AGING BOB 2
Yeh, I know, Wal-Mart BOB items. But at the time I shopped there the quality hadn’t gone to crap. I didn’t have to worry about the food killing me, back then. Now, I’d grocery shop elsewhere. The bag was pretty basic. Mostly it was full of food for three small meals a day. Instant oatmeal, mashed potatoes, rice pilaf and the like. I had some PowerBars, but those do NOT age well. I just told you that story not too long ago as a note I tacked on to the article, about other Power Bars I’d gotten and stored, so I was very leery taste testing this one. I didn’t need to swallow ( that’s what he said! ) to know it was putrid. I spit that bastard out and then used mouthwash to sanitize.
And of course, who could forget Top Ramen in their food preps? Yes, they smelled musty, almost like vegetable shortening forgotten in the back corner of the pantry for a few generations, but it was a noticeable smell rather than an offensive one, so I taste tested and they were fine. I have a relatively sensitive stomach and I can usually get a belly flop as soon as something bad hits it ( if not, I’m sick that night. In this case, sixteen hours on, no stomach complaints or intestinal discomfort from all the products ).
So, eight Top Ramen packs, a dozen instant oatmeal packs ( with cream, so that shows you the non-food that non-dairy is ), two Rice-A-Roni’s, three mash potato and eight Pop Tarts. The Pop Tarts were nearly rock like but if allowed to soften with saliva were actually edible and still surprisingly tasty. I had a pack of dried pineapple that seemed to get drier as time went on, a literal freeze then dried. Those seemed okay but would have been on the fence as to whether I wanted to eat much of. A pound of butterscotch candies were fine. The wrappers came right off without sticking to the candy, as so many do nowadays a year or even months after expiration. You gotta wonder what they substituted for fake sugar in today’s candy.
If I had rotated the PowerBars so they were still edible, I think the whole thing would have given me an easy weeks worth of food without experiencing too much hunger or weakness. I also included a three pack of Sterno fuel, this being prior to my Volcano Stove or Hobo Stove or Dakota Hole learning curve ( the Hobo is a coffee can used like a rocket stove ). Besides the food, and a six pack of bottles water which didn’t leak, surprisingly after all the freezes, I had a canteen with metal cup ( for the cooking ). I also had water purification tabs ( the bottle water was just for the initial flight to avoid dehydration ). Again, this was way back in the day when I thought the only way to filter water was the big Katadyn stick. Obviously, my Y2K camping filter of the same brand escaped my memory at the time.
For light, I had a LED pen flashlight rated at a hundred hours run time. The two batteries that came with it and the four back-ups obviously didn’t make it through the decade. The flashlight was fine ( the cheaper non-brand lights will sometimes somehow just age and die, even out of the weather ). I had two Bic lighters, and those of course still worked. A space blanket. A back up to my fixed knife, a dollar folding knife. And of course a cheap knife sharpener ( in the fishing section at Wally, a red colored holdable plastic piece, with two white crisscrossed small ceramic rods. I think at the time that was maybe $2-this was a back-up to the sharpener I always carry on my keyring ).
The bag all this fit in was only nine by nine inches and a foot and a half long. The water made it a bit heavy, but nothing that would be noticeable unless I carried it all day. The Top Ramen made it a bit bulky, but still not bad. Everything was in Zip-Lock bags and everything looked as new as the day I bought it. The bag and canteen with cup were trash pick items and I already had the fix blade knife on hand, so I don’t image the contents cost over around $30. Today, if making the bag, I’d replace the water tabs with a Sawyer filter. I’d do without the Sterno and of course, never buy the Power Bars. Other than that, not bad for a bag I bought and then literally forgot about.
I’m frankly astounded the food did so well a decade past its expiration ( take that!, freeze dried, you overly salted overly prepared overly expensive bastards ). I’ve never had issues with grocery store food three to five years past expiration, but one would have thought a decade in fluctuating temperatures wouldn’t have been so kind. I imagine if I had put peanut butter away it would not have survived, but then, who knows? It is the same nasty Forever Oil that vegetable shortening is made from. But like all oil, there is no mistaking when it is rancid past the point of consumption ( I think most of us eat semi-rancid food all the time ). Normal oil, you sniff and it is strong. Rancid and you jerk your face away in disgust and almost vomit.
Not to say you want to eat decade old food, just that you can. I wouldn’t want it my exclusive diet, merely a supplement. A one week supply of it exclusively isn’t going to kill you, either.
But to finally arrive at the takeaway, “white foods last forever, and make your BOB mostly about food”. All these other doo-dads are fine. But as always Food First.
END ( today's related link https://amzn.to/2JPvfd4 )
* By the by, all my writing is copyrighted. For the obtuse out there
I wouldn't worry about "over salted" foods in your pack. You'll be exerting yourself and sweating, you'll need to replace the salt. I'd recommend having extra salt in your pack anyways. NOT the bleached white stuff, but Real Salt or Himalayan.ReplyDelete
Extra salt, not the worst idea. Just a few teaspoons in a ziplock might turn out to be invaluable.Delete
Good point, Ave, as usual. I always appreciate your tips and perspective.Delete
Or try this backpacking tip - Get some of the larger diameter soda straws from a fast food place. Heat seal one end and fill the rest of the straw with a canteen's worth of Gatorade powder (more complete electrolytes than salt alone), then heat seal the other end. When needed, cut one end off the straw and dump the powder into the canteen and shake to mix up.
I like that one. And the NOL has plenty of straws to steal. Even her coffee has a straw. The woman turns everything into a sippy cup. I guess I'm always too busy looking at her rack to make fun of this.Delete
Anon 10:01 : "Peace Out" posted, not me :)Delete
They actually sell the Gatorade powder in packets. That might be an easier way to go than the straw method.Delete
Or, instead of buying a small bottles worth for a buck, you buy in bulk to get a gallon per dollar. Yes, you must package it yourself. Who cares? You get six or seven times as much that way.Delete
"Anon 10:01 : "Peace Out" posted, not me :)"Delete
Oops, sorry about that, Peace Out! But I please know that I enjoy your posts as well as Ave's :-)
Back when I use to dumpster dive, I would always find many boxes of energy bars.In a week 99% were uneatable and the Cliff bars would be a few weeks later.ReplyDelete
Bad tasting and damn near hard to even chew!
I think I've tested about every energy bar out there, from food bank donations. All were universally horrid. Remember the long ago minions advice on making your own bar. Instant oatmeal and peanut butter with Tang. Cheap and pretty much everything you need.Delete
I’m actually surprised that you didn’t have any rodents getting into the bag over the years. Where I live, they probably would have destroyed the bag and probably everything that wasn’t metal, inside of it. I was thinking that one way to go about protecting the food, would be to get a wide mouth thermos. I would fill it with food (probably some kind of super survival food such as pemmican, or that pinole stuff, later to be filled with water of course). Then find a metal cup for boiling purposes that fits right over the thermos.ReplyDelete
If you tend to be anti-Bob, keeping it simple would probably be a better approach, as opposed to the “Batman’s utility belt” approach that many survivalists take (He literally had enough supplies stuffed in that thing to survive for 8 lifetimes, and across many terrains too, to probably include the moon!).
The thermos idea that I mentioned above, and an additional filled water bottle. A GI poncho with a liner, covers shelter/sleeping bag (Though a small tarp would be nice too). A flashlight, fire-starter, and a weapon (could be as simple as a slingbow with a few take down arrows) could complete it. A fishing/snare kit takes up little space and is nice to have. Obviously, the more you have, the more your odds increase, but the above alone will increase your odds considerably. I’m not opposed to the Bob concept. You never know when you could find yourself in a compromising situation and have to make a hasty retreat.
There were mice in the cab-they chewed through one of those "dryer lint wool" blankets and turds everywhere. And they didn't bother with the bag. No smell through the zip-lock bags? If mice are a huge issue you can buy ( or, used to be able to buy at Lowe's ) a empty paint can with lid. They rust easy, though. Even one would see a huge volume increase over a thermos.Delete
I guess I was sort of approaching it with a smaller get away bag in mind; something lightweight that you could grab in a hurry, and run out the door with (hence the smaller, but nutrient rich food supply). You might even be able to fit what I’m referring to in a butt pack. Those tins that you mentioned are handy rodent proof containers. I guess you could always store your pack in one, so long as you could get it out in a hurry if you needed to.Delete
Keep cats around your location. Don't feed them much though , just enough to keep them around and they'll elimnate any stray mice. Plus in a pinch, they fry upDelete
Nice enough too...
Cats want to kill-food availability is secondary. We had one cat, he was a momma's boy and wouldn't leave the wife's side at night, and he didn't eat all that much cat food. The other one was skinny, didn't care for much cat food and stayed out all night hunting. Many a time waking up to the literal crunching of bones at the beds foot. Sometimes I think pets are as neurotic as their owners.Delete
8:26-okay, sorry, I didn't pick up on the "small as possible" aspect. See, I'm just like my minions, reading through in a hurry and not paying attention. That, and a terrible memory, is why I like to read similar source material two or four times. Alas, that doesn't apply to comments.Delete
Hey! Let us not get off the beaten path here! Wean yourselves off of the overly processed food products. Go with standard, not over proce ssed, over packaged, staples. A food saver vacuum sealer and plenty-o'bags will see you through a jam up. Pack up in little "Smedly Butler" rations for aReplyDelete
For a meal/day/etc. Don't over think things, it will really be a bare bones, stupid simple game. No kidding! Just saying. Happy prepping my fellow minions.
Not sure what SB Rations are.Delete
"Not sure what SB Rations are."Delete
Me too. Liked they guy, what's the grub?
BTW, what's the keychain sharpener you mentioned? The $2 ones from BudK work OK; just not as convenient as a keychain.
Here is the sharpener I have:Delete
Whole bean coffee starts tasting weaker about 3 years after expiration. Though it was stored in those metal-ish bags. 2 years past expiration whole bean coffee tasted fine. I figure airtight cans would last even longer.ReplyDelete
A bit late in my comment but coffee is an essential part of the plans of doomers.