Emergency Survival Gear



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An Oldie but Goodie

Many of you have inquired about the availability of Erbswurst as a survival food. Unfortunately, I can no longer find a source. I think they may have actually stopped making it, since even the maker, Knorr in Switzerland, doesn't show it in their listings anymore. And the last time George was in Germany, he couldn't find a single package of it.

Nevertheless, for those of you interested in what was a staple of German field rations in World Wars I and 2. I will leave this information on the website for historical purposes.

Rest assured that if I find a supply, it will appear here.

Erbswurst has been a staple ration for the German Army since 1889. Shown here in its civilian label, Erbswurst is a nutritious dehydrated pea soup. It is rolled up in a sturdy metal wrapper like a sausage, and inside there are six pellets, each adequate for a single serving.

You'll notice there are little brown flecks in the pellet. These are tiny pieces of smoked bacon, and they give the soup an amazingly good taste.

It was a good choice as an emergency or survival ration for several reasons: it has a very long shelf life, it's easy to prepare, it's tasty and filling, and it's quite nutritious. Plus, a cup of piping hot soup goes a long way toward lifting one's spirits.

To be sure I knew whereof I speak, I made a serving of Erbswurst here at home. First I had to translate the German directions on the label (yes, it's imported from Germany). When I had completed the simple and intuitive cooking process, I had about six ounces of soup, and it was hot! Tin cups (see the blue one at left) are notorious for leaking off heat, but I found the soup to stay hot much longer than a comparable volume of coffee - it must have to do with the density of the soup.

I found it very tasty, in fact I used up the rest of the package for quick lunches.

Erbswurst contains mostly pea flour, with smoked bacon bits and some tiny dried veggies. It tastes like a good brand of ready-to-eat pea soup, with the only difference being the texture, which is more like a thick tomato soup.

It's a pity it is no longer available.


The Recipe

Thanks to the Google translator and my German-English dictionary, I figured out how it's done. This will save you all that effort.

Put a pellet into your cooking pot and crush it into a powder. Be sure to break up all the little chunks.

Add 1 1/8 cup of water (that's a quarter-liter) and bring to a boil, stirring frequently.

Cook the soup at a boil for 3 minutes, stirring constantly. While the soup starts out as a watery-looking fluid, the boiling thickens it nicely and the result soup is satisfying and will stick to your ribs.

Pretty simple. That's why it's been around for more than 110 years.

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Survival experts agree - if you are lost or forced to spend a night in the wild, Fire is the most vital necessity.


People die every year from “exposure,” another name for hypothermia (lowering of the body’s internal temperature). Whether on a day hike or a wilderness expedition, you need to be able to start a fire, the first time, every time – even when you’re chilled and your hands are numb with cold. Your life may depend on it!


This handy little fire kit is your insurance policy.


The kit contains:

10 waterproof matches

8 weatherproof matches

4 Hexamine fuel tablets

2 self-lighting kindling sticks

2 tinder wads

1 striker strip


This gives you several options for lighting a fire.


The waterproof matches look like normal wooden safety matches, but they will light in the wet, which is when your normal pocket matches can fail. They burn at the same rate as a regular wooden match and can be lit by dragging the tip across the striker on the inside lid.


The weatherproof matches (with the long red tips)  are waterproof, windproof and hot, hot, hot! They will actually continue to burn even if you drop a lit one into a puddle of water. They burn fast (about 15 seconds), so you need to have your fire laid and ready to go, including a nest of dry, flammable tinder into which to drop the match.


The kindling sticks have an igniter on the tip. Dragging it across the striker strip  causes ignition, and sets the kindling stick on fire. It will burn from the tip, lasting several minutes.


The Hexamine tablets each provide several minutes of hot, almost invisible flame.


The tinder wads provide a dry, ready to burn tinder when everything around you is dripping wet.


The striker strip is glued to the inside of the kit’s lid where it will stay safe and dry. It will ignite both the matches and the tinder stick tips.


The kit is sealed with reusable weather-tight tape, and the shiny bottom can be used as an emergency signal mirror.


Buy one for every hunter, hiker, angler, or outdoor worker in your family.




PRICE:  $9.95






Datrex Food Bars – an emergency food ration

These food bars are intended strictly as an emergency ration. They are approved by the US Coast Guard, and the United Kingdom’s DOT.

Each package contains three bars of compressed concentrated food, individually wrapped in plastic. The three bars are then sealed in shrink-wrap for extra protection. Each bar provides up to six hours of nutritional support.

The bars contain wheat flour, vegetable shortening, cane sugar, water, coconut, and salt. Each bar provides 200 calories. They are designed to give a quick energy boost and take away that empty feeling in your stomach. They work best when eaten in small bites and chewed thoroughly.

Water is not required with these food bars, and they do not cause thirst, which makes them great for use in desert country.

I keep a package or two in both of my vehicles, along with several bottles of water. When hiking or hunting I tuck a package into my backpack. I do this because years ago, while elk hunting in Washington state, darkness caught me several miles from camp and I had to spend the night huddled over a campfire – with nothing to eat. I would have given a month’s pay to have a package of these food bars in my pocket! When I got back to camp I swore I would never hunt or hike again unless I had some emergency food along. These bars fill the bill perfectly.

A package of food bars measures 2-3/4” x 1-3/4” x 1-1/2” and weighs just over four ounces (120 grams).

I recommend these food bars as a backup food for hunters, hikers, anglers, and those who work in the out-of-doors. They are perfect for commuters stuck in rush hour traffic. They have a long shelf life – this batch being good until May of 2020 - so you can stow them in your pack or glove box, and they’ll be there when you need them

Please note that you are purchasing one box of food bars; the extra bars in the accompanying photograph are to show you what they look like, and the hiking gear is strictly stage setting.


PRICE:  $9.95





British SAS Survival Kit


This is an accurate reproduction of the Canadian-made survival kit in a can used by the British SAS and aircrews. It is compact, waterproof, easy to open, and could actually save your life. It comes with either a 1991 label or a 2004 label, for whichever era you are re-enacting or collecting. Each kit contains exactly what the label says:

Compass; Fire Starter; Wire Clip; Fish Line; Salt packet; Tea Bag; Sugar Packet; Match Book; Antiseptic Swab; Antibiotic Ointment; Paracetamol; Razor Blade; Duct Tape; Signal Mirror; re-closeable Bag; Adhesive Plaster; Safety Pin; Fish Hook; Signal Whistle; Chewing Gum; Energy Candy; Note Paper; Pencil; Survival/First Aid Instructions.

Kits measure 4-1/4” x 3” x 1” and weigh 2 ounces (54 grams). Compact and light, and could prove mighty useful in an emergency.


Model 1991 Survival Kit  PRICE: $14.95




Model 2004 Survival Kit  PRICE: $14.95






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