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DIY Survival Food: Finding The Balance Between DIY Emergency Food & Professional Kits

Part of being prepared for emergencies revolves around storing a supply of survival food and water so that you and your family can remain hydrated and fed despite disruptions to your normal access to food at the grocery store.

For most of us, our emergency food supply consists of shelf-stable meal staples and processed foods with long shelf lives that can easily be cooked or prepared without having to go to the store. For example, it's common to have a pantry full of canned soups and meat products, pickled vegetables, canned fruits, jams, jellies, and bulk items like rice, pasta, flour, and beans. These shelf-stable meal options provide convenience and peace of mind, ensuring you have nourishing food on hand during unexpected situations.

This type of DIY survival food is essential for emergency preparedness—but by itself, it’s not enough. Keep reading to learn how to supplement your DIY emergency food supply with professionally prepared and packaged survival food.   

The Importance of DIY Emergency Food Supplies

emergency foods

Keeping a stockpile of emergency food and other supplies is more important than ever before. Unfortunately, we live in tumultuous times, when disasters and emergency scenarios could occur at any moment. We say this not to frighten you, but to help you become more prepared.

  • Natural disasters like hurricanes and earthquakes can destroy cities and eliminate access to grocery stores.

  • War on the other side of the globe can disrupt supply chains and lead to food shortages.

  • Blackouts can cut you off from municipal energy and water.

  • EMP attacks, civil unrest, and nuclear warfare on U.S. soil can force you to hunker down. 

For these reasons, it’s essential to have emergency food and other supplies stockpiled so you can keep your family safe and fed; and one of the most effective ways to prepare for emergency scenarios is with DIY survival food. 

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Types of DIY Emergency Food Storage

Food storage for emergencies comes in many forms. What types of food you store and how you store it depends on your personal nutritional preferences, available store space, and the amount of extra time and energy you have to invest in storing food.   

Dehydrated Foods

Dehydrating food involves removing the majority of the moisture content in food without altering the nutritional content of the food. In other words, as food dehydrates, it may change shape and color. However, nutritionally, it remains the same.

DIY Rations

DIY emergency food rations can be made at home by repackaging bulk food items into smaller packages. In most cases, this process is most successful by repacking foods into food-grade mylar bags and using oxygen absorbers to prevent oxidation. For example, creating DIY rations of certain grains, like rice and quinoa, is one of the ways to create long-term grain storage.     

Canned and Pickled Foods

Canning is the use of containers to preserve foods. Pickling is a food preservation tactic that treats food with acid or fermentation to make it last longer. 

Typically, all pickled food is canned; however, not all canned foods are pickled. For example, it’s common to pickle onions, but although jam and jelly are canned, they are not pickled.  

Raw Storage

Not all emergency food has to be processed for preservation. On the other hand, certain types of foods can be preserved in their raw state. Storing raw food items is most common in scenarios where one has access to a root cellar.

Root cellars rely on cold temperatures and dry conditions to naturally extend the shelf life of raw foods. The best foods in root cellars are typically hardy root vegetables and some fruits.   

Frozen Foods

frozen foods

Since the invention of the ice box, freezing food has become a common tactic for food preservation. Freezing is an especially useful tactic for preserving large amounts of animal protein.

Additionally, freezing is also an effective way to prolong the shelf life of many other foods, like fruits and vegetables, and bulk staples such as flour. Freezing is even an effective strategy for how to store rice long-term.

The Pros and Cons of DIY Emergency Food Supply

Creating a stockpile of DIY emergency food is a fantastic way to take part in your disaster preparedness, and remain autonomous and food-secure in the face of scary emergency scenarios. 


The Pros

The Cons

  • Purchasing food and other supplies in bulk is affordable

  • Takes a lot of time

  • Most staple food items are highly accessible 

  • DIY long-term food storage requires a lot of space

  • Relatively long shelf life

  • If done incorrectly, food can prematurely spoil

  • DIY food storage doesn’t last as long as professionally made survival food


Making Emergency Food Storage Easier

DIY food storage solutions like the ones we discussed above can be effective strategies for creating a cache of emergency food you can rely on in the event of a disaster scenario. 

But let’s be honest—DIY methods require a lot of work, some more than others. In addition, if not stored and preserved correctly, your emergency food supply can spoil prematurely. 

That’s where professionally prepared, and packaged emergency food comes into play. Professionally made emergency food makes your life easier and more secure. You don’t need to can, dehydrate, or freeze anything. And you don’t need any special equipment or expensive materials.

[product_render product-handle="72-hour-emergency-food-kit"]

When you invest in high-quality and professionally made emergency food, such as survival food kits or food storage buckets, storage is simple. All you have to do is stash it away. Then, you can breathe easy, now that you will be able to keep yourself and your family fed at a moment’s notice.    

Advantages of Professionally Made Emergency Food

Investing in high-quality and professionally prepared and packaged emergency food can feel like a big financial investment. That being said, we firmly believe in the phrase, “you get what you pay for.” And with our products, you only get the best.

Robust Packaging

In long-term food storage, the packaging is half the battle. The container you store your food in is the first line of defense against oxidation, moisture, insects and rodents, and UV light, all of which can prematurely spoil your food. 

Our emergency food comes sealed in food-grade safe mylar bags, which are stored in food-grade safe buckets. The buckets are heavy-duty plastic, yet remain lightweight, portable, and stackable.   

25+ Year Shelf Life

We use professional freeze-drying and dehydrating processes to remove over 95% of the moisture content in our ingredients. By doing that, and by securing our ingredients in high-quality packaging, your food can stay fresh for upwards of 25 years.

That means you can start building your stockpile of emergency food now and feel secure for anything that might happen. 

Simple, Non-GMO Ingredients

Processed foods have long shelf lives. This is ideal for stockpiling food for emergencies. However, it often means the food is full of preservatives and additives—for example, canned meat products.

By contrast, our products only contain simple, wholesome, and non-GMO ingredients. We guarantee that you’ll be able to pronounce everything on the ingredient list and know exactly what you’re consuming.  

Exciting Variety

Our modern freeze-drying and dehydrating processes allow us to preserve various ingredients. This gives us the freedom to create interesting meals and household favorites. In other words, you won’t get stuck with only potato flakes and boiled chicken.

Some of our menu items include strawberry cream of wheat, Italian wild risotto, mango habanero chili, fettuccine alfredo, and mac and cheese.   

Require Little to No Cooking 

Freeze-dried and dehydrated food is surprisingly convenient to prepare. All of our food comes fully cooked and seasoned, so most of the time, all you need to do is add hot water. You don’t have to worry about going to the store, washing, cutting, mixing, or cooking.

Tips for Storing your DIY and Professionally Made Survival Food

closed packaging

One of the best parts about professionally prepared and packaged survival food is that it doesn’t require anything special regarding storage. You can follow all the same long-term food storage rules as you would for DIY survival foods. 

Here are seven tips to remember that will help you get the most out of your long-term food storage:

  1. Store your food in a cool and dry location. The holy trinity for any type of food storage is cool, dry, and dark. You're off to a good start if you can find a spot in your home that hits these parameters.  

  2. Have a plan for if your stockpile runs out. If the survival scenario drags on, there may come a time when your stockpile of food runs low, in which case you will need to transition to finding more. 

  3. Have a pest prevention plan. Most long-term food storage packaging does a good job of protecting food from pests; however, having some traps or poison set out for prevention is never a bad idea. 

  4. Routinely maintain and rotate your food. As your DIY food storage ages, you will need to eat certain foods and replace them with fresher items to avoid spoiled foods. 

  5. Don’t forget to consider water. You can survive longer without food than water, so never forget to prioritize water. This includes a stockpile of potable water and a plan and equipment for harvesting, filtering, and purifying more water if you need it.   

  6. Include some luxury items in your storage. Creature comforts like candy and chocolate can boost morale. Don’t forget some nice coffee and tea!  

  7. Stock up on vitamins also. It’s difficult to have a perfectly balanced diet in the aftermath of a disaster, so vitamins can help with nutritional deficiencies. 


Essential Emergency Supplies Beyond Food 

Emergency preparedness is more than just stockpiling food. An obvious addition is storing water long-term. But what other prepper supplies should you consider to ensure you are as prepared as possible?

  • DIY first aid kit, including essential medications and prescriptions

  • Water filtration and purification equipment

  • Extra clothing that is appropriate for a variety of climates

  • Fire-making tools 

  • Hunting and fishing equipment

  • Flashlights, headlamps, candles, and lanterns

  • Auxiliary power sources like rechargeable batteries, solar panels, and an emergency generator

  • Items for self-defense

  • Fully packed bug-out bags, as well as a bug-out evacuation plan and vehicle

  • Stockpile of survival seeds

  • Tent, tarp, and other forms of shelter

  • Cooking stove, utensils, and fuel 

  • Emergency radio


For a complete list of survival gear, or to dive deeper into certain categories, visit our Practical Prepper Blog.      

Final Thoughts: Prepare for the Unknown with Professionally Made Emergency Food

Remaining safe and food-secure during a disaster or emergency is vital for survival. To accomplish this, many of us prepare stockpiles of DIY emergency food, such as an icebox with this season’s game, a root cellar for the garden harvest, and a pantry full of canned, pickled, and dried food items.  

DIY long-term food storage methods like those are fantastic; however, for your supply of survival food to be truly robust, it’s recommended to balance your DIY survival food with professionally made emergency food.  

Investing in a stockpile of professionally made freeze-dried and dehydrated survival food gives you access to nutritious and long-lasting food that can supplement your DIY storage and help you survive for longer.