Many people have no clue about MRE’s / Meals Ready to Eat. MRE’s are specially prepared meals that the military have been using for years and was introduced to the general public several years ago. Each meal is developed to provide all the nutrients needed to survive but also be easy to transport while on the move. This is why the military still use these meals today for the military personal that out away on maneuvers.
MRE’s or other prepackaged meals come pretty much ready to eat, this makes very easy and ideal for many different uses. My family and I use these meals while we are out camping or backpacking out in the wilderness of northern Minnesota. These meals can be eaten cold right out of the package or they can be warmed over a camp fire or be heated by the MRE heater.
I was really introduced the MRE’s about ten plus years ago when Florida was hit with several hurricanes back to back and we had lost electric for over a two weeks. With the different varieties of meal options that MRE’s have one does not get sick of eating the same thing over and over again.
History of MRE’s
A little history on the MRE meals. In 1963 the Department of Defense (DOD) knew that they needed to come out with a meal for soldiers that was better packaged and had more nutritional value then what the soldiers were carrying during World War II. So this was the beginning phases of experimenting with MRE’s. Then in 1966 the DOD came out with a dehydrated meal plan called LRP or Long Range Patrol Meals, this did not work out to well. In 1975 more work went into developing a dehydrated meal that was stored in plastic retort pouches which went into standard use in 1986 for the military.
Now for me being an outdoor enthusiast I spend many days in the wilderness in the Boundary Water Canoe Area every year. I love the serenity of the outdoors
and love being out in nature. I have found that the ready-made backpacking meals give me the nutrition and energy I need to make it through the days. Being that the food is
dehydrated the packets weigh very little and there is no cooking involved. Just heat some water on the campfire until it is boiling and add the water to the open packet. The meals that I prefer and all natural and contain no MSG Mono Sodium Glutamate which is a preservative that many people are allergic too.
Ideas For Food That Are Not Pre-Packaged
A lot of people that I come across while backpacking purchase food from the grocery store that is less expensive and can be lightweight and compact. Here are a few ideas of foods that are lightweight and compact that you may be interested in.
- Instant oatmeal, comes in many varieties and just need to add hot water and mix to get a great tasting breakfast meal that can be ate at any time of the day.
- Rice, can be a little heavy but it is easy to make and tasty
- Pancakes, another meal that just needs hot water and cook over an open fire or camp stove.
- Pasta, again just need boiling water. Instant spaghetti sauce is easy to make and taste great.
- Dry soup mixes, a lot of varieties to choose from and just add hot boiling water.
- Granola bars are easy to carry and gives you the protein to make it through the day on the trail.
- Coffee packets, must have for the morning. Boil water and add coffee packet for a delicious morning pick me up.
- Flavored water packets, when you are tired of drinking lake or river water these little packets come in handy for adding a little change in taste.
These are some ideas of food that you can store for when we run into a food shortage or for when a major storm hits and you cannot make it to the grocery store for a week or two. For my family we have about a months worth of food stored. Living in Florida you never know when mother nature may strike and we lose electricity or the roads are blocked and we cannot make it to the store. It has happened to me more than once and ‘I do not like being unprepared.