MRE stands for “Meals Ready To Eat,” and is the name for a prepackaged, lightweight and nutritious meal that is provided to military troops during war. MREs are also available to the civilian population, and some individuals like to have MREs on hand for achieving preparedness in case of times of natural disaster or civilian unrest. In our current times, an increasing amount of individuals feel it is wise to prepare for such events, and having a supply of MREs is a simple step that many preppers and survivalists can take.
There are some differences between civilian MREs and military MREs. Some individuals or organizations resell military issued MREs. This isn’t exactly approved of in any legitimate manner, but it still goes on. However, there are organizations producing MREs for civilian use, and this option may be more appropriate for civilian buyers. There are some pros and cons to civilian and military MREs:
Civilian MREs sometimes have the tendency to be fresher. The civilian MREs can also be flatter and wider, and can be packed easily into bug out bags. Civilian MREs tend to be more expensive, and sometimes are missing parts, like the flameless heaters. There is also not as much variety available on the market, and they are sometimes not labeled, so users don’t know what to expect in their meal.
Military MREs are the real deal. Some individuals put a lot of weight on the quality of the genuine issue, and this makes sense. Military MREs are cheaper, especially when purchased on eBay. They provide a greater variety and you know exactly what you are getting. The military package tends to hold up better over time and under stress. The military MREs contain all the special add-ons, like utensils, heaters, side dishes and condiments. However, military MREs can be more difficult to find, and if you are buying from an unknown party, it can be impossible to be sure that they have been stored properly before purchasing.
If you are interested in purchasing military MREs, you can do so at gun shows, at surplus stores or through eBay. Surplus stores tend to charge the most, and eBay consistently provides the best deals. There are certain precautions that should be taken when purchasing through eBay. Of course, be sure the seller has positive feedback. Be certain the auction lists the guaranteed fresh date, or “re-inspection” date. Also you want to see the case letter and/or menu numbers so you have knowledge about what type of meal is inside. And try to find out how the MREs have been stored. At 50 degrees F an MRE can last 5 years. At 120 degrees Fairheight, an MRE will last 1 month.
Things To Consider
If you would rather purchase civilian MREs, there are more options available to you. Buying by the case is far more cost effective than purchasing individual meals. A simple google search will reveal many of the options available to you. Be certain the place you are buying from lists exactly what you are getting in the package. Remember that all extras may not be included, and then you will be forced to purchase them separately. Also, check the calorie count of the MREs, to make certain they are equal to the military MRE calorie count. Civilian meals ready to eat are not exactly the same as military meals ready to eat, and any seller making this claim is lying. This doesn’t necessarily mean that you will be dissatisfied with your civilian MRE, but don’t expect it to be the same as the military issues.
MREs have evolved throughout history, and our current modern food preservation methods allow for an amazing amount of nutritional value to be packed into a light and condensed package. MREs are a smart item to have in every prepper or survivalist’s storage. In our time of political, economic, environmental and cultural upheaval it is wise to practice a certain level of preparedness for unexpected situations. MREs nutritiousness and ability to be stored for extended periods of time make them a great addition to preparedness packages. Unlike some other food items, they will not have to be routinely replaced. If you are careful about choosing a source of MREs and keep these facts about them in mind, you should have no problem stocking your own survival kit with meals ready to eat.