How Often Should You Replace Food And Water In Your Survival Kit?


I have gotten asked the question “How often should I replace my survival kit?” many times. So the reality is that it comes down to a few factors. The most important between food and water would be water first.


A good rule of thumb when it comes to water storage is to change it every 6 months to a year. Food on the other hand will depend on its expiration date and the type of food being stored.



Does Water Go Bad When Stored?


In, reality water dosen’t expire like food items do. It can become contaminated but there is no expiration date. Water can also be cleaned as well. So yes you should change out your water, but is dosen’t have to be the case if you keep your water clean. 


Food Replacement


In an emergency situation, you want your survival kit ready to go. Your food should last a lot longer than your water when it comes to replacement. That’s if you bought food items with long shelf lives. Such as items like canned goods or dehydrated meals, then your survival kit will be ready to go.


How Often To Replace Food


How often should you replace your survival food?


So, when it comes to how often should you replace your survival food I recommend a few tips. The first one would be how much of your food is made to last more than a few months? Things like rice, powdered meat/eggs, canned goods, or dehydrated products.


If you bought things that spoil in months then you will need to replace things all the time. I say for someone who has done proper survival food storage/prepping I would say every 3- 5 years.

Replacing Water Every Six Months


There are many opinions when it comes to water storage, which creates alot of conflicting information. Some people will say every six months and others for years. Its my opinion that having fresh water is better. That being said, if you keep your water clean and maintain your water then there is no expiration date. You can also treat your water if you see signs of bacteria growth. 


But I think the best way to approach this is by focusing on replacing stored water every six months. This is a good idea so that you always know your water is ready in a pinch. If SHTF and things go south you want that peace of mind! It really comes down to personal preference.


Do I think it can last longer? Yes, most definitely! If you keep your water clean and treat it can! 


Storage For Survival Kit


If you’re storing your survival kit or anything else for that matter, it should be done in a cool, dry place with no sunlight. This is important because if you do not store your survival kit correctly you are doing yourself an injustice.


It would be a shame to have everything ready to go, to only find out later that everything has spoiled. So when storing anything such as food or water, store it correctly. This means putting your water and food in a cool, dry, and sunlight-free place.


Fresh Supplies


You should not need to replace items all the time. It’s important to keep your supplies fresh. When food products start expiring it’s time to buy new ones, such as new cans of tuna for example.


Don’t forget to check your expiration dates on canned goods, boxed goods, and other dry goods that you store in your pantry.




The best way to keep your food storage fresh is to buy new supplies over time, instead of all at once.

When one item is soon to go bad, I eat it. Then buy a replacement. This way you don’t have to by everything all in one go every few years.


But slowly and little by little. You will find a balance between older supplies and fresher supplies. It’s the easiest way I keep my food storage always fresh.


Label Items And Organization


Do you know what’s good about labeling items that are for long-term survival storage? You can tell when it’s time to replace them.


That’s right, if you don’t label them, you won’t know when things are going bad. Yes, there is an expiration date but knowing exactly when you bought them is key. It saves alot of time from having to look for the expiration date every time.


Instead, having an easy-to-read label tells you everything you need to know right away.


Easy Readable Labels


If you don’t know when things are going bad, how will you ever know to replace them? Well, hopefully by not smelling them or seeing pests as a result. But really, you’re better off labeling them so that you can tell when it’s time for a replacement.


So let’s say you have a few cans of beans in your pantry that need to be replaced soon (because they’re getting old). If you don’t label them, how will you know which ones need to be thrown out? You’ll have to open each one and smell it (or worse yet, taste it). Just cause something has expired doesn’t mean it’s bad to eat. (not in all cases)


But if those cans were labeled with “August 2024”, then as soon as August 2024 rolls around and your beans still look good, then… well… they’re still good!


Your Environment


You’ve probably heard that your environment will play a major factor in how often you need to change your survival kit. If you live in a colder region, the need for changing your survival kit could be less than in a hot climate.


But what does this mean? Well, the key here is temperature. If you’re living in an area where temperatures are consistently over 90 degrees Fahrenheit, then you’re going to have more of a need to replace items like water. I know this is because water will evaporate faster and more frequently in these conditions.


You should have a good idea for answering the question “How Often Should You Replace Food And Water In Your Survival Kit?”


Overall, it is important to keep your survival kit in a cool, dry place with no sunlight in order to keep your supplies fresh. You should gradually buy new items over time so that you always have fresh supplies on hand, and be sure to label everything so that you know when it needs to be replaced.


Your environment will also play a role in how often you need to change your survival kit, with hotter climates requiring more frequent changes than colder ones.


Stay Safe!

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