72-hour food kits

The Best Foods for 72 Hour Kits

It is important for you to prepare for any potential emergency that you may face. Building a 72-hour kit is one of the most practical and efficient ways to ensure that your family is safe and able to sustain themselves in an emergency. Having the right foods packed into your kit is essential for long-term survival; here are some of the best options that you should consider:

  • Dried fruits and vegetables: Dried fruits and vegetables offer a good source of nutrients and can last for an extended period of time. These can be added to different meals, used as snacks, or even added in trail mixes.
  • Protein bars: Protein bars are shelf-stable, have a long shelf life, provide essential nutrients, and offer energy when needed.
  • Nuts: Nuts like peanuts, almonds, pistachios, walnuts etc provide good sources of proteins as well as fats which will help keep you energized in stressful situations. They also come in small packages which makes them easy to keep on hand.
  • Canned goods: Canned goods like tuna, salmon or sardines are a great way to get protein into your diet while on the go during emergency situations. Many canned goods have been packaged with various seasonings so they can be enjoyed more easily in emergency situations when fresh food options may not be available.
  • Granola bars/cereal packets: Granola bars are an easy snack that provide essential energy during times of stress or upset routines; cereal packets offer an instant meal option that provides carbs berries and other nutritious components quickly and with less mess than regular cereal would make if consumed by itself.
  • Dehydrated meals: Long-term ready meals are usually based on pasta or rice which make them filling; they consist of dried meats or beans from dehydrated soups to chili con carne or macaroni cheese depending on what has been chosen for individual needs.

Non-Perishable Foods

When it comes to the best foods for 72 hour kits and emergency preparedness, non-perishable food items are the way to go. Non-perishable foods have a much longer shelf life than perishable foods, making them ideal for preparing for unexpected scenarios. Plus, there are plenty of delicious options, from nuts and canned fruit to energy bars and protein powder.

In this article, we will explore the different types of non-perishable foods that are great for 72 hour kits:

Canned Foods

When selecting canned foods, be sure to read the labels carefully and pay particular attention to any nutrition or ingredient information that is provided. While the majority of food products in cans are highly nutritious, there are some considerations to take into account when selecting a brand:

  • Look for low-sodium varieties
  • Check for additives like MSG and hydrogenated oils
  • Pay attention to calorie, fat and sugar content
  • Make sure there are no artificial flavoring agents or preservatives

Popular canned foods include vegetables such as corn, peas, carrots and green beans; fruits like pineapple, peaches, applesauce and pears; beans and legumes such as chickpeas, lentils and black beans; soups; tomatoes such as sauces, pastes and juice; tomato products such as salsa and ketchup; tuna fish fish in oil or water; and salmon. When stored properly in a cool dry pantry away from sunlight these items can last upwards of five years.

Dehydrated Foods

Dehydrated or “dry” foods are a great way to stock up on non-perishables and take advantage of long lasting shelf life. From snacking options to your favorite recipes, dehydrating allows you to preserve food with minimal preparation and only requires the addition of water before cooking.

When selecting dehydrated foods look for products that are free from preservatives, additives, and dyes as these will reduce the shelf life of your product. Additionally, be aware that some brands may offer generic dehydrated products while others specialize in more specific offerings such as natural products. Popular dry products include:

  • Fruit leathers
  • Dried fruits
  • Vegetable chips and flakes
  • Soups
  • Reconstituting TVP (textured vegetable protein)

With a very long shelf life (up to 15 years) in air tight containers or bags kept in cool dry places, dehydrated food should be a staple in any family’s pantry for times when fresh produce may not be readily available.

Freeze-Dried Foods

Freeze-dried foods provide an easy way to stock your pantry with non-perishable items. Freeze-dried foods are created by freezing the food, then exposing it to a vacuum chamber. This removes all of the moisture from the food and produces slight shrinkage, but preserves the nutritional benefits and original flavor of the food. Many freeze dried foods have an incredibly long shelf life (25 years or more).

Freeze-dried foods typically come in two varieties – fruits, vegetables and herbs, or convenience meals like soups, stews and entrées. Fruits and vegetables are best for adding texture and flavor to dishes since rehydrating them is simple. Convenience meals may require some additional preparation before being served.

When shopping for freeze dried foods there are a few things you should consider – size, packaging and transportation convenience. Freeze dried food comes in bulk (mylar packets), tins, buckets or cans and can be shipped directly to your home or picked up at a store. With the right supplies on hand in your pantry you can create delicious meals without sacrificing nutritional content!

Pre-Packaged Foods

Pre-packaged and canned non-perishable foods have a long shelf life, making them an excellent choice for your emergency pantry. These foods are often ready to eat or require only simple preparation such as heating in the microwave, stove top or oven. In addition, pre-packaged items like soups, stews and pastas are available in several different versions including vegetarian, low sodium and low fat. Many of these products contain preservatives to help maintain freshness for extended periods of time. To maximize your savings, look for deals and stock up when things go on sale.

The following are examples of popular non-perishable pre-packaged and canned items:

  • Canned fruits and vegetables
  • Dried mushrooms
  • Canned meats (tuna, salmon, sardines etc.)
  • Instant noodles
  • Ready meals (mac & cheese)
  • Soups and stews (chili con carne etc.)
  • Condiments (mayo, mustard etc.)
  • Fried snacks (potato chips etc.)
  • Tortillas

Perishable Foods

When it comes to stocking up on food for 72 hour kits, one of the most important considerations is perishable foods. These are foods that need to be kept in a cool, dry place and kept separated from other food items. Such perishable food items can include fruits, vegetables, dairy products, meats, and other items that can spoil quickly.

Let's explore the best foods to include in your 72 hour kit:


Jerky is a type of perishable food that has been preserved through drying and salting. It is commonly created with either raw meat or meat that has been lightly cooked before being cut into strips and dried, though some forms use fish or poultry. Jerky will last for several months when stored in airtight containers at room temperature and can keep even longer when refrigerated.

On the market today, there are many varieties of jerky including spicy, smoky, sweet, or flavored with herbs and spices. It can be high in both fat and sodium which should be taken into consideration when purchasing; packaged products may have nutritional information on the label to help you make an informed decision.

Jerky is a great source of protein while traveling or due to its long shelf life, it is a convenient snack item to keep at home or in the office. To make jerky at home there are several methods available with both indoor and outdoor drying equipment needed. If done correctly, this method can result in higher quality jerky compared to most commercial alternatives as you control all of the ingredients used in its production.


Cheese often provides a great option when looking to add variety to meals and snacks. There are many options, ranging from soft and spreadable cheese products to firmer varieties that can be used for grating or cubing. When shopping for cheese, it is important to note the label information regarding freshness, as all cheese is perishable.

Different types of cheeses range in texture, taste, and with the rind – if there is one. For example, softer cheeses such as Brie and Camembert may have an edible rind that is part of the overall flavor profile of the cheese; harder varieties such as Parmigiano-Reggiano are usually either vacuum packed in wax paper or shrink-wrapped for storing in a refrigerator. Soft cheeses should always be served at room temperature for optimal flavor and texture.

When purchasing cheese products, check for any discoloration or an unpleasant odor that can indicate spoilage. If the expiration date has passed by 1-2 weeks, return it to a store employee rather than using it at home; open packages of soft cheeses should not be resold due to possible contamination from handling once opened in your kitchen. Harder cheeses may last up to 6 months before needing replacement.

Cheese pairs nicely with crackers and fruits like apples or grapes; adding nuts like walnuts or almonds adds additional nutrients along with crunchy texture. Cheese also melts well on sandwiches such as grilled paninis or breads used to make pizzas – just be sure they don't sit out too long after being heated before consuming them!

Hard-Boiled Eggs

Hard-boiled eggs are a deceptively simple and versatile food that can be served either hot or cold. The key to creating the perfect dish lies in the timing of the boiling process. Eggs should be cooked so that the yolk is still slightly soft – not hard boiled. Proper cooking can also minimize risk of bacterial contamination.

When boiling hard-boiled eggs, first bring a pot of water to a rapid boil and place eggs into gently rolling water with a spoon. Boil for 10-12 minutes then promptly remove from heat, run cold water over them for several minutes until cooled, or submerge them in an ice bath for several minutes until cooled. Carefully peel off shells from each egg and serve within two hours or refrigerate up to 48 hours before discarding any unused eggs.

To poach an egg, use a shallow saucepan filled with 2–3 inches of simmering water (not boiling). Gently crack one egg into a small bowl and add generous pinch of salt/vinegar (1 teaspoon per two cups of water) if desired; this helps keep its shape while poaching. Carefully slide the egg into the barely boiling waters and cook 3–5 minutes until whites are firm but the yolk remains soft – do not stir while poaching! Then remove carefully with slotted spoon and serve immediately – no more than 24 hours after being freshly cooked.


Nuts are a type of perishable food that can easily become rancid if they are not stored and handled properly. Fresh nuts have a crunchy texture and should smell mild, nutty, and sweet. Easily-perishables foods such as nuts require proper storage to maintain maximum freshness and flavor. Without the right care, you may find that the natural oils in your ears have gone bad, making them dry and spoiled.

Because nuts contain significant amounts of fat, they easily absorb odors from other foods. To guard against this, store raw nuts in an airtight container in your pantry or refrigerator to extend their shelf life up to 6 months. If you live in a warm climate or plan on stocking up for longer than 6 months, consider storing your nuts in the freezer for up to 12 months.

Preparing fresh nuts is simple – just toast them lightly over low heat prior to use for enhanced flavor and texture. Roasted/salted versions should be eaten within one month for best results due to greater exposure to air during processing compared to raw varieties which need only 5–7 days after opening before discarding if not used sooner.

When shopping for fresh nuts try to avoid those with heavy blemishes or insect infestations as these could indicate outdated product or even health risks depending upon where they came from (organic farmers use different methods than conventional growers). Nuts have also been known to carry allergens so always read labels if you have sensitivities or allergies while purchasing them so as not to experience any adverse reactions when consuming these nutritious snacks!


Protein bars and other supplements are an important part of your emergency kit. Supplements provide you with concentrated amounts of essential vitamins and minerals and can be easily stored for long periods of time.

In addition to protein bars, there are many other types of supplements you can include in your emergency kit, such as electrolyte drinks, energy boosters, and meal replacements. Let's take a look at the different supplements and why you might want to include them in your emergency preparedness plan:


Vitamins are organic compounds which are essential for our body to effectively use the food we eat and stay healthy. Vitamins can be found in a variety of foods, including some fortified foods. Since our body can’t make most vitamins itself, it is sometimes necessary to take vitamin supplements such as tablets or capsules.

The vitamins necessary for health can be divided into two categories – fat-soluble (A, D, E and K) and water-soluble (C and B complex vitamins). Fat-soluble vitamins are stored in the liver, so taking too much of these vitamins can be dangerous. Too much Vitamin A can lead to bone damage for instance. Water-soluble vitamins like Vitamin C cannot be stored in the body, so it is more difficult to get too much of them in a short span of time.

Vitamin supplements come in various forms such as tablets, capsules, gummies or liquids that you can drink or swallow directly. Some products may contain just one vitamin while others combine multiple types or even minerals as well as vitamins. People who are unable to obtain enough from their diet may need vitamin supplements to ensure that they get enough daily intake for maintaining good health. It is always important to discuss your supplement plan with your doctor first before starting any regimen to ensure that you don’t experience any negative side effects or illnesses due to an overdose of certain nutrients present in the supplement product.


Electrolytes are substances that dissolve in water to form electrically-charged ions. When dissolved in the blood, these ions can be used by the body to facilitate a variety of processes such as muscle contraction, nerve conduction, and pH balance. Being dehydrated or having an electrolyte imbalance can cause fatigue, dizziness and other problems.

Supplements that contain electrolytes are recommended for athletes who participate in endurance sports since they lose electrolytes during exercise through sweat. Other individuals may benefit from taking electrolyte supplements to correct deficiencies caused by certain health conditions or medications. Common ingredients found in electrolyte supplements include sodium, potassium and magnesium as well as chloride and bicarbonate. In addition to being found naturally in many foods, these minerals are also widely available in pill or powder form.

When purchasing an electrolyte supplement, it’s important to check the label for information about dosage and ingredients. A quality supplement should contain only natural sources of the minerals listed on the package and provide clear directions for usage based on individual needs. Many supplements combine multiple ingredients such as sodium chloride and magnesium chloride with added vitamins and minerals for added benefits such as better energy production or improved mental performance. Before starting any new regimen that includes a supplement, it is always best to consult with a physician who will be able to determine if the product is safe for individual use.

Protein Powder

Protein is a vital macronutrient for both muscle growth and general health; protein powders, when combined with healthy eating and exercise, can enhance these benefits. Many protein powders are derived from animal sources like whey (from dairy) and casein (from milk), or from plant sources like soy and hemp. Most also contain other natural ingredients, such as sweeteners, thickeners and added vitamins, minerals and/or herbs.

Protein powders are an easy way to supplement your diet with extra protein without having to consume large amounts of solid food. They can be added to smoothies or shakes, blended into non-dairy milks and juices, stirred into oatmeal or yogurt or baked into treats such as muffins and pancakes. Protein powder can also be used in savory recipes for curries, soups, stews and sauces.

There are several types of protein powder available with varying amounts of protein per serving that suit different needs – from those who want the most vegan-friendly option to more serious athletes looking for the highest concentration of protein per scoop – so it’s worth researching what type might best meet your needs before buying a product.


When selecting the best foods for your 72 hour kit, it's important to make sure that you have an adequate supply of both Paleo-style and non-Paleo foods. Balance is key – too much of one kind can spoil quickly, and not enough of the other can reduce its nutritional value.

It's also important to consider the storage needs for each food item. Choose shelf-stable items that have long expiration dates, so you are always sure to have something delicious and nutritious on hand when needed. Lastly, make sure to check expiration dates often and rotate out older food items regularly. With a little planning and preparation, you can create an emergency food supply that will provide you with the sustenance and energy necessary in any disaster situation.

Frequently Asked Questions

Q: What type of food should I include in my 72 hour kit?

A: Non-perishable food items are best for 72 hour kits. This includes protein bars, canned goods, trail mix, nuts, dried fruit, and jerky. These items have a long shelf-life and can be stored for an extended period of time.

Q: What else should I consider when packing food for a 72 hour kit?

A: When packing food for a 72 hour kit, it’s important to choose items that are lightweight and easy to carry. Additionally, consider packing foods that require minimal cooking, as you may not have access to a stove or oven in the event of an emergency.

Q: Are there any special considerations for stocking food for children in a 72 hour kit?

A: Yes, when packing food for children in a 72 hour kit, it’s important to consider the child’s age, dietary restrictions, and food preferences. Additionally, packing items like juice boxes and snacks can help to make the situation more bearable for children.

72-hour food kits