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The Survival Pantry: 15 Items That Last For Years

Updated on December 6, 2018

Survival Food Storage Basics

Foods purchased for long-term storage ideally should be stored in the original packaging for best results. When they are opened though, they need to be kept in airtight containers in a cool, dark place as soon as possible

This list of 15 consumables aren't going to last forever, but when stored properly, they can last long after most other foods have spoiled.

Honey

Pure honey is number one on the list because it will easily last for hundreds of years. It not only is a great survival food but can also be used as a survival antiseptic and antibacterial agent for dressing wounds. It will start to discolor and crystalize over time, but gently heat it and it will come right back and still be safe to consume.

Dried Beans Peas and Lentils

Dried beans, peas, and lentils are a good idea to stock up for any occasion. Not just in case of emergencies. They are inexpensive, and a great source of dietary fiber and protein.

Do not refrigerate or freeze dried beans, peas, or lentils. Doing this will expose them to moisture and cause them to spoil faster. Store them in a cool, dry place and they will be good for years.

White Rice

Brown rice simply won't work here. It has a high oil content that will go rancid after about a year of storage. White rice will last for several years though. Do not freeze or refrigerate it either because much like the beans, it introduces moisture and promotes spoilage. A cool, dry place in an airtight container is all it takes.

Sugar

Either brown or white sugar will store well. They both have properties like honey that give them the ability to last for a long, long time. All you have to do is keep pests like ants out of them and keep them in airtight containers. If they start to clump up just break them apart and they are good again.

Liquor

This should make some people very happy. Wine and liquor both will store for a lifetime if they are stored properly. Especially liquor. Make sure both are kept in dark, cool places, and they will be there when you need them.

Non Iodized Salt

Salt is an awesome preservative for the same reason that it will last for hundreds of years. It has no properties that promote bacterial growth. Just store it properly and break it apart if it starts to clump up.

Cornstarch

Cornstarch will last a quite a while if the same rinse and repeat storage methods are followed. No heat, no moisture, and limited light will let you store this thickener for all of your sauces and gravies.

Instant Drink Mixes

Powdered instant drink mixes and coffee will be a major comfort as time goes by. Just a spoon or packet dumped into a cup of water transforms it into something completely different. With proper storage, there's no telling how long they will last.

Pure Vanilla Extract

Vanilla extract can be refrigerated or stored at room temperature. Store-bought vanilla is very good, but if you want to make your own, soak s few vanilla beans in a pint of your favorite liquor for three weeks to a month. Just make sure that it isn't a cream liquor and it will store indefinitely.

Distilled White Vinegar

Other types of vinegar can be stored for a few years but none as long as white vinegar. As long as it is capped up when it isn't in use, you will have it to cook, clean, and garden with for a long time.

Baking Soda

After a year and a half to two years baking soda is most likely going to be useless to bake with. Even if it's stored properly. It will be worth it to keep around to regulate Ph levels in the garden and keep around for cleaning and deodorizing purposes though.

Maple Syrup

It doesn't matter if it's imitation maple syrup or the real thing. They will both keep in the pantry or in the refrigerator to add that extra little something to both sweet and savory meals for years.

Bullion and Bullion Cubes

Unless you buy them in jars or canisters with threaded tops, make sure that they get stored in airtight containers or they will not keep. They should stay in a cool, dry place and kept from being refrigerated or frozen.

Grains

If kept cool, and dry, grains like spelt, dry corn, wheat, and buckwheat can be kept in the pantry for as long as 15 years.

Powdered Milk

Okay, so it isn't a very good replacement for fresh milk, but they remove all of the fat from it and dehydrate it. This makes it able to be stored in a cool, dry place for 20 years.

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