What Survival Foods Last Longest?

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One of the worst times to buy food is when a disaster occurs. Demand is so high, and the shelves are empty within a matter of hours – it can even look like a scene form a post-apocalyptic movie.

Regardless of whether you are throwing out food that exceeded its expiry date or you want to organize your foods in case an emergency happens, it can be immensely helpful to have foods that do not go bad in your home. In fact, there are many foods that can even outlive you – as long as you store them in the right conditions and take proper care of them.


Here are some of these food items that are a must-have for emergencies.

Staple foods

Non-perishable staples

The key to keeping these for as long as possible is storing them in places that are completely dry, like air-tight containers. They include:

  • Dried cranberries
  • Rice – this includes Arborio, white, basmati, and jasmine, as well as wild rice types. Just note that brown rice does not last indefinitely.
  • Hardtack biscuits or crackers
  • Rolled oats


Some of these might change their hardness, texture and thickness as time goes on, but all will change the flavor. That does not mean they are spoiling though; even after their taste changes, they are still edible. They include:

  • Maple syrup
  • Gobstoppers
  • Honey
  • Molasses
  • Dried beans, lentils and split peas
  • Dry mix jello

Those that you need to freeze


These can still last a long time when you leave them out, but freezing will make them last for indefinite periods and they can even outlive you.

  • Noodles
  • Freeze-dried or instant coffee
  • Dried pasta
  • Dried fruits – such as dried mangoes, dried cranberries, raisins, dried apricots, dried blueberries, dates, and dried plums

Base ingredients, condiments and seasonings

Base ingredients

As long as you store them very carefully, like in an airtight container and remove any moisture or humidity, they will last for very long.

  • Baking soda
  • Corn starch
  • Corn syrup


You might not realize it, but seasonings are great foods for a survival package because they last forever. The only aspect that will change about them is their taste. However, make sure to store them in an airtight container, and there must be no humidity or moisture present. They are:

  • Dried herbs
  • Sugar
  • Pure flavor extracts, such as pure vanilla extract
  • Spices
  • Pepper
  • Salt


These are likely to change their taste as time goes but they will be safe for many years. Make sure to store them in airtight containers, and the spot to keep them must be away from sunlight and moisture. They are:

  • Unopened Worcestershire sauce
  • Vinegar – includes rice wine, apple cider, white red wine, and balsamic


Keeping yourself hydrated is good, and these might prove to be a great addition. Aside from water, they include wine, liquors and spirits.

Alcohol is also good as a disinfectant, among other uses. However, there are some guidelines to help you know if an alcohol is non-perishable:

  • It must not contain any derivative of dairy, milk or eggs
  • The alcohol content should ideally be over 10%

Final thoughts

In any emergency, it is good to have a stockpile of food with you to help you survive the disaster. These foods and drinks will help you to do so, as long as you store them carefully and handle them well.


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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