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The Observer's 24 Ration Pack Mk I

Posted: Thu Oct 20, 2011 11:59 am
by The Observer
This is designed to be a one-cup meals type full day's ration. Yes I know that the calorie count isn't super high, yes I know the weight is high on this. What I did was go to my cupboards and work with what I can find, I did no specific shopping for this.

I have the idea that this would be kept in an overnight/GHB in my car. The PRIMARY purpose of this bag would be an unexpected stay at work for a longer time than I thought (due to some disaster say as I'm a Paramedic) or unexpected overnight in a hotel room. My cooking method would be tablet stove and SS bottle cup. My main water carrying device is a 1L wide-mouth nalgene and my mixed beverage (flavoured water) would be in a 500mL Platy bag or equivalent.

The SECONDARY intention of this bag would be the more traditional GHB application. So with that in mind I'm not AS concerned about weight.

What are your thoughts on this 24 hour ration pack?

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1 x 120cal Apple Nutri-Grain Bar
1 x 190cal of Salted Sunflower Seeds
2 x 50 cal Fuit To Go (100cal total)
1 x 80 cal Ritz Bits
1 x 70 cal Mini Chips Ahoy
1 x 200cal Chef Boyardee Ravioli
2 x 120cal Granola Bars (240cal total)
1 x 10 cal Crystal Light
1 x ? cal Tangerine Grapefruit drink mix
1 x 3 cal Starbucks Via Readybrew
1 x 0 cal English Breakfast Tea
1 x 15 cal Coffee Mate
3 x 15 cal Sugar (45cal total)
1 x 120cal Regular Instant Oatmeal
1 x 130cal Apple Cinnamon Instant Oatmeal
1 x 50 cal Unsweetened Apple Sauce
4 x 25 cal Werther's (100cal)
1 x 170cal Creamy Tomato Soup
12 x 2.5cal Gum (30 cal)
1 x 108cal 50cc Bottle of 8 year aged Bacardi Rum (because if I'm using this for non-work, I'll probably need a drink)

Total = 1673cal

Weight = 1208g (2.66lbs)

Re: The Observer's 24 Ration Pack Mk I

Posted: Thu Oct 20, 2011 2:19 pm
by Tonto
I have something similar made up for those unplanned moments. Sure you could add MRE's, freeze dried or dehydrated foods to increase calorie/protiens but it's what you have to work with from your cupboards & not have to do any special buying. This could also be considered a charity package to a neighbor or stranded travler if TSHTF.

I don't see any problem with it because you know and understand it's limitations and can always supplement it with other things you may find along the way.

I love the addition of bacardi, that's one thing I never think of.

Re: The Observer's 24 Ration Pack Mk I

Posted: Thu Oct 20, 2011 2:59 pm
by TacAir
Looks good, I can't see what AO you are in, here (AK) I have to worry about freezing. That canned stuff would not do well at 20 below. (Shrug)

I would suggest a couple more plastic bags to "cook" in or use as a bowl to save cleaning up the mess in your cup/free up your cup for coffee. Maybe toss in a plastic spork in the bag?

A pair of thin strips of plastic can be connected to form a bowl with a ziplock bag as the main part.

Thanks for sharing.

Re: The Observer's 24 Ration Pack Mk I

Posted: Thu Oct 20, 2011 8:15 pm
by The Observer
I live in Ontario, Canada. That is a good point about freezing, I honestly did not consider it. Maybe I should consider something like Ramen noodlies in lieu of the soup for example? Would take less weight too.

Re: The Observer's 24 Ration Pack Mk I

Posted: Thu Oct 20, 2011 9:03 pm
by TacAir
The Observer wrote:I live in Ontario, Canada. That is a good point about freezing, I honestly did not consider it. Maybe I should consider something like Ramen noodlies in lieu of the soup for example? Would take less weight too.
OR - just pull the bag out when you park the vehicle.

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I went with dry soup and peanut butter, clif bars and trail snax. Now that it is winter, I have added SPAM! individual slices and some dry (Minute) rice in MRE hot drink bags, that way I can store or cook in the bag. Each bag holds just over one cup of rice.

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The little kit is two cups and a lid. I can cook, eat out of them, use as a cup or not. I also have a GSI cup (18 OZ) that fits a Nalgene bottle. - heat is via a Esbit in the summer and a surplus Trangia in the winter.

So, I can boil soup then add some rice and chopped SPAM!
or
make peanut butter soup (yummy)
or
Boil the rice and add... because everything goes with rice, even iguana. (SPAM! is easier to skin tho)

So with a little thought, you can mix or match as you have time.

After looking at your setup, I'lll be adding a couple more bags with oatmeal.

I also carry MRE sugar, creamer, Tabasco, Freeze dried coffee packets and tea. I figure I can skip a meal by drinking a cup of coffee - has worked up to now.

Thanks for the post.

Re: The Observer's 24 Ration Pack Mk I

Posted: Thu Oct 20, 2011 9:08 pm
by MichaelM
Logistical problems aside, I like the concept of this. Take that stuff from the pantry that may or may not ever get used, pack roughly a day of the stuff into a bag, and bring it to work just in case.

Good show.

Re: The Observer's 24 Ration Pack Mk I

Posted: Thu Oct 20, 2011 9:24 pm
by The Observer
I think rather than try to sit here and armchair nitpick my own creation, I'm going to take it as-is and see how it stands up to a 24hr period of using only that. My one exception will be I will use a microwave to cook with since I will be at work, but really being able to cook it over a tablet stove isn't what I'm testing at this point. I'll probably do this Sunday I'm thinking and will post a review after that. Probably learn a lot more than "calorie counting" and such with a spreadsheet :D

Re: The Observer's 24 Ration Pack Mk I

Posted: Thu Oct 20, 2011 9:35 pm
by blarp
there is sunflower seeds. so its a win in my book, you can snack on them for hours and feel very full. its offten something i did Deployed being on the road or out for a days at a time. and if your very active the salt is good for ya to.

Re: The Observer's 24 Ration Pack Mk I

Posted: Thu Oct 20, 2011 9:42 pm
by Keith B

Re: The Observer's 24 Ration Pack Mk I

Posted: Sun Oct 23, 2011 10:33 am
by The Observer
So I'm part way through my test of this (just finished lunch) and I just remember something..... I HATE tomato soup, I don't know why I didn't remember that until I took the first sip.

More exciting updates and a more thorough AAR to come!

Re: The Observer's 24 Ration Pack Mk I

Posted: Sun Oct 23, 2011 12:35 pm
by TacAir
The Observer wrote:So I'm part way through my test of this (just finished lunch) and I just remember something..... I HATE tomato soup, I don't know why I didn't remember that until I took the first sip.

More exciting updates and a more thorough AAR to come!
Tomato soup can be 'enhanced' by the use of cheese... get some of those Pizza Hut cheese packets and dump a couple in the soup, makes a difference.

Tomato soup and a grilled cheese samy - yum!

Re: The Observer's 24 Ration Pack Mk I

Posted: Sun Oct 23, 2011 4:59 pm
by The Observer
Well this test is a failure. It is 1800, I have some sunflour seeds, a granola bar, and a fruit leather left only and I'm starving and my wife wants me to bring home dinner.

So this pack was full of fail, just not enough food. Also I noticed that it was almost completely carbs.... I was starting to get sick of even MORE carbs, I think even just throwing in one of those snack packs of beef jerky might make a world of difference.

Re: The Observer's 24 Ration Pack Mk I

Posted: Sun Oct 23, 2011 5:56 pm
by NoAm
I wouldn't call fail! You are wise to test out your rations and see what improvements are needed! Mr. NoAm & I do this quite frequently, taking our GHBs on our hikes. It's amazing just how much you learn, by using/testing your stuff.

I love the idea TacAir had about the peanut butter! Yes there are loads of carbs in pb, but it's also high in calories & protein. You may also want to try adding some jerky or Slim Jim's to your rations. That would be a protein booster as well.

Word of Warning! If anyone ever tries the Crystal Light 'Energy' Wild Strawberry, DO IT EARLY! I had some in the evening, not realizing it was an energy drink......................... I could NOT sleep! It doesn't give you a 'zap' like some of the energy drinks, but it sure will keep you awake!

Great thread and thank you for the information!

Re: The Observer's 24 Ration Pack Mk I

Posted: Sun Oct 23, 2011 6:03 pm
by omega_man
Replace the Bacardi with Captain Morgan and you're GTG :D I like it and will probably copy your idea shortly!

Re: The Observer's 24 Ration Pack Mk I

Posted: Sun Oct 23, 2011 6:17 pm
by mantis
Good job. I've been thinking about assembling some similar packs myself lately. I have some IMPs (Individual Meal Packs - Canadian MREs) and some MREs but I wanted to assemble some 24 hour kits along the lines of the British 24 hour ration packs. You've given me some good ideas for the content. The "rules" that I want to work within are:

1) All of the food must be edible as is without having to cook or prepare it in any way (cookable food is ok as long as it can be eaten as is).
2) I am aiming for 1800-2000 calories and I want to make it as balanced (protein, carbohydrates, etc) as possible.
3) I want to maximize shelf life (aim is 5 years) assuming storage at a costant temperature of around 15c while stored in vacuum sealed air-tight packaging.

Re: The Observer's 24 Ration Pack Mk I

Posted: Mon Oct 24, 2011 1:01 am
by Hoppy
good home built kit really is.

but if you need low temp gear, you need a higher calorie intake, also unless this is a vehicle borne kit, you should up the calorie count for footing it out.

keep in mind 2k calories is average when including for a joe schmoe american sitting at a desk writing TPS reports and doing not much manual labor.

hence why MRE rank 1300+ calories. and soldiers eat at least 2 a day.

an active human working hard will consume way more than some office drone.

Re: The Observer's 24 Ration Pack Mk I

Posted: Mon Oct 24, 2011 1:37 am
by Apollo-11
Yes, to amplify on the calorie problem, be aware that soldiers in the field used to commonly lose weight because they couldn't/wouldn't eat enough calories. (Until MREs came along.) This won't be too much of a critical problem unless you are eating your emergency rations for days/weeks. You can burn fat if you have to. You won't starve in 72 hours, but you may feel terrible and have no energy.

Item: you need a balanced mix of carbs, protein, and fat.
Item: you need vitamins, or food that has a good balance of vitamins
Item: you need more calories
Item: you need water

None of these problems are unsolvable. In fact, in failing the test, you learned a valuable lesson. You don't know if it will work until you test it. That is why we test. So learn the lessons from the failed trial, fix them, and test again.

Re: The Observer's 24 Ration Pack Mk I

Posted: Mon Oct 24, 2011 9:18 am
by The Observer
I have some ideas in mind on how to improve on this pack but it will involve hitting the grocery store for a specific shop this time. I had originally set out on the concept of doing this with what was at hand but have shown that what I have in the house for daily consumption is not the same as would be eaten in the field.

PB is out... I'm allergic to peanuts. I wonder if you can get those small packs of PB substitutes like Pea Butter or Soy Butter and such. Or perhaps tuna packs? Might just stick with the jerky idea although that is a LOT of sodium.

Re: The Observer's 24 Ration Pack Mk I

Posted: Mon Oct 24, 2011 10:34 am
by Chase The hero
The Observer wrote:I have some ideas in mind on how to improve on this pack but it will involve hitting the grocery store for a specific shop this time. I had originally set out on the concept of doing this with what was at hand but have shown that what I have in the house for daily consumption is not the same as would be eaten in the field.

PB is out... I'm allergic to peanuts. I wonder if you can get those small packs of PB substitutes like Pea Butter or Soy Butter and such. Or perhaps tuna packs? Might just stick with the jerky idea although that is a LOT of sodium.
i think that a packet of tuna or 2, some packets of mustard/mayo, and crackers would go a long way towards having a decent meal. some instant coffee packets (nescafe or something similar) would be a good addition as well. even if you dont have hot water you can"ranger dip" it, but just putting some raw instant coffee in your mouth and chewing/sucking on it.

Re: The Observer's 24 Ration Pack Mk I

Posted: Mon Oct 24, 2011 10:45 am
by MichaelM
The thing about a balance of carbs, fat, and protein is a good suggestion. They're what your body needs in terms of fuel.

Simple carbs won't fill you up for long. You break them down really quickly. In fact, the process of digestion is pretty well along by the time you're done chewing them. The enzymes in your saliva begin the process of breaking them into sugar. Sugar absorbs quickly into your stomach.

Now that I look more carefully, a lot of what you've packed is sugar or a short stint of digesting away from sugar. While it's good for explosive bursts of energy, it's garbage for making you feel full for long. You probably want to take out some of the candy and replace it with something more substantial. You don't need to take it all out, because it's yummy and sometimes you need a quick burst of energy.

Fiber is very filling. So if you're looking for something to make you feel sated for a while, try for soluble fiber. It takes a bunch of water to digest, but that's because it sucks it up like a sponge and makes you feel full. So if water isn't an issue, lots of soluble fiber will fill you up for longer.

Likewise, protein and fat fill you up for longer. They're harder for your body to digest, so they sit in your stomach for longer before passing further down. So, in addition to being a good idea in terms of nutritional balance, they're more satisfying. If you've ever eaten one of those 20g protein bars, you'll know exactly what I mean.

I actually wouldn't worry too terribly much about too much salt. It's unhealthy as a lifestyle thing, not so much as a one-time thing. So if you plan to eat this stuff all the time, worry about salt. If you plan to eat it once a month, not as much. Also, if you plan on needing to do physical labour while eating this stuff, it'll help you replenish salt you lose by sweating.

Re: The Observer's 24 Ration Pack Mk I

Posted: Mon Oct 24, 2011 10:47 am
by LBB
TacAir wrote:Looks good, I can't see what AO you are in, here (AK) I have to worry about freezing. That canned stuff would not do well at 20 below. (Shrug)
I always wondered about cans when they freeze.
Do they leak or explode?

Do you have some experience you can share?

I thought I put a couple of cans in my car, but in Texas it doesn't get lower than 0F

Re: The Observer's 24 Ration Pack Mk I

Posted: Mon Oct 24, 2011 11:33 pm
by Apollo-11
The Observer wrote:I have some ideas in mind on how to improve on this pack but it will involve hitting the grocery store for a specific shop this time. I had originally set out on the concept of doing this with what was at hand but have shown that what I have in the house for daily consumption is not the same as would be eaten in the field.

PB is out... I'm allergic to peanuts. I wonder if you can get those small packs of PB substitutes like Pea Butter or Soy Butter and such. Or perhaps tuna packs? Might just stick with the jerky idea although that is a LOT of sodium.
You may be able to find what you are looking for at http://www.minimus.biz/ under the Specialty Food section. They are right up your alley for a project like this. It's a good website... no affiliation, etc.

Re: The Observer's 24 Ration Pack Mk I

Posted: Tue Oct 25, 2011 10:55 am
by TacAir
LBB wrote:
TacAir wrote:Looks good, I can't see what AO you are in, here (AK) I have to worry about freezing. That canned stuff would not do well at 20 below. (Shrug)
I always wondered about cans when they freeze.
Do they leak or explode?

Do you have some experience you can share?

I thought I put a couple of cans in my car, but in Texas it doesn't get lower than 0F
I hate to say this - but the outcome is dependent on the how the can is packed, the product itself and how long it is cold-soaked.

A can/foil pac of SPAM! - not likely to be damaged, can of wet pack peaches - ugly. Bloated can and maybe a leak.

Now we have a ton of fail and plastic pack foods that are semi-dry and not affected by the cold. I just picked up some Old El Paso stuffer pacs - and will be cold testing them this winter.

Re: The Observer's 24 Ration Pack Mk I

Posted: Mon Dec 12, 2011 9:53 pm
by Tanker505
:o