"Lifeboat" Ration Comparison (Now with Poll)

Items to keep you alive in the event you must evacuate: discussions of basic Survival Kits commonly called "Bug Out Bags" or "Go Bags"

Moderator: ZS Global Moderators

Do you like these rations? (Select yes/no for each you've tried, don't answer for one you haven't)

I like the Datrex Ration
23
20%
I do not like the Datrex Ration
12
10%
I like the Mainstay Ration
41
36%
I DO NOT like the Mainstay Ration
6
5%
I like the Mayday Ration
7
6%
I DO NOT like the Mayday Ration
9
8%
I like the S.O.S. Ration
11
10%
I DO NOT like the S.O.S. Ration
6
5%
 
Total votes: 115

User avatar
charlie505
* * *
Posts: 793
Joined: Thu May 03, 2007 8:35 pm
Favorite Zombie Movies: 28 days, Resident evil, Shawn of the Dead
Location: Manhattan NY

Re: "Lifeboat" Ration Comparison

Post by charlie505 » Mon Jan 18, 2010 10:48 am

Xspectre8 wrote:or use freakin' cat food as my emergency rations so I'm not tempted to snack on it.

.

Dog biscuts are better - my cousin used to eat them - started when we were young- he came home drunk and reached for the wrong box - he actually liked them!!! His hair is nice and shiny and the dentist commented on how clean his teeth are!!

User avatar
smallthunder
* *
Posts: 114
Joined: Sun Jan 03, 2010 9:14 am
Favorite Zombie Movies: The "NEW" Dawn of the Dead, 28 Days Later, 28 Weeks Later
Location: Ann Arbor, MI

Re: "Lifeboat" Ration Comparison (Now with Poll)

Post by smallthunder » Mon Jan 18, 2010 2:13 pm

I didn't see anything about the Quake Kare ER FOOD BAR.

Image

They have a 2400 or 3500 Cal. bar.

User avatar
GunsUp
ZS Member
ZS Member
Posts: 843
Joined: Wed Feb 04, 2009 12:44 am
Favorite Zombie Movies: 28 days later, resident evil
Location: TX

Re: "Lifeboat" Ration Comparison

Post by GunsUp » Mon Jan 18, 2010 9:14 pm

charlie505 wrote:Dog biscuts are better - my cousin used to eat them - started when we were young- he came home drunk and reached for the wrong box - he actually liked them!!! His hair is nice and shiny and the dentist commented on how clean his teeth are!!
While, I'm sure your just joking, please don't suggest animal food as survival rations.

User avatar
The Machinist
ZS Member
ZS Member
Posts: 204
Joined: Tue Feb 16, 2010 10:55 am
Location: Oklahoma

Re: "Lifeboat" Ration Comparison (Now with Poll)

Post by The Machinist » Thu Feb 25, 2010 9:54 am

Does anyone have a good link for a site that they feel sells the lifeboat type rations at a really good price? I have surfed and there are way too many to pick through so I thought to be lazy :roll: and just ask.

Thanks for the review btw it was VERY informative and helpful.
Blackdog wrote:I can hear you out there now...."But mister Blackdog these wispy wind shirts are not uber tough and able to fend off meteors and wolfs". I say baaaaaaaaaaaaaah, they are really useful, pack real small and harder to F up than you might think and there is always duct tape. High on my things I like list.

User avatar
GunsUp
ZS Member
ZS Member
Posts: 843
Joined: Wed Feb 04, 2009 12:44 am
Favorite Zombie Movies: 28 days later, resident evil
Location: TX

Re: "Lifeboat" Ration Comparison (Now with Poll)

Post by GunsUp » Thu Feb 25, 2010 11:15 pm

http://beprepared.com/" onclick="window.open(this.href);return false;
http://store.pksafety.net/" onclick="window.open(this.href);return false;

Those are the two stores I purchased mine from. No problems other than the lost vacuum noted in the OP, but I don't know whos fault that was.

Lanarchy
* *
Posts: 133
Joined: Mon Apr 13, 2009 8:25 pm
Location: Frederick, MD USA
Contact:

Re: "Lifeboat" Ration Comparison (Now with Poll)

Post by Lanarchy » Fri Feb 26, 2010 1:11 pm

Tagging this so I can find it later.

And thanks! Good info, and good feedback from everyone else so far too!

DeadCanadian
* *
Posts: 263
Joined: Wed Jul 01, 2009 8:54 am
Location: Nova Scotia

Re: "Lifeboat" Ration Comparison (Now with Poll)

Post by DeadCanadian » Sat Feb 27, 2010 8:48 pm

Seven Oceans is the best packed and the best tasting, a lot like shortbread.

Two bars are wrapped in a wax paper then the stack of wrapped bars are held together by shrink wrap, then sealed in a tough silver sealed bag and a cardboard box.
I'm sorry, you must have mistaken me for a zombie that cares.

User avatar
Power Fail
* * *
Posts: 670
Joined: Sun Feb 14, 2010 7:51 pm

Re: "Lifeboat" Ration Comparison (Now with Poll)

Post by Power Fail » Tue Mar 02, 2010 6:29 pm

I haven't worked out how these stack up to the larger pouches price wise, as I just found them a few minutes ago, but here are some individually packed 1200 calorie Mainstay bars: http://www.redflarekits.com/pc/SI-Mains ... +Food+Bars" onclick="window.open(this.href);return false;

Like the Millennium Bars Necrodamus mentioned, these are sold as energy bars, if that means anything to anyone. They might be more beneficial for more everyday gear, as you don't have to bust open a huge pack of them just to eat one piece.
JamesCannon wrote:I think he's also forgotten more about spelling and grammar than ... well it just seems he's forgotten a lot about it.
DannusMaximus wrote:Few things are more win than saving the day with something that other people think you're weird for hauling around. 8)

User avatar
RogueJSK
* * *
Posts: 389
Joined: Sun Jan 03, 2010 1:01 pm
Location: Northwest Arkansas

Re: "Lifeboat" Ration Comparison (Now with Poll)

Post by RogueJSK » Tue Mar 02, 2010 7:02 pm

Due to an extremely busy day, with no real opportunity to grab food, I cracked open one of my Mayday bars today. Overall, it was pretty decent. Certainly wasn't as bad as I was expecting. The bars taste a bit like apple cinnamon oatmeal that was made with too little water, or the leftover crust from an apple pie that had been left out and gone slightly stale. While those descriptions don't sound very appetizing, the bars themselves are actually quite edible.

They didn't make me thirsty, and actually went down just fine without having a drink immediately available. (But I make sure to hydrate throughout the day as the opportunity presents itself.) They left my fingers feeling greasy, though. Probably comes from the nearly 20 grams of fat in each serving. Your doctor would frown upon a steady diet of these things!

And I agree that the packaging leaves a lot to be desired. I cracked open a 2400 bar (6 serving squares), but only ate two 400 cal squares throughout the day. I had to saw off each square with my pocket knife, which resulted in quite a few crumbs. The remaining hunk of ration bar had to be sealed up in a ziploc bag that I had handy. I'm not sure how long the bar will keep now that it's been opened.

Plenty more crumbs were spilled while eating the bar itself. I would highly recommend either eating these outside or over a sink/trash can. Hard to keep a squared-away, professional appearance with little breadcrumbs all over the front of your shirt. ;)


I'm glad that I gave them a shot, as I have a little more confidence in my emergency ration stash now. But as I work my way through my current stockpile, I think I'll invest in the individual 400 calorie (1 square) bars instead of the larger 2400 (6 squares) or 3600 (9 squares). Should take up the same amount of packing space overall, but would allow for easier access to individual portions without carving or bagging.

User avatar
The Machinist
ZS Member
ZS Member
Posts: 204
Joined: Tue Feb 16, 2010 10:55 am
Location: Oklahoma

Re: "Lifeboat" Ration Comparison (Now with Poll)

Post by The Machinist » Wed Mar 03, 2010 2:22 pm

GunsUp, Thanks for the links. I think I will give all of them a try out just as you did and see which is most palatable.


RogueJSK, Thanks for the insight on your experience with the Mayday bars.


I have a nice rats nest of supplies stashed in my family's built-in safe room. But other than water, I have always been worried about having extra emergency rations for when the food runs out. In any case, any of these seem as they will surely suffice for someone who is starving and desperately needs nutrition and calories.
Blackdog wrote:I can hear you out there now...."But mister Blackdog these wispy wind shirts are not uber tough and able to fend off meteors and wolfs". I say baaaaaaaaaaaaaah, they are really useful, pack real small and harder to F up than you might think and there is always duct tape. High on my things I like list.

User avatar
Keith B
* * * * *
Posts: 2823
Joined: Fri Oct 03, 2008 12:53 pm
Favorite Zombie Movies: Dawn of the Dead
Resident Evil 3
Did not like 28 days later
Location: Eastern Washington
Contact:

Re: "Lifeboat" Ration Comparison (Now with Poll)

Post by Keith B » Thu Mar 04, 2010 8:48 am

RogueJSK wrote:I'm glad that I gave them a shot, as I have a little more confidence in my emergency ration stash now. But as I work my way through my current stockpile, I think I'll invest in the individual 400 calorie (1 square) bars instead of the larger 2400 (6 squares) or 3600 (9 squares). Should take up the same amount of packing space overall, but would allow for easier access to individual portions without carving or bagging.
I personally couldnt stomach the individual cost of buying the 400 calorie bars. Instead I buy the 1200 calorie bars and they are precut into 6 bars of 200 calories each. After I open a package, I vaccum seal the rest and they stay fresh.
The asshole formerly known as Sigboy40

In theory, there is no difference between theory and practice. But, in practice, there is.
An accident while adventuring is always an indication of incompetence-Col Townsend Whelen
thinkfree wrote:Sigboy40 is the greatest asshole I have ever had the pleasure of knowing
Sigboy Scout Belt
Outcast Prepper Blog

Lanarchy
* *
Posts: 133
Joined: Mon Apr 13, 2009 8:25 pm
Location: Frederick, MD USA
Contact:

Re: "Lifeboat" Ration Comparison (Now with Poll)

Post by Lanarchy » Wed Mar 17, 2010 2:38 pm

I tried the SOS, Mainstay, and Datrex ones. I brought them into work to get taste comparison. About 5 of my coworkers also tried them.

Overall, the results were the same across the board

Mainstay was good
SOS was pretty good
Datrex was meh/not good

User avatar
BullOnParade
ZS Lifetime Member
ZS Lifetime Member
Posts: 3020
Joined: Tue Feb 24, 2009 3:10 pm
Location: Toronto, Ontario

Re: "Lifeboat" Ration Comparison (Now with Poll)

Post by BullOnParade » Wed Mar 17, 2010 4:29 pm

Thanks a lot for the write up, it was a good read. I think you have given me the push to lighten all of the food rations I have in various bags.
BullOnParade

Burn the land and boil the sea, you can't take the sky from me.

Urban BOB/Range (& Bailout) Bag/EDC/Vehicle Kit

User avatar
dukman
* * * * *
Posts: 3374
Joined: Sat May 30, 2009 7:50 pm
Favorite Zombie Movies: All of them!
Location: Pacific Northwest

Re: "Lifeboat" Ration Comparison (Now with Poll)

Post by dukman » Wed Sep 01, 2010 12:22 am

With a great write up I thought I would resurrect this thread instead of starting one of my own 8)

I finally got around to trying one of my datrex bars. It was edible.. I can say that much. I will keep them strategically placed throughout my preps tho as I see their purpose. You don't want your last ditch live-or-die food items to be so good that you gobble them right up. They need to be edible, but you need to pace yourself.

I think if I ever have to use them I will add a little bit of honey to sweeten them up a bit. The local dollar store had some 2oz jars of honey for $.25 each one day, so I have them strategically placed throughout my preps too :mrgreen:

Anyone try them as a mush? (Crushed up and mixed with liquid) I thought about adding some to milk, but never got around to it :roll:
M-O-O-N, that spells survival, law's yes!
Duk's Bags: GLOF GHB ONB EDC
It's only after we've lost everything that we're free to do anything ~Tyler Durden

Gorebucket
* *
Posts: 203
Joined: Mon Jan 14, 2008 12:58 pm
Location: Georgia, USA

Re: "Lifeboat" Ration Comparison (Now with Poll)

Post by Gorebucket » Sat Mar 10, 2012 6:18 am

I ordered 2 Mainstay bars for my BOB. One wasn't as tightly vacuum sealed as the other so I decided to use that one for a taste test:

- It tasted like a slightly lemony, slightly sweet shortbread cookie and was perfectly edible.
- The texture was also similar to a slightly moist but still crumbly cookie. You can recognize the sugar grains.
- I didn't feel especially thirsty after eating one square.

So yeah, the original poster's description was pretty much dead on...
If they were snacks, I probably wouldn't buy them. But as emergency calories they're not too shabby. =)

User avatar
ineffableone
* * * * *
Posts: 3603
Joined: Wed Oct 27, 2010 1:15 am
Favorite Zombie Movies: Undead, Dead Alive/Braindead, Shaun of the Dead, Zombieland, 28 days, 28 Weeks Later, I Am Legend, Resident Evil franchise, Serenity (I would call Revers pretty damn zombie), Versus, Black Sheep
Location: Pac Northwest, East of the Cascades

Re: "Lifeboat" Ration Comparison (Now with Poll)

Post by ineffableone » Wed Jul 11, 2012 11:50 pm

Another ration that hasn't been mentioned here yet and I feel deserves a mention is Survival Tabs http://www.survivaltabs.com/ While you could survive on these alone (though you would drop a bit of weight doing so), they are much better for you if used in supplement with other food. Foraging wild food, small stock of food in your pack etc. The theory behind them is pretty much anywhere you might need rations there will be some food to forage to supplement along with them. That you would not be surviving on the tabs alone but using them to maintain enough energy for a drastically reduced diet.

*edit to add, opps forgot to mention, one bottle, is claimed as 15 days of "food" That is a lot of ration in a small light weight package, plus the container can be repurposed as a water bottle. They even include a plastic bag inside the bottle so you can remove the tabs and use the container for water.

Image

I have tried them and they are edible but not something you want to snack on if given the choice. Sort of a malty milky flavor. I have tested them both with just eating them alone and with foraging (eating small amounts of store bought veggies). Both ways helped keep my energy up and able to think clear and function well. I was able to work and do manual tasks without becoming overly tired. Though with a bit of veggies I was definitely happier, as the tabs don't fill you up and so you feel hungry more with no bulk in your tummy. So they seemed to me to work well for what they are meant for, a way to keep your energy up when you don't have much food.

While not as calorie packed as the other ration bars. Survival Tabs are supposed to be more efficiently utilised by the body, so more of the calories in them get used while most food you loose a large amount of the calories that was in the food.
survival tab wed site wrote:With most food products, 30 to 60 percent of the theoretical calorie content leaves the body unused. Survival Tabs are so completely digestible that 99% of their calorie content can be actually utilized for energy and 97% of the protein is actually available for repair or replacement of essential body substances such as blood, muscle, nerves, etc. Twelve Survival Tabs per day provide more than enough protein so sustain essential body tissues.
I don't know how this claim compares to other rations, or even how accurate it is. What I do know is I do have both Mainstay, and Survival Tabs in my INCH, along with "real" food. The Survival Tabs is a light small way to to add a lot more rations into a pack extending your available rations. For me I find them a great addition to my system, but would not want to rely on them alone. Worth checking out if your low on space and weight but need to get more food in your pack.
"Once a man has seen society's black underbelly, he can never turn his back on it. Never pretend, like you do, that it doesn't exist"

"None of you seem to understand. I'm not locked in here with you. You're locked in here with ME!"


ZS Wiki ZS Acronyms

Gun Self Defense Counter

User avatar
TacAir
* * * * *
Posts: 8022
Joined: Fri Aug 27, 2010 6:01 pm
Contact:

Re: "Lifeboat" Ration Comparison (Now with Poll)

Post by TacAir » Thu Jul 12, 2012 12:47 am

ineffableone wrote:Another ration that hasn't been mentioned here yet and I feel deserves a mention is Survival Tabs http://www.survivaltabs.com/ While you could survive on these alone (though you would drop a bit of weight doing so), they are much better for you if used in supplement with other food. Foraging wild food, small stock of food in your pack etc. The theory behind them is pretty much anywhere you might need rations there will be some food to forage to supplement along with them. That you would not be surviving on the tabs alone but using them to maintain enough energy for a drastically reduced diet.

*edit to add, opps forgot to mention, one bottle, is claimed as 15 days of "food" That is a lot of ration in a small light weight package, plus the container can be repurposed as a water bottle. They even include a plastic bag inside the bottle so you can remove the tabs and use the container for water.

Image

I have tried them and they are edible but not something you want to snack on if given the choice. Sort of a malty milky flavor. I have tested them both with just eating them alone and with foraging (eating small amounts of store bought veggies). Both ways helped keep my energy up and able to think clear and function well. I was able to work and do manual tasks without becoming overly tired. Though with a bit of veggies I was definitely happier, as the tabs don't fill you up and so you feel hungry more with no bulk in your tummy. So they seemed to me to work well for what they are meant for, a way to keep your energy up when you don't have much food.

While not as calorie packed as the other ration bars. Survival Tabs are supposed to be more efficiently utilised by the body, so more of the calories in them get used while most food you loose a large amount of the calories that was in the food.
survival tab wed site wrote:With most food products, 30 to 60 percent of the theoretical calorie content leaves the body unused. Survival Tabs are so completely digestible that 99% of their calorie content can be actually utilized for energy and 97% of the protein is actually available for repair or replacement of essential body substances such as blood, muscle, nerves, etc. Twelve Survival Tabs per day provide more than enough protein so sustain essential body tissues.
I don't know how this claim compares to other rations, or even how accurate it is. What I do know is I do have both Mainstay, and Survival Tabs in my INCH, along with "real" food. The Survival Tabs is a light small way to to add a lot more rations into a pack extending your available rations. For me I find them a great addition to my system, but would not want to rely on them alone. Worth checking out if your low on space and weight but need to get more food in your pack.
Cross-link --
Longer discussion on Survival tabs here
http://zombiehunters.org/forum/viewtopi ... 14&t=81002" onclick="window.open(this.href);return false;
TacAir - I'd rather be a disappointed pessimist than a horrified optimist
**All my books ** some with a different view of the "PAW". Check 'em out.
Adventures in rice storage//Mod your Esbit for better stability

User avatar
TacAir
* * * * *
Posts: 8022
Joined: Fri Aug 27, 2010 6:01 pm
Contact:

Re: "Lifeboat" Ration Comparison (Now with Poll)

Post by TacAir » Thu Jul 12, 2012 12:51 am

DeadCanadian wrote:Seven Oceans is the best packed and the best tasting, a lot like shortbread.

Two bars are wrapped in a wax paper then the stack of wrapped bars are held together by shrink wrap, then sealed in a tough silver sealed bag and a cardboard box.
A bit more on the Seven Ocenas food bars.
http://zombiehunters.org/forum/viewtopi ... 8#p2000548" onclick="window.open(this.href);return false;
TacAir - I'd rather be a disappointed pessimist than a horrified optimist
**All my books ** some with a different view of the "PAW". Check 'em out.
Adventures in rice storage//Mod your Esbit for better stability

User avatar
AKFTW
* * * * *
Posts: 4176
Joined: Tue Dec 08, 2009 11:49 pm
Favorite Zombie Movies: Shaun of the Dead, Dawn of the Dead (remake), Land of the Dead, 28 Days Later, and Zombieland!
Location: VT
Contact:

Re: "Lifeboat" Ration Comparison (Now with Poll)

Post by AKFTW » Thu Jul 12, 2012 12:55 am

I enjoy Datrex as a snack, and have basically lived off them and Gu packets before with no ill effects (though the Subway sandwich I had 3 days later was the best thing ever) :awesome:
docdredd wrote:those pandas need to harden the fuck up
Image

Image

Viper shtf
* * *
Posts: 541
Joined: Wed Feb 08, 2012 6:07 pm
Location: North Texas

Re: "Lifeboat" Ration Comparison (Now with Poll)

Post by Viper shtf » Thu Jul 12, 2012 11:56 pm

Great review op!
PistolPete wrote:Seriously, fashion is dumb. But my wife likes the way they make my ass look or the way you can follow the veins on my balls through the denim or something. Whatever. I can dress up once in a while.

User avatar
phil_in_cs
ZS Member
ZS Member
Posts: 11424
Joined: Fri Dec 28, 2007 4:18 pm
Location: central tx

Re: "Lifeboat" Ration Comparison (Now with Poll)

Post by phil_in_cs » Sun Jan 27, 2013 10:04 am

Bumping so our new friends can see this great write up.
Don't confuse a belligerent and aggressive attitude with the strength, training, and conditioning needed to prevail in a fight. How do you know you have the Will To Win, if you don't even have the will to train?

Tommy Tran
* * * *
Posts: 996
Joined: Mon Apr 26, 2010 2:42 pm
Location: Somewhere

Re: "Lifeboat" Ration Comparison (Now with Poll)

Post by Tommy Tran » Mon Jan 28, 2013 12:10 pm

So not that long ago I happened across a good deal on datrex bars and bought a case of the 3600cal bars... about then I had cleaned out my car and under the trunk floor I found an old mainstay bar that was still sealed... I had had it for 5yrs... in the trunk of my car... in Phx AZ... HELLZ YA TESTIN TIME! I was prepared to puke or pee out of my butt... got a couple other buddy's to try it as well...
All agreed it was still ok to eat, no one got sick, it was grainier than when new, flavor was still ok and it still made a hell of a crumbly mess!
So I cracked a datrex bar and handed out the individually wrapped bars to my other 3 intrepid explorers... All of us preferred the datrex, flavor is the shortbread bland cookie dough, individual packaging is nice as it is easy to distribute and portion out without waste.
phil_in_cs wrote:well, I can guarantee you it won't over penetrate. It has to penetrate before it can over penetrate....
gravediggerfour wrote:For those of you with Mr. Fancy Pants gas piston AR's better stock up on the parts that are not interchangable.
TravisM.1 wrote:If a rifle is an option, a rifle is usually the answer.

User avatar
Tobias05
ZS Lifetime Member
ZS Lifetime Member
Posts: 587
Joined: Thu Apr 19, 2012 4:17 pm
Favorite Zombie Movies: "The Walking Dead" on AMC
Location: Ohio

Re: "Lifeboat" Ration Comparison (Now with Poll)

Post by Tobias05 » Mon Jan 28, 2013 1:13 pm

Gorebucket wrote:I ordered 2 Mainstay bars for my BOB. One wasn't as tightly vacuum sealed as the other so I decided to use that one for a taste test:

- It tasted like a slightly lemony, slightly sweet shortbread cookie and was perfectly edible.
- The texture was also similar to a slightly moist but still crumbly cookie. You can recognize the sugar grains.
- I didn't feel especially thirsty after eating one square.

So yeah, the original poster's description was pretty much dead on...
If they were snacks, I probably wouldn't buy them. But as emergency calories they're not too shabby. =)
Just tried my Mainstay rations today, for the hell of it. Your description is almost word for word how I was going to describe them.

I wouldn't mind seeing another layer or two of wrapping on the product, just incase the aluminum foil stuff gets compromised.
Image

User avatar
LittleQuick
* * *
Posts: 375
Joined: Mon May 21, 2012 1:56 pm

Re: "Lifeboat" Ration Comparison (Now with Poll)

Post by LittleQuick » Mon Jan 28, 2013 2:16 pm

Awesome,
awesome,
awesome.

I really need something like this only knowing about MREs. Gives me a few more options to really think about without getting my hands on em' yet. Thank you!!!
Vicarious_Lee wrote:DISCLAIMER: America, Fuck Yeah. Sweet Gear. It's Your Money. Do Your Thing. No one will be mad.
TheLastOne wrote: A couple of kids thought it was funny but I punched them in the throat. Breathing was not an issue.
You're only as good as your last patrol.

Post Reply

Return to “Bug Out Gear”