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Emergency Rations suggestions
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Mark Regalia
(markr) - MLife

Locale: Santa Cruz
Emergency Rations suggestions on 08/24/2009 10:23:31 MDT Print View

On my last trip I was thinking about lightening ideas, as always. One thing I always bring and bring home (fortunately) is emergency rations. The just in case extra food. I tend to add extra trail mix since it is dense in calories. But I was thinking that what I really would like is something like a bar that is almost all fat, very little protein and some carbs. And can be carried over and over for years.

Back in the days when I use to pore over paper catalogs of gear I remember there use to be stuff like that. Bacon bars seem to stick in my mind.

Anyone have any things like this that they use?


A. B.
re on 08/24/2009 10:27:33 MDT Print View

Pemmican sounds like what you are describing.

David Drake
(DavidDrake) - F

Locale: North Idaho
Re: Emergency Rations suggestions on 08/24/2009 10:52:13 MDT Print View

After thinking about it a long time, I quit carrying extra food. Going hungry for a day or two isn't a health risk. Plus, I always seem to have a bit left over anyway, even without planning--it seems unlikely that an emergency would happen just as I'd eaten the last bit of food on the last day, leaving no chance to stretch my supplies.

Patrick Caulder
(pcaulder) - MLife

Locale: SouthEast
Datrex Compressed Emergency Rations on 08/24/2009 11:31:48 MDT Print View

This is probably not something I would carry in my pack but it sounds like what you are talking about.

They're called Datrex Compressed Food Emergency Ration. The particular one I have is 3600 cals total. It is seperated into 18 individual bars compressed into one brick. Each bar has 200 cal, 3 grams protein, 21 g carbs, 10 g of fat. And on it says to eat one bar every 4 hours in an emergency situation. Bad thing about though is this little brick weighs 24 ounces.

Hikin' Jim
(hikin_jim) - MLife

Locale: Orange County, CA, USA
Re: Re: Emergency Rations suggestions on 08/24/2009 18:37:43 MDT Print View

You're probably fine in the summer if you don't carry e-rats, provided that you don't mind suffering. I wouldn't try that in winter or at high altitude. Food is your heat source. Hypotherm is a no go.

I've had to go hungry when I had to take a two day detour around a snowed in pass. I doubt I was physically harmed, but going light on food for a day and half while burning a lot of calories was no fun at all.

Tohru Ohnuki
(erdferkel) - F

Locale: S. California
Re: Datrex Compressed Emergency Rations on 08/24/2009 21:20:43 MDT Print View

At 3600 cal for 24 oz, that's 150 cal/oz which is pretty good density, between typical carbs and fats..

Mark Regalia
(markr) - MLife

Locale: Santa Cruz
There is a Datrex 2400 now on 08/25/2009 10:00:15 MDT Print View

From experience 2400 calories is probably as much as I could force myself to eat in one day.

The 2400 calorie version is about 1 pound. I also looked at some trail mixes. The calorie to weight ratio is about the same. You just need to make up a mix that emphasises fat and has less protein to at least match Datrex.

The below is an interesting option. The package is a 15 day supply but they told me that if properly stored an open package should last several years:

If you were willing to live on these this could be one more step down the path to ultralight bliss (or is that looneyness?)

Patrick Caulder
(pcaulder) - MLife

Locale: SouthEast
Discs on 08/25/2009 15:51:35 MDT Print View


I've seen those discs before, they definitely look pretty interesting. Have you ever tried those Datrex things, the ingredients are the following:

* Wheat Flour
* Vegetable Shortening
* Granulated Sugar
* Salt
* Water
* Coconut Flavoring

I might open mine up and try it, I had actually forgotten about it until this topic came up.

Justin Chaussee
(judach) - F

Locale: Earth
dense! on 09/25/2009 18:05:17 MDT Print View

man. I'm having flashbacks of the original powerbar... remember malt-nut? Yuk! I guess when you need the calories though. You probably burn more calories trying to chew the darn thing though. ;-)

Anton Koliev
(abk2006) - F

Locale: Ukraine
fatback on 10/17/2009 20:29:46 MDT Print View

If you looking for almost 100% fat emergency bar, why not to think about fatback bacon?
It have almost 100% of fat, a lot of calories as well as you can store ready to eat around year, if properly prepared.
I dont sure about commercial names of this product in USA, but in Europe it mostly known as Lardo, Szalonna, Speck(Rückenspeck) or Salo(in Russia or Ukraine)Ukrainian SALO
I believe, that you may buy it in any russian/ukrainian/hungary or german foods stores.
Once properly prepared, its very good as survival food or just to eat it when you wish.
Currently, I still have one piece of Salo in my fridge, stored for 13 months in a glass jar with the salted water. And its still very OK.

Edited by abk2006 on 10/17/2009 20:46:10 MDT.

John A
(JohnA) - F

Locale: Great Lakes State
Datrex, Mainstay, SOS, etc. on 11/20/2009 08:52:16 MST Print View

So if one could stomach these for the length of a backpacking trip, are there any reasons for not making this a primary (sole?) food source other than taste (I've never tried any of them) and monotony? I can definitely be an "eat to live" rather than a "live to eat" hiker and so could probably be happy enough with these if there are no health or performance reasons to not be.

Pros: Good calorie/weight ratio, zero prep. time, zero stove/fuel/cook equip. weight, "bombproof"/long shelf life, size?(I can't find this)

Cons? Nutrition?

Serving Size 2 bars (76 g)
Servings per Container: 9
Amount per serving
Calories 400 cal.
% Daily Value*
Total Fat 20 g 52%
Cholesterol 0.756 mg 0%
Sodium 1.5 mg 0%
Total Carbohydrates 42 g 105%
Protein 6 g
*Percent Daily Values are based on a 2000 calorie diet.

Wheat flour, Vegetable Shortening, Cane Sugar, Water, Coconut, and Salt.

Serving Size: 1 bar (2.67 oz\76g)
Servings per Container: 9
Amount per serving
Calories 400
Calories from Fat 210
% Daily Value*
Total Fat23g 36%
Saturated Fat 7g 34%
Cholesterol 0 g 0%
Sodium23mg 1%
Total Carbohydrates46g 15%
Dietary Fiber 2g 9%
Sugars 14g
*Percent Daily Values are based on a 2000 calorie diet.
Vitamin A 50% Vitamin C 60%
Calcium 50% Iron 10%

Enriched Flour, (Added Vitamins A, B-1, B-2, D, E, B-6, B-12, Niacin, Iron, Folic Acid, Magnesium, Pantothenic Acid, Calcium, Phosphorous), Vegetable Shortening, (Partially Hydrogenated Soybean and/or Cottonseed Oils), Granulated Sugar, Corn Starch, Corn Syrup, Natural Lemon Flavor, Artificial Butter Flavor, Artificial Vanilla Flavor, (Tartrazine, FD&C Yellow #5, FD&C Red #40), Artificial Color, Ascorbic Acid (Vitamin C), Gamma/Delta Tocopherols as a natural antioxicant.

Serving Size .161 lbs (73 g)
Servings per Container - 9
Amount per serving
Calories 400
% Daily Value*
Total Fat 28 g 43%
Saturated Fat 10 g 40%
Mono Unsaturated Fat 7 g 27%
Poly-Unsaturated Fat 9 g 33%
Sodium 48 mg 2%
Total Carbohydrates 41 g 14%
Protein 5%
*Percent Daily Values are based on a 2000 calorie diet.
Vitamin A 15% Vitamin C 15%
Thiamin 15% Riboflavin 15%
Niacin 15%

Wheat Flour, Vegetable Shortening, Cane and Corn Sugars, Dried Coconut, Corn Starch, and Corn Syrup. Additives Used: Ascorbyl Palmitate, and lecithin as Antioxidants; Calcium Propionate as Antimycotic; Citric Acid, Guar Gum and Salt as Formulation Aids; and Multi-Vitamin Premix.


(Edited the DATREX info. to match the serving size of the other two.)

Edited by JohnA on 11/20/2009 08:59:11 MST.

Roger Caffin
(rcaffin) - BPL Staff - MLife

Locale: Wollemi & Kosciusko NPs, Europe
Re: Datrex, Mainstay, SOS, etc. on 11/20/2009 16:38:34 MST Print View

> if one could stomach these for the length of a backpacking trip,
That could be difficult - unless you were somewhere like the Antarctic. A diet of lard and Dehi mashed potato has been used there. But I think you would have a vitamin deficiency after a while.

Anyhow, while the Datrex sounds OK, the Mainstay and the SOS have a few too many artificial ingredients for my taste.