Originally posted by Gazrok
I've been researching this a lot for BOBs. I currently use a few cans of stew, but if I could find some really good decent Dehydrated meals, it'd be
less pack weight.
It looks like your pack it gourmet meals have to be cooked. For instance the tortilla soup has to be heated to simmering and held there at 10 minutes.
Figure 15 minutes of stove fuel for one bowl of soup.
That's a lot of fuel for just a couple of days food.
For instance, a jetboil will boil a cup of water in 1 minute with a small canister of fuel.
That's 12 liters in 50 minutes on one can when used judiciously.
That's enough to heat water for 25 of the large mountain house meals which is 62.5 servings for a peckish child, 50 servings for an average sized
person or 25 servings for a hungry hiker who doesn't have access to a refrigerator or a fast food franchise.
Meanwhile, the gourmet food route gets you 4 bowls of soup.
It's not that the gourmet stuff is no good. It looks delicious. It's just that resupply of fuel is in no way guaranteed and fuel is heavy.
The trade off with MRE's is that your average mre weighs a lot more than even your dehydrated stuff +fuel.
I've eaten C rations,
the real ones with cans, gorilla cookies, peaches and pound cake . lima beans and #@!%%^! A small 4 pack of cigarettes that are crumbly and bereft of
even the smell of tobacco.
Old school MRE's, half of which were dehydrated and flavorless.
New MRE's which are heavy and half of which are empty calories.....expensive.... empty calories.
Bad quality dehydrated foods that must be boiled forever and still leave the peas mushy on the outside and crunchy on the inside.
And the freeze dried meals which are a decent balance of weight versus price versus taste versus ease of use.
Look at it this way.
EACH FOOD HAS A SPECIFIC USE
MRE... when money is not an issue and you have a way to carry the weight.
Canned food.. short term pre-cached hideouts and/or bug in location.
Dehydrated meals (not freeze dried) cheaper than freeze dried, long term storage, plenty of fuel for cooking
Pre packaged carbs - i.e. protein bars, granola,trail mix, candy, nut's, crackers , peanut butter, squeeze cheese, cocoa, ect. (these constitute
about half of the calories you actually get in a new MRE anyway.)
These are good for supplementing a BOB if not the primary source of food in a bob for the first 24-48 hours as they are easy calories, easy
to use and don't need cooking.
Freeze dried meals. - (NOT dehydrated) they reconstitute in a few minutes on boiling water, but you are not cooking them, just adding boiling water.
With a jetboil or similar product you only use 2-3 minutes of fuel.
These are good for any situation where you can boil water but are more expensive than canned or dehydrated.
They are good as a source of packable food in a BOB but still have to be reconstituted. You can use cold water and leave them sit longer. They just
taste better hot.
Let's see where we could use some of these.
A long term hike, say 5-7 days from "bug out" to "bug in / shelter" might look like this.
canned/ MRE /pre packaged food - any canned stuff gets eaten first, then mre's, and pre packaged this is all to reduce weight as food and water will
likely be half of your pack weight.
Day 3-4 MRE s
Day 4-7 dehydrated meals and dehydrated drinks like coco,coffee,tea
This would be in a well loaded pack with water and would weigh 50-80 pounds depending on your basic equipment and what food you carried. The food
would not necessarily be 3 hots and you would still need to ration it out. You would be relying some upon your own body fat for calories.
This is a worst case for getting from your bug out point to a safe haven between 50 to 100 miles away and would be extremely hard on the average
The best thing to do is take a long summer vacation and find a trail to hike with your BOB.
Don't go to a survivalist site to figure this out.
Go to a hiking site.
I would recommend researching the preparations people make when hiking the Appalachian Trail or a similar long range hike in temperate climate. Other
trails like the long trail and Pacific coast trail are better suited for arid climates.
These people actually spend months walking so their experiences are directly applicable to a real life scenario.
I was infantry for a total of 10 years and walked 500 miles on the AT a few years back for fun so I've seen enough to have an informed point of view.
The best way to do it is to get out there and learn in a real time situation.
It's educational and can be fun.
As far as food goes, there is no "ONE" type of food to use. Any food provides calories and all of them have advantages and drawbacks. Just realize
that you will use a mix of the types available based on mobility, longevity, cost and taste.
And remember, there is a huge difference between freeze dried and dehydrated.
edit on 19-7-2013 by badgerprints because: (no reason given)