hardtack... good ol survivor food. [Archive] - Glock Talk

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powder86
03-21-2012, 20:29
http://www.wikihow.com/Make-Hardtack

this stuff can keep for 50+ years.

Y'all may already have recipes for this, but I didn't. So I added it to my collection, and thought I'd pass it along.
Seems like something good to add to the long term storage, as generally speaking, it's difficult to keep just plain ol flour for that time period.

Bolster
03-21-2012, 20:50
I agree.

http://www.glocktalk.com/forums/showthread.php?t=1403462

inzone
03-22-2012, 07:00
hardtack is great stuff and easy to make, also add in pinole and homemade trail mix (lots of recipes on internet).

RichJ
03-22-2012, 08:40
Why do this when there are so many other options for long term food storage?

It's just flour and water. Zero taste and hard as a rock.

Did you know that the people who had to eat these horrible rations were also slowly starving to death?

waawaaweenie
03-22-2012, 08:50
just as a last resort type food source

not to be living on the stuff.

why not have some stored just in case of a hurricane or earthquake or you have to bug out for a half a day or so.

Bolster
03-22-2012, 09:30
Why do this when there are so many other options for long term food storage?

Actually there aren't lots of alternates for hard-tack that can meet its whole list of advantages:

1. Extremely inexpensive to make.
2. A simple food that is unlikely to cause indigestion during stress.
3. Rates a nutrition grade of "A" or "A-"; it's just wheat.
4. You made it yourself and know exactly what's in it.
5. Easy to seal in a food-saver.
6. Super durable, good shelf life in high heat. Put it in your GHB and forget about it for 10 years (or longer).
7. Ridiculously easy to make.
8. For hundreds of years humans in tough circumstances have relied on it; it's a known entity.
9. Extremely compact and portable.

Downside:

1. You need to crumble it into liquid, or soak it and fry it. It's not ready-to-eat as is, it can damage teeth.
2. It tastes like a plain cracker, nothing fancy. That's not a disadvantage to me but some people gripe about it.
3. Not a balanced meal in and of itself, but can keep starvation at bay.
4. Too humble--doesn't look "tactical" enough for some folks.

lawman800
03-22-2012, 11:55
4. Too humble--doesn't look "tactical" enough for some folks.

Drop soy sauce or black food dye in it so it looks tactical stealth black... or put in a bunch of green and brown food dye so it's camo.:whistling:

jason10mm
03-22-2012, 13:03
So it sounds like hardtack plus a vacuum sealer equals cheap food preps you can afford to stockpile and hand out to the unfortunates while you eat MH, eh?

I'll have to try this. I've always read about it and even the non-period sources make it seem like a miserable experience :)

I think us modern folks would be shocked and amazed at what humans ate and sorta thrived on just a few centuries back. Sounds like a lot of folks lived mostly on porridge, beer, and vegetable stew.

lawman800
03-22-2012, 13:06
So it sounds like hardtack plus a vacuum sealer equals cheap food preps you can afford to stockpile and hand out to the unfortunates while you eat MH, eh?

I'll have to try this. I've always read about it and even the non-period sources make it seem like a miserable experience :)

I think us modern folks would be shocked and amazed at what humans ate and sorta thrived on just a few centuries back. Sounds like a lot of folks lived mostly on porridge, beer, and vegetable stew.

Forget a few centuries... how about even a few decades... or even now, in less than modern countries where people have to eat whatever to survive and eke out an existence.

Bolster
03-22-2012, 14:04
Sounds like a lot of folks lived mostly on porridge, beer, and vegetable stew.

:homer:

Mmmmm....porridge, beer, and vegetable stew .... ghahgghhaahh....

lawman800
03-22-2012, 16:00
I wouldn't even call it stew... just vegetables and various roadkill if they can get any, tossed in a big cauldron of water and boiled to death... then you mop it up with assorted hard breads or whatever.

Jake514
03-22-2012, 17:43
I got excited reading this thread a few weeks ago and made some hardtack, and I am not a cook. Hardtack is too polite of a term as it was like Leaszza Douglas on Green Acres using the flap jacks for roof shingles.

I tried to soak my experiement in soup but after 40 minutes I was still afraid I would break a tooth if I tried to chew it. My hard tack is in the landfill now and I will need to try another batch and hope for better results.

Bolster
03-22-2012, 17:53
Sounds like you got a normal 'tack, rock-hard is what it's supposed to be. It can damage teeth if you try to eat the cracker directly. Did you drop the whole cracker into your soup? If so, pulverize the cracker first.

nucleus
03-27-2012, 08:02
You could add nutritional yeast for flavor and a broad spectrum of vitamins and minerals. Nutritional yeast essentially has every nutrient needed for life. You would add pea, egg white, egg or whey protein to improve the protein content.

With nutritional yeast and some more protein you get a food that you could live on for a long time.

What fat you use makes a difference too. Shortening is not as nutritious as the butter, but the butter will spoil faster. Coconut oil, being 100% saturated will last the longest and is a healthy fat, but lacking in essential fatty acids.

Probably the best compromise for spoilage and nourishment is lard. About 40% saturated but has a broad spectrum of fatty acids.

Bilbo Bagins
03-27-2012, 08:09
You could add nutritional yeast for flavor and a broad spectrum of vitamins and minerals. Nutritional yeast essentially has every nutrient needed for life. You would add pea, egg white, egg or whey protein to improve the protein content.

With nutritional yeast and some more protein you get a food that you could live on for a long time.

What fat you use makes a difference too. Shortening is not as nutritious as the butter, but the butter will spoil faster. Coconut oil, being 100% saturated will last the longest and is a healthy fat, but lacking in essential fatty acids.

Probably the best compromise for spoilage and nourishment is lard. About 40% saturated but has a broad spectrum of fatty acids.


Wouldn't adding fat and protein significantly decrease the shelf life due to spoilage/rancid?

nucleus
03-28-2012, 19:11
Wouldn't adding fat and protein significantly decrease the shelf life due to spoilage/rancid?

The recipe linked to in the original post had a version with butter or shortening.

Generally foods that are more nourishing spoil faster. The recipe did not specify what kind of flour to use, but for shelf life I would assume white flour, as whole wheat products spoil much faster.

The problem with white flour is that it does not sustain life. Rats fed white flour (enriched) die. Rats fed non-enriched whole wheat flour live.

My rational behind the nutritional yeast was to all a form of broad-spectrum natural whole-food enrichment with a product that is known to be stable when dry, along with adding some flavor.

Nucleus

bdcochran
03-29-2012, 07:45
The people in this forum understand that there is no perfect, cheap, complete, long lasting survival food that does not require preparation and use of fuel. Hardtack is one of the food sources that comes the closest.

Knowing how to make it is a great skill. However, the soldiers in the field did not make hardtack. It required milling. Even with portable hand mills, making flour is inefficient when you are living in the field.

The last commercial manufacturer, Brent, is out of business. The equivalent is sailor bread made in Virginia and wholesaled out of Washington State for the Alaskan residents.

Now you can go through the process of making the hardtack, containerizing it and so forth now. In the real world, people will ask how to do this, note it, and decide it is too much effort. For people like that (the finger points at me!), just get containerized pilot bread from Mountain House.

When shtf and you go open your Mountain House can, you won't have the concerns of whether you made it right or stored it right. Oh and thanks for the reminder, ordered another 2 cans on Amazon for $35 delivered. Gives peace of mind.

Bolster
03-29-2012, 09:11
I agree. The only person trying to sustain life with hardtack is an 1800-vintage sailor in a lifeboat, and even then, he's trying as hard as he can to catch a fish or two to supplement with some protein.

Hardtack will keep you from starving much, much longer than if you're eating nothing. I don't know any single simple food that can sustain you in good health by itself. Take a lesson from the British Limeys and eat some citrus with it--to keep scurvy at bay. Scurvy is one of the primary "malnutrition" diseases...simple to combat with Vit. C.