Gear & Gadgets

5 Survival Food Storage Container Options

If you are choosing storage containers for your survival food, the last thing you want is to find your emergency food has gone bad because of improper storage containers! The subject of which containers are best for long-term food storage is really controversial. The only thing that people seem to agree on is that food storage containers really matter!

1. The Original Packaging

For foods like crackers and boxed dinners, storing them in their original packaging is the easiest option. So long as you are mindful of the expiration dates and rotating them, then they shouldn’t go bad. However, these packages weren’t meant to survive disasters like hurricanes and earthquakes. Pros: Easy, No special containers or equipment required. Cons: Not safe from rodents, insects, and other animals, Insect eggs inside may start to populate, Packaging can easily be broken/destroyed

2. Glass Jars

If you are buying foods like grains in bulk, one of the easiest ways to store them is in glass jars. You can even use the old jars from foods like pickles for storing these bulk foods. The first obvious problem with glass jars is that they will break during an emergency. Pros: Cheap and easy, Rodent proof, Can see contents within for easy rotation. Cons: Glass can easily break, Hard to get an air-tight seal

3. Plastic Containers

A cheap, easy way to store your bulk foods (grains, dry beans, etc.) is to put them in clean, emptied plastic bottles, such as from soda. Put a piece of plastic wrap over the top and then put the bottle cap on. Stored like this, your bulk foods should be (relatively) safe against insects, rodents, and flooding. Best of all, you don’t have to worry about the containers shattering during an earthquake. Pros: Cheap and easy, Shatter-proof, Can see contents for easy rotation, Decent protection against insects and rodents
Cons: Doesn’t fully protect against humidity and oxygen, Plastic may leach into foods

4. Food-Grade Buckets

5 gallon buckets are great for storing large amounts of food. If you get a gamma lid, then it will form an air-tight seal and the foods should be safe in there for about 5 years. Gallon buckets are also safe from rodents and insect infestations. Pros: Good protection against light, humidity, and air, Holds lots of food, Protects against insects and rodents, Not likely to break during a disaster
Cons: Have to buy the buckets or go looking for free ones, It can be difficult to rotate through the food, Lids can easily break if you open/close them frequently

5. Vacuum-Sealed Mylar Pouches

Note that a lot of companies sell what they call Mylar pouches, but not all Mylar pouches are of the same quality. When you get a good quality Mylar pouch though and vacuum seal it properly, then you’ll create an air-tight, oxygen-free environment where food can last for a very long time. Most types of survival food will be good in Mylar pouches for 3-5 years. Pros: Air-tight seal, Good for storing smaller quantities of food, Can rotate through the food easily. Cons: Can be easily damaged, Doesn’t protect against rodents or large animals, Need to purchase the pouches and sealing equipment

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