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Thread: Freeze Dried meals or "MRE" meals.........???? Taste & Storage.

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    Default Freeze Dried meals or "MRE" meals.........???? Taste & Storage.

    What are your thoughts about "MRE" or Mountain House freeze dried food as far as taste, texture, weight, convenience, and shelf-life.........????? I have both, and have used Mountain House meals for more than forty (40) years as a food source on long wilderness "Fly-in" hunts.
    Last edited by Sourdough; 02-26-2012 at 12:48 AM.


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    Lately, I'm leaning more towards freeze-dried meals/ingredients over the MRE meals. Having said that, I really need to check my remaining MRE stash to see what the dates are.
    They should still have 3-4 years left on them. I have recently been taking them with me on road trips for stay-in meals at the hotels I stay in. They heat up easy and there ain't no smoke.
    The freeze-dried meals I have are mostly mountain house or anything that only requires water. I may get a new vacuum sealer to whip up my own air-dried meals.
    There's a guy who calls himself Babelfish5 who has several media sites about hammock camping, hiking and making light-weight backpacking meals. This is his youtube channel:

    http://www.youtube.com/user/MrBabelfish5
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    Super Moderator crashdive123's Avatar
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    I like and keep both, but for different (sort of) applications. For me.......

    Freeze Dried --> I store quite a bit of both the #10 cans (various manufacturers) and the pouches. Longer shelf life, lighter, easy to use, tastes fairly good (better when real hungry).

    MRE or APack --> I normally don't keep more than 2 or three cases on hand. Good shelf life, no water needed, easy to use, don't need to be heated (I keep some MRE heaters), most of the entrees taste pretty good (again, better when hungry).

    For a situation where I am staying in place (most, as I prefer to bug in rather than bug out) I have other food stores as well. The freeze dried and MRE meals are a supplement and add a bit of variety. I also use them (not the #10 cans) for camping trips, meals in the field, etc. as part of a normal rotation.
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    Administrator Rick's Avatar
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    Pretty much what Crash said except I don't store #10 cans. The two of us can't use that much before it goes bad so I purchase in smaller containers. The MRE's are heavy even stripped down but they are pretty convenient.

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    Senior Member SemperFi's Avatar
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    I personally like the freeze dried better , You need water ,but thats not a problem even in the field ,MREs are heavier and really bulkier to carry , I eat them as well because the calorie count is more balanced I think ,which is better for longterm wilderness survival , I would suggest bringing some spices if you plan to exist on MREs because they are pretty bland I would also bring some "Senna leaves" if you can find them at a health food store , basically they are so you can digest the mre , MREs always stop me up so I need something to "release" the plumbing clog!
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    Senior Member wholsomback's Avatar
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    Same here I would go with my own dehydrated meals over mre's because mre's need a steady high water intake so as not to give you constipation.

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    Freeze Dried for me. MRE's are easy, but easy doesn't make them taste good. I've tried a few different of the dehydrated meals, but I haven't had Mountain House. I do like the "Wise" meals though. You can buy them in assorted sizes, flavors, and some even include meats and vegetables/fruits (which is pretty uncommon). Best thing is they actually taste good. When outdoors it's hard to beat the convienence of the MRE's, but if you're posted up and can spare a small propane stove, or anything that can boil water, I'd go with the dehydrated foods.

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    As far as taste, I think they are the same.
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    Senior Member BLEUXDOG's Avatar
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    If I never see another MRE again it will be too soon! After almost thirty years I have learned that if I have to eat out in the middle of no where I can do it with out having to eating another MRE. I take a mix of freeze dried and dehydrated foods. I found the MREs are full of salt and cause swelling if you're prone to that. Plus I just can't get past the smell of the ham entre'.
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    Super Moderator crashdive123's Avatar
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    I was out of town for a couple of days. Tuesday, by the time I got to my hotel I didn't feel like going out to eat so I grabbed a pack of MRE's out of the truck. Meat loaf in brown onion gravy, apple sauce, and an oatmeal cookie....yum! I found that with MRE's it is always a plus if you are real hungry.
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    Resident Wildman Wildthang's Avatar
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    I just bought a bunch of the Wise Food meals, havent tried them but I hear they are not bad!

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    I've eaten both and I will take Mountain House any day of the week. With that said I have a food dehydrator that I make a lot of my own backpacking food with that I feel is better tasting that Mountain House. But I use the Mountain House when I'm out camping with our Scout troop it just easy and quick.

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    Senior Member Winter's Avatar
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    Either is OK. I much prefer canned meats.
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    Administrator Rick's Avatar
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    Gosh, you can go to the store and buy all kinds of freeze dried soups, Reman, dehydrated fruits, etc. You don't have to pay top dollar for the big name stuff.

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    Resident Wildman Wildthang's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Rick View Post
    Gosh, you can go to the store and buy all kinds of freeze dried soups, Reman, dehydrated fruits, etc. You don't have to pay top dollar for the big name stuff.
    What is the shelf life of those items? I am just wondering because the Wise stuff is 30 years, but if the store bought dehydrated stuff was even 5 years I would be happy with that.
    I wonder if sealing the store stuff in mylar bags would extend the listed shelf life?

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    Administrator Rick's Avatar
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    Those bags are mylar. I think they are called retort bags(?). I buy Bear Creek dehydrated soup. The bag has a "best used by" date that is generally 1 year out. I'm sure they would make 5 years with no problem. The pouches aren't permeable and the only thing that would impact the contents would be moisture. So there's no reason they wouldn't last for years. Wise foods uses the same stuff as do the other long term foods folks.

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    MRE's = no water used if you eat it cold or alternate heating.
    Freeze Dried = need water
    Mre's = will help stop you up
    Freeze Dried = free flow
    Mre's = so so tasting
    Freeze Dried= more better, as they say in Florida
    Last edited by Mischief; 04-16-2012 at 05:56 PM. Reason: ;

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    or more gooder as they say in Alaska. Don't forget the Pilot Boy crackers.

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    Quote Originally Posted by BLEUXDOG View Post
    If I never see another MRE again it will be too soon! After almost thirty years I have learned that if I have to eat out in the middle of no where I can do it with out having to eating another MRE. I take a mix of freeze dried and dehydrated foods. I found the MREs are full of salt and cause swelling if you're prone to that. Plus I just can't get past the smell of the ham entre'.
    Do they still have Ham & Chicken loaf? I found that particularly Disgusting!

    I did like the Dehydrated Pork Patty though! It was like a Harry Potato chip!
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    Resident Wildman Wildthang's Avatar
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    I wish I could invent freeze dried bacon, that when rehydrated, tastes like fresh fried bacon. I would be soooo rich

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