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    • paleoman
      Member
      Post count: 918

      I hate meal planning for trips. Are these things that bad? I say that because my brother in his Army days said if they had a choice they’d just eat the candy bar and chuck the rest??? I know there are vets here. Would these things be that bad for a few days to a week? A box full in the back of the Jeep sounds nice and simple.

    • David Coulter
      Member
      Post count: 2270

      Make sure you take some bags of nuts and dried fruit along with you. Their are also some decent freeze dried meals you can heat up just as quickly. My backpacking buddies and I used to eat two bags each of instant oatmeal in the morning with tea and a few handfuls of trail mix and we were set. Take a look at the salt levels in those MREs, too. You might be packing or filtering a lot of extra water. Have fun, dwc

    • Troy Warner
      Post count: 239

      The first MRE’s I had tasted like card board some of the guys thought the were good, But they also liked broccoli and cauliflower. 5 years later prior to discharge I had the unfortunate necessity to try them one more time for a few days and those were much better than the first ones, those last ones tasted like an old #2 pencil I used to chew on when taking tests in school. If had a choice I’d pick the pencil over card board any day.

      Some of the other vets that have just left the service say they have gotten much better and have acctual flavor.

      I myself pay the little extra expense and get some of the mountain house meals, they have a very large selection of tasty meals, but there are a few that are plenty bland.

      Good luck on your choice.

    • James Harvey
      Member
      Post count: 1130

      Paleo, our’s are pretty ordinary compared to the American ones, but I don’t mind them and have lived off nothing else for weeks at a time.

      Four weeks is the longest I’ve gone without a break. You get sick of them eventually, but a week I reckon is ok, especially if you’re able to supplement it with a bit of fresh meat.

      Some guys bring out a little bottle of tobasco to supplement flavour, but that’s not my thing.

    • Col Mike
      Member
      Post count: 911

      Paleo:

      My advice—don’t go there:evil: In stress conditions (combat) you need calories and you will eat anything. Don’t think I ever heard anyone say they are good–different from the old C-rations–which were canned. Oh well we gave up minimal taste for:x, but we did save weight. Make a nice emergency food? –but not a daily diet. On a multiple day hunt in moderate conditions and terrain you are going to burn some calories–best to refuel with something that is tasty and not infused with more chemicals then you can imagine. Oh yeah if you don’t eat all of it–part of it blocks you up the other part is the laxative. But hey that’s only my 32 years of experience talking:shock:. Hope this helps.

      Semper Fi

      Mike

    • Rummy
      Post count: 8

      Tabasco….an essential part of the MRE experience. I remember Tabasco came out with camo holders for the small bottles you could wear on your belts even, lol. I didnt mind them too much and always ate plenty as others gave me theirs…I was never a picky eater though and had plenty of Tabasco..lol. ColMike…you had years more “exposure” to them than I did…no doubt your done with ’em!! We would take a helmet, steel pot, before the Kevlar came around, mix a bunch of different meals together, add a generous dose of Tabasco, heat it up and feast. We called it “Tankers Stew”… 😉

      S/F

      Don

      colmike wrote: Paleo:

      My advice—don’t go there:evil: In stress conditions (combat) you need calories and you will eat anything. Don’t think I ever heard anyone say they are good–different from the old C-rations–which were canned. Oh well we gave up minimal taste for:x, but we did save weight. Make a nice emergency food? –but not a daily diet. On a multiple day hunt in moderate conditions and terrain you are going to burn some calories–best to refuel with something that is tasty and not infused with more chemicals then you can imagine. Oh yeah if you don’t eat all of it–part of it blocks you up the other part is the laxative. But hey that’s only my 32 years of experience talking:shock:. Hope this helps.

      Semper Fi

      Mike

    • paleoman
      Member
      Member
      Post count: 918

      colmike wrote: Paleo:

      My advice—don’t go there:evil: In stress conditions (combat) you need calories and you will eat anything. Don’t think I ever heard anyone say they are good–different from the old C-rations–which were canned. Oh well we gave up minimal taste for:x, but we did save weight. Make a nice emergency food? –but not a daily diet. On a multiple day hunt in moderate conditions and terrain you are going to burn some calories–best to refuel with something that is tasty and not infused with more chemicals then you can imagine. Oh yeah if you don’t eat all of it–part of it blocks you up the other part is the laxative. But hey that’s only my 32 years of experience talking:shock:. Hope this helps.

      Semper Fi

      Mike

      32 years counts!!! If I’ve never said it before God Bless you guys that stuck your neck out for the rest of us.

    • Clay Hayes
      Member
      Post count: 418

      I don’t think they’re all that bad if you can get the ones with pasta dishes. They tast a lot like the canned ravioli and such, but dryer. The chicken and eggs are just plain nasty. When I lived in Florida they handed them out for after big storms knocked out the power. I’ve still got a few boxes and I keep a few behind the seat of the truck. With that said, I’d much rather cook somthing worthwile.

    • David Petersen
      Member
      Post count: 2749

      Mike’s experience dwarfs my own (and I’m SO happy it was him and not me!:P). In fact my only experience with MREs was several years ago on a 10-day fly-in caribou camp in AK. My partner and I had MREs and Mountain House backpacking meals. I much preferred the MREs because all you had to do was pull a string and in no time the meal was steaming hot … whereas dehydrated meals require a stove to boil water. Best I recall I was surprised how tasty the MREs were. But then, hunger is the best sauce. The plus side is that they are fast, nearly instant, and require no cooking gear or fire. The down sides are that even though we weren’t that physically active (damn whitesox and skeets and noseeums kept us in our tents except when it was raining), it took two to make a meal. Since they’re not dehydrated they are heavy if you need at least four a day, so not great for backpacking. But for car camping, no problem. Finally, while I haven’t checked prices lately they were pricey compared to Mountain House last time I checked. If you really want to be lazy about cooking, and I sure understand that, I’d go with a combo of MREs, dehydrated, plus fruit, trail mix, etc. as suggested above. Another good idea, if you can find someplace to sell you a single MRE, is try them before you’re stuck with ’em. For car camping I don’t feel that heating a can of Hatch green chili stew or some hearty soup or chili is too much hassle–just eat out of the pan, rinse the pan out with hot water and you have a cheap and satisfying meal. I’ve always felt that Hatch green chili stew (medium is spicy, for a reference) is the best thing you can get to eat in a can. Alas, tonight I have to eat birthday cake (a friend, not me, as I never age) when I should be up on the mountain feeling hungry after a long day of elking. Tomorrow for that!

    • Col Mike
      Member
      Post count: 911

      With that said, I’d much rather cook somthing worthwile.

      Paleo–it appears that the decision is yours–ponder Clay’s response, Davids ramble:D, by the way he hates to cook and doesn’t eat a lot, and of course my delightful experience–can’t wait to hear about your decision and how it works on the hunt. Have a great hunt–maybe you want to try foraging:roll:

      Mike

    • sinawalli
      Post count: 222

      Not a military guy, but I have eaten plenty of MRE’s. All I can say is best gas I ever had…

    • grumpy
      Member
      Post count: 962

      On backpacking trips I have survived well on Mountain House.

      On fishing trips, where fishing was more important than comfort, I have survived nicely on jerkey, and trail mix. Had to modify the trail mix by ading almonds, and wallnuts (too sweet as it comes from the bag). Of course, I do have to have a little stove and stainless cup to make tea. MREs are too expensive.

    • 1shot
      Post count: 252

      AKKK… Nix the MRE’s(Not as much experence as Mike, but 6years of chokeing down MRES may make my opinion count for something), and go with the Mt. House brand or simular dehy. foods…

      Peanutbutter and a bag of bagels with a chunk of cheese will give you a good blast of what the body needs for a few days and it travels good, but you wont care to see any of them on your plate afterwards for awhile…

      Those ramin noodle dealys with the 1lbs can of cooked roast beef also travel well and give you ahot meal at night…

      Bon Apetit…

    • James Harvey
      Member
      Post count: 1130

      Paleo, something else I reckon would be worth considering is that in my experience, the more people have to eat them the more they dislike them. So Mike et al’s bitterness comes from a depth of experience of mushing the same textureless muck for days on end that you don’t have 😀

      I genuinely enjoyed my first few days on rations. They were fun. Also I’m a seriously not picky eater. I was born in the chinese year of the pig and there may be something to it 😉

      The guys are right about cost. You’re paying a big premium for a little convenience.

    • Ralph
      Moderator
      Post count: 2554

      Too bad a can of Dinty Moore beef stew and a can of pork and beans are so heavy. I mean, we need to figure out how to freeze dry them! Used to be Boy Scout gourmet supper.:D:D

    • Murray
      Member
      Post count: 46

      I’m a Viet Nam vet, from the days of C-rats. IF you could choke down the whole meal, it would certainly fill you up. After about 2 of these meals, all you had to do was look at one, and it would fill you up, and kill any appetite you may have had.

    • Troy Breeding
      Post count: 994

      The taste of the MRE’s depends on where you get them. I’ve used them on hunting trips in the past that lasted as long as two weeks with no complaints about the taste. The ones I managed to get from Uncle Sam (back in the 80’s) were as good as any home made meal. The ones I picked up at the surplus stores (post 1995) taste like crap, but were still better than going hungry.

      BTW, when I was a kid (not long after Christmas was established) I used to really enjoy the C-rats dad would bring back after summer camp with the military. It was a real treat in my book.

      Guess when your raised to eat what is set in front of you or go hungry anything taste better than those nasty little store bought chicken pot pies mom used to serve atleast once a week.

      Troy

    • Charles Ek
      Moderator
      Post count: 563

      You hate meal planning for trips because you haven’t seen a copy of NOLS Cookery yet.

    • DeathFromAbove
      Member
      Post count: 9

      The new ones are not. Bad at all I eat them when Im in the woods for a couple two three days I actually had the chicken florentine or Alfredo or whatever and was very satisfied when ur going all day a hot MRE really brings morale up and usually they give you coffee and a drink mix for like Gatorade I like them

    • Stephen Smiley
      Post count: 46

      In my days with the Army we had C rations and the early MRE. The C rat’s were pretty good as long as you could heat them up and the first round of MRE’s were god awfull. I am sure the new ones are much better but I like Mountain house and gorp when I am hunting/backpacking. The one thing I can attest to for certain is that the Army can take anything fun and ruin it in short order. I also like the new Starbucks instant coffee and the old standby Romon noodles. No matter what you pick for food, your going to be having way more fun than being at work.

    • zimjohn
      Post count: 5

      Tried MREs a number of times when working alomgside the US Army. They were convenient but were not something that we were too keen on. I remember trading our British Army rations (C Rats) for one of those diesel fed stoves that the US Army used for heating. A very welcome addition to our HQ in the middle of a Balkan winter. The guys we traded our rations with clearly felt that they had the better part of the deal. They had been there for 6 months and were living on T Rats for breakfast and had 2 packs of MREs for lunch and dinner. We always had spices on hand to turn our rats into a curry of sorts – I still pack these spices whenever I’m in the field. Old habits die hard!!!

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