Your Survival Food’s Worst Enemies… and the Best Way to Defeat Them

I would be the last person on Earth to tell you not to stockpile survival food for an emergency. Well, maybe the second to last. Frank would be last.

But I would be one of the first to tell you how important it is to store it properly. I can’t imagine how awful I would feel if I had spent years and a significant amount of cash on survival food… only to discover it had gone bad when I needed it most. 

Non-perishable food with a long shelf life could end up being what saves our lives someday. And our families’ lives. At the very least, even if we never touch it, it would bring us peace of mind we can’t put a price on.

But what some people forget is how crucial it is to make sure their food is packaged and stored properly. It’s no exaggeration to say that food has enemies. Their goal is to destroy your survival food before you can eat it. 

Food storage enemies

  • Air. We need it to breathe, but the vast majority of foods don’t. In fact, the more oxygen food is exposed to, the shorter its shelf life will be.
  • Humidity. Moisture is another adversary of food. This is what sets up food for bacterial growth.
  • Heat. This is another dangerous opponent of food. It’s essential to keep survival food in a cool place. The storage temperature for most food should be between 40 and 70 degrees Fahrenheit.
  • Light. Even when it contains little in the way of heat, light can deplete the vitamin content of food. As Simon & Garfunkel sang, “Hello darkness, my old friend.”
  • Pests. You want a strong, airtight container to keep mice, furry creatures and insects out of your survival food.

Food packaging options

Speaking of food containers, let’s take a look at some of the more popular ones and determine whether they’re good at combating food’s enemies.

Food-Grade Buckets. This is one of the better ways to store food. These buckets come in gallon sizes (and even five-gallon), so they hold a lot of food. Look for buckets with gamma lids, which form a more airtight seal. They are sturdy even when banged around.

Boxes and cans are fine for short-term food needs. But you can’t count on them for long-term storage. They are too easily damaged.

Glass jars. Some people like to keep certain foods such as grains in glass jars. They certainly look nice. But unless you live in an area of the country that never experiences earthquakes or extreme storms, that might not be the best idea. Glass breaks easily. Also, you need to keep those glass jars away from light. 

Plastic containers are inexpensive and easy to use. And pretty much unbreakable. After you’ve filled the container, place plastic wrap over the opening before putting the cap back on. The downsides are that plastic can leach into food. And humidity is not well regulated. Pests have been known to chew through plastic. 

Mylar pouches. Not only is it vital to keep air and moisture out. You also want a durable package that can take a few bumps over the years without bursting. Look for sealed Mylar pouches with less than 2% oxygen content. This is your best choice. 

More storage strategies

Another strategy for preserving your survival food stockpile is placement. Keep older supplies near the front of your stockpile so they don’t expire before you use them. Place newer items toward the back. 

And keep everything off the floor where a flood could destroy it. Avoid outdoor sheds, attics and garages. All of them can get too hot. Bathrooms and laundry rooms are often too humid. Basements and underneath beds are usually your best bets. 

If you have an option for a secondary location for your survival food, use it. This could be anything from a summer home to a self-storage unit. If a disaster destroys your stockpile at home, you’ll have another supply waiting for you. 

As to how much survival food you’ll need, it’s a personal choice. FEMA says at least a three-day supply. But we’ve seen far too many emergencies last well beyond 72 hours. Aim for a week, then build up to a month, three months and longer.  

You can’t go wrong with this 3-Month Kit

Here at 4Patriots, we strive to give you peace of mind, knowing that when disaster strikes you won’t have to worry about your food spoiling. Regardless of how much you have. That’s why we use Mylar packaging with all our survival foods.

Our 3-Month Survival Food Kit comes in two water-resistant, stackable totes. Inside, each food item uses top-of-the-line Mylar pouches – the same material used in NASA's space suits – to keep air, moisture and light out. So your food stays fresh.

This is military-grade, sturdy stuff that stands up to the crazy things that occur during an emergency.

And this is the perfect time to purchase our 3-Month Kit because it’s in stock. It’s bigger and better than ever. With tons of variety. This is the “done-for-you” solution to your survival food needs. 

Designed to last 25 years, this Kit features 688 family-favorite servings for breakfast, lunch and dinner. 

Plus free gifts including a 72-Hour Survival Food Kit and a Meal Planning and Recipe Guide, free shipping, and a 100% satisfaction guarantee.

Here’s how to get yours… 


  • Darlene Harff - April 02, 2024


  • Emily Sandstrom - May 01, 2022

    A spare bedroom whose heat can be turned down to fifty Fahrenheit or so, with folding steel shelves installed, is perfect: cool, dark, no extra humidity. A dehumidifier if you live in a wet area. If the room is large enough, it can still be a bedroom.

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