ration bar review

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E.R. Ration Bar
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Ration Bar Review
Ration bars are not the same as survival bars or tabs!

Ration bars are a high-calorie prepper food.
It's important to know that ration bars are not the same as
protein survival food bars. The concept behind ration bars is
that they are non-thirst provoking, which is a necessary feature
for a survival situation with little or no water supply.

Ration bars provide a minimum caloric intake for survival and
are rationed to break apart to give a specific daily allotment.
They are a high calorie and consolidated prepper food. Some
manufacturers offer bars with calories intended to eat twice
daily, while others offer the calories for the day spread out into
three different bars.

Learn how to use ration bars properly and know which are the
best ration bars....

Review of Popular Ration Bars
Generally ration bars on this page are packaged in 3600
calories, which is a 72-hour supply of food for one person. In
other words, you get to eat 1200 calories a day. That's not
much when you consider the extra work it may take during a
crisis; however, they are a high calorie prepper food considering
how compact they are.

Specifically formulated for disaster victims, all the bars include
an optimum balance of salt, carbohydrates, protein, fat and
many offer these bars enriched with the recommended daily
allowance of vitamins and minerals.

Reasons to include ration bars in your food storage plan:
  1. Non-thirst provoking. If the calamity you're facing has
    limitations on water, then these are ideal for storage.
  2. Compact. Including them in your bugout bag is a personal
    choice as they are extremely heavy.
  3. Ready to eat. Ration bars require no heating or cooking --
    just open up and eat.
  4. Kids like them. Your kids will eat ration bars in an
    emergency because it's like a cookie.
  5. Long lasting. Ration bars will last five years without going
    rancid. They will actually last much longer, but
    manufacturers put expiration dates on them to guarantee
    flavor and ensure potency of the nutrition which may
    degrade over time.
  6. Withstand wide temperature extremes. Ration bars will
    take extreme heat and cold of -40° F to 300°F (-40°C to
    149°C), making them ideal to stash in your vehicles:

Where to stash your ration bars...
Should ration bars go in the bugout bag? With a non-thirst
provoking formula, the ration bars provide scant nutrition but
adequate calories to sustain life in a survival situation, such as
being stranded on a wayward boat, or hunkering down in a
bunker when the supplies are low. They aren't necessarily the
best thing to carry in a bugout bag, but it all depends on
individual needs. Stash them in your
  • 72 hour kit
  • Bunker
  • Bugout bag (remember it adds extreme weight, but it is
    condensed nutrition)
  • Boat, car or truck
  • Get Home bag
  • Office
  • School locker

  • Storage tip: Store the ration bars in the original container
    and with the added layer of a zip lock bag. Why? Most
    brands do NOT come with a resealable pouch or individually
    wrapped bars. Without a zip lock bag, you'll have a mess
    on your hands and it may otherwise attract critters or get
    wet, making your rations less palatable or rendering them
    useless! Keep ration bars fresh in a bag. That zip lock bag
    may also help you in other ways.

Should you include ration bars in your bugout bag?
There isn't a lot of debate in the prepping community about
whether or not to include ration bars in the bugout bag or get
home bag. Many preppers include them, but not all! Perhaps
there should be a debate.

Ration bars are extremely heavy bricks and they pack caloric
intake for a sedentary situation, like sitting in your bunker or
awaiting rescue on a watercraft. They are not intended as
energy bars to fuel long hikes. The truth is that W]while some
emergency kits include ration bars as part of the survival
package, backpackers rarely even consider ration bars! That
pretty much says it all. Backpackers are the field experts for
bugging out.

Here are some questions to ask yourself before stuffing them in
your bugout bag:

  • How much stuff do you have in your backpack? Your
    backpack should weigh no more than 1/3 of your body
    weight. If these would tip the scales, then you should
    consider alternative energy sources.

  • Are you a diabetic? If you're a diabetic, you need to
    consider that each bar contains a large amount of
    carbohydrates, and yet because they contain sugar they
    may help you restore your blood sugars. A ration bar could
    then be your lifeline!

  • Do you have any allergies (or anyone in your bugout
    group)? Some bars include tree nuts (coconut, or were
    manufactured in a facility that has tree nuts) and the last
    thing you need while bugging out is an added emergency
    that you could avoid by carefully planning.

  • Does your route to safety have little water? If
    replenishing your water alongyour bugout route is in limited
    supply, then you'll want to include ration bars in your
    bugout bag. If you live in the desert for example, then you
    should probably pack them.

    Datrex has this tip to save on drinking water: "Do not drink
    water during the first 24 hours unless sick, injured or in
    desert conditions. After the first 24 hours, drink no more
    than 500 ml (1/2 liter, approx. 16 oz) per day. Never drink
    seawater not even mixed with fresh water.'

Food requirements will vary from person to person and may also
vary depending upon environmental circumstances (cold weather
requires more energy to stay warm, for example).

Comparison: Leading brands of ration bars
What's the real purpose of a ration bar and how is it different
from a food bar? Which should you pack in your bugout bag?
Read our ration bar review...
#1: Datrex ration bars 3600 calories
Even if you haven't witnessed a disaster firsthand, you've seen
the devastation they cause and you know that you can never be
too prepared. If you are out on the water; preparation is even
more important. Food rations from Datrex, pictured immediate
right, are made from all natural ingredients, have high energy
value and are tabletized and sub packaged for easy rationing.
They have a five year shelf life and are also USCG approved so
you know you can count on them when you need them.200
calories per bar/2 packs of 18 bars.
  • Flavor: Coconut
  • Protein: 6 grams (about 7% of the daily recommended)
  • Fiber: none
  • Calories:  18 bars that are 200 calories each. Total =
    3600 calories. Pictured immediate right in blue*. The Three
    day calculation is bases on 1,200 calories per day (3 meals
    a day for 3 days at 2 bars per meal).
  • Ingredients: all natural with no preservatives: Wheat flour,
    Vegetable Shortening, Cane Sugar, Water, Coconut and Salt.

  • Cons: Difficult to unwrap and they are crumbly. They are
    low in vitamins and fiber is negligible. If you are allergic to
    tree nuts, then this is not the bar for you.
  • Pros: Least expensive! At around $7.79 and this includes
    free shipping with Prime membership, Datrex bars are the
    most economical. Datrex ration bars have the most simple
    and basic of ingredients, making this brand much more like
    real food than a ration bar. It's made with real cane sugar
    (and not beet sugar or corn syrup). If you're looking for the
    healthiest option in ration bars, this is your best bet (even
    with the vegetable shortening). U.S. Coast card approved.
    Made in the U.S.A.

  • Amazon Rating: 4.4 out of 5 stars on Amazon on 211

NOTE*: See also the 2400 calories version of Datrex bars,
pictured at the bottom right hand of the page in white.
#2: ER ration bars 3600 calories
  • Flavor: Vanilla
  • Protein: 7 grams
  • Fiber: 2 grams (about 8% of the daily recommended)
  • Calories: 3600* (each packet contains 9 individual rations
    of 410 calories each. Manufacturer recommends three
    rations per day for a total of 1230 calories per day or 3600
    for the full three days). The manufacturer also makes a bar
    that is 2400 calories.
  • Ingredients: Bleached, enriched flour (wheat flour, malted
    barley flour, iron, niacin, thiamine, mononitrate, riboflavin,
    folic acid), palm oil, sugar, corn syrup, soy flour, cornstarch,
    natural and artificial flavors, calcium propionate, dextrose,
    yellow 5, yellow 6, ascorbic acid (Vitamin C), di-alpha
    tocopherol, acetate (Vitamin E), maltodextrin, niacinamide,
    electrolytic iron, zink oxide, calcium pantothenate, Vitamin
    A, palmitate, pyridoxine, hydrochloride (Vitamine B6),
    copper, gluconate, riboflavin, (Vitamin B2), thiamine,
    mononitrate (Vitamin B1), biotin,potassium iodide, Vitamin
    K1, cholecalciferol (vitamin D3), cyanocobalmin (vitamin
    B12). Contains soy, wheat.

  • Cons: Most expensive! Around $10.60 and free shipping
    with prime. Vitamin count isn't as high as others (for
    example, Mainstay or Mayday ration bars).

  • Pros: ER Bar is the only bar to have a ZIP lock built into
    the bag! Formulated specifically in accordance with the
    stringent requirements of the US Department of Homeland
    Security and the US Coast Guard for emergency victims.
    Provides optimum balance of salt, carbohydrates, protein,
    fat and enriched with the recommended daily allowance of
    vitamins and minerals. Best of all, ER won't send you to
    the Emergency Room! ER bars contain no tropical oils,
    coconut or nuts which may cause dangerous allergic

  • Amazon Rating: 4.2 out of 5 stars on Amazon on 106

*NOTE: Just one 2,400+ calorie ER Bar can minimally sustain an
average person up to three days if necessary
#3: Grizzly Gear Ration bars 3600 calories
  • Flavor: Lemon (shortbread cookie)
  • Protein:
  • Fiber:
  • Calories: 3600 (9 pre-measured 400 calorie rations, to last
    one person up to three days. Manufacturer recommends
    three 400-calorie rations per day for a total of 1200 calories
    per day).
  • Ingredients:  Enriched flour (added Vitamins A, B-1, B-2,
    D, E, B-6, B-12, niacin, iron, folic acid, calcium,
    phosphorous), vegetable shortening (partially hydrogenated
    soybean and/or cottonseed oil) granulated sugar, corn
    starch, corn syrup, natural lemon flavor, vanilla flavor
    (tartrazine, FD&C yellow #5, FD&C Red #40) artificial color,
    ascrobic acid (Vitamin C), gamma delta tocopherols as a
    natural antioxidant.

  • Cons: Contains partially hydrogenated oils! Also it is the
    most expensive of the survival ration bars at around $10.94
    with Prime free shipping included. Bars are not individually

  • Pros: Less sugar than other brands, which may be
    important to diabetics. Full supply of vitamins and
    minerals. Made in the U.S.A. They are Kosher. Contains no
    cholesterol nor tropical oils.

  • Amazon Rating: 4.1 out of 5 stars on Amazon on 107
#4: Mainstay Ration bars 3600 calories
  • Flavor: Shortbread with a touch of lemon
  • Protein: 3 grams
  • Fiber: 2 grams
  • Calories: 3600, pictured immediate left.
  • Ingredients: Enriched Flour, (Added) Vitamins A, B-1, B-2,
    D, E, B-6, B-12, Niacin, Iron, Folic Acid, Magnesium,
    Pantothenic Acid, Calcium, Phosphorus, Vegetable
    Shortening, (Partially Hydrogenated Soybean and/or
    Cottonseed Oils), Granulated Sugar, Corn Starch, Corn
    Syrup, Natural Lemon Flavor, Artificial Butter Flavor,
    Artificial Vanilla Flavor, (Tartrazine, FD&C Yellow#5, FD&C
    Red #40), Artificial Color, Ascorbic Acid (Vitamin C),
    Gamma/Delta Tocopherols as a natural antioxidant.

  • Cons: Expensive. Around $14.50 + $6.99 shipping for two
    packs or $21.54, which works out to around $10.74 each.
    You have to buy two packs. This is the lowest rated rationl
    bar of the bunch.

  • Pros: Tasty and high in vitamins (exceeds RDA
    requirements)! Meets the stringent Department of Defense
    (SOLAS 74/83) guidelines. Mainstay bars are also Kosher

  • Amazon Rating: 3.8 out of 5 stars on Amazon on 200
#5: Mayday ration bars 3600 calories
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