I know better, but I'll ask anyway - why not MRE's


New member
I know all the drawbacks
I had to eat them for a living once
They pack heavy
If you eat a lot of them pack some ex lax
A an absurd amount of packacging that does not burn (well, they burn lik old tires)

The food is getting a lot better for the most part and they AR easy to prep and the cleanup is wad it up and toss it

In most situations a big part of a great day cooking a great meal with the days catch is nirvana

But on a ****ty rainy day all you want is one easy hot and to crawl into the cot

So, this can't be the first time anyone has asked

But why not stuff a case of MRE's in then truck on the run out to ouray


I have no problem with MRE's. In fact, contrary to what you posted above (the take up a lot of room) I find that they fit great in my pack. The new MRE'S taste great, can be heayed easily with the enclosed heater. No problems whatsoever with MRE's. I must say that I will eat the "MILITARY" MRE's. The "not for resale" in the heavy duty cardboard box.


I keep a couple of MRE packages in the 4Runner for emergency purposes, but why eat MRE's when you can eat like this?




A little preparation at home can save a bunch of time when you are out in the field!
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I would vote for MRE's in a Bail out sitch
Been meaning to get some to put in my Sportmobile as back up

As for at home prep:
The wife pre cooks alot of stuff and
goes into plastic fridge boxes
- A quick stir in the pot or micro
- Cooking pre marinated/cut up over the fire
Quick and easy espcially for a 3-4 day trip

Our first (not last) long trip (14 nights)
- we only resupplied once (coffee, creamer, ice cream, cookies & redbox)
- we had enought staples for her to spend a couple of hours re stocking
the plastic boxes
- that trip we carried a ice chest mounted outside
was during a winter trip so we literally only used two small bags of ice
- in the rig we have a 4.2 cf Truckfridge

As a foot note, my wife is Thai, and she makes us 2-3 of what we would call "main dishes" at most meals. The food is also Thai, so alot less bulky than meat and potatoes

She has also taken to watching the cooking shows, she is getting fancy with the garnish and presentation :)

A quick meal with a mre or liquid eggs and micro bacon is great
I am lucky that my wife really likes to cook
ps- the rig was her idea and she designed what cooking and food storage we needed...


An alternative is using of the better freeze dried food perhaps mixed with some fresh produce.
Packaging and cost is less than real MRE. Sorry, can't think of the popular brand name at this moment. But if you find cooking undesirable at times there are good choices now.


2007 Expedition Trophy Champion, Overland Certifie
I gotta go with dzzz on this one...
Mountain House, Backpackers Pantry, and other backpacking freeze dried stuff is much better than MRE's
and all you need is some way to heat water, and if it really gets down to it you can use cold water but the taste would be worse.
In addition there are lots of options like home prep as mentioned, foods that are easy to pick up on the way out of town like cliff bars, jerky, summer sausage, cheese, crackers, fruit, canned meals, rice dishes, foil packed chicken or tuna, and the list goes on and on.

It really comes down to if you think of eating while camping as a joy or a chore...I float in between depending on who is cooking.
If I have to cook for my family it is a chore (for myself it is no cooking if possible) if I am with some of the amazing cooks we have on this forum then it is a real joy :)


I usually ask for Kosher MREs when I'm out in the field.
The few times I haven't asked, I've ended up with things like: clam chowder, artificial pork rib, beef strogenaugh, and other very questionable meals.
Some are good, but there are some that are VERY bad!

Black Dog

Makin' Beer.
Keeping a couple MREs or freeze dried foods in your vehicle would be a good idea in case you break down in the middle of nowhere and spend a few days more than planned out there. But for just daily eating I think I'd stick with fresh cooked food. If you're in a vehicle then you have room for a cooler or fridge to bring real food with you.


I've done three and four day trips eating nothing but MRE's. Not a horrible option for fast light travel. The size/weight of MRE's is more than offset by leaving the stove, fuel, pots, dishes etc. at home. If you want to cover a lot of ground in a short time not having clean up from meals is great.


My $0.02 ...

Do whatever you like and feel most comfortable with. If you like how easy they are and don't mind the taste, go for it!

If you're willing to put in a little effort in both cook time and clean up, you can eat far better tasting and healthier food. Cooking outdoors or on the road doesn't have to be complex, it just has to be thought out a little bit more than when you're at home.


Truck camping Infidel
7 deployments says:


But I do still keep a few cases on hand for emergency food. There are so many better choices for size, weight and quality.


7 deployments says:


But I do still keep a few cases on hand for emergency food. There are so many better choices for size, weight and quality.
Familiarity breeds contempt, as an occasional meal I don't mind them. No doubt I'd share your opinion if they were my main stay for a few months. :sombrero:


As an alternative to MRE's and bulky food, I like to take along dehydrated meals ala backpacker style. I spent years carrying everything I needed on my back before I had kids. I have found that a little experimentation and a dehydrator can make some awesome vittles that take less than five minutes to cook. Check out the book "Backpack Gourmet" by Linda Frederick Yaffe. It is the book that got me started ten years ago!


Expedition Leader
Several years ago (OK, 10), when I was on the SAR team, I thought MREs would be a great thing to carry along. And I did to some extent: stripped-down. One guy we found after he spent a cold night, buried in pine needles trying to keep warm, was particularly happy to get a hot meal. And I've got a few in my emergency kit.

However (at least back then?) it's hard to get the heaters. AFIK the chemical heaters can't be sent by mail, so the mail-order sources sell the MREs without the heaters, and most I saw for sale in surplus stores lacked the heaters, as well. Someone prove me wrong on this one.

On the other hand, the backpacking stuff like Mountain House is readily available and typically cheaper.

One of these days I want to really spend some time with that 'no refrigeration required' thread (and link), to see if I can find recipes my family likes, then assemble DIY MREs for camping and emergency kits
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Automotive ADHD is fun!
Kraft Easy Mac - it's like an MRE, but with slightly less nasty. If you can get boiling water, you're good to go. And if you have access to some hamburger, you can just dump that in too. Very flexible!

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