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Easy, cheap field / survival rations

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  • Easy, cheap field / survival rations

    We thought about what food we could carry in a BOB or back pack that would be 1) cheap 2) easy to cook or eat 3) last for a year in storage 4) have substantial nutritional value and 5) readily available. If you are limited in what you can carry and you might have to walk far the more calories per ounce the better. We settled on these three foods: white enriched rice, tuna, and peanut butter. We buy the rice in 50 pound bags from Asian grocery markets. Rice typically takes two cups of water for every cup of rice grain when cooking. Rice can be stowed in zip lock bags until ready for cooking. A days worth of rice can be cooked and stowed in a sealed zip lock bag and stay good for twenty-four hours. The tuna is tuna-in-foil. The peanut butter can be stored in Coghlan's squeeze tubes (available where camping supplies are sold) for high speed use.

    Here is a comparison of the typical cost and nutritional values PER OUNCE for rice, tuna and peanut butter:

    Rice 89 calories 1.6 gm protein 19.6 gm carbohydrates .2 gm fat $0.03

    Tuna 30 calories 6.5 gm protein 0 gm carbohydrates .3 gm fat $0.30

    Peanut Butter 170 calories 7.1 gm protein 5.4 gm carbohydrates 15.2 gm fat $0.08

    We add in water, multi-vitamin/mineral tabs and tea or coffee bags to the food inventory to make sure we are getting the RDA nutrients and regularity is maintained. With the combination of rice, tuna and peanut butter there is a good source each of protein, fat and carbohydrates and it gives one a little variety. If you have some room in the pack, put some olive oil in a squeeze bottle to make the tuna / rice mix taste better. If you don't want the tuna, add peanut butter to the hot cooked rice and stir. That should make the peanut butter easier to swallow.

    [This message has been edited by Different (edited 22 June 2002).]

  • #2
    Anyone ever made and eaten pinole? The may/June issue of the Backwoodsman had an intresting article on cook kits and lightweight foods for traveling, like rice and parched, cracked corn called pinole. SOunded like a winner in the terms of nutrition, preperation, shelf life, and other factors.


    • #3
      Something's i like to carry are....
      bag of candy, about 20 pic's=$0.50
      i put 2 in each meal
      ramien(sp?) noodles=$0.10
      beef or chicken bouillon=$0.08
      2 for a $1.00 teriyaki jerky
      tiger's milk protein rich bar's, a case (24) for $12.00 i made a deal with the owner's to get a discount....
      I like to get the pickled hot sausage from sam's in the lg jar's...when the sausage/weiner's are used up...i boil about 2 1/2 dz eggs and put in the jar and pickle them that way......
      you can make 3 meals for $3.00 easy........

      If i pick up some fast food i will ask for extra cracker's, salt, pepper, etc....and all go's in the bob or my pack, which i use regular.....





      • #4
        BD and I have come up with our own MREs, and they taste good, and work well.

        And as motley mentioned, they are VERY cheap. Combine dehydrated jerky, Freeze dried veggies, minute rice, and add a few comfort items with a foodsaver vacuum packer, and you're off and running.

        DEO VINDICE!


        • #5
          Here's a couple tips for your field rations. For food that comes with an expiration date, write the expiration date on a small piece of paper then tape it to the new container (one to be carried on you). That way, you have a reminder to change it out when the time comes.

          In the August 2002 issue of Backpacker magazine they say that if you are low on water eat carbohydrates instead of protein or fat. Carbohydrates are easier for the body to digest.

          Great article on the dehyrated meals, AK74. We printed it off and will be making some of these up come this winter.


          • #6
            Since plain white rice is pretty tasteless, I keep some 5-minute "brown & wild rice" boxes around. There are some instant frijoles in a box things available at some grocery stores, and its not bad at all.

            I've also read something about altering your diet when low on water. I seem to recall that digesting protein & fat requires extra water, whereas digestion of carbs produces water.

            I also try to keep some Powerbars (specifically, Powerbar Harvest bars) handy, but they are all too tempting for snacks. For nutrition per pound, its hard to beat protein powder (the type you get at GNC for bodybuilding etc). Some of it even tastes good.

            I'm concerned about regularity when eating all this kind of stuff, so I also keep some Citrucel around.