Pioneer Preps: Minimize MRE

When you ask most survivalists, bug out enthusiasts etc. what is their preferred long term go food or pre-made meal the majority are most likely going to say an MRE. Why not? Its good enough for our soldiers in a multitude of climates and it provides a full meal, for most people, with lots of calories to keep you going. Everything is sealed and no heat is needed to eat it. I myself use MREs on my bug out trips and have a few squirreled away at home for a rainy day. The one negative that may rear its head from time to time is the size of the MRE. Though compact they are not the smallest food item available out there. Also there tends to be a bit of waste with all the sealed bags. How can this be remedied? You minimize your MRE.

By Grimm, a contributing author to SHTFBlog & Survival Cache

If you have never opened up an MRE then you might not know that each MRE is self contained. It has all the food, utensils, heater, and salt and pepper for that meal. The only thing needed at all would be water. Now in all honesty that’s great. You know if you grab an MRE you are good to go no mater what you have on your person. That being said for those of us who are preparing for extreme events having all that extra stuff might not be necessary.

Also Read: 7 Reasons MREs are Better than Backpacking Meals

Take for example the spork. Each MRE has its own plastic spork. If you are like me there is a high probability that you already have your own spork or eating utensil for meals. Mine is stainless steel and also acts as a bottle opener and lid hook. You won’t need the spork let alone three or five of them depending on how many MREs you put in your bug out bag. All that weight adds up and takes up space as well. Another example would be the heater sleeve. It’s a piece of thick paper that holds the heater against the food and insulates your hand from the hot meal. I have heated up my food with and without one and couldn’t really tell the difference and I can hold the pouch with gloves or a bandana if it really is that hot. This is also assuming you even use the heater which you don’t need to eat the meal.

Not only are there some items that you might not need in each MRE but also there might be some food in the pouch you either don’t care for or is not really going to benefit you. Healthy calories is the game. Calories give you energy to press on. To finish you shelter, recon the area, set traps for future food, and foraging. Go and look through all the items in your MRE. If the calories are low or its not something you would want to eat then leave it out or replace it with something. You could put in a sealed energy bar or even another item from another MRE that you minimized.

Related: DIY Make Your Own MRE

By minimizing your MRE not only are you shedding weight per MRE and bulk, but you are customizing it to your needs. Give yourself the best chance to start strong and endure the possible disasters on the horizon.

Please watch my video below on how to minimize your MREs.

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4 comments… add one
  • sirlancelot January 30, 2019, 8:19 pm

    Read something about this in the past . Forget what they call it. Ranger MRE or something ?

    Years ago there was a great website. ( forgot the name of it ) showed homemade MREs.

    And recently the YouTube channel Survival Russia had this guy making his favorite stew- Buckwheat, canned meat and soup mix.

    Have to say looked pretty good. Although the homemade stuff does require a little bit of preparation and heat. My go-to food lately is either ham or fish cock, yep that’s what they call it :-b

    Comes in a can Ready-to-Eat two pieces of rye bread and something of the consistency of deviled ham. Also carry some caffeinated chocolate and if weight permits Red Bull.

    Withdrawal for a caffeine junkie is not pretty

    • bill February 3, 2019, 4:41 pm

      me to…………..

  • Roger Jensen January 30, 2019, 11:59 pm

    Personally, I prefer Mountain House FD meals. Depending on the expected length of stay I put three+ #10 cans in gallon zip-lock bags and then into a 12 liter lock&lock airtight container along with items that must stay dry such as spare socks and under garments. Add in some crackers, peanut butter and jelly for variety. GLAHP!

  • H.L. Dowless July 12, 2019, 4:37 am

    This information is very positive, assuming that one has a valid accessible source for inexpensive MRE packages; and that is where I personally have a problem with the entire idea of using MRE’s all together. There does exist very valid, highly inexpensive alternative approaches to solving the general MRE problem, however.


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