What makes a "GOOD" survival/base ration

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What makes a "GOOD" survival/base ration

Postby Moondog55 » Tue 19 Nov, 2013 12:12 pm

Seeing as the OSM thread has got a little off track I thought it pertinent to open another to talk a little about compounded "All-in-one" rations and what peoples thoughts were on them.
If you were making them up for yourself ( that is not as a commercial product for sale ) what ratios of fat, protein/ sugar/complex starh would yoou personally think desirable?
Would you want maximum nutrition or would you opt for maximum energy density??
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Re: What makes a "GOOD" survival/base ration

Postby icefest » Tue 19 Nov, 2013 3:36 pm

It depends on if it is long term or short term.

For a single day, I would be aiming for a large amount of carbohydrates, as these are more effective in replacing glycogen. (C/P/F; 60/30/10)
To honest though a 'one day survival ration' is an oxymoron, you will survive several weeks without food. It just increases comfort.

For multiple month survival I would be leaning towards very little carbohydrates, and more fat. This is in combination with Multivitamin tablets. (Final C/P/F; 10/30/60)
It'd be cheaper to just buy several months worth of MREs

All should have a balanced set of amino acids.
It takes a while to adjust to a high fat diet, so the initial 2 weeks would have slowly increasing amounts of fat in them.
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Re: What makes a "GOOD" survival/base ration

Postby stry » Tue 19 Nov, 2013 3:59 pm

I'm not trying to take your thread in a circle, but for many years I have simply carried a couple or a few OSMs. Main thinking is a little extra food in case the trip gets unexpectedly extended.

If I wanted something for more than a day or two, I would be lazy and look hard at what the Australian military use. If possible, I would simply buy some Australian one man ration packs. The ADF puts a lot of effort into making sure that these packs provide what is necessary. The problem with this is that I have found it very near impossible to buy GENUINE Australian army ration packs.

On a DIY basis I would probably start with biltong and dehydrated vegetables and build on that base. Finding out what proportions of fat etc organisations such as the ADF use in their packs may save you from re inventing the wheel, research wise.
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Re: What makes a "GOOD" survival/base ration

Postby LandSailor » Tue 19 Nov, 2013 4:34 pm

All those prepper/survivalist shops sell survival rations. Just high-density calories with a long shelf-life.
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Re: What makes a "GOOD" survival/base ration

Postby Samma3l » Tue 19 Nov, 2013 4:38 pm

Australian Army ration packs are extremely heavy for their energy content. Each one weighs in excess of 2kg before being stripped down (FREDs, toilet paper, other things you wont eat/use etc).

For me, it would depend on what the ration is supposed to be for.

For daily food, I would vary the food sources for protein and fat sources, while limiting any carbs (I have strong opinions about carbohydrates but wont discuss that here). I'm designing a daily food plan that consists of roast & salted macadamia nuts, beef jerky, protein powder and sugar free chocolate supplemented with a multivitamin and magnesium/calcium tablets. It's not very imaginative but I get the macro's I want to about 9000kj each day, in under 500g/day.

For emergency food, it's designed to get me out of a tight spot without focusing much on nutrition: 200g of macadamia nuts, roast/salted per day. ~6000kj/day.
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Re: What makes a "GOOD" survival/base ration

Postby Moondog55 » Tue 19 Nov, 2013 5:07 pm

Notice I asked about Survival //Base ration

I was thinking about something that was reasonably balanced but also fairly bland so it could be eaten every day as the main part of your daily ration and supplemented with extras
There was a compressed ration block from Scandinavia called Turblokken which was this sort of food.
I have made my own pemmican before and I was pretty happy to eat that almost every day in winter but it isn't for every-one.
I know all about "Mainstay" and for what it is the price isn't too bad, but for bushwalking I think the protein ratio is a little low IMO
Aussie ration packs are far too heavy or do not have enough calories in them if the new LW ration and MREs are even heavier
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Re: What makes a "GOOD" survival/base ration

Postby wayno » Tue 19 Nov, 2013 6:26 pm

lentils, good protein and carb content. cook a lot faster than beans... mix with rice if you want to up the carbs
i tend to eat mainly lentils to keep the protein up..
you have to try options for yourself and see what works, people vary in what they can thrive on with diets
i'd say icefest ratio can work well. some people get buy on less protein or better on more fat, i'd aim more for 20% fat, protein 20 to thirty percent and the remainder carbs. but thats what works for me...
whole milk powder good for fat and protein.
chocolate when its not hot....
i take coconut oil and butter for fat
tinned meat or fish for protein is another option..
can snack on muesli bars and or raisins and nuts.
protein bars in limited amounts, they can slow your digestion down and even constipate you, i find soy protein is particularly bad...
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Re: What makes a "GOOD" survival/base ration

Postby icefest » Tue 19 Nov, 2013 8:55 pm

I forgot to mention, if you split up your ration into meals then it's better to avoid carbohydrates in the 2-3 hours before bedtime.

That way you get increased responsiveness to hgh.

Some carbohydrates with protein are good though as they increase cellular amino acid uptake.
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Re: What makes a "GOOD" survival/base ration

Postby stry » Tue 19 Nov, 2013 9:42 pm

Samma3l wrote:Australian Army ration packs are extremely heavy for their energy content. Each one weighs in excess of 2kg before being stripped down (FREDs, toilet paper, other things you wont eat/use etc).


These things come (or came) in various permutations. The one with the most application to Moondogs purpose, I thnk, would be the one man one day. I don't have one to weigh, but have munched my way through quite a few of them and I would be very surprised if one man/one day weighs 2 kilos. Perhaps Spartan could enlighten us as to current weights ? I would be equally surprised if the calorie count is insufficient, given their intended application. Heavy due to packaging and ready to eat qualities, but almost certainly not deficient.

Remember also, that depending on how one chooses to define "survival", it may be necessary to have a higher proportion of ready to eat stuff, which will bump up the weight over a conventional bushwalking menu.

If, as it seems, you are not concerned about the physical robustness of the survival/base ration, then the various ration pack offerings are probably all needlessly heavy for your purpose. In that context, I would think that pemmican may be the closest you will get. Turblokken is a blast from the past, but I don't remember anything about it except the name.

If we are not concerned about the "survivability" of the ration itself perhaps the simplest thing is to simply carry some extra of your usual menu ?
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Re: What makes a "GOOD" survival/base ration

Postby Moondog55 » Wed 20 Nov, 2013 6:56 am

I know how much the "OLD" ration packs weighed and how calorie deficient they were.
I remember them being just over a kilo but they only had 2400 calories in them IF you ate every single item, the newer patrol ration [ freeze dried main ] weighed much less at around 700g but needed over a litre of water to prepare and was only about 2100 calories. Army regulations when I was in did not allow their use for more than 4 consecutive days due to calorie deficit
There were many "Ration packs" some were "Patrol" packs and some are for use in static areas, the static packs were reasonably generous in both quantity and energy but were not a substitute for fresh catered food
Turblokken tasted like cardboard and was incredible chewy and I only ever had on block ; Scotland in the 80s
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Re: What makes a "GOOD" survival/base ration

Postby wayno » Wed 20 Nov, 2013 7:09 am

i used to use army issue wet rations in cadets, and they weighed a lot... several cans of food saw to that. being canned food there was a high moisture content so it needd to be bulky to provide enough energy... the old cans of "dog food"
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Re: What makes a "GOOD" survival/base ration

Postby Son of a Beach » Wed 20 Nov, 2013 12:38 pm

I just take rice and dehydrated veggies for emergency rations (not sure if this is the same thing as survival/base ration. It's cheap, it's nutritious enough to get you through a several days-worth of emergency (i.e., when there's nothing else to eat).

It's not very exciting to eat. But that's OK - I've never yet had to dip into my emergency rations.

The other advantage is that shelf life is irrelevant. When you get back home you can just use it as part of your normal home meals, or use it as part of your non-emergency menu for your next bush walk (with other ingredients to make it more interesting).

Of course the disadvantage is that it needs to be cooked, requiring extra fuel to be calculated in, but that is minimal.
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Re: What makes a "GOOD" survival/base ration

Postby Onestepmore » Wed 20 Nov, 2013 6:04 pm

Wasn't there some powdered long term use ration that was developed for Antarctic travelers? I'm camping on the beach at the moment and don't have access to my bookmarks on my computer but I'll see if I can find it when I get home.

PS no fish in four days. I'd be hopeless in a survival situation if I had to rely on fish for protein!
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Re: What makes a "GOOD" survival/base ration

Postby andrewa » Wed 20 Nov, 2013 9:39 pm

Um....how many of us are on the dregs of abdominal fat, such that we actually "need" " survival" rashions??...

Whilst I'd take an extra pack of 2 minute noodles on a trip for comfort, in the event of a late egress, I wouldn't kid myself that these were actually required for "survival".

At 182cm and 90 kg, I'm overweight, but could survive on my gut for at least a week, albeit unhappily.

Just a thought....

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Re: What makes a "GOOD" survival/base ration

Postby wayno » Thu 21 Nov, 2013 6:07 am

your body needs a certain amount of sugar from sugar protein or carbs to fuel your organs especially your brain... you cant get that from fat, it doesnt break down to sugar.
if you dont have enough carbs sugar or protein to eat then your body breaks down your muscle to get the sugar... its been a problem for body builders who fast too much before a competition whre they loose muscle condition, also runners who go on carb depetion repletion diets can be more prone to injury from degradation of muscle...
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Re: What makes a "GOOD" survival/base ration

Postby Moondog55 » Thu 21 Nov, 2013 6:16 am

andrewa wrote:Um....how many of us are on the dregs of abdominal fat, such that we actually "need" " survival" rashions??...

Whilst I'd take an extra pack of 2 minute noodles on a trip for comfort, in the event of a late egress, I wouldn't kid myself that these were actually required for "survival".

At 182cm and 90 kg, I'm overweight, but could survive on my gut for at least a week, albeit unhappily.

Just a thought....

A

And I could probably survive a week longer than that, although I would want some glucose/ carbohydrate to avoid ketosis.
That is why I said "Base" ration.
I have mentioned in another thread or two running out of everything but rolled oats on one occasion and eating nothing but porridge for a few days; back in the 70s the YHA bushwalkers used to recommend a mixture of quick cooking rolled oats, skim milk powder and brown sugar, which could be eaten raw at need.
I really miss the old style army ration biscuits; as much for the robust packaging as the actual contents
I suppose "Lifeboat" glucose tablets would work if it wasn't for the extremely high cost as would "Mainstay" but with the same drawback
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Re: What makes a "GOOD" survival/base ration

Postby icefest » Thu 21 Nov, 2013 6:58 am

wayno wrote:your body needs a certain amount of sugar from sugar protein or carbs to fuel your organs especially your brain... you cant get that from fat, it doesnt break down to sugar.

It's only about 30g/day (+/-10), but that can all be sourced from glyerol, the triglyceride backbone, via gluconeogenesis.
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Re: What makes a "GOOD" survival/base ration

Postby wayno » Thu 21 Nov, 2013 7:06 am

icefest wrote:
wayno wrote:your body needs a certain amount of sugar from sugar protein or carbs to fuel your organs especially your brain... you cant get that from fat, it doesnt break down to sugar.

It's only about 30g/day (+/-10), but that can all be sourced from glyerol, the triglyceride backbone, via gluconeogenesis.


if you're physically active you'll still suffer protein breakdown,
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Re: What makes a "GOOD" survival/base ration

Postby wayno » Thu 21 Nov, 2013 7:24 am

icefest wrote:
wayno wrote:your body needs a certain amount of sugar from sugar protein or carbs to fuel your organs especially your brain... you cant get that from fat, it doesnt break down to sugar.

It's only about 30g/day (+/-10), but that can all be sourced from glyerol, the triglyceride backbone, via gluconeogenesis.


if you end up in a survival situation and are inactive with no energy coming in, your body will still breakdown muscle to reduce energy requirements.
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Re: What makes a "GOOD" survival/base ration

Postby icefest » Thu 21 Nov, 2013 8:52 am

wayno wrote:if you end up in a survival situation and are inactive with no energy coming in, your body will still breakdown muscle to reduce energy requirements.

I thought the point was survival rations, not physiological reactions to starvation.


I'm with andrewa on this; we are all unlikely to ever need true survival rations (comfort rations on the other hand).
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Re: What makes a "GOOD" survival/base ration

Postby Moondog55 » Thu 21 Nov, 2013 9:32 am

I think most of the people replying have the wrong idea.
I really did mean Survival/Base ration
Something that could form the CORE of the bushwalking ration, that could be taken as extras. Energy dense and at the same time nutritionally dense. Rice and peas is a good example except that it needs cooking.
For me the original Arctic/Antarctic ration of pemmican and ships biscuit is a prime example
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Re: What makes a "GOOD" survival/base ration

Postby wayno » Thu 21 Nov, 2013 9:33 am

muesli bars, the fattier, the more energy,,,
nuts and dried fruit, and chocolate when its cool
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Re: What makes a "GOOD" survival/base ration

Postby stry » Thu 21 Nov, 2013 10:12 am

Thanks for clarifying that Moondog. I think the difficulty that I have with this is the dual purpose nature of what you are pursuing.

Most of us seem to see the answer as either carrying a bit extra of the usual, or as carrying something different from the usual.

Biltong, or pemmican (with its additional ingredients) plus some dehi vegies would appear to me to be as close as you are going to get. The vegies can be soaked and eaten uncooked if necessary. I don't know of a source of dried fish in Australia, but that would be a good substitute for the meat, if not for the pemmican. I carried rice for many years which is a great addition, if, as been pointed out, you are confident about having some way to cook it. The combination of biltong, dehi veges, and rice would weigh and cost very little and some could, if you wish, be easily packed into one day serves to quarantine it from the food supplies which you are planning on consuming.

I like the idea of ships biscuits/cabin bread, but this seems to have also disappeared from the market place.

I used a variation of your Kram for many years. Can't remember exactly what was in it, but recall rolled oats, honey, butter. Probably dried fruit. This was cooked in baking trays and cut into a sort of turbo-charged Anzac biscuit. Not exactly balanced or stand alone :D You could add some of this or some Kram to your solution, but either will obviously add to the weight and will probably have a shorter storage life than the biltong/dehi veges/rice.

Quite apart from the expense, anything pre-packaged is probably not going to meet your needs.
Last edited by stry on Thu 21 Nov, 2013 10:16 am, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: What makes a "GOOD" survival/base ration

Postby Son of a Beach » Thu 21 Nov, 2013 10:15 am

andrewa wrote:Um....how many of us are on the dregs of abdominal fat, such that we actually "need" " survival" rashions??...


I certainly don't have enough body fat to keep me going for more than a few minutes. Well maybe a tad longer than that.

I've suffered badly from low blood sugars on one bushwalk and it was an experience I do not want to ever suffer again. I would suggest that if I had that same experience at a time when no food was available, I would not survive very long at all if the weather was cold.
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Re: What makes a "GOOD" survival/base ration

Postby stry » Thu 21 Nov, 2013 10:19 am

Son of a Beach wrote:
andrewa wrote:Um....how many of us are on the dregs of abdominal fat, such that we actually "need" " survival" rashions??...


I certainly don't have enough body fat to keep me going for more than a few minutes. Well maybe a tad longer than that.

I've suffered badly from low blood sugars on one bushwalk and it was an experience I do not want to ever suffer again. I would suggest that if I had that same experience at a time when no food was available, I would not survive very long at all if the weather was cold.


I definitely empathise with you SOAB. I have had a couple of wobbly moments late in long cold days. I monitor myself pretty carefully now, and if the day is stretching out and getting a bit miserable, I will take a break, have a snack and a drink, and maybe layer up.
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Re: What makes a "GOOD" survival/base ration

Postby perfectlydark » Thu 21 Nov, 2013 11:47 am

Those indian spicy peas (except they make you a bit thirsty) and biltong/jerky. Actually thats a lot of my standard fare when in bush
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Re: What makes a "GOOD" survival/base ration

Postby Onestepmore » Fri 22 Nov, 2013 5:14 pm

What about this?
http://www.weberarctic.com/arctic-gear/food-plan

I think I found the powdered ration I read about last year
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Re: What makes a "GOOD" survival/base ration

Postby corvus » Fri 22 Nov, 2013 7:24 pm

Glucodin Tabs are a really good stand by IMHO ,at 24 kj per tab you won't get fat but should have enough energy to keep you going for a weight of around 50g for 33 tabs,never go bush without them :)
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Re: What makes a "GOOD" survival/base ration

Postby Moondog55 » Sat 23 Nov, 2013 6:14 am

Like the old "Kendal Mint cake" too sweet to eat as the main ingredient
Summer is the time to make jerky but I am having trouble finding lean grass fed beef and I can't afford a whole animal as we don't have a big enough freezer
If it was possible to buy freeze dried beef in bulk that might make a decent pemmican but you still need the fat from grass fed beef, feedlot beef has the wrong type of fat for making pemmican
Has anyone here ever made kangaroo jerky??
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Re: What makes a "GOOD" survival/base ration

Postby stry » Sat 23 Nov, 2013 7:35 pm

My experience with jerky has been limited to consuming the efforts of others. I have however, quizzed the makers at length as to methods etc.

Perhaps some of these thoughts may be helpful. I stress that I haven't done it myself, but regard my contacts as knowing what they are doing.

1/ The advice to me from several people is that the meat to be dried should as fat free as possible. Whether this is because of some risk of the fat becoming rancid, or because the fat inhibits the drying process I do not know. The pemmican recipes I have seen all mention adding fat to the previously dried meat, so perhaps the leanness of the original is desired only to ensure effective drying. Inneffective drying obviously has potential to encourage the appearance of nasties.
If rancidity was the issue, pemmican wouldn't last as well as it does. The type of fat added may affect this issue ? This what you are alluding to when differentiating between the two types of beef, I presume. Can the fat be sourced separately ? Butchers trimmings perhaps ? If lean beef is jerked, perhaps the fat added to the pemmican can come from a different type of animal ? Pork fat is widely used to add some fat to sausages, salami etc.

Is salt added to the pemmican mix ? I should imagine that it would have been in the past. What effect salt would have on the fat I do not know. There will already be salt present in the jerky, unless it is deliberately excluded from whichever marinade is chosen.

2/ Winter (even Melbourne/Geelong winter I am told) is not a barrier to making jerky, provided there is sufficient movement of air over the meat.

3/ Based on 1/, kangaroo back straps should be an ideal candidate for jerky. One of my sources has done kangaroo and is very satisfied with the outcome.

Backstraps (scotch fillet) of anything suitable should be the best but also one of the more expensive cuts. Marbled fat could be a problem in some cuts. If one accepts that leanness is desirable, perhaps pork and lamb/mutton would not be candidates.

In my usual fashion I await the final (successful) recipe with interest :D :D
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