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  1. #21

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    The cost of MH can be cut considerably (and meal size adjusted up or down) by buying the #10 cans and repackaging using a vacuum sealer. Use a kitchen scale for consistent portion measurement and store the repackaged meals in a freezer until you need them.

  2. #22
    Getting out as much as I can..which is never enough. :) Mags's Avatar
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    MREs are great if you have the logistical support of the modern military.

    Note that when military personnel are essentially backpacking (with weapons and communication gear!), they take what essentially backpacking meals. I believe Oregon Freeze Dried (the parent company of Mountain House) makes those meals for the military. http://www.ofd.com/government/
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  3. #23
    Registered User Christoph's Avatar
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    Like everyone stated, steer clear of MRE's (unless weekend hiking or camping trips). There's so many places (little towns, etc) to grab a good meal from along the way. Not saying to strictly eat Ramen to save weight between town stops, but eat well and carry a little extra in case of mice, etc (yep that happened). The cost/weight on a thru for MRE's alone would be enough to deter me. I've eaten my fair share of em and I'm one of the crazies that actually enjoy em, but I also want to enjoy my 30 pound pack, not one at 60. My pack started at 41 and quickly shed it to around 30 and I enjoyed life a lot better knowing I didn't have to (potentially) carry that extra poundage 2188 more miles.

  4. #24
    Registered User Doughnut's Avatar
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    Another Vet here, Lots of great advice.

    For MREs (hurricane or emergency food) check Craigslist, I've got some from there.

    I agree they are way too heavy, so maybe one broken down an eat it early in the hike.

  5. #25

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    After a couple of weeks you'll realize that this is lunacy and you'll start buying your food in towns as you go along...then you'll come home and find that you have a couple thousand dollars worth of MRE's in your garage...you'll be well prepared for the zombie apocalypse. Seriously, these things are very heavy compared to what you can buy at a grocery store along the way.

  6. #26
    Registered User Grampie's Avatar
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    During my thru I found quite a few MREs in hiker boxes. This should tell you something.
    Grampie-N->2001

  7. #27
    Registered User egilbe's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Grampie View Post
    During my thru I found quite a few MREs in hiker boxes. This should tell you something.
    Tabasco sauce gone? The spoon is a nice lightweight spoon. Seasoning packets, sugar, coffee, creamer. The rest of it is pretty much trash. Hmmm...free food is free food.

  8. #28
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    Not sure what your current status is, but if you're still on the payroll (reserves) or maybe another line, one can get some great pricing on pro deals, i.e., Promotive.com, and get a much better quality pre-pack meals, or make your own, or even check out the current sales at REI, etc. The G-Meals are heavy and ain't that great...
    “If there’s one thing the AT teaches, it is low-level ecstasy—something we could all do with more of in our lives.”

  9. #29
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    You ask a great question below: I would suggest you do a "shake down" hike first, which will most likely be a different experience for you then your military experience with MRE's and of course you can see if you like hiking with them-most likely, you wont. Have fun and good luck!!!


    I am a US Army veteran, planning to thru hike the AT starting next March/April. I am experienced with eating MREs & I would prefer to use them as my main food source on the trail. My plan is to purchase 10 boxes before I leave, compress the meals down so they're lighter & more compact, & have someone mail them to me along the way.
    HERE'S MY PROBLEM:
    I can't find a decent website to get them at a reasonabe price! I've found boxes of 12 being sold for $40, which is great--but its only that one type of box, with the same meals in it. I should be able to purchase different types of boxes so that I'm not eating the same meals over & over again...can anybody point me in the direction of a good place to purchase bulk MREs at a decent price??
    "I told my Ma's and Pa's I was coming to them mountains and they acted as if they was gutshot. Ma, I sez's, them mountains is the marrow of the world and by God, I was right". Del Gue

  10. #30
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    MRE'S are too heavy to carry go lighter package your bulk food in ziplocks

  11. #31

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    Some things to consider. I think enough vets weighed in on the MRE thing. We get so used to sucking up extra weight as we Hump on patrols, we don't ever think about the smarter way. When I was at JBER, I wouldn't take MRE's to the field if I could get away with it. Jet boil and knorr pasta sides with tuna or spam was the way I went.

    One other thing to remember. You are not force marching. Approach everything with the idea you are going thru "Slo-Go" terrain. I haven't done my thru yet, just sections. But, I can tell you if you try to maintain that 18th ABN standard of 4 miles an hour, you will break yourself off. If you can maintain it, my hat is off to you brother.

  12. #32
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    X2 on what the other vets said. I'm a 20 year 111-series vet planning a NOBO thru-hike for March. Packing MREs never crossed my mind. assuming 3 meals per day, that's somewhere in the neighborhood of 30 pounds in food load. Plus the bulk. I'm humping a MOLLE II ruck and I don't think I could get it all to fit!
    That said... In my time in the service, I developed a sick fascination with MREs. I'm planning on having ONE meal of my favorite recipes loaded in each of my resupply boxes, to be eaten immediately upon opening the box. That way I don't have to carry the weight and bulk. Kind of a guilty pleasure.
    In my own cost/weight per calorie analysis, I've found lots of lightweight, cheap, enjoyable meal options right off the shelf from the grocery store. So far, my seven day consumables load is under 9 pounds, over 210,000 calories, fits in a USPS flat rate box, and has enough variety to keep me happy. Just my .02.
    BTW, thanks for the forum! It's a great read and I've gotten some really handy information here.

  13. #33

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    >>>>I've found lots of lightweight, cheap, enjoyable meal options right off the shelf from the grocery store. So far, my seven day consumables load is under 9 pounds, over 210,000 calories, fits in a USPS flat rate box, and has enough variety to keep me happy. Just my .02.

    I'm interested! What is on your menu?

    I've done the Kraft Ezy-Cheezy macaroni things with pepperoni added and that makes a pretty darn tasty, calorie-dense and filling meal if I'm really hungry.

  14. #34

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    When I was in the USAF (U-Laff??) we didn't have MRE's and instead had C-rats and in-flight meals. Sometime in the 1990's I was souvenired several MRE's for a backpacking trip and found them to be way too salty for my tastes. Inedible almost. It seems Dustin and JumpMasterBlaster know what they are talking about.

    Here's a better option:
    Option 1: Cook up big meals at home like stews or spaghetti with sauce and dry them at your leisure. Put in ziploc bags and Voila! You have your own MREs.

    Option 2: Buy favorite foods in cans or cartons and dry these at home---it's what I'm doing right now to prepare for a January trip.


    This is my go-to backpacking dinner of late---vegetarian chili with veggies.


    This is another current fave.


    Or get 10 or 12 cartons of Pacific soups and go wild at home . . . with the dryer.


    Here's some dried butternut squash soup ready to be ziplocked.

  15. #35

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    Quote Originally Posted by War Chief View Post
    I've found lots of lightweight, cheap, enjoyable meal options right off the shelf from the grocery store. So far, my seven day consumables load is under 9 pounds, over 210,000 calories, fits in a USPS flat rate box, and has enough variety to keep me happy. Just my .02.
    BTW, thanks for the forum! It's a great read and I've gotten some really handy information here.
    War Chief brings up a good point---When you're on the trail the easiest thing is to stop worrying about food and get what's available at the next resupply grocery store. Let the store determine your menu. There are hundreds of things a backpacker can carry from a store. Oatmeal is high on my list. Carry a P-38 and even a few canned items if you want.

  16. #36
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    Just received an order from hawkvittles.com. these are single serving, boil in bag meals, and they have a wide selection. I got 13 different meals, avg. weight is 4.78 ozs. Most items were 5.95.

  17. #37

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    Quote Originally Posted by jefals View Post
    Just received an order from hawkvittles.com. these are single serving, boil in bag meals, and they have a wide selection. I got 13 different meals, avg. weight is 4.78 ozs. Most items were 5.95.
    Let us know how they taste
    https://tinyurl.com/MyFDresults

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  18. #38
    lemon b's Avatar
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    ATmutt, you won't be the first Vet to make the ration mistake. Back in 78, 2nd summer out I started out hauling c-rations. Looking back I think it was more a case of becoming taste neutral. Would eat anything. What I discovered was that hikers can actually come up with some pretty tasty stuff on trail. Of course, losing weight in the pack is always welcome. I've tried MRE's and have yet to find one I really like and the packaging is just a pain in the behind.

  19. #39
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    What I do use is the peanut butter/cheese pouches and the crackers

    Both are very convenient

  20. #40
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    Quote Originally Posted by Obiwan View Post
    What I do use is the peanut butter/cheese pouches and the crackers

    Both are very convenient
    Agreed. I saw the very tail end of the C's, and have seen the MRE's evolve. There actually are some MRE's that edible now, although I still wouldn't take them on a long hike. But when field stripped, there can be some useful and convenient components. Crackers & peanut butter are a good example. The thought of the jalapeño cheese makes me gag at home, but when out hiking it hits the spot. Go figure.
    fortis fortuna adjuvat

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