The Poor mans Semi-MRE

Discussion in 'Survival & Sustenance Living Forum' started by opaww, Jun 30, 2009.

  1. opaww

    opaww New Member

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    There are many scenarios that may apply to survival, and there are differing scenarios within scenarios. To many in fact to make preparation for all given scenarios not practical and/or cost effective.

    We can how ever make ready universal type preparations that may fit the majority of situations with bare minimum needs. Food, water, warmth, protection and the like.

    Preparing for any scenario can be costly depending on how and what one wishes to buy and store for any given situation. With a little ingenuity and some symbolince of common knowledge one can prepare for any given scenario by having on hand bare necessities, and we can keep the cost down in price.

    One example my youngest son and I are mulling over is immediate survival foods. Now we could spend a lot of money buying MRE’s or maybe buying other commercial long life survival foods from a supplier. This is not practical for us sense we are not made of money nor have I found a tree that grows money as of yet. So we must make use of other options that many people forget about. I call it The Poor Man’s Semi-MRE.

    Note; I am still working out some bugs in it.

    One pack of Ramen noodles, (flavor you like). Note; 1
    One pack/bottle of Bullion flavor (flavor you like)
    One pack of Beef Jerky I prefer Jack links peppered flavor myself.
    Some dehydrated Veggies and Fruits.
    Small Bag of self Lighting Charcoal.
    One poor mans Daisy Seal-a-meal “Curling Iron”, (Note; Still to be tested)
    One Gallon freezer bags (Cheep ones will work)
    Hand pump to remove air from bag
    One Poor Mans hand made cook stove. Note; 2

    Note; 1 You can use Minute Rice, other noodles that cook fast, or even your dehydrated potato’s like the Beef Stroganoff type used in hamburger helper. The list has only limited by ones imagination.

    Half Ramen noodles (Note 1), Place in corner of freezer bag with 2 strips of Beef Jerky (Cut into 1 inch squares,) crush bullion cube and quarter, placing 1/2 of a cube in with Ramen. Use hand pump to remove the air from the bag, once air is removed use Poor Mans Daisy Seal-a-meal to seal the bag around food in it. Then open the rest of the bag and place other essentials in bag like dehydrated peas again pump air out and seal.

    Do this with all the little dehydrated goodies you want in the bag, but leave room for 2 self-lighting charcoal briquettes and a few light anywhere matches, to be sealed also.

    This makes a Poor Mans Semi-MRE that can be cooked with in minutes. And sense we don’t need 4 big Mac’s with 2 large fries and a diet coke for each meal, this will sustain us in part for a while. Sense the items one gets to put this together is in a large quantity it can be divided into many meals of the equal portions making it cost savings and is a balanced meal. A 1 Gallon freezer bag can hold a lot of food if one is put together with care, you might even have room for an essential like toilet paper in that same bag.

    Shelf life on this Poor Mans Semi-MRE, I have no idea but it should keep quite a while if the air is removed and it is sealed good. Someone may have a better idea for the Poor Mans Daisy Seal-a-meal that will work better then your wife’s Curling Iron and may just save a marriage too.

    Note 2; The Poor mans cook stove can be made from a 1 pound coffee can cut down to about 4 inches in height. You can make a small screen to put in the bottom at about 1 inch from the bottom to put the Charcoals on, and a small top piece to hold a small pan to cook with. Or one may buy one of the ready-made small portable cook stoves.

    Many people want to be prepared for emergencies but find that the cost is a little prohibitive for their pocket book. What is needed today is the ability to prepare with a minimum cost for many people.

    opaww
     
  2. opaww

    opaww New Member

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    Just a note here, and that is this was a little bland for my taste and I added and took away from it untill I got clost to a fair taste.
     

  3. c3shooter

    c3shooter Administrator Staff Member

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    Some very good ideas here- but would suggest caution with one part of the foregoing- the self lighting charcoal.

    Much of this is pre-treated with a type of lighter fluid. This will tend to attack some plastics, and is really a bummer when it gets thru the bag into your food. Would suggest package in its own bag.

    You might also consider some of the dried soups that are quick cooking. Check the package labels- you are looking for the greatest number of calories you can get, as well as some bulk to take the edge off your hunger, and keep yer tummy happy.

    The "tin can stove" actually works very well- Use a "church key" beer can opener to put 4 openings in the SIDE at the top for increased airflow- in the absence of charcoal, you can use twigs, pine cones, etc.

    I have a modified 1 gallon can that I use for baking when camping- both ends are removed and saved. Can is drilled at 3 equally distant spots about 3 inches from one end, and right at the other end. Insert a small stove bolt (about a 3/4 inch long 10x24 stove bolt) so that the ends stick inside the can, and secure with a nut. Place one of the saved can ends inside, so it rests on the 3 stove bolts. The other end, with a wooden or metal knob added to the center, becomes your oven lid. Light 3 charcoal briquettes, get a good burn going, and place your oven on top of the charcoal. Pan ( foil folded several times will work) holding cornbread or muffin batter is placed in the oven, and lid goes on top. One or two church key openings around the BOTTOM side will improve airflow for your charcoal.

    While bulky, when you are packing, you can pack stuff INSIDE your oven- and it actually takes up very little room in a pack.
     
  4. opaww

    opaww New Member

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    Excellent c3shooter, this is to get people thinking just how they can prepared with little cost compared to out fitting at say a big survival store. Great contribution there and I will be looking to modify my stove as you said and the charcoals I will change as well.
     
  5. CA357

    CA357 New Member Supporter

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    Geez, you're going gourmet on us. :D

    I think it's a great idea. However, I've eaten so much Ramen in my life that I won't even try to dress it up anymore. ;)
     
  6. Kill-Zone

    Kill-Zone Guest

    Pay no attention to me, I am a stupid, racist, poser, moron.....
     
    Last edited by a moderator: Jul 5, 2009
  7. opaww

    opaww New Member

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    First let us go through your list sense many of us have spent time in the jungles and wilderness of the world and know full well what Mother Nature can do. This is not just for a run off to the hills thing it is also for natural disasters at home.

    1. If you would of took time to read instead of just guessing, you would see that the statement was for the charcoals to be sealed from moisture.

    2. There was no mention of lighter fluid only the reference to self-lighting charcoals.

    3. Meat is protein not just the fat though the fat is essential for quick fix of needed fats and protein.

    4. An 8" cast iron skillet weighs more then the cook stove that is mentioned and weight is a factor of a SHTF where one is on foot trying to get away.
     
  8. c3shooter

    c3shooter Administrator Staff Member

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    Well, not to get in a pizzing contest, but have spent much more than 24 hrs in assorted woods, ranging from Northern Alaska to Central America, and a few vacation spots in SE Asia.

    I do have a nice cast iron Dutch oven- can bake a pie or cinnamon rolls, cook a roast, or make damned good chili- but not if I am packing it! I do use aluminum, small stainless, and foil when backpacking. Have 4 kids and 7 grandkids that have grown fat and sassy eating my trail cooking. On July 4th, granddaughterand I will be hiking part of the Appalachian Trail for the weekend.

    Yes, much of the forest is full of fuel- I use light wood knots for a really hot fire with a reflector oven (foil and green twigs) and cook real good baking powder biscuits for breakfast. But when it has rained for week, and even the inner bark on a dead cedar is hard to light, a couple of chunks of charcoal and a fire starter are handy to have. I have made a cold camp and lived- but I really do like that hot cup of coffee in the morning.

    Yep- you need protein- but you BURN carbs. I like some of both. Dried beef, dried barley, few split peas, some dried vegetable flakes, salt, and water- let it low simmer, and you have a good pot of soup. dice a potato and let it cook last while you are making cornbread, and you will sleep warm and happy.

    BTW, the big factor for me is water. Carry a 2 liter canteen, and a PUR backpacker's filter- good for 1000 gallons if you start with fairly clean water- but that assumes there is raw water to be had. Have hiked some really dry country in the 4 corners area of Utah/Colorado.
     
  9. SGT-MILLER

    SGT-MILLER New Member

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    Kill-Zone, if you have any good ideas to add to opaww's, feel free to elaborate. I would suggest that it's not a good character trait to immediately dismiss other's survival ideas just because they may differ from your own. Take opaww's information and adapt it to your needs if you deem it useful.

    For the sake of this thread I will say that I am an experienced woodsman myself. I am only 30 years old (turn 31 this month), but I grew up in Alaska (until I was 19 and joined the service). During that time I spent a total of almost 2 years literally living in the woods. I lived in a place called Slana, Alaska. I believe it's a small town now, but it used to be a couple of small cabins back when I was younger.

    opaww has really good info. I'm sure you have good info also, and I would like to hear it as long as it's not derogatory in nature.

    I would love to spend 24 hours in your woods. Of course, I would then challenge you to spend 24 hours in my old woods (take your pick, of course. I usually spent my time just north and east of Mount McKinley, and I really liked to spend time out back in the Knik river region. Sometimes I would venture out with friends down south of Anchorage on the panhandle towards the Kenai/Soldotna regions. The Yukon region is a little hairy sometimes, but the caribou sighting are amazing). I think you would really like the scenery.
     
  10. c3shooter

    c3shooter Administrator Staff Member

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    Sgt Miller- pretty country in your old woods. Spent most of my time North of you- from around the Paxson Lake area to North of Circle, with a few side trips to garden spots (Kotzebue, Barrow) Was dating little lady from Chena that I met in Fairbanks. Was statoned at Wainwright, and Greeley (cadre at Northern Warfare Center).
     
  11. RL357Mag

    RL357Mag New Member

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    Great idea's Opaww! I did something similar by breaking down a 25 lb. sack of rice and combined two cup fulls of rice with an assortment of beans and either chiken or beef bullion (low sodium:D), I sealed these separate portions using a seal-a-meal (mine is the cheaper $50 model, which has paid for itself within the first year. I've also sealed coffee beans, dehydrated milk, and brown sugar (cheaper than white processed). You can't use freezer bags to heat-seal as they are polyethylene and don't seal, like the bags made for seal-a-meals. But if you can make a curling iron work, you can buy a cheap roll of bags at WalMart that are generic and work with all styles of seal-a-meals. Personally I would save up for the real thing - it evacuates air so thoroughly that it actually compresses the contents. If you don't get ALL the air out, the contents will degenerate quickly. For cheap canned food hit the dollar stores where you can get spam, canned ham, sardines, etc. for about a $1 a can! These items should last for 5 years. There are some internet sites that sell inexpensive grain mills also - a great tool if you can get cheap sacks of various grains locally, you can seal these as well for many uses.
     
    Last edited: Jul 1, 2009
  12. opaww

    opaww New Member

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    Good input all, A lot to consider and test out. Some ideas are already tested and some needs further testing. The main reason for this is to look at how people with little income can also prepair for some things related to survival.

    There is a lot out there that is oft times over looked I guess because we tend to get catalogs from Cabelas or one of the other outdoors supply places and spend our days drooling over the pages. Forgetting that there are people that cannot afford what they wish they could.

    Many people buy and use the MRE, when it is out of the question for me so I got to think of other methods of food storage.
     
  13. suprdave

    suprdave New Member

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    I'm not trying to ruffle any feathers here, but couldn't you just leave the ramen and beef jerky in their original packaging? Or are you trying to save more space? I actually try to keep Jack Link's jerky in all of my pack, but my kids keep stealing all of it! I like the coffee can idea.
     
  14. opaww

    opaww New Member

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    Mainly it is to divide it up into ready messured meals, but yes you could leave it in the package it comes in. I find myself tending to dip into the jack links though and ending up with none left.
     
    Last edited: Jul 1, 2009
  15. suprdave

    suprdave New Member

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    We suffer from the same problem!
     
  16. Ubergopher

    Ubergopher New Member

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    One thing I've noticed y'all over looking is the morale boost that comes from food.

    It wouldn't hurt to add a few of the bite sized candy bay to your MARE (Meal Almost Ready to Eat :)) The quick surgar can help if you need energy right away, and it'll taste good. Those of you who've spent any time in the field or the wilderness know, even a small treat like that can do wonders for your morale.
     
  17. opaww

    opaww New Member

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    Great idea Ubergopher
     
  18. M14sRock

    M14sRock New Member

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    I love this post. Thanks.

    Several years ago we did a 90 mile stretch of the John Muir Trail in the Sierra Nevadas. We spend a lot of time in the Sierras, but this was amazing.

    However, we were required to use "bear cans" to keep our food safe from critters. The problem was the food required wouldn't fit in the can completely. So I took all the food out of it's packaging, and re-sealed it with my FoodSaver vacuum sealer. By some judicious re-sealing, I managed to get everything into my bear can. It ended up being about 1/3 the size of the pre-adjustment size.

    The food was kept fresh (well...), clean and safe, but did not take up space. Space has always been the problem on long treks for me.

    While not applicable or necessary for every survival scenario, for long range backpacking it helps to have "small food". It is even easier to get the load situated in the pack correctly.
     
  19. Benning Boy

    Benning Boy New Member

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    I agree with the protein needs. Dried beans couldbe a huge benefit.

    The bodybuilding section at Wally World carries huge canisters of protein powder, Usually a two week supply for about $15. Doubt you could survive on this alone, but it is an appropriate and lightweight supplement.