A Modern Woman's Perspective On The Kingdom of God on Earth

January 12, 2012

Mainstay Bars: A Tasty Substitute For Those Bland MREs

If you have been on the Survivalist train for awhile, then Bug Out Bags (B.O.B.) and MREs (Meals Ready To Eat) are a standard part of your vocabulary and your provisions.  Being prepared to leave at a moment's notice has to be a part of your emergency plans.   The recent fires in Texas bear testimony to the necessity of a well-stocked B.O.B.   You don't always have ample time to grab everything you need to survive for the next 48-72 hours.
     My bag accompanies me everywhere I go.  It's always stocked and ready to be grabbed if I have to leave the house quickly.  And whether I'm making a quick dash to the grocery store or traveling across country, it's in my car.   I will post a more in-depth discussion on everything in my B.O.B., but today I want to concentrate on one staple in my bag.
     Most people would assume that MREs would be a main component of my bag, but I have found something that takes up less space, provides more calories, and (this is important to me)..... tastes great!  Mainstay Bars are a calorie-dense food, high in fortified vitamins, that come in small, packaged 400 calorie bricks.  I know what you're thinking..... "A small brick of condensed food.... that would be my last resort!"   But Mainstay Bars are far from that.
     They come in serving sizes of 1200, 2400 or 3600 calories (or in 3, 6 or 9 bar packages).  You just break off as many bars as you need to meet your needs.  These bars are not a solution to your long-term food storage, but are perfect for your B.O.B., day hikes, or anytime you need a quick intake of calories.
     I think of Mainstay Bars like gunfighters think of their pistols.  A pistol is a poor choice for a gun fight.  You use a pistol to fight your way to your rifle.  Mainstay is food to get you by until you can work up a real hot meal.  Food bars do have their place.
     One complaint I have heard from others of our persuasion, is that they wish the bars were individually wrapped.  Once you open the package, it's open, and there is no resealing it.  So consider including a ziplock bag along with the vacuum-sealed package to keep your opened bars fresh.
     And here's the good part---the taste.  The bars taste like a lemon butter cookie; like lemon shortbread.  Popular Mechanics actually did a blind taste test among 20 staffers, who were polled on the three leading food bars:  DATREX, The ER Bar, and Mainstay.  The bars were evaluated on texture and taste, and Mainstay won by 55%.  No more bland, chewy, hard-to-swallow "survival fare".
     These bars have a 5-year shelf life; they don't make you thirsty; they withstand extreme temperature ranges (-40˚ to 300˚), so you can leave them in your car in the hot Texas summers and the cold Montana winters; they contain no cholesterol; they are kosher; they are affordable (about 67 cents per 400-calorie bar); and they meet both U.S. Coast Guard standards and packaging guidelines for the U.S. Department of Defense.  And did I say they taste great?  Now if they would just come out with a Dark Chocolate version, I would be in heaven!

Psalm 111:5    "He provides food for those who fear him; He remembers His covenant forever." 


  1. We keep the Mainstay and Datrex rations in our B.O.B.s... the wife and I also have some in our desks at work (along with some bottled water too)...

    In our opinion... calories to weight ratio is good for using them in our B.O.B.s vs. MRE's...

    Dann in Ohio

  2. Just placed my first order last week for a bunch of Mainstay 3600 calorie bars. Looking forward to giving them a taste test with the family when they come in Friday, especially after your positive review.