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Thursday, April 21, 2016

WNTBTTA 4


WHAT NOT TO BRING TO THE APOCALYPSE 4

3) the third thing you really shouldn’t be bringing to the apocalypse are MRE’s.  And before I go any further, you’ll be happy to know I won’t drag that topic out an entire article.  Even though I could.  You are welcome.  I’ll pick up the pace a little bit here, but only because I’ve covered all these so many times before.  And remember, after these first twelve tools, which I’ve covered before, we move into new and exciting virgin territory.  The things I do for my loyal minions.  Okay, back to MRE’s.  They are convenient and they are very filling, and with the right ingredients for a combatant like salt and fat and dead animals.  When you are on the run for your life you can’t cook.  And when you need energy to go, you really don’t care if the thing costs $6 or $10 or $50.  You need food and nutrients or your engine ceases to function optimally.  So why don’t I recommend them?  I know you are going to say, “it’s because they cost too much and Jim is a skinflint penny pinching arsehole and I hate him and it’s NOT because I’m jealous of his hair!”.

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Well, we all know it IS because of my hair, but I’m going to let that go.  Just as with freeze dried, so with MRE’s.  As long as you are reasonable with how much you buy, they are way too expensive but certainly not without their merits.  Sometimes there is no other way to store dead animals ( do NOT, under any circumstances, get textured vegetable protein.  That is soy crap, overpriced, and likely processed in such a way as your body can’t assimilate it anyway ) than freeze dried.  And MRE’s do have a place in bugging out ( although I strongly encourage you to NOT bug out past a few hours biking distance ).  But because of the cost ( one MRE equals three weeks of wheat in cost, and has less than one days calories of the kernels ), it is stupid to own too many.  They are good for a circumstance or two, not as a staple.  And to eat too many MRE’s all at one time is to invite a rectal breaking rock hard turd after an incredibly increasing discomforting constipation period.  MRE’s, by themselves, are deadly in that regard. 

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How about some Power Bars, jerky and Top Ramen if you are going to spend the money?  I can guarentee you are going to get over 1200 calories, and for way under $6 a day.  Make most of the calories the noodles and it is just a dollar for 2k calories.  Add a bit of dried meat and if you get them on sale, the hiking food bar.  Tastes like crap for not that many calories but it is energy.  What is that, $5?  With twice the calories.  Top Ramen doesn’t need to be cooked if you are on the go, just crush the noodles and eat dry, pouring into your mouth from the bag.  I know there are other trail foods, such as gorp ( which I personally don’t care for ).  Hell, even candy bars that don’t melt and aren’t too terrible for you such as Payday, aren’t a bad idea.  Just add to relatively real foods to get more than empty sugar calories.  The point is you can do better than MRE’s, calories and fiber-wise, for less money, without needing to cook or prepare in any way.

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4) mollie gear, alice gear or any other gear the military gave a girls name ( and for what other reason than the thing is a Capital B bitch? ).  Military web gear has one purpose, and that is to be able to attach more gear to your frail, failing, overburdened frame.  This is exactly what you DON’T want to do.  Your bare essentials should fit on your pants belt ( or a outer belt attached to your pants belt ), and NOT pull your pants down past crack level.  If they do, you are carrying too much crap.  Your rifle cartridges go in a belt worn over one shoulder and everything else should fit on your waist belt and in a small backpack.  As small as a day pack or patrol pack.  Mostly water and the bare amount of food.  If that-perhaps just water and one or two other essentials.  If you are true light infantry, you can easily run away to fight another day.  If your gear makes you anything else you are cannon fodder for someone else’s nefarious purposes ( regardless of the florescent hued smoke they might be blowing up your ass ).  If you have voluntarily overburdened yourself, I have my doubts you understand what you are doing.  You want to go in, guns blazing, empty AR mags discarded hither and yon as you lay down a cloud of lead upon the enemy.  I think I’ll just pick off the sentry when the opportunity presents itself.  Booby trap patrols.  Bushwhacking and in general keeping my dear ass alive.  If invaded, fall back.  But you do what you want, with your chest strapped full of semi-auto mags, part of your 80 pound carrying load.

END

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28 comments:

  1. There is no reason in the world to be carrying huge packs and anyone attempting to will fail within a mile.

    The loadout depends on the mission, one of which you have described, and I mostly agree with.

    I'm happy with what the army issued me with some bolstering.

    Pistol belt with 2 M16 ammo pouches, 2 canteens with cups and covers, H suspenders (the Y ones will destroy your spine if you fall on it) and the butt pack on the rear. Medical pouch on each strap with a quick tourniquet in one and a massive gauze pack in the other. Army bayonet on the left and Beretta 92F on the right, 2 Beretta dbl mag pouches.
    The buttpack contains a poncho, 6 AR mags, a qt of water, and 4 Clif bars.

    There ya go. That is what I hike with in the "Hills O' Brown" daily and if you can go 2 miles out and back over rugged terrain with that load you are a better man than I, but I'm working it.

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    1. Best shape of my life, eating like a pig, end of basic training. Upon shouldering the regular weight pack, I immediately have tears come to my eyes-it is that painful. Now march with it for miles. You can't have any situational awareness with that load. That is what the army wants from its infantry. Do NOT emulate the military.

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    2. REPEAT...DO NOT EMULATE THE MILITARY !!!
      Sound advise my friend.

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    3. The only thing I can think to give credit for to the military is the one gun rule. Either pistol or rifle, not both. Of course, they do it for all the wrong reasons-prestige and class warfare rather than weight consideration.

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  2. If you are blessed with "free" MRE's (found/stolen, refugee-status "gift", rejected by Ethiopians, etc), Thou Shall Drink One Quart of Pure Water immediately before The Consumption as well as One Quart of Water before any other activity. MRE's are de-moisturized wet-packed to save weight/space/packaging, so you MUST add water while digesting or face (at minimum) discomfort. Do not consume the MRE if you don't have water, especially if dehydrated. Find Water First.

    pdxr13

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    1. Something the military never shared with us. Of course, with their training we would have been dead prior to constipation anyway.

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    2. I've never even seen an MRE in person, only pictures. However I had more than my fair share of C-rats, circa 1974-1978. I got used to em, but I don't miss em.

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    3. I had both issued to me-Rats in Basic, MRE at duty stations. They taste exactly the same, IMO.

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  3. For years I backpacked and filled my food bag with things from the grocery store inexpensively. Lots of dried food at a grocery store that work well for prepping, get-home-bags, camping or bug-out-bags.

    As far as MRE’s I have 4 cases of them, they fell off a truck and a relative “(in the Army at Fort Camble{ SP?} Ky.) picked them up and saved them for me.

    I don’t think I would buy them as they are just not that good to me.

    I do like Mountain House meals, they are very tasty. I bought a good amount of them several years ago when they were a lot lower price then today. I haven’t bought any in a few years as I have more then enough.

    I do buy lots of grains, wheat, rice millet, quinoa and beans. I also buy a lot of canned food, And I can a lot of food (mostly meat) and buy a lot of grocery store dried food.

    (Top Ramen doesn’t need to be cooked if you are on the go, just crush the noodles and eat dry) Doesn’t sound too good to me, I think a better way is to heat some water , put it in a canteen with the Ramen and let it peculate while you are on the road.

    If you need to be on the move MRE’s are going to fit the needs better then almost any other food, but for normal (able to cook ) times there are better choices.

    Chuck Findlay

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    Replies
    1. You should try the dry Ramen. With or without the salted flavor pack. Surprisingly good.

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  4. "Having" a big comfy pack that can carry a load to crush the spine of a 19 year old Marine, and filling it to that capacity as a semi-broken semi-old man in hungry-walking times, are different things. I like the barely-obsolete ILBE pack (no "A-Salt" pack or external expansion pouches)for the good suspension & Devil Dog resistant construction, even though it's not the lightest-possible rig. The extra room is great for fluffy cold-weather gear or "salvaging" post-disaster.

    Agree that "Light Infantry" should be very light, and mobile, the opposite of current US infantry who are delivered on vehicles and "do movement" in hundreds of yards due to crushing weight of armor/gear for every contingency and "mass-fire" quantity of ammo in case of contact.

    Afghan self-defense forces make do with a couple shots and advancing rearward to friendly/known ground. These guys are so light, they don't wear uniforms. Betcha collapse of global economy makes no difference outside of Afghan cities. Poppies will still grow.

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    1. I MIGHT disagree with the last thought. Drought saw poppy production replace wheat. Far less water for poppy than wheat. If trade takes too hard of a blow ( and I'm not saying it will in those tribal areas, but rather in the distant lands that are the opium customers ), farmers might be disadvantaged with that trade-off. I don't have any detailed facts, just generalizations, so I might be missing something.

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  5. If you need energy and storability, you cant beat hard candy. Enough flavor to make it palatable, enough sugar to pack in the calories. Maybe something to make the water palatable as well after filtering or adding purifying tablets, Gatorade drink mixes, hot cocoa, tea, instant coffee packs, etc. all have advantages and should also be considered in a light irregular infantry pack or "good" bag.
    The point of both types of bags is maximum mobility over a short term- energy and hydration count, vitamins, fiber, fats, etc. should be consumed only when you have a base camp setup - which is a whole other issue, at that point you should be eating as close to healthy as possible.
    For a "GOOD" bag, essential paperwork and bribery material should be brought as well, and for both that and light irregular infantry a pack should have a quick trauma fixings and water/water purification setup. Add in appropriate security and knife like tool (maybe a knife?) and weather appropriate clothing and you are set. that total load out should be under 20lbs INCLUDING clothing (don't forget the gloves, hat, sunscreen, bug repellent, and sunglasses as part of the clothing - but those don't have to be IN the pack just put on before beginning the trip, and then left behind).

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    1. I always felt that if you needed Kool-Aid ( or whatever ) to mask the taste of water purifiers, you were drinking poison. Granted, for weight they are better than a big filter, but if you have a straw filter for the field, for emergencies, that should weigh near enough to a bottle of purifier and drink mixes combined.

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    2. meh, I dislike the 'stale' taste of most filtered water, only ozonized water has ever changed my mind on that score, but just a little dilute flavoring and I am all good with it.
      City Tap water is a no go of course - that junk must be filtered twice...

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    3. I drink the heck out of tap water. I figure the extra I'm drinking will help my body filter the crap ( better too much marginal water than too little very good water ). But I admit I could be delusional. The homeless guys volunteering will only drink bottled water. That, along with illicit drugs and lots of adult beverages HAVE to be good for them.

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  6. One thought: if you absolutely, positively need to bring along something heavy, borrow an idea from the natives of the North American Plains: a drag sled or travois. Since you're not supporting the weight, just overcoming the friction where the two poles rest on the ground, it's not quite so tiring. Even better is if you have an animal to pull it for you -- a dog should be able to pull 20-30 pounds. Wheels would of course make it even easier.

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    1. Not sure why they didn't add wheels to the travois-if wood is dear on the Plains, why wear the poles down? Again, I might be missing something. Lack of surplus grease?

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    2. I'm reading a book right now where the main character used a travois to bug out -- After the Fall, Jason's Tale by David Nees. Pretty decent book so far. Free with Prime Unlimited.

      Idaho Homesteader

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    3. lack of wheels.
      Once wheels were introduced they adopted them as quickly as they could, but it was too little too late.

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    4. I'm flashing back to the You-Tube Stone Age dude making a stone wheel with a hole in the middle, used to make the bow saw type friction fire starter much more efficient. And I've read the Aztecs or someone similar have childrens toys with wheels. It couldn't have been a bizarre concept otherwise, could it?

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    5. That is an excellent question! I suspect the answer might have something to do with not having metal bearings for the axles. If you have wood rubbing on wood in such a concentrated spot, that is an superior way to start a fire.

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    6. You can have wheels with no bearings. The Mormon pioneers had handcarts that was wood on wood. You just need grease. I have read several Pioneer journals where they would rub uncooked bacon on the hubs.

      Idaho Homesteader

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    7. Seems sacrificial to be using bacon in such a manner.

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  7. I got it down to an 18 pound pack when I was 19 and fit to wrassle bears. That included ammo. Certainly not going to go any heavier now. That was a pack for days of extended travel.

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  8. Look on-line for a recipe for "Plumpy Nut" it's a food that is easy to make, last for (I think) 2-years. It's made from powdered milk, peanut butter and a few other things. It is a pretty complete food that was invented to bring starving African children back to good health without needing constant doctor monitoring. They just send pouches home with the kid to eat.

    I made some (got the recipe from a local survival store) and it taste good. It's messy (peanut butter is the main ingredient in it) but it works for a survival food that you can make yourself from easily found items.

    I read that some company was selling it in stores next to the peanut butter but I have been unable to find it locally.


    Chuck Findlay

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    1. I'd never heard of that before. Thanks.

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  9. James I'll look for the paper I have on how to make Plumpy and post it here. I think it's in with all my survival books in the attic, have to get up there tomorrow for some other things and will look for it then


    Chuck Findlay

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