Nothing sucks like going to bed hungry. Especially in the aftermath of a natural disaster, such as following a tropical hurricane without electricity or normal services. After deciding to get a survival food kit for emergencies, I wasn’t just going to put it away without trying it first. So I went three days without eating anything else. Having never really tried prepper food before, I found the experience pretty interesting. Plus, I learned a few things too. Here’s my review of the Augason Farms 72 Hour Kit, including the conclusions I reached.
Note – This is a kit I bought with my own money for my own use. I have no relationship whatsoever to the brand. This is simply my honest opinion.
Even if you aren’t a prepper, you should keep survival food at hand
FEMA recommends that everyone should keep at least two weeks of food close by. It’s cheap insurance in the event of a disaster. Hurricane Irma made that point very clear last year, after leaving tens of thousands in Puerto Rico without electricity for months. That means no refrigerators and disruption of the supply chain.
In South Florida it wasn’t that bad, but the hurricane still hit hard and disrupted life for a week or more. Subsequent to weathering through it, I decided to finally take care of the survival food topic. Like most people, I was satisfied until now with just keeping canned goods. However it’s hard to keep track of inventory and expiration dates like that, much less a month-long supply, so I decided to look into the typical prepper buckets.
After doing some research, I found that Augason Farms 30-Day Emergency Food Supply Kit was among the best bang-for-your-buck survival foods out there. Unlike other brands, at least they weren’t trying to mislead consumers with disingenuous claims regarding days of food. So I ordered the food kit. The problem is that, if you want it to last decades, you shouldn’t even crack the lid open. With the purpose of trying it out first, I also bought the Augason Farms 72 hour kit.
Even for something like survival food, the age-old truism still holds – When you truly need it, it’s not the time to find out if it’s any good or how to use it. Especially if you’re not into survival and aren’t familiar with that style of food. Personally, I was planning on buying more of their 30-Day kits. Before investing more space and money, I certainly was going to try it first. And these are my impressions. Let’s go part by part.
Augason Farms 72 Hour Kit Specs
- 42 Total Servings – Completely disregard the servings number
- 2560 calories per day – That’s a pretty decent amount
- 7680 total calories
- Net weight: 4 lbs, 1 oz / 1.83 Kg
- 25 year recommended lifespan – Thumbs up for this
Food varieties included
And as far as food is concerned, the kit includes 5 bags inside the bucket with the following varieties:
- Maple Brown Sugar Oatmeal – 300 gr total
- Banana Chips – 264 gr total
- Creamy Chicken Rice – 416 gr total
- Creamy Potato Soup – 400 gr total
- Hearty Vegetable Chicken Soup – 456 gr total
The kit is intended for a single person and three days. With that in mind, it’s pretty decent. 2560 calories per day is respectable. Even when you consider the physical activities which may go on while using this kit – Like removing branches or other debris after a hurricane or tropical storm. Other brands boast unrealistic “2 month supply” claims, but then expect you to make do on 1300 calories per day.
You’ll also need water and heat
Obviously – or maybe not obviously – the food isn’t ready to eat straight from the bag. You’re going to need a heat source and water. Which aren’t included.
I have and recommend a compact propane stove and a Sawyer Mini Water Filtration System. They’re the type of things anyone should already have available, should a survival situation arise. After all, if you don’t have any water available, this Augason Farms 72 hour kit is the least of your concerns. And you shouldn’t be counting on your electrical stove, either.
The packaging is average, truth be told. As in sufficient, but not great. Normally I wouldn’t care, but in this case it’s supposed to protect the contents for decades. While the concept of a sealed plastic box is good…the problem is that it doesn’t seal well. In part due to how they really crammed the thing full of food.
When I received mine, the lid was already slightly popped open. I can’t reliably say whether that was due to shipping or not, but it doesn’t change the fact. To make matters worse, the little plastic anti-tamper tab is worthless. The lid can be pushed on and pulled off with it still in place.
I understand that the larger buckets of survival food are filled with inert gas to help with longevity, though I’m not sure if that’s the case with the smaller ones like this 72-hour kit. Regardless, given the failed lid design, any gas is long gone. You shouldn’t consider the lid air-tight. It’s a pity.
All in all, the packaging would be nice…if they installed a working lid. But besides that it’s fine. The plastic is thick enough, it’s just the lid fastening that’s improvable. In any case, the foil bags inside are rugged, so it’s not like it should have any meaningful impact of product life.
Testing the survival food
So…the most important part. How would your morale be if all you had available to eat was this kit for 3 days?
I decided to put it to the test. At least that way I could plan in advance if I found the rations too small or unbearably foul. This is the only solid food I’d consume, making allowances for things like coffee and tea that are equally available in an emergency. But besides that, I wouldn’t eat anything else during the test. All my calories would be limited to those in this Augason Farms kit, which was going to be interesting.
There’s no official meal plan for the Augason Farms 72 hour kit. Which isn’t that surprising considering it’s only 5 bags. They do have meal plans for their larger kits, nonetheless.
I just used the following plan:
- Day 1
- Maple Brown Sugar Oatmeal – 100 gr
- Banana Chips – 88 gr
- Creamy Rice Chicken – 416 gr
- Day 2
- Maple Brown Sugar Oatmeal – 100 gr
- Banana Chips – 88 gr
- Creamy Potato Soup – 400 gr
- Day 3
- Maple Brown Sugar Oatmeal – 100 gr
- Banana Chips – 88 gr
- Hearty Vegetable Chicken Soup – 456 gr
Maple Brown Sugar Oatmeal
I’ve been eating the same Quaker Oats quick oatmeal for breakfast everyday for the last few years, so I was pretty curious. I’m also the type of person that’ll never skip breakfast, so there’s that.
I separated out 100 gr from the oatmeal bag and added some milk. From powdered milk, of course. At this point it was pretty obvious how meaningless the ‘servings’ number was – not that I expected anything different. The 100 gr will suffice, but it’s just enough to break the fast, though not much else. If you like a substantial breakfast like I do, you may want to keep something else besides this Augason Farms 72 hour kit in stock. It’s sufficient, but not excessive. At least breakfast-wise.
Anyway, after a few minutes to heat it up, it was ready. Regarding taste, it’s pretty good. Potentially even better than Quaker Oats own flavored bags. No complaints there. And definitely nothing that would make me feel like I’m eating survival food.
It’s just regular oatmeal. And that’s fine in my book.
I was pleasantly surprised with these as snack-food. They’re quite filling considering their size. And ready to eat straight from the bag. Keep in mind that they are a bit hard, which is expected from dehydrated food. Nonetheless I liked these so much that I’ll probably check them out in my local supermarket as normal food. You definitely don’t need to be a prepper to enjoy these banana chips.
Salt-wise, they weren’t bad at all. As in not too salty. Even considering that I don’t ever put salt on anything. It’s just right. Though 88 gr a day doesn’t sound like that much, half of that is enough to satisfy you as a snack in practice. You can easily get more than 3 days out of them, if need be.
Creamy Rice Chicken
Here’s where things start to get interesting. When I started this test, I was expecting the proportions to be small in size but sufficient from the caloric point of view. Apparently I was a bit wrong there, for unexpected reasons.
My initial plan was just to eat the whole bag as dinner. That turned out the wrong approach. If you cook the full 416 gr at once for only your own use, using the recommended amount of water, you’re going to get bloated, quick. It’s too much water for the amount of solids. I learned that the hard way, having added more water than they recommended. That simply isn’t a good idea here.
Anyway, though the bag of survival food is small, it really rehydrates quite nicely. Whether you pour it into 5 cups of water or 8, it has an adequate “thickness” either way. But what you do have to keep in mind is that the 1920 calorie bag is still 1920 calories regardless of how much water you add. For inactive females that might be two days worth. For active men that’s just lunch to maintain weight. In other words you may feel fuller if you add more water, but you won’t be better fed.
Now on the taste aspect, the ‘creamy rice chicken’ was great. I can’t complain about that at all, though I’ll confess I’m not that finicky about food. I wouldn’t mind eating this any day of the week, honestly.
Creamy Potato Soup
This is the second serious “meal” in the Augason Farms 72 hour kit. Here, the same issue as above applies. It’s tempting to add too much water, since the soup isn’t easy to make too watery. Avoid that as you might rob yourself of calories that way. If you’re eating it in one sitting, I’d probably recommend using less water than the label states. It was 10 cups, if I remember right. If all you can eat is 6 cups-worth, then use that amount of water instead.
If you do add more water-volume just to separate it into two meals on different days, realize that those 900 calories might leave you energy-drained. At least if that’s all you eat, and you’re used to more substantial meals.
The key message here is that your goal is to eat a whole bag in a day. It’s better to divide it in two or more sittings. Don’t add too much water just to give it more volume if then you can’t finish it. You’ll feel plenty satisfied either way.
On taste, it was a bit bland, but there ain’t nothing wrong with that. Especially in an emergency scenario. What was positive for morale is that I never felt under-fed after finishing. If anything I felt somewhat bloated from so much water following the original instructions.
Hearty Chicken Soup
This was what I went with on the last day. Given the previous experience, I decided to divide this bag over two days. So yeah, effectively I went 3.5 days on the 3 day kit. Depending on whether or not you’ll be active, that could be a good or bad idea.
The good news is that, adding enough water, you’ll always feel satiated. With the bad news being that you’re halving the caloric intake. It all depends on your situation. If you can simply stay sedentary while you wait for the electricity to come back and roads to be cleared, that’s fine. If you’re buying this kit with getting back to civilization in mind, and you’re not used to this type of diet, that might be a problem.
On the taste topic, it wasn’t my favorite but it was better than you’d expect from survival food. Perhaps the best comparison is something like airplane food – it’s not great, but it isn’t bad and you’re just happy to have food, period.
Given how well Augason Farms makes this 72 hour kit takes to water, you really can dilute it or concentrate it as much as you want. Without turning it into a paste or making it too watery. That’s great. The only issue is making sure you’re getting the calories you need or expect. You really have to focus on calories more than how ‘full’ you feel with kits like this. It can trick you.
It was certainly the most important thing I learned from eating this kit before I actually needed it. There’s a difference between ‘feeling’ well-fed, and ‘being’ well-fed. Though you won’t feel hungry using these kits if you have self-control, even at 2560 calories you have to eat all of it even though you might feel full sooner. At least if you’re a well-fed grown man.
And if you don’t like eating a lot volume-wise, you really should use reduced amounts of water to get as many calories in from the package as possible. And divide accordingly. Don’t expect to be able to eat a whole pack in a single meal yourself. Not if you’re using the recommended amounts of water, at least.
- The Augason Farms 72 hour kit has a reasonable price. As do their larger survival food kits.
- The food tastes between good and great.
- At 2560 calories per day, it’s better than average.
- The 25 year lifespan makes this worthwhile for anyone.
- You can over-dilute it, if needed, without severely impacting taste.
- The packaging is improvable. Especially the lid.
- Using the recommended amounts of water, you really dilute the calories.
All in all, I give this kit 4 out of 5 stars. At the very least, it sure beats other brands which mislead consumers with their over-estimated serving sizes or ridiculous caloric intakes.
Everyone should keep survival food for emergencies. Even if it’s just a bunch of canned goods. One or two of the 30-day food supply kits is what I keep close by. Before relying on it, I’m glad I tried the Augason Farms 72 hour kit first. Now I understand what it covers and what it won’t a lot better. All in all, it was a positive experience, and I can recommend either kit for any homeowner.
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