On paper, it seemed like the ideal review opportunity – for three days, I would prepare all my meals using only the contents of the Food Fire Filter 72 Hour Kit provided by survivalbased.com. Inside the bucket I received were meals, a water filter, some cooking supplies, and more. This test run would leave me better prepared for a real emergency, whether an act of Mother Nature, or the zombie apocalypse. Although things didn’t go exactly as planned, I learned a lot about this handy kit, along with what it takes to be properly prepared.
Here’s the full list of contents:
- 1 pouch Artisan Oatmeal (4 servings)
- 1 pouch Harvest 6 Grain Cereal (4 servings)
- 1 pouch Texas Sunrise Skillet (4 servings)
- 1 pouch Instant Milk (4 servings)
- 1 pouch Instant Orange Drink (8 servings)
- 1 pouch Rotini a la Marinara (5 servings)
- 1 pouch Nantucket Potato Soup (5 servings)
- 1 pouch Rio Grande Beans and Rice (3 servings)
- 6 pouches InstaFire Fire Starter
- 1 First Aid Kit (23 pieces)
- 1 Box Waterproof Matches
- 1 Portable Cooking Stove**
- 1 Cooking Pot w/ Detachable Handle
- 1 Seychelle Filter Water Bottle
- 1 8oz. Drinking/Measuring Cup
- 1 Folding Utensil Set
Right away, I knew I was going to like this review/experiment, as all the food items were vegetarian, with no MSG, hydrogenated oils, or trans fats, which meant my whole family would be able to eat them. It should be noted that I did enlist the help of family members, as despite the kit being marketed for one person, there are three breakfast items, and three lunch/dinner items. In theory (or in an actual emergency) it’s possible to break them up into multiple meals over the course of a day, but the reality is that it’s very difficult to consume nine servings of oatmeal/hot cereal over three days. Same for the pasta, beans & rice, and soup – each one is 3-5 meals per pouch. There’s no easy way to split that up, and in an emergency, I don’t see myself breaking out the Tupperware and reheating food in the microwave. On the plus side, everything tasted delicious – I’m always surprised at how far we’ve come with dehydrated foods. It would be tempting to serve one of these meals to guests, just to see if they could tell it came from a pouch.
So how did it all work? It was a bit of hit and miss, but overall a good experience. It may be possible to cook the meals in the included pot, on the grill, using the InstaFire, but we found cooking times at our high altitude were much longer than expected, and it’s just too difficult to maintain consistent temperatures with that setup. As mentioned, the food items, even if not cooked perfectly, still tasted great. The orange drink was equally good, but seemed a bit thick. Astronauts, and anyone else used to Tang, will find it appealing. We don’t drink milk, but a neighbor advised us that it was agreeable enough. The first aid kit and folding utensil set did not get pressed into service, but were certainly usable. And the water bottle filtered water just fine.
Could one person use this as their 72 hour kit? Certainly. But we think it would make a better foundation for a couple or family of three. If you’re ok with cooking up one batch of food, and eating it as 3-4 meals, this is a winner. For everyone else, we expect that monotony (along with the question of how to store the cooked food) may become an issue. If FSD changed the packaging to make them resealable, so that it’s easier to cook one half at a time, that may broaden its appeal. Of course, you could throw some resealable bags in the kit and be good too. Note that depending on the storage conditions, meals have a shelf life of 10-20 years. As always, it’s best to familiarize yourself with the contents and their use/preparation before an emergency. That also makes it much easier to determine if you need to add anything. If this was our own 72 hour kit, we’d add some jerky, our own utensils, a more comprehensive first aid kit, a few extra meal pouches, and maybe rotate some energy bars in. In a pinch, the included cooking setup could work, but supplementing the kit with a small gas stove with heat controls would go a long way as well. If you camp or backpack, you’ve probably already got something along those lines anyway. survivalbased.com
Disclosure of Material Connection: We received the Food Fire Filter 72 Hour Kit for free from Survival Based as coordinated by Deep Creek PR Outdoor Retailer Public Relations, in consideration for review publication.