Notice: This website may or may not use or set cookies used by Google Ad-sense or other third party companies. If you do not wish to have cookies downloaded to your computer, please disable cookie use in your browser. Thank You.

Saturday, February 27, 2010

Urban Survival Planning – Long Shelf Life Food

Even if your Urban (or Suburban) Survival Plan calls to implement a Bug Out or a withdrawal to a Safe Location, the Urban Survivor should consider stocking some long duration food items at his/her urban or suburban home.

We envision an undetermined “wait” period after an initial societal or infrastructure collapse. Most people will be waiting for some level of government to fix the problem and make it better. In fact, public radio or emergency broadcasts may be exposing patience, telling the people that things will get better soon. Human nature will be to believe and to wait. To be able to wait until the need to Bug Out becomes clear the urban Survivor will need to have a stock of food. Best case is if this food stock is compact and easily loaded and moved once the Urban Survivor departs his home for the safe location.

This means packaging food items yourself or buying packaged and prepared food designed for a long shelf life. We recommend both actions. Procure bulk items such as rice and beans and prepare/package containers of them yourself.

To package and prepare bulk food items yourself you will need containers such as 5 gallon buckets and lids – old paint buckets work well, Mylar bags, and oxygen absorbers. The Mylar bags are placed into the buckets, filled with rice or beans or whatever, then oxygen absorbers are dropped into the Mylar bag which are then ironed closed. The oxygen absorbers remove the oxygen in the bag creating a vacuum packed effect and allowing for long term storage, 10 years or so, in the right conditions. Oxygen absorbers need to be controlled in an air tight environment as they rapidly absorb oxygen when exposed to air and can become un-useable if not properly stored.

Prepared food items that can be purchased, are usually dehydrated, and can be divided up into two different types: single items such as dehydrated fruit, potatoes, eggs, etc; or, a meal type items such as dehydrated stew, soups, chili con carne, etc.

Our favorite packaged and prepared Survival food is Mountain House Food freeze dried meals in pouches or in #10 cans (coffee can sized). Mountain House Food makes meals from $3 to $6 per serving depending upon what you order. We use EarthWaveLiving (see the link to this company on the right side of this page) as they offer a large selection of Mountain House Food items in various configurations as well as other Survival and Self Sufficient items like solar panels, batteries, radios, water filters, grain mills, food dehydrators and heirloom seeds for food gardens.
The Urban Survivor should also consider stocking Salt, Sugar and other spices; bullion cubes would also be a good idea. Packaged in smaller Mylar bags, these items would also have a long shelf life, possibly 10 years or longer.

Just how much food should you stock? We think optimally you probably should not stock more than you can load in your vehicle if and when you Bug Out. However a six month supply of food, probably mixed between purchased prepared Survival Foods and bulk items you prepare yourself, is a decent concept that would allow you to get through a non-growing season into warmer weather where you could grow your own vegetables or otherwise procure food. Your six month supply will most likely be based on a reduced consumption level.

Long term storage food items are also an excellent barter item, so consider the possibility of bartering your long stay food for necessities that you may have forgot during your Survival Preparation.


  1. HUA...I have a mix or short, near and long term food stuffs...Costco has a 5 gal bucket of 275 services of freeze dried food for 85.00..i have a few, am adding more..In addition, a coupl ecases of new mre's, 2 cases of mainstay 3600 cal rations, these are for BOB bags, etc...We also have rice/beans, and are adding to the mix wiht canned meats, tuna, etc...I can load the car in 60 miniutes and be out of Dodge, wiht approx 3-6 mos worth of supplies, depending on how we ration and how generous we feel to others...Not alot of investment either...

  2. My friend and I are preparing together. So far we've readied about 3-4 months of food each. If one of our cars is taken or inoperable, we can rely on each other.

  3. Dehydrating your own food is also an amazing option if you're cheap like me. My Fiancee and I often cook too much anyway, so rather than letting the food go bad (I know its a horrible thing to waste like that) we put it into our dehydrator and make single servings of delicious home made meals that are easy enough to reconstitute. Dehydration combined with a foodsaver will keep home cooked meals the way you like them, fresh for several years. Be sure to keep the dairy content (milk cream etc) Low or non existant. Since we already had the dehydrator and the foodsaver, it didnt cost us anything extra, save a few dollars here and there for more storage bags. The best advantage is that i prefer home cooking to the mountain house option.

  4. Replies
    1. Survival is the key healthy?? Are you kidding.

    2. When planning survival preparation, you don't want to plan on foods that will necessarily put you or your family members into a diabetic coma. You do however want to make sure there are carbs and as many calories as you can fit in. In our survival stores, we have enough protein shake mixes for each person to have a 90day supply. We wouldn't think that the protein shake would be the only food. It would be filler... make sure you also store prenatal vitamins.

  5. I have more than 1 year of survival food stored up which I got really cheap from Amazon. They have great deals, you just have to look for them.

  6. If you are storing food for you AND your family... make sure you are choosing selections that your family doesn't have any food allergies to. Collect spices... they are cheap and you can add them affordably in small quantities. Even the meats you wouldn't normally find appetizing are more palatable when spiced correctly.