MREs, or Meal Ready to Eat, are the standard fare for soldiers on the go. They contain everything you need in a hearty meal and then some. They are packaged to last for years. While not the tastiest food you can carry, there is definitely something to be said for trusting in decades of refinement.
MRE's are versatile, they are already pre-cooked so you can eat them both hot or cold, depends on personal preference.
MREs are larger and bulkier than many other storeable foods, making them problematic to transport in a smaller bag.
An MRE in it's original packaging, stored in a cool dry place can last upwards of 10 years.
"Field Stripping" and MRE is accomplished by removing the edible contents from the main bag and discarding the bag and other unwanted item. This allows for decreased weight and bulk, but decreases the life span of the MRE. By "Field Stripping" an MRE, you will effectively reduce the lifespan of an MRE by 50% without using freezing or vacuum methods.
MRE's use a special non-flammable cooker. This heater is comprised of a plastic green bag filled with a chemical that reacts with water to produce heat, thus warming up the entree.
- Slide the entree into the green plastic bag, positioning the heater in the middle of the entree package.
- Put the green bag (along with entree and heater) part way into the cardboard box the entree came in.
- With the heater on the bottom, add water to the green bag to the fill line.
- Fold the green bag over at the top, and stuff everything down into the box.
- Lean the box against an object at an angle (with the folded end up) and wait for about 10-15 minutes.
Do not use or ingest the water from the heater. Heater emits hydrogen gas. Use in a well-vetilated space away from flames.