How to Buy Freeze Dried Food


Pop Quiz: What are the most important items to stock when preparing for the next emergency? By emergency, we mean a prolonged outage where you might be on your own, such as after a large earthquake, hurricane, tsunami, social unrest, or zombie’s attacking?

Many survival blogs and “preppers” will tell you the most important items are guns, knives, ammo and other weaponry… Wrong answer!


Food & water keep you alive!

Try going without food for 2 days!  Even if you have a gun or machete, *that won’t do you much good if there is no food to steal*.  And are you really going to kill your neighbor for food? What if he kills you in self-defense?

In the case of a prolonged emergency (e.g. Haitian earthquake, Egyptian riots, rural areas during Hurricane Katrina, the power grid going down for weeks), with food storage you can always trade for whatever else you need. Need medicines? Warm clothes?


Food is always *the most important* currency in a survival scenario!

With food, you can bargain.  What if someone tries to steal your food, you ask?  First of all, you do everything you can to stay out of that situation, but assuming you have to worry about defense, with lots of food, you can buy protection or form a local community.

How to Buy Freeze Dried Food

Whether you are buying supplies for a backpacking trip, or building up your food storage to prep for an emergency survival scenario, freeze dried food needs to be a part of your plan.

I’ve purchased, tasted, prepared, and mixed just about every freeze dried food product I’ve been able to buy online, from individual MRE’s to custom blends of Mountain House #10 and other cans. Here are my recommendations to help you find the right freeze dried food product for your needs, along with some tips for findings sales and saving money.

Buying Freeze Dried Food for Camping or Backpacking Meals

For backpacking or camping, most people focus on taste, portability, and ease of preparation. The AlpineAire freeze dried pouches and Mountain House freeze dried pouches are perfect for backpacking. The pouches themselves act as the cooking container and you simply have to add water and let sit for a few minutes. You can even eat the meal out of the pouch directly.

(Update 5/2/2011)

As you have may have seen, supplies of Mountain House freeze dried foods are almost out of stock EVERYWHERE. The links we’ve provided here have Mountain House currently in stock.

See this update on Mountain House and freeze dried food supply demand here.

Also see this comparison of Mountain House Alternatives.

Testing Different Freeze Dried Food Brands

Before committing to a large purchase of freeze dried food for survival or backpacking, you should purchase small pouches. Both Mountain House and AlpineAire are great selections not only because they are the most popular freeze dried food brands, but also because they offer small pouches to allow you to *test every flavor first!*

The most important reason to taste test in advance is to make sure you enjoy the flavor and have no problems with digestion or allergies. The freeze dried foods you can buy today taste MUCH better than what many have experienced in the past as the freeze drying technology has drastically improved over the last decade. Freeze dried foods today can be considered as meal replacements rather than emergency rations only.

The second reason you want to test taste your freeze dried food choices in advance is because there are so many different options in terms of flavors and brands. You want to find a brand that you love. My family and friends prefer Mountain House over the other brands, and I wholeheartedly recommend you start with Mountain House. One of the benefits of choosing to go with the market leader in Mountain House is that being the most popular brand, you have the widest selection of pre-made food choices at the best prices per serving.

Buying Freeze Dried for Emergency Survival Food

If you are prepping for an emergency survival scenario, you need to realistically define your goals. FEMA’s disaster planning guide stresses that you need to be self-sufficient for at least the first 72-hours. While this includes various emergency supplies such as first aid kits, flash lights, radios, and tools, the most important items in a 72-hour survival kit are food and water. Everyone should have a 72-hour kit. You can construct your own kit or purchase one of the popular on-line 72-hour kits. It is very important to make sure you have enough supplies for the size of your family!


The one big issue I have with most 72-hour kits is that the emergency food rations do not taste very good. In some cases, the rations make me thirsty and I’d rather not force myself to drink more water than necessary during a 72-hour emergency.


Emergency rations taste terrible, but today’s freeze dried foods taste amazing (better than the average Joe can cook!).

I think they taste better than frozen TV dinners!  So if you’ve never tried freeze dried food, don’t judge them by how bad those emergency rations taste!

Now if you are at a home during a 72-hour emergency, you likely have enough food such as canned goods, non-perishables, soups, cereals, granola bars, etc. to survive for 72-hours. If you are preparing for the case when you are not at home during an emergency, for example you travel a lot in the car and want to build an emergency kit for the car, then you will need to make sure you have adequate food and water. This is where I prefer buying freeze dried food and MRE’s to replace the food rations in most 72-hour kits. MRE’s are great for car kits because you do not have to worry about preparing your meals.

Want to learn more about building up your food storage stockpile?

similar articles


  • We all need to buy emergency supplies of freeze dried food. Look at what is happening in Libya. The word is that many people are hiding in their homes for fear of being shot if they fled, but they are running out of food. How long before FOOD becomes the super powder keg to an already dire situation?

    I don’t think I’ve seen a better example of the importance of being able to hunker down and SURVIVE during social unrest as we are seeing in Libya.

  • With the news about Japan (and Haiti, Chile and Indonesia before that), it has reinvigorated my resolve to build up my food storage!

Leave a Reply