How Long Do Survival Bars Last?

Survival bars may not be gourmet cuisine, but they certainly can be life-saving snacks during adventure trips and emergencies. The small bars are packed with calories to fuel the body to carry on and survive against all odds. But if you have a few unopened survival bars in your kit that’s been in there for a few years, you may be wondering if it’s time to replace them. How long do survival bars last if they are unopened?

Almost all Survival Bar foods are good to eat for at least five years. Modern preservatives and high-quality packaging, combined with quality ingredients, ensure that survival bars will last at least until the expiry date and possibly longer.

Survival bars are a unique food item designed specifically for use in emergency and survival situations. But there is more to these miracle energy bars than meets the eye. Several brands are commercially available, and being aware of the expiry dates can have significant safety implications. 

How Do Survival Bars Stay Fresh For So long?

Survival bars are not like ordinary candy bars. They are specifically manufactured to be highly nutritious and to last for a very long time.

Four Main Reasons Affecting How Long Survival Bars Stay Fresh For Such A Long Time:


Most survival bars are vacuum-packed in a mylar wrapper. Mylar is a tough transparent material made from polyester resin. The layer is then coated with a metalized silver foil impervious to air, heat, cold, dirt, and grime. This packaging protects the contents and ensures that they emerge from the sealed wrapper in perfect condition for at least five years.

Survival bars are either individually wrapped or purchased in bulk packs. A bulk pack option is a good option for Preppers because, in a disaster situation, it is likely that more units would be required.


Most survival bars do not contain added preservatives.  They select healthy, natural ingredients that don’t go off as quickly as most other food. Survival bars, therefore, have an advantage over other food recipes as they are produced specifically with maximum food longevity in mind.  


Manufacturers of survival bars are careful to avoid common allergy-causing food ingredients such as nuts. Survival bars are also gluten-free, non-GMO, and only contain the finest ingredients.

Survival bars are manufactured under very hygienic conditions to ensure that they are as clean as possible before packaging. Packaging an ultra-clean product ensures the bars don’t spoil before the expiry date.

Survival bars consist of vegetable extracts, flavorings, essential vitamins and minerals, and cane sugar-binding agents.  Most bars are dried or dehydrated during the manufacturing process. The removal of all moisture from the product takes place before the start of the packaging process. 

Storage Conditions

Many survival food manufacturers make elaborate claims of the bars being able to survive extreme temperature conditions. Common sense dictates that Survival Bars stored at room temperature will outlast ones stored in direct sunlight on the dash of your truck.

Most survival kits are stored in bunkers or storm shelters, a bag or container, placed in a safe yet easily accessible location, out of direct sunlight, which is pretty much ideal to ensure the survival bars last for years.

What’s In A Survival Bar?

Survival bars or Emergency food ration bars, as they’re also called, are energy-packed bars that consist of the following basic ingredients: Wheat Flour, palm vegetable fat, sugar, minerals, vitamins, and malted barley.

Various recipes exist containing different ingredients that affect the texture and taste of the bars. All have high-calorie content, which is what your body needs in a survival situation.

Modern preservatives and packaging techniques have extended the shelf life of survival bars significantly, ensuring that the Survival bars are perfectly safe for use for at least five years. 

Best Survival Food Bars For Emergencies

Below is a list of the most popular Survival food bars. These are usually available at outdoor supply stores and online on Amazon.

  • Ultimate Survival Technologies, Emergency Food Ration Bars
  • PROBAR Meal Bar
  • Nature’s Juice Bar, Emergency food bars
  • Freccia Rossa Market Millennium Food bars
  • Shield-Safety 3600 Calorie survival food
  • SOS Emergency food bars
  • Datrex Emergency Rations
  • ER Bar 

Do Survival Bars Expire?

Survival bars do expire, but they have incredibly long shelf lives. The FDA requires that all food products are labelled and provide an expiry date.  In the case of survival bare, it is usually five years from the date of production.

However, this doesn’t mean they won’t last much longer.  Many survival bar brands are still safe to eat after the expiry date has is reached.

Survival bars are specifically packaged and carefully sealed to ensure long shelf life. They are safe to eat after their expiry date has elapsed, provided the packaging isn’t swollen, or the bar itself is moldy.

In a serious survival situation, I wouldn’t worry too much about the expiry date if I needed food.  As long as the survival bar looked edible, I’d eat it.

Can You Eat Survival Bars Instead Of Candy?

You could, but survival bars don’t have the same delicious chocolaty taste or texture as candy bars. Survival bars of the past didn’t taste like much. They were pretty bland and purely functional. Their purpose was only to provide nutrition to keep you alive in an emergency.

Nowadays, the flavor of survival bars has improved as competition amongst manufacturers has increased. Some manufacturers even offer different flavored bars, but honestly, I still wouldn’t swap my favorite candy treat for a Survival bar.

One cautionary note; survival bars have very high-calorie content. Should you choose to become a regular survival bar consumer, you’d do well to have a good fitness regime in place to burn off some of those excess calories.


Survival bars emergency rations that are designed to last a long time. They have a standard expiry date of at least five years when unopened. They provide your body with a calorie-packed snack during an emergency or disaster situation when little or no other food is available. Modern survival bars use only be the best ingredients containing very few if any, perishable ingredients.


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