Looking for MRE ideas

Looking for MRE ideas

This is a discussion on Looking for MRE ideas within the Related Gear & Equipment forums, part of the Defensive Carry Discussions category; I wanted to buy a couple of cases of mre's for emergencies and don't have any past experience with them. Can I get some suggestions ...

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  1. #1
    Member Array brownsbacker's Avatar
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    Looking for MRE ideas

    I wanted to buy a couple of cases of mre's for emergencies and don't have any past experience with them. Can I get some suggestions from the forum crowd ?.


  2. #2
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    Depends what you want to do with them... There are many cheaper options as well as better tasting ones. That said I have about 7-10 boxes at any given point. I field strip em and use them for camping and solo backpacking. Plus I get em free from Uncle Sam ;) average price is about $5-6 a meal and you can usually find decent deals on Craigslist. Box B is better than A and whatever you do DO NOT EAT THE CHEESE OMLET lmao
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    Better have a bunch of water on hand your gonna need it..

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    I managed to convince myself that the omelet was my favorite MRE. Once you do that you know you can have your favorite meal any time you want, because nobody else will want it!

    If you're buying your own, you can do far better than a military MRE. I like the mountain house stuff myself.
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    Just remember... Lots of water, they don't fill you up (belly wise) and have 2 X your daily calorie needs / meal.

    If you can get the Cold Climate Meals, they are much more versitile for hunting, and require even more water.....
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    Ditto: Go for Mountain House.

    mountain house foods
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    The Epicenter has the largest inventory of the absolute freshest made MRE's from the manufacturers which produce them for the military. They tell you the dates and lots from which they produced. The have the largest varieties of complete MRE's by the package or by the case. They also have the largest selection of individual MRE components, ie. Entree's, side dishes, desserts, crackers, spreads and condiments.

    They also carry components from the new First Strike rations that special forces troops eat on the go during special ops.

    They provide the dates and seem to be about the freshest manufacture dates which will yield longer storage life.

    They carry a large variety and fresh production dates of Mountain House freeze dried foods, as well as Mainstay (Coast Guard approved) survival rations.

    Check them out. I think you'll find them a great MRE source. They also have links to data sheets and specs on MRE's and how to read the date codes from the various MRE manufacturers.

    Some major factors to consider are things like what type of emergency situation are you planning? For how long? Two or three days, a couple of weeks or for a couple of months or longer? Do you need food for your stationary home position, or do you need food while traveling if you are forced to evacuate.

    So it is important to know key factors of each type of storage food you are stocking. Freeze Dried foods and dehydrated foods are extremely light weight and can store in smaller spaces. That is good for traveling or on the go. However, you have to rehydrate them with water, and in most cases at least heat them up or do some simple cooking to prepare them. They can be very tasty but usually have fewer calories per meal. For example, a double serving of a freeze dried entree may only have 400-500 calories where an entire MRE may have 1700-2300 calories.

    Remember, you'll need more calories during stressful times and increased activity such as during most emergencies. Not exactly war fighting, but you may find a freeze dried chili mac meal leaving you more hungry after a couple hours.

    MRE's are completely a rip open the package and eat type meal. They can be eaten heated or cold and no water is needed to reconstitute. They have considerable more calories to sustain war fighters in the field. However, they are heavier in weight and more bulky to pack. Try putting 6 or 7 MRE's in your bug out bag and see how much room is left. A lot of troops "tear down" their MRE's and remove them from their main package including the little card board portion of the package and just pack the foil pack components to save space.

    I think it's best to have a variety of freeze dried, dehydrated foods and maybe keep a small amount of MRE's on hand but maintain a bulk of the other types for your main food storage.

    When you visit various websites, be sure and do as much research as you can on the company and their products. I've bought from eFoods Direct. All meatless entrees, they use TVP (textured vegetable protein) as a meat substitute. This allows them to have a 25-30 year shelf life. Their food is very tasty and they have a good company vision for satisfying their customers. I have also bought from Nitro-Pak and Emergency Essentials for the last 15 - 18 years. Very reputable companies to deal with. I haven't tried WISE foods yet, but the reviews are very favorable and they have an excellent reputation. If their food is anywhere as good as eFoods Direct, I'd say they are an excellent choice as well.

    Do your own research and have a plan as to what you need in your food supply. Presently my wife and I have a solid 2 + months worth of food storage. Our next goal is to expand that to 6 months and just keep working on it in stages. It will end up being a major investment, so do it in stages as you can afford it.

    Below are a few links to some other decent food sources.

    Nitro-Pak

    Emergency Essentials

    Wise Food Storage

    eFoods Direct


    The Epicenter.com
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    Those military manufacturers also make a civilian version, I think some of them are called sure-pack and another may be A-pack. I believe it's the same food, mostly thinner packaging material and smaller product mix.

    Be careful about buying MREs from eBay or someone, you don't know how they've been stored and that can undermine their quality.
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    Senior Member Array Cold Shot's Avatar
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    There are things that are A LOT better tasting than MRE's. I think they basically suck. If it's a true emergency, it won't matter, but I wouldn't take them on weekend camping trips.

    I know people can get MRE's all over the place, but I don't think they're supposed to be resold.

    Some have skittles and M&M's. I suppose that's nice.

  10. #10
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    The MRESTAR Pound Cake is really good.

    Folks should also be made aware of the fact selling MILITARY MREs to civilians is an illegal act.


  11. #11
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    Any comments on Wise meals, LA Police occasionally runs deals on those and I have almost ordered. Curious what you all think.
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  12. #12
    Senior Member Array Alex_C's Avatar
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    I stash buckets of Wise Foods meals. You can call them and request a free sample if you want to try them out before you invest. I think they're decent and priced right. I buy the 60 serving entree only buckets.

    One point to make, though, is that the calorie count isn't as high as an MRE. You should supplement them with something, perhaps freshly hunted meat or calorie/energy bars.

  13. #13
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    Quote Originally Posted by Bark'n View Post
    The Epicenter has the largest inventory of the absolute freshest made MRE's from the manufacturers which produce them for the military. They tell you the dates and lots from which they produced. The have the largest varieties of complete MRE's by the package or by the case. They also have the largest selection of individual MRE components, ie. Entree's, side dishes, desserts, crackers, spreads and condiments.

    They also carry components from the new First Strike rations that special forces troops eat on the go during special ops.

    They provide the dates and seem to be about the freshest manufacture dates which will yield longer storage life.

    They carry a large variety and fresh production dates of Mountain House freeze dried foods, as well as Mainstay (Coast Guard approved) survival rations.

    Check them out. I think you'll find them a great MRE source. They also have links to data sheets and specs on MRE's and how to read the date codes from the various MRE manufacturers.

    Some major factors to consider are things like what type of emergency situation are you planning? For how long? Two or three days, a couple of weeks or for a couple of months or longer? Do you need food for your stationary home position, or do you need food while traveling if you are forced to evacuate.

    So it is important to know key factors of each type of storage food you are stocking. Freeze Dried foods and dehydrated foods are extremely light weight and can store in smaller spaces. That is good for traveling or on the go. However, you have to rehydrate them with water, and in most cases at least heat them up or do some simple cooking to prepare them. They can be very tasty but usually have fewer calories per meal. For example, a double serving of a freeze dried entree may only have 400-500 calories where an entire MRE may have 1700-2300 calories.

    Remember, you'll need more calories during stressful times and increased activity such as during most emergencies. Not exactly war fighting, but you may find a freeze dried chili mac meal leaving you more hungry after a couple hours.

    MRE's are completely a rip open the package and eat type meal. They can be eaten heated or cold and no water is needed to reconstitute. They have considerable more calories to sustain war fighters in the field. However, they are heavier in weight and more bulky to pack. Try putting 6 or 7 MRE's in your bug out bag and see how much room is left. A lot of troops "tear down" their MRE's and remove them from their main package including the little card board portion of the package and just pack the foil pack components to save space.

    I think it's best to have a variety of freeze dried, dehydrated foods and maybe keep a small amount of MRE's on hand but maintain a bulk of the other types for your main food storage.

    When you visit various websites, be sure and do as much research as you can on the company and their products. I've bought from eFoods Direct. All meatless entrees, they use TVP (textured vegetable protein) as a meat substitute. This allows them to have a 25-30 year shelf life. Their food is very tasty and they have a good company vision for satisfying their customers. I have also bought from Nitro-Pak and Emergency Essentials for the last 15 - 18 years. Very reputable companies to deal with. I haven't tried WISE foods yet, but the reviews are very favorable and they have an excellent reputation. If their food is anywhere as good as eFoods Direct, I'd say they are an excellent choice as well.

    Do your own research and have a plan as to what you need in your food supply. Presently my wife and I have a solid 2 + months worth of food storage. Our next goal is to expand that to 6 months and just keep working on it in stages. It will end up being a major investment, so do it in stages as you can afford it.

    Below are a few links to some other decent food sources.

    Nitro-Pak

    Emergency Essentials

    Wise Food Storage

    eFoods Direct


    The Epicenter.com
    +1 on the epicenter!

    Personally for freeze dried/backpacking foods I think Mountain House is the best and seems to have the least amount of sodium overall in both #'s and taste. With a little camping stove (I use a JetBoil) and some water you can have a decent meal in about 10-12 minutes. Even though I had no power or heat thanks to Sandy, I ate well at night! Plus with that little stove you can heat soup, make coffee and even cook eggs on a small pan.

    For self heating MREs Apack gets my nod, but I haven't tried all the different brands yet.
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  14. #14
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    I have Wise food in buckets as well. They taste good, but I agree supplementing them with hunted meat or beans would help them go farther. We get 3 servings out of a 4 serving pack. Of course, you can just plan this way as well.
    Alex_C likes this.
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  15. #15
    Senior Member Array Alex_C's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by ksholder View Post
    I have Wise food in buckets as well. They taste good, but I agree supplementing them with hunted meat or beans would help them go farther. We get 3 servings out of a 4 serving pack. Of course, you can just plan this way as well.
    Beans are a good plan. Dried beans can last a long time. We have lots of them stored.

    Others have mentioned water. It bears repeating. People use a LOT more water than they think.

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