Craving the Best MRE Meals? Uncover the Top Picks for Survival and Adventure
Best MRE Meals: A Comprehensive Guide
MRE (Meals Ready to Eat) is a military acronym that has become increasingly popular amongst outdoor enthusiasts and survivalists. These self-contained meals contain all the necessary nutrients and are perfect for camping and as emergency meals. In this article, we will take a closer look at the best MRE meals, including shelf life, caloric content, nutritional value, portability, and cost.
Definition of MRE Meals
MRE meals are self-contained and ready-to-eat meals that were originally developed for the US military. They are designed to provide soldiers with all the necessary nutrients required to maintain their energy levels during combat situations, without the need for additional cooking or preparation.
Importance of MRE Meals
MRE meals have a wide range of applications, including:
- Emergency preparedness: MREs are perfect for emergency situations, such as natural disasters, where access to food may be limited.
- Outdoor activities: MREs are ideal for camping, backpacking, and other outdoor adventures, where carrying food can be a logistical challenge.
- Military operations: MREs are still widely used by the military, as they provide soldiers with a quick and convenient source of nutrition.
Brief History of MRE Meals
The development of MRE meals dates back to the 1960s, when the US military began experimenting with new ways to provide soldiers with nutritious food in combat situations. The first MREs were introduced in the 1980s and have undergone numerous improvements and modifications since then.
In this article, we will provide you with a comprehensive guide to the best MRE meals, including recommendations for the top brands and kits, as well as a comparison of military-grade and civilian-grade MREs. We will also discuss where to buy MREs and provide you with some valuable tips on how to choose the best MRE meals for your needs.
What to Look for in MRE Meals
When it comes to choosing the best MRE meals, there are several key factors to consider. Here are the main things to look for:
One of the most important factors to consider when choosing MRE meals is their shelf life. Practical Self Reliance states that MREs have a shelf life of 3-4 years when stored at room temperature. However, their shelf life drops dramatically when stored at higher temperatures. It's important to check the expiration date before purchasing MREs and to store them in a cool, dry place.
MREs are designed to provide soldiers with high-energy meals that are packed with calories. When choosing MRE meals, it's important to consider the caloric content, especially if you're planning on using them for high-energy activities. According to Practical Self Reliance, military-grade MREs contain double the calories of civilian-grade MREs, making them ideal for soldiers and other high-energy activities.
In addition to their caloric content, MRE meals should also provide a good balance of nutrients. Look for MRE meals that contain a mix of protein, carbohydrates, and healthy fats, as well as vitamins and minerals. Practical Self Reliance recommends checking the nutritional information on the package to ensure that the MREs meet your dietary needs.
One of the main advantages of MRE meals is their portability. They come in self-contained pouches that can be easily transported, making them ideal for outdoor activities and emergency situations. When choosing MRE meals, consider their size and weight, as well as their ease of preparation. Practical Self Reliance notes that MREs can be prepared without cooking appliances, but they are heavier and bulkier compared to freeze-dried options.
MRE meals are generally more expensive than other types of emergency food, such as freeze-dried meals. When choosing MRE meals, it's important to consider the cost, as well as the value for money. Pew Pew Tactical provides a list of the best MRE brands and kits in 2023, based on factors such as taste, calorie content, nutrition, convenience, and value for money. Look for MRE meals that offer a good balance of quality and affordability.
Best MRE Meal Brands and Kits
There are many MRE meal brands and kits available on the market, each with their own unique features and benefits. Here are some of the best MRE meal brands and kits to consider:
Military-grade MREs are designed for use by soldiers in combat situations. Practical Self Reliance states that military-grade MREs contain double the calories and more protein than civilian-grade MREs. They are also larger and come with more sides than civilian-grade MREs. Military-grade MREs are not typically available for sale to the general public, but they can be found on military surplus websites.
Civilian-grade MREs are designed for use in emergency situations, such as natural disasters or power outages. They are typically less expensive and have a shorter shelf life than military-grade MREs. Practical Self Reliance recommends checking the expiration date and nutritional information to ensure that they meet your needs.
Hawaii Prime MREs
According to Pew Pew Tactical, Hawaii Prime MREs are one of the best MRE brands on the market. They are known for their high-quality ingredients, including real meat and vegetables. Hawaii Prime MREs also have a long shelf life and come with a variety of sides and snacks.
Mountain House Adventure Meals
Mountain House Adventure Meals are another top-rated MRE brand. They are known for their great taste and high nutritional value. Mountain House Adventure Meals are also lightweight and easy to transport, making them ideal for outdoor activities. Pew Pew Tactical recommends Mountain House Adventure Meals as a top pick for those looking for a high-quality MRE.
Legacy Premium is a popular brand of MRE meals for those looking to store meals at home. They come in a variety of flavors and have a long shelf life. Legacy Premium MREs are also affordable and offer good value for money. Pew Pew Tactical recommends Legacy Premium as a top pick for those looking for a long-term food storage solution.
AmeriQual APack and Sopakco Sure-Pak
Delish ranks AmeriQual APack and Sopakco Sure-Pak as the best and worst MREs from two of the biggest brands on the market. AmeriQual APack is known for its high-quality ingredients and good taste, while Sopakco Sure-Pak is criticized for its bland flavor and lack of variety. Delish recommends AmeriQual APack as a top pick for those looking for a high-quality MRE.
When choosing the best MRE meal brands and kits, consider your specific needs and requirements, such as shelf life, caloric content, nutritional value, and portability. It's also important to read reviews and compare prices to find the best value for money.
Where to Buy MRE Meals
MRE meals can be purchased from a variety of sources, including online retailers, military surplus stores, and outdoor supply stores. Here are some of the best places to buy MRE meals:
There are many online retailers that sell MRE meals, including Amazon, Walmart, and Emergency Essentials. When shopping online, it's important to read reviews and compare prices to find the best deals. Practical Self Reliance recommends checking the expiration date and nutritional information before purchasing MRE meals online.
Military Surplus Stores
Military surplus stores are a great place to find authentic military-grade MREs. These stores typically sell MREs that are close to or past their expiration date, which can make them more affordable. However, it's important to check the expiration date and condition of the MREs before purchasing them. Backdoor Prepper provides a list of the top MRE meal brands and kits available.
Outdoor Supply Stores
Outdoor supply stores, such as REI and Bass Pro Shops, often carry a variety of MRE meals for outdoor enthusiasts and survivalists. These stores may also offer advice and recommendations on which MRE meals to buy based on your specific needs and requirements. Practical Self Reliance states that MRE meals are a good short-term option but not for long-term emergency food storage. Other emergency food options include freeze-dried food kits and being able to boil water allows for more options.
Many MRE meal brands, such as Hawaii Prime and Legacy Premium, sell their products directly through their websites. This can be a good option for those looking to buy in bulk or customize their MRE meal kits. However, it's important to read reviews and compare prices to ensure that you're getting the best value for money. Pew Pew Tactical recommends Legacy Premium as a top pick for those looking for a long-term food storage solution.
When buying MRE meals, it's important to consider factors such as shelf life, caloric content, nutritional value, portability, and cost. Whether you're shopping online or in-store, take the time to do your research and find the best MRE meals for your needs.
Pros and Cons of MRE Meals
MRE meals offer a number of benefits when it comes to emergency food storage and outdoor activities. However, there are also some drawbacks to consider. Here are some of the pros and cons of MRE meals:
Long Shelf Life
MRE meals have a shelf life of 3-4 years when stored at room temperature, making them a good option for emergency food storage. Practical Self Reliance warns that their shelf life drops dramatically when stored at higher temperatures.
MRE meals are portable, self-contained pouches that can be easily transported. They can be prepared without cooking appliances, making them a good option for outdoor activities and emergency situations.
MRE meals are designed to provide a balanced mix of protein, carbohydrates, and fat to meet the nutritional needs of soldiers and outdoor enthusiasts. Delish states that MRE meals contain roughly 1,250 calories with the precise amount of protein, fat, and carbohydrates to keep a person sustained throughout the day.
MRE meals are more expensive than other emergency food options, such as freeze-dried food kits. They can also be more expensive than traditional canned goods and other non-perishable foods.
Weight and Bulkiness
MRE meals are heavier and bulkier than other emergency food options, which can make them difficult to transport in large quantities. Practical Self Reliance recommends considering freeze-dried food kits for long-term emergency food storage.
MRE meals come in a limited variety of flavors and may not be suitable for those with dietary restrictions or preferences. Delish ranks the best and worst MRE meals from two of the biggest brands on the market, which can help you choose the best options for your needs.
When deciding whether to purchase MRE meals, consider the specific needs of yourself and your family. MRE meals can be a good option for short-term emergency situations and outdoor activities, but may not be suitable for long-term food storage or those with dietary restrictions.
For emergency food storage and outdoor activities, MRE meals are a convenient and portable choice. MRE meals can offer a quick and simple source of nutrition in an emergency, whether you're a survivalist, prepper, or outdoor enthusiast. Think about things like shelf life, caloric content, nutritional value, portability, and cost when shopping for MRE meals.
Keep in mind that MRE meals are just one option for emergency food storage and outdoor activities. For long-term storage or those with particular dietary requirements, freeze-dried food kits and other non-perishable foods might be more appropriate.
We sincerely hope that this guide has been useful in giving you the knowledge you need to make a wise choice regarding MRE meals. For more advice on emergency preparedness and outdoor activities, be sure to check out our other fantastic content.
Q & A
Q: Who should consider buying MRE meals?
A: MRE meals are great for hikers, campers, preppers, and anyone looking for a quick and convenient meal.
Q: What are the best MRE meals for emergency situations?
A: Legacy Premium and Hawaii Prime are top picks for long-term food storage. For short-term emergencies, military-grade MREs are recommended.
Q: How do MRE meals compare to freeze-dried food kits?
A: MRE meals are heavier and bulkier, but they offer a longer shelf life and are easier to prepare. Freeze-dried food kits are lighter and offer more variety.
Q: Who makes the best MRE meals?
A: Hawaii Prime and Mountain House Adventure Meals are highly rated by survivalists and outdoor enthusiasts. Legacy Premium is a good choice for long-term food storage.
Q: What are the drawbacks of MRE meals?
A: MRE meals can be expensive and heavy compared to other emergency food options. They also come in a limited variety of flavors.
Q: How long do MRE meals last?
A: MRE meals have a shelf life of 3-4 years when stored at room temperature. Shelf life decreases dramatically when stored at higher temperatures.