Emergency Foods You Should Keep in Your Vehicle

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You never know when an emergency is going to occur. Maybe there is a natural disaster and you cannot go back home, maybe your car breaks down and you get stranded in the wilderness, or maybe something even worse happens.

The point is that no matter what the case, you always want to be well-prepared so you can survive any emergency that may occur. One of the most important things you will need is food. Without food and water, you won’t last very long. Keep in mind that when it comes to storing emergency foods in your vehicles, any food you choose is going to need to be able to last for a long time.

Foods with long shelf lives are necessary for car storage because it’s not like you will have refrigeration in your vehicle to keep foods cold or frozen. So, what are some of the best emergency foods you should keep in your vehicle?

Water + Purification

This first one is technically not food, but that said, water is still extremely important to have on hand for any emergency situation that may arise.

The human body can survive without food for around 2 weeks, but can go without water for only a few days. Moreover, you may need water to cook foods, to clean wounds, and for other purposes. Therefore, having a few gallons of bottled water is important or a water purification tool.

Another good idea is to carry water purification tablets. This way, even if you run out of water, if you find a source, at least you can purify it and make it safe to drink.

Energy and Protein Bars

Another great emergency food to keep in your vehicle are protein bars as well as energy bars. These bars are great because they tend to have long shelf lives, usually months or even years, plus they don’t need refrigeration.

Protein and energy bars are usually loaded with sugars, fats, carbs, proteins, and other sources of energy and nourishment. A single protein bar can easily satiate your hunger and keep you ticking, not to mention that they come in many different flavors and also don’t require cooking. Protein bars are small, dense, and nutritionally packed, and a single one can go a long way.


One of the best foods to keep in your vehicle for emergency situation is the MRE or Meal Ready to Eat. These come in many different varieties, more than we could list here today. You can find MREs from many different countries, which means that you have a variety to choose from, and you can find MREs for breakfast, lunch, and dinner.

These are simple bags or containers of foods, usually full meals, which can be eaten cold as is, or heated up.

Whether a bag of instant oatmeal, rice and beans, or beef stroganoff, MREs are some of the best emergency foods out there. After all, they are specifically designed for the military or emergency situations, to be eaten as is without cooking, and to have a very long shelf life.

Dried Fruits

Another type of food you may want to consider storing in your vehicle for emergency situations is a variety of dried fruits.

Dried fruits like raisins, prunes, figs, bananas, and other such fruits contain sugars, carbs, and they can contain some vitamins. In a pinch, you can survive for more than a few days on nothing more than dried fruits.

They’ll fill up your stomach, plus they have a very high caloric content. There’s also the fact that dried fruit has a long shelf life, thus making it a great emergency food for any situation. Of course, dried fruits don’t need to be cooked, yet another bonus.

Meat Jerky

Beef jerky, turkey jerky, and other dried meats should be considered as well. Dried meats like these have extremely long shelf lives, potentially years, and as long as they are kept dry, they don’t need any special kind of storage.

Not only does something like beef jerky taste great, but it is also loaded with proteins, and often lots of sugar too. Beef jerky might not be the healthiest food around, but it will fill up your stomach and provide you with energy.

Seeds and Nuts

Nuts and seeds are both great options for emergency food storage in your vehicle. Both nuts and seeds contain fiber, proteins, and fats, all of which you will need to keep your body going.

Nuts and seeds may not be super cheap to buy, but they do last for a very long time and are packed with nutrition. When properly stored, both of these foods can last for up to a full year.


Of course, candy is not a very healthy choice to go with, and it won’t provide you with much nutrition either, at least not when it comes to vitamins. However, candy does contain sugars and carbs — energy.

Candy of all sorts has a very high caloric content, and in an emergency situation where every calorie counts, candy comes in quite handy. Not only can it fill up your stomach and provide you with some short term energy, but it also tastes great and is comforting.

Canned Foods

Canned foods are a little trickier when it comes to vehicle storage, as with most canned foods, you will want to heat them up first. Sure, you can eat a cold can of ravioli no problem, but heating it up first will make it taste better.

Therefore, having some kind of heat source to cook or warm food is ideal to have in your car as well. Either way, canned foods have ridiculously long shelf lives, they are usually always cooked and ready to eat, and they are generally inexpensive.

Just be sure that you have a way to open the cans, either by having a can opener, or seeing that the cans have pull-tops.


There you have 8 of the best foods to store in your vehicle for an emergency situation. We have tried to select foods that have long shelf lives, have no special storage needs, need no or little preparation, and have enough nutrients and calories to keep you going in an emergency or survival situation.

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