There are many reasons you might stock up on MREs (Meals Ready to Eat). You might like the convenience of carrying them for hunting or hiking. MREs don’t require reconstitution, so there’s no need to carry extra water or wait for food to rehydrate. You could also keep a few cases of them on hand for weather emergencies, when you can’t get to a store, and your power is out.
Regardless of the reasons you want to buy MREs, if youíve bought them before, youíre probably aware that you can buy military grade or civilian grade meals.
While military grade MREs donít tend to have as many varieties available, they do tend to be more nutritious, with a longer shelf life. They are also more likely to come with everything you need, instead of just the entree packet. A full military grade MRE should come with an entree, a cracker or other bread item along with a spread, a snack, a beverage packet and a dessert. There is also an accessory pack which typically comes with some instant coffee and non-dairy creamer, a napkin, a spoon, and a condiment kit. The kit may or may not come with the FRH (Flameless Ration Heater), which uses a small amount of water to activate the heater and heat up the entree packet.
In contrast to the complete meal and accessories that a military MRE comes with, a civilian grade MRE may be cobbled together from components taken from other meal cases, so you canít be sure youíll get a full meal out of one packet. The civilian grade meals have also historically had far lower calorie counts that will leave a man hungry in the field, whereas military grade MREs are designed for the soldier on deployment.
However, there are some concerns to be aware of. Just because someone advertises MREs as military grade doesn’t mean they actually are. There are some MRE units creates strictly for sale to civilians that also meet the military standards. If you are a military enthusiast looking for authenticity, you may want to take a harder look at the line of MREs they are considering for purchase.