Datrex—a marine emergency and survival equipment supplier—has packed 3,600 calories into a compact, vacuum-sealed 24-ounce blue brick of sustenance. The Datrex Blue Ration 3600 consists of 18 individually-wrapped, 38-gram (1.3-ounce), 200-calorie bars that are Coast Guard-approved for lifeboat use and survival situations.
At 150 calories per ounce, the Datrex bar offers greater energy density by weight than most of its more consumer-oriented competition—such as Clif or Power Bars—which pack roughly 100 to 120 calories per ounce. And though there are other foods that offer more calories per ounce, they can’t compete with the Datrex brick as a way to pack seriously compact and space-efficient calories.
So what’s in these things? The ingredients are pretty simple—wheat flour, vegetable shortening, cane sugar, water, coconut, and salt—and provide a well-balanced mix of carbs (21g per 38g serving), fat (10g), and protein (3g). Because of its intended use, these bars actually include very little salt (less than 1mg per bar).
The lower sodium content reduces the thirst response, which can be of crucial importance in a lifeboat situation with scarce freshwater supplies. In terms of taste, most online reviews (such as the more than 100 on Amazon) give it a surprising thumbs up.
The bars have a shelf life of five years; each package is stamped with its expiration date. You can purchase them from Datrex directly individually ($9.95) or in packs of 20 ($129), though you can find it cheaper at other online survival gear retailers, such as Nitro-Pak Preparedness Center, Inc., where a brick sells for $7.
Datrex bars are made in the USA. You can see how they do it in the video below:
“Equipped” is an AMC Outdoors blog, written by Matt Heid.