We live in an unpredictable world where anything can happen. Typically disasters strike with no warning, which can leave you stranded without the ability to make contact with the outside world. Emergency rescuers will arrive within a couple of days, but during that time, you need to make sure you’ve got enough food to keep you going. With that being said, here is a list of 20 foods that can last for 20 years.

1. Pemmican

Native Americans came up with pemmican before refrigerators were invented. Apparently, it can last for up to 50 years if stored in an airtight container in a cool, dark, location.

2. Hardtack

Hardtack has always been considered a staple survival food. Sailors, explorers, and soldiers always carry it. History records that it was used by ancient Romans and Egyptians. You will also hear hardtack referred to as dog biscuits, sea bread, and sea biscuits. The dense brick is made from water, flour, and salt. Ordinarily, you can add other ingredients to it, but if you want to keep hardtack for twenty years, water, flour, and salt is your best bet. Store it in a vacuum seal, or an airtight container, and then leave it in a cool dark place.


3. Dried Beans

Although they’re dry, you’ll need to store them properly to ensure the beans last for twenty years. If you plan on rinsing them, make sure they’re completely dry before transferring them into airtight bags. You’ll then need to put them into airtight containers, and leave them in a cool dark place.

4. Honey

History tells us that archaeologists discovered 3,000-year-old pots of honey in Egyptian pyramids, they ate it and survived! If they could eat 3,000-year-old honey, I doubt 20 years will do you much damage. Nevertheless, it will get hard, so if you do ever need to eat 20-year-old honey, heat it up first. Also, you need to make sure it’s raw honey.  

5. Pasta

Whether it’s lasagne, fettuccine, Marconi, or spaghetti, dried pasta will last for decades if stored in the right way. Since pasta is so cheap, and it makes a great foundation for any meal, I recommend buying as much as you can.

6. Dehydrated Carrots

Dehydrated carrots are a tasty ingredient to add to casseroles stews or soups. If you want to add them to pancakes, bread, soups, smoothies, or cakes, blend the dehydrated carrots in a coffee grinder to turn them into powder.

Dehydrated Carrots

7. Ramen Noodles

This quick snack probably wins the prize for the cheapest and quickest meal to make on the planet. Just soak them in some boiling water for a couple of minutes and you’re good to go. Ramen noodles will also last for twenty years even if you just leave them in the back of your cupboard.

8. White Rice

Rice is a universal popular food, most people have a bag of white rice in their pantry. It’s doesn’t cost much, and it’s extremely filling. Also, one of the main differences between brown and white rice is that brown rice doesn’t last as long, so don’t get confused by the two.

9. Salt

Not only will you need salt to season all that food you plan on storing, salt also has other uses such as food preservation, wound treatment, and sponge restoration.

10. Whole Wheat Grains

Whole wheat grains are not easy to come by. You can’t buy them from regular stores, you’ll need to seek out a company that sells emergency foods. Additionally, you’ll need a grain mill to turn it into flour. If you’re not keen on putting in a little extra effort, whole wheat grains are not ideal.

11. Vanilla Extract

If you plan on making treats such as ice cream, pancakes, and cookies during your bunk out, vanilla extract is the perfect ingredient for some extra flavor. But you’ll need to make sure it’s made from mostly alcohol to ensure it lasts for twenty years.

Vanilla Extract

12. Potato Flakes

Just add some hot water and you’ve got some delicious mashed potatoes to go with your veggies and gravy.

13. Tea

If the world does shut down, you’ll need a comforting hot drink to keep you going. As long as you keep tea bags dry, they’ll maintain their strong flavor.

14. Powdered Milk

In its original packaging, powdered milk only lasts for a couple of years. But if you transfer it into nitrogen cans, you can keep it for twenty years or more.

15. Corn-starch

This thickening agent is considered an immortal food. As long as it’s not exposed to heat or water, it will last forever. Additionally, make sure it’s stored in a cool dry place.


16. Sugar

If kept away from heat and moisture, sugar can last forever. It doesn’t matter what type of sugar you plan on storing, whether it’s a sugar substitute, powdered sugar, brown sugar, raw sugar, white sugar cubes or granulated sugar.

17. Maple Syrup

To last for twenty years, you’ll need to make sure maple syrup is 100 percent pure. Over time it will crystalize, but the flavor will remain the same. For long-term storage, transfer the maple syrup to an airtight container and freeze it.

18. Alcohol

Hard liquor will last indefinitely if it’s not opened. However, you’ll need to ensure the bottles are not exposed to intense heat, light, or extreme weather conditions.

19. Rolled Oats

Oatmeal is healthy, delicious, and filling. You can buy it from most major supermarkets. To ensure your rolled oats last for twenty years, store it in an airtight container in a cool, dark, and dry location.

20. Ghee

Regular butter won’t last for twenty years, but ghee is processed and the milk solids have been removed which means it can last for a lifetime (literally). Ghee is a good option for those with dairy intolerances.


How to Store Your Food

It’s important to note that the foods mentioned will only last for 20 years if they’re stored properly. If you leave them in the wrong environment, they’ll rot and decay like any other type of food.  Here are some tips to ensure these foods last for 20 years:

  • Areas such as attics, garages, and sheds are susceptible to bacteria; therefore, don’t store your foods in such places.
  • Mylar bags are excellent for food storage, they will keep pests, oxygen, and moisture out. Place an oxygen absorber packet in each bag, add the food, and then store the bags in a food-grade storage bucket and seal it.
  • When storing food in buckets, add a few bay leafs as they help keep insects, pests, and rodents away.
  • Store flour in a freezer for three days to kill any bacteria that are present, and then store it at room temperature.
  • Store food in a dark environment at room temperature (70 to 80 degrees Fahrenheit).
  • Don’t expose your food to natural sunlight or moisture because they are the right conditions for bacteria growth.

Final Thoughts

Now that you’ve got a substantial list of foods that will last for over twenty years, it’s time to go out and do some shopping. Remember, you don’t start preparing for a disaster when it happens, in most cases, that’s too late. Start preparing for one now.

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