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rednekpaul
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Posted: May 14 2018 at 2:12pm | IP Logged Quote rednekpaul

Going off the grid has been great. I got plenty of things to do this spring out at the cabin and have been staying busy.
I don`t have refrigeration so I rely on canned food. I`m looking to supplement my food supply with MRE`s. What do you guys recommend with these. Lot of them available online. Anything I should look out for or stay away from. TIA
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richhodg66
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Posted: May 14 2018 at 3:04pm | IP Logged Quote richhodg66

All I'll say is, if you've never had to live on them for an extended period of time, try it sometime. I won't starve before I'll eat one, but I'm going to have to be hungry and not have any other options. Conservative estimate that I ate 400 of them during Desert Shield and Desert Storm.

They're also obscenely expensive. You can buy canned goods, dry rice and beans and such a whole lot cheaper at a grocery store that are also non perishable. I'd go that route over MREs.

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Old Ranger
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Posted: May 14 2018 at 3:12pm | IP Logged Quote Old Ranger

C rations here for quite a while. Then the MRE arrived.
We called them "Meals Rejected by Ethiopians". I'd rather
eat the cardboard they came in!

Rich is right. Buy dried staples and caned goods if ya
need to go that route. Surplus army stuff is marketed
toward preppers and yuppie wannabes.

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M700
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Posted: May 15 2018 at 4:00am | IP Logged Quote M700

Yup, Rich nailed it. I ate too many MRE's to want them ever again. Good emergency rations though.

Guy
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KinleyWater
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Posted: May 15 2018 at 1:20pm | IP Logged Quote KinleyWater

Only meal you can loose weight on (without contracting something, that is). Longest I had to go was about 2 1/2 or 3 months, with boil-a-bag meals tossed in every 5th meal (only breakfast, and all of them 2 years out of date). Started out eating 2 a day. Very quickly went to just rifling through the pack for one or two items and tossing the rest on a common table. Then it was walk in, take your MRE, toss it on the table and walk out.

It's an odd feeling to be both hungry and not want to eat, all at the same time.

Okay, to answer your question: I would buy a variety and see what you like. Some places let you buy just the entree portion or just the side items. That might be a way to go. I do keep a case or so around just in case I need hot food, but can't have an open flame; so they do have their uses.

Also, I find that the heaters in the latest generation are unreliable, so if you have them, have a backup heat source. In all cases, they are always better hot than not.

On the whole, I concur with the above comments. At the risk of steering too far from the original question, I suggest buying a dehydrator. There are variants for almost any budget and can be used for making everything from soup components, to jerky, to medicine (the FDA has not approved that comment). If you plan on having a garden, the utility goes up.

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richhodg66
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Posted: May 15 2018 at 3:28pm | IP Logged Quote richhodg66

The heaters always worked, but you need to use more water than it says and the crush the cardboard insert with your hands with the water in the bag. That get's them going and they'll get hot enough to scald you.

I will say they've made improvements to the various menus over the years. They didn't have the heaters in them my first five years in the Army, that was an improvement. When they stopped putting that S*!t that passed for instant coffee and started putting Taster's Choice in them was probably the biggest single improvement.

On the whole, I'm stock up on canned goods, rice, beans, Ramen, etc., and have a lot more better food to show for the money spent.

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Ham Gunner
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Posted: May 15 2018 at 8:17pm | IP Logged Quote Ham Gunner

I got out of the service before they came out with MRE's, so I was not burned out on them in the service. I actually did not mind the canned rations, but then I did not have to eat them for months on end.

I agree that the latest MRE's do seem to be a bit better than the first ones that came out in the 80's. I keep a case or three around and toss a few in the storage box on my four wheeler in case I ever get stranded with a mechanical breakdown or something and I take a few along to deer camp in case we do not have time to cook for whatever reason. So far I just always end up bringing them home. My Grandkids like going out on hikes with me and we take along MRE's. They think it's great.

Although you were not really talking about survival foods, for emergency food rations, it is hard to beat rice and beans. They keep for many years when stored in empty 2-liter bottles. Unlike wheat or other grains that tend to have weevils and mold, etc, nothing special needed for beans and rice other than an airtight plastic container. I have probably 6-8 types of beans and brown, white, and wild rice. Plenty of menus can be made up using beans and rice. They supply your protein and carbs and with other things scrounged up to enhance the menu one can stay healthy. Multi vitamins store well too.

Edited by Ham Gunner on May 15 2018 at 8:19pm


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Tom W.
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Posted: May 15 2018 at 9:24pm | IP Logged Quote Tom W.

I must be a bit on the strange side. I liked the c- rats fairly well and
always had some MREs in the tool box of my truck, and compartments
of my bass boat. They were pretty good out on the lake or while deer
hunting...

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turbo1889
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Posted: May 16 2018 at 8:59pm | IP Logged Quote turbo1889

I would strongly suggest going with
dehydrated vacuum packet commercial
emergency food over MREs.

Dehydrating and Vacuum packing your own is
an ever better option. Don't go for the
ring stack dehydrated, you want one of the
square box ones with the slide in trays.
Costco sells a good vacuum packet machine.

If your too off grid to power a dehydrator
then you can purchase commercial
dehydrated vegetables and then smoke
dehydrate your own jurkey and the two
together will work very well for long term
survival food. Real dehydrated cheese
powder and powdered milk are also
excellent items, packed in sealed #10 cans
is the best option usually for those, they
want too much for the vacuum packed stuff
and being a powder it's hard to vacuum
pack yourself it gets sucked into the
vacuum machine and messed up the melt heat
seal and probably isn't good for the
machine.

If you must go with MREs the best I've had
are the Israeli and Swiss options much
better then the U.S. version (sorry, sad
but true, telling the truth is patriotic).
Also, you can get sealed individual Vodco
rations as well of very high strength in a
small shot size, original military origin
of those should be self explanatory.

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KinleyWater
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Posted: May 17 2018 at 8:18am | IP Logged Quote KinleyWater

Oh. Yes, yes, yes - if you can get a hold of other than US MREs they are worth a go. The Australian ones are larger packs with two full meals, so they're for a whole day, not a single meal.

Never had the Swiss ones, but stay away from the Spanish ones - unless you like big chunks of fat in your cans of, of, um... Well, to be honest, I have no idea what it was supposed to be.

Also, I found that the Kosher and Halal US MREs were MUCH better than the regular ones. Just remember that even Lamb Marsala gets old after a few meals.

Edited by KinleyWater on May 17 2018 at 8:19am


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turbo1889
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Posted: May 17 2018 at 12:14pm | IP Logged Quote turbo1889

Quote:
If you must go with MREs the best
I've had
are the Israeli and Swiss options much
better then the U.S. version (sorry, sad
but true, telling the truth is patriotic).
Also, you can get sealed individual Vodco
rations as well of very high strength in a
small shot size, original military origin
of those should be self explanatory.



Okay, it apparently went over everyone's
heads so I will clarify.

The above quoted final paragraph of my
post was a joke, AKA = pulling your legs
guys. I listed two nation's who don't use
MREs but rather simply use basic chocolate
bar and energy bar type ration options.
Both consider themselves to most likely to
have to fight a defensive war on their own
territory or only slightly beyond their
own borders for any extensive ground
operation.

I sharpened the point on this a little by
letting you know what I think of MREs by
saying that two nations that don't have
MREs and just use chocolate bars, energy
bars, cracker packs, etc . . . as having
better MREs.

I then went back to the WWII red army
vodka rations reference something which
too my knowledge is not continued to
today's time as an official part of the
rations. Also suggesting at the same time
you might need it to go with the MREs in
order to be able to stand the MREs.

As the high school punks say ~ "My BAD!!!"

I guess MRE sarcasm humor is slightly
selective and doesn't translate well to
the written word.

The previous portion about dehydrated
vegetables, jurkey, and dehydrated real
cheese powder and powdered milk in the #10
cans. That part I was totally serious
about.

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What part of, "the right of the people to keep and bear arms, shall not be INFRINGED" don't you understand ?!?!?

To the most serious charge of "ARMING WOMEN" I plead guilty on multiple counts.
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KinleyWater
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Posted: May 17 2018 at 12:53pm | IP Logged Quote KinleyWater

oh. I've learned something new. Well, my comments about non-US MRE's stand. The Spanish ones (if you call them MREs) were awful.

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rednekpaul
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Posted: June 14 2018 at 8:40pm | IP Logged Quote rednekpaul

Thanks guys for your input. I bought a couple boxes(2 different brands) of the civilian MRE`s. They`re ok for a quick meal. Haven`t tried all the different meals yet but I Wouldn`t want to eat them everyday.
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STCM(SW)
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Posted: July 01 2018 at 9:36pm | IP Logged Quote STCM(SW)

Never had to eat C Rats or MRE's. The Navy does have battle rats, horse C@#$ sandwiches, an apple, bug juice....
At home keep some caned ham, Spam, canned fish of several kinds and caned veg.

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REM1875
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Posted: July 08 2018 at 3:07am | IP Logged Quote REM1875

The Green side of the Navy (with the SeaBees and Marines)
got to eat C- rat or MREs ......I loved the oatmeal bars
in the MREs and detested the lima beans with anything
else in the C-rats....No lima beans ....in anything ... I
don't care how cheap they are .

Some of the foreign rations years ago had brand name food
in cans (Canada for one)
Others had schnapps, wine or some other booze .....

But then ours used to have smokes too ..."Who want to
trade Benson & Hedges green for .......(damned near
anything else)"
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John Van Gelder
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Posted: July 13 2018 at 8:40am | IP Logged Quote John Van Gelder

MREs are not bad, but not as a steady diet. I think that the old C and K rations were tastier.

My local Wal Mart has a section devoted to dehydrated food, and a good selection at that, at a reasonable price unlike the gouging that goes on with MREs.

If you are off the grid, a garden is a must.
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REM1875
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Posted: July 13 2018 at 9:17am | IP Logged Quote REM1875

Some of my MREs are over 20 years old I hope they are still
good .....
If ya want some C-rats go to any militarily training field
scrap about half an inch down and I am sure the tins of
hard tack crackers are as fresh as the day they were buried
30-60 years ago ........I wouldn't trust the peanut butter,
jelly or cheese tins though ......

Edited by REM1875 on July 13 2018 at 9:18am
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