MRE's - good? bad? OK? - Page 2 - Fiberglass RV


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Old 03-11-2016, 10:25 AM   #15
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Name: Steve
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I retired from the military in 2003. up until that point, they were not that good. Although they had gotten better than they were in the 80's and 90's.
We always called MREs "Meals ready to excrete" or "meals rejected by Ethiopians"!
Sorry if that inappropriate!
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Old 03-11-2016, 12:52 PM   #16
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Good to Go Dehydrated Gourmet Meals

My sons did the Appalachian Trail last year and they swear by these meals. They are expensive, so only to be used occasionally as a real treat. You can get a discount if you buy in bulk. Since my boys were hiking and burned so many calories, they each ate the double portion for one meal. But if you supplement with a bag of salad, probably could feed two people with one double meal. That would bring the cost down considerably.

After trying all the varieties, the ones they liked best are the Thai Chicken and Herbed Mushroom Rissotto.

Shop - Good To-Go


Here is another idea for an easy instant meal straight from the cooler with no cooking:

Ranch dressing
Salsa
Louis Rich or Purdue oven roasted chicken breast cuts (purchase cooked in supermarket)
Shredded cheddar cheese
Bag of mixed greens in a large plastic ziplock bag
tortilla chips

Add everything except the chips to the plastic bag with the mixed greens. Shake. Top with crushed tortilla chips. Enjoy!
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Old 03-11-2016, 02:05 PM   #17
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Real MRE meals (US govt. issued) are sometimes available at military surplus stores as individual meals. I was in a surplus store and some servicemen came in to sell some. The store owner gave them cash and put them up for sale. I got to talking to the servicemen and they had been supplied to them for some assignment. Instead of eating the supplied meals, they got pizza and did not want the MRE meals. I guess this happens a lot. To some young people a bag of Doritos or Cheetos is a complete meal too.

Canned soup, chili and stew along with instant mashed potatoes are my emergency go to meals.
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Old 03-11-2016, 03:45 PM   #18
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How about dehydrating your own meals?

Lightweight, compact, you control all of the ingredients, easy to re-hydrate with just a camp stove, long shelf life with no refrigeration, can have great flavor and texture, endless possibilities, as cheap as cooking at home (plus cost of running a dehydrator). Best and most economical to do it yourself, but there are companies that sell ingredients in bulk that you mix and match to create your own meals. I dehydrate 90% of my own food when backpacking.
Home dehydrating is fun and easy.

For pre-dehydrated ingredients try (their kits make a LOT of meals):
Harmony House Freeze Dried and Dehydrated Foods

Or you can just dehydrate certain ingredients, then use them to cook as you normally would. I dehydrated a bunch of ground beef in the past, use it for cooking casseroles, spaghetti, Chile, etc. at home and cannot tell from fresh. Many dehydrated veggies and fruits, sauces, etc can be combined with fresh foods when cooking.

An EXCELLENT book for those who are interested (particularly his tips on dehydrating meat):

http://www.amazon.com/Recipes-Advent.../dp/1484861345
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Old 03-11-2016, 04:08 PM   #19
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for me, MRE's are tastier than camping food & lower sodium. as the others have stated they are NOT visually appealing but are fast, easy & nutritional. some are much tastier than others, and there's enough stuff in there you won't go hungry if you don't eat it all. its all about what you want to do - if you have the time & inclination to cook real food, go for it. for me, I'm on a rock dig & come "home" to the egg so tired I can't see straight. I want fast & easy before I fall out! good luck!
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Old 03-11-2016, 04:32 PM   #20
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Assuming you mean actual MREs, not "dehydrated camping food", I would go with something else. Personally. But you know best what kind of food you can tolerate.

When I did some wildland fire fighting, we ate a good amount of MREs. They are adequate, and actually kind of good in a processed-food guilty-pleasure sort of way for a young person but no way I'd eat them now unless it was an emergency.

The backpacking freeze-dried meals are much better, in my opinion, but I would still only eat them backpacking. They just aren't that good.

It really depends on you. For me, I'd rather eat "real" food, even if that means a quick pb&j sandwich, or really any other kind of sandwich. There are plenty of things you can eat for quick meals that aren't demolished beyond all recognition of "food", then pieced back together to resemble food.

There are a lot of studies done to make MREs as good as possible. But they're as good as possible for "non-perishable, non-refridgerated, ready to eat pack you full of calories for a war zone atmosphere." They are meant for someone working hard. Not someone sitting on their butt all day driving around.
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Old 03-11-2016, 04:33 PM   #21
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Floyd and Debbie mentioned these "Compleat" meals last month, so we tried some and liked them. They do include lots of sodium though.
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Old 03-11-2016, 05:00 PM   #22
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Wow, what a response, learning a lot about those things. Thank you all. I'll consider bringing some along, mostly to try them out. We do pack frozen "rations" and leftovers for those times when we want to make a simple, quick meal. Maybe it is best to take it easy, and spend the time to prepare what we really like.
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Old 03-11-2016, 05:05 PM   #23
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An option: buy a dehydrator; inexpensive, great for meat jerkey and the extra garden veggies/fruitsl Or try making jerkey in your oven - lots of great recipies on-line...and no sodium or nasty preservatives. Smoked salmon lasts. For first couple of days travel, pick up salads, fresh meals at Trader Joe's.

Lots of items come in pouches now that don't need refrigeration - fishm soups, etc.

I don't have a microwave in my Scamp, but do carry a one-burner chef's butane stove for the picnic table - heats one pot meals quickly, butane cans are long lasting, and there's nothing better than the smell of fresh coffee....
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Old 03-14-2016, 12:12 AM   #24
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Look at backpacking chef.com
You can make your own shelf stable quick meals.


Sent from my iPhone using Fiberglass RV
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Old 03-14-2016, 12:31 AM   #25
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Quote:
Originally Posted by monB View Post
Forgot to say, you DO need a microwave or oven for most meals. Buying off Craigslaist is cheaper than MRE's.

Mon
Tuff soldiers that carry a microwave oven around with them.
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Old 03-14-2016, 08:24 AM   #26
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He's talking non-MRE meals. People are mixing talk about true MREs with "backpacker meals" or similar freeze-dried food, and other factory prepared ready-to-eat meals. As I think someone already mentioned, MREs have a water-activated pouch which puts off a lot of heat and warms up the food. No microwave necessary.
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Old 03-14-2016, 08:28 AM   #27
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Originally Posted by SteveSmith View Post
I retired from the military in 2003. up until that point, they were not that good. Although they had gotten better than they were in the 80's and 90's.
We always called MREs "Meals ready to excrete" or "meals rejected by Ethiopians"!
Sorry if that inappropriate!

Back in "the day", they came with cigarettes!
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Old 03-14-2016, 10:20 AM   #28
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Byron Kinnaman View Post
Tuff soldiers that carry a microwave oven around with them.
The REALLY tough ones have a pink microwave.



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