Food Prepping Basics for a SHTF Situation

When prepping for a looming SHTF situation, food is undoubtedly a main item of concern. You would not want to have a nice little tent to sleep in, a fire, and other survival tools without food. That said, you could not just take/store any type of food as a prepper.

In this piece, we list the main food items you should always consider having in your prepper store/bag.

Food Prepping Basics for SHTF situations

  1. White rice

If stored correctly, white rice could have an indefinite shelf life. It is also a high source of carbohydrates-, which provide energy. The best type of rice to stock up on is white rice. Brown rice has a shorter shelf life owing to its high oil content.

For the best storage, ensure you have your rice in a dry, sealed container or bag. You can purchase your prepper rice is different size bags depending on your purchasing power and your unique prepper situation.

365 by Whole Foods Market, Long Grain Rice, White, 80 Ounce


If prepping from home, a large bag of white rice would be a great option to go for. If prepping for a bug-out type situation, smaller bags would be very handy. You do not want to carry around a 10-pound bag of rice in your bugout bag.

  1. Dry beans

Beans contain high protein and fibre levels and are easy to store. They are also rich in magnesium and zinc. While they might still last long if stored in an open bag or container, storing them in an airtight place is better and will extend their shelf life even further.

Goya Red Kidney Beans Dry 1Lb (3-Pack)


Beans are scientifically proven to reduce cholesterol levels. While trying to survive in a SHTF situation, this is exactly what you need- a healthy, nutritious food. Besides these dietary benefits, dry beans can go with many other foods. It's a great idea to include dry beans when food prepping for a SHTF survival situation.

You can purchase a bag of dry beans HERE.

  1. Canned food – fruits, veggies, meat, sauces

There are 4 varieties of canned food to stock up when prepping for a SHTF survival situation. Fruits, vegetables, meats and sauces. Each of these have their dietary value, and when canned have a longer shelf life. For most canned foods, the use-by-date is usually just a guide- they last longer than that.

Augason Farms Banana Chips 2 lbs 1 oz No. 10 CanBUY THIS CAN OF DRIED BANANAS

Augason Farms Vegetable Stew Blend 2 lbs 0.5 oz No. 10 CanPURCHASE CANNED VEGETABLE STEW

FOOD PREPPING, Canned Meat. Dehydrated Canned Meat for Long Term Food Storage and Emergency Preparedness Kits. (Real Bacon- 3 Cans)PURCHASE SURVIVAL CANNED BACON

Armour Star Hot Dog Chili Sauce, Canned Food, 12 - 14 OZ Cans


Different types of canned foods can be used to make a fully balanced meal. What’s great about canned foods is that the nutritional value barely depreciates.

Order your canned foods from Amazon.

  1. Pure honey

Honey is a food of many abilities. Besides being a nutritious, natural sweetener, it also has antibacterial properties that make it suitable for healing wounds. Applying it on a wound will keep it from getting infected and keep it from drying up, for faster healing.. Now, this can be very good in a survival situation.

Nature Nate’s 100% Pure, Raw & Unfiltered Honey; 32oz. Squeeze Bottle; Award-Winning Taste


Since the point of prepping food in a survival situation is keeping it good to eat for as long as possible, honey is also a long life food. It contains anti-microbial traits that render it its own preservative.

Here is a bonus benefit of having honey among your prepper foods: it can be bait for tiny animals like raccoons and possums!

  1. Powdered Milk

Granted, the taste of powdered milk is not the same as that of fresh milk. However, in this state, it is easier to store and has a much, much longer shelf life. It exists in 2 forms: instant and regular non-fat powdered milk. Instant powdered milk dissolves in water quicker than regular powdered milk.

Carnation Instant Nonfat Dry Milk, 6 Count, 9.63 Ounce


However, whole milk powder is more nutritious than the non-fat milks, and thus good for your SHTF food prepper stock. As expected it is rarer to find and more expensive. You can purchase a tin HERE.

Peak Dry Whole Milk Powder, 900-Grams (Packaging May Vary)


When stockpiling your powdered milk, be sure to keep it as dry as possible. Also make sure that at all times, the consume-by-date is visible. Safe storage is very important when it comes to food stockpiling.

  1. Freeze-Dried Survival Food & MREs

Let’s begin with distinguishing the difference between survival food and MREs- Meals-Ready-to-Eat. MREs were made for US Military troops and are a food ration that contains a 3-corse meal. They come in multi-layered foil pouches that allow heating in different ways. MREs can also be consumed hot or cold with no preparation required. Most have a 4-5-year shelf life.

Ready Supply Foods Variety Bucket,25.2 lbs of Freeze Dried Food Storage, Camping, Hiking, Survival, Emergency Food Supply, Up to 25 Year Shelf Life,140 Servings,43,280 Total CaloriesPURCHASE FREEZE-DRIED SURVIVAL FOOD HERE

2021 MREs (Meals Ready-to-Eat) Genuine U.S. Military Surplus Assorted Flavor (4-Pack)


On the other hand, freeze-dried food is prepared, seasoned and cooked normally, frozen and dried through a special process. The freeze-drying process takes anywhere between 24-48 hours. Freeze-dried food are preferable to most people because they taste better than MREs- this is because they have been cooked and seasoned normally, retaining their flavor, shape and texture. To prepare them, you only add in hot water.

  1. Powdered Peanut Butter

Powdered peanut butter is a great survival food because of its nutritional and calorie value. It is also easy to store, especially if in powdered state- it can last for up to 10 years.

The best way to correctly store your peanut butter for that looming SHTF survival situation is by ensuring that:

    1. If it is homemade, use clean utensils. This will minimize risk of contamination
    2. Keep it in an airtight container
    3. Store it in a cool and dark place

PBfit All-Natural Organic Peanut Butter Powder, Powdered Peanut Spread from Real Roasted Pressed Peanuts, 8g of Protein (30 oz.)


If you suspect that your peanut butter powder has gone bad, look out for its texture, odor, mold and color. If any of these is out of the norm, toss it.

Purchase your powdered peanut butter HERE

  1. Emergency drinks – Probiotics, flavor enhancement drinks

Probiotics are great for your gut health. When in an SHTF survival situation, you might be eating foods that you are not used to, or having too much of say, beans and rice. Probiotic drinks will help your digestive system stay in check. Here are some great probiotic drinks to consider when food prepping:

Green tea kombucha – gree teas are widely known to boost your immune

Yogi Tea - Green Tea Kombucha (6 Pack) - Supplies Antioxidants to Support Overall Health - 96 Tea BagsBUY A GREEN TEA KOMBUCHA HERE

Lemon water – increases your rate of urination and thus helps to kick out toxins from your body.

Lemon Perfect, Organic Cold-Pressed Lemon Water, Squeezed from Real Fruit, Flavored Water, Sugar-Free, Keto Certified, No Artificial Ingredients, Just Lemon (12-Pack)PURCHASE LEMON WATER HERE

  1. Whole Oats

Oats are a great source of various nutrients – minerals, proteins, antioxidants, and healthy fats among others. The other reason why you should have oats in your prepper food stockpile is because they are easy to prep and have a long shelf life in their original packaging. If cooked, you can only store them for a maximum of 1 week refrigerated- not ideal.

Rolled Oats, 1 Gallon Bucket by Unpretentious Baker, Highest Quality, Old Fashioned Oats, Whole Grain, Naturally Nutritious, Vegan, Excellent Source of Fiber


To best store your oatmeal, keep it sealed in a can in a cool and dry place. This can go for up to 30 years. When food prepping for A SHTF survival situation, consider having oats in your food stockpile.

  1. Ramen Noodles

Ramen noodles are a great survival food option majorly for their ease of storage and preparation. They are also cheap and easy to find. However, as ramen noodles are high in sodium, they should be eaten in spaced out periods.

Maruchan Ramen Noodle Soup Chicken Flavor, 12 ct, 8 Ounce (Pack of 12)


As they already come in a dried and dehydrated state, the best storage for them would be in a moisture deficient place. You can purchase your prepper ramen noodles stockpile HERE.