About three years ago — while the last presidential campaign was raging — the Discovery Channel, The History Channel and National Geographic began airing a series of documentaries that could only be described as apocalyptic. You know the shows I’m talking about… Nostradamus, 2012, The Mayan Prophecy, etc. While those documentaries didn’t make me run out back and start digging a bunker in the yard, they did make me think. What would I do if a natural — or worse, a man-made — disaster struck?
I started doing a little research and found literally hundreds of websites catering to disaster preparedness. I’ve always been a big fan of outdoor gear, so needless to say I found myself spending a lot of time looking at expensive survival kits. While everything I found looked useful and brought out the inner boy scout in me, I never really felt the need to spend the money.
Now, thanks to cable news, I’ve seen more earthquakes, storms and war in the last three years than I had in the previous 30. The number of preparedness websites, blogs and forums has increased exponentially. And my attitude towards preparation has changed.
This site has a two-fold purpose:
- Provide those in need with a useful, desired product.
- Provide some useful information to help you prepare for the worse.
Regarding point one, there’s a little history that needs relaying.
When I finally decided to stop researching and start preparing I quickly discovered I had more questions than answers. Should I buy a pre-stocked bug-out bag, or build my own? What type of food should I get, freeze dried, dehydrated or MREs? When SHTF (the sh*t hits the fan), where will I go and how will I get there. Once I’m there, should I have a stockpile of food or should I grow my own? How will I protect myself and my family?
Each question I answered raised a half dozen more. I’ll describe how I got my answers to many of those questions in future posts. For now, I’ll try to stick to the point and discuss how I came up with the idea for Bug-Out Grub.
During my research period I tried to envision as many different scenarios as possible. One of them involved a situation I hope never happens; that is, becoming a refugee without transportation. If I was required to walk some distance to a safer place, I would have to pare down my possessions to just the bare minimum required for survival and carry everything on my back. That would include gear, weapons, water and food. I suppose I could live in the same clothes for three days if I had to, so that wouldn’t be a problem (though my wife might disagree). Assuming the social situation didn’t include some sort of zombie apocalypse, weapons could be limited to a knife or a pistol and some spare ammo. Where I live, water is abundant and can be easily filtered and purified. That leaves food as the only major problem.
Canned food was out of the question — too heavy. Freeze dried or dehydrated camping food was a good choice, but those require a lot of hot water. Some freeze dried and dehydrated foods require simmering for 20 minutes. What if I couldn’t make a fire?
MREs were the next option. MREs are compact, easy to eat and best of all don’t require a fire to heat them up. They were perfect… almost. I’m assuming three meals a day, or around 3000 calories, to maintain energy levels for high mobility and high stress situations. Since most civilian MREs provide around 1000 calories, I’d need to carry three cases in order to have enough food to feed a family of four for three days . If I cut back to two meals a day I’d still need two cases. Not good. We’d need to highjack a donkey to carry all those boxes.
Most websites feature emergency food bars — like Mayday or Datrex bars. These are vacuum packaged, high protein, high energy, non thirst enducing squares that can provide from 2400 to 3600 calories per day. They have a long shelf life, only take up a few square inches of pack space and really don’t taste bad. They solve a lot of my problems, but I can’t see myself eating them for three days straight. Maybe as a backup. Sort of a backup to my backup.
After a little more internet searching I hit pay-dirt.
The Army Soldier Systems Center at Natick, MA developed a single-package, high-energy ration intended as a substitute for the three daily MREs that soldiers carried. First announced in May 2002, and called the First Strike Ration (FSR), it was designed for use by forward-deployed troops in the first 72 hours of field operations to provide the energy that soldiers need during the initial stage of deployment. The combat-driven ration has more carbohydrates, less packaging and no luxury items compared to MREs, intended for soldiers to eat while on the move, requiring no preparation, utensils, or cleanup.
This sounded like exactly what I had been looking for. Small, lightweight, and a full day’s ration. Unfortunately, you couldn’t buy them. Anywhere.
That is, until now…
Enter Bug-Out Grub
Bug-Out Grub is our civilian version of the military First Strike Ration.