Do Survival Tablets Work? The Facts Explained

While freeze-dried food packets are the most widely known and commonly used form of survival provisions for hikers, backpackers, skiers, and other outdoor enthusiasts, their drawbacks such as requiring water can sometimes leave people feeling unsafe or unprepared.

Survival tablets are a great alternative to freeze-dried food packets because they work well in nearly all survival situations regardless of immediate access to fire or clean water.

 Whether you are tired of hauling the weight of unused freeze-dried packets or want to ensure your safety in an emergency situation during an upcoming outdoor adventure, consider giving survival tablets a try. To learn more about how they work and what they are made of, continue reading below.

All About Survival Tablets

Survival tablets are an alternative to freeze-dried foods for backpacking and emergency outdoor situations. They are made to replicate the body’s feeling of fullness while supplying the user the required amount of vitamins, minerals, and nutrients to prevent starving when typical food is not available.

Survival tablets are a useful addition to any outdoor pack or emergency kit because they are not only lightweight but also quite small. Sold in bottles of anywhere from around 100 to 300 pills, survival tablets can be individually packed into smaller vessels for practical usage.

One of the best benefits of survival tablets is their ability to store for long periods. With a shelf life of 25 years when kept dry and away from harsh elements, survival tablets are a cost-effective way to be prepared when venturing into the wild.

The Nutrition Value of Survival Tablets

Designed by scientists and chemists who have studied the body’s natural breakdown without food over time, survival tablets have been specifically engineered to replicate the health benefits of eating a regular meal.

This way, if someone is stranded and needs the energy to go search for help, they will not only be able to continue living without dying of starvation but also will have enough strength to hike, swim, or tread towards safety.

With a small individual packet of survival tablets containing 12 pills, this means that 12 survival tablets typically equate to one serving. While it might not sound delicious to eat your meals in pill form, when it comes to a survival situation, these tablets are often the most appealing and successful option.

Each serving of survival pills has the following when it comes to nutritional information:

  • 100% Vitamin E, Vitamin D, Vitamin A, Vitamin C, and Iron
  • 12 grams of fat, or 18% of the daily requirement
  • 240 calories per serving with 108 calories from fat
  • 30 grams of carbohydrates, considered 10% of the daily requirement

A single packet of survival tablets containing 12 individual pills is meant to keep a human adult alive for a guaranteed 24-hour long period. If required, the user can minimize rations in half and use them for 48 hours in difficult or extreme conditions. While they can be used longer by taking fewer pills per day, this is not suggested by the manufacturers, product labels, or distributing companies.

Survival Tablets

Total Tablet Ingredients

One of the biggest reasons that survival tablets work is due to their active food-like ingredients. Often made from real food-derived vitamins, minerals, and healthy fats, survival tablet companies are increasingly drawing their ingredients from organic and non-GMO food sources.

Not only are the new and consistently improved survival tablet ingredients easier to digest, but they sustain the body longer with slower absorption and digestion rates than less healthy alternatives such as preservative-filled dried food packets.

The main ingredients in survival tablets that cause them to be so effective in keeping their users alive and feeling stable include:

  • Calcium phosphate or various acids depending on the brand
  • Non-fat dry milk solids
  • Sugars and acids
  • Vegetable oil, sunflower oil, and safflower oil

 In addition to these important energy-producing ingredients, the best and most effective survival tablets also include Folic Acid as well as:

  • Acetate and Niacinamide
  • Cyanocobalamin
  • Vitamin E, Vitamin A, and Vitamin D3
  • Zinc or Potassium

Along with all of the important strength-producing ingredients and vitamins that can be found in survival tablets, companies have recently also been adding flavors like chocolate, strawberry, butterscotch, malt, and vanilla to make the crunching of the tablets much more pleasant and fulfilling than flavorless pills or simply swallowing them whole.

How to Properly Use Survival Tablets

The best way to properly use survival tablets for high-quality results is always to follow the instructions on the box, bottle, jar, or packet that you purchased them in. The survival tablets will also usually come with a small informational pamphlet to inform you on best practices for ensured survival when food and water are scarce or completely unavailable during an emergency.

Even though survival tablets can be swallowed whole, it is best to chew them thoroughly before swallowing. This breaks up and activates its ingredients while allowing them to be absorbed in the mouth and under the tongue before reaching the stomach for digestion. If you find the taste of the survival tablets intolerable despite their flavorings, you will want to wash them down with water if enough fresh and potable water is available on hand.


Whether you are a long road trip enthusiast who travels through deserts, mountain passes, and tough terrain, a skier going on long day runs, or a hiker and backpacker taking a trip through the backcountry, keeping survival tablets on hand is always a good idea.

Not only will they keep you alive in a difficult or dangerous situation when food is scarce or unavailable, but they will also give you enough energy to find help. With the quality life-saving ingredients in most survival tablets, you’ll have a better chance of getting yourself and others to safety when needed.