Waltzing Matilda with a swag, Part 4 – Cooking & Food Preparation

Making your tucker on the wallaby is an exercise in minimalist food preparation and cooking. Sure, you can take modern pre-prepared or freeze dried foods with you instead of the stuff the old-timers carried, but between you and me… that’s cheating. Taking a gas cooker or even an alcohol stove is cheating too. If the bushfire fire danger allows it, you use an open fire for your cooking. If it doesn’t then stay home or “cheat” and use a Jetboil and freeze dried slop-in-a-bag.

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Ration Packs Part 5 – Strive Food 24 Hour Ration Pack

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Contents of a Strive Food 24 Hour Ration Pack all laid out.

Strive Food in Tassie are a relative newcomer to the ration pack market, and unlike the others in this series of posts, the Strive Food 24 Hour Ration Packs are about as far away from a military style pack as you can get. The bulk of the meals and some of the snacks are also dehydrated traditionally rather than being freeze dried. The pack consists of:

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Emergency Rations Part 1 – Vietnam Era Australian Emergency Flying Ration

20161109_121701The Australian equivalent of the UKs Mk9 Emergency Flying Ration of the same era, the Australian Emergency Flying Ration was issued to aircrews and was designed to fit in a special pouch on the US SRU-21/P aircrew survival vest which was heavily used by RAAF and Australian army aircrew such as forward observation pilots.

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Ration Packs Part 4 – 24 Hour Hunger Buster Combo Ration Pack

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Hungerbuster 24-Hour Ration Pack. This one has a Chicken Italiano main meal.

These are sold as army style ration packs and indeed they are. Most of the components are identical to those found in the NZ Defence Force ORPs (24 hour Operational Ration Packs), but the Hungerbuster packs only contain about 2/3rd the amount of tucker as the Kiwi rat packs. Compare them to Aussie CR1M rations and you’ll also find a lot of the exact same items as well. Australia and NZ have an agreement where a mix of Aussie and NZ food goes into each country’s ration packs.

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Ration Packs Part 3 -Back Country Cuisine Adventure Ration Pack

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This is a military style ration pack but instead of the pouches of sloppy food found in the others described in this series of posts, this one includes three back country cuisine freeze dried food packs (typically two normal single serve meals and a porridge or muesli).

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Ration Packs Part 2 – US Military Meals Ready to Eat (MREs)

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Since the WWII era K-Ration, the US Armed forced have always supplied their troops with meal-sized ration packs rather than full 24 hour ration packs.

The US combat rations underwent an overhaul during the Vietnam War era of the mid 1960s to the early 1970s with some specialised lightweight dried and compressed foods known as LRRP (Long Range Reconnaissance Patrol) Rations were provided to special forces and the like. At the same time, the basic US armed forces combat ration was the Meal, Combat, Individual, which many Aussie Vietnam Veterans will remember as C-Rations. The MCI soldiered on until the mid 1980s when it began to be replaced by a revolutionary ration known as an MRE or Meal, Ready to Eat.

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Ration Packs Part 1 – Australian Defence Force Combat Ration, One Man

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2016 CR1M menu “C” unopened.

The Combat Ration, One Man or CR1M for short, is the standard Australian Defence Force 24-hour ration pack.

The current CR1M ration pack has been developed over a number of decades from its genesis with the British 1950s 24 hour ration packs first encountered by Australian army infantry battalions during the Malayan Emergency in the late 1950s and the Australian CRP of the Vietnam War era.

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