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How to Make Your Own Survival Food Kit: Essential Guide for Preparedness




How to Make Your Own Survival Food Kit


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Preparing for emergencies and disasters is crucial, and having a survival food kit is a key aspect of that preparation. Creating your own kit ensures you’ll have access to nutritious, long-lasting food, tailored to your specific needs. Knowing what to include and How to Make Your Own Survival Food Kit is essential to surviving.

Start by selecting foods that have a long shelf life, are nutrient-dense, and easy to prepare. Non-perishable items such as canned goods, freeze-dried meals, and high-energy snacks like granola bars and protein bars are one of the best to have. Along with food, always remember to include enough water for your household. A general guideline is to have at least one gallon of water per person per day, for a minimum of three days.

In addition to food and water, your survival food kit should cater to any special dietary needs and provide items that don’t require cooking. Think about including easy-to-open canned goods, dehydrated fruits, and nuts for extra protein and calories. Maintaining a variety of options will help ensure your kit meets the nutritional needs of your household during an emergency situation.

Defining Survival Food

Survival food is specifically designed to help you maintain energy, meet your nutritional needs, and last for extended periods of time, when accessing fresh food may be difficult or impossible. In the context of emergency preparedness, these meals typically prioritize shelf-life, nutritional value, and ease of preparation.

A well-rounded survival food kit should cover all key macronutrients, including proteincarbohydrates, and fats. Protein helps your body build and repair tissues, while carbohydrates provide the energy needed during physically demanding situations. Fats, although sometimes seen as unhealthy, are essential for your body’s cell function, brain health, and energy needs.

When choosing high energy-foods for your kit, consider including items such as granola, dried fruits, nuts, protein bars, and jerky. It is essential to account for any food allergies or specific dietary needs within your family when assembling your survival kit. Additionally, be mindful of sodium levels, as overly salty foods can lead to increased thirst and higher water consumption.

Regarding long-term storage, freeze-drying is a popular method for preserving food in survival situations. The freeze drying removes moisture from the food without changing its chemical composition, ensuring that your food retains its taste while lasting longer.

To create a diverse and easily accessible food kit, you can mix and match different freeze-dried meals or separate ingredients and combine flavors later. Store these items in mylar bags with oxygen absorbers to remove air and preserve the contents for more extended periods.

Lastly, it’s important to rotate food from your kit regularly, replacing it with fresh resupplies. Consuming items from your kit occasionally and restocking immediately will help maintain the overall quality and variety of your survival food supply.

Remember, as you prepare your survival food kit, prioritize long shelf-life, balanced nutrition, and ease of preparation to ensure you and your family have adequate sustenance when faced with challenging situations.

Prioritizing Water

How to Make Your Own Survival Food Kit

When preparing your survival food kit, it’s essential to prioritize water. In an emergency, having a reliable and stable water supply is crucial for staying hydrated, cooking, and maintaining hygiene. In this section, we will discuss how to store water, how much to store, and how to ensure water quality.

Start by calculating the amount of water needed for your household. The general rule of thumb is to store at least one gallon (3.8 liters) of water per person per day. For a two-week emergency, you should plan to store a minimum of 14 gallons (53 liters) of water per person. Remember to account for pets’ water needs as well.

To store your water, use food-grade water storage containers. Clean the containers thoroughly and store them in a dark, cool place to prevent algae and bacteria growth. You might also consider using water purification or other water treatment methods to ensure water quality in case the stored water becomes unsafe to consume.

It’s important to rotate your water supplies every six months to maintain freshness. Consider marking the containers with the date you store them, so you can replace them when necessary. In case your stored water runs out, identify alternative sources of water nearby, such as rivers, lakes, or rainwater collection systems.

Here’s a brief checklist to help you prioritize water in your survival food kit:

  • Calculate the amount of water needed for your household
  • Use food-grade water storage containers
  • Store water in a dark, cool place
  • Treat stored water if needed
  • Rotate water supplies every six months
  • Identify alternative sources of water

By following these steps, you can ensure that your emergency survival kit includes enough water to meet your household’s needs during a crisis.

Choosing Non-Perishable Foods

How to Make Your Own Survival Food Kit

Understanding Shelf Life

When building your survival food kit, it’s important to focus on the shelf life of the chosen items. Non-perishable foods such as canned goods, freeze-dried foods, and dry staples like rice and beans can last for years if stored properly. You should regularly check expiration dates and rotate your stock to keep it fresh.

Focusing on Nutrition

Your survival food kit should contain foods that provide essential nutrients to sustain you during an emergency. Focus on foods that are rich in protein, such as beans and canned meats, as well as nutrient-dense vegetables and fruits, whether canned, dried, or freeze-dried. Grains such as rice and pasta will provide carbohydrates for energy. A well-rounded kit will include:

  • Protein sources: canned meats, beans, legumes, protein bars, and jerky
  • Vegetables and fruits: canned and freeze-dried vegetables, dried fruits, and canned fruits
  • Grains: rice, pasta, and whole grain cereals
  • High-energy foods: granola, dried fruit, nuts

Special Dietary Needs

Keep in mind any special dietary needs or restrictions, such as allergies, intolerances, or specific diets, while building your survival food kit. If you or someone in your family requires a special formula or specific nutrient-dense foods, make sure to incorporate them into your kit as well.

Ensuring Variety

Maintaining a variety in your survival food kit not only helps with food fatigue but also ensures a balance of nutrients. Mix up the types of protein, vegetables, fruits, and grains in your kit. Don’t rely solely on canned items; include dried and freeze-dried foods as well. Variety in texture and flavor will help keep your palate interested during an emergency, making it easier to stick to your nutrition plan.

Supplies and Tools

Food Storage and Preparation

When assembling your survival food kit, it’s essential to have proper food storage and preparation supplies. Start by purchasing mylar bags for sealing and preserving your food items. These bags will keep your food safe from moisture, oxygen, and light, ensuring long-term storage.

For packaging your meals, consider using airtight plastic containers. These will keep your food dry and protected during storage and transport. In addition to containers, pack an oxygen absorber or desiccant to help maintain the freshness of your stored food items.

When it comes to food preparation, ensure you have a manual can opener and utensils such as a spoon, fork, and knife. These tools will make it easy for you to access and eat your food during an emergency.

General Survival Equipment

survival food kit

In addition to food storage and preparation tools, your survival kit should also contain general supplies that will assist you in times of need. A reliable source of light is essential during an emergency, so pack a flashlight and extra batteries. You can find more details about what your emergency supply kit should contain here.

A battery-powered or hand-crank radio will keep you informed of critical updates and emergency broadcasts. Don’t forget to include extra batteries to ensure its continued operation.

Being prepared with the appropriate clothing and sturdy shoes will keep you protected and comfortable during an emergency situation. Consider the climate and possible weather conditions you might encounter and pack your clothing accordingly.

In summary, by including the right food storage, preparation items, and general survival equipment, you’ll be better prepared in case of an emergency.

Personal Items and Documents

In addition to food and water, your survival kit should also contain essential personal items and documents. These items not only help in emergency situations but also help you stay connected and maintain your identity.

One of the first things to consider is having a fully charged cell phone with a portable charger. This will enable you to communicate with your loved ones and call for help if required. Make sure to store important emergency contact numbers in your phone, as well as a written list as a backup.

Next, gather essential identification documents, such as passports, driver’s licenses, and copies of birth certificates. These will help you prove your identity and make it easier for you to receive assistance, if needed. Keep these documents in a waterproof container or ziplock bag to prevent damage.

It is also important to have copies of your insurance policies readily accessible in your survival kit. This includes health, auto, and homeowners or renters insurance. In the event of a disaster, you may need to file claims or provide proof of your coverage. Ensuring you have these documents with you can expedite the process.

Lastly, include a small amount of cash in your kit, ideally in small denominations and coins. In some emergencies, electronic payment methods might not be available. Having cash on hand can help you purchase necessary supplies or pay for transportation.

To summarize, your survival kit should include:

  • A fully charged cell phone and portable charger
  • Essential identification documents (passports, driver’s licenses, birth certificates)
  • Copies of insurance policies
  • Cash in small denominations and coins

By preparing these personal items and documents, you will be better equipped to handle emergencies and ensure the safety and well-being of yourself and your family.

Maintaining Health and Hygiene

When creating your survival food kit, it’s important to consider not only eating and drinking but also maintaining your overall health and hygiene. In this section, we will discuss some essential items to include in your survival kit to ensure you remain clean and healthy during an emergency situation.

first aid kit is an important component of any survival kit, as injuries and illnesses can happen unexpectedly. Make sure your first aid kit includes items such as bandages, gauze, adhesive tape, scissors, tweezers, and pain relievers like ibuprofen or acetaminophen. This will help you manage minor injuries and reduce pain in the event of an emergency.

Soap and hand sanitizer should also be included in your survival kit. Keeping your hands clean is crucial to prevent the spread of disease-causing germs. Hand sanitizer with at least 60% alcohol content is highly effective in killing bacteria and viruses that can cause illness. Include a bar of soap or a travel-sized liquid soap to use with water for a more thorough cleanse when possible.

Consider adding the following personal hygiene items to your survival kit:

  • Toothbrush and toothpaste
  • Dental floss
  • Menstrual products (if applicable)
  • Toilet paper or tissues
  • Clean underwear

Remember to pack these items in waterproof containers to keep them clean and dry in case of an emergency.

Maintaining proper hygiene during a survival situation not only helps to prevent the spread of illness but also helps to boost morale and mental wellbeing. By ensuring that you have a well-rounded survival kit that includes essential health and hygiene items, you’ll be better prepared to face any challenges that may arise.

Preparing for Different Disasters

How to Make Your Own Survival Food Kit

When preparing for various disasters, it’s crucial to consider the specific emergency types that you might encounter in your region. By understanding what hazards are most likely, you can create a more focused and effective survival food kit.

For natural disasters such as hurricanes, tornadoes, earthquakes, and floods, it is essential to have non-perishable food items that do not require refrigeration or cooking. Some examples include:

  • Canned goods (fruits, vegetables, and meats)
  • Protein bars and energy bars
  • Dried fruits and nuts
  • Crackers and whole grain cereals
  • Bottled water

The FEMA and CDC recommend a three-day supply of food and water for each person in your household during a natural disaster. It’s also crucial to have a manual can opener and cooking supplies in case you need them.

Climate-related emergencies like heatwaves, cold snaps, and storms can also significantly affect your food supply. In these situations, opt for lightweight and easy-to-carry items such as:

  • Peanut butter or other nut butter
  • Low-sodium canned soups and stews
  • Instant oatmeal and rice
  • Dried meat, like jerky
  • Long-lasting fruit juices

For the more security-minded prepper, potential threats like an EMP (electromagnetic pulse) attack or extended power outages may require a longer-lasting food supply. In these cases, consider creating DIY survival food and investing in instant survival meals. These can last for several years and are ideal for situations where power and refrigeration may be unavailable.

Remember, each disaster scenario is unique, and your food preparation will depend on the specific hazards you anticipate. Tailor your survival food kit to your needs, and regularly review and update the items to ensure they remain effective and safe to consume during an emergency.

Steps to Create Your Own Survival Food Kit

Creating your own survival food kit is an essential aspect of emergency preparedness. By following these simple steps, you’ll be able to ensure that you and your loved ones have a reliable source of nutrition in case of emergencies.

Step 1: Decide on the types of food to include

Start by making a list of high-energy, non-perishable foods that have a long shelf life. Some essential items to consider adding to your survival food kit include granoladried fruit, nuts, protein bars, and jerky. Consider any special dietary needs of your family members, such as gluten-free or vegetarian options, and make sure to include those as well.

Step 2: Determine the quantity you need

Calculate the amount of food you’ll require by considering the number of people in your family and the duration you’ll need your emergency food supply to last. As a general guideline, aim to have at least a 30-day emergency food supply on hand.

Step 3: Compile a food storage checklist

Create a comprehensive checklist to help you keep track of your food items, quantities, and expiration dates. This will ensure your survival food kit remains well-stocked and up-to-date.

Step 4: Gather necessary tools and utensils

Having the right tools on hand is just as important as having the right food items. Make sure to include a manual can opener, eating utensils, and possibly a portable stove for heating food. Invest in high-quality Mylar Bags and a vacuum sealer to keep your food fresh and protected from pests or moisture.

Step 5: Properly store your survival food kit

Choose a cool, dry, and dark place to store your survival food kit. Basements and closets can make great storage areas. Regularly check on your food supply to ensure it remains fresh and free from any damage.

By following these steps, you can confidently create a reliable survival food kit that caters to your family’s needs during emergencies.

How to Make Your Own Survival Food Kit


In summary, creating your own survival food kit is a valuable and essential skill to have. By understanding the key components needed for a well-balanced and long-lasting food supply, you can ensure you and your family are prepared for any emergency situation.

As you build your kit, remember to focus on the following aspects:

  • Long shelf life: Choose foods that will help you minimize storage space and maintain the quality of your supplies over time.
  • Variety: Include a diverse range of food options, such as granola, dried fruit, nuts, protein bars, and jerky to keep your diet both nutritious and enjoyable. Consider any special dietary needs your family may have as well.
  • Rotation: Don’t forget to rotate your food by consuming items close to expiration and replacing them promptly with fresh supplies. This will ensure you always have access to safe and fresh food during an emergency.

Here are a few items you can include in your survival food kit:

   Category Examples Additional Notes 

    Snacks Granola bars, dried fruit High-energy foods  

  Fruits Canned or dried fruits Great source of vitamins and minerals  

  Vegetables Canned or dried vegetables Choose options like peas, corn, and beans for more protein  

  Proteins Jerky, canned meat, beans Essential for maintaining strength and energy  

  Grains Rice, pasta, cereal Important for providing energy and satiety  

  Staple Foods Powdered milk, eggs, cheese Add flavor and nutrition to your meals  

  Investing time and energy into creating your personalized survival food kit will provide peace of mind and ensure you are ready for any situation. Keep these tips in mind as you develop your emergency food supply, and don’t hesitate to continue learning and refining your kit as new information becomes available.

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