Best 25-Year Shelf-Life Emergency Food

True. (We’re loving your apocalyptic snack horde, Stephen.)
Stephen Colbert / Via

Picture it! Cold War Part II: Electric Boogaloo is (finally) well and truly HOT. You get to your safe room right after the alert buzzes on your phone, and you feel pretty confident about your chances of making it through. All that’s left to do is settle in and wait… possibly for a long, long time. What are you going to eat for the next two weeks? The best of the best 25-year shelf-life emergency food, of course! Because you had the sense to stock up in advance.

Well-stocked Stay Bags can take up a lot of space, especially if you’re storing enough water for your entire family for two weeks. You can store more food in a limited space and spend less time refreshing your stock by adding a dehydrated food kit to your emergency supplies!

We’ve listed our top five picks here if you’re ready to buy right now, but you can also scroll down to get all the details.

  1. Augason Farms Emergency Food Supply – The Best Rated 
  2. Legacy Premium Gourmet Survival Home Food Storage – The Gourmet Collection
  3. ReadyWise Emergency Food Supply – The All-Rounder
  4. Legacy’s Premium 1440 Serving Emergency Food Package – The Best Bulk Package
  5. Mountain House 14-Day Emergency Food Supply – The Meat-Lovers’ Delight

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Best 25-Year Shelf Life Emergency Food For 2024

Since calories are calories once you’re in a situation where you’ll really need to crack open the emergency food, it’s hard to go wrong. All the 25-year shelf-life emergency food kits listed below have been carefully chosen to accommodate different budgets and dietary requirements, but go with your gut! Make sure you have enough food on hand, even if you’re simply making your choice based on which one fits best in your safest room.

1. Augason Farms Emergency Food Supply

Price: $359.99 ($1.56/ounce)

What it includes:

  • 176 servings of food carefully selected to nourish 4 people for 72 hours
  • 26,440 total calories
  • (16) Pouches with (7) Food Varieties
    • Cheesy Broccoli Rice (2 pouches / 8 servings each)
    • Creamy Chicken-Flavored Rice (3 pouches / 8 servings each)
    • Creamy Potato Soup (3 pouches / 8 servings each)
    • Hearty Vegetable Chicken-Flavored Soup (2 pouches / 8 servings each)
    • Homestyle Mashed Potatoes (2 pouches / 8 servings each)
    • Maple Brown Sugar Oatmeal (2 pouches / 10 servings each)
    • Morning Moo’s Lowfat Milk Alternative (3 pouches / 20 servings)

What we liked:

  • Provides generous portion sizes to sustain four people for 72 hours
  • Easy to prepare and ready in minutes
  • Nutritionally balanced meals for breakfast, lunch, and dinner
  • Comes in a 4-gallon watertight pail, which is easy to transport. Also, once it’s empty, you can use it for another purpose in your new safe-room-based existence.

The verdict:

The Augason Farms 5-20100 72-Hour 4-Person Emergency Food Storage Kit is an excellent emergency food supply kit that is affordable and easy to prepare. This kit advertises just a 20 year shelf life, but it’s still our top pick, as Augason is a definite leader in the emergency food industry, with a great track record for taste and quality.

2. Legacy Premium Gourmet Survival Home Food Storage

Price: $390 ($0.78/ounce)

What it includes:

  • 120 large servings of 19 entrees and 4 breakfasts
  • 44,640 total calories
  • Packed in 1 large bucket

What we liked:

  • The largest serving size in the industry: serving sizes are 1.5 to 2 times larger than competing packages 
  • Best-tasting emergency food kit (the customers agree!)
  • Simple to prepare. All you need to do is add boiling water. Note to self: make sure we have a way to boil water during the apocalypse. (Just kidding, you can also rehydrate any of these foods in water of any temperature, but we make no claims about how it will taste.)
  • Heavy-duty storage buckets provide easy access to long shelf life Mylar pouches

The verdict:

The Gourmet Survival Home Food Storage is a great investment for anyone looking for a long-term emergency food supply. With its 25-year shelf life, simple preparation, and variety of delicious meals, it’s suitable for families, preppers, hikers, backpackers, and campers alike. It’s also the best value pick, if you’re looking for a 72 hour supply for a big family, or a longer stretch for a family of four.

3. ReadyWise Emergency Food Supply

Price: $279.99 ($1.21/ounce)

What it includes:

  • 120 servings of freeze-dried and dehydrated food
  • 24,360 total calories
  • 13 different meal options to choose from
  • Conveniently packed in Mylar pouches with 4 servings per pouch
  • Lock-in stacking buckets for secure and compact storage

What we liked:

  • Easy to prepare – just add water and enjoy a gourmet meal
  • Great packaging that makes it easier to carry and use during emergency situations
  • Retains its original flavor, shape, color, and nutritional value. May all of our loved ones say the same of us, once we have shuffled off this mortal coil
  • Ultra-high-barrier film for optimum protection
  • Suitable for a wide range of use cases like emergency preparedness, camping trips, and prepper supplies

The verdict:

The ReadyWise Emergency Food Supply is a great choice for anyone looking for a reliable and easy-to-prepare food kit for emergencies or outdoor activities. It’s the solid mid-range option for a 72 hour supply for a family of four.

4. Legacy’s Premium 1440 Serving Emergency Food Package

With Legacy’s 1440-serving package of gourmet emergency meals, you get more than a year’s supply of premium freeze-dried food storage. That’s a lot of food insurance for one person, and it’s also enough to feed four adults three meals a day for four months.

Price: $3,995.00 ($1.48/ounce)

What it includes: 

The 1440 serving package includes: 

  • 1440 servings
  • 575,520 total calories
  • 12 buckets consisting of 360 pouches
  • A variety of 12 entrees:
    • Italian pasta with marina, pasta alfredo, pasta primavera , enchiladas, stroganoff, cheese & brocoli bake, creamy a la king, vegetable and rotini pasta, macaroni & cheese, potato soup mix, classic chili mix, and white bean chili mix
  • 4 breakfasts:
    • Nine grain cereal mix, maple oatmeal with brown sugar, strawberry creamy wheat, and old fashioned pancake mix

What we liked: 

  • Long shelf life of up to 25 years
  • Contains a variety of entrees and breakfast dishes
  • Large-quantity survival food kits can be stored at home, in your vehicle, or emergency shelter for long-term emergency preparedness
  • Easy to prepare in any situation

The verdict:

Legacy’s Premium 1440 Serving Emergency Food Package is a great investment for anyone looking for a long-term emergency food supply that won’t leave them wanting more. It’s a great choice for groups looking to maximize their budget by ordering in bulk and then splitting up the buckets among various families. Just between us, one bucket makes a fantastic gift too, if you’re ready to have that IRL zombie conversation with the giftee.

5. Mountain House 14-Day Emergency Food Supply

The Mountain House emergency food supply is a collection of freeze-dried food pouches designed to provide long-lasting sustenance during emergencies. With a shelf life of up to 30 years, this food supply is perfect for anyone looking to be prepared for unforeseen events with the boost that comes from saturated animal fat.

Price: $409 ($2.29/ounce)

What it includes:

  • 24,066 total calories
  • Lasagna with Meat Sauce (2 pouches)
  • Beef Stroganoff (2 pouches) — Fan Favorite
  • Chicken Teriyaki (2 pouches)
  • Scrambled Eggs with Bacon (2 pouches)
  • Rice and Chicken (2 pouches)
  • Chili Mac with Beef (2 pouches)
  • Spaghetti with Meat Sauce (2 pouches)
  • Pasta Primavera (2 pouches)

What we liked: 

  • Long shelf life of up to 30 years
  • A wide variety of meal options
  • Freeze-dried for easy storage and preparation
  • Nutritious and filling meals
  • Perfect for those who prefer a meat-based diet.
  • Packaged in a cardboard box, which offers different creative possibilities than a plastic bucket in the bottle episode scenario you’ll be experiencing within your safe room

The verdict:

Overall, the Mountain House emergency food supply is an excellent choice for meat lovers looking to be prepared for unforeseen events. This brand is a staple of wilderness-lovers the world over, and we’re confident that an army of scraggly backpackers wouldn’t steer us wrong.

Do I really need emergency food?


Think about it this way: emergencies can happen at any time, whether it’s a natural disaster, power outage, or other unforeseen circumstances. And during these tough times, if you have a stockpile of emergency food that’s one less thing you have to worry about. 

You’ll be able to focus on taking care of yourself and your loved ones, knowing that you have enough food to last till help arrives. 

But do I really need to invest in emergency food that can last for 25 years?

When you have emergency food with a long shelf life, you won’t have to worry about rotating your supplies. So you are safe (and prepared) for the foreseeable future. 

Now, it can be hard to justify spending money on something that you hope you’ll never have to use. But imagine the peace of mind that comes with having 25-year shelf-life emergency food. And it will be a real lifesaver in a crisis.

But which food?

Also, when it comes to emergency food, quality matters. The last thing you want is to be stuck with food that has gone bad or tastes terrible. With 25-year shelf-life emergency food, you can be sure that your supplies will still be good to eat even after years of storage. 

Plus, many of these kits come with a variety of tasty meals and snacks, so you won’t have to sacrifice flavor for convenience.

Think of investing in 25-year shelf-life emergency food is like buying insurance. It’s better to have emergency food and not need it than to need emergency food and not have it.

So go ahead and make the investment – your future self will thank you.

Okay, I get it. I need emergency food. But…

How much emergency food should I stock?

The answer depends on several factors. Such as:

  • The number of people you’re preparing for, 
  • The duration of time you want to be prepared for, and 
  • The specific nutritional requirements that you are planning to meet.

So, regardless of which one you think is the BEST 25-year shelf-life emergency food, here are the steps to follow while deciding on the quantity of emergency food to stock:

Step 1:

Count the total number of calories needed per day for each individual.

This would vary based on the age, gender, activity level, and health status of the individuals.

Step 2:

Multiply the number of calories per day by the number of days you want to be prepared.

This will give you the total number of calories needed for the entire period.

Step 3:

Determine the types of emergency foods you want to include in your supply.

Do you need canned goods, dried fruits and vegetables, grains, or some other non-perishable items? 

Step 4:

Use the nutritional information on the food labels to calculate the number of servings needed to meet the daily calorie requirements.

Step 5:

Consider any special dietary needs or restrictions that may require additional or specific types of emergency food.

Here’s a quick formula that you can use:

Total emergency food needed = (number of people) x (number of calories per person per day) x (number of days) / (number of calories per serving)

Note: When it comes to emergency food, it’s always better to be safe than sorry. So don’t hesitate to stock more. 

If you bought too much, check out this very informative video about how to deal with your overstock of “panic beans” and canned meats.

About the Author

It takes a village! We are researching, writing and fact checking as a family. Collaboration is the name of the game, whether we’re running from a zombie horde or finding the best way to turn a complex concept into a deliciously digestible set of bullet points.