Thursday, July 3, 2014

Handy Snacks for Snipers and other tips.

 Zach Neal

Here are some handy, easy-to-prepare meals and snacks for snipers, along with some other tips.

We’ll start off with the military MRE, (meal, ready to eat.)

Okay, if you’re really serious about your sniping, the first thing you want to get rid of is the flameless ration heater, (FRH.) It’s just dead weight, because you’re not going to get a chance to use it anyways. You’re in a pipe or tube of underbrush, you’re under your rug, or you are literally in a culvert. You can’t move around too much. What are you going to do, cook lunch under your rifle barrel? You can’t even roll over, sit up and cook behind you. It’s just unrealistic to expect that.

The thing takes twelve minutes to heat anything. It’s a chemical reaction. If you have to move quickly, this is what we call 'a dead give-away' in the industry, just a little insider's kind of joke, but you don’t want to leave it behind, and you can’t stick it in your pocket or your pouch when it’s reacting. Leave it at home. Eat the beef teriyaki, chicken breast or vegetarian meal cold. These meals are precooked, and there is nothing in there that is going to hurt you. The peanut butter and the bread are okay, bear in mind that peanut butter has a distinctive smell. Spread it with your thumb. Lick it off, and you’re good to go. You can just squeeze the stuff out onto the bread and wrap it around. No mess. Clean up all that packaging ASAP and double-bag it. Seal it well; pretend it is your own poop and you’ll get the idea. No squishy leaks in your gear. Don't leave stuff lying on the ground when you're with me, it just pisses me off.

If Victor Charlie smells your poop, that’s one thing, if he smells peanut butter, that’s bad news for you.

Same thing goes for Achmed the Sailor’s Son. Respect your enemy. They are anything but stupid.

Smoking is bad for you, incidentally. That goes a hundred times over in our present circumstances. If you try and sneak off for a smoke, I will shoot you myself…trust me on that one. That’s why I carry the silenced .25.

(Don’t ever fuck with me on that one. You are an apprentice. Someday you get to make the rules—if you live long enough. By then (and only then) you will know how to look after your people.)

You can get rid of all excess packaging. Weight is the enemy, or one of them. This includes the cardboard on the chili and macaroni. You’ll need a sharp little pocketknife to open the stuff. I don’t chew gum, and anything that has a strong smell should be removed and disposed of.

You should have two plastic canteens. If you want to premix the juice crystals, sports drink or whatever, always keep one canteen pure, fresh water. Just so you know, you don't want to wash out my wounds with Gatorade. I promise not to wash out yours with grape flavoured Kool-Aid. Okay? Keep it full, right to the top so it doesn’t gurgle too much on the way in. You will not carry any plastic bottle with a snap-seal type of lid, unless you have already cracked the seal and then re-tightened it.

Beef jerky. Jerky is tasty but it’s also salty. This has its uses in hot and arid climates as salt is essential to the body, however the packaging crinkles and can be noisy as hell in stressful situations. Taking it out of the original packaging and putting it into something less rigid and ‘snappy’ may be helpful.

Raisins. Unlike oranges for example, they don’t have a strong smell. They’re dry, not sticky, and they make a nice chew which is good on a long day. Dried apricots and peaches are okay. Bridge mix is okay. No hard rock candy, that goes without saying.

It's kind of like saying, 'no phones.'



Tootsie rolls. They come with the MRE, again, a nice taste in a product that is dry, not sticky and makes a nice chew. It’s in there for a while, and you can think on it.

Chewy granola bars. You can take them out of the package and carry them in baggies. Too many will cause issues.

Dried fruits and vegetables are all good, as they swell up in the stomach but bear in mind they’re also going to make you shit sooner or later. Soft fruit bars.

Muttley > The meatloaf is great, the beef okay.
Cheese is good, and those moldy sort of smells aren’t so noticeable in the outdoors as there is plenty of decay and ferment in season or in certain environments; e.g. the jungle setting.

One of my favourite motifs, ladies and gentlemen.

That's a joke, soldier. I don't tell many from this point on, so laugh now while you still can.

Day one, bologna sandwiches, which are boring and insipid anywhere else, are fine and dandy. Soft white bread and a bit of mustard, and make sure you put them on the top of the load.

Biscuits are fine if they’re small and they crumble quietly in the mouth. Garibaldi biscuits are good when nice and fresh. It’s a bit like Fig Newtons in that too many cause issues. They are good as part of a balanced, three-to-five-day menu. Soft cookies are good if the packaging is nice and quiet. Packaging that is dull and matte-coloured, (I saw some individually wrapped chocolate-chip cookies recently in a soft red package) is better than something that’s all shiny, silver and hard to open with minimal effort. The best form of packaging is probably a good, old-fashioned, re-sealable sandwich baggy.

Slim Jims and pepperettes. These are fine although the pepperettes and Slim Jims do have garlic. They can be removed from noisy or shiny packaging and carried in baggies. They’re better than jerky in that they have some moisture in them. Any kind of shredded meat product will require a toothpick if your teeth aren’t the best.

It’s safe to say that big, red, crunchy apples are not okay. Chips, strictly a no-no, as are cheese doodles and all of that loud, squeaky, shiny-plastic-bag-type foods. That’s for cub-camp.

There are no good aluminum pop-top cans, and there is no reason to bring a regular can opener as you won’t be needing it. Glass bottles are a no-no.

Alcoholic beverages are a no-no.

Deodorant, perfume, hair-spray, mousse, shaving creams, are strictly no-no.

You will not brush your teeth for three days, maybe longer, so leave the toothpaste behind. It’s just dead weight.

You will not use a few of these personal hygiene items for twenty-four to forty-eight hours prior to leaving. 

You can brush your teeth with baking soda immediately prior to departure or use the wet brush alone. You may take the toothbrush with you.

You will not wash your clothing in any kind of soap or scented fabric softener. Just use water. In fact it’s better not to wash the clothes for months at a time. Let it air out if you do. Don’t just take it out of the drawer, all smelling of mothballs, and put it on.

Anything involving a tree may be considered a suicide mission. Not our job, thankfully.

Meal heater. Get rid of it. It's useless.
I don’t know about you, but my skin is extremely precious.

It’s even got a bounty on it in certain jurisdictions…the less said about that, the better.

If you would like to do an experiment, next time you want to open a can of beans, turn off all noises in the home; TV, radio, washer and dryer. Turn off all the lights and close all the curtains. When you’re set to do it, have the can on the hard countertop and the simple, hand-cranked opener in your hand, all ready to go.

Listen to the sounds all around you. Close your eyes and listen some more.

Now open the can. It is a sound that can’t be mistaken for anything else.

You can try another can (say corn) on a towel or a pot holder.

It still makes a lot of frickin’ noise, doesn’t it? It would be the same, even if you did it on the soft forest floor. 

And if you heard such a noise, you would know exactly what it was, wouldn’t you? Because we’ve all heard it a million times before.

Truly alien noises are just as bad.

You want to keep a low profile and blend into the background.

If it was extremely quiet out there, and someone was really paying attention, how far away do you think they could hear that can of beans being opened? You could hear it a hundred metres away and probably much farther under good hearing conditions.

Leave the matches and lighters at home.

The list goes on, ladies and gentlemen. On and on and on and on…like how to crap in a plastic bag, or pissing in a bottle, (and what to do with it afterwards*), without even hardly moving. Another good one is making sure you don’t leave a damned thing behind, and other neat stuff like that. There is such a thing as counter-sniper tactics. Sometimes they’re out there watching for you. Guys have been stepped on, and lived. 

Guys have been tripped on, and lived, ah, not to talk too much about it.


Keep the coffee & sugar, we drink it cold in a plastic cup.
Who knows, maybe that’ll be our little job someday, eh?

We’ll talk about that some other time.

In the meantime, get your shit together.

We’re heading out in two minutes.


* guys have been popped because they stood and pissed against a dry tree trunk. It really is a characteristic sign, being so high off the ground and so big. A couple of boot-prints in the soft humus underneath and Bob's your uncle.

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