A Buying Guide for The Best Survival Food Bars

Best Survival Food Bars

Even if an apocalypse sounds like crackpot lunacy to you, events like camping expeditions or catastrophes like hurricanes remove the ‘farfetchedness’ from stocking up on survival food. Do you know what to look for in the best survival food bar?

Let’s face it; there are events beyond us that even legal contracts call an ‘act of God.’ Things like hurricanes and tornadoes. It pays to have a food stash that you and your family can fall back on in the event that there is no power or cooking gas, or no means of getting food for days. Alternatively, outdoor events like camping or expeditions are more fun when half the time is not spent of cooking and cleaning up. This is where survival food bars come in.

However, there are so many different kinds in the market. How can you be sure that you are buying the best survival food bar? We have compiled this buying guide to help you chart your way around this. Our reviews of the five best survival food bars, coupled with the pointers on what to look for when buying survival food will proof pull you from the dark. Let us begin our discussion by comparing the 5 best survival food bars:

Comparison Table

ProductSize/PackagingServingsContent/Shelf lifeAllerginsAction
Mountain House Classic Bucket3.45 lbs ; A bucket containing 12 pouches29 servings needing 21 cups of water to prepBeef Stroganoff/Noodles; Chicken Teriyaki with Rice; Beef Stew; Lasagna /Meat Sauce; Noodles & Chicken; Granola/Milk & Blueberries

30 years shelf life
Milk, soy, egg, wheat, coconutCheck Price Here
Mountain House Essential Bucket3.92 lbs; bucket containing 12 pouches32 servings needing 24 cups of waterChilli Mac/Beef; Rice/Chicken; Spagheti/Meat Sauce

30 years shelf life
Wheat, soy, milkCheck Price Here
S.O.S. Rations Emergency 3600 Calorie Food bar1.6 lbs package with 9 bars – 3600 calories9Calories, protein, fat, carbs, sodium, fiber, vitamins

5 year shelf life
Wheat, soy, coconutCheck Price Here
Grizzly Gear Emergency Food Rations1.5 lbs package with 9 bars – 3600 calories9Calories, protein, fat, carbs, sodium, fiber, vitamins, minerals

5 year shelf life
soyCheck Price Here
Augason Farms 30-Day Emergency Food Storage Supply29 lbs; pail containing 35 pouches for 30 days 1822 calories daily307Rice, potato, macaroni, vegetables, oatmeal, milk, banana chips

20 years shelf life
Not indicatedCheck Price Here

Mountain House Classic Bucket – Best in Meal Variety

mre;camping meals;backpacking meals;camp food;hiking food;camping food;backpacking food;beef stewMountain House Classic Bucket is a well packaged assortment of dehydrated food, consisting of 12 pouches each holding a complete meal. The pouches are contained in a reusable, lightweight bucket to ensure easy storage. The bucket can also be used to organize your camping food kit, emergency food supply or for long term food storage.

The 12 pouches contain 2 of each of these meal variations: Beef Stew; Beef Stroganoff with Noodles; Chicken Teriyaki with Rice; Noodles & Chicken; Lasagna /Meat Sauce; Granola/Milk & Blueberries. We loved this feature most, because you and your children get to enjoy as close to home-made cuisine as possible. Check out the beef stew below. You will agree it beats the measly, bland, cracker-like, food bar hands down!

Meal preparation is quite easy – no fire, no cooking required. Simply add hot water to the pouch and wait 10 minutes for your steaming hot meal. But, if in your situation a heat source is a challenge, the food is still edible using cold water. You just have to wait for 20 minutes for it to hydrate. In such situations, some people even improvise by tucking the sealed pouch onto their bosoms, the way you would warm a pet!

The meals themselves are quite delectable and mouthwatering. There is Beef Stew; Beef Stroganoff with; Chicken Teriyaki with Rice Noodles & Chicken; Lasagna with Meat Sauce and the Granola with Milk & Blueberries.

The bucket contains enough food to last one person 3.5 days, based on the 2,000 calories/day USDA diet recommendation. What’s more? You can eat directly from the pouch, minimizing dishes clean up!

We only found two downsides to the Mountain House Classic Bucket: first, even with the commendable variety of meals, there is no consideration for the one odd vegetarian in the group. Secondly, the product requires a total of 21 cups of water to prepare. Considering you will also need drinking water, you need to have large amounts of water on hand. This may prove quite bulky in a hiking expedition.


  • A variety of 6 different tantalizing meals
  • Easy to prepare
  • No cooking or clean up
  • 30-year shelf life
  • From a 50 year reputable company


  • Does not have a vegan meal option
  • Requires lots of water to prepare


View price on Amazon


Mountain House Essential Bucket – The Best No-Frills Practical Option

https://m.media-amazon.com/images/S/aplus-media/vc/ce9be3c1-1f10-4a6f-b735-86dd0c974709._SL300__.jpgMountain House Essential Bucket is a sister to the Classic Bucket, manufactured by Mountain House, company that boasts of 50 years experience of provision of freeze dried meals to the United States Special Forces. The only difference between the 2 products is the meals variety and the number of servings.

The 12 pouches are home to four 3-yummy meal varieties. These include: Chili Mac with Beef, made up of macaroni noodles, beef, beans and onions in a spicy chili sauce; Chicken and rice with pimentos in a savory sauces; Spaghetti with Meat in a rich marinara sauce.

The meals are just as tantalizing and preparation just as simple:



  • Cheaper
  • A variety of 3 different tantalizing meals
  • Easy to prepare
  • No cooking or clean up
  • 30-year shelf life
  • From a 50 year reputable company


  • Does not have a vegan meal option
  • Requires lots of water to prepare


View price on Amazon


S.O.S. Rations Emergency 3600 Calorie Food bar  – Best in Budget

The S.O.S. Rations Emergency 3600 Calorie Food bar is a delicious 72 hour or 3 day sustenance pack that comes in ready to eat nine 400-calorie bars. This means that a person should eat 3 bars in a day. The product is filling yet has a non-thirst provoking formula aimed at restricting water intake in order to provide maximum survival capacity in all environmental conditions.

The flavor is pleasant and sweet, like peanut butter cookies, but it becomes monotonous after a while. It provides lots of energy, and alertness.

The product is made by USA’s SOS Food Labs Inc and is US Coast Guard approved. It is also made in 1,200 and 2,400 calorie sets.

The nutritional value per serving is as follows:

  • Fat 18g
  • Carbohydrates 53g
  • Sugar 31g
  • Fiber 1g
  • Proteins 6g
  • Sodium 15g
  • Vitamin A 6%
  • Vitamin C 15%
  • Calcium 2%
  • Iron 6%

Unfortunately, this product’s 5 year shelf life from the date of manufacture is a bit limiting, because half of this time is spent in movement from the manufacturer to the shop, and the purchase period. All the same, 2 years is still a pretty long time to service your survival kit.

Another downside is the fact that the thin packaging is delicate. A zipper, sharp edge or tight squeeze easily punctures it. I guess it is a good idea to wrap it in something before storing in your survival kit.


  • Compact and light so easy to carry and store
  • Ready to eat
  • Fairly priced
  • Doesn’t cause thirst
  • Excellent customer service


  • Packaging easily compromised
  • 5 years shelf life is reduced by the time it gets to consumer
  • The taste soon gets monotonous


View price on Amazon


Grizzly Gear Emergency Food Rations – Best Overall

C:\Users\CONNIE\Documents\MG Baseline\71tMNXzyHLL._CR204,0,1224,1224_UX175.jpgThe Grizzly Gear Emergency Food Rations contains nine 400-caloriebars intended to last for 3 days. The daily ration (3 bars) is contained in one vacuum sealed Mylar packet. We loved that it is compact and light, so easy to pack and carry.

We were impressed by the fact that the product is almost universally inclusive as it conforms to both Halal and Kosher requirements. Vegetarians can eat it too. Moreover, it withstands extremes of temperature (from -22F to 149F), and is USCG approved.

The product has a sweet, mild lemon shortbread taste. The sweet is however not too much as to provoke thirst. The manufacturer, survivor industries, actually promotes it as having more nutrients and less sugar than other leading brands.

Let’s check out the nutritional value then:

  • Fat 23g
  • Sodium 23mg
  • Carbohydrates 16g
  • Dietary fiber 2g
  • Sugar 14g
  • Protein 3g

The other nutrients include: Vitamin A – 50%, Vitamin C-60%, Calcium – 50%, Iron – 10%, Thiamin – 15%, Riboflavin – 255%, Niacin – 30%, Vitamin D – 50%, Vitamin E – 25%, Vitamin B6 – 90%, Folic Acid – 35%, Vitamin B12 – 20%, Phosphorous – 40%, Magnesium 30%, Pantothenic Acid – 100%

This high nutritional content was the deal breaker for us, because in many instances the mineral and vitamin content exceeded the RDA requirements.

Add that is not all, the product has no cholesterol or tropical oils.

What we did not like about this product is that the 3 daily bars are not individually wrapped, so once you open the pack, all 3 are exposed. A zip lock bag may come in handy. The packaging is also kind of delicate, so vacuum seal can be compromised and the bars can also break into smaller pieces, making a bar indeterminate (See the picture below). One could always make a rough estimate though.


  • Ready to eat
  • High vitamin and mineral content
  • Easy to carry and store
  • Great taste
  • Non-thirst inducing
  • Filling


  • The bars are not individually wrapped
  • Vacuum seal easily breaks


View price on Amazon


Augason Farms 30-Day Emergency Food Storage Supply  – Best For The Long Haul

The Augason Farms 30-Day Emergency Food Storage Supply comes in an easy to transport, airtight, 7-gallon pail containing 35 food pouches, enough to feed one individual for 30 days, or a family of 4 for one week.

The delicious, easy to prepare emergency meals are nutritionally balanced , complete with entrees, soups, dry powdered milk, breakfast and fruit snacks. The breakdown is as follows:

  • Cheesy Broccoli Rice (5 packets having 8 servings each)
  • Creamy Chicken Rice (6 packets each with 8 servings)
  • Creamy Potato Soup (6 packets each having 8 servings)
  • Elbow Macaroni (2 packets each having 7.5 servings)
  • Powdered Cheese (15 servings in 1 packet)
  • Hearty Vegetable Chicken Soup (8 servings in each of the 4 packets)
  • Maple Brown Sugar Oatmeal (10 servings in each of the 6 packets)
  • 2 Pouches Low Fat Milk Alternative from Morning Moo (20 servings per pouch)
  • I pouch Instant Potatoes (8 servings per pouch)
  • 2 Pouches Banana Chips (8 servings per pouch)


  • Food that can last up to a month
  • Easy to prepare
  • Delicious meal varieties
  • Nutritionally balanced
  • Shelf life of 10 – 25 years depending on food type
  • Vegetarians can’t miss a meal


  • Meat lovers may be strained
  • Extra water needed to prepare meals


View price on Amazon


What should you consider when buying the best survival food?

And now for a quick run-down of important feature to consider when buying survival food. Survival food isn’t food you eat every other day. Rather, you store it for that unforeseen emergency. It is therefore important to consider:

  • A long shelf life: 3 – 12 years is optimal.
  • The quantity of food in a kit, based on the recommended daily calorie intake of 1500 – 2000. A 3-day food pack is recommended as bare minimum. However, if you can have enough food to last your family 14 days, the better for you.
  • Nutritional value of the food
  • The food appeal: In addition to having to face the extraneous circumstances of your emergency situation, having food you dread will load more stress on you.
  • Portability of the emergency food
  • Any special diet or food allergy you may have, for example, it would be disastrous to pack the high sugar products for a diabetic.


Ultimately, there is no one brand that is the perfect fit for everyone. The best survival food bar for you will therefore be determined by your circumstances, food tolerance and appeal. What is important is to set aside for that emergency, what is suitable to you.


About Nancy 22 Articles
Nancy likes to experience the great outdoors, which is why she chose a research-based profession. Her desire to explore the world has seen her spend ten of the last fifteen years traversing at least five continents for an extreme experience in a variety of conditions, helping her nurture her survival skills. She likes to read while on the road, and has picked up more than one handy survival skill from the confines of a book. When she is not researching, reading or spending time with nature, Nancy likes to teach survival skills to young learners as she believes it is quickly becoming a lost art. By empowering the younger generation to co-exist with nature, Nancy hopes to raise conservation efforts.

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