Prepper Foods: Essentials That Must be on Your List

Jacob Moore

Last updated April 15, 2021

If you are ever unfortunate enough to be forced into a survival situation, whether due to a natural disaster or something like a pandemic, every last ounce of energy you have needs to be focused on staying alive. Of course, to stay alive, one thing you will need is food, and lots of it.

However, the problem is that you never know when an emergency will arise. It could be tomorrow, it could be next year, or it could be next decade. The issue is that most foods have limited shelf lives, making them bad choices for long-term storage.

Yet, there are also many foods out there which have long shelf lives, foods that will provide you with enough calories and nutrients to keep you and the family ticking. Right now, we want to take a closer look at the most important prepper food essentials that should be on your list.

Prepper Food Essentials


Water may not be food per se, but that said, humans can survive for a couple of week without food, but only for a few days without water. Therefore, having a lot of water stored for an emergency situation is essential. You can go for normal bottled water, distilled water, or even canned seltzer water too. The point is that you and everybody else in the family need a constant, clean, and large supply of water to survive.

Also Read: Best Tasting Prepper Foods


Wax Encased Hard Cheeses

While it is true that normal cheese does not have a very long shelf life, if you manage to find cheese that is encased in a thick layer of hard wax, it will stay good for up to 25 years.

The wax will prevent excess moisture and light from getting to the cheese, and it will prevent mold from building up. Parmesan, cheddar, gouda, and other such hard cheeses are all viable options here. Cheese is loaded with fats, proteins, and plenty of calories that will fuel your body during an emergency survival situation.

Whole Wheat Flour

Most people are going to prefer white flour over whole wheat, and yes, most people think that white flour tastes better.

While this might very well be true, the fact of the matter is that whole wheat flour has a much longer shelf life than white flour. Moreover, whole wheat flour can be used to make bread, to thicken soups, to coat meats for frying, to make sauces, and much more. Whole wheat flour contains a lot of carbs and nutrients to provide your body with the energy it needs to survive.


While crackers may not have much nutritional value, besides carbs, they do provide some normalcy, and they make for a good snack. When properly packaged, crackers can stay good for a few years, and they can be eaten as is, crushed into soups, or eaten with other foods.

Peanut Butter

Something else you may want to consider stocking up on for an emergency survival situation is peanut butter.

While peanut butter is not something that you will eat on its own, at least not for long, you can put it on those crackers, on your own homemade bread, and it can even be used in cooking. Peanut butter is loaded with fats and carbs that will keep you going for a long time, not to mention that it tastes great too.

Powdered Milk and Eggs

Fresh milk is something that many of use, whether to mix with cereal, to put in your coffee, or to cook with, but milk itself does not have a long shelf life. What does have a long shelf life, up to 2 or even 3 years, is powdered milk. When properly stored, it can last for a really long time, plus it is loaded with protein and calcium.

Another thing you can consider putting in your food pantry for long-term storage are powdered eggs. Just like with milk, eggs don’t have a great shelf life, but powdered eggs do, and they can be used for a variety of dishes, not to mention that they are rich in protein and calories.


Prepper Foods

Protein and Energy Bars

When you are forced into an emergency survival situation, you won’t always have the proper cooking utensils with you. You need pots and pans, water, and a heat source, just to cook food. This means that it is essential to stock up on foods that don’t need to be cooked, things that you can just unwrap and eat as is.

Luckily for you, there are plenty of energy bars, protein bars, and special survival bars available. These are designed to provide your body with carbs, proteins, fats, and sugars, all things which you will need in a survival situation.

Bars like this are easy to store, they are rich in nutrients, and if you find the right ones, they can stay edible for years or even decades.

Dehydrated Fruits and Vegetables

You might be worried about storing too many dehydrated fruits and veggies due to the fact that much of the vitamin C content, as well as a portion of the other nutrients are lost during the drying process. However, dried fruits and vegetables still contain far more nutrients than many other foods.

Dried fruits like bananas, apples, mangos, and many others, as well as peas, carrots, beans, and other such veggies can come in really handy. The dried fruits can be eaten as is, as a snack, and you can add them to oatmeal and cereal too. Dehydrated veggies can be added to a variety of dishes, and they work great in soups too.

Dried Meats

Coming by an ample supply protein may be hard in a survival situation, but that said, dried meat, like jerky, is high in protein and sugars, so it will keep you going for a long time, plus it has a decent shelf life too.

Things like pepperonis, cured salami, beef jerky, dried and smoked fish, and other such meats have 2 to 3 year shelf lives. So, while dried meats are not excellent for long-term storage, they will still stay good for a few years, and they will provide your body with the required protein to stay alive.

Anything Canned

We did not want to start listing a variety of canned foods here, because there certainly are lots of them, but the fact is that they all have long shelf lives. When properly stored, most canned foods will stay good for years or even decades, depending on exactly what is in the can.

For protein and fat, canned meats like tuna, spam, canned ham, canned chicken, and other such things are excellent. If you need fiber and vitamins, canned veggies like beans, peas, and carrots are good, plus corn is also a good option. You can go for canned meals such as chili, spaghetti and soup, and you can even find canned desserts.

Rice and Pasta

If you need good staple foods for your survival pantry, we would recommend investing in a good amount of both rice and pasta. Now, when it comes to rice, you want to choose white rice, as it has a longer shelf life than brown rice.

Although rice doesn’t have all that many nutrients, it does contain carbs, and most important, it can keep you feeling full.

Rice is a staple food because it is cheap, it is very compact for easy storage, it has a long shelf life, and can be used for a variety of purposes.

The same can be said for pasta, which is probably even better than rice, mainly due to the fact that pasta contains more nutrition than rice. Moreover, dried pasta, due to the fact that it contains little to no moisture, has a very long shelf life.

Beans and Legumes

Dried beans of all kinds, lentils, and peas are great survival foods. Beans and legumes are loaded with fiber, they are nutritious, and they contain plenty of energy-providing calories as well. Dried legumes can be used for a variety of dishes, and when properly stored, can last for years.

Spices, Herbs, and More

Although you cannot eat spices and herbs on their own, you also don’t want to eat plain meats and other dishes that you might cook during a survival situation.

Simply put, although herbs and spices are not nutritional, thanks to the fact that they will add some flavor and variety to the foods that you cook, you won’t go insane during a long survival stint. A bit of variety is key here.

Also Read: 8 Cheapest Emergency Foods


There you have it ¾ 12 things that you should consider adding to your prepper survival pantry, foods that taste good and contain plenty of nutrition to keep you and the family going during tough times.

Jacob Moore

Jacob Moore is the founder of, and he has spent more time surviving in the wilderness than an average human being. A familiar face from the rural United States, Jacob has always wanted to live close to nature. Even after spending a few years in the buzzing world of cities and 9 to 5 jobs, he managed to get out to the outer world when he got a chance. Jacob would say that hiking is his passion, and he has spent up to several weeks in the wild.