Best Tasting MREs or Dehydrated Meals?

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posted on Jul, 19 2013 @ 10:02 AM
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I've been researching this a lot for BOBs. I currently use a few cans of stew, but if I could find some really good decent Dehydrated meals, it'd be less pack weight. Just need a few meals in there.

So far, Packit Gourmet seems to have the best reviews. Just wondering if any here have tried many, and liked them. The few I've tried are food, but nothing over the cans of beef stew tastewise.

These look darn tasty though (and can cook in their bag)
www.packitgourmet.com...




posted on Jul, 19 2013 @ 10:03 AM
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MRE meatloaf in gravy, or the breaded chicken patty, hands down



posted on Jul, 19 2013 @ 10:07 AM
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reply to post by HomerinNC
 


Which brand though? That's the thing. They are all different.



posted on Jul, 19 2013 @ 10:10 AM
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MRE beat dehydrated foods for me on both taste and texture.

But everything's a trade-off. Dehydrated pouches weigh less and keep longer. My dehydrated stuff is rated for 25 year self life, while MRE are rated three years. Though I've had MRE that were older that were just fine.



posted on Jul, 19 2013 @ 10:13 AM
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reply to post by Gazrok
 


The MRE one, sorry

the GI Issue one



posted on Jul, 19 2013 @ 10:14 AM
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MRE's are way tastier than dehydrated, dehydrated is way lighter though, both are hard to replenish after they are used up if one is in a bug-out situation.

Rice and beans will give one the most bang for the buck, a Voo-Doo Tactical Enhanced Tobago Pack (just for the sake of reference) can hold about one and a half months worth of food for one person when filled with roughly half of each.

A water purification system is nice, but one can strain and boil just as well, remember to Tyndallize though, as in boil, let cool, and boil and let cool again before using.

Unless one is way up north there are things to be scavenged everywhere, high octane stored food is for use only when the scavenging doesn't keep one fed.

edit on 19-7-2013 by MyHappyDogShiner because: typo



posted on Jul, 19 2013 @ 10:15 AM
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reply to post by Gazrok
 


I have been very happy with these: www.cheaperthandirt.com...

They average 1,180 calories each and include the heater. Be careful, a lot of cheaper MREs do not include the heater. Some of the reviews have mentioned some confusion around the date stamp, but all of the ones I have received have been very fresh.

If you are packing them in a BOB, it can sometimes makes sense to strip a lot of the outer packaging off first.

note: They do lack coffee, however, if you're into that. For me, I've been drinking it every morning for forty years now and it hasn't become habit forming yet.
edit on 7/19/13 by AnonymousCitizen because: caffein


Also, be sure to regularly consume and rotate your supply. We do MRE-night occasionally at the ranch. My boys love it. These are big meals, we can usually consume two of these MREs for the five of us. Everyone gets a light meal that way.
edit on 7/19/13 by AnonymousCitizen because: (no reason given)



posted on Jul, 19 2013 @ 10:17 AM
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reply to post by Gazrok
 


I do a soup mix i keep in my bag.

Its a handful of dehydrated veggies,a handful of rice and some onion soup mix.
Add water and its nutritious and good for you as well as easy to make.
I have made this with filtered swamp water before and it was still awesome when I was hungry.

I have MRE but have never tried them before.
Also I find the MRE heavy and I wouldn't normally pack that heavy.
A weeks worth of food adds up weight wise.

Another thing i do is ramen noodles which i add sardines to for added nutrition.(both lightweight to carry)
It tastes good when you are hungry in the woods.


edit on 19-7-2013 by DrumsRfun because: (no reason given)
edit on 19-7-2013 by DrumsRfun because: (no reason given)



posted on Jul, 19 2013 @ 10:21 AM
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reply to post by Gazrok
 


I mixed yellow crookneck squash with beets, it was not only beautiful in the jars but delicious during the winter mixed in stews and soups.

Cut yellow crook neck squash, pumpkin or zucchini in thin slices and place on dehydrator.

Wash thoroughly and slice beets w/ skins left on and place slices in dehydrator.

Once dried the squash lays beautifully in jars, you can then throw in a handful of beets and shake down. So pretty to look at.

Baggies can also be used for bugout bags.

Edit to add that sweet potatoes are also as beautiful as they are perfect for dehydrating. Red potatoes are another veggie that is great to look at dehydrated and excellent tasting. remember, you can add your herbs, salt and or sugars to your dehydrated foods just in case you have none in a shtf scenario.

I have also done green beans and it is very effective. Tomatoes, and really anything you grow in the garden, if in doubt try a small example of something as see how it works out for you.

edit on 19-7-2013 by antar because: (no reason given)



posted on Jul, 19 2013 @ 10:22 AM
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I have always been happy with the SurePak meals from Sopakco. With the heater packs just in case.

www.surepak-12.com...

Cheers!



posted on Jul, 19 2013 @ 10:27 AM
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All the Mountain House stuff is pretty good. Their Chili Mac is awesome.



posted on Jul, 19 2013 @ 10:28 AM
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reply to post by MyHappyDogShiner
 


I disagree, dehydrated foods are delicious and so easy! You can add your meats, beans, rice and veggies with ease and very little space. Season it as you dehydrate and see what I mean. Do a taste test with your family or friends.



posted on Jul, 19 2013 @ 10:34 AM
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Also, consider freeze dried. If you're willing to put in a bit of prep work, you can create yourself something wonderful.

Just Google "chef tess meals in a jar recipes". This lady is amazing with putting together tasty ready-to-prepare meals from freeze dried foods.



posted on Jul, 19 2013 @ 10:36 AM
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reply to post by AnonymousCitizen
 


Thank you I will check it out, that is one thing we do quite a bit of around these parts but it usually stays in the freezer, so yeah interested in discovering a new way of preserving.

OMG! GREAT link!
cheftessbakeresse.blogspot.com...
edit on 19-7-2013 by antar because: (no reason given)



posted on Jul, 19 2013 @ 10:50 AM
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I am one of the rare people that likes the GI issue Spaghetti MRE.

But then, I never had MRE's in the service.... mine were in cans. MRE's are gourmet food compared to the C-Rats.



posted on Jul, 19 2013 @ 11:05 AM
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reply to post by butcherguy
 

C-rats were the only thing I had to eat in the military sometimes, I was so far ahead of everybody else out in the sticks they couldn't find me when I ran outta rations I carried out, I was an FO/Surveyor/Spotter....On maneuvers the only thing I could find was C-rats people didn't want and dropped on the ground, ate good usually, just not the good C-rats.

Never had the op to eat MRE's till way after I was out.



posted on Jul, 19 2013 @ 11:39 AM
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Originally posted by Gazrok
I've been researching this a lot for BOBs. I currently use a few cans of stew, but if I could find some really good decent Dehydrated meals, it'd be less pack weight.
www.packitgourmet.com...



It looks like your pack it gourmet meals have to be cooked. For instance the tortilla soup has to be heated to simmering and held there at 10 minutes.
Figure 15 minutes of stove fuel for one bowl of soup.
That's a lot of fuel for just a couple of days food.

For instance, a jetboil will boil a cup of water in 1 minute with a small canister of fuel.
That's 12 liters in 50 minutes on one can when used judiciously.
That's enough to heat water for 25 of the large mountain house meals which is 62.5 servings for a peckish child, 50 servings for an average sized person or 25 servings for a hungry hiker who doesn't have access to a refrigerator or a fast food franchise.

Meanwhile, the gourmet food route gets you 4 bowls of soup.

It's not that the gourmet stuff is no good. It looks delicious. It's just that resupply of fuel is in no way guaranteed and fuel is heavy.

The trade off with MRE's is that your average mre weighs a lot more than even your dehydrated stuff +fuel.

I've eaten C rations,
the real ones with cans, gorilla cookies, peaches and pound cake . lima beans and #@!%%^! A small 4 pack of cigarettes that are crumbly and bereft of even the smell of tobacco.
Old school MRE's, half of which were dehydrated and flavorless.
New MRE's which are heavy and half of which are empty calories.....expensive.... empty calories.
Bad quality dehydrated foods that must be boiled forever and still leave the peas mushy on the outside and crunchy on the inside.
And the freeze dried meals which are a decent balance of weight versus price versus taste versus ease of use.

Look at it this way.
EACH FOOD HAS A SPECIFIC USE

MRE... when money is not an issue and you have a way to carry the weight.

Canned food.. short term pre-cached hideouts and/or bug in location.

Dehydrated meals (not freeze dried) cheaper than freeze dried, long term storage, plenty of fuel for cooking

Pre packaged carbs - i.e. protein bars, granola,trail mix, candy, nut's, crackers , peanut butter, squeeze cheese, cocoa, ect. (these constitute about half of the calories you actually get in a new MRE anyway.)
These are good for supplementing a BOB if not the primary source of food in a bob for the first 24-48 hours as they are easy calories, easy to use and don't need cooking.

Freeze dried meals. - (NOT dehydrated) they reconstitute in a few minutes on boiling water, but you are not cooking them, just adding boiling water. With a jetboil or similar product you only use 2-3 minutes of fuel.
These are good for any situation where you can boil water but are more expensive than canned or dehydrated.
They are good as a source of packable food in a BOB but still have to be reconstituted. You can use cold water and leave them sit longer. They just taste better hot.

Let's see where we could use some of these.
A long term hike, say 5-7 days from "bug out" to "bug in / shelter" might look like this.

day 1-2
canned/ MRE /pre packaged food - any canned stuff gets eaten first, then mre's, and pre packaged this is all to reduce weight as food and water will likely be half of your pack weight.
Day 3-4 MRE s
Day 4-7 dehydrated meals and dehydrated drinks like coco,coffee,tea

This would be in a well loaded pack with water and would weigh 50-80 pounds depending on your basic equipment and what food you carried. The food would not necessarily be 3 hots and you would still need to ration it out. You would be relying some upon your own body fat for calories.

This is a worst case for getting from your bug out point to a safe haven between 50 to 100 miles away and would be extremely hard on the average sedentary person.

The best thing to do is take a long summer vacation and find a trail to hike with your BOB.
Don't go to a survivalist site to figure this out.
Go to a hiking site.
I would recommend researching the preparations people make when hiking the Appalachian Trail or a similar long range hike in temperate climate. Other trails like the long trail and Pacific coast trail are better suited for arid climates.

These people actually spend months walking so their experiences are directly applicable to a real life scenario.
I was infantry for a total of 10 years and walked 500 miles on the AT a few years back for fun so I've seen enough to have an informed point of view.

The best way to do it is to get out there and learn in a real time situation.

It's educational and can be fun.

As far as food goes, there is no "ONE" type of food to use. Any food provides calories and all of them have advantages and drawbacks. Just realize that you will use a mix of the types available based on mobility, longevity, cost and taste.

And remember, there is a huge difference between freeze dried and dehydrated.

edit on 19-7-2013 by badgerprints because: (no reason given)



posted on Jul, 19 2013 @ 01:05 PM
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Thanks for all the info. I really only need a 3 day supply, so with the fuel cells in my folding stove, I could easily cook a meal a day for 3 days, while I trek home from work (I have an hour commute, about 50 miles, so I figure 3 days walking to get home). If I do need more, then I'll worry about hunting/fishing, and cooking with wood.

I figure if I'm going to be walking 3 days, I want to have some decent food in me. Actual MREs (with heaters) would weigh about the same as my current idea....cans of stew. (I do remember the meatloaf GI one actually, it was pretty decent, and I love meatloaf). I once got some from an Army/Navy store. Some were decent, some were inedible (to me, hehe...). I also keep some instant grits pouches in there, and a couple of soup packs. I keep ration bars too (they taste a little like crumbly lemon cookies, but are decent enough, as long as you have plenty to drink.)

I always rotate out. Every 4 months I replace the water and food in the BOB. I'm going to order the Packit Gourmet ones (2 of each one I want to try, one to sample, one to pack), and try them out myself (rave reviews from multiple sites). May try some of the above as well. Thanks!



Freeze dried meals. - (NOT dehydrated) they reconstitute in a few minutes on boiling water, but you are not cooking them, just adding boiling water. With a jetboil or similar product you only use 2-3 minutes of fuel.
These are good for any situation where you can boil water but are more expensive than canned or dehydrated.
They are good as a source of packable food in a BOB but still have to be reconstituted. You can use cold water and leave them sit longer. They just taste better hot.


Will definitely have to check into that then. For 3 days worth, shouldn't be too expensive. And would be nice to use less fuel.
edit on 19-7-2013 by Gazrok because: (no reason given)



posted on Jul, 19 2013 @ 01:57 PM
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Originally posted by Gazrok



Freeze dried meals. - (NOT dehydrated)


Will definitely have to check into that then. For 3 days worth, shouldn't be too expensive. And would be nice to use less fuel.
edit on 19-7-2013 by Gazrok because: (no reason given)


As much as I love to hate Wal-Mart, they do have a small selection of freeze dried in their sporting goods section. At 5-6 dollars each they will probably be the best price you will find on Mountain House short of buying in bulk on line.

I've done all of the numbers and the 2.5 serving bags are the most cost efficient way to buy. They are comparable and sometimes even cheaper in price per ounce than the big cans of mountain house you can buy online.
The vacuum packed "pro pack" is the most expensive and a waste of money in my opinion. You are paying more for less air.

They are extremely light weight and don't need to be rotated because they last for years.
A pound of the lasagna (before reconstituting) is 2000 calories.
This is good calorie density, but a bit high in cost. - about 16 dollars for 2000 calories.

MRE's come out to about 12 dollars per 2000 calories (almost 14 dollars with the heaters) but weight is much higher and about half of the cost is in things like crackers, candy, cookies, peanut butter, cheese and other things that you can get much cheaper.
It is convenient though.

The mre heaters average about a buck more per meal. Compared to a 5 dollar can of jet boil fuel which will give you a hot meal for about 20 cents and the difference in price between a mre with heater and freeze dried with fuel ends up being about zero.

A box of little Debbies oatmeal pies is about $2.50 for a pound and has 2040 calories so you can see where budget has a lot to do with prepping.

We all know that to be healthy we have to eat healthy. But, when it comes to hiking 50 miles in emergency conditions, an eight cent calorie equals a six cent calorie equals a one cent calorie.

Have fun.
edit on 19-7-2013 by badgerprints because: (no reason given)



posted on Jul, 19 2013 @ 02:02 PM
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reply to post by badgerprints
 


Thanks. Being at WalMart certainly makes it easy to try at least. As I said, I don't need to stock much, so don't mind paying a little more for it. I just want something lighter than the cans, but that won't taste horrible.

I also want to be sure it sits ok. I don't want to take anything on a long hike home, that I haven't actually USED before.





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