Estate Sale Purchase - Late 80's Prepper

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Scott-GA
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Estate Sale Purchase - Late 80's Prepper

Post by Scott-GA » Sun Apr 18, 2021 1:52 pm

New member of this Forum so if I'm posting this in the wrong area please let me know where would be the appropriate location.

A little over a week ago I attended an Estate Sale located near Tyrone GA. I'm a tool guy and that's usually my focus. I usually make a B-line to the basement or any outbuildings.

In this case there were no outbuildings but there was a basement so that was my first stop, When I walked in I saw LOTS of tool stuff and hardware but nothing that I didn't already have.

Then I noticed shelves on one wall with boxes on the top shelves. Handwritten on the sides were things like, Peaches, Beef, Pork as well as peoples names. Some of the boxes were also machine labeled "MRE". I didn't think that much about that (I assumed that the items within were too old to be of use) and no one else seemed to be interested in any of that stuff either.

I walked into another basement room and there were 5 cardboard boxes stacked on top of each other. These were a bit smaller than the largest boxes on the shelves. I opened up these boxes and found some ancient Mountain House Freeze Dried Meals (I am a backpacker and familiar with this company) and also some things that made me stop and consider a purchase.

Here was a box of what appeared to be individually packaged Military Grade Freeze Dried Strawberries. Under that box was another that I initially thought was filled with the same sort of item as the first box but peaches instead.

I left that room and went back to the shelves I had seen earlier. I found a foot stool and used that to allow me to reach that top shelf. I pulled down the box that was labeled "Peaches". It was practically full of the individually packaged peaches.

I made a deal for the 3 boxes ($14) and, along with a few other "tool" items, went home.

I decided to try rehydrating one of the Peaches. That seemed to go well: it smelled and tasted fine. I then noticed that the smaller box that I thought just had peaches in it was actually a combination of peaches and what appeared to be individually packaged Military Grade Freeze Dried Pork & Beef.

Since the Peaches had been edible (pretty good actually) I decided to return to the Estate Sale and make an offer on all the food. When I arrived it was getting towards closing time for that day. I asked what they would want for all the food and the answer was, "$25".

"Sold", I said.

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So here's the large box of Peaches. The box is 23" x 16" x 12". I think it originally had 325 packages of peaches in it.


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Here's the Strawberries This is a smaller box and originally had 100 packages of strawberries.



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There were a few shipping labels either attached to the boxes or inside with the food. These items were shipped during 1987 from SI Equipment, LTD. of Gardena CA.



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This is the smaller box that I thought was peaches but was actually a combination of peaches, beef patties & pork patties. The handwritten label "40 LRP's" didn't mean anything to me at the time. Now I believe the owner had taken some of the beef patties & pork patties, combined them with a peach packet, and constructed a reduced calorie, homemade LRP.



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Here's pretty much all the food I bought for a total of about $39. I will be exploring some of these items in future posts in this thread but wanted to lay out the background first.

... and also to ask a few questions of the group.

Has anyone ever seen Military packaged Peaches, Strawberries, Beef Patties or Pork Patties available individually before?

Has anyone ever heard of the apparent source of these items: SI Equipment of Gardena CA?

Scott

Scott-GA
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Re: Estate Sale Purchase - Late 80's Prepper

Post by Scott-GA » Mon Apr 19, 2021 8:54 pm

As mentioned in my first post, I tried rehydrating the Peaches before returning to the Estate Sale and buying the lot.



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Date code of 6264 so I think that works out to 21 Sep 1986.



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The contents of the package looked good.



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The peaches reconstituted quickly. I used way too much water but this was my first attempt in rehydrating freeze dried fruit.

They smelled and tasted like peaches. Based on the results of this experiment and then noticing the "homemade LRP"s" with beef & pork patties, I returned to the Estate Sale and bought all the boxed up food.

Scott
Last edited by Scott-GA on Tue Apr 20, 2021 12:01 am, edited 1 time in total.

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kman
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Re: Estate Sale Purchase - Late 80's Prepper

Post by kman » Mon Apr 19, 2021 9:02 pm

Looks like some awesome stuff! You have a good estate sale find there!

Scott-GA
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Re: Estate Sale Purchase - Late 80's Prepper

Post by Scott-GA » Mon Apr 19, 2021 9:08 pm

Twenty-four hours later, having suffered no ill effects from the peaches, I decided to try some meat.



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I chose a Beef Patty. (It is extremely difficult to photograph these packages)



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This has a regular date for the "Date Code" - 17 Oct 1985.



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Not having opened one of these before, I was a little surprised to find the inner clear plastic sleeve.



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I placed the Beef Patty into some hot water. My wife had some unkind - and unappetizing - remarks about the appearance of the food at this point in the process.



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After 10 minutes I drained the water off and weighed the patty: 2-5/8 oz.



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The patty smelled like a cooked hamburger. I pulled a small piece of the corner and ate it. It tasted like cooked hamburger! I got a piece of bread, put some mustard on the patty and made a sandwich. It was very tasty!

Wife didn't want anything to do with it. HA!

Scott

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Re: Estate Sale Purchase - Late 80's Prepper

Post by Scott-GA » Mon Apr 19, 2021 9:55 pm

kman wrote:
Mon Apr 19, 2021 9:02 pm
Looks like some awesome stuff! You have a good estate sale find there!
Kman,

Thanks! Being sold individually seems odd to me: Surplus material? It is interesting.

After last summer's COVID related food supply issues, I decided to take out a little long term food storage insurance. I had bought a few civilian items and when I happened across this at the Estate Sale, it looks like some of it could cheaply supplement my food insurance policy. However, at around 35 years old, it is getting a bit long in the tooth.

Still, it had been stored in a walkout (north side) basement so it should have been reasonably cool and dark most of the time. That probably helps the longevity.

Best regards,

Scott

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Re: Estate Sale Purchase - Late 80's Prepper

Post by Scott-GA » Mon Apr 19, 2021 11:04 pm

24 hours after my hamburger, with no belly ache, I moved on to try Pork Patty.



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Date Code: 7052: I think 21 Feb 1987



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I liberated the Pork Patty and tried a method of Pork Patty rehydration used my Steve1989MREinfo on YouTube. Steve didn't bathe the Pork Patty but just dribbled a bit of water on top.



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This didn't work for me. I then tried to use the same method I used for the Beef Patty. I submerged my Pork Patty in hot water for 10 minutes. This helped but it still didn't reconstitute the Pork Patty. It could be that the water I initially put on the meat was acting as a barrier for the soaking I was now giving the pork. I broke it into a few smaller pieces and tried again. This seemed to work.



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I weighed this rehydrated Pork Patty at 2-1/8 oz.

The patty looked & smelled good. Emboldened, I nibbled on a corner of this item and found it to be tasty but got an occasional crunch as I chewed. Not totally rehydrated or just the nature of the brute. I don't know.

In my backpacking experience with Mountain House's Freeze Dried Sweet & Sour Pork I often found the pork to be very chewy - as if it hadn't rehydrated completely. I assumed that my field hydration was not adequate for that meal but maybe pork is tough to get moisture reintroduced into all the meat.

Scott

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Re: Estate Sale Purchase - Late 80's Prepper

Post by Scott-GA » Mon Apr 19, 2021 11:17 pm

Last of the taste tests occurred about 12 hours after trying the Pork Patty. Since I had no ill effects from anything so far, I pressed on with the Strawberries.



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Date Code(s) 6206 & 6207 - 25/26 July 1986



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Ewwuu... That ain't right. This package yielded to gentle pressure when prodded with my index finger. Apparently that's a tell.



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That's better. This package had quite a different texture when poked. It smelled fantastically like strawberries when it was opened!



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I used less water to rehydrate the strawberries than for the peaches but it was probably still too much. When rehydrated a strong smell of strawberries came off the fruit. It tasted great! These aren't whole strawberries, more like strawberry bits (peaches were the same way) so the texture is not as good as sliced fruit. Still, it's pretty good!

Scott

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Re: Estate Sale Purchase - Late 80's Prepper

Post by cavguy » Mon Apr 19, 2021 11:54 pm

Great find! So I have never heard of SI Equipment LTD. But I found this online in an old archive;
SI Equipment Ltd., 17019 Kingsview, Carson, CA 90746. One of the most comprehensive
catalogs for the survivalist. Except for the self-defense books by Tegner and a couple of
overpriced pamphlets, you can hardly go wrong with this list. Catalog price: $2.00.
So appears that this company was a major seller of survival gear. Also I have never seen those freeze dried items sold separately!

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housil
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Re: Estate Sale Purchase - Late 80's Prepper

Post by housil » Tue Apr 20, 2021 5:18 am

If I remember right, the dehydrated patties we ate in the 80s had an extra plastic bag inside. After opening the pouch, you took that extra wrapped patty out and poured hot water in that bag to reconstituted it.

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blue87fj60
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Re: Estate Sale Purchase - Late 80's Prepper

Post by blue87fj60 » Tue Apr 20, 2021 6:11 am

That’s a great score.

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