Slight change of topic with this one as we take a look at a Ration Pack, I’ve have been using rat packs in the bush for a long time and got started a long time ago with the Army CRP 1 man.
Older readers will shiver with dread when I mention things like the ham & egg in a can, the cereal block, tinned cheese and the dreaded tins of sausages found in the 5 man packs. You knew you were a hard core Digger when you had your little bottle of Tabasco and sachets of soy sauce stashed about your person. Happy to report that today’s Army CRPs are a lot better and a lot more palatable, though they still put a laxative in the chocolate.
Last week I had to be up in the Avon Valley for a full 2 days and our fearless leader suggested I grab a Back Country Cuisine rat pack and give it a go and write a review. I am been a big fan of these dehydrated meals from NZ and have literally lived on the things whilst out on programs. Hadn’t had one of their rat packs before so I was keen to give it a go.
They consist of 3 dehydrated meals and a snacks & drinks pack. Breakfast was a very nice Porridge Supreme, just the thing after rolling out of the swag, kicking the Jetboil in the guts and heating enough water for the all-important first brew and porridge. Lunch was Beef Teriyaki which went down a treat and dinner was the Roast Chicken with mashed spuds and veggies, one of my favourites.
Now before we go on let’s just discuss the elephant in the room. Now like I said I have used these dehydrated meals a lot and I have quite literally prepared them in my sleep and the trap a lot of people fall into is adding to much water and turning it into soup. The trick is to learn how much water to actually add and letting it stand for 10 to 15 minutes before consuming the meal, this gives time for everything to fully rehydrate and warm thru. If when you peer in the pouch it still looks dry just carefully add some more boiling water until it looks right.
Also if you expect the meal to look like something mum used to put on the table you’re going to be disappointed, it’s all the ingredients stuffed into a foil pouch and rehydrated, looks shocking but tastes good. To complement the meals there is the Snack and Drink pack, this comes in its own sealed foil pouch which is a real bonus and there’s chocolate, trail mix, jellybeans, biscuits, chocolate drink powder and orange drink powder. There’s also coffee, tea, sugar, powdered milk, salt, pepper, toilet paper and the obligatory plastic spoon.
I suppose the obvious question is “did it work” and the answer is yes, I had 3 decent meals with plenty of nibbles during the day and a brew with each meal and at the end of the day all the rubbish easily fit into the plastic bag the ration pack came in. If you’re either working or shooting out in the bush you should really give the Back Country Cuisine range a look as either the Rat Pack or individual meals are great to stash away in your gear.