Thursday, January 19, 2012

Surviving on Survival Food - An Experiment

A few days ago, I wrote about having purchased some survival food bars for my emergency readiness backpack. I also got a pack of the 3600 calorie food bars (feeds 1 person for 3 days) to try out.

Today, I decided to eat just the survival food bars, as well as only a moderate amount of water, to see how I'd make out. Each pack divides into 9 portions, each of which is about 5 cm x 5 cm x 3cm, or approximately two-thirds the size of a standard nanaimo bar. Three portions a day is the estimated intake for one adult person.
I further divided each portion into half, and aimed to eat one half portion every three hours, starting from 10 o'clock. The check-in times would therefore be at 10, 1, 4, 7, 10, 1.
Since I work graveyards, my "day" starts at 10pm. My job is pretty sedentary, with some walking about now and again.
Of course I did not gorge beforehand, as that would be cheating.

BAR #1
10 PM: Ate 1/2 bar. Had 2 cups of water (i.e., ~ 1 mug) of water.

1 AM: Not really hungry yet. By now I have only had a 1 cup of green tea. Ate 1/4 bar. Bored of the taste and texture already.

2:12 AM: Somewhat hungry. Ate another 1/4 bar.

BAR #2
3:24 AM Starting to be hungry again, but still quite mild. Ate 1/4 bar ahead of schedule.

3:42 AM Quite hungry. Ate 1/4 bar.

4:00 AM Hunger subsiding. Ignored it. Possibly because I was busy and took my mind off it. Drank one cup of green tea.

6:30 AM Noticed hunger very mild but constant. Ignored it.

7:00 AM Ate 1/4 bar.

9:00 AM Ate 1/4 bar. Drank 1 cup coffee.

10:00 AM Not hungry. Skipped.

1:00 PM Not hungry. Skipped.

BAR #3
1:25 PM Quite hungry. Ate 1/4 bar. Drank 2 cups of water. Still have 3/4 bar left.

Overall, I was surprised at just how un-hungry I was, considering I basically ate less than a whole nanaimo bar the whole day. It might have gone even better if I had been freer with water intake, but in an emergency, there might not be that much water.

True to the advertising, the bars really are designed to not induce thirst. However, boredom was setting in around halfway. Can't they make these things in other flavours, like orange? You know, to mix it up a bit? Fortunately, since a 1/4 portion is gone in a few bites, it's not like slogging through a stack of dry biscuits.

Overall, if I were to do it differently, I'd have 1/4 bar every 90 minutes instead. I think that would have kept the hunger more in check. Also, The tail end of things saw hunger tapering off, so I might even go with a longer interval later and give myself leeway to have an extra 1/4 bar around the middle of the day.

1 comment:

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