Food Packet, Survival, SA-4 DoP March 1954 *Full Review*

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steve1989
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Food Packet, Survival, SA-4 DoP March 1954 *Full Review*

Postby steve1989 » Sun Nov 30, 2014 6:35 pm

Hello everyone, another pretty cool ration here that I want to present.

As with all my reviews, I feel it is necessary to examine and share detailed photos of these now rare & obsolete military rations of our past.

The Food Packet, Survival, SA-4 (Survival Arctic) was a newer version of another ration I have, the SA-3, and they have different contents. I am not exactly sure of when the SA-3 was made, but I am certain the SA-4 I have here was produced March, 1954. That is 10 months before my mother was born. Pretty cool stuff!

This SA-4 was not in the best of shape, I can also say it was no longer edible, sadly. At least most of it.
The Cheese bars went rancid, and there was alot of rust inside the ration tin. It smelled like dirty gym socks that were sitting in a damp locker for about 3 and a half weeks.

Sadly, even the drinks (coffee & tea) were hard as a rock. Nothing but the gum and the single jelly bar lasted and were edible, which even those are being saved for one of my display cases.

If you guys have any more questions about what this ration was like, or want any more photos than I provided, I will gladly oblige to the request.



Now here is some government information on this ration that I found on file about U.S. government operational rations.


Food Packet Survival, Arctic, SA

The Food Packet, Survival, Arctic, SA is designed to feed one man for one day in emergency aircraft landings, ditchings, or parachute landings in Arctic regions. The food packet is composed principally of concentrated food bars-premixed cereal, fruitcake, cheese, and sweet chocolate-and provides approximately 2000 calories.

The packet is contained in a flat, rectangular can which is easily carried in the pocket. A can opener is taped to the bottom.

When the Food Packet, Survival becomes available for issue, the Arctic food packet will no longer be procured or used.

The following components are included in this food packet:
Compressed cereal bars Chocolate bars
Cheese bars Fruitcake bars
Instant coffee Instant tea
Dry cream product Sugar
Chewing gum Polyethylene bag (container for uneaten Survival instructions portions)
Packets/case 24


Weight/case 34 pounds
Weight/packet 1.34 pounds
Cube/case .8 cubic feet
Cube/packet 45 cubic inches
Calories/packet 2000 approx.
Specification MIL-F-2413
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Everything re-placed into tin after full examination. I will open anything else here for further examination upon request.
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My SA & ST ration collection.
What is the oldest thing you've ever eaten?

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steve1989
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Re: Food Packet, Survival, SA-4 DoP March 1954 *Full Review*

Postby steve1989 » Sun Nov 30, 2014 6:44 pm

More pictures.
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Unfortunate rust inside the tin. That along with the rancidity of the cheese bars, I felt like there wasn't much here that was still edible.. but I think maybe the chocolate & gum might be.. might!
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Wax seal on the mini bottle of Water Purification Tablets. I like this little thing..! A neat little piece for my collection.
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The dreaded Cheese Bar. Think expired MRE Cheese Spread smells funny? Well, imagine something worse.. and that is this..!
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What is the oldest thing you've ever eaten?

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Re: Food Packet, Survival, SA-4 DoP March 1954 *Full Review*

Postby steve1989 » Sun Nov 30, 2014 6:57 pm

More pictures!
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Let's get one more look at that main presentation picture.
So how long do you think this would this last a man in a survival situation (When it was fresh)? 3 days or more? I suppose perhaps max 1 week if you really needed to conserve.
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What it looks like upon opening
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What is the oldest thing you've ever eaten?

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housil
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Re: Food Packet, Survival, SA-4 DoP March 1954 *Full Review*

Postby housil » Mon Dec 01, 2014 5:36 am

Thank you for that great review and the pictures!

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Re: Food Packet, Survival, SA-4 DoP March 1954 *Full Review*

Postby Ruleryak » Mon Dec 01, 2014 7:03 pm

Great review Steve! I've gotta get through the rest of the items and do a review of the Food Packet, Survival, Abandon Aircraft I opened earlier this fall. So far I've eaten two of the fruit cake bars completely, and the rest of the items appear to be in fairly good shape overall. The dehydrated meat bars you make into soup/stew even seem edible to me. Really great pictures, thanks for the sacrifice!

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Re: Food Packet, Survival, SA-4 DoP March 1954 *Full Review*

Postby cavguy » Mon Dec 01, 2014 8:55 pm

I don't think that cheese bar sounds very appetizing even if it was new. Maybe something you could catch fish with, or choke on to evade capture....

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Re: Food Packet, Survival, SA-4 DoP March 1954 *Full Review*

Postby Norton » Mon Dec 01, 2014 10:52 pm

Thank you for the great review and fantastic photo spread :D
That is the first good photo I ever seen of the cereal bar. I had read about it, but never saw what they looked like.
Ancestor of the modern granola type bar.

Would have to say this kit appears to be a well balanced kit given the time frame. I am sure if pilots or naval personnel had these in a real survival situation. The contents would provide good caloric intake and last a good while if used sparingly.
I will defend the 'idea' of the Cheese bar, I would assume the idea was to give some high calorie dairy item not in powdered form. Velveeta type cheese has a very high salt content and keeps a long time. High calories per OZ, I am sure it kept a long time.
But I am puzzled as to why it was not simply packed in a metal SPAM type can. The US military had experience with canned cheese for more than 14 years before the ration was boxed. I guess they thought it would be discarded before 1964. The fruit cake bar also make sense in a 1954 view. No matter how you feel about Fruit Cake, it has two things that can't denied. High calories and roughage.

Again this was great post. I would like to see this kit compared to a Canadian, British, Swede, Norwegian, Finn and Russian versions.
During the 1950's all these nations had military units on sea and air (On foot as well) paroling in the Arctic region. They would have similar Emergency survival rations for personnel operating in those areas

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Re: Food Packet, Survival, SA-4 DoP March 1954 *Full Review*

Postby Hair-FIN » Tue Dec 02, 2014 6:28 am

Cool pictures!
Thanks for great review!

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steve1989
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Re: Food Packet, Survival, SA-4 DoP March 1954 *Full Review*

Postby steve1989 » Tue Dec 02, 2014 7:17 pm

Responses to:

Housil: I am so glad you liked the review, man! I think I was lucky this ration only cost me about $26 after shipping. Usually, when I see them they are about $45. It had some bad dents so I felt it was a perfect candidate for this review!

Ruleryak: Thankyou, brother! Ohhh man if you do a review on that Food Packet, Survival, Abandon Aircraft, I would be so happy to see it! How were the fruit cake bars? I have 2 that I didn't open out of this SA-4 here.. anyone including yourself interested in me opening and eating one? I would love to know what you thought of yours! Dehydrated meat bars..! Hey isn't that the ration with dehydrated onions in a little sachet? I heard about that one and it would make sense making a meat soup with the onions. I am so glad you liked the pics & review!

Cavguy: Hahha! I hear ya there, bro! Oh man you have no idea, well maybe you do.. but what I am getting at here is that cheese bar was so rank I literally just got the willys here thinking about it. Good idea! Use it to catch some fish, or here's one.. bait a small animal with it near a snare trap if you were on land! Or the best idea I've heard yet is your idea of exiting to the great beyond via choking on an SA-4 cheese bar to evade capture and torture from the enemy! :lol: :lol: :D

Norton: Thank you so much for your feedback, man! I am so glad I could share these photos with everyone here and how cool, we both never saw the old-school cereal bar until I opened this thing. Yessir, the granddaddy to our granola bars in the Food Packet General Purpose Survival!
I agree, it is well balanced, and it maximizes nutritional value with palatability (well that cheese bar in theory is brilliant.. but I am not sure if that thing was good even when fresh but who knows)
If I ever get my hands on more emergency survival rations - let it be known they will end up on here in a photo set & review for you guys!
You have some pretty solid knowledge on your rations, Norton! Boy am I glad (not the only one here) you finally joined up on MREinfo this year!

Hair-FIN: I'm so glad you liked the photos and review, man! You & the other folks here are my motivation to keep these reviews going!! :)



Thanks so much for the feedback, folks!
I'll post more detailed pics of this ration upon request - I could chew some topps gum or eat a fruitcake bar.. just lemme know!


-Steve
What is the oldest thing you've ever eaten?

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Re: Food Packet, Survival, SA-4 DoP March 1954 *Full Review*

Postby steve1989 » Sat May 09, 2015 12:01 pm

Just got a SA-6. 1957 DoP.

Put it next to my near mint SA 3 and you woulda thought it was older!

Who wants to see what's inside?
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