Wednesday, November 17, 2010

First MRE buy and why
Well here I am at work, going over lists of haves and wants and needs for prepping and it occured to me that a relatively interesting thing has occured in my life today. I recieved my first bulk purchase of MREs. I have ALWAYS bought them piece by piece and sometimes just the entree portion. On a whim, I looked up MREs on Ebay and have found some really decent sources for actual Mil-Spec MREs. I put in a bid on a 12 pack and managed to win it at the unheard of price of $42.00 +shipping. All told, $65 and thats not bad at all. Further research on Ebay has uncovered commercial MRE meals for as low as $35 a case.
Now a bit about MREs: some people like them, some dont. Some even call them by Meals Regected by Etheopians or Meals Readily Ejected and so on. Fact is Uncle Sam spent a great deal of time and tax dollars to devise and refine these field rations into a meal that is shelf stable, tastes decent and provides a good amount of nutrition. Say what you want about them but I like them! Now you would think that knowing all this, I would have a basement full of them. I dont. The fact is, they are also expensive and while I think they are a very important part of your preparedness food storage plan, you really should get your bulk food stuffs, canned goods and off the grid food prep equipment togeather first. That being said, a case of MREs stored in the back of your vehicle along with your BOB will really go a long way toward getting you home to all those other preps.

Try to get Mil-Spec MREs or alternatly commercial MREs made by the same government contractor. Mil Spec MREs have a slightly better shelf life and the accessories are better than their commercial counterparts. A Mil Spec MRE will come with main meal, side dish, cracker, cookie , peanut butter or Jam, a pouch of drink mix (Tang, Tea or Hot Choc.) It will come with an accessory pack that includes a good quality plastic spoon, salt, pepper, mints, matches and sometimes a little bottle of Tabasco sauce! Finally, Mil Spec MREs come with a chemical heater pouch that allows you to heat your main meal pouch.
This little pouch has a mixture of magnesium, iron and salt that reacts with water to create heat. this little item is great in that its flameless, HOT and all that is required is water from your canteen. Follow the directions!

Commercial MREs (By the Gov. Manufacturer) do not have the heater and are a much more no frills system but still provide good sustainance. They will usually come with the main entree, side dish, cracker etc but the accesories are a bit less advanced with just salt, pepper, a napkin, cheap plastic spoon (think elementary school) and sometimes catsup, mustard or hot sauce packet.

There are also non milspec MRE type meals such as freeze dried "mountain House" and similar meals that give varying degrees of return in terms of nutrition and cost effectiveness. Freeze Dried Meals have some faults that include requiring water to make it eatable. This makes them a questionable choice. The beauty of MREs is that they can be eaten without any preparation other than opening the packet.

To sum it up, Im at a point in my preps where I am definatly considering getting a few more caes of these meals because they just plain make sense to me. Quite frankly, I dont know why I didnt make this decision before... Live and learn..

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