice for up to 30 years. Thus, it is one of the strategic foods that you should definitely stockpile.


While not considered to be food, in moderate consumption, alcohol is a good addition to a hefty meal. More importantly, it can be used as an antiseptic. The best thing about it is that heavy spirits, such as tequila, whiskey, or vodka, don’t have an expiration date. Although the same goes for certain liquors, any drinks that include dairy are sure to go bad if and when exposed to direct sunlight.


Apart from those properties, a glass or two of alcohol can lift your mood! And better yet, should you find yourself in a cold environment, a couple of swigs of the alcohol of your choice can help keep you warm, even if only superficially.

Peanut Butter – Proteins and Fats

Peanut Butter

Whether you are a meat-eater or not, you have to agree that peanut butter is one of those foods that are a great source of plant protein and healthy fats at the same time. Why did it end up on this list? Its high-fat content and Vitamin E work together to prevent rancidification and oxidation, thus prolonging the regular shelf life of a peanut butter jar for up to 5 years. You should know that even when it goes bad, it doesn’t become toxic, but it might taste and smell bad.

Energy Bars – A Strategic (and Lightweight) Must

One of the foods that survivalists commonly forget is energy bars. There are a few points why we think these are such a good choice. Firstly, these are a high-quality source of energy, meaning that not only will you be getting much-needed glucose to fuel your muscles but also a dose of complex carbs and plant protein.

Energy Bars

Also, most energy bars feature vitamin and mineral supplements that can come in handy when you are running low on other nutritious food. Most importantly, these bars typically don’t expire (or have a very long shelf life) and feature travel-friendly packaging that is easy to open and very lightweight.

Beans – Protein That Won’t Go Bad


Much like peanuts, beans are a fantastic source of plant protein. Not only that, but beans also offer soluble fiber that is essential for a healthy digestive system. Canned beans and common beans can last up to 30 years or more if they are stored properly. The same goes for lentils. So make sure you include as many beans as you can without overpacking.

Beef/Game Jerky – A Tasty Protein Snack

If you are interested in how to make your own jerky, we suggest that you read The Lost Ways by Claude Davis, which offers more than a few cool recipes (from basic ingredients). It will also provide you with several fire-starting techniques, as fire is essential for making jerky without a dehydrator.

Beef Jerky

According to the USDA, store-bought jerky can last up to 2 months, but you can extend this by sealing it in a vacuum bag or by putting it in a refrigerator (if you have one on you).

Beef and game jerky serves as a tasty source of protein and essential electrolytes given its high sodium content.

Bouillon Cubes – A Staple for Different Meals

Bouillon Cubes

These act as a fantastic addition to any nutritious meal, especially if you are a vegetarian. Much like jerky, bouillon cubes are high in salt, but they are sure to have a soothing effect, especially if you are out surviving in the wild. Why would we recommend that you buy dozens of bouillon cubes? These can last for more than a year after the official expiration date.

Powdered Milk

Powdered Milk

If you have ever visited a survivalist store before, then you have probably come across powdered milk that is being sold even a few years after its expiration date. As a shelf food, powdered milk is something that can last for an indefinite amount of time, as long as you store it properly and do not let any moisture enter the packaging.

You can use powdered milk in your tea or coffee, as well as in porridge and other warm foods.

Hardtack – A War Hero’s Treat


Hardtacks were incredibly popular back in WWII and during the Vietnamese War. Although the recipe is incredibly simple, featuring water, salt, and flour (which lasts just 12 months on its own), this is a cracker that can last for years. Hardtacks are tough to eat on their own, so you might want to have some liquid on you to dip it in.

Coffee – An Energy Fix That Will Keep You Buzzed


Billions of people around the world start their day with coffee. Much like alcohol, it isn’t officially food but should certainly be on the list of items that you need to stockpile. Packets of instant coffee have zero moisture content and are free from sugar, flour, and other ingredients that can go rancid.

This makes it a shelf food that can last for more than 20 years. On the other hand, having a hot cup of instant coffee first thing in the morning is a fantastic way to prepare for the strenuous day that you will encounter as a survivalist.

Pure Vanilla Extract – For Sweeter Drinks

Pure Vanilla Extract

Whether you are looking to add a bit of taste to your dessert or a cold shake, pure vanilla extract is the way to go for a few reasons. First, it is 35% alcohol, making it almost impossible to go bad. Additionally, the sugar content (much like in honey) keeps it safe from microorganisms and bacteria.

Canned Vegetables, Fruits, and Meats

Canned Vegetables Fruits and Meats

One of the main tips that you will find when reading The Lost Ways by Claude Davis is that, although preparing food from scratch isn’t anything complicated, you should always have some canned fruits, veggies, and meat with you in a survival situation. Of course, you can’t expect these to last forever, especially when it comes to meat with sauces, but a few years should be more than enough to get you through the survivalist period.

Dark Chocolate – A Source of Energy and Healthy Fats

Dark Chocolate

Last but not least on our list of the best survival foods is chocolate that has at least 80% cacao. The main reason why it is a fantastic choice is that it will fuel you up. It is also a source of antioxidants, healthy fats, and essential minerals that you will need when in survival mode. It can last up to 18 months when stored properly.

Wrap Up

The point of this article wasn’t to discuss the chance of you having to go into a bunker to stay away from a natural disaster or surviving in the middle of a forest, but rather to review several foods that can last for more than a year.

The conclusion is that, by stockpiling the items we have discussed above, you will be set and prepared for whatever may come your way, so make sure you keep your survival food kit stocked well!

26afe079 7767 4ea1 ac60 b4aab59569b8

1 thought on “14 Best Survival Foods That are Long-Lasting”

  1. Pingback: The Lost Ways Review: Is This Survival Book Worth it? - Essential Survival Skills

Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Special offer for our visitors

Get your "Novice Suvivalist's" Free Guide

We will never send you spam. By signing up for this you agree with our privacy policy and to receive regular updates via email in regards to industry news and promotions