ONE BUCK MRE
MRE’s, Meals Rejected by Ethiopians. I had the misfortune to be fed both C rations and MRE’s while in the military and the only good thing one can say about both is that they fill you up and give you energy. The taste leaves everything to be desired, and they contain no fiber. Great if you are in a trench or a tank and can’t expose your naked ass to enemy gunfire. Eat MRE’s for a week or two and you can experience the feeling of birth. Comparing MRE’s with C-rats about the only thing that can be said about the change is that they are lighter to carry. Of course, it is lighter to carry .223 instead of .308, and we all know how that worked out.
Despite foul taste and constipation friendly properties, I still didn’t necessarily mind eating the little bastards. I have never been a eater concerned with taste. Not saying I’ll eat something I hate, just that if it taste bland and uninteresting it is okay. I just want to ingest my calories as quickly as possible with as little fuss as possible. Eating is a chore, a pit stop. Throw the slop down my gullet and let me move on. No, what has always really peeved me about MRE’s is the expense. $5 or $6 each is too expensive for me. I can eat on $50 a month. Reasonably healthy, about fifty cents a meal ( just an average, dinner is 90% of the cost ). Paying $5 a meal is insane. I understand BOB meals are not the same as meals cooked at home. You can’t take a freezer along for cheap meat or a fridge for the other ingredients. What I don’t agree with is the need to spend so much when there is an alternative.
The objective with bug out bag food is to keep from getting too weak while on the run. The human body ( in good health ) can last a couple of weeks without food if needed. It is not something you want to do on a regular basis, but it can be done physically ( mentally is another matter ). You can eat slightly less than usual and still function adequately. You just need to keep most of the hunger pains away. You can do that without eating two thousand calories of meat and fat such as is in an MRE. Mostly empty carbs, a bit of animal protein and a bit of whole grain should do the trick nicely.
Start out the day with two packets of instant oatmeal. 300 calories. 30 cents. Yes, you need to boil a small amount of water. Most likely you would for coffee anyway. If you are on the run and can’t get a few twigs burning, wait until another meal. Just switch meal items. Lunch or dinner for breakfast. Worse case, mix with cold water. The whole grain will fill you up and last most of the morning. For lunch, two Top Ramen packs. 800 calories, twenty cents. They can be eaten uncooked if needed. For dinner, a pack of Top Ramen ( 400 cal ), 10 cents, and a can of Vienna Sausage ( 300 cal ), 35 cents. A days food for ninety five cents. 1800 calories. Not something you can survive on forever, but just fine a few days or weeks. Cook in a small pot or a canteen cup.
I understand that one of the benefits of an MRE is that no cooking is required. But you are paying a $5 penalty for that ( okay, the penalty is less since you are also buying taste ). With the price difference between three of their MRE’s and three of mine you can buy a small camping stove at www.bisonpress.com/amazonproducts.html . Assuming you don’t just build one out of a coffee can ( boil the grounds, then filter through a handkerchief for your BOB coffee maker ). Buy some cheap ziplock bags and put a days worth of food in each one ( gallon size ). The bag should only be about five cents so your cost still stays at a buck. Boring? Yes. Less than great tasting? Yes. Dirt cheap food for when you need it? Yes.
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