Born of Hard Experience With Marine Snipers in the Field
The inspiration for RecPak came from hard experience in the field. Company Co-founder Deed Zeigler was a young Marine officer running a scout sniper team. As he tells it on their website, “operating in unforgiving terrain for days on end, small things had a big impact. Maintaining peak performance was hard on energy bars and rations. Space, weight, and time were essential to mission success.”
The result was a two-year effort to bring a balance of nutrition and low carry weight to those who need it most, military service members, hikers, mountaineers, and hunters who operate deep in the wilderness for days on end.
RecPak comes in three flavors, Vanilla Chai, Chocolate, and Coffee which has 150 mg of caffeine in it.
In using the product ourselves we imagined a couple of other uses as well. As an emergency ration for civilians. Just about all of us have heard a story about a guy in Minnesota or North Dakota who jumped in his truck in a pair of shorts and a t-shirt to go buy beer and skidded off into a snow-covered ditch with nothing to live on but some Taco Bell sauce packets that were in his center compartment. RecPak is a dry store that lasts a year in its foil pouch and they are working to expand that even further. If you had 3 of these in your vehicle and an insulated bottle of water to keep it from freezing, a survivor of a road accident in a remote area would not only have food but it would be very portable and easy to take with them should they venture out to seek rescue. The packaging is very sturdy so don’t throw it away. instead, refill it with water in cold climates and put it inside your clothing close to the body to warm up the water. If you’ve ever taken a sip of slushy ice-cold water from your canteen in freezing weather conditions you know why this matters.
For the part of the country prone to Hurricanes(my part) RecPak would be a great emergency ration when you expect water and power services to be gone for weeks at a time.
The Nutritional Facts.
Rather than just dumping sugar and caffeine into you for a sharp peak and then a steep crash, RecPak seeks to give you an actual meal. It is a combination of 50% carbs, 25% proteins, and 25% fats, along with 25% of your daily requirements of the most vitamins and minerals. Rather than just using sugar to provide carbs, RecPak tells us they use carbs that digest both fast and slow to sustain performance and balance your glycogen levels. They also use high-quality proteins to keep your muscles working and balance monounsaturated fatty acids using sunflower oil, polyunsaturated fatty acids from flax, and saturated fats from coconut oil. For those suffering from allergies, RecPak discloses their full ingredients so you can see which might affect you.
For those of you who are obsessive-label readers, here is an image of their nutritional label. Dig in.
RecPak offers a full refund within 30 days of your purchase. If you’re unhappy for any reason at all they will happily refund your purchase.
Putting RecPak to the test in the field.
RecPak sent us some sample products prior to our attending SHOT Show in Las Vegas in January. While we were there we noted that we covered some 30 miles of walking. Now you may be thinking “Walking 6 miles a day isn’t hard.” And this is mostly correct, but instead of walking six miles on sidewalks on level terrain let’s switch things up. You will be wearing a shoulder bag with about 20 lbs of gear in it and instead of walking in a straight line, you will be traversing stairs and ramps. Added to the mix will be 20,000 people packed into about 2 million square feet of convention space. There is no walking in a straight line, you will be constantly pivoting, side-stepping and dodging other people so you won’t be able to maintain a consistent stride. You will stop and start hundreds of times in the course of the day and have to speed up and slow down to pass around people or to get to a booth at a certain time. It’s akin to walking six miles on ground irregularly planted with thousands and thousands of poles in your way at nearly every step. Those will be a hard six miles to walk in 6 hours. Ask my Achilles tendon if you doubt me. It staged a full rebellion on me the 4th day and had me limping like a cripple until I could wrap it in an ace bandage and get a few Motrin in me. I know just when I tweaked it too, it was climbing a stair case between floors that were at least 50 steps.
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Anyway, on the morning of the second day, SOFREP Staff Writer GHuy McCardle and I decided to forgo the morning coffee and split the coffee-flavored RecPak Deed Zeigler had sent us. We figured we try it hot since the weather outside in the desert of Las Vegas was a balmy 42 degrees. We heated 16 ounces of water in the microwave in our rented condo and poured it into one of the RecPak pouches and shook it for about 2 minutes. We then split it up into a couple of coffee cups. We both had hunger pangs that needed to be satisfied. It was just after 7 AM.
The color of the product was a light creamy tan color and we began to drink from our cups. The first thing we both noticed and remarked on was the mild flavor of the product, there is a hint of sweetness and a mild coffee flavor. The consistency was neither thick or watery, it was like vegetable juice. We detected a few undissolved bits of the product as we drank it, but they were soft, not hard, and didn’t hamper the experience of drinking it at all. Later on, we decided that the mild taste was something of an advantage. This is a sustainment drink for nutrition, not a milk shake. If it tasted like one, guys being guys, we’d be horking them down in our cars on the way to work at 700 calories a pop. Flavors also give off a scent, in the field a strong flavor like chocolate or coffee might carry quite a ways in situations where you may not want that.
Even with the mild flavor, I found that I wanted to finish the cup, there is something about the consistency that makes it very appealing. You feel like you are drinking something like a light soup and it goes down easy with an aftertaste that finishes cleanly on the palate. Within minutes of finishing the 8 0unces, the gnaw of hunger in my stomach quit. I felt like a I had a full stomach and had given it something to digest for a while.
Guy and I resolved to hold off on lunch til we felt an actual sense of hunger in our bellies and set out for SHOT Show. As things would have it, we split up to chase down various new products and meet with people. At about 1:30 PM, I felt the pangs of hunger return and texted Guy to ask if he wanted lunch yet, which he quickly confirmed. Guy and I had only consumed half a portion in one RecPak and it abated hunger for some 6 hours.
Overcoming My Chai-ness
RecPak comes in three flavors, Chocolate, Coffee, and Vanilla Chai. In India, Chai, which translates to tea in Hindi is part of their culture. Just as coffee is America’s beverage of choice, Chai is India’s. It is commonly made with black tea and flavored with milk, sugar, and spices like cinnamon, ginger, and cloves. I’ve tasted a few Chai-based beverages and I’m generally not a fan of the flavor.
Yet, the Vanilla-Chai RecPak ended up being my favorite.
Maybe it’s the scent of vanilla, oatmeal, and cinnamon that does it, but I think the Vanilla Chai tasted the best, and I don’t like chai.
A Note In ‘Passing’
Any discussion about a field sustainment ration is going to come around to how it affects your digestive tract. There is a legit concern that any beverage going in as liquid will come out as a liquid too. Out in the boonies or up in the mountains, a case of the “trots” would not be a good thing to have to deal with. So is the opposite. A near-universal complaint by the troops about Meals Ready to Eat or MREs is the constipation that goes with them. More than one unit has returned from the field to report they were able to accomplish all mission objectives except for their last ‘movement.’
I won’t devote 5 paragraphs to this subject but can report that RecPak has no undesirable effects on your digestive system either way.
If that is enough information for you to hit the buy button, visit RecPak today here to order. If you are on active duty, a veteran, a first responder, a teacher, or a guide, RekPak has a hefty discount for you as well. SOFREP is proud to have RecPak as a SOFREP 300 member which is a group of veteran-owned, veteran-hiring, and veteran-serving companies whose products and business practices are first-rate. If your company meets these criteria, contact me at [email protected] for more information.
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