Basic Emergency Food Storage Principles

From an evening power outage to the weeks of turmoil following a major natural disaster like a hurricane or earthquake, the world has a habit of occasionally playing havoc with our daily routine. From the inconvenient to the catastrophic, it’s always a smart idea to have an emergency food storage at the ready in case the unexpected does befall you. And anchoring those supplies must be an adequate reserve of food and water—the absolute fundamentals.

Fortunately, Mountain House makes stocking emergency rations easy. Our meals boast the longest proven shelf life on the market—and, best of all, they taste absolutely delicious! Survival fare, as it turns out, can be both nutritious and lip-smacking—at least when it comes from a company with a half-century reputation as a leader in the freeze-dried food industry. (It’s no surprise many of our customers reach for Mountain House cans and pouches for everyday at-home dinners, not just for camping trips or survival stockpiles. From the kitchen to the backwoods, from routine evenings to disaster zones, Mountain House always delivers!)

Let’s run down some of the best long-term food-storage tips so you’re ready to hunker down when the next contingency comes knocking at the door.

food storage

How Much to Store

A recent blogpost of ours spelled out the calculations you’ll want to consider when deciding how much emergency food you should be stockpiling. Factors include the size of your family, the caloric requirements of each individual, and any special dietary needs.

The general rule of thumb when it comes to disaster preparedness is to have what you need to get by for at least 72 hours, but, naturally, larger supplies give you more security in the event things take much longer to get back to normal.

Our Mountain House Just In Case…® emergency food supply kits come partitioned in two-, three-, four-, five-, and 14-day amounts, which makes assembling reserves a breeze. You can use our handy-dandy Emergency Food Supply Calculator (available on our Emergency Preparedness page) to estimate how many of what size kits to purchase for different intervals and numbers of people.

Don’t Forget Cooking Water

When estimating how much water to include in your emergency supplies, be sure to factor in what you’ll need for cooking (including for those Mountain House delicacies!). And remember: Besides stockpiling bottled water, it’s a good idea to equip yourself with the means to purify water in case you need to rely on questionable sources.

Emergency Food Storage Containers

A supply of emergency rations doesn’t do much good if it’s improperly stored. Here’s another of the many pluses of Mountain House: Between our waterproof pouches, vacuum-sealed Pro-Paks®, airtight and sturdy #10 cans, buckets, and kits, our containers are ideal for maintaining an emergency food supply for the long term.

Place other ingredients such as rice, cereal, sugar, spices, and the like in resealable containers (a screw-top jar, for instance) to preserve freshness and keep out insects, rodents, and other pests. Wrap perishable nibbles such as crackers in plastic bags and keep those in a resealable container, too.

Label all your containers with the date you restocked the supply so you’ve got a yardstick for gauging your food’s level of freshness.

Where to Store Long-Term Emergency Rations

You want to make sure any long-term food supplies stay sheltered from moisture, high temperatures, and direct sunlight. Cool, dry, dark—that’s the best sort of setting for your emergency rations.

Figuring Out What To Use When

Let’s say your power goes out for an extended period. How should you prioritize your rations?

Eat what’s most vulnerable to spoilage first, namely those perishables in your refrigerator and on the pantry shelves. As the USDA notes, an unopened fridge can maintain foods such as eggs and meat at a safely frosty temperature (at or below 40 degrees Fahrenheit) for four hours or so. Freezer items should be next on your list: A properly insulated and completely full freezer that isn’t opened can keep items safe for some two days (less if it’s only partly full). As long as a food item still contains ice crystals, it normally should be OK to eat—and it can be refrozen.

Try to minimize opening the fridge and freezer doors to preserve as much of their cold as you can. A good strategy is to keep a regularly updated list of stored items taped to your freezer so you know what’s in there and where: That cuts down on costly rummaging time. If electricity’s not looking to come back on board for some time, the USDA recommends sticking block or dry ice inside the refrigerator.

Once you’ve worked through your perishables, move on to those items with longer shelf lives. A simple and effective way to arrange non-perishables by their expiration date (whether indicated by a “use-by” label on a package or the date you filled a container) is to keep older items in front, newer ones in back. That way you’re reaching first for the foods that need to be eaten soonest.

Mountain House meals don’t have any competitors in the emergency-food department in terms of shelf life—not with our 30 Year Taste Guarantee! A manufacture or ‘Best Used By” date of a given product can be found on its packaging. Refer to the information on our website to determine the specific shelf life.

Keeping Tabs on Your Stockpile

Periodically inspect your food stores to make sure they’re in good condition. Discard expired items, containers that have been punctured, swollen or rusted cans, and any foods that smell or look spoiled. Don’t take risks with foodborne illnesses.

Assessing Flood Damage

If floodwaters breach your emergency food supply, you should get rid of any items that might have come into contact with them. As the USDA explains, you can still use all-metal cans and retort pouches if they weren’t damaged or otherwise compromised by floodwaters: You should take off their labels (which can foster microbes), wash the cans or pouches with soap and water, rinse them with potable water, and then sanitize them using either boiling water or a bleach solution.

Whether you’re outfitting a 72-hour bag or a bomb shelter—or you’re just looking to spice up your pantry options—turn to Mountain House, your go-to source for the highest-quality, best-tasting, and longest-lasting freeze-dried food around!

5 Inspiring Camping Pics to Get You Outside!

We view the outdoors as sacred places of exploration and adventure, and we’re pretty sure you do, too. Our meals fuel this adventure, and we want to provide some more fuel for you: 5 pictures to inspire you to pack your packs and hit the trail.

All these images are from our contests on The Dyrt, one for Illinois and one for Wisconsin. Anyone who’s ever camped in these two states can enter our contests by submitting campsites reviews to Submitting a review automatically enters you to win a contest, and at the same time you’re helping us make camping even better. Winners each receive a 5-Day Food Kit, and September is the last month of our contests!

Because these images are all user-submitted, that means they’re from real people just like you and me. They have dedicated their summers to exploring the outdoors from their campsites. Here’s to following in their footsteps!


Daniel B. and his trusty pup making the most of Big Bay Town Park, WI. Dogs are explorers by nature. Follow their energy, channel their spirit–use whatever mantra you need in order to adopt their free will to roam. Read his campsite review here.

Devils Lake

The Dyrt user Brandon C. pointing far off into the distance of Devils Lake State Park, WI. All good explorers point into the distance from time to time. Read his campsite review here.

Big Bay Wisconsin

Daniel B. exploring Big Bay Town Park, WI by canoe. Exploring by boat is uniquely rewarding, as it allows you access to much more terrain than would be feasible by land alone. Read his campsite review here.

Hennepin Canal

Matt S. exploring the grounds and bridges of Hennepin Canal Parkway State Park, IL. Finding structures new and old is one of the many joys of exploring state parks. Read his campsite review here.

Leah P. showing us how post-exploration relaxation should look from her campsite at Coon Creek, IL. Hammocks and canopies will make you feel transported to a forested world apart from our own. Not a bad way to end the day! Read her campsite review here.

Leah P. showing us how post-exploration relaxation should look from her campsite at Coon Creek, IL. Hammocks and canopies will make you feel transported to a forested world apart from our own. Not a bad way to end the day! Read her campsite review here.

There are a million reasons to spend more time outside. We hope these 5 help tip the bucket and inspire you to get out there!

How To Be An Urban Prepper

In the developed world of the 21st century, it can be all too easy to forget how quickly the comforts and systems we’re used to can go out the window: All it takes is a bad storm or a major power outage. You may be well-versed in the 1,2,3’s of wilderness survival, but the idea of having to apply some similar tools and techniques as an urban prepper may be a new one.

In this article, we’ll explore the concept of urban survival and what it takes to be an urban prepper.

urban prepper

Urban Survival

There are plenty of scenarios that might disrupt the normal and predictable routines of everyday city life. While our imaginations might gravitate toward visions of disease outbreaks and terrorist attacks—or the odd zombie apocalypse—extreme weather events are a more likely situation. Tornadoes, hurricanes, floods, severe thunderstorms, blizzards: The atmosphere can wreak real mayhem, and in the wake of one of its outbursts you may find yourself stranded in a devastated neighborhood, marooned by floodwaters, or simply contending with a widespread, long-lasting power outage or a contaminated public water supply.

Similar calamities can also occur via earthquake, tsunami, wildfire, and any number of other natural disasters. Because many such natural disasters are difficult to predict, and because one kind or another can strike just about anywhere, preparing in advance is the first step in reducing your vulnerability.

You might have only a few days’ advance warning about a hurricane making landfall, and if you wait until then to stockpile provisions you might be facing long lines at the grocery store and gas stations—not to mention picked-over shelves.

In this hyper-connected day and age, abrupt emergencies might also arise from a cyberattack (or, less dramatically, a system malfunction) that disrupts, for instance, a region’s transportation or power grid.

The Urban Prepper

A person might decide to become an urban prepper for any number of reasons, and there’s no question some have more dire outlooks than others. But being prepared for the unexpected—wherever you live—is sound, rational, and potentially lifesaving.

Imagine an unforeseen catastrophe occurs: a tornado detours through your subdivision, an unexpected shift in winds means you need to quickly evacuate ahead of a blaze. In such situations, you may not have the time or the ability to assemble what you need to stay safe and comfortable for some unknown length of time—however long it takes for things to get back to “normal.” And you shouldn’t assume rescue workers will quickly come knocking at your door (or tracking down your stranded vehicle): Depending on the circumstances, they may have their hands full, and transportation corridors may be blocked.

Self-reliance and forethought are called for. If you’ve readied yourself for a disaster—even if, of course, you didn’t know what form it might take—you’ll hopefully have emergency supplies at hand and a preplanned emergency protocol to follow.

You may never have to use the urban survival gear you acquire or the urban survival skills you cultivate—hopefully you won’t! But urban prepping gives you the peace-of-mind of knowing you’ve got a game plan—and some practical tools—if disaster does strike.

The Basics

A basic emergency kit, as the Federal Emergency Management Agency notes, should provide the supplies you need to get by for at least 72 hours, and ideally longer.

We’re talking at least a three-day share of non-perishable food and water (a gallon per person per day), with larger reserves all the better. Here at Mountain House, we offer a selection of kits and buckets, including our three-, five-, and 14-day “Just in Case” emergency food supplies ideal for an emergency kit. (Don’t forget: Our products have the industry’s longest shelf life, which is backed by our 30 year Taste Guarantee!)

You’ll also want items such as a first-aid kit, a battery-operated or (better yet) hand-crank radio, multiple flashlights, backup batteries, a cell phone with a charging system (or two), a whistle, and materials such as plastic sheeting for making an emergency shelter.

It’s also a good idea to include blankets and warm clothing, copies of critical documents, some cash money or traveler’s checks, and household chlorine bleach (which can be used to disinfect both wounds and water). If you use prescription medication or you wear glasses or contact lenses, keep backups of these in your emergency kit as well.

And don’t forget Fido and Whiskers! If you have pets, they need their own emergency kits, too (including their own stockpiles of water).

Urban Survival Training: Practice Makes Perfect

It’s one thing to have assembled the urban survival equipment necessary for a comprehensive emergency kit. But that’s not all that urban survival demands: You also want to define a plan of action, and make sure that everyone in your household’s familiar with it.

This means mapping out an evacuation route in your house, ensuring everyone knows how (and when) to shut off utilities, and practicing putting these kinds of measures to use through emergency drills. Occasionally running the family through a simulated disaster response might seem like overkill, but if an actual disaster occurs, you’ll be thankful for the game plan you established—and that were able to refine through trial-and-error—in calmer moments.

The same idea applies to workplaces, schools, and anywhere else you or a family member spends a lot of time: Familiarize yourself with that location’s particular emergency-response protocol, and make sure everybody in the family has the contact info for every pertinent location.

Bug-Out & Get-Home Bags

There’s plenty of lingo connected to modern-day urban prepping, and some of it refers to variations on the standard emergency kit. You may have heard about “bug-out bags,” for instance, also known as “72-hour bags” among several other monikers. Bug-out bags are meant to include items to sustain you while you evacuate from a disaster zone to a safe retreat (a “bug-out location”). Given such havens might be in the backcountry, bug-out bags typically include many of the same items an experienced wilderness traveler carries, such as fire-starting and water-purifying materials, in addition to tools for “living off the land,” such as fishhooks. (Some Mountain House freeze-dried meals would come in handy, too!)

And then there’s the urban “get-home bag,” a survival kit specifically designed to help you return home if an emergency or disaster catches you away—say, at work. Many people, after all, spend most of their waking hours on the road, at an office, or in a classroom. A get-home bag’ll typically be smaller and lighter than a bug-out bag—weight’s at a premium, after all, when you’re trying to get yourself home as quickly as you can—and might include items such as tennis shoes (for comfortably walking or running blocks or miles of city streets, not to mention hopping fences and other obstacles) and a detailed city map. Once home, you might determine you’re secure enough to hunker down there (what some call a “bug-in” scenario); or, if conditions are dicey, you might reach for that bug-out bag of yours and light for safer territory.

Both kinds of survival kits are meant to be catered to your personal situation. A bug-out bag will look differently depending on the sort of place you live: The tools and supplies for bugging-out in a swamp forest, for instance, won’t be exactly the same as those a desert dweller would depend upon. And a get-home bag will reflect the specifics of your workplace (or wherever you spend most of your time outside the house), including—naturally—how far from home it is.

Building Confidence

It’s all too easy to go overboard when it comes to urban prepping, both in terms of scaring yourself silly with apocalyptic visions and in terms of amassing too much equipment (or impractical stuff for downright outlandish scenarios). But remember: Readying yourself for emergencies of even the most mundane sort is actually an exercise in building confidence, in feeling calmer and more secure in your day-to-day life. Life’s unpredictable, but some simple preparations and straightforward provisioning can go a long way to helping you sleep a bit more soundly!

Up a Tree: A New View on Outdoor Recreation

Here at Mountain House we keep a keen eye open for stories to share with our community, particularly those that encourage folks to get outside and explore. And wonderfully, people are doing just that! From hiking the PCT, to summiting mountains, to discovering natural wonders in our own backyards, outdoor recreation seems to be at an all-time high. Great news, right? Well yes. But … we’re also keeping an eye open for other stories, too. Because as more and more people get outside and turn little-known areas into popular “must-see” experiences, there’s a risk that some ecologically-sensitive areas could be “loved to death.” So we want to highlight a different story, and encourage you to consider experiences that instead, love these special places to life.

Kelli Martinelli, one of our team members, recently had the opportunity to experience a cool new way to get outside here in Oregon. Her goal was to take a trip up to the top of an old growth tree, and if possible, spend the night up in its branches.  Thanks to Opal Creek Ancient Forest Center and Expedition Old Growth, Kelli got the adventure she was seeking, and then some.  She writes about the conversation she shared with her EOG tree guides while up in the canopy:

“… we discussed the language that trees share with each other. There is an unmistakable communication system, not so different from human neural and social networks. As an example, one tree in a grove could be under attack by an invasive bug. As the bug chomps on leaves, the tree releases volatile organic compounds into the air. The other trees detect these airborne stress signals and ramp up their production of a chemical defense mechanism in response, warding off attack. Makes it easy to wonder, are there signals being sent out to us that we simply haven’t been sufficiently aware in order to receive them?”

From Rejuvenation to Recreation

The Opal Creek Wilderness is the most recently protected wilderness area here in Oregon, thanks to the folks behind the Opal Creek Ancient Forest Center. Through their efforts they have been able to conserve 35,000 acres of old growth, protecting this vital watershed and ecologically diverse gem. They now concentrate most of their conservation efforts through programming offered at the rejuvenated mining outpost in Jawbone Flats, from outdoor schools, to wilderness medicine certification programs, and even private cabin rentals in the midst of old growth Douglas Fir, Western Cedar and Hemlock. Lots of people head to Jawbone Flats during the warmer months, taking advantage of the cool swimming spots and cliff-jumping opportunities. And while those activities are certainly fun, just think about the richer experience of doing something that integrates recreation with education and conservation, so that those swim spots and big trees will continue to be around for future generations.

Gear and safety check with Damien Carré of Expedition Old Growth.

Gear and safety check with Damien Carré of Expedition Old Growth. Photo credit Uncage the Soul Productions.

No Monkeying Around. Climb With an Expert.

Expedition Old Growth partnered with Opal Creek Ancient Forest Center to offer an immersive tree-climbing/camping experience. Damien Carré, owner-operator of EOG, has been up inside trees for 17 years, possessing the technical skill to ascend and descend safely, while minimizing the impact on the trees and surrounding forest. Interested in ascending a tree in your neck of the woods? Find a guide! Expedition Old Growth, for instance, provides experienced catered climbing excursions in Oregon and Washington.

Enjoying a 360 degree view of an Oregon treasure.

Enjoying a 360 degree view of an Oregon treasure. Photo credit Uncage the Soul Productions.

Remember taking field trips as a kid? Sure there was fun in heading to the zoo (again) or to the local paper mill (maybe), but we just bet the memories that stuck around had more to do with the expert guides and the hands-on education than just the place itself. Kelli writes,

“While I can’t speak for anyone’s experience except my own, I cannot imagine you’ll return to roots-level without a newfound understanding of this breathtaking symbiosis. I’m still dizzy with elation over the experience and am challenged to reinterpret my own relationship with trees, no longer seeing them as a “renewable resource” or even “friends” — but instead as wondrous, mysterious neighbors in whom I can trust, and for whom I will strive to be worthy of theirs.”


So we want to hear from you. What gems have you discovered in your own backyard that have offered you an experience where you were able to play — and learn — all at the same time?

You can read Kelli’s full account here, Asleep in the Arms of Ancients. And yes, she did get the chance to have her overnight in a treetop. Not only that, she brought Cheesecake Bites. Because she could.


Help Us Make Camping More Accessible + Win Cool Stuff!


For us at Mountain House, this past summer has been marked by an effort to make camping even better than it already is. What could make it better? Accessibility! Finding new places to camp and explore without having to trudge through the murky reeds of the internet to get there.

We partnered with The Dyrt, an online platform for campsite reviews, to give away $8,000 worth of Mountain House in exchange for authentic campground reviews from real campers. The results so far have been incredible. As of September 1st, we’ve given away $6,000 of our summer prizes. But what’s truly invaluable is the way you all have improved the process of finding a campground by submitting your past experiences to The Dyrt (and entering the contest).

Wisconsin camper Daniel B. submitted his canoe-camping review of Big Bay Town Park, WI to The Dyrt as part of our contest.

Wisconsin camper Daniel B. submitted his canoe-camping review of Big Bay Town Park, WI to The Dyrt as part of our contest.


Finding campsites online can be a pain, and by submitting your reviews you’re helping alleviate that pain. You’re also being entered to win a slice of our $8,000 pie.

Here’s how our contest works:

  • Review campsites in one of our two contests, Illinois or Wisconsin.
  • You get points for your review. The more you review, the higher up the leaderboard you go.
  • At the end of the month, the top 10 reviewers in each state with the most useful reviews each win a 5-Day Food Kit.

June, July, and August each had their own winners. Looking ahead, September’s contest starts fresh with a clear leaderboard. It’s also your last chance to win.

If you’ve ever camped or if you camp in Illinois or Wisconsin by the end of the month, you could win 5 days worth of Mountain House just for helping us make camping even better.

Check out some of our excited winners so far:



PS – You can also get in on some prizes if you’ve never camped in Illinois or Wisconsin–it just won’t be Mountain House coming to your door. See the nationwide contest here:

Emergency Food Supplies: What to Buy and How to Store It

Stocking up on a supply of emergency food isn’t just a fascination of the prepping community. Even as society evolves, the demand for emergency food remains. From power outages to those nights you simply just don’t have the energy to cook, a supply of instant meals can help give you peace of mind no matter what.

Of course, everyone’s needs are different. In order to determine what kind of food you need to include in your emergency food supply, you’ll need to ask yourself a few basic questions. Determining the answers to these questions will make shopping and planning a whole lot easier in the long run.

How Much Food Do You Need?

In order to determine how much food you need, you first need to figure out what exactly you’re planning for. Are you planning for a heavy storm? Unexpected overnight guests? The great unknown?

Once you determine what purpose your emergency food will serve, ask yourself the following questions in order to calculate how much food you’ll need:

  • How many people am I feeding?
  • Do I need to consider special nutrition or health concerns such as diabetes or food allergies?
  • How long should my food supply last?
  • Do I need any special equipment for preparation of food?
  • Do I have access to water and electricity? If so, is that access limited?

These are only a few of the questions you’ll need to ask yourself to ensure a successful emergency preparedness plan. For instance, it doesn’t do any good to have a 25-pound bag of dry beans without access to water, heat, or a container in which to cook them. You’ll want to buy food that makes sense for your specific situation.

Plan Your Calories

Another main factor to consider is calories, also known as your energy intake. How many calories you need is dependent on your metabolism and how long you plan on needing a food supply.

When planning your daily calorie intake, a good place to start is by using a calorie calculator. The results give you a range that is based on age, height, weight, and activity level. Go with the most calories, and then add an extra 500-700 calories to your daily calorie intake goal. It may seem unnecessary, however in cases where you’d have to do extra work or exercise (like manual labor, additional walking, etc.), you’ll need more calories to meet your needs. Also, if you need to ration supplies, having extra calories makes rationing a lot easier.

Planning For Your Family Size

Use the following formulas to determine how much food your family needs:

  • One person = calories per day X number of days food supply should last
  • Family = total calories per day X number of days food supplies should last

Mountain House offers food kits in 2- to 14-day supplies. In fact, kits are broken down in 2-day, 3-day, 4-day and 5-day supplies to cater to a variety of needs. By purchasing the correct amount of food for your specific needs, you can rest assured you’ll be prepared no matter what.

Planning For the Long Term

The same rules apply when it comes to long-term emergency preparedness. Simply multiply the calorie needs per day into week-long segments and then determine how long you want your food supply to extend. People actively plan for three months, six months, or even for an entire year.

Planning for long-term needs requires a little more planning than planning food for a 14-day period. One consideration is shelf life, which may be shorter than you think for certain emergency foods. Home-packaged foods such as dried fruit, for example, typically must be used within six months of dehydrating. Most store-bought canned meat and uncooked instant cereals typically expire after about a year on the shelf. The nice thing about these products is that they have an expiration date on their packaging, so you’ll always be aware of how long you have left to use your supply.

Conversely, Mountain House products are designed specifically for emergencies that may not arise until well into the future. An emergency food kit and all our products have a Taste Guarantee of 30 years. If you’re planning for the long term, use quality foods that are made to go the distance. Food storage and shelf life are dependent on the type of food you’d buy and how it’s stored.

A Note On Water

The only thing that’s more essential than nutrient-rich food is water. Not only do you need water for hydration, but it’s also essential for making most of our delicious, ready-to-eat meals. The general rule is to keep a supply of one gallon of water on hand per person per day.

Like food, bottled water has a use-by date — therefore it needs to be rotated with your food supply. For long-term solutions, a water purification kit can be helpful, especially in cases where clean water is not always readily available.

Cost of Emergency Food

At first glance, emergency food can seem expensive. What you’re paying for is safety, nutrition, and value — all of which will deliver when you need it most.

Despite the cost, your food supply can be affordable. It’s a good idea to buy in bulk because the cost per meal is less than if you were to buy one meal at a time. You can also mix cheaper foods with premium options to extend your food supply without breaking the bank.

Another way to make buying emergency food a bit easier is to add its cost into your budget. Setting aside windfalls such as your tax return for buying more food is also a great way to ensure you’re always prepared without feeling like you have to shell out too much cash.

Types of Food

There are various types of emergency food available from Mountain House. From meaty choices like Beef Stew to vegetarian options like Pasta Primavera, you’ll find a wide assortment of products that not only provide you the necessary energy to get through anything, but taste great as well.

To kickstart your day, our Just in Case…® Breakfast Bucket provides favorites like Scrambled Eggs with Bacon, Breakfast Skillet, and Granola with Milk & Blueberries. Each meal is balanced for nutrition, calories, carbs, and flavor. Lunch and dinner kits are also available and include meals such as Chili Mac with Beef or Beef Stroganoff with Noodles

After a long day, there’s nothing more rewarding than indulging in something sweet. Our desserts and treats include delicious options like Raspberry Crumble and New York Style Cheesecake Bites to satisfy your sweet tooth.

Reliable Food, Any Time

The benefit of buying emergency food from Mountain House is that it’s designed specifically for long-term storage. This means all of our products are packaged to help you save space and reduce the chance of spoilage, thanks to a tightly sealed and waterproof design.

Pouches offer waterproof packaging that fits easily into daily meal planning. For longer rationing or when feeding more people, our #10 Cans provide a 30-year shelf life and the convenience of individual food items in a larger portion size.

Kits or multi-day kits are perfect for planning meals for a specific number of days and people. A bucket kit provides a lot of food in an environmentally safe container to ensure you’re always ready to eat.

Food Storage Best Practices

There are several methods that work well to extend the shelf life of your supply. The best way is to use each meal and replace as you go. Set a rotation schedule that matches the shelf life of your food. That may be every six months for home packaged dried fruit or every two years, 12 years, or 30 years for specially packaged emergency foods. The rotation depends on the food and its container type.

Here are some other things to keep in mind when storing food for the long term:

  • Emergency food should be stored in a dry, dark, and cool area.
  • Many food storage systems use a right-to-left method of storage. Food that expires quickly goes on the right, while foods that have a longer shelf life go on the far left. This method is even more effective if food is also arranged front to back — in other worse, foods that expire first sit front and right, while foods that expire last sit back and left.


Emergency food doesn’t merely exist to tantalize your tastebuds. It’s also designed to meet your daily dietary requirements both for nutrition and caloric intake. High-quality food supplies should be packaged by calorie-load, not by serving size. Because you’ll typically burn more calories than usual, it’s more important that during emergency situations you meet your caloric intake goals rather than eating the correct portion size.

Before You Buy

We suggest that before you go ahead and purchase a bunch of product from us, order a single serving of emergency food to try out first. You’ll want to make sure that it’s delicious and that you’ll be able to stand eating it for days on end.

Other Food Items You Should Buy

In addition to emergency meals, you should keep the rest of your food supply well-stocked. Include the things that you need to make meals easy, nutritious, and delicious.

  • Coffee, cocoa, and tea
  • Rice
  • Spices
  • Condiments
  • Sugar
  • Vitamins and supplements
  • Water (bottled or purified)

As you plan for emergencies, consider the benefit of Mountain House’s freeze-dried meals. We offer nutritionally balanced food that you’d actually want to eat that can be readily made no matter the situation.

Clean Water is Critical. Introducing Survivor Filter.

There are some times that call for taking risks. Safe drinking water should never be one of them. And whether you’re out in the woods on a backcountry trek, building a preparedness kit for your car, or loading up a bug out bag with the essentials, a reliable water filter is a must-have.

Our friends at Survivor Filter® have become especially known for their unbeatable filtration abilities, backed up by their Independent North American Lab Test Results, as well extensive field usage by users in every continent. Today Survivor Filter® has grown into one of the most trusted names in Portable Water Filtration in the USA.

We recently took the Survivor Filter® and the PRO-LE into the woods on a backcountry excursion to do some field testing of our own. The original Survivor Filter® is used like a straw, submerge it directly into the water source and drink up, or, attach it to a plastic water bottle or one of their Collapsible Canteens. A shallow (and fairly murky stream) turned into clear and delicious drinking water thanks to the 3-part filtration system of the Survivor Filter®. (You can geek out on the details here.)

Survivor Filter

The Survivor Filter PRO-LE is a lightweight, compact, and easy-to use pump. Just submerge the pre-filter end into your water source, clip the outflow/external filter to the provided cup or reusable water bottle, and pump. When done, wrap it up in the convenient carry case.

Survivor Filter PRO-LE

Survivor Filter® was founded on the realization that water scarcity is the largest security threat influencing conflict and development throughout the world. The company was born to address the global water scarcity crisis by giving people the tools they needed to access Clean Water anywhere on the planet.

In support of National Emergency Preparedness Month and clean water for all, we’ve partnered up with Survivor Filter® to offer you the chance to win a Survivor Filter® of your own, plus a Mountain House Just in Case…® Emergency Food Supply Kit. Enter below.

Plus, our water-savvy friends are giving an exclusive deal for Mountain House friends. Save 15% on a Survivor Filter® order with code MTNHOUSE. The discount is applicable on as well as The offer is valid until October 31, 2016.

Survivor Filter and Mountain House Kit Giveaway

Our #MyAdventureMeal Contest Winners!

Wow. You guys do some really cool things in beautiful places. And we have photo evidence that tells us you really know how to eat well outside. Kudos to everyone who submitted their photos and videos to our #MyAdventureMeal summer contest. From where we sit in Albany, OR, we had a great view of everything from SUP-side dining, to picnicking in Havasupai, to a toddler’s first taste of Mountain House on a camping trip! Good stuff, folks. Thank you for sharing. Thank you for supporting each other in the voting process. And thanks for celebrating adventure with us all summer long.

Alrighty, our vote-determined winners are …..

Grand Prize – Heather Miller

We're not sure where she's headed, but with a picnic basket like that, we're coming with!

We’re not sure where she’s headed, but with a picnic basket like that, we’re coming with!

2nd Place – MaryBeth Patrick (featuring her daughter, Maddison Lockhart)

This little adventurer worked hard to reach out to her community to help support her photo in this contest, " ... walking all over Boulder asking people to vote for her photo of her favorite Mountain House product (Napoleon Ice Cream)! Its been such a great learning experience for her and I couldn't be more proud as her father. For that I am deeply grateful to you all for having this contest and encouraging everyone to get out there." ~ proud papa

This little adventurer worked hard to reach out to her community to help support her photo in this contest, ” … walking all over Boulder asking people to vote for her photo of her favorite Mountain House product (Napoleon Ice Cream)! Its been such a great learning experience for her and I couldn’t be more proud as her father. For that I am deeply grateful to you all for having this contest and encouraging everyone to get out there.” ~ proud papa, Travis Lockhart

3rd Place – Jacky Chan

Nothing says lightweight and delicious like a floating Adventure Meal against a stunning mountain range. (note - this wasn't photoshopped, it's just a super cool trick! Try it at home, kids!)

Nothing says lightweight and delicious like floating Chili Mac against a stunning mountain range. (note – this wasn’t photoshopped, it’s just a super cool trick! Try it at home, kids!)

And our runners up …
These folks each receive $100 gift voucher to load up on all their favorite Mountain House meals!

Photo by Sam Mauldin

Photo by Sam Mauldin

photo by Austin Johnson

photo by Austin Johnson

Photo by Kenzie Farrell

Photo by Kenzie Farrell

Photo by John White

Photo by John White

Photo by Dave Traub

Photo by Dave Traub

Sweet Deal at Sam’s Club!

THIS JUST IN! The Mountain House Classic Bucket is on sale at participating Sam’s Club Stores for $59.91! That’s $30 off the regular price of $89.99! The Classic Bucket includes 2 pouches each of fan favorite meals, including Beef Stroganoff, Chicken Teriyaki, Beef Stew, Lasagna w/ Meat Sauce, Noodles & Chicken, and Granola w/ Blueberries. Offer ends Labor Day or while supplies last.

This deal is active at the following stores, but please be advised that inventory levels may vary, so please call your store ahead of time before making a special trip.

SC Store # City State Store Zip Code
4829 GILBERT AZ 85295
4830 AVONDALE AZ 85323
4927 CHANDLER AZ 85286
4955 SURPRISE AZ 85374
6241 SCOTTSDALE AZ 85260
6604 FLAGSTAFF AZ 86001
6605 GILBERT AZ 85234
6606 PHOENIX AZ 85037
6692 TUCSON AZ 85704
4704 FRESNO CA 93720
4709 CORONA CA 92881
4735 LA HABRA CA 90631
4767 PALMDALE CA 93551
4822 MURRIETA CA 92563
6235 SAN DIEGO CA 92115
6378 RIVERSIDE CA 92507
6405 YUBA CITY CA 95993
6433 VACAVILLE CA 95687
6610 CHINO CA 91710
6612 CONCORD CA 94520
6614 EL MONTE CA 91731
6620 FOLSOM CA 95630
6621 ROSEVILLE CA 95678
6622 SACRAMENTO CA 95828
6623 SACRAMENTO CA 95821
6625 SAN FERNANDO CA 91340
6627 STANTON CA 90680
6628 TORRANCE CA 90505
4745 THORNTON CO 80229
4777 DENVER CO 80238
4816 AURORA CO 80016
4987 LONGMONT CO 80501
6549 PUEBLO CO 81008
6630 ARVADA CO 80002
6631 AURORA CO 80012
6632 DENVER CO 80209
6633 FORT COLLINS CO 80525
6634 LONE TREE CO 80124
6635 LITTLETON CO 80123
8147 LOVELAND CO 80537
8272 FOUNTAIN CO 80906
6345 IDAHO FALLS ID 83404
6333 BANGOR ME 4401
6462 AUGUSTA ME 4330
6320 HERMANTOWN MN 55811
6427 ROCHESTER MN 55901
4805 BILLINGS MT 59101
6379 GREAT FALLS MT 59404
4933 BISMARCK ND 58504
4784 LAS CRUCES NM 88011
4961 ROSWELL NM 88201
6347 FARMINGTON NM 87402
6408 SANTA FE NM 87507
4768 RENO NV 89509
4983 LAS VEGAS NV 89113
6382 LAS VEGAS NV 89117
8177 LAS VEGAS NV 89120
6423 MIDDLETOWN NY 10941
6440 LATHAM NY 12110
6547 MUNCY PA 17756
6575 PITTSBURGH PA 15275
6678 PITTSBURGH PA 15237
8175 HARRISBURG PA 17111
6565 RAPID CITY SD 57701
4718 SOUTH JORDAN UT 84095
4730 WEST JORDAN UT 84084
4786 LOGAN UT 84341
6682 LAYTON UT 84041
6683 MURRAY UT 84107
6684 RIVERDALE UT 84405
6685 PROVO UT 84601
6686 SALT LAKE CITY UT 84115
4729 STERLING VA 20166
6458 LYNCHBURG VA 24502
4835 RENTON WA 98057
6687 SEATTLE WA 98133
6688 AUBURN WA 98001
8189 CLARKSBURG WV 26301
6425 CASPER WY 82609
6430 CHEYENNE WY 82009

Just Add Water: Your Favorite Swimming Spots

Summer’s still here folks. And it’s hot out, am I right? So let’s go swimming! We asked our community on Instagram to share with us some of your favorite places to strip down, jump in, and cool off. Here’s a taste of some of the sweet swimming spots you shared with us. Let’s dive in.

(click on the photo credit in the captions to go to the original Instagram post)

"The best swimming spot I've ever been to in California - Grass Valley, Yuba River." ~ @martinjphoto

“The best swimming spot I’ve ever been to in California – Grass Valley, Yuba River.” ~ @martinjphoto


“Freezing tropical-blue water, a magical little waterfall… this swimming hole couldn’t be more perfect if it tried. You’ll find this special spot in the foothills of the Appalachian Mountains in northern Virginia (and this isn’t the only waterfall you’ll find!)”. ~ @jessfischer9

"Crater Lake has to be the coolest (and one of the coldest) places I've ever swum. Oregon is amazing!" ~ @twosmallpotatoes

“Crater Lake has to be the coolest (and one of the coldest) places I’ve ever swum. Oregon is amazing!” ~ @twosmallpotatoes

"The icy water enveloped our bodies as we hurled ourselves into the frigid glacier run-off. Sheer panic took over and I was already moving towards the shore before I had even come up for air. We were in and out of the water so fast, I could barely process what had just happened, and we were all suffering from serious brain freeze. As the sun warmed us back up, the shock began to fade, and the water started calling to us once more." ~ @mrsdaniellephillips

“The icy water enveloped our bodies as we hurled ourselves into the frigid glacier run-off. Sheer panic took over and I was already moving towards the shore before I had even come up for air. We were in and out of the water so fast, I could barely process what had just happened, and we were all suffering from serious brain freeze. As the sun warmed us back up, the shock began to fade, and the water started calling to us once more.” ~ (Colchuck Lake/The Enchantments)  @mrsdaniellephillips

"Sketchy rope swings are a must." ~ (the dam at Ingram, TX) @leahlemmons

“Sketchy rope swings are a must.” ~ (the dam at Ingram, TX) @leahlemmons

"The art of flight." (Smith River, Northern California) ~ @masonjturner

“The art of flight.” (Smith River, Northern California) ~ @masonjturner

"Frost on the ground, and glaciers on the mountains are not reasons to keep us out of the water!" (Chilliwack Lake) ~ @the_wandering_willow

“Frost on the ground, and glaciers on the mountains are not reasons to keep us out of the water!” (Chilliwack Lake) ~ @the_wandering_willow

"Perfect spiral at Havasupai." ~ @pars3c

“Perfect spiral at Havasupai.” ~ @pars3c

Benedict Pond, Beartown State Forest, Appalachian Trail. ~ @ibeyprofin

Benedict Pond, Beartown State Forest, Appalachian Trail. ~ @ibeyprofin