> TEOTWAWKI Blog: Lessons from Alas, Babylon: Iron Rations



Lessons from Alas, Babylon: Iron Rations

Randy Bragg gets home from buying up food at the grocery store, loads it all up in the pantry and then thinks it over:

"Perhaps he should make up a small kit of delicacies. If the worst happened, this would be their iron rations for a desperate time. If nothing happened, it would all keep."

He gathers up some small items--tea, bullion, Swiss chocolates canned cheese--puts them in a carton and then stashes that away in a chest in the office that "was a fine place to hide it and forget it."

"Iron rations" were emergency rations that soldiers were issued back in the old days of warfare--early 20th century, WWI times and prior. When soldiers were cut off from regular food supplies, they turned to their iron rations--tins of meat, cheese, some dried biscuits, etc.  The modern MRE evolved from this old-school ration.

Now, most of us have some sort of food storage. Some have more, others have less, for whatever reason--lack of space, funds, move frequently, a combination of all three. But do you have a backup or at least a last resort? What happens if you're cut off from your regular food supplies, if they run out, if they're ruined, whatever?

That's where the iron ration comes in. A small bit of food, hidden away and forgotten about. And make it some good food--a small kit of delicacies.

Why? Imagine that you've been living off the last of your stored food, rationing and wasting away eating bland bulk staples. Your shelves are empty and bare, your stomach growling, the morale of your family/group very low. And you remember your iron ration--a stash of good food, hidden away wherever. It's only enough for another meal or two, but at least they'll be good meals.

Or--it's Christmas, post-SHTF. You're all alive and healthy, and that's certainly something to be thankful for. But morale is pretty low, the kids are pretty discouraged. You remember that you have some treats stashed in your iron ration--some candy bars or whatever to save the day.

Or, think of the value that some of the small treats we enjoy today would hold 6 months or a year, post-SHTF? What would a twinkie or a can of cola get you in barter?

Ideally, you'd hide your iron ration away somewhere safe as well--somewhere it would be protected from fire, flood or whatever. If your main food storage is compromised, you'd at least have a small "fall back" to turn to, no matter what. Bury it, hide it at another location, put it in your gun safe--whatever.

The iron ration--extra insurance, pretty low cost and with a minimal space requirement. Anyone can set one up, even a dorm-dwelling college kid. Put one together tonight; just think through "What would I want for my last meal?", and then pack that up and hide it away somewhere safe.