20 Survival Foods That Will Last 20 Years

Michael Major
By Michael Major July 20, 2020 07:10

20 Survival Foods That Will Last 20 Years

Humans can live for up to three weeks without food, but the effects of hunger and starvation begin to affect us within days after we cease consuming calories. This is why food storage is critical when preparing for any emergency, be it short or long term.

When planning a food storage system it is advisable to select foods that you will not have to rotate on a regular basis, such as this list of foods that will last at least two decades.

When storing food, the key is to keep your stores in a cool, dry, and dark place. This will mitigate the enemies of food stores that are heat, moisture and sunlight.

The other enemy to food preps is oxygen, so using vacuum sealers or an oxygen absorber in Mylar bags or buckets, will extend the shelf life of your precious food supply by many years.

This list of foods is complied in no specific order.

1. Pemmican

20 Survival Foods That Will Last 20 YearsPemmican is the ultimate survival food and it is something that you can absolutely make yourself in your own kitchen.

Pemmican is pulverized lean meat mixed with equal parts of rendered fat and dried crushed berries.

It is said to be able to last for multiple decades, but as with any other food on this list, you must store it appropriately in order to achieve the full shelf life of this near perfect survival food.

Related: Pemmican vs. Spam. Which is the best food for survival?

2. Freeze Dried Foods

Freeze drying food is not something that the average homeowner can accomplish without specialized equipment. Fortunately, there are a multitude of companies that offer freeze dried foods both in bulk and also in meal sized packages.

These foods are a staple of the backpacking community and usually don’t taste half bad. Every company is different but most state that their freeze dried food will last over 20 years.

3. Honey

20 Survival Foods That Will Last 20 YearsWhen we are talking about honey for your survival food stores, we are speaking about raw honey not the stuff in the cute beehive bottles at Walmart.

Raw honey’s shelf life is generally considered to be indefinite so twenty years is a walk in the park for this food.

Archaeologists have found jars of honey in Egyptian tombs that was thousands of years old and was still good.

4. Rolled Oats

20 Survival Foods That Will Last 20 YearsNot all oats are created equal, so the ones you want to be looking for are old fashioned rolled oats, and you are not going to want to be using the packaging that the oats come in.

Instead seal the oats in airtight containers using a vacuum sealer or oxygen absorbers, and store in a cool dry dark place. If handled properly rolled oats will last up to 30 years.

Related: The Top 10 Cereal Grains You Need To Have in a Crisis

5. Dry Pasta

Dry pasta can last beyond 20 years but you can not expect that to happen if you store it in the store bought packaging. Sealing in a vacuum sealer or Mylar with oxygen absorbers, and keeping in the usual cool, dry, and dark places is the key here.

Dried pastas such as Macaroni, Penne, Fusilli, etc are better for vacuum sealing because they are less likely to break during the process.

6. Dehydrated Fruit and Vegetables

20 Survival Foods That Will Last 20 YearsDehydrating fruits and veggies is not enough to get decades of storage life out of them, you must store them in a moisture and oxygen free environment.

This is where vacuum sealing or Mylar and oxygen absorbers come into play again. If stored correctly and great care is taken to keep them free of moisture, there is little reason that dehydrated fruit and veg will not last decades.

Related: 50 Foods to Dehydrate for Your Stockpile

7. Jello Mix

Jello mix is not much of a food per say, but is worth a mention here anyways because the apocalypse shouldn’t stop us from having a sweet treat.

Jello’s shelf life in an unopened box is considered to be indefinite.

8. Water

While not a food, water is still a vital part of your food preps and as long as it is kept clean and free of contaminants it will never go bad.

9. White Rice

No survival food list would be complete without the staple food for billions of people around the world.

White rice should be stored in the usual cool, dry, and dark locations in airtight containers with oxygen absorbers to get the maximum shelf life out of it. Stored correctly it will last indefinitely.

Related: 50 Days of ‘Survival’ Calories with Rice and Beans

10. Ghee

Ghee is clarified butter which has been processed to remove all the milk solids from it. If it is stored appropriately like most of the items on this list it could last indefinitely but realistically will remain edible for a few decades.

11. Whole Wheat Grains

Whole wheat grains if stored in sealed food grade buckets with oxygen absorbers or vacuum sealed, can last for over 20 years. Not all whole grains are created equal, and you need to do your research to find the right ones for your diet and for the longevity of the food storage that you are wanting.

Related: Cheapest Foods that You Can Stockpile

12. Sugar and Salt

20 Survival Foods That Will Last 20 YearsNo kitchen is complete without either of these staples.

Both of them have a shelf life that is indefinite.

You must still store them appropriately. It is imperative that these dry goods remain dry.

13. Cocoa Powder

Cocoa powder does not spoil but will loose its flavor potency over time. Even with a shelf life that is indefinite you will find that after two or three decades, you’ll need more of it to get that same amount of chocolate flavor that you would have gotten on day one.

14. Potato Flakes

Depending on the method of storage, potato flakes can last 25 to 30 years; but like everything else, needs to be stored properly.

15. Sourdough Starter

20 Survival Foods That Will Last 20 YearsThis takes some time and effort, but a sour dough starter when maintained and fed will last a lifetime and is something that all of us should have on hand.

A sourdough starter can also be stored in the refrigerator to reduce the frequencies of feedings. This is a great source of long term yeast, but requires a consistent supply of flour to maintain.

Related: How To Make Yeast For Long-Term Storage

16. Soy Sauce

When stored in unopened bottles in the appropriate conditions, soy sauce will last indefinitely.

17. Worcester Sauce

Just like soy sauce, if left unopened this condiment will last forever.

18. Maple Syrup

You’ll only want to store 100% pure maple syrup in glass bottles for your food preps. If stored correctly and unopened, it will last for decades if not indefinitely.

Once opened though it will need to be refrigerated or kept somewhere that is very cool like a root cellar.

19. Green Coffee Beans

20 Survival Foods That Will Last 20 YearsInstant coffee has a long shelf life, but I hate instant coffee and if the zombies are upon us, then I’m going to need a good stiff cup of joe in the morning.

Turns out the best way to store coffee for the long haul is green coffee beans. Stored in Mylar with oxygen absorbers it should last 20 years, you will need to secure a way to roast and grind them in order to get that cup of wake up juice.

20. Vinegar

20 Survival Foods That Will Last 20 YearsVinegar is considered to have a pretty much indefinite shelf life.

Vinegar is also an item you should have on hand because of its multiple uses from food preparation, cleaning, food preservation, and even medicinal uses.

Before storing any foods long term, it is critical that you not only invest in the right equipment and storage space.

Also do all of your research and due diligence to make the right and most informed decisions possible.

This list is a collection of some of the foods that have shelf lives beyond twenty years. There are many more out there for you to discover. What would you add to this list?

You may also like:

Sealed Foods that Last Forever

How to Make A Self-Sufficient Backyard on 1/4 of an Acre (Video)

How To Repackage Foods in Mylar Bags With Oxygen Absorbers For Long Term Survival

How To Stockpile Lard, The Calorie Rich Survival Food Of The Great Depression

Michael Major
By Michael Major July 20, 2020 07:10
Write a comment


  1. Labienus July 20, 13:29

    Ah…yet another “survival foods that last x amount of years”.

    We already know about these!

    Reply to this comment
    • left coast chuck July 20, 17:29

      Labienus: We are not all experienced peppers with years of experience behind us. Some of the readers on this list have recently joined and articles like this are valuable to them even though to some of us they are a rehash.

      Even so, it pays to be reminded of certain things. My memory banks are not so infallible that I can totally recall all the prepper information I have read over the years that I have been interested in the topic. It never hurts to take a refresher course.

      Commercial pilots have to go back to wherever the company maintains its training facility for a day on the Linc Trainer if they haven’t flown in just 30 days. That’s even for pilots who like Captain Sullenberger have over 25,000 hours in their particular a/c.

      In most states now, all licensed professionals have to take what is called continuing education where they must accrue so many credits per year in order to maintain their licensing status. That applies even though they may be practicing their profession on a daily basis. So with that thought in mind,I certainly don’t mind re-reading the same information over again.

      In addition, the remarks are just as valuable as the article itself. For instance, Granny O’s comment about Jello. I have some Jello that I have considered as part of my preps. If nothing else, it makes water treated with iodine or chlorine taste a lot better and adds some energy to the water with the sugar that Jello contains. I thought it was sufficient to just store it in its original box. I see that I am going to have to break out the food sealer and seal the contents in vacuum bags.

      That’s valuable advice that I picked up by re-reading this article and especially reading the comments.

      Reply to this comment
    • Lyn July 26, 04:48

      Some foods go bad but a narcissist is forever.

      Reply to this comment
  2. Victoria Morton July 20, 13:59

    This is an excellent article! Thank you!

    Reply to this comment
  3. Heidi July 20, 14:07

    What about beans? They’re pretty healthy and store well.

    Completely OT:

    Reply to this comment
    • left coast chuck July 20, 17:20

      It is my understanding that beans will last a long time but the downside is that they take longer to cook the longer you store them. I do not have first hand experience in that regard, but just reporting what others have started on this site. At my age I no longer have to worry about storing food items for 20 or more years.

      Reply to this comment
      • Michael July 20, 19:30

        Older dried beans can be made into FAMEAL of 60% wheat or corn+30% beans ground together and cooking oil mixed in. Tastes foody. It’s that thin gruel you see them spooning into hungry kids bowls in overseas. If made with less water bakes into a nice beany heavy bread. If sugar added makes nice muffins. I’ve eaten a fair bit of FAMEAL in my life.

        Reply to this comment
        • left coast chuck July 20, 22:36

          60% and 30% only equaled 90% back when the nuns were hammering math into my thick skull. Is there a typo or is there a missing ingredient? It sounds like it would be good survival food. How about 10% rice so that the protein in the beans can be absorbed by the body?

          Reply to this comment
          • left coast chuck July 24, 03:05

            Fameal is a general word for a food product, used by Non-governmental organizations in programs to feed the hungry as a part of the Agricultural Act of 1949. The food product is made up of a wheat-soy meal blend or a cornmeal-soy blend (WSB or CSB, corn soy blend).This food is distributed, often aided by volunteers, in the Caribbean and West Africa.
            A premade mix of fameal is extrusion cooked for usage under primitive conditions. In this form, the meal is eaten as a thin paste or thickened and made into dumplings or bread. The taste is sometimes described as “foody” and some consider it delicious. The cooked product can be added to soups and casseroles or made into cookies.
            The general measures of fameal are:
            • 50% (by volume) Cornmeal or Wheat Meal.
            • 30% (by volume) Bean meal, of any kind, including soy. Lentils are sometimes used due to ease of grinding and fast cooking.
            • 10% (by volume) Cooking Oil. Any cooking oil works.
            • 10% (by volume) Sugar, honey, syrup, or similar sweetener.
            • Salt for taste.
            • Multi-vitamin powder, or multi-vitamins ground to a meal.
            The fameal is a powder which can be mixed slowly with boiling water (three cups of water per cup of meal). Once boiling, remove heat, cover, and allow to cook for 10 minutes. Alternatively, the meal can be used as a flour replacement for baking, similar to cornbread, or as a cake mix.

            From Wikipedia

            Reply to this comment
      • spicelady July 22, 02:16

        Pressure cookers work great – you can still buy the non-electric type on Amazon or in your nearest thrift store. Tho I appreciate the comment by Michael about the “FAMEAL” as well; I’ve never heard of that before, but it sounds like a type of food that might come in handy, when you need some immediate calories and don’t have time to be fancy about cooking it!

        I’d recommend everyone having a hand or non-electric grinder though, suitable for grinding beans or wheatberries or whole corn kernels. All of those things keep much longer in their original, natural coverings; but the very characteristics that make those coverings more or less impervious, also make them indigestible to humans – we need to crack or grind the hulls, to make them edible.

        Reply to this comment
  4. granny o July 20, 14:25

    Just a quick note on the Jello. My experience is it will only stay good for about 3 years in the ORIGINAL packaging. Found out the HARD way (they turned hard as rock on me even in a cool dry place). My advice is to take the little packets out of the box and vac pac them with the name of the flavor on the bag. Put the instructions in a file or binder after you cut them off the box.

    Reply to this comment
    • left coast chuck July 20, 17:17

      Thanks for the tip, Granny O.

      Reply to this comment
    • JayJay July 20, 20:50

      I’ve had beans in buckets for 12 years now and soak overnight in baking soda–they cook quickly.

      And the jello I store has never turned hard…I had it for years; the pudding isn’t the greatest to eat; it does not have a good shelf life I discovered.!!!

      Reply to this comment
      • left coast chuck July 20, 22:57

        JayJay: What proportion of beans and how much baking soda? That is valuable information that should be shared with other peppers on this site.

        I think where one lives and what the relative humidity of the area is will have a great influence on how quickly Jello turns into a rock.

        I did have a question though. When the Jello rockified, did Granny O try to melt it in water or did she just toss it? I have never eaten powdered Jello but I wonder if solidified Jello can be bitten off or broken off and eaten like a very dry candy bar? I think I would try that before I consigned it to the chicken or pigs or landfill.

        And a further question, I wonder what effect solidified Jello which basically is sugar, gelatin, adipic acid and less than 2% of other ingredients, would have on chickens? Probably wouldn’t hurt pigs as they can pretty much each anything. Anyone have any expertise on adding Jello to the diets of various barnyard animals?

        I took the ingredients from a box of Jello. Didn’t have it committed to memory.

        Reply to this comment
  5. Rick July 20, 16:54

    While I appreciate your website you need to get your facts right. You start off saying:
    “Humans can live for up to three weeks without food, but the effects of hunger and starvation begin to affect us within days after we cease consuming calories.”
    Here you say two false things and which make me feel like you are trying to manipulate people. People can live without food for longer than three weeks. Many people fast for 40 days which is twice that length, and they don’t die. It is actually good for them also, when they know what they are doing. And that is water fast, not juice fast. Secondly, people are not experiencing starvation after a few days without food. What they are experiencing is discomfort and fear because of what people like you are scaring them with. The body actually really begins to start healing in 100% mode after 3 days water fasting. What they are doing is starving off illnesses.
    So I think you need to issue a correction on this or you will lose your credibility and misinform people.

    Reply to this comment
    • left coast chuck July 20, 21:43

      I don’t know. Rick. As anyone can tell by looking at me, I am not a practicing ascetic. I think we have to differentiate between people who deliberately live a lifestyle that includes fasting and those for whom fasting is an alien and forcefully imposed mode of living.

      I think after 30 days of no food and perhaps reduced water intake Joe and Jill Average American are going to look like zombies. Their clothes will be ill fitting due to weight loss. Their gait will be shuffling. Their hygiene will be non-existent. Their cognition will be limited. Finally, they will be mindlessly dedicated in their search for food.

      I think the author is talking about Joe and Jill Average, not the dedicated ascetic who regularly practices self-deprivation in terms of food and who on a day of hedonistic gluttony for him may consume half what Joe Average consumes on a regular day.

      Most of the people who conduct fasts, if I am not mistaken, do not engage in heavy labor while fasting. They spend their days in contemplation and prayer and not in chopping wood or hauling water or fending off packs of feral dogs or packs of feral humans.

      Now I could be all wrong and there may well be fasting ascetics who are hand plowing fields and butchering their kill that they have had to haul on their backs five miles from where they field dressed it but I would suggest that there are only one or two of them. Gandhi when he was fasting spent his days in contemplation. The young Irish patriots who went on fasts in the Maze weren’t busily engaged n strenuous activities but were lying on their cots in their cells.

      For the kind of extreme scenario that most of us are preparing for it will be like forty acres and a mule farmer after the War of Northern Aggression in the South. It will be killing work from first light until dark and then unlike the sharecropping Southern farmer, standing a watch sometime during the hours of darkness to repel marauders, both two legged and four legged. We won’t even have Sundays off to go to church but will have to continue our daily drudgery and nightly watches.

      Both C-rations and MREs provided and currently provide between 3500 and 4000 calories per day which is what government nutritionists figured a young man under the extreme conditions of combat needs in order to remain in fighting condition.

      Those of us of a certain age all saw what humans look like when fed a diet of about 1200 calories a day. Many of them succumbed to just plain starvation. Others who were able through one means or another to obtain more nutrition survived but they all looked like zombies and they all suffered from various nutritionally caused pathologies.

      So while Michael Major may have overstated the case for ascetics practicing fasting for whatever reason, I think for Joe and Jill A.A., the case is realistic. I know I have read some experts say that it takes a month to reach end stage starvation. I think it is quibbling to argue that it takes four weeks and not three. I think that depends very significantly on the will to live which varies in each of us.

      What is the story about the U.S. serviceman who went through horrific deprivations during WWII is it “Unconquered”? I think that is the title. I remember thinking during reading that biography what a tremendous will to live that man had. I think his name was Henry Zamperini. Wow! I would want him on my team in an EOTW situation.

      For him four weeks without food would be nothing. I will always remember during cold weather training with the Marine Corps a member of our fire team zoned out. We wouldn’t let him quit but he was totally useless as an operating member of our group after about two days of deprivation in subzero weather. In fact, he was a detriment to have around. We had to force feed him and cover for him when he was supposed to be on watch. Had we been in combat he would have been killed very early on because he gave up. In an end of the world situation he would have just died from giving up within a week. It always left a significant impression on me. It made me realize how the will to go on and on and on is so important to survival. The Hugh Glass type will to go on and on.

      So, yeah, you are correct, practicing ascetics can go forty or more days without food or minimal food and some people with incredible wills to survive, the Henry Zamperinis and the Hugh Glass’s perhaps, but for my typical Americans, no, I think in 30 days without food if they are not actually dead they will have given up the fire to survive and if not dead will be on death’s door.

      To drag this out a bit further, folks who claim to be nutritionists have stated that after three days of zero caloric intake we start to suffer from various deficiencies. Our mental acuity declines. Our energy level is certainly diminished as the body attempts to preserve nutrition for our brain and core organs. Certain skilled tasks decline in performance. I can’t personally attest to those symptoms because I have tried all my life to avoid missing meals but folks who claim expertise in the field of nutrition say that is what to expect after just three days of zero caloric intake.

      Reply to this comment
      • Rick July 21, 05:16

        Chuck, is it your job to respond to these comments? That was a massive response that misses my points. The point is that the first statements were false. You doge around the facts. The facts are that humans can live much longer than 3 weeks and starvation does not take place after a few days. Your response doesn’t change these facts. They just add more false points.
        Stick to what is said instead of arguing about something else. Your first point still doesn’t mean a person not used to fasting will die at three weeks, or will begin to starve after a few days.
        No one said anything about reduced water intake. They just said food, and all I responded to was about food. You change the subject to something else.
        Again, no one said anything about heavy labor, you are changing the subject again. Missing the point of what I wrote. Also, yes after the third day even people who don’t fast gain a new strength. Fasting people can do heavy work, but no one is talking about that here. Just about starvation and dying at three weeks.
        No, you are in fact all wrong in what you wrote as you did not respond to me at all.
        You spent a great deal of time going completely off subject here and only added more mistakes here. Seems more than weird that you go on so long about something else. I realize you are focused on other subjects but maybe you should think a little more about what is said before you reply?? Because it is important to help people here in the truth don’t you think? If people think they are going to starve after a few days and die after 21 days then they will panic and not be of a sound mind. The first key to survival is to not panic. Distraction from the truth and such poor judgment is what will end in death or more trouble. Such poor reasoning discredits everything such websites promote. This website is about survival and what to eat, etc., and if people reason this poorly then their advice could lead to people dying. Do you understand my point? This is not joke. Such rambling is not good for people here.
        Again, I’m not quibbling here. I just addressed two major facts that have serious effects upon the readers here. Just look at all that you said which is completely mistaken. Notice you say something about me quibbling about 4 weeks over three weeks. Where did I say anything about 4 weeks. You got so carried away with your mistaken story that you mentioned 4 weeks and then made it out as if I said that. I said 40 days which is double that of 3 weeks, not merely a week longer, but 6 weeks. And while 40 days is very hard to do, it is still not the limit and people will not die at that point either. Again, it is not my point to get into fasting subjects, but only to say that these two points are very wrong and need to be corrected. I see 5 people liked your comments and disliked mine. So 5 people are already mistaken by these simple things.
        “Folks who claim to be nutritious” is really almost everyone these days. That is a meaningless statement. There is no evidence that we begin to starve or experience harmful effects after a few days of no food. In fact the opposite happens. The body because an aggressive healing process. It is food that limits the healing process from being 100%.
        Mind you, I know what you are talking about. Yes initially you become insecure because you always have food in your belly. It is like a drug. But after a little while the shakes go away and you have MORE clarity and regain strength.

        So it is important that you retract your statements here as they are completely mistaken, missing the simple points I made, and give people very wrong information that will harm them when they need this the most. They need truth not this distracting story-telling, when they are without food for days and weeks. For people to think they are going to die that soon will lead them to miscalculate and make bad decisions. This is not a joke Chuck. Yes I agree with many things, like we need to be ready, etc. But over-arguing a point makes matters much worse. There are going to be times when people are without food, and it would be good if someone addressed the actual truth for people. I came here to learn because I have much to learn about survival. But when I saw this, as well as your response and the likes and dislikes it really concerns me. I hope you take the time to consider what I first said and now what I have had to repeat and enlarge upon. It is not hype and stories that is going to get us through this war being waged against the old culture, or more specifically “The Great Reset” of the world that the top industries and leaders of this world in the World Economic Forum are waging against us. It is truth and wisdom and common sense that we need when most of our comforts and things are taken away and we are left in survival mode. So enough with the distractions and stories.

        Reply to this comment
        • left coat chuck July 21, 18:52

          Rick: Not to continue a long argument, but you are talking about two different animals. People who fast as a regular course of conduct in their lives become accustomed to it. And as you point out in your original post, know what they are doing.

          People who are not accustomed to fasting are going to experience significant problems. Is three days thirty or forty days a hard and fast rule? Of course not. Anyone can make general statements and anyone else can cite glaring exceptions to the general statement. Some wit once said “The only general rule is that there is no general rule.”

          That is especially true about humans. Medicine treats for the general rule. But as any doctor will tell you, there are some people for whom the standard treatment just doesn’t work.

          While I can’t speak for Mr. Major, I do feel he was, and I know I was talking about the general mass of people, not the exceptions, not the folks who have in essence trained themselves to go long periods of time without food. Not the Hugh Glasses, nor Louis Zamperini nor the group of German soldiers who escaped across Siberia from a Russian POW camp who all exhibited tremendous will to live that most of the general population do not possess.

          Shelter, water and food are still the three primary needs for survival. Without them no one will survive. How long it will take to reach that finality depends strictly upon the individual’s will to live.

          Reply to this comment
          • Rick July 21, 23:54

            Chuck, The point is that you are talking about something else than what was said and what I addressed as a mistake. Now the author has wrote to me saying that he will look into it. But you will not grant the facts of the matter: people do not die after 21 days of no food, and they do not start to starve after a few days. Nor will you admit how serious it is to put such fear into people. You are just going from your inexperience and fears. I never said that food is not an essential or that it is not needed. Only that these were wrong and should not be said here. One of the most important things for survival is to be of a sound mind rather than scared of dying.
            Also, it is not true that people not familiar with fasting will either begin starvation after a few days or experience serious problems. They in fact start to heal much faster. Why do you think your body turns you off from wanting to eat while you are sick??? Your body puts you into a fast to heal better. Food is important but it is not necessary for survival to constantly eat food. One man fasted on water alone for 86 days and was cured of all his many problems. I would not have thought that would be possible at the time. Then he ate half a grape and went into some problems as that was too much at once!
            I’m not sure what 30 days has to do with anything? 40 days people get from some bible examples as far as I know. You are just filling up this reply with words Chuck. What was the point of that paragraph? What does that have to do with any of this? No general rules?

            Reply to this comment
        • Rebecca July 21, 19:40

          I’ve watched a lot of episodes of Naked and Afraid and other survival shows plus I’m an RN. It’s true that while supplied with water, MOST people can last longer than 21 days, MOST people are useless after that point or far sooner. In a survival situation that is very relevant. People with health issues even if normally minor, children and the elderly will succumb much sooner. The hotter or colder it is, the more calories are required and so the harder it is to survive. And it is typical for someone to have to work very hard in a survival situation so why do you not consider that part of the discussion?

          It takes only about 2-3 days to be affected by dizziness and lack of coordination, nausea and headaches. It takes only a day or two more to start making poor choices due to lack of good judgement. Just because someone can last longer doesn’t mean everyone can. Especially if they are fit and thin. Or even average weight.

          And I have to say that your tone is rude and condescending. That’s not necessary!

          Reply to this comment
          • left coast chuck July 21, 21:50

            Thank you. My points exactly. I am certainly not an expert on fasting — I have tried my best all my life to avoid missing meals — as I indicated in my original reply.

            It seems from what little I know that most fasters were not simultaneously involved in severely heavy labor with life or death types of stress daily. The closest we might come is folks in the Japanese POW camps or the guests in the German death camps. We know how well things went for those folks.

            Gandhi as far as I know spent most of his days in pray and meditation, certainly an energy-conserving mode. The prisoners in the Maze spent their days laying on their cots in their cells. Again, conservation of energy.

            In an EOTW situation, short of having a fully stocked bunker such as we might see on the Discovery Channel, we are going to be involved in labor that most of us have never experienced. In addition, the whole situation will be fraught with life-threatening scenarios. A prepper who hopes to survive that situation will be expending energy at about the same level as a Marine LCpl in daily combat.

            If you want to see what I am talking about, early in the morning before breakfast, walk to the nearest place where you can lawfully gather twigs and small branches. Gather enough to fill a large backpack. Now walk back home. If you just happen to pass some accessible water, fill a 5-gallon bucket with that water. Now carry the wood and the water back to your home. Don’t stop. Break the wood up so that it will fit in your rocket stove.

            You do have a rocket stove, don’t you?

            If you didn’t pass a source for water on the way home, get a 5-gallon bucket and go to the nearest lake or stream, get a bucket of water and head home with it.

            Now, using the largest pan you have, fill it with the water you gathered and heat it until it boils.Pour the boiled water into clean containers. Continue that until you have boiled all the water. Only drink the water you have boiled. Do not eat anything. By the way, while the water is coming to a boil, work on the slit trench that your family needs for sanitation purposes because the toilet and the drains are backed up.

            After you finish the slit trench, see what you can do about bailing out the sinks, bathtubs and the toilets so the house won’t stink so much. Oh, did you forget the water on the fire?

            Once you have finished boiling all the water, if there is still time, go back to where you gathered the first wood and repeat. Get a another bucket of water. You won’t need to boil this one as you are going to use it to clean out the sinks, bathtubs and toilets from what is left over after your initial attempt at cleaning. The house still stinks.

            No fair stopping at a water faucet to gather the water. You need water au natural, complete with bugs and floating leaves.

            Go to bed without eating anything all day. See if you can sleep. Next day repeat day one. Don’t worry the slit trench is dug. Now you need a spider hole in the front yard because last night you had to fend off a small gang and realized you were badly exposed shooting from a corner of the house.

            How do you feel at the end of day two? Don’t worry, you can last for forty days on that routine. You only think you need to eat. Mind over matter. Tough it out. You can do it. Think of Louis Zamperini and Hugh Glass.

            ‘Nuf said.

            Reply to this comment
            • Rick July 22, 00:23

              Chuck, Just as the whole survival experience is unpleasant, so is fasting when you are not used to it. It doesn’t mean you are going to die. That is my point. You don’t know what will happen in that situation as you do not have any experience as you claim. So why say all that? What is the point in saying something that you have no evidence or proof for?
              My secondary point is that you don’t want to spread misinformation that makes people fear that they are going to die without food for a few days or weeks. This is a common Hollywood falsehood that you are going by. I have experience myself and know many people that fast and many people who were first time fasters of long periods. They have a different experience than what you assume. Anyway, it does not become me to prove the point, it becomes the author to justify his statements that are factually wrong and misleading. Your statements are also of that nature, but you don’t feel any obligation to correct your mistakes. What does that mean Chuck?

              Reply to this comment
          • Rick July 22, 00:14

            Rebecca, How can you make a claim about most people when very very few people have fasted for more than 20 days. You guys are just guessing. The truth is that people have no self-control and can’t fast more than a day without eating twice as much as they would have if they didn’t fast. The first three days is the hardest and then it gets easier. How do you know people are useless after 20 days? How many people have you witnessed that were healthy and useless after a 20 day water fast? Maybe you have never met anyone who has done such a fast??? What you guys say is merely a guess based upon what you see people do over a day or two and you assume that things surely must get worse. But that is not the case. It is just like doctors mixing up the illnesses with the bodies response and cleansing processes that are uncomfortable.
            The problem is that you guys go off topic here. There were two false statements that need correcting. Instead of admitting that you guys go off into other matters. I agree with the need for food and such and such, but not with the statement that you will not be able to live after 21 days. That needs to be changed or it will seriously mislead people.
            So why is that so hard for you to admit? Why act like you are responding to me when you are talking about something else. You are arguing for other things, as if I was opposed to food or other things.
            It is also not true that people necessarily have to work hard in a survival situation. Yes in some cases, but not in all. But the above publication is not specifying in such a way but said a universal which is just not true and misleads people. And you should know the importance of not putting needless fear into people, especially under such circumstances. Because then their worry will result in consuming more energy and cause them to make bad decisions. It is that very fear people have because of such misinformation that people stop fasting after a day. They think they are going to die. But they are not, they just equate being uncomfortable with it being a bad thing. And that is what I get from all these responses. Lack of eating every meal is considered a bad thing for the body. But that is false. And it cannot be argued from inexperience as is being done here. We have the history of the world that has shown the opposite. We even have the body forcing people to not eat so that it can heal better. These are the facts. The body knows much better than any doctor. And I did nursing for 3 years many years ago.

            Reply to this comment
            • Rebecca July 27, 20:45

              I make the claim based on medical knowledge as found in textbooks and the experiences of people who have been forced into a starvation situation by circumstances. I’ve done quite a bit of research into disasters and how they affect peoples health (mental and physical) Plenty of people have found themselves trapped without food enough to make some intelligent conclusions. Modern medical knowledge DOES NOT include fasting as part of a healthy way of living. You want to do it, that’s fine. But 3 days without food is not the when the body ramps up healing as you state. Otherwise doctors would advise patients to fast after major surgery or illness and I most emphatically assure you that is not the case. Even among drs who also include alternative medicine as part of their practice.

              Reply to this comment
          • spicelady July 22, 02:09

            Rebecca, my thoughts exactly: I have been watching “Naked and Afraid” for years, and I agree while every once in a while someone comes along with enough experience or fortitude or whatever to overcome not having enough to eat for 14 or 21 or 40 days, the vast majority of the participants quickly find out that despite whatever kind of “survival” training they thought they had, it is not the same when you don’t have MRE’s or camping staples to rely on, or modern weapons to hunt or fish with. By the 2nd or 3rd day they usually report feeling weak, dizzy and/or lethargic, have to force themselves just to get up and forage or fetch water to boil. The more successful participants manage to find snails or insects or fruit or snakes to catch & eat, but LOTS of would-be survivalists give up within the first week, they just can’t deal with being constantly hungry, and going without sleep due to weather or wild animals. (Me personally, I know I wouldn’t be able to deal with swarms of biting insects – but that is another topic, lol!)

            To respond to Rick’s original comments, there is a big difference between not DYING of starvation, esp while in a resting position conserving energy, and not being AFFECTED by hunger after several days, when one is used to eating regularly and also if one is trying to carry out all those survival tasks that might be required. No one here is arguing how many days the human body could technically survive without food, the point of the article was to list a number of things that could be stored for long periods of time, so that one doesn’t have to wander around in a brain fog or spend all their time foraging instead of collecting firewood, defending their home, or other important tasks. And the average American is NOT likely to be spending months or years training themselves to go without food, before the ultimate disaster suddenly arrives at their doorstep, “like a thief in the night” so to speak. Sure, it’s great to know that in a pinch, and with some willpower, one might be able to survive 21 days or more on nothing but rainwater…but most of us would far prefer to have a stockpile of non-perishable foods somewhere, so those first few critical days or weeks can be spent on other important things. Most of the NON-prepper types will be caught flat, no more than a few days’ worth of food in their cupboards, the grocery stores all emptied out, the ATMs no longer working and paper money more or less worthless even if they were working…the most ruthless will quickly turn to robbing others to feed themselves, the rest, who may have never thought beyond watching TV and microwaving a frozen dinner before, will quickly turn into those hoards of “zombies” tearing the countryside apart in their quest for food.
            [Lol, just another thought: most of those wouldn’t recognize a wheatberry if they saw one, so chances are they will leave stuff like that alone and go for the “easy” stuff like canned tuna and Sugar Pops. Maybe we should all plan to keep a bit of that junk out in the cabinets, might keep the from looking further and finding the “real” food?]

            Reply to this comment
      • Tomk August 6, 15:57

        When I was in my 50s, I lived on 1500 calories a day, walked five miles a day and lifted weights. I was 150 lbs of solid muscle and there was little I couldn’t do. Now, I’m in my 70s , don’t watch calories, spend a lot of time in front of the computer, and I’m 220 lbs of solid fat and have a hard time mowing the lawn on a hot day. 3500 to 4,000 calories a day seems like an awful lot.

        Reply to this comment
    • Jeff July 23, 22:12

      A wise person once said “If you’re explaining, you’re losing”. Seems to me if you have to use more than two paragraphs to make a point you’re either a professor or arguing. Just my humble opinion.

      Reply to this comment
      • spicelady July 26, 21:28

        Jeff, are you referring to me, to to the previous poster(s)? I was merely trying to respond to what seemed to be an argumentative strain myself, with some common sense. If my comment is too long and “wordy” then I apologize, I will leave and stop responding.

        Reply to this comment
  6. runner July 21, 05:18

    I have cancer and a failing heart I hope I can make the 20 year deadline (no pun intended.)

    Reply to this comment
  7. Clergylady July 21, 17:34

    I’ve been very sick recently. 2 weeks without a bite of food then weeks now of eating about 12 oz volumn of water I m a mage to be able to eat. Most things I couldn’t eat at all until the past 9 days. Still can swallow a meat sandwich. I lost 22 lbs. Loss stopped after eating a bit for two weeks. Had to go buy 3 or of jeans at a secondhand store yesterday. Someone gave me a couple of pants in my new size.
    Since I’m a fluffy great grandma the 22 lb are good riddence. A few more wouldn’t hurt my feelings but I don’t recommend loosing that from being sick. I’m still weak from not eating and being just active enough to walk to a living room chair and lift a water bottle for frequent sips of cool water and I managed to operate the tv control. I have little stamina yet. To lean on a shopping cart like a walker and get a small list of things is exhausting. Neighbor drives me. Being so ill and not eating have been hard on this old body. When I was younger fasting a few days with continuing my daily routine was no big deal.
    Most days Im eating 1 1/2 cups volumn once or twice a day. If I eat 1/2- 3/4 a cup of fruit or cottage cheese and diced fresh tomato sometimes I can do that much a second time in the day. Most meats or chunky soups with meat are nearly impossible to swallow. Can’t eat a meat sandwich. Not sure why meat is so hard to eat. I can eat. Half of a 3 egg omelet with a few veggies in it. Husband will gladly eat what I can’t, added to his meal. Milk goes down ok but 12 oz is still the limit to what I can hold. Then I’m miserable if I go past that.
    I’ll be loosing more weight as I get more active if I can’t eat more or a better variety. To a point that’s not a bad thing. For now I’m keeping a soft old recliner company most of the time so reduced calorie intake is ok. I’m slowly getting more active but just a little at a time.
    If I were starting from healthy and reducing calories so drastically if would be hard to keep up needed activities for survival.

    Reply to this comment
    • left coast chuck July 21, 18:55

      Clergylady: I am really sorry to hear about your ill health. I wish you a speedy recovery.

      Reply to this comment
    • Rick July 22, 00:37

      Clergylady, I’m sorry to hear of your illness. I notice you mention that when you were healthy you could fast without trouble. But your illness now is a different thing than merely fasting. There is something wrong and your body is trying to deal with it. And it is true in such situation your body is telling you to stop activity so it can focus on healing you. Obviously I am not saying that people would find it easy to do a constant workout while fasting for 40 days. But it is true that all the people I have known who have fastest with water only for 40 days were able to do regular work. Some people set apart time for spiritual focus during that time. And it is also true that people’s mental clarity is much better at such times. The problem here is that people don’t know from experience what they are talking about. Mere guessing. At least you have shared your exact facts which we can appreciate. But your last line is only you guessing. I suppose it depends on how much activity. And again, the first line of the above article did not say needing to keep up with extreme survival activities. People only assume that. I did not respond to that kind of statement, because a universal statement was made that said people can’t survival after 3 weeks of no food. And that statement as made is false and everyone knows it. I simply asked for it to be corrected. Maybe tone it down and say something like, it would probably be hard to go without food for three weeks while doing the P90X working constantly day and night! Anyway, people need the truth, not to be scared into thinking they are going to die. We have enough to worry about in our day of violence and who knows what coming to be misinformed like this.

      Reply to this comment
      • Jeff July 23, 22:18

        Ok Rick…..you win. You’re “smart”. Let it go please.

        Reply to this comment
      • Tomk August 6, 16:42

        This sweet elderly lady is telling us how sick she is and you have to make it all about you. OK! We all agree! Einstein was an idiot compare to you. All hail professor Rick. The ultimate authority on all things. Now please go away.

        Reply to this comment
    • Grammyprepper July 22, 02:44

      Clergylady, sorry to hear you are ill. Prayers for you. Hope you are better soon!

      Reply to this comment
  8. Arwen in NJ July 22, 06:22

    “Freeze drying food is not something that the average homeowner can accomplish without specialized equipment.”

    This is true as far as it goes, but home freeze drying equipment is not out of the reach of a lot of average homeowners. You can get a home freeze dryer for less than $3,000 (Home Depot carries them) . Tons of videos on YouTube and there are several Facebook groups for people who are doing home freeze-drying. It’s probably the best way to put up food for long-term storage. Commercial freeze dried food is frequently loaded with too much salt and is very expensive to boot.

    Reply to this comment
    • StormRaven July 26, 14:55

      Rice Storage Tip: to my knowledge ALL rice is infested with rice moth eggs. If left unmolested for a time they will hatch and you’ll find yourself with a bag full of rice and tiny moths. A very simple way to avoid this is to just toss your freshly purchased bag of rice in the freezer for week and the eggs will perish. You can then go ahead with the usual steps for long term storage. This works with other grains as well and requires little extra effort.

      If worse comes to worse, all indications are that these moths as well as their eggs, larvae and “webs” are safe for human consumption. So you needn’t necessarily throw contaminated stores away.

      Reply to this comment
      • Rebecca July 27, 20:39

        How long would it take for them to hatch? I’ve got bags of rice that are fine after months…

        Reply to this comment
        • john-atlanta February 19, 14:23

          From my experience six months or so. I usually freeze all my goods, including sugar, then wrap in plastic bags, and tape.

          I do have an impulse sealer too.

          Reply to this comment
      • Tomk August 6, 16:49

        I remember my wife throwing dry ice in the buckets of wheat, putting the lids on loose for a while, then pushing them on tight. Haven’t checked that wheat for about two or three years, but the last bucket I used was still good.

        Reply to this comment
  9. Jeff July 23, 22:22

    I used to enjoy this site but the bloviating in the comment section is wearing thin. There is nothing worse to me than a person taking 10 minutes to tell a two minute story.

    Just my humble opinion.

    Reply to this comment
  10. john-atlanta February 19, 14:19

    Reasonable discussion ends in a comment section when the replies end up being longer then the article itself.

    So, I better stock up on medicine for diarrhea of the mouth, so I do not bore people to death in a like manner myself, before lack of food does it to the golden horde when SHTF. 😀

    Reply to this comment
View comments

Write a comment