Field rations are a necessary part of Counter-Zombie Operations. Without them, the Zombie combat team’s ability to conduct sustained combat operations will be severely limited. For units that are a part of the United States Armed Forces or civilian units which are being supplied by the United States government, the choice is simple: MREs. For those who are cut off or do not have access to government supplies, creativity is the order of the day.
THE SOUL OF THE RATION: ITS PURPOSE
The major thing to consider is the purpose of the ration. How will it be used? What is it for? Food supply considerations for a three day reconnaissance patrol will be different from a twelve hour raid on an objective of interest (such as a bridge that needs to be destroyed to deny Zombies access to key terrain).
That being said, we will go through the steps of putting together a ration for a 12 hour mission of some kind that requires movement outside of the base of operations.
For a 12 hour operation that starts at the base of operations, takes place outside the wire, and then ends again at the base of operations, some criteria need to be met.
1) Weight. The lighter the better.
2) Nutrition. It needs to sustain the fighter. Nutritional factors such as carbs and calories which are normally discouraged in regular day-to-day diets are essential for providing energy to the fighter in an environment where “too much food” is probably not a problem.
3) Taste. The fighter must eat the food and finish it. There are plenty who will skimp an important meal when the taste is not very pleasant.
4) Price. When stocking up to make rations prior to even a hint of an outbreak, the price will be a factor.
5) Reasonably long shelf life.
6) No cooking involved.
7) Easy to consume.
THE ZOMBIE COMBAT COMMAND TEST
Two Soldiers of the Zombie Combat Command’s 1st Zombie Combat Battalion trained at a moderate level of intensity in the morning and then were given thirty minutes to put together a ration to sustain them for the rest of the day before embarking on an intense training in the afternoon. This is what they came up with.
– x1 Del Monte 15.25oz Can of Whole Kernel Corn
– x1 Big 100 Colossal Bar
– x1 Del Monte fruit cup
– x3 Mini KitKats
– x1 Spoon
– x1 Ziplock bag
The advantages of this selection is that it provides for at least four pieces of easy to access foods. The three pieces of KitKats and the Big 100 bar can be eaten while on the move. For the purpose of this exercise, however, it was not conducted in that manner. The other advantage is that the can of corn actually gives the fighter the sensation of having eaten a meal, something you do not get out of just consuming nutrition bars and chocolates. The fruit cup provides a good desert which helps with morale. The entire contents need to be consumable without any cooking or heating whatsoever. This set did fit the bill.
PACKAGING AND WEIGHT
The items were packed into the Ziplock bags and the bags themselves were taped to make compact. Overall size was smaller than that of a regular MRE bag. While it is true that the MRE contents are normally taken out of their brown bags before being taken into the field, the same can be done with this shake-and-bake field ration as well.
The Ziplock bag is advantageous in that it provides for a smell sealing trash bag for all of the contents. Scent attracts not only Zombies, but can also make the team more vulnerable to hungry animals as well which is just another variable that a team can do without.
The weight of the field ration was slightly over a pound, which makes it about the same weight as most MREs.
Calories: 900. A little less than the usual 1,200 of the MRE but still a high calorie count nonetheless.
Vitamin C: 100% with a variety of other vitamins (such as 37% vitamin A and over 20% on all other vitamins)
High in iron, zinc, etc.
Carbs: 101g or 34% of the daily recommended intake.
The quick throw together field ration provides for a nutritious meal.
At around $8.00 per ration pack, it’s still cheaper than civilian MREs that can run up to $12.00. And that is when dealing with gas station prices for the contents and not buying in packs of several.
The ration shown here is not a “here it is” model. Rather it serves to show the thought process behind throwing together a ration. The ration did hold up for 12 hours of activity without discomfort and was capable of being consumed entirely within fifteen minutes. The Soldiers who consumed it did not feel sluggish, and were able to resume high intensity activity within ten minutes of consumption.
THINGS TO REMEMBER
– Calories: Higher the better
– Carbs: Higher the better
– Vitamins and Minerals: The higher the better
– Cooking not required
– Can be consumed within fifteen minutes
– Light weight