DIY Survival Rations Part 5 – Survival Bars

Todays post is number 5 in the DIY Survival Rations series. We have taken a look at Hardtack, Beef Jerky, Fruit Leather and Pemmican. These bars are similar to the Mainstay or Datrex food ration bars that are available for sale. I haven’t personally made these but I know someone who has and I am told they taste pretty good. I will be making a batch at a later date to try them out. Cut into 12 bars each bar contains approximately 250 calories.

Food ration bars


  • 2 cups oats (I used regular oats)
  • 2 1/2 cups powdered milk (I used non-fat powdered milk from LDS storage)
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 3 tablespoons honey
  • 1 3-oz. package lemon jello (the recipe says you can use orange instead)
  • 3 tablespoons water


  1. Mix oats, powdered milk, sugar in a mixing bowl.
  2. Mix water, jello, honey in a saucepan. Bring to a rolling boil.
  3. Add jello mixture to oats mixture and blend well.
  4. After being thoroughly mixed, press into a lined (with parchment paper) 9″x13″ pan.
  5. Cut dough into bars and ensure they’re completely cut through.
  6. Bake bars at 200 degrees Fahrenheit for 1.5 to 2 hours. Remove from pan and allow to cool. Alternatively, you can dehydrate them at 145 degrees for 4-6 hours.
  7. After dry and cooled, separate bars and package in a food saver bag or mylar bag.

I chose to bake half the batch in the oven for two full hours and I would say that was just about right. The other half I choose to dehydrate for about six hours. Either way, when I was done the bars broke in half with a crispiness that tells me they were done.

I should also note that there was a noticeable difference in the color of the baked versus dehydrated bars, in that the dehydrated bars were significantly lighter in color than the oven bars. The taste seemed the same.


  • If dough is dry add water 1 teaspoon at a time until the dough is still crumbly but able to stick together when pressed. I ended up using about two tablespoons and that worked well for me.
  • Remember, the drier the better because moisture will cause them to go bad and possibly even to develop Botulism depending on how you package them for the long term. My advice: take your time drying!!



8 responses to “DIY Survival Rations Part 5 – Survival Bars

  1. Do you think using a bit more honey would work instead of refined sugar?


    • I think you probably could but you may have to adjust the amount of oats or powdered milk to get the texture right. It may also effect drying times and shelf life of the finished goods. If you try it let me know how they turn out.

      Liked by 1 person

  2. I need to give this a try!


  3. Pingback: DIY Survival Rations Part 6 – Dried Fruit | The Survival Library

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