Making a homemade mre (meal ready to eat)

You’ve probably heard the term Meal, Ready-to-Eat, or MRE for short. It’s a term coined by the U.S. Military in the 1970’s when the armed services recognized the need to provide troops in the field with a variety of nutritionally balanced meals that were relatively easy to carry, had a long shelf-life, and could be eaten in remote areas where no additional cooking supplies were available.

MREs have evolved over the years, getting better with each iteration. New entrees and side dishes have been developed that are actually relatively tasty. However, MREs are designed for very active soldiers to eat on a short-term basis, typically 3 weeks or less. Each MRE contains an average of 1,200 calories and 52 grams of fat. Certainly not a diet you’d want to sustain you for the long run.

Technically, this is not a Meal, Ready-to-Eat since it requires some external components, namely a source of heat to cook the oatmeal. For me, that’s not a problem since I always carry several ways to make a fire with me and at this point I’m not trying to evade someone or escape detection. If you prefer, you can make the completely self-sufficient by adding a flameless heater and some water pouches. For me, those enhancements are not worth the added expense and effort.

I’ve also made other meals using cracker packs, bouillon, and Ramen noodles. I’m not sure exactly how long these meals will last. I suspect quite a while. Like a good prepper, I rotate through my stock on a regular basis, eating the older meals while making new ones. Since I spend the weekend in the woods regularly, eating what I store is not a problem.

Well , no offense but that wouldn’t feed your cat .Matter of fact , a can of cat food would probably feed you better . If your going to make home made ” MRE”s , use real food …..seriously . Yes it will weigh more but well worth the extra bulk . The military rations are bulky for a reason ………..they need to feed an adult , under stress , exerting themselves . Pretty much the same situation you may find yourself in ( minus the shooting ) if you have to use them , so pack serious food . One example of one of mine is : 1 – 75% cocoa dark chocolate bar ( 600 calories ) 1 – 240g can of Sprats in oil ( 855 calories , 36g protein) 1- package ( 10 ) whole grain long rye crackers ( for sprats ) 20 pieces dried fruit ( apricots ) 1 pack nuts ( peanuts or cashews personal preference ) 2 sticks chewing gum , 1 tea or coffee ( instant ) 1 packet baby wipe towelet ,1 multivitamin . Thats just for one meal . A typical breakfast type might include bulgur wheat , buckwheat , or oatmeal ……..but would also have a protein like nuts and a bread unit of some kind . I try to stay away from separating out meal types and carry dry foods like the wheat , and other things in addition to any pre made meals …………most of my food is carried loose , so is a “as needed ” arrangement . Dont get me wrong , that wasn’t a slam , but I see a lot of people packing things that way and it wont feed a bird . That may sound like a lot to put in one ” mre ” but 2 things about that , 1. nobody says you have to eat it all in one sitting , 2. your stamina , moral , and health under stress depends on good food intake ……why starve yourself ? just sayin .