Emergency food that lasts the longest.

Wonder which emergency and survival foods will last the longest? Some of them are up to 30 years or more. Foods that will keep you alive if economies collapse, disaster strikes or you have a family emergency. Look no further, this is the article for you.

Wheat And Pasta (15 Long-lived foods)

The main drawback to these foods is they require recipes, cooking, and repackaging in most cases. The main plus of these foods is they have a massive shelf-life, and if you package them yourself, they are inexpensive.

Following is a list of 15 wheat-based foods with a 30 + year shelf life you can use to meet the suggested 400lbs of grain to store per person for a year’s supply. For maximum shelf-life, these foods are packaged oxygen-free using Mylar bags.

  1. Hard White Wheat Berries
  2. Hard Red Wheat Berries
  3. Soft White Wheat Berries
  4. Soft Red Wheat Berries
  5. Durum Wheat
  6. Spring Wheat
  7. Einkorn Wheat
  8. Emmer Wheat
  9. Spelt Wheat
  10. Dry Spaghetti
  11. Dry Macaroni
  12. Hardtack
  13. Kamut
  14. Khorasan Wheat
  15. Triticale

Learn more about storing the best wheat berries for long-term storage.

9 Grains With The Longest Shelf Life

This is a catch-all section of grains and seeds with a 25 to 30-year shelf-life. My favorite on this list is the rolled oat because it is relatively high in protein and carbs, flexible, easy to make ready, and it was the staple food of the Scotch Highlanders and bog trotters of old.

  1. Rolled Oats
  2. Pearled Oats
  3. Hulled Oats
  4. Buckwheat
  5. Dent Corn
  6. Millet
  7. Popcorn
  8. Rye
  9. Barley

7 Types of Rice With the Longest Shelf Life

I store mostly long-grain white rice because it is readily available where I live but you can get a 30-year shelf-life from any polished white rice. Avoid storing brown, red, or purple rice long-term as they have oils that quickly go rancid, regardless of how you store them.

  1. Long-grain White Rice
  2. Medium-grain White Rice
  3. Short-grain White Rice
  4. Jasmine Rice
  5. Basmati Rice
  6. Arborio Rice
  7. Converted Rice

17 Beans And Legumes For Long-term Storage

Most of the beans in the list below are readily available in bulk, and easy to store long-term. Most of the beans in my food stockpile are black and pinto beans because I get them easily where I live.

  1. Adzuki
  2. Kidney
  3. Pinto
  4. Mung
  5. Split Peas
  6. Pigeon Peas
  7. Black Eyed Peas
  8. Great Northern Beans
  9. Black Beans
  10. Navy Beans
  11. Lentils
  12. Lima Beans
  13. Pink Beans
  14. Garbanzo Beans (chickpeas)
  15. Cranberry Beans
  16. Black Turtle Beans
  17. Cannellini Beans

17 Long Lasting Condiments

Condiments give food(s) flavor and help with the psychological aspect of survival by relieving palet fatigue, making basic ingredients more interesting to eat. My family eats a lot of white rice, and for white rice, you need soy sauce so we have a lot of it on hand. We also use a lot of vinegar on salads and as a natural cleaning product.

  1. Soy Sauce
  2. Vinegar
  3. Corn Starch
  4. Booze
  5. Meat and Vegetable Bouillon
  6. Salt (non-iodine)
  7. Sugar
  8. Baking Soda
  9. Baking Powder
  10. Pure Vanilla
  11. Freeze-dried Coffee
  12. Dried Tea
  13. Honey
  14. Ghee
  15. Powdered Drink Mixes
  16. Maple Syrup
  17. Dried Spices

Salt and sugar are excellent in a survival situation. Both enhance flavor and act as a preservative. They are outstanding in a true SHTF scenario for barter and food preservation., and they are super cheap compared to other survival foods and items like ammo.

Scott, Ready Squirrel

Read about storing fatty foods for emergencies. Ready the Ready Squirrel article, Survival Fat: 29 Foods To Store for the Apocalypse

22 Survival Foods in #10 Cans

Larger industrial-sized cans sealed for Oxygen-free storage are one of the best containers for decades of shelf-life because they do an excellent job of protecting food against food spoilers like moisture, light, and oxygen. Following is a list of foods stored in #10 cans that will keep on the shelf for 30 years.

  1. Brown Sugar
  2. Honey Powder
  3. Lentils
  4. Pinto Beans
  5. Black Beans
  6. White Granulated Sugar
  7. White Rice
  8. Iodized Salt
  9. Rolled Oats
  10. Hard White Wheat
  11. Freeze-dried Cheese
  12. Elbow Macaroni
  13. Freeze-dried Pineapple
  14. Freeze-dried Blackberries
  15. Freeze-dried Mango
  16. Freeze-dried Blueberries
  17. Freeze-dried Raspberries
  18. Freeze-dried peas
  19. Freeze-dried Sweet Corn
  20. Freeze-dried Chicken
  21. Freeze-dried Beef
  22. Orange Delight Drink Mix

Survival Foods Available via Augason Farms.com

8 Professionally Packaged Freeze Dried Foods

Freeze-dried food is excellent for short-term emergencies and bug-out bags because it is lightweight and easy to prepare with hot water. The downside, it is super expensive. At this point, I store small amounts of freeze-dried foods for special emergency circumstances like bugging out on foot.

  1. Mountain House
  2. Backpacker’s Pantry
  3. Saratoga Farms
  4. Augason Farms
  5. Readywise
  6. Legacy Food Storage
  7. Readywise Company
  8. Survive To Thrive

I ate Mountain house meals when I hiked the Vermont leg of the Appalachian Trail. They hit the spot when I was exhausted and hungry. All I had to do to prepare them was boil water on a Jetboil, pour the hot water in the bag, let it soak :10 minutes and eat.

Scott, Ready Squirrel

Should I Freeze-dry Food at Home?

If you are serious about prepping and have the money to purchase a home freeze-drier unit like a Harvest Right, then I would say buy one. Because of expenses, I don’t have a unit yet, but it’s on my bucket list.

If I had a home freeze-drier, I would purchase bulk meat, vegetables, and fruit when they are on sale to save money. Also, you can easily prepare foods and store them oxygen-free, and you will know exactly what is going into your emergency food as far as preservatives and additives are concerned.

If you are lucky enough to have a homestead-producing fruit, freeze-drying is one great way to preserve it to get you through the year. This works especially well for perishable produce that comes in abundance but has a short shelf-life.

If you have a decent-sized family and use the freeze-drier regularly, you can pay it off pretty quickly.

Foods With A 20 to 25 Year Shelf-life

Some foods you want to store for long-term emergencies don’t have a thirty-year shelf life but will still keep for decades. Of the foods on this list, one of the most sought-after foods in the Venezuelan collapse is non-fat powdered milk. Take a look at the list to see some other foods you might want to stockpile.

  1. Tomato Powder
  2. Dehydrated Carrots
  3. Freeze-dried Apple Slices
  4. Dehydrated Potatoes
  5. Chocolate Milk Powder
  6. Non-fat Powdered Milk
  7. Black Bean Burger Meat Substitute
  8. Dehydrated Chicken Noodle Soup
  9. Corn Chowder Soup Mix

Foods That Last Forever

These foods don’t go bad, at least not in your lifetime. Foods with an indefinite shelf-life like salt, sugar, and vinegar are three of my favorite survival foods because they have many uses and are inexpensive. Powdered milk is on many lists saying it lasts forever, but you’ll get a maximum 15-year shelf life if it is properly packaged.

  • Sugar
  • Salt
  • Honey
  • Vinegar
  • Pure Vanilla
  • Real Maple Syrup
  • Corn Syrup
  • Freeze-dried Coffee
  • Whole Tea Leaves
  • Distilled White Vinegar
  • Corn Starch
  • Hard Alcohol
  • Soy Sauce


To get the 30-year shelf-life out of dry staples, they must be purchased in oxygen-free containers or repackaged into oxygen-free containers to kill bugs and remove the oxygen present in the container.

Oxygen reduces food shelf life via oxidation, which decreases the color, texture, and nutritional value of emergency food.

If you are storing foods in clear glass such as soy sauce, keep it out of the light because light will oxidize food too.

The best D.I.Y. method of packaging dry foods for long-term storage uses food-grade buckets, Mylar bags, and Oxygen absorbers. Check out the top D.IY. Containers for long-term food storage.

Storage Environment

Store emergency foods in a cool, dry location, up off the floor in temperatures above freezing and below 75 degrees Fahrenheit. Avoid storing in a hot location like a garage or outdoor shed and keep moisture to a minimum.

Drastic fluctuations in temperature are also tough on a food’s shelf life and can reduce its lifespan by years.

In addition, protect staple foods from rodents and chewing insects with Mylar bags and food-grade buckets or #10 cans. If containers are clear, protect food from light oxidation by storing it in a dark cupboard or covering the containers with a blanket.

Warning: Grains stored long-term should have the husk removed and contain less than 10% moisture to avoid anaerobic food poisoning like botulism from forming.