The CLIF Bar Might Be The Best Energy Food Bar For Survival Kit

Recently I shopped around for some additional food bars to add with other foods in my 72-hour survival (emergency) kit that I keep in the truck.

The CLIF Bar looks (and tastes) to be one of the best energy bars to consider, and here’s why:

The calories in a single Crunch Peanut Butter CLIF Bar amounts to 260, making it a great choice for one’s survival kit or 72-hour kit. Enough calories are very important to any emergency-survival situation with regards to the food category.

It’s not something you would want to eat all the time, but these sure do provide a caloric and energy boost. Here’s the nutritional facts breakdown:

Calories 260
Calories from Fat 60
Sodium 230mg
Potassium 230mg
Toal Carb. 41g
Dietary Fiber 4g
Sugars 20g (lots, but it’s energy)
Protein 11g

CLIF BAR – Energy Bar – Chocolate Chip:
CLIF BAR – 12 Count

CLIF BAR – Energy Bar – White Chocolate Macadamia:
CLIF BAR – 12 Count

CLIF BAR – Energy Bar – Crunchy Peanut Butter:
CLIF BAR – 24 Count

Did I mention that they actually taste good?

The CLIF Bar is also a great add for hiking. Light weight, packed with energy and calories.

Their ‘best by’ date appears to be 1-year from manufacture. If you keep these in a hot car during the summer, be sure to rotate them at end of season so they won’t eventually spoil.

Impressively, the company is family and employee owned and are located in Emeryville, CA.

Note: I have also been a fan of DATREX food bars which I also keep in my 72-hour kit. They are different in that they are designed to be stored on lifeboats in vacuum-sealed packaging with a 5-year ‘best by’ date. They don’t taste as good (not bad though) but are also very calorie-dense. They are designed to minimize thirst afterwards too (important if you’re floating at sea on a lifeboat!). Here’s an article I wrote about them awhile ago:

Related article: DATREX Food Bar

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53 Comments

  1. Perhaps I came across it on this site, but here is my recipe for energy bars. My husband loves them, although he did ask for not quite so much honey. I score them before I put them into the fridge to harden.

    2 cups of rolled oats
    1 cup of flour
    1teaspoon of salt
    1 and a half cups of mini semi-sweet chocolate chips
    2 cups of nuts
    14 ounce can of sweetened condensed milk
    1 teaspoon of vanilla
    2 cups of peanut butter
    2/3 cups of water

    Mix and press into a large pan.

    1. @ Pieface

      Looks like a good recipe, but I’m not sure how well they will hold up in the GHB in the car. Looks like maybe these should remain refrigerated. Okay in the cooler weather but not with spring and summer around the corner.

    2. Oh my goodness. I just checked the recipe and it doesn’t call for honey. No wonder DH found them to sweet. I feel rather foolish.

      1. @ Pieface

        Hummmm, I’m wondering if your subconscious was telling ya that the Hubby needs to be a little sweeter??? :-) :-)

        NRP

    3. OK. Let’s say that when my husband told me they were too sweet, I assumed it was honey when it wasn’t. It would then have to be the sweetened condensed milk. Knowing my “I hate to waste ” mentality, I could have just put the whole can, scrapped clean, Into the mix and it was more than the recipe called for. I did the same with the chocolate chips. I hate to leave a little bit left in a package. This week I shall follow the recipe exactly.

      As for honey, my husband’s favorite recipe is pork cooked in equal amounts of melted butter and honey.

      Stay frosty.

  2. Good recommendation Ken…

    They make a new CLIF bar too that my fam loves

    CLIF nut butter filled organic

    Wal Mart carries them now and also Amazon

    They make peanut butter choc, hazel nut filled, a just peanut butter one, and I think a coconut one…

    These new ones (though smaller than the original CLIF bars) do not have soy protein isolate added (I think the original ones MAY not sure though), yet rather pea and brown rice protein added which was a huge selling point for us

    May you all have a healthy and strong day :)

  3. We also like the Clif bars. I have to be careful and get flavors that we are not crazy about, otherwise we tend to snack on them in the car.

  4. I Clif bars! They are my go to bar. I always have a couple in the car handy for snacking. There are also a few in my GHB, my mountain bike pack, and in the pocket of my ski coat. One thing I love about them is that even when “frozen” from being in the car in winter, they are still chewable, not rock hard. In summer, they don’t get too gooey. My personal favorite is the chocolate chip. They are also inexpensive and widely available.

    A few weeks ago, on the way to a backcountry hut, one of the snowmobiles got stuck. After digging it out, one of the guys commented on how hungry he was. He was super grateful for the Clif Bar I pulled out of my pocket and tossed to him.

    The only bar that I like better is the Four Points Bar, for optimal glycemic loading, being made from “real” food, and awesome flavor choices. They are harder to find and 3x more expensive, but oh so yummy. Big downside is a short shelf life, but they never seem to stick around for long…

  5. My local Sam’s Club was giving out Clif Bar samples the last time I was there. It’s apparently a new flavor (?), Organic Peanut Butter. Haven’t tried it yet, but it only has 230 calories and the one I got is dated 06Aug17. Wish there was a longer shelf life, but I guess that’s part of the trade-off for unpronounceable preservatives.

    1. Maybe that expiration date was the reason they were giving them away, both to get rid of that batch, and to spark interest in the product.

  6. I have been a fan of Clif bars for 14 years since finding them as a good diet supplement while weight training. I keep them in Bob as well sealed in ziploc. They still tend to dry out after awhile, but can be reconstituted by heating in water over stove while backpacking. Like super oatmeal. Good stuff.

    1. “Super oatmeal” while backpacking sounds great, David. I will have to give it a try. Thanks! Usually when backpacking I use the instant oatmeal and add dried fruit, nuts, and powdered milk.

  7. I love having these things around. I forgot my lunch one day last week and after digging around in my edc bag I found one of the peanut butter ones. It was six months out of date but I was willing to take that risk. It was filling, delicious, and I’m still alive after eating expired food. Win!

  8. I have been a Clif bar fan for years. Sometimes the Albertsons by our house has them for $1.00 each, not too bad.

    Stay safe Everyone, Keep your eyes open when out and about.

    THE Doc Jackson

  9. The “use by” date is pretty critical with Cliff Bars; I had a box stored in my house as part of a “Hurricane Kit” – six months past the date, I decided to rotate them out. They were basically inedible.

    1. Heat kills them too. I pulled some out of my car bag after last summer. They were melted, deformed and hard as a rock. Of course the car interior can hit 150+ F in the summer for extended periods. I’m not sure that any kind of food can take that.

      1. The average temperature of stored food, if higher than approximately ‘room temp’ will shorten shelf life. The higher the average temp, the shorter the shelf life (colder will actually increase it – to an extent).

        Here’s an article with some details vs. temperature:
        Temperature Versus Food Storage Shelf Life

        This is why I always rotate the foods that I keep in the truck.

  10. Keyword here is 72 hr kit. Survive 3 days where water, food, protection both from the elements and possible violence has been prepared for.

    Since the food thing only becomes critical as you approach 21 days w/o it, for the first 3 days it represents more of a comfort item than a nutritional lifestyle.

    I don’t store or pack any food stuffs that are not commonly a part of my diet. Items that will last a year in my pick-up and is a treat to eat. Currently that is a package of store brand oatmeal cookies (I call them hardtack cookies, extremely hard and brittle), small jar peanut butter, and a small can of mixed nuts. Even though all these items would easily stay fresh for a year, I change them out about every 3 months as I rotate them through my normal diet.

    Each to his own, but I don’t gravitate to survival foods that are described as edible or doesn’t taste too bad.

    But, that’s just me.

    1. “Since the food thing only becomes critical as you approach 21 days w/o it, for the first 3 days it represents more of a comfort item than a nutritional lifestyle.”

      With regards to literal survival you are absolutely correct. However try ‘working’ or ‘doing’ while not having eaten for a day, or days. Your energy will be severely sapped – especially under stressful/difficult conditions. By taking simple preemptive actions of tossing some food in one’s vehicle and/or 72-hour kit or GHB, you are assuring a higher energy level to ‘get stuff done’ (whatever that may be) during a time of emergency/disaster/difficulty (whatever that may be).

      I also agree that it’s a great idea to store what you eat and eat what you store…

      1. My post was not intended to diminish the need for food stuffs in the 72hr kit, rather to put my perspective on it. I feel that too much emphasis has been put on food stores that have extreme shelf life, many times at the expense of taste and affordability (for some). Some newcomers to prepping get overwhelmed, thinking that in order to be prepared one must quickly gather up at least a years supply of mylar encapsulated freeze dried 20 year shelf life food for their entire family. If you have the money, that’s great. I’m more pragmatic. Build up what you normally eat, at a pace you can afford, leaning towards non-perishables with at least a 2yr shelf life.

        I have experienced a 3 day+ scenario (self imposed or, rather, following orders) such as you described, with only survival crackers. What did I crave most? A “Snickers bar”. I would have traded a months supply of those nasty survival crackers for a single “Snickers”.

        1. Dennis, I agree with what you are saying, and have done various posts for newbies vs. ‘preparedness 401’, etc.. each with differing priorities. Given that there are are a wide variety of opinions, outlooks, and objectives that are different for many people (for a wide variety of reasons), there is no ‘one size fits all’ in this area.

          I am simply putting it out there (emphasizing) that ‘CLIF Bars’ (or any other such food product) might be a good thing to toss into your 72-hour kit. Simple as that. You might like Snickers bars, while someone else might like a Hershey bar, while still someone else might like a CLIF bar.

          Point is, it’s a simple thing to have a bit of food in one’s 72-hour kit in their vehicle for ‘just in case’. That’s all I’m saying in this article…

  11. Ken, again, no disagreement, just an observation. An observation not that different than my advice on weapons. Not to be stored away and forgotten until that “aw-sh*t” moment, but to be utilized frequently for familiarity and is one you like to use.

    The food from my 72hr kit goes to the console in my pick-up for snacking on the road after “refreshing” the kit. When the console snacks are depleted, it’s time to repeat the process. Same with the kit pistol. It is worked out and cleaned before going back, with fresh ammo, at least once a month. No guessing whether it or the food will be ready when needed.

    I apologize if I came across as critical. Not my intent.

    “Cliff bars” may find their way into my kit if the price and taste works for me.

    1. I did not feel you came across as critical at all. Your thinking is right in line with mine. I make 100% organic, non GMO, grass-fed-based pemmican. Quick, easy, very inexpensive to make, hi-density nutrition, easy to carry in car or on person. It never lasts to the next rotation date. YUMMY! ☺

      1. Would you please post your pemmican recipe? From what I’ve read, it’s the PERFECT survival food. One piece can supposedly supply a whole day’s nutrition and calorie needs. And it is said to last almost forever. I didn’t put enough fat in the first (and only) batch I made, so before I try another batch, I’d like to see your recipe.

        1. 2 parts lean meat (I am lucky to have a rancher friend so I have grass-feed meat and suet.)
          1.5-2 parts dried fruit. Some sources say not to use berries BC of the seeds. I think this is hogwash. I have used berries for decades without problems.
          1 part meat fat. Again, with the “sources”—may use coconut oil. I tried it a few times, never set up solid for me.

          Pulverize meat and fruit. Mix thoroughly. SLOWLY add WARM melted

          1. Sorry—new tablet, new keyboard.
            Add melted WARM to finger-tip fat SLOWLY, mixing completely as you pour. This is the step that is usually the “fail” culprit. I like to mix in a wide shallow bowl and transfer to a square pan to set-up. When the fat congeals and the mixture hardens, It is ready to cut into strips or squares, put in baggies for short term or vac seal for long term. Either way, it stays fresh a long time. I find that wearing disposable gloves is way easier and a lot less messy when mixing. GOOD LUCK AND GOOD EATING!

          2. To test the mixture for even fat absorption, I take about a Tbls of mix when I’ve poured about 3/4 of the fat and GENTLY hand-form a small ball. It should not look sloppy wet or crumbly dry. Too wet, add fruit, or meat if out of fruit, just a little at a time. Too dry, keeping adding the fat. Test again before you transfer to pan. Oh, I forgot, spread it in a thin layer in the pan about 1 inch. The thinner it is, the quicker it dries.

  12. I have never tried a Clif bar, but I plan on trying one now when I find one. Where do you usually buy them? I usually carry yogurt granola bars in my pack when I’m out in the woods. Strawberry is my favorite. A real nice pick-me-up. Also jerky, chocolate bars, and one or two small apples. Apples also help to quench your thirst.

    1. @BigBadCat, You might find them at your own grocery store (my local grocer has them) although the cheapest price I’ve found (1$/ea.) is on Amazon. Might look at Walmart too…

  13. Datrex food bars saved me and my dog when my husband was rushed to the VA hospital on Veteran’s Day. Nothing was open not even at the VA on Veterans Day! We were there all day so the dog and I split some energy bars from our emergency car pack and she loved them- they were pretty good, except the coconut didn’t sit well on her stomach. Then we drove the 175 miles home in the darkest dark I have ever seen- no lights anywhere.

    1. Thanks for sharing a perfect example of why having some of this type of food in the vehicle can be advantageous. Events don’t always go as we plan…

    1. A web search will bring up LOTS of recipes for DIY Lara Bars.
      (Just in case the store shelves are bare and ya run out!)

      1. I haven’t tried making them. I do love the variety of flavors that’s available. I wait until there’s a good sale and stock up. I’ve seen them for $1.00 sometimes.

  14. My brother turned me on to Clif bars years ago. I am still so old school that I buy and or make my own gorp with M&Ms, unsalted peanuts, raisins, dried and cut mango chunks and other nuts and seeds like almonds or pumpkin seeds. Gorp is very versatile and you can add or not add what you want making your ho-made version your favorite version.

    I tend to go through a lot of zip loc sandwich and snack bags when packing this stuff around. For the fat, salt and protein binge, I still bring along jerky, slim jims and string cheese. These last items mentioned get brought in the house each day as they are frequently eaten and if left within a hot car, can attract bears to break in your rig to go after your food. Yeah, I know. Not as healthy or nutritionally balanced as a cliff bar butt it has worked for me for years.

  15. We go through a lot of cliff bars too, but they are definitely not a long term storage thing. Basically if we are completely out, I will pick up a box. I do wish the exp. dates were not so short. I have ordered directly from cliff bar before, and a couple boxes expired less than 30 days after I got them >:( If I have them in the vehicles or packs and they haven’t been eaten in 30 days, they get rotated out. Exp. cliff bars are nasty. Sometimes the chickens won’t even eat them.

  16. I love CLIFF BARS. I eat one every morning. Two words of caution with using them as a prep item. They do have a shorter shelf life, than the other energy bars on the market. Because of the limited and organic ingredients. The other word of caution comes from personal experience as well. Eating three or more a day can have some impact on your regularity. ie, you will be very regular!! Cliff also makes other products. LUNA bars are marketed for woman. Less calories, different vitamins, etc. There Is also their BUILDERS protein bars. These are awesome, with 20 gram of protein.
    Enjoy!!

  17. No thanks, they’re made with soy. Soy beans, flour, lecithin, etc. Soy is one of the things I don’t want in my diet. Not even for my SHTF food.

  18. Hey Ken!,

    Clif Bars are amazing. Not only do they taste great, (the white chocolate & macadamia bars are really good) their protein content is good enough to give you that boost you need to get through (or recharge after) a workout. While researching protein bars to add to our gift guide for soccer players, we ended up choosing this popular option.

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