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Top 5 Emergency Food Rations For Survival

army military food rations on display

Surviving a catastrophe requires preparedness, and after hydration, the second most important item to stockpile for a survival situation is food.  

A human being can survive without food for about three weeks, and much of that time will be very rough, so purchasing the right survival food is essential.  

In this guide, we’re going to show you how to augment your emergency food supply with the right survival foods so that you can stay healthy, even when things go off the rails.  

Last update on 2021-09-28 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API

The Best Emergency Food Reviews

SOS Food Labs, Inc. 185000825 S.O.S. Rations Emergency 3600 Calorie Food bar

This product is designed to provide a single person with the right level of calories and nutrition for about three days or so, assuming a 1200-calorie-a-day diet. This means that each package, which measures to be about 5 inches in height, 4.5 inches in length, and 2 inches wide, packs in about 3,600 calories.  

SOS Food Labs, Inc. 185000825 S.O.S. Rations Emergency 3600 Calorie Food bar - 3 Day/ 72 Hour Package with 5 Year Shelf Life, 5' Height, 2' Wide, 4.5' Length

When it comes to lastingness, these survival food bars are designed to have a shelf life of about five years, and they are very stackable so that you can store a lot at once . Additionally, each SOS bar is individually wrapped so that you can easily separate your meals into breakfast, lunch, and dinner.  

These are also great for energy; the bars provide 31 grams of sugar, so you’ll have the get-up-and-go required for most survival situations. In addition, these also have about six grams of protein, which can also help you get through most arduous circumstances.  


  • These are individually wrapped
  • They are very inexpensive
  • These provide a single adult with 1,200 calories a day for three days of nutrition


  • You may have to verify that the product isn’t already far along into its five-year shelf life
  • The inner packaging is a bit flimsy


Grizzly Gear Emergency Food Rations – 3600 Calorie Bar

One of the best features of these Grizzly Gear bars is how precise the servings are; the company premeasured out each serving so that you can easily use them for meals. Also, in most cases, many survival bar manufacturers eschew flavor, but in this case, these Grizzly Gear bars actually taste like lemon, which can make things easier. Despite this, during survival situations, the flavor isn’t so stark that sick people won’t be able to stomach them.  

Emergency Food Rations - 3600 Calorie Bar - 3 Day Supply - Less Sugar and More Nutrients Than Other Leading Brands - (5 Year Shelf Life)-9 bars

These are also designed not to generate much thirst, which can be very useful when water is short. For those that have religious dietary restrictions, these bars are both Kosher as well as Halal. Like our first product, these have a shelf life of five years, and they are also designed to withstand some severe environmental conditions. In fact, these can be stored in temperatures as low as 22 degrees Fahrenheit and as high as 149 degrees Fahrenheit.  


  • These are very delicious, which can be a source of pleasure during your survival situation
  • They are designed to meet religious dietary restrictions
  • They aren’t packed with an overage of sugar
  • They are sealed in very durable Mylar


  • Some have said the vacuum seal can be damaged during shipment


Survival Tabs 8-Day Food Supply 96 Tabs Emergency Food Ration Survival MREs Meals Ready-to-eat Bugout Emergency Food Replacement

These survival tabs are a bit different from many of the other products in our guide because they don’t provide you with the same level of calories. Instead, these tabs come in bite-sized nuggets that have about 20 calories a piece. Despite this, these are great for a survival situation because of the fact that they are designed to give you 100 percent of the nutrients that you need in a day. As a result, these are a great supplement that you can use in conjunction with less nutritious foods that happen to be calorie-dense.  

Survival Tabs 8-Day Food Supply 96 Tabs Emergency Food Replacement Disaster Preparedness for Earthquake Flood Tsunami Gluten Free and Non-GMO 25 Years Shelf Life Long Term Food Storage - Mixed Flavor

These also stand out because of how portable they are; they are designed to be packed away in minimal areas so that you can grab them and go when things get rough. These are also rations that are good for those that want a bit of flavor; the included varieties include vanilla, butterscotch, strawberry, and chocolate. Each of the tabs is entirely chewable, and they are straightforward to eat. Additionally, each packet is about 10 ounces, so it’s effortless to carry.


  • They are very portable
  • There is a good variety of flavors
  • These will last a person for eight full days


  • You’re not really getting your daily calories


S.O.S. Food Labs Millennium Assorted Energy Bars

Our fourth product is another survival option from S.O.S. Food Labs, and this time, they offer a little more flavor for your survival. These energy bars are designed to be one of the best emergency food options for anyone that wants variety because they come in lemon, raspberry, cherry, tropical fruit, and orange flavors. Despite the variety, none of these bars will make you thirsty, so these are a good option when water is scarce.  

Millennium Assorted Energy Bars (6 Count) - Long Shelf Life Fruit flavored Bar Bundle - Survival Pack for Calamity, Disaster, Hiking and Meal replacement

When it comes to the packaging, each bar is individually wrapped, and the packaging itself is durable enough for most situations. This is due to the fact that the company opted to use Mylar, which is known for its ability to resist wear and tear. Also, these have a five-year shelf life, which will ensure lastingness and preparedness should an emergency happen. Each bar is 400 calories, so during the course of a day, most people will be able to subsist. The bars also have a crunchy texture that many people enjoy. These bars also are vegan.  


  • These have tough packaging
  • They have several delicious, fruity flavors
  • They will last for five years


  • For some, the texture may be a bit too flaky
  • As one might expect due to the fruit flavor options, these are very high in sugar


DATREX Emergency Food Ration Bars for Disaster or Survival

DATREX bars are relatively well-known in the survivalist community, and this is for a reasonably good reason; these are great for most survival purposes. Each bar comes individually wrapped, and the packaging material is definitely on the stronger side, so you know you can depend on it. These are part of the DX2400 line of DATREX bars, so you can expect about 2,400 calories per pack. With this, you’ll have about two day’s worth of food, which can be enough. Also, the packaging is relatively small, so you can expect to be able to stack several packs of bars simultaneously.  

Datrex Emergency Survival 2400 Calorie Food Ration Bar, 12 Bars

Additionally, DATREX utilized coconut in the production of this bar, so it does have a reasonably delicious coconut flavor. Additionally, the company also designed the 400-calorie bars to be reasonably large, and as a result, these do a pretty good job of making you feel fuller. If you don’t eat all of your servings, the package also reseals so that you can save some for later.   These also stand out because they are very inexpensive, so you shouldn’t have an issue stocking your survival larder with these. Like the other products that we’ve reviewed, these DATREX bars have a five-year shelf life.  


  • These are very inexpensive
  • These are all-natural and don’t use preservatives
  • This is a U.S. Coast Guard approved product


  • They can be a bit too crumbly
  • You may struggle when unwrapping these bars


What to Look for in the Best Prepper Food

In most situations, survival rations aren’t going to come in traditional meal sizes; in fact, they’ll usually come in bar form, which ends up being very useful when you need something that can provide you with a lot of calories to keep you going while not taking up much space.

Also, a proper emergency food supply will be designed to last for years, which will allow you to have a ready-to-consume food source that can get you through the tough times. In addition to these traits, here are a few other things to look for when you’re on the market for one of these prepper food sources:  

High Calorie Counts

When you’re on the market for a product like this, you’ll find that many of the manufacturers out there consider this to be one of the main selling points of an emergency bar. When in a survival situation, men should eat at least 1,800 calories a day, and women need at least 1,200 calories in the same period. A word to the wise: foods with high-calorie counts aren’t necessarily scrumptious; they are explicitly designed to provide you with the calories you need in a day.

These are designed to be as plain as possible so that you won’t have an issue keeping them down when you are sick or otherwise distressed.   In many situations, these foods come in bar form, and also, they tend to have at least a five-year shelf life, which definitely adds to their utility. When it comes to calories, many of these, including a few in our review section, have over 3,600 calories in total, so more than a single person can use a bar to stay well-fed.  

When in the market for a meal replacement source, usually, most products will come in 400-calorie meal bars. This will ensure that you get about 1,200 calories a day if you’re eating the bars for breakfast, lunch, and dinner. As you might expect based on the info presented, men may need slightly more to ensure their calorie needs are met.  

Stored Energy

Another factor you should consider is how much energy a bar like this will provide. In most cases, a bar that provides you with needed calories will also provide you with adequate power to get through the day, but having extra protein and carbs can make the survival situation even more manageable.  

Ideally, look for bars with a good source of sugars and fats, and if you’re looking to replace a meal, then you should actively seek a bar that has four grams of each.  


You need about 25 to 30 grams of fiber in a day, and it’s a good idea to select a bar that provides you with significant fiber for a survival situation. When selecting a bar, try to avoid ones that include chicory root or artificial fibers because these fiber types can cause gas and can cause you to be bound up.  

Ideally, your bar should incorporate fiber sources that can be found in fruits and veggies for the appropriate level of daily nutrition.  


As we mentioned previously, you’ll want a product that has at least a five-year shelf life, but optimally, the products you select can last as long as 20 years.  

Also, make sure that any merchandise you purchase always has a high level of durability when it comes to the packaging; the last thing you want is to discover that your survival rations have long since gone bad due to inadequate or damaged packaging.    

Final Thoughts

An emergency food ration pack can really make a difference when you’re trying to survive a disaster, so always select the right product that can make a difference in your daily calories and nutrition.  

Each of the products that have been highlighted in this guide is great for keeping both you and your family healthy, so select the one that seems best for your specific needs.  

If we were to pick a top product, the Grizzly Gear Emergency Food Rations – 3600-calorie bars stand out as a great option because they provide enough to keep a person going for a three-day period.  We also recommend the S.O.S. Rations Emergency 3600 Calorie Food bar as a good choice to keep stock of.  

They are also very stackable, and they have a decent five-year shelf life and are protected by a tough Mylar casing that should keep them safe.

Emergency Food Rations - 3600 Calorie Bar - 3 Day Supply - Less Sugar and More Nutrients Than Other Leading Brands - (5 Year Shelf Life)-9 bars
  • Contains 9 pre-measured 400 calorie rations, to last one person up to three days
  • USCG approved for 5 year shelf life within its durable, air sealed Mylar packaging to ensure preservation under all climatic conditions
  • Non-thirst provoking, with a pleasant Lemon flavor. Kosher and it meets the dictates for Halal
  • Enriched with vitamins and minerals exceeding the RDA requirements this product does not contain cholesterol or tropical oils
  • Withstands extreme conditions and temperatures (-22F to 149F)

Last update on 2021-09-28 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API

Jared Russo
Hey, my name is Jared, a self-reliant expert and action taker. I hope you've enjoyed this article and found it informative. If you have please feel free to leave a comment below and share it with your friends and family, it would make my day!

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