Thursday, June 8, 2017

Emergency Rations Test #4: Grizzly Gear

Grizzly Gear Emergency Rations are a new-to-me brand, but I added them to the batch because they were in the same price range as the other brands I was ordering. This is the fourth brand tested with one more to go in this series; if there are any other brands any of you would like to see tested, please let me know in the comments here or on our Facebook page and I'll see about setting up another series of tests in the near future.

I tested these the same way I am testing all of the various emergency rations: by using them to replace a meal or two during my spring hectic period at work. I'm out in a field or driving a truck for 12-14 hours a day (when it's not raining) and have to pack a lunch anyway, so this is an easy test for me. Having something quick and easy to eat comes in handy, even if it's not an emergency -- I can be lazy when it comes to food.

Photo my own work
  • This one is a 3600 Calorie bar that is scored into 9 pieces of 400 Calories each. By eating 3 pieces a day, it will provide 1200 Calories per day for 3 days.
  • The ingredients are fairly simple: flour, vegetable oil, sugar, corn starch, corn syrup, flavor, color, and preservatives.
  • This is one of the few brands that doesn't use palm oil, if that is a concern for you.
  • No soy, dairy, or nuts, but it is wheat-based for those who have wheat or gluten issues.
  • USCG approved, so it meets the temperature and shelf-life requirements.
  • The nutritional content is from the enriched flour and meets the USRDA of several vitamins and minerals.
  • Halal and Kosher, this brand is suitable for giving to people with religious dietary restrictions.
  • I bought my test product through Amazon for $11.95 which breaks down to about $4.00 per day or $1.33 per piece. You can get them for less from the manufacturer/distributor by buying them in cases of ten for $64.99 ($6.50 per pack, which makes it $2.17 per day or $0.72 per meal) if you can catch them in stock. That's cheaper than a meal at any fast-food restaurant I know!

  • The package was tougher than some of the other brands and difficult to tear open. This also means that it is less likely to lose its vacuum seal due to accidental punctures.
  • The pack I received was manufactured two months before I got it, so it still had its full five-year shelf life left.
  • The scoring on the bar was deeper than that on the E.R. Bar I reviewed two weeks ago, making it easier to break evenly into more uniform pieces.
  • The flavor was a light lemon, sweet and palatable.
  • Not dry or thirst-provoking and it held together well.
  • The pieces weren't as filling as some of the other brands.
  • There were clumps of granulated sugar in some of the pieces, evidence that the recipe wasn't mixed well enough.

  • This one falls in the middle of the pack. The flavor and texture were good, but this ration bar meets the definition of the “$10.00 cookie”.
  • For a 72-hour pack or life-boat ration it would work well, but there isn't anything that really stands out about it.
  • I liked the quality packaging, but it could be improved by the addition of a resealable closure.
  • I was not impressed by biting into semi-solid chunks of granulated sugar as I was trying to eat the pieces. Quality control seems to be a rare commodity these days.
  • I can only recommend buying this brand if  I also give the caveat that it is neither the cheapest nor the best. It will work, but the makers need to fix their mixers.

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