6 Best Survival Storage Containers: Keep Your Food and Water Safe | Build a Stash

When you are trying to find the best survival storage containers to keep your food and water safety, there are certain ones that definitely stand out.

Finding the right containers can sometimes be tricky. There are a ton of options on the market, but not all will prove to be the best option for food storage or for water. Some could even damage your food supply or contaminate your water if used incorrectly.

The 6 Best Storage Containers that will keep your food and water safe are:

  • Bay Tec 55-Gallon Drum
  • Bestand Store 5-Gallon Bucket
  • AquaBrick Emergency Storage Containers
  • Luvan Plastic Storage Containers
  • Van Ness 25-Pound Food Container
  • Prilux Mylar Bags

Anyone who has lived through a natural disaster, pandemic, or other emergency knows that having access to nutritious food and clean water is vitally important. Taking the time (and spending the money) to store your food and water properly is a key part of an emergency plan, but if you don’t know which containers are going to be best, you’ll end up wasting all that time and money on containers that will prove to be useless and maybe even ruin your stockpile at the same time.

I love homesteading and have a decent supply of food and water available if and when my family and I are ever involved in an event that makes it difficult for us to get our hands on freshwater or decent sources of food. I’ve spent a significant amount of time researching and testing the various types of storage and am excited to share my findings with you.

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6 Best Survival Storage Containers: Keep Your Food and Water Safe

In order to store food and/or water properly, you will need to be willing to invest in the appropriate storage containers.

These can vary greatly in size and cost, but there are certain things you’ll definitely want to look for.

Most importantly, find containers that seal tight and are lined with materials that won’t leak any sort of chemicals or solvents if they are exposed to extreme temperatures.

This is particularly important if you live in a hot climate, you end up without power (thus air conditioning) for a period of time, or you have to store your food and water somewhere where the temperatures are not always consistent and fluctuate a great deal.

You also want to make sure that whatever containers you end up purchasing are rodent and pest-proof. There are few things more disappointing and stressful than going to access a container of food that is meant for an emergency and you find out that a mouse has been enjoying your food before you. In an emergency, this can be a terrible thing to discover too late.

Another important thing to think about is how frequently you are going to need to access the containers and how much storage space you have.

Think about how frequently you want to get to your supplies and how much space you have before you purchase anything.

Some people will fill their storage containers with the intent to not open them again until a true crisis happens. For these people, it may make sense to stack containers, because they won’t need to access them very often.

Other people like using storage containers as a way to buy foods in bulk, then continue to use the food inside on a regular basis. For these individuals, having containers that are easy to access, move around, and refill is going to be much more of a priority for them.

Finally, some people really prioritize the aesthetics of their containers and storage space, or the cost involved in purchasing the containers. If either (or both) of these are factors for you, consider these when you are deciding what type of containers to buy.

Let’s look at what I consider to be the top six containers for keeping your food and water safe and find out which ones are going to work best for you, depending on your storage needs, frequency of access, and personal budget.

1. The Bay Tec 55-Gallon Drum

Let’s start with the big guy, shall we?

Perhaps one of the best storage containers available is one that can store food or water, depending on what your needs are.

This storage container is no joke. A 55-gallon drum, like the Bay Tech model will allow for serious storage needs, and can hold anything from fresh water, to bulk foods like rice, wheat flour, or pasta.

You’ll want to make sure you wash out and disinfect the inside of the barrel before the first use.

Though these containers are manufactured to be safe for food and water usage, there is always the concern that certain interior solvents could be compromised during the shipping process.

Using warm water and a little bit of bleach, place both in the drum and roll it around so all sides are covered. When finished, rinse the barrel and allow it to fully dry before filling it with whatever food source or liquid you wish to store.

Drums like the Bay Tech one are fantastic ways to store large quantities of something and not worry about pests or rodents being able to get inside. It is also nearly impossible for your items to leak out or come into contact with other elements.

Drums are also bulky and need a fair amount of space. You can stack them on top of each other, but doing this (as well as undoing it) can be a challenge, depending on what is inside and how many people you have helping you.

(An example: A 55-gallon drum filled with water is going to weigh more than 400 pounds!)

That said, when serious storage is your priority, having 55-gallon drums like the Bay Tech models is going to give you the peace of mind you are looking for in your food and liquid storage.

The Bay Tec 55-gallon drums sell for over $200 each, but are worth the cost if this is the kind of storage you are looking for.

2. Bestand Store 5-Gallon Bucket

If you are looking for a storage container that has similar properties to a 55-gallon drum, but don’t need that much storage, or don’t have that much space or money to spend, purchasing a set of 5-gallon buckets, like the Bestand Store 5-Gallon Buckets is a great alternative.

These storage containers have many of the same benefits as the 55-gallon buckets.

Being made out of a strong plastic means that these buckets are easy to handle, reasonable in price, and will stand up against the various elements around your home, especially if an emergency results in excessive rain, heat, or wind. They are also durable and almost disaster-proof since they can take quite a beating and still protect the integrity of the food or water inside.

As with the 55-gallon drums above, it is a good idea to wash out and disinfect the buckets before you fill them with whatever food item or liquid you are wanting to store. As I shared above, this can easily be done with a mixture of a ½ cup of bleach, then filling the rest of the bucket up to the top with warm water.

One of the great advantages to 5-gallon buckets over 55-gallon drums is their size. It’s much easier to move a bucket, even when it’s full of something heavy, than it is to move a 55-gallon drum, even when its contents is light.

A 5-gallon bucket weighs about one pound, but when it’s completely full of water, it weighs right at 42 pounds. This is significantly different than the 55-gallon drum that weighs over 400 pounds when filled with water!

A bucket that weighs 42 pounds is still a bit challenging to move. That said, it can be done, and 5-gallon buckets are also much easier to store, given their compact size and ability to sit on a shelf, be stacked in a corner, or stored underneath something else.

As with the 55-gallon buckets, make sure you properly open and close the lid, to ensure no damage happens. And, you’ll want to check and make sure that seal is tight, so no critters take advantage of your stockpile before you can.

The Bestand Store 5-gallon buckets sell for less than $60 for a set of six, making them a very reasonably priced way to store your food and water.

3. AquaBrick Emergency Storage Containers

The AquaBrick Emergency Storage Containers are a big favorite with those who need to store large amounts of food and water, and the reason why is clear once you see the design of these containers.

These bright blue containers lay flat and stack on top of each other easily. There is a handle on both the side and top, so carrying them in either position is super simple. Each container can hold three pounds of water, or 20 pounds of food.

The AquaBrick Emergency Storage Container is sold as a set of six, so how you decide to use each one will be completely up to you. Each set also comes with a spigot that you can attach to the closing valve, allowing you to access the contents inside without having to open up the entire container, especially when you are storing liquid, or something that can flow out easily.

As with the other storage containers on my list, it’s a good idea to wash out the AquaBrick before you use it the first time. You will also want to make sure that the spigot is fully closed when not in use, to avoid leakage, or uninvited guests from sneaking their way inside.

Another big benefit to the AquaBrick is that it is more aesthetically pleasing than a lot of the other containers, given the fact that it stacks so neatly and is a nice color.

For a set of six, the AquaBrick will cost you around $185, which works out to about $30 per storage container, a very good deal, considering how well they work.

4. Luvan Plastic Storage Containers

There are tons of plastic storage containers on the market, but these by Luvan are a wonderful and appealing addition to any storage unit or pantry, when you are looking for containers that will keep your food safe.

When someone is thinking of survival storage, they may only be focusing on large containers that can handle some serious bulk. But what about the items you want to have on hand that you don’t necessarily need 50 pounds of?

The Luvan Plastic Storage Containers take that concept into consideration with their set of 15 pieces that come in a variety of sizes.

These containers are great for things like baking soda and baking flour (the smaller size), salt and pepper (the medium size), and cornstarch or brown sugar (the largest size.)

Some of these ingredients are not ones you need a 55-gallon drum full, or even a 5-gallon bucket of. Having smaller containers, such as the ones offered in this Luvan set, are going to be ideal to store these sorts of items.

Though the Luvan plastic containers aren’t ideal for large amounts of water storage, you could use them for other types of liquid, like sauces, oils, or syrups…things you would like to have on hand in an emergency, but don’t need in excess.

A superb feature of the Luvan storage containers is that they are not only a clear plastic, but they also have a place where you can easily label the inside contents. This is easily done with either the included piece of chalk, or a permanent marker can be used.

Another solid feature of these containers is that they are attractive and look tidy when stacked together on a pantry shelf or in your storage unit. And, since the plastic is clear, you will always be able to see the ingredients inside, which is useful if you are wondering how much you have left, or if you forget to write down when the item was put inside.

Another plus to the clear plastic is that there will be no surprise if the ingredients inside were to become compromised by either insects, rodents, or water damage. You will know right away if there is an issue and you can deal with it, before an actual emergency happens.

The Luvan containers sell for around $25, and you will get four small containers, four medium containers, four large containers, and one extra-tall container.

5. Van Ness 25-Pound Food Container

Another good option in plastic storage containers is the Van Ness 25-pound food container, which comes with an air-tight lid, like the Luvan containers, but is much larger and capable of handling bulk foods and keeping them fresh.

What I like about the Van Ness containers is that they come with wheels on the bottom, which allows for easy access and the ability to move them from a storage unit to inside a house, and then back again.

Imagine storing 25 pounds of rice in a storage container. It won’t be the most burdensome container to move, but it’s definitely one that isn’t going to be fun to carry around. Being able to roll this container will make a big difference.

The Van Ness containers come with an air-tight lid that will make it hard for pests or other items to get into your food. And, since the plastic is clear, you’ll always know what you put in each container and if your supply is starting to run low.

The Van Ness storage containers sell for around $15 each and are widely available at most storage stores and online.

6. Prilux Mylar Bags

Mylar bags have become a staple in most emergency food storage pantries and units, but these bags by Prilux are by far my favorite.

Anyone who is an avid fan of food storage knows that Mylar bags are a must-have item in order to keep your ingredients safe, fresh, and pest-free.

These Mylar bags come with the money-back guarantee that Prilux has always offered. They are also sold in a package of 100, and there are five different sizes in each package, from gallon size all the way down to snack size.

Mylar bags are made of a light-proof foil that will ensure the contents inside of them will never spoil due to excessive sunlight or heat.

They also have riveted bottoms, which means that each bag can stand on its own or be laid down to preserve space on a shelf.

This set by Prilux sells for less than $50 and can be reused as well, making the deal an even better one.

About THE AUTHOR

Mark Walker

Mark Walker

I have over a decade of experience in food and beverage management, including a ServSafe food safety qualification. As part of this qualification, I have been professionally trained in safe food storage.

Read More About Mark Walker