You are here: Home > Complete Preparedness Library > Life Essentials - Food > Emergency Food Bars Can See You Through

Emergency Food Bars Can See You Through

There are plenty of approaches to an emergency food supply, either for use right at home during a disaster or other crisis, or when camping or hiking in the wilderness. Emergency food bars are also great to keep in your car’s emergency survival kit, just in case you run into trouble on the road – especially during the winter. Having a supply of emergency food bars on hand, among your regular survival food pantry can help to see you through a difficult situation. They can also serve as your primary emergency food supply, regardless of whatever else you may have in it. All of these bars have been designed so as not to make you thirsty, which is important in an emergency when access to water may be restricted.

What About Nutrition?

There are basically three brands of emergency ration bars: MayDay Bars, Mainstay Emergency Food Rations, and Datrex Emergency Food Bars. All of these products are available in different sizes to provide a range of daily caloric needs. Bars will generally range from 400 calories per bar up to 3600 calories. These bars will provide energy fast, which might be very important in an emergency. Besides their caloric value, the bars will provide some vitamins, and some of the bars, especially MayDay and Mainstay are vitamin fortified.MayDay and Datrexbars contain no nuts or nut products, and have been manufactured in equipment that do not process nuts at all, and so are safe to use by those who have nut allergies. However, you should realize that Mainstay bars are made with coconut, so will pose problems for those with allergies.


Although you generally will not be using any emergency bar for a long period of time, taste is important, and being able to stomach the food is important for keeping your energy up. MayDay Bars have a very nice apple-cinnamon flavor and are said to be well received even by children. Mainstay food bars have a lemon flavor and Datrex have a light lemon flavor as well. Datrex were thought to be rather bland in taste, something like a shortbread cookie. All these bars are fairly crumbly in texture and will have to be cut with a knife to produce smaller portions.


The beauty of emergency ration bars is that a whole day’s food is compressed into one brick. This makes it easy to store and easy to carry if you are camping or hiking. These bars have a shelf life of approximately five years, and are capable of remaining ‘good’ when exposed to extremes of temperatures. Temperatures of -20 F up to 150 F will generally produce no deterioration in the quality of any of the bars. These bars are excellent not only to supplement your survival pantry at home, or for use when in the wilderness, but will be perfect for keeping in your vehicle. Even after sitting in the hot sun for hours, these bars will still be usable.