Lifeboat/Liferaft at Sea:
Eat one bar every 6 hours per person - eat in small pieces - chew well.

Other Emergencies on Land:
Eat one bar every 4 hours per person - eat in small pieces - chew well.

DATREX Blue Rations come hermetically sealed in a blue, vacuum packed Mylar pouch in the shape of a brick. There are 18 rations to a brick, divided into 6 subpackages of 3 bars each in a much thinner shrinkwrap. "Tabletized and subpackaged for ease of rationing."

These are the sorts of things - if you are extremely lucky - you can expect to feast upon for days or weeks if you ever find yourself in a liferaft or lifeboat in the open ocean if, say, your cruise ship or US Navy warship takes on water and sinks like the thousands of tons of metal it actually is.

Or, perhaps you're a yacht owner, or a sport fisher, or shrimp boat owner. If you cross oceans in a vessel that you own, or as a hired skipper or captain, chances are you have some of these laying around, hopefully safely stowed along with your signalling flares, locator beacon, fresh water supply, and other emergency preparedness stuff stashed in your self-inflating liferaft or other means of emergency marine conveyance.

Or, perhaps you live in Idaho or Oregon, wear a tinfoil-lined Soldier of Fortune meshback cap in forest camo, have been engaged in - and winning - an arms race with the local National Guard for the last 3 decades, you live in a bunker with full NBC protection, and surplus MREs just aren't hardcore enough for you.

Or, perhaps you engage in serious trekking or exploration expeditions such as skiing across the Antarctic or hiking mountains such as Mount McKinley or Mount Everest, or any other outdoor activity where the presence of thousands of calories in a highly portable and lightweight brick the size of your fist is a desirable thing to have along for the ride.

Or, perhaps like me, you live in California or any other area known for relatively frequent, large-scale natural disasters such as earthquakes.

I am eating a subpackage of three of these bars this very moment - in the name of science! - to assist in describing these things to you, gentle noders and readers, and indeed, it is science as the expiration date stamped on this particular brick reads "1999". That's about 4 years at the time of writing this over the expiration date. Almost 10 years from manufacture. They could probably survive another 5 to 10 years and still be quite edible.

The package of DATREX Blue Rations I've opened and sampled from came from a small daypack filled with simple but effective emergency preparedness and survival gear which is - ostensibly - supposed to be stored in the trunk of one's car in case of infrastructure-threatening emergencies while away from home. This is a wise practice, and I recommend it to everyone. Being Prepared is a good thing.

What do DATREX Blue Rations look and taste like? Well, first off, they aren't blue. These aren't some sort of emergency rations for - or made of - smurfs. Sorry if that spoiled anything.

The Mylar-foil outer wrap is quite thick, and would likely survive accidental puncturing from just about anything save for a knife or shard of glass. At the top of the foil packet, there's a small hole punched to aid in tearing the overwrap. A subpacket measures approximately 3x4x5.5 cm, making each individual tablet or ration about 1 cm thick. The shrink wrap around the subpacket is very thin, and so tightly wrapped it can be difficult if not impossible to open without using one's teeth or a knife.

Upon first opening a subpacket, there is a distinct neopolitan-candy-esque smell about them, likely due to the coconut that is in them. They do not taste unpleasant. In fact, they taste and look suspiciously like a compressed brick of crumbs from an assortment of non-frosted Mother's brand cookies. I would not be suprised in the slightest to find out that is exactly what they are composed of. Cookie crumbs, mashed with sugar and coconut. However, the listed all natural ingredients disagree with this theory, stated as "Wheat Flour, Vegetable Shortening, Cane Sugar, Water, Coconut, and Salt". I still think they look like a highly compressed slab of cookie crumbs, and I'm sticking with that.

I would, for one, be very, very glad to have these rations available to eat in any sort of dire situation. They are not unpleasant even as a snack. They are just crunchy enough and crumbly enough to stave off maddening food-boredom, have just a touch of salt, and aren't too sweet as to provoke thirst. I can easily imagine the small joy of slowly nibbling on one of these tablets, savoring every crumb, throwing the whole of my consciousness into the wonderful experience of recieving life-giving sustenance as endless peaks and valleys of open ocean swells rolled and pitched all around me, as far as the eye can see. I'm not being sarcastic, not in the slightest. A brick of these rations would be an absolute godsend, in the right situation. A situation I hope I don't face any time soon, if ever.

Regularly snacking on them could prove to be quite fattening, though. We're talking 200 calories and 10 grams of fat in a rectangle-shaped biscuit a bit larger than a Zippo lighter. That's almost as many calories and as much fat as in a Big Mac. 3,600 calories and 180 grams of fat per 18 ration brick.

Official Information:
(From white imprinting on the blue Mylar outerwrap)


Multi Purpose
Meets SOLAS 1983 Requirements.
Other Approvals Pending

Approx. 15075kj (3600 kcal)
This ration consists of
18 bars of compressed concentrated food.


Lifeboat/Liferaft at Sea:
Eat one bar every 6 hours per person - eat in small pieces - chew well.

Other Emergencies on Land:
Eat one bar every 4 hours per person - eat in small pieces - chew well.

Do not drink water during the first 24 hours unless sick, injured, or in desert conditions. After first 24 hours, drink no more than 500 ml (1/2 liter, approx. 16 oz.) per day. When supply is nearly exhausted, no more than 1/10 liter per day.


SERVING SIZE 1 Bar (38 gm.)

CALORIES (838 kj) 200 Cal.
PROTEIN (7%) 3 gm.
CARBOHYDRATE (55%) 21 gm.
SODIUM 0.75 mg.

TOTAL FAT (26%) 10 gm.
SAT. F/A (21%) 2 gm.
MONO-UNSAT.F/A (65%) 7 gm.
POLY-UNSAT. F/A (14%) 1 gm.



INGREDIENTS: Wheat Flour, Vegetable Shortening, Cane Sugar, Water, Coconut, and Salt.


Kinder, Louisiana, 70648
TEL: (318) 738-4511
FAX: (318) 738-5675

From the DATREX website:

Datrex Blue Ration 3600 kcal (DX3600F)

15,075 kj. 3600 kcal per package.
High energy value. Ready to eat.
Non thirst provoking.
Small and lightweight.
All natural ingredients.
No preservatives.
Individual packs: 701g.
20 packs per case.
Tabletized and subpackaged for ease of rationing.
5 year shelf life.
This product has been certified: 160.046/19/0

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