Having a pantry full of long life food is essential for any serious prepper. I have been taught all my life by my parents to always be prepared for a few months supply of food storage, medical supplies, and handyman tools. This way if anything happens like a natural disaster or a breakdown in society we can comfortably survive.
The good thing is we don’t need an end of the world scenario to make use of your food storage. When I was between jobs and money was tight we as a family decided to live off what was in our pantry for 1 month. This cut down our living expenses greatly.
Table of Contents
- 1 Doomsday prepper food list
- 2 20 Year shelf life food.
- 3 Food storage best practices
- 4 Long-Term Storage Requires a Vacuum Sealer
- 5 Adequate lighting in your food bunker
- 6 Keeping mice and vermin out
Doomsday prepper food list
Having a variety of long life food items is important to sustain your body. But most often prepackaged foods have a very short shelf life of only a year or two. Here is our list of essential food items that last a while if packaged correctly. Vacuum sealing will greatly enhance the shelf life of food.
- Rice, flour, wheat, and noodles will last a long time when sealed in airtight containers in a dark cool place. A mixture of self-raising and plain flour is important.
- Sugar, salt, and pepper can last forever if also packaged correctly. Great for simple flavors. Honey will last a lifetime it will crystalize after a while but it’s still safe to eat. Just heat it up to get rid of the honey sugar crystals.
- Tins of baked beans, spaghetti, and canned vegetables will 3 to 5 a few years if the metal can is physically rotated every few months.
- Powdered milk is great for long-term storage just add water. baby formula is also handy to hold and can be a great source of vitamins and minerals. The metal tins make great storage containers once they are empty.
- MRE, meals ready to eat are great for emergency rations when you don’t have time to cook a meal. most now come with flameless heaters so you can have a hot meal without electricity or fire.
- Powdered electrolytes mix like Emergen-C Immune+ which has vitamin C and D. Just add water to your powered fruit.
- Beef jerky is handy for protein and unopened beef jerky can last for 1-2 years in the pantry. My kids eat it long before its use-by date. You can make your own beef jerky by following our secret recipe.
- Seeds of all varieties can be great if you have a garden bed. Plant them in the correct season for fresh vegetables.
- Water, we store lots of 4L bottles of water. As well as having a 10,000 L rainwater tank for emergency drinking and washing up water.
20 Year shelf life food.
I have started buying some containers that are prepacked with a range of meals that will last for 20 years. They are made by a company called Augason Farms which does a 30-Day Emergency Food Storage container. These are perfect as a doomsday prepper food list.
Included in the 30-day bucket are:
- 307 portion servings
- 35 Food Pouches
- 54,670 Total Calories
- 1,822 Calories Per Day per person
- Up to a 20 Year Shelf Life when stored correctly.
What’s great about these meals is the variety of different foods available. We all like to eat different meals and in a survival situation, eating should still be a joy, not a chore. Some of the flavors included are:
- Cheesy Broccoli Rice and Creamy Chicken Flavored Rice
- Macaroni and Cheese
- Hearty Vegetable Chicken Soup and Creamy Potato Sou
- Maple Brown Sugar Oatmeal
- Instant Potatoes and much more
The 30 days food storage buckets are perfect for your long-term pantry. Made out of impact-resistant plastic they are tough and will be vermin proof. Don’t throw these buckets out after use as they make great storage containers for tools, clothes, foods like wheat and rice.
Food storage best practices
Make sure your food storage pantry location is cool and dark. It has to be easily accessible to be able to rotate your food every few months. Basements make great emergency food storage locations.
It’s great to try and use these foods in your regular diet. When you find that tins of food are getting close to their use by date then use them up. Replace them and enjoy another few years of fresh food.
Any damages or holes in the tins of food must be discarded. If not you could get sick with Botulism. A tin that has a dent in it is dangerous to open and eat as the internal lining could be damaged. This lining called Bisphenol A (BPA) is there to protect the food from bare metal.
All jars and containers should be airtight. This means a rubber seal around the lid to prevent air from getting into your food. To remove moisture from an airtight container we use a product called Oxy-Sorb Oxygen Absorbers for Food Storage.
Making a sloping pantry shelf – Organisation.
You may wonder why do we need a sloping pantry shelf? Well, the secret is that we like to rotate our food every month. So if we have say 10 sloping racks with our canned vegetables whenever we use a can the others roll down to take its space. New cans going in the back.
All that is required is your shelves to have a slight slope say 1 inch from one side to the other. Lay your wooden shelf between the brackets and screw it down. A small 2-inch front edge board can be nailed to the wall shelf to stop the can from falling off.
I also like to label my shelves as sometimes it’s hard to see what’s in a can when it’s laying down on its side. Partitioning off a longer sloping shelf can also help segregate your food cans.
Don’t forget to regularly check your tin can use by dates. Use up the ones first that are getting close to expired. Rotate your foods 1/4 turn, this way the air bubble in the tin cans won’t always be touching the same exposed metal site which can cause excessive corrosion.
How to make a rotation canned food system- DIY
If you have some DY skills then this is a great project to make. I do like this design as you can make it fit any sized food storage pantry.
Measure each type of tin food can as some have different sizes. This way you can use up all the available space. Leave around 1/8 inch gap between the can and the wood wall.
Frame up the outer edge using 4×2 inch timbers and make it square. Use smaller 4×1 for the middle dividing sections. Tin cans weigh a lot so don’t skimp on materials.
In the video, they use fancy trim molding to make it look nice, but you can cut costs and use any trim. Don’t forget the can kicker to push the last can out.
Leave around a 3 1/2 inch gap for the insertion of each canned food and the same amount for the exit hole.
The backboard is 1/2 inch plywood which will tie it all in strong.
Long-Term Storage Requires a Vacuum Sealer
Having an automatic vacuum air sealing system for your food preservation is one of the most important products in my doomsday prepper’s food storage arsenal.
The NutriChef vacuum sealing system is designed with two selectable modes to provide your food with the best possible preservation method depending on the type of food you want to seal.
- Dry indication for solid food items.
- Moist indication for poached, simmered or steamed food.
Its been proven that vacuum sealing will preserve your food up to 5 times longer than regular airtight containers. Leaving your rice, flour, grains, and beef jerky air-free block the growth of mold, fungus, and bacteria.
I like that you can safeguard your food from spoilage and save thousands of dollars by buying food in bulk by properly storing it. We all know that 20kg of rice is cheaper than 20x 1kg bags.
Using the vacuum sealer is easy as turning it on waiting a minute for the element to heat up and then vacuum sealing your food in the specially made sealer bags that come on a 50-foot roll. That way you only need to cut off the amount you need.
- High-Power Suction Element: 110 Watt
- Vacuum/Suction Strength: 12L/min
We use it daily and have virtually cut out the number of storage containers in our fridge and freezer. It’s the ultimate space saver and food stays fresher longer. Now I just take my leftover foods to work and cut them open to reheat in the microwave.
Vacuum Sealing prepper food
We use it to vacuum store our cereals, wheat, rice, and homemade old fashioned beef jerky. The rice is stored in wider bags at around 30cm long. This is easy for storage and one bag will do a couple of meals. Rice is hygroscopic, which means it can trap water molecules inside of it thanks to long biopolymers like cellulose. This over time will absorb moisture out of the air and your rice will go bad.
Sealing the rice in a vacuum bag solves this problem. This is why the DIY solution to get water out of a mobile phone is to place it in a container filled with rice. The rice will absorb the moisture out of the electronics.
We just did a review on the Ambiano vacuum sealer from Aldi so check that out for another option.
Adequate lighting in your food bunker
Having some emergency lighting in your food storage pantry is important for when the power goes out for real. Torches are a good start but for a more permanent solution, some solar powered lights can make all the difference.
They will charge up during the day and provide up to 8-hours of bright light during the night. Some even come with a wall-mounted remote control if you have a tall ceiling. Finding the perfect place to mount your solar panel is another matter.
I just drilled a small 1/2 inch hole in the ceiling enough to pole the solar cable through it. Another hole in the roof tile was all that was required to mount the tile on the side of the house roof.
Keeping mice and vermin out
I try not to place any food packets on the floor, this way it’s not attractive to mice. All of my storage 4L water bottles go on the floor. A few mice traps scattered in the corners will make short work for the mouse if it finds its way in.
The last thing we need is a mouse eating all of our 20-year food storage supply. So far we have been lucky and have not had any mice inside the house. We did have a raccoon once but that’s another story.
I pray that there are some great ideas here to get you going on your path to becoming self-sufficient in your food storage preparation. Drop me a message below if you have any other tips and tricks on keeping your food fresh for 5 years or longer.
As an electrician and a survivalist prepper, I want to share some of my ideas, thoughts, hardware, and survival techniques I have learned over the past 20 years. The world is changing fast and we need to be repaired for what may come if society breaks down.