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Who makes the best MRE's

Discussion in 'Preparedness & Survival' started by theflyguy, Dec 22, 2009.

  1. theflyguy

    theflyguy Beaverton, Oregon Member

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    Guys,

    I've done some searching on the forum and read a lot about preparing for a BIG event.

    My wife and I were talking and she now feels we should be better prepared for some disaster.

    I know you guys have tried hundreds of different MRE by a many manufacturers.

    Who do you think makes the best MRE's?
    Offers the best varitey?
    Best prices?

    Thanks
     
  2. parsons_12b

    parsons_12b LaPine Oregon Well-Known Member

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    The best ones are the ones Uncle Sugar gives me
     
  3. OFADAN

    OFADAN Brownsville, OR Well-Known Member

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    Agreed...the best ones are the ones issued which are now no longer permited to be sold to the public. www.ustacticalsupply.com has a bunch of the better "made for J Q Public" MRE's. They are located in Albany and are a GSA dealer to DOD. I bought several for some wilderness survival training we conducted a few months back and thought they were very good.

    As an alternative...I'm not sure what you plan is for the "big one" but MRE's are good for a short term emergency but for a mid to long term (10 days or longer) emergency they are mighty expensive - close to $8 per meal and extremely high calorie intake unless your 19 and hump'n a 60 pound ruck over a mountain. The Mountain House dehydrated foods are much better bang for the buck with #10 pound cans that can feed a family for several days and you can mix/match ingredients and frequently on sale from supply houses.

    Hey, don't let me talk you out of your plan but just some food for thought (pardon the pun).
     
  4. Silver Fox

    Silver Fox Puyallup, WA Well-Known Member

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    Get a good vacume sealer. Make your own for the same price of what you could buy them for except you pick out what goes inside. After you are done making MRE's you can vacume seal matches, ammo, batteries, clothes and anything else your imagination can conjor up.

    SF-
     
  5. crosse

    crosse Bellevue Active Member

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    that's some pretty good advice. now how do i fit a 10000 round crate into the plastic vacuum bag....
     
  6. Silver Fox

    Silver Fox Puyallup, WA Well-Known Member

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    In the words of the great philosopher Ton Loc, "break it down!"

    SF-
     
  7. theflyguy

    theflyguy Beaverton, Oregon Member

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    Guys, thanks for the advise.

    The wife just watched the movie "Knowing". She started asking what if....

    I don't know how much is too much...but I'd like to be prepared in case there was an emergency of some sort. I'll try some MRE's as well look into Mountain House dehydrated foods.

    If anyone else has some suggestions or advise, I'd like to hear it.
     
  8. OFADAN

    OFADAN Brownsville, OR Well-Known Member

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    There is a lot to this topic and we could spend a half day dicussing the various options. Generally what we teach at OFA in our Survival course is this - have a plan for food that is built around four tiers. Having access to a food sealer like Silver Fox suggested is very wise investment for supplimenting your food supply in all four tiers. Plus you can seal up important documents, cash, and other items that you need to take with you if you must leave your home because of a flood for example.


    Short Term emergency - ice storm etc. Stock up on can goods and things you eat/use everyday. So if you eat a lot of Chili then instead of two cans in the pantry have 6. Stop depending upon Safeway on a daily or once a week basis. Start thinking longer term. Besides think of the money you can save by not driving to the the store every week! Have at least a three day supply of MRE's or something similar that requires no to low heat or cooking. Don't rush out and start buying...but rather be strategic. Wait for a sale on Chili for example. Then stock up. Have a system so that when you get down to 50% on that particular food item make a note to start watching for sales.

    Mid Term Emergency - have a 3 to 6 month supply of can goods/packaged goods like I mentioned up above. Only have access to at least one to two other alternative heat/cooking sources other than your primary electric stove that can be used over a 6 month period of time. Both the short term and mid term require minimal investment as you're not buying "stuff for just an emergency" but rather stocking up on additional items you ALREADY eat/use. You can start packaging foods in the Food Sealer and/or buy Mountain House foods that are light weight and store longer term. If you need to leave because of a flood or forest fire situation you can easily grab this food source to get you to your next destination. The Mountain House foods are lightweight which makes them a good choice to take with you if you must leave.

    Long Term emergency - 6 months to 12 months - this is where you go with longer term foods such as rice, wheat stored in long term containers. etc. Too much to discuss here as there are too many considerations, options etc. You can either research on the internet or attend a class

    Ubber Long Term emergency - 12+ months - if the emergency is a very long time then one needs to have some sort of sustainable means to provide food for your family. Gardening is one such option. Again, plenty of research on the internet or attend a class.

    Having a plan is the first item to consider. Having an emergency plan is like having a map to a wilderness hike/trek. If you just start wandering on a backpacking trip it is hard to say where you'll end up. If you have a map with a course plotted then you have a better shot at arriving safely to your destination. So sit down as a family, discuss all the worst case "real world" scenarios and determine the worst case effects it will have on your family. Then build a plan based upon these tiers. There is considerably more to ponder and plan for but that is why we have a school that teaches this stuff! This is enough to get you started without wasting time and precious finanical resources.

    "No one plans to fail; we only fail to plan!"
     
  9. jimwsea

    jimwsea Vancouver, Washington state Active Member

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    +1 to OFADAN. You have to first decide what length emergency you envision or are willing to prepare for.
     
  10. Gunner3456

    Gunner3456 Salem Well-Known Member

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    We're planned out two years + nature's water supply. The problem with that is that if for any reason we had to leave the house...

    Two years does give time to garden IF you can water your garden without electricity or city water and if you can guard your garden. We can water but I don't know about guarding 24/7. If you live in the right place it allows time to hunt.

    I say don't forget lots of salt for several reasons including preserving meat.

    I also don't plan on having any heat. If the grid is down and the firewood runs out and there's no gas or oil for the chainsaw and pickup and my energy is low and... NO heat needed to prep the food or the risk is too great. What good is a Costco baking kit without heat?

    I think that foods which require lots of water to prep are risky for city people. I'd prefer canned foods that can be eaten cold and without prep. Canned stew, fruits, veggies... We have lots of natural potable water so I'm fine with dehydrated.

    We can keep our bodies warm without heat if we have good shelter, but we can't cook...

    Prayers up that it doesn't happen.
     
  11. Trlsmn

    Trlsmn In Utero (Portland) Well-Known Member

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    Here are my MRE's after they have been removed from the package:





















    100_2035.jpg
     
  12. Gunner3456

    Gunner3456 Salem Well-Known Member

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    For me removing from the package means getting those dadblamed shells off the crab legs. I never did learn to do that well. Secrets?

    Looks like a great dinner though. I'm going to start sending you a bill every day for making me hungry. :D
     
  13. Katonic

    Katonic Kistap WA New Member

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    VOODOOO Tactical you can get them from CHeaper then Dirt.com
     
  14. Trlsmn

    Trlsmn In Utero (Portland) Well-Known Member

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    Scissors!
     
  15. Gunner3456

    Gunner3456 Salem Well-Known Member

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    OK, I'll try it. Do you ask for those in a restaurant? :D
     
  16. Trlsmn

    Trlsmn In Utero (Portland) Well-Known Member

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    I wouldn't know I can't afford crab in a restaurant. :eek:
     
  17. Gunner3456

    Gunner3456 Salem Well-Known Member

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    Strange. That's what my wife tells me. :D :D :D
     
  18. dave

    dave Independence Member

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    2nd to Trlsmn's 5star chow. Ive been reading about the British armys 24 hour meals. Its much larger obviously, but includes a whole days rations and kinda mixes it up from the same old US mre's. I havent found a source for them where the shipping doesnt skew the price out of range. But the variety is what drew me in.
    In the service, when overseas with other countries armed forces, it was very common to swap meals. Sometimes it was like a game of Fear Factor due to not being able to read what was in the package due to language barriers. But boy was it refreshing to have something completely different.
     
  19. lcplmatt

    lcplmatt southern wa New Member

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    I had mres every day in iraq and hate the bubblegum out of em (infantry we had no chowhall). The one tho that got discontinued but I still would eat is jamaican chicken with noodles, mix cheese sauce and crackers with it and its damn good
     
  20. Thebastidge

    Thebastidge 10411 NE Fourth Plain Blvd Vancouver WA 98662 Well-Known Member

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    I'll chime in on the tedium of MREs. They are a good emergency ration for the short term, but too expensive and too tedious for the long term. Most brands are acceptable, and anything is acceptable when you're hungry enough. But for the long term, a means to cook and the basic staples are necessary. I would classify anything over a week as long term.

    MREs are not really as practical for bugging out as the specialty hiking meals made by Mountain House and a couple others. MREs presume a large, long logistical tail that the DoD has and we don't. The packaging alone weighs probably 25% of the total, and the volume per meal is immense. Canned goods might actually work out better in terms of calories/volume/weight if you had to carry it. The MRE heaters are nice, but not necessary. They're very simple to use, but very difficult to actually get the most out of. It's also easy to burn yourself with them, under field conditions where you don't have nice, clean, level surfaces for preparing meals. The packaging has to be disposed of as well, and if' you're really concerned about being followed (I'm not so much) then disposing of the packaging is a problem.

    My recommendation, a week or two worth of MREs for each person you're prepping for, then add 20%. For longer term, follow the advice above and plan it out. When people come to my shop for MREs, we suggest augmenting with some Mayday Industries food bars, and we'll be offering Datrex bars as soon as I can set up a vendor contract with them. Variety is good.