Tuesday, August 9, 2011

72 Hours and MREs

After several months of collecting little things for our 72-Hour Kits, they are 90% done (we are missing food and water - to be gotten this week). For FHE (Family Home Evening) this week we did some testing and packing. We went to Emergency Essentials over the weekend and picked out a few MREs to test out. We didn't eat the entire meal, we just tasted everything we got.
Here is what we tasted:
Beef Ravioli in Meat Sauce - Pretty Good, similar to canned Ravioli.
Pork Sausage with Cream Gravy - Fairly Rich, something we would share for a breakfast, with bread.
Mexican Style Corn - Ok, better warmed up.
Fudge Brownie with Chocolate Chips - AWESOME!
Stuffed French Toast - Ok
Marble Pound Cake - AWESOME! A little dry, but flavor makes up for it.
Wheat Snack Bread - Ok, we used some for the Sausage and Gravy, and it helped with richness of gravy.
Chicken and Veggies in Pesto - Ok, better warmed up.
Chicken and Dumplings - Fair.
Garlic Mashed Potatoes - Meh, probably better with gravy.
Cinnamon Bun - Similar to French Toast, but more cinnamony.
Oatmeal Cookie - Good, dry, but tasty.
Chicken with Mexican Beans - Pretty good, better warmed up.

With trying all these, we learned that if you are planning this type of food for your kit, get the heating packs for each meal for each person. It was a pretty good amount of food for each packet. We also tried the water in the pouches and the boxes. We thought they would taste funny, but they taste like softened water.

Here are our kits:Missing from picture is MREs and heaters, the rest of our water supply.It is packed full of lots of great stuff. Some of you may know that I love lists. I get it from my Mom. So here is my list of the stuff we put in our Kits:
Change of Clothes: Zip-off pants (converts to shorts), t-shirt, long johns, 2 pair socks, extra underwear, a wide-brim hat, lightweight shoes
Toiletries: Deodorant, Shampoo/Conditioner, Toothbrush/Paste/Floss, Soap, compact brush/comb, bug spray, sunblock, q-tips, wet wipes, tissues, chapstick, contact solution/case, extra pair glasses, sunglasses
Sanitation/Protection: travel TP, hand sanitizer, hand towel, scrub cloths, poncho, milar blanket/sleeping bag, hand warmers, tube tent, nylon cord, tactical cord, water purification tablets, potassium iodide tablets, feminine hygiene items,
First Aid: Tums, glucose tablets, temporary dental cap glue, ibuprofen, burn cream, surgical mask, gauze, gloves, ace bandage, tongue depressor, hand wipes, alcohol wipes, band aids, butterfly band aids, antibiotic ointment, Tylenol, aspirin, sting ease, inflatable splints, instant cold pack, paramedic scissors, prescription meds, blood sugar test kit
Misc: lighter, water-proof matches, magnesium fire starter, church key, mini can opener, P38s, mini windup LED flash lights, mini liquid parafin candles, paper soap, gorilla tape, sporks, glow sticks, notebook with pencil, pocket knife, sewing kit, booklet on knots, fishing kit in a can, booklet on dangerous plants and animals, survival book, Thumb drive with important information/pictures, small LED flashlight with extra batteries
Sustenance: MRE's, heater packs for MRE's, Water, Cat Food, Dog Food, Animal Treats, emergency meal bars
In the Bucket: Cat Litter/Box, Dog Poop bags, trash bags, toilet enzymes, rubber gloves, water filtration bottle, 5-Gal Bucket with toilet seat lid.

After that long list, I wanted to touch on a few interesting things. We are going to have a harness for Duke to carry his own food and water (plus that will help with his bouncing). Also we have long johns and the second pair of socks for winter conditions, plus the t-shirt and zip-off pants work for summer conditions. We also wanted to save our valuable information and just got a thumb drive and put copies of pictures, important documents, etc. onto it. You don't have to do MREs, we just felt that it was right for us. They are heavy on the stomach and high on calories, so keep that in mind. We would suggest you try them first before you completely commit to them.
As we worked on these, we were looking at it as though we would have to leave the house and so that's why there is so much stuff, but it all fits into our roller backpacks. The key to that is our vacuum sealer. It condenses the volume, and also waterproofs everything. We packaged things in a way to be able to open needed things and not everything.
We got stuff from Walmart, Maceys (if you live in Utah), Emergency Essentials, Recreation Outlet store, Harbor Freight, WinCo. It's all fairly accessible, you just have to want to do it and take the time getting things. We got most of it on sale, or clearance, or it was so small it was inexpensive. If anyone has any questions on our items or some items not here or if you think we missed something, just contact me and I'll help the best I can.
Our main goal with these is to not have to use them, but if we ever have to, we'll be ready for anything. I want to set goal for everyone who reads this: If you don't already have your 72-Hour Kit, put one together, even if it's just a change of clothes and food and water for three days, you'll at least be happy for that.