Military Grade MREs vs. Civilian Grade: Which is Right for You?

There are many reasons someone might want to invest in a stock of MREs. They are an fast and easy meal when hiking in the woods, which can make feeding yourself on a camping or hunting trip a snap. Others just like to be prepared, whether it be for a mountain retreat, an urban emergency, or to stash inside a 72 hour emergency bag.

But if you’ve ever shopped for MREs, you know there are some options to consider. MREs Meals Ready to Eat are military grade meals that can be opened and eaten without preparation, though they sometimes come with FRH – Flameless Ration Heaters. These heaters will activate with the addition of a tiny amount of water, and heat an MRE entree packet as hot as you could want it.

These MREs are shipped to wherever military forces may be serving, whether it be on the battlefield, at field exercises, or on other types of deployment. Sometimes unused MREs are sold at surplus auctions, and those who are purists enjoy picking these up whenever they can, often at a discount. The companies who manufacture MREs also now make civilian grade MREs available to the general public but there are some differences to be aware of.

Though military grade meals may not be offered in the same variety of flavours and foods as the civilian MREs, they do tend to come with more satisfying amounts of food, because they are designed to meet the needs of an active soldier. You’ll get an entree, bread item, a spread for your bread, a snack, a beverage mix, and a little dessert. You can also expect an accessory kit with instant coffee, powdered creamer, a napkin, a spoon, and a condiment kit that includes salt and pepper. You should have everything you need in one kit, although the FRH may be optional.

The military grade MREs also last a lot longer than most civilian brands. And since the civilian MREs are often composed of various components pulled from incomplete MRE kits, you may not always get a full meal in one packet.

So if your main goal is stockpiling a case of quick, easy, and complete meals, that will fill you up and keep you going, military grade MREs may be what you’re looking for.

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