Everything turns into ice, what will soldiers eat to survive in -70 degrees?

Ananya Shroff
6 Min Read

Siachen Glacier is called the world's highest battlefield. Every minute is extremely challenging for the Indian Army soldiers posted there. This area with a height of 12,000 to 22,000 feet is extremely cold. In winters the temperature here falls to -50 to -70 degrees Celsius.

Cold wind, snow all around, extreme cold and rough roads… Indian soldiers protect the country amidst all these troubles. In such a situation, this question must have come to your mind that what do the soldiers deployed here eat to stay alive?

Obviously, given such an area, there is a need for food that not only provides sufficient calories but also keeps the soldiers motivated, gives them strength and maintains their physical health. ChatGPT has given some information about this, which we are sharing with you.

Everything turns into snow when you reach here

Although there is snow and cold here throughout the year, but in winter the temperature reaches -70 degrees. In such a situation, all the food items reaching here turn into ice. If there is any liquid drink, then it is consumed only after heating it and making it normal. Similarly, eggs, tomatoes and other food items also go there. Later they are used only after bringing them to normal temperature.

Nutritional Requirements at High Altitudes

Before knowing about the food habits of soldiers, it is important to understand which nutrients the body needs most at such a high altitude.

  • High calorie requirements: Soldiers need a lot of calories to fight the cold and maintain energy levels. On average, a soldier needs about 4,000 to 6,000 calories per day.
  • Protein, fat and carbohydrates: At altitude the body relies mainly on carbohydrates for energy. Protein is essential for muscle repair and immunity. Similarly, fat is important for providing energy to the body and maintaining body heat.
  • Hydration: Despite the cold, there is a risk of dehydration due to the dry air and increased breathing rate.

Vitamins and minerals: Essential for maintaining overall health and preventing high altitude sickness.

Ration Pack

Ration Pack

The food of the soldiers deployed in Siachen mainly depends on specially formulated ration packs. These packs are made keeping in mind the high energy requirements of the soldiers and the limited resources. These packs are prepared very carefully so that they not only provide balanced nutrition but are also easy to carry and prepare.

What does a ration pack contain?

What does a ration pack contain?
  • Main meals: Pre-cooked meals such as rajma rice, chole bhature and dal rice. These are often vacuum sealed and can be reheated quickly.
  • Snacks: High-energy snacks like dry fruits, seeds, energy bars and chocolates. These provide instant energy and are easy to carry.
  • Breakfast foods: Instant noodles, upma and instant parathas.
  • Beverages: Instant tea, coffee, and soup mixes help soldiers stay warm and hydrated.
  • Supplements: Multivitamins and other nutritional supplements help prevent vitamin deficiencies.

What things are there in fresh food?

What things are there in fresh food?
  • Although ration packs form the main part of their diet, fresh food is also provided whenever possible. This includes:
  • Vegetables and fruits: Fresh fruits and vegetables are transported by plane or by mules to the base camps and forward posts. Potatoes, onions, carrots and green leafy vegetables are preferred because of their long shelf life.
  • Meat and eggs: Fresh meat and eggs are sometimes available, but most soldiers rely on canned meat and powdered eggs.
  • Dairy products: Milk powder and condensed milk are common, as fresh milk is difficult to transport.

Cooking at high altitude is a big challenge

Cooking at high altitude is a big challenge

Cooking at high altitude is a challenge in itself. Water boils at a lower temperature, which means food takes longer to cook. To deal with this:

  • Pressure Cookers: These are widely used to cook food quickly.
  • Prepared meals: Pre-cooked and instant meals are preferred as they require less preparation and time.
  • Fuel efficiency: Since fuel is difficult to obtain, fuel-efficient methods are used for cooking and fuel is used judiciously.

Staying hydrated is also very important

Staying hydrated is also very important
  • Consumption of liquids is very important in high altitude areas, but soldiers get only frozen water everywhere. Due to cold, one does not feel like drinking water, but it is necessary to drink water to protect the body from dehydration.
  • Melting ice: This is a common method, but it's important to clean off the melted ice before drinking to avoid stomach problems.
  • Hydration packs: These are used for easy access to water during patrols and other activities.
  • Hot drinks: Hot tea, coffee and soups are often consumed to keep the body warm and maintain hydration levels.

Disclaimer: This article is for general information only. It cannot in any way be a substitute for any medicine or treatment. Always consult your doctor for more information.

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