WhiteBlaze Pages
A Complete Appalachian Trail Guidebook.
$10 for printed copy(paperback). $6 for interactive PDF. $2 for printable PDF.
Read more here WhiteBlaze Pages Store

Page 1 of 2 1 2 LastLast
Results 1 to 20 of 40
  1. #1
    Registered User
    Join Date
    09-08-2015
    Location
    Sebring, Florida
    Posts
    7

    Default MREs (Meal Ready to Eat)

    Hi, all!!
    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??

  2. #2
    Registered User Tuckahoe's Avatar
    Join Date
    09-26-2004
    Location
    Williamsburg, Virginia
    Age
    50
    Posts
    2,320
    Images
    52

    Default

    Do yourself a favor and reconsider your plan to thru-hike on MREs. They are great for what they're intended, but way to heavy for hiking.

    You will be looking at 13 to 26 ounces per meal and you can do better with DIY, off the shelf groceries, or commercial hiking meals. Additionally, there will be a lot of trash weight carried along as well.
    Last edited by Tuckahoe; 12-15-2015 at 11:05.
    igne et ferrum est potentas
    "In the beginning, all America was Virginia." -​William Byrd

  3. #3
    Registered User swjohnsey's Avatar
    Join Date
    10-13-2010
    Location
    Kingsville, Texas
    Age
    74
    Posts
    2,333

    Default

    I'm a Army veteran, also. Sounds like a bad plan both the MRE and the mailing. MREs are expensive and so is mailing. There are lotsa better choices. To get adequate calories you need at least three a day, that's something like $2k in MREs.

  4. #4
    Registered User
    Join Date
    08-08-2012
    Location
    Taghkanic, New York, United States
    Posts
    3,144
    Journal Entries
    11

    Default

    Another vote to reconsider, they are heavy to carry and that also ups the cost of mailing. I also remember a military study where it went into how much extra weight cuts in to miles per day so while it may be a economical solution to feed the many troops in the field, it is not a good fit for a thru hike 'mission'.

    Many opportunities to obtain food as you go, will be lighter and add variety which equated to higher morale, most likely cheaper. Overall better fit for this mission IMHO.

  5. #5

    Default

    I've sampled some and found some components that are diamonds in the rough and not heavy, for example, chocolate peanut butter and pound cake. But the entrees...I consistently hear veterans talk about how backed up they get in the field on a steady diet of MREs. I don't think you want that on a thru-hike mission.

  6. #6

    Join Date
    05-05-2011
    Location
    state of confusion
    Posts
    9,869
    Journal Entries
    1

    Default

    Let us know how it works out.....
    Gonna take a huge pack

  7. #7

    Default

    I have no idea if these are good prices or not: http://beprepared.com/mre-meals/mre-combos-cases.html

  8. #8

    Default MREs (Meal Ready to Eat)

    +1 for ditching the MREs. Heavy. Expensive.

    You must have not been a grunt, because I would rather eat corn-flecked poo than eat another MRE.


    Also, how does one become "experienced" at eating crappy food that doesn't require any preparation other than heating (and who has the luxury to do THAT).

  9. #9

    Default

    To answer your question, EBAY is the best source for complete meals in cases. Watch the shipping. If you insist on using these types of meals the FSR (first strike rations) are better as they come pre field stripped. They rarely come up for sale anywhere and when they do they are pricey. With regular MRES, there is quite a bit of extra packaging that you are paying to ship and dispose off. Much as the spoons are nice, you don't need a new one every day and that goes for the rest of the accessory kits. As the AT is Leave No Trace, the vinyl pouches and foil packs that the actual food comes in do not burn clean and the resultant burnt foil and vinyl (that you need to pack out) takes up space and weight to carry out.

    That said, this is expensive way to hike the AT, they will work but are the wrong "tool" for the hike and heavy. There are plenty of resources on AT food including the articles on the home page. You can have a quite a varied menu by buying stuff from stores and possibly supplementing maildrops with repackaged bulk dehydrated veggies which can be bought in #10 tin cans. A few varieties of veggies with knorr/lipton meals is great option.

    If there are particular items in MREs you like, like the Lemon poppyseed cake of the Hoah bars, there are websites that may sell singles. They wont save you any weight but may act as comfort food if you are so inclined.

    There is also a problem with your math. Each case contains 12 meals. They typically have 24 menus in any given year so buying an A and B gets you 24 meals. Each MRE is 1250 calories and therefore you need 3 meals a day for 3750 calories. Thus one case is 4 days worth of food. An entire thru hike is about 150 days, thus you would need 38 cases of MREs. A good source for MRE info is this one http://www.mreinfo.com/mres/. Buried in the site is reference to first strike rations http://www.mreinfo.com/other-us-rati...strike-ration/. They are 2900 calories and designed for one days food so a case of FSRs last 9 days (9 FSRs per box) so you need 17 cases of FSRs if you can find them. They are all no cook mostly finger food. I expect most would get bored of either.

  10. #10
    Registered User
    Join Date
    03-20-2013
    Location
    Pittsburgh
    Age
    68
    Posts
    927
    Images
    2

    Default

    I sometimes take a MRE meal out for the first night, but then I've got them to get rid of and they're getting old. I also cherry pick what I want to take. Not all MREs are great but they're all better than the Ham and Lima Beans in the old MCIs, Meal Combat Indivdual).
    76 HawkMtn w/Rangers
    13 HF>CramptonsG
    14 LHHT
    15 Girard/Quebec/LostTurkey/Saylor/Tuscarora/BlackForest
    16 Kennerdell/Cranberry-Otter/DollyS/WRim-NCT
    17 BearR
    18-19 AT NOBO 1540.5

  11. #11

    Join Date
    05-05-2011
    Location
    state of confusion
    Posts
    9,869
    Journal Entries
    1

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by RangerZ View Post
    I sometimes take a MRE meal out for the first night, but then I've got them to get rid of and they're getting old. I also cherry pick what I want to take. Not all MREs are great but they're all better than the Ham and Lima Beans in the old MCIs, Meal Combat Indivdual).
    Most are better than lipton sides and spam also

  12. #12
    Registered User
    Join Date
    03-20-2013
    Location
    Pittsburgh
    Age
    68
    Posts
    927
    Images
    2

    Default

    I've always thought that Spam is a positive addition to anything.
    76 HawkMtn w/Rangers
    13 HF>CramptonsG
    14 LHHT
    15 Girard/Quebec/LostTurkey/Saylor/Tuscarora/BlackForest
    16 Kennerdell/Cranberry-Otter/DollyS/WRim-NCT
    17 BearR
    18-19 AT NOBO 1540.5

  13. #13

    Default

    I remember walking up on several fire rings while on the trail last year that were littered with someone's leftover MRE wrappers. There's so much trash generated from an MRE that there's no way it's efficient for long distant hiking. Being a former grunt who had to eat MRE's for weeks at a time, I'd exhaust every option available before voluntarily submitting my body to that again. Buy 10 cases of Mountain House meals or Pasta sides or Mac N cheese instead. Your wallet, your back, and your stomach will thank you!

  14. #14
    Registered User tarditi's Avatar
    Join Date
    01-15-2013
    Location
    United States
    Posts
    180

    Default

    I'm also a vet, and have a special spot for MREs and Ranger Pudding.

    MRE have poor calorie-to-weight ratio, plus they are expensive. They are great at serving as field rations for troops, fine for "lights out emergencies," and OK for an occasional novelty meal while camping, but I, too, would not recommend building a long distance hiking plan around them.

    If you *have* to go the MRE route, you're in a bit of an interesting situation. Real MRE are only made for US Government (DOD, DOI, HLS, etc.). Anything you see that is a genuine MRE on the private market (CL, ebay, etc.) is either older food that was issued to an individual and kept (they're not intended to be resold), or "fell off a truck" somewhere in the supply chain. There are commercial equivalents, of course, some are VERY close to the official meals, some substantially different. Quality, shelf-life, variety, and cost will vary.

    Consider heeding the excellent advice offered in the earlier posts - there are better suited options to save weight, money, and get more calories on the trail than a MRE.

    Be well.

    -Dustin

  15. #15
    Registered User
    Join Date
    04-04-2011
    Location
    Asheville, NC
    Age
    54
    Posts
    561

    Default

    If you look about you can easily get just the entrée. I have done several 2-3 week long hikes and often take them. Typically I alternate evening meals and have a wet pack entrée with maybe some bread and cheese one night and a dehydrated something the next. MRE's are heavy but if you are camping at a dry location you can still feel that you had a satisfying dinner. Has anyone mentioned that they are heavy?

  16. #16
    Registered User Old Hiker's Avatar
    Join Date
    07-10-2009
    Location
    Tampa, Florida
    Posts
    2,591
    Images
    5

    Default

    Field strip them down if you insisting on taking them.

    Amazon: http://www.amazon.com/Meals-Ready--G...3&keywords=mre

    Better place in my opinion: http://theepicenter.com/

    They have changed their web site somewhat – I can see where they have MREs now. I’ve gotten SEVERAL cases of the Mountain House #10 cans. Some for hurricane prep here in FL and some to break down into meals for on the Trail the first few weeks.

    Old Hiker
    AT Hike 2012 - 497 Miles of 2184
    AT Thru Hiker - 29 FEB - 03 OCT 2016 2189.1 miles
    Just because my teeth are showing, does NOT mean I'm smiling.
    Hányszor lennél inkább máshol?

  17. #17

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by tarditi View Post
    I'm also a vet, and have a special spot for MREs and Ranger Pudding.

    Real MRE are only made for US Government (DOD, DOI, HLS, etc.). Anything you see that is a genuine MRE on the private market (CL, ebay, etc.) is either older food that was issued to an individual and kept (they're not intended to be resold), or "fell off a truck" somewhere in the supply chain.

    Dustin
    Its interesting to note the location of the major Ebay suppliers, they frequently are adjacent to areas with high number of military bases and they offer recent date codes and are in sealed cases so I expect there are a lot of packages "falling off a truck". They do get handed out in bulk on occasion after civil disasters and thus make it into the private market. The DOD marks the packages as not for sale, there have been clarifications that its not against the law to buy them, it only against the law to sell them.

  18. #18
    Registered User Mtsman's Avatar
    Join Date
    09-04-2015
    Location
    Fayetteville NC
    Posts
    159

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by swjohnsey View Post
    I'm a Army veteran, also. Sounds like a bad plan both the MRE and the mailing. MREs are expensive and so is mailing. There are lotsa better choices. To get adequate calories you need at least three a day, that's something like $2k in MREs.

    I came here to make this exact comment ^^

    But in the spirit of HYOH, If you are x military did you land around a base? Many Surplus stores sell them for reasonable prices and if you are around a big base there is a moderate amount of competition to drive the price down lower. If you are not around a base and still want to use this method PM me and I will look around my location for inexpensive prices and mail them to you at cost.

  19. #19

    Join Date
    05-05-2011
    Location
    state of confusion
    Posts
    9,869
    Journal Entries
    1

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by peakbagger View Post
    Its interesting to note the location of the major Ebay suppliers, they frequently are adjacent to areas with high number of military bases and they offer recent date codes and are in sealed cases so I expect there are a lot of packages "falling off a truck". They do get handed out in bulk on occasion after civil disasters and thus make it into the private market. The DOD marks the packages as not for sale, there have been clarifications that its not against the law to buy them, it only against the law to sell them.
    Accidentally got into line of cars at a walmart in area after hurricane, without a word soldiers put a box with two huge 24x24 blue tarps, 2 cases of water bottles, and two cases of MREs in the back of my truck. I was just trying to leave walmart.

    Im sure some people make multiple trips for free stuff..daily. No problem picking up a dozen cases of mre's.

  20. #20
    Registered User
    Join Date
    03-23-2014
    Location
    Fayetteville, NC
    Posts
    599
    Journal Entries
    4
    Images
    7

    Default

    Another Army veteran here (25 years next year when I retire). I sometimes hike with stripped down MREs just because I have them "laying around", but if when I take them out, they're the FIRST thing I eat. Even stripped down (out of cardboard boxes, only taking entrees I'll eat, etc) the weight penalty is high.

    When you factor in you having to BUY them, and at an assumed requirement of 3 per day, it's cost prohibitive. I'm section hiking right now, so I can afford to take one or two entrees because I'm going super duper light on everything else.

    I'd like to attempt a thru hike in 2017, and you best believe I probably will never carry any full MREs. Even trying to rely solely on prepackaged Mountain House (or Alpineaire, etc) meals are too expensive. As a matter of fact, the only thing I'd use out of them would be the pound cake, peanut butter, cheese, crackers, and the applesauce or similar.
    "The woods are lovely, dark and deep,
    But I have promises to keep,
    And miles to go before I sleep,
    And miles to go before I sleep."

Page 1 of 2 1 2 LastLast
++ New Posts ++

Tags for this Thread

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •