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Thread: Homemade MRE or MARE

  1. #1

    Exclamation Homemade MRE or MARE

    Hi there. I need to discuss with you the making of homemade MREs or MAREs (Meals Almost Ready to Eat - which require a little cooking, usually with hot/boiling water). Commercial MREs are not a choice because they tend to cost a lot in EU. The menus have to be lightweight (suitable for camping), easy to make and as organic as can be.

    Please give me any idea on how to make menus, preferably with home cooked food (even bread, peanut butter, jelly). I know how to make jelly, peanut butter and cook food but how do I pack them for long shelf-life?

    I would like to know if anyone tried making cooked food and vacuum sealing in Mylar bags and the sterilizing it by boiling. With or without preservatives, more salt, sugar or other chemicals. Would this be feasible? Food savers are not so expensive and I prefer to buy a machine and make my own meals. And what foods could I cook? I have in mind: sausage and beans or lentils; rice and pork, chicken breast and vegetables. If you tried or want to try something like this, please post! I don't have a vacuum sealer and Mylar bags yet and want to know.

    Secondly, the soups (like Knorr ones). You need hot water which might not be readily available. With what could I substitute this?

    Bread. What could I use for bread? I can make my own hardtacks but could I bake some bread and vacuum seal it also? How long could it last? Anyone tried this?

    Lastly the menu will contain: plastic fork, plastic spoon, packed toothpick, moist towelette, sugar (packed), salt (packed), pepper / condiments (packed)
    Beverages: teas / hot chocolate / energizing instant drink /coffee + condensed milk
    Chewing gum, bonbons, vitamin pills,

    PS: Doing beef jerky now, marinated it for 14 hrs in the fridge, salt, soy and Worcestershire sauce, some pepper and now letting it to dry in an oven. How long could it last in zip-lock bags? How could i store it without the use of fridge?

  2. #2
    Administrator Rick's Avatar
    Join Date
    Nov 2007
    Central Indiana


    If you want to make your own dry meals then you will need a source of water to cook them. Allow for some canned meals that don't require cooking in case you don't have water at that moment. Sadines, canned chicken, smoked herring, individual sized spam, etc. all make an easy to use protein. Add a few single serve cans of veggies and you have a start. Here are some menus you can put together. Unless you vacuum pack and/or freeze I doubt any will have a very long shelf life.

    That last one includes Bannock and Sourdough Bread that you can make.

  3. #3


    Subscribe! Thanks for the links above, Rick!
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  4. #4
    Not a Mod finallyME's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jul 2009


    Look at Freezer Bag Cooking. Basically you use ziplock freezer bags and put in dehydrated foods. Then you boil water and put the water in the bag and let it sit and re-constitute. A google search of Freezer Bag Cooking will give you a lot of hits.
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