Just when I thought everything was good to go with equipment, suppliers and shipping the whole world started coming apart at the seams.
Here’s the good news: Natick has developed six additional FSR menus, which means soon Bug-Out Grub will have six additional menus.
Now here’s the bad news: Sourcing items to fill those menus is turning out to be a real bitch, thanks to all the wars and disasters happening all over the world.
Personally, I’m a perfectionist. I don’t want to sell some half-assed product that doesn’t meet my own standards. I envisioned being able to source all military MRE components and accessories to fill my Bug-Out Grub menus. Unfortunately, that’s turning out to be tougher than expected. And it’s not really the big items that are the problem, it’s the little things like condiments and accessories.
I have spoken to several of the manufacturers of MRE condiments and they assure me the civilian versions are exactly the same as the military. Only the packaging is different. Their civilian specs indicate foil packaging and a 12 month shelf-life. Of course, that’s 12 months from the date of manufacture, which isn’t stamped on the package like the military versions. Hmmm. Dilemma.
Another roadblock comes with the accessory packs.
You’re all familiar with the typical MRE accessory pack: Coffee, sugar, creamer, salt, chewing gum, matches, tissue, but did you know that’s just considered Accessory Pack “A”? There’s also Accessory Packs “B” through “E”. Each is just a little different based on the contents of the meal. Those are really hard to come by.
So, I’ve made an executive decision. I’m going to temporarily replace the hard to find military condiments with civilian versions, and I’m going to build my own accessory packs.
Bug-Out Grub accessory packs will contain all the essentials of the military MRE accessory packs, with a few modifications and additions. For example, I’m not a fan of black coffee and I always need more than one sugar packet to make it taste just right. So, I’ve replaced the generic sugar packet with two packets of Splenda Sweetener. If you happen to suffer from diabetes, you’ll thank me for this.
Next, I’ve doubled up on the wet-naps and toilet paper.
Bug-Out Grub is a full day’s ration, so shouldn’t a full day’s ration include enough toilet paper to last a full day? Granted, MRE toilet paper is almost useless but until I can find a suitable replacement it’ll have to do. (Hmmm. Anybody ever try those Charmin ToGo freshmates cloths?)
The Bug-Out Grub bag is already packed pretty tight, so I can’t go too crazy with the customizations. However, I am considering adding one more thing that’s not in the military version, but might just turn out to be quite useful.
If you’re not aware of it, PuR Purifier of Water is used all over the world to make drinking water safe. One packet of PuR Purifier of Water treats 2.5 gallons of water. More than enough for one person’s daily consumption requirements. Use some, save the rest for the next day.
The PuR packet will add about $.60 to the price of Bug-Out Grub, so I may just make it available as an option. What do you think?