Monday, May 21, 2012

LRRP Bars (Long Range Reconnaissance Patrol)

Over the course of the past couple of months, our family has taken our preparedness efforts on the trail.  We have been hiking with loaded packs to determine what works and what doesn't.  We have learned what gear we like, what attachments are an asset and what items are essential to our kit.  It has been nothing short of a learning experience.

One thing we have found is that we need energy on the trail (especially the children), and, not wanting to spend the money on high priced energy bars, I decided to make my own.  We have affectionately named our bars LRRP (pronounced "lurp") Bars, short for Long Range Reconnaissance Patrol Bars, because they are packed with nuts, fruits, complex sugars and carbohydrates making them perfect for nutrition on the go.  They are made from items most often found in a typical pantry and every ingredient is easily stored.  This recipe can be changed according to individual likes and dislikes and requires very little time to make.  I will give the original recipe along with the substitutions I made.


1 C rolled oats (I use thick oats - I also love to toast the oats before using - 10-15 minutes at 350° until slightly browned)
1/2 C whole wheat flour
1/2 C wheat and barely nugget cereal (GrapeNuts) (I left this out)
1/2 tsp. ground cinnamon
1 beaten egg
1/4 C applesauce
1/4 C honey
3 T brown sugar
2 T vegetable oil
1/4 C unsalted sunflower seeds (I used salted)
1/4 C chopped walnuts (I used pecans)
1 (7 ounce) bag chopped, dried mixed fruit (I used Craisins but would love raisins, dates, dehydrated apples, raspberries, etc.)
I added 1 C chocolate chips (although it is not in the recipe)

  1. Preheat oven to 325°.  Line a 9" square baking pan with aluminum foil.  Spray the foil with cooking spray.  (I doubled the recipe and used a 15" x 10.5" pan).
  2. In a large bowl, stir together the oats, flour, cereal and cinnamon.  Add the egg, applesauce, honey, brown sugar and oil.  Mix well.  Stir in the sunflower seeds, walnuts and dried fruit.  Spread mixture evenly in the prepared pan.
  3. Bake 30 minutes, or until firm and lightly browned around the edges.  Let cool.  Use the foil to lift from the pan.  Cut into bars or squares and store in the refrigerator (or bake slightly longer, until the bars are a little dryer, and store at room temperature).
*Substitutions I would use:  I think adding Whey protein or powdered milk would be great for upping the protein.  I would use 10 grain cereal instead of the GrapeNuts.  I think I could come up with all kinds of fun things to add!

Thick Oats
With Whole Wheat flour
Adding the applesauce and eggs
And the honey (somewhat crystallized, but raw)
Pecans, Sunflower Seeds, Craisins
Mixing it all together
Lining the pan with tin foil and oiling it
Spread in the pan
Baked, out of the pan and ready to cut
Yum!  Soft and Chewy
These are power-packed and full of goodness!   Children and adults alike think they're a keeper.  These will make your next Long Range Reconnaissance Patrol a little easier to take!


  1. These look GOOD!
    How do you wrap/package them for transport on the trail?
    How long can you store them in the pantry>

    Hangtown Frank

    1. I just wrapped them in plastic wrap, however, I think waxed paper would work equally well. They will last longer the more you bake them. If they are soft and chewy, you have about 4 days. If they are crispy and dryer, they should go for a week or better. Really dry, and you will have even more time. Thanks!


    2. Hangtown Frank,
      I have to ask, are you from Placerville? We grew up there before moving to Idaho.

    3. My dear wife for the last 57 years and I moved here in 1962. We have 15 forested acres a few miles out of town. It was, and still is, a great place to raise kids and grandkids.

      Hangtown Frank

  2. I am making these now! I added also peanut butter and some non fat dry milk. I think the wet ingredients would be better mixed together first, then added. That way the straight oil or egg (or whatever) doesn't sit on oats and saturate them with a single ingredient.

    -K in OK<><

  3. We have made something like this for many years. One thing that makes them last even longer - after you are done baking them, put them in the dehydrator. If you do not use egg, mix in molasses, honey and sweetened condensed milk - you don't even have to bake them, just spread them in the dehydrator (I used a jerkey shooter to lay them in strips) and dehydrate until crisp. Of course you have to really chop up the fruit or it jams the jerkey shooter!

    Thanks for this recipe!

    M in VA

  4. These look like they'd be great breakfast bars for busy mornings! I wonder, how much powdered milk do you suppose you could add without dramatically changing the consistency? Thank you for including step-by-step photos for folks like me who are more visual learners.


  5. Could these be made for a diabetic hillwalker, don't know if I would have to exchange the brown sugar for something else

    1. A couple of folks answered your question below! Thanks guys - I had no idea what to substitute! Keep walking Hillwalker.

  6. I'm a former diabetic. In order to stay that way, I'd have to replace the wheat flour with buckwheat flour, eliminate the Grape-nuts, and substitute stevia for the honey & brown sugar. The dried fruit still raise the glycemic level...consume in moderation. I'd try increasing the unsweetened applesauce to balance out the wet/dry mix.

  7. They have Splenda brown sugar - that's what I will use ...

  8. I don't consider Splenda a healthy choice. Stevia is the only sugar substitute I'm aware of that is perfectly safe. "Splenda reduces the amount of good bacteria in the intestines by 50%, increases the pH level in the intestines, contributes to increases in body weight and affects the P-glycoprotein (P-gp) in the body in such a way that crucial health-related drugs could be rejected."

  9. We carried these a lot , light weight, full of protein, and are good for ever if vacuum packed. the best part of the rations. These do look a lot better than the pre-pcakaged one from uncle Sam.