MREs in my Food Storage?

MREI have been a little delayed in my posts lately due to some family obligations. I am an assistant softball coach for my daughter and we had to play in tournaments. Yes, we won two out of three and came in 2nd for the other.

Hopefully, with only one tournament to go, I can start getting back to things and give regular posts and updates.

Recently, before the tournaments, we went camping as a family. After asking for input on family meals, all the children said they wanted to try the MREs (Meals, Ready-to-Eat) that I had stored.

For one meal, each child and adult chose one pouch to try and even share. I chose brisket which turned out to be the favorite of everyone.

Other than one of them being flat out nasty tasting, the chicken and dumplings, we had a blast sharing and “auctioning” off parts of our MRE pouches. Two pouches of USA Cookies for one raspberry, white chocolate cookie was a bargain, especially since I don’t like raspberry.

The other families that went, got a little jealous in our fun and it continues to be a point of conversation two months later.

But I digress. Why did I have the MREs anyway?

What exactly is an MRE (Meal, Ready-to-Eat)?

MREs were created for a military single meal in a sturdy packaged and sealed pouch. They were designed to meet the new rugged military standards and to be lighter than the metal canned K-rations designed in 1941 for the soldiers of WWII, which is when the P-38, John Wayne, can opener came into play. The MREs of today can be expanded to a day, or in extreme survival cases, a week. With no preparation to get to the meal itself, the contents of the durable pouch can be broken into desired food portions and traded or discarded as needed. They have a decent storage life and offer around 1,250 calories (13% protein, 36% fat, and 51% carbohydrates) per pouch which is around 1/3 of the military’s recommended daily allowance of vitamins and minerals. Which means, three pouches are supposed to be for one complete day.

If you look at what makes up each pouch, one meal becomes a lot more than you think and I know we could not complete one entire pouch during a sitting.

Each pouch is made up of the following:

  • Entree – main course, such as beef stew or spaghetti
  • Side dish – rice, corn, fruit, mashed potatoes
  • Cracker or bread
  • Spread – cheese spread, jelly or peanut butter
  • Dessert – cookies or cakes
  • Candy – M&M’s, Skittles, Tootsie rolls
  • Beverages – gatorade-like, shake, coffee, tea
  • Hot Sauce or seasoning
  • Flameless Ration Heater – just add water
  • Accessories – spoon, matches, creamer, salt, chewing gum, toilet paper, etc
Data and information from

Purpose for a Prepper

As a prepper and a survivalist, I use MREs in several ways.

  • BOB – Considering that I need light packs of food for my bug out bag (GOOD, GO, etc) I know they will sustain me until I can reach my point of location. I can fit 5 pouches comfortably in my bag and not worry about the weight.
  • BOV – I keep one pouch in my vehicle. Although the shelf life is diminished due to the temperature (chart to follow), it aids me if there is an emergency.
  • Scouting missions/camping – for days where I am only going to be out on short missions or overnight camping trips, these are great because of the size, calories and flexibility.
  • Food Storage – These are a supplement to my existing food storage. If it all does “hit the fan”, I like the fact I have entire meals that are ready to be distributed as needed. Also, because they come with a Flameless Ration Heater no electricity is needed to heat them.
  • Barter – In the event of a societal collapse, EMP, viral outbreak or even a zombie invasion, I like that I have food to barter with. I can use an entire pouch or open it and break it into smaller portions as needed.

Storage life based off of temperatures


I’m not suggesting everyone go purchase MREs, especially at around $129/12 pouch/case. I am not saying don’t either. I am saying do what you have to for you and your family. For me and mine the above list is reason enough for me to add a few cases to my overall food storage.

Until then,

Use your instincts to survive

Photos from