10 Tips For Stocking Your Emergency Food Kit

Over the past few years, the U.S. has experienced several serious natural disasters. Tornadoes, hurricanes, wildfires, floods, and other events have left people without electricity and clean drinking water, sometimes for days or weeks.

If you were to experience a natural disaster that knocked out the electricity, would you be prepared with enough food and water? With a well-stocked emergency food kit, you’ll be ready to weather the storm. And when your kit contains these 10 essential healthy foods, waiting for the disaster to pass is much easier (and tastier).


1. Clean drinking water

Every emergency kit should have a supply of drinking water. Avoid single-use plastic water bottles and purchase larger water jugs, such as this 4-gallon rigid water container from Amazon, which is also easy to stack and store. 


2. Jerky and other dehydrated meats

Jerky is a great source of protein, and you can find flavors that range from traditional beef to more unique flavors such as ostrich and lamb. While jerky is long-lasting, it should be stored in a sealed, airtight container to retain freshness. 


3. Canned fruits, veggies, and legumes

Make sure your diet is full of vitamins and nutrients, even in an emergency. Grocery stores often have sales on canned food, so don’t forget to watch for low prices on emergency essentials. 


4. Canned soups and stews

Many canned soups and stews are high in sodium, but that doesn’t mean they don’t deserve a place in your survival kit. Look for soups that are ready to heat and serve, such as our Three Sisters Stew.


5. Canned meats

Tuna isn’t your only option for long-lasting canned meats. Salmon, sardines, Freeze-Dried Chicken, and other meats are also available. With a bit of creativity, and a sprinkle of our Camp Master Spice Blend, you can have a great tasting meal ready in no time.


6. Dried fruit

Like jerky, dehydrated fruits can last for a long time when sealed properly. 

Make your own at home using a dehydrator, or grab some from the grocery store. If you can get to a Trader Joe’s or similar store, you can choose from a variety of delicious pre-made fruit mixes. 


7. Crackers

Crackers last longer than bread, making them a good fit your for emergency food kit. Eat them with some canned meat, and you have a quick, easy, and filling meal or snack. Just be sure to check the expiration dates regularly, since most crackers stay fresh for several months. 


8. Shelf-stable beverages

Shelf-stable drinks don’t require refrigeration until they’ve been opened. Canned or boxed milk, almond milk, rice milk, soy milk, and juices are all great options. Electrolyte drinks, like Gatorade, can also come in handy.


9. Granola and protein bars

For a quick snack, nothing beats a protein bar or granola, like our Granola with Bananas, Almonds & Milk. Keep a package or two of your favorites in your food kit for an extra energy boost while you’re waiting for the power to be restored.


10. Freeze-dried meals & desserts

Keep a stash of freeze-dried meals on hand, and you can enjoy a gourmet-tasting meal anywhere. Be sure to give our fan-favorites and ambassador picks Chana Masala and Fettuccini Alfredo a try. There are also tons of Backpacker’s Pantry Emergency & Survival Freeze-Dried Meals and Emergency Meal Kits to choose from, that have everything you need to stay safe and satiated. To satisfy your sweet tooth, we offer an array of Freeze-Dried Desserts as well.

Our meals have the added advantage of an extended shelf life, which is 10 years in most cases.


Remember to check expiration dates annually

When stocking an emergency kit, it’s important to remember that certain grocery items, like crackers, jerky, and shelf-stable drinks, typically have a shelf life of 18 months (at best). That’s why it’s so important to check expiration dates at least once per year. Food that’s getting close to the date should be eaten, composted, or thrown away.


Backpacker's Pantry provides ready-to-eat, lightweight camping food for short hikes, extreme adventures and everything in between. Browse our nutritious, gourmet food for the trail.