Today we talk about MREs and how we at RBT create them our way. Even active duty soldiers in Germany are facing problems regarding MREs not always being issued during exercises. It’s a sad fact. But we don’t talk politics during our TacHacks.
So sometimes you have to purchase MREs, which are somewhat expensive. Also German MREs are on the heavy and bulky side. Improvising and adapting as always we overcame this issue with the idea of creating our own MRE.
There were some criterias we wanted to achieve. First off, the MRE needed a small packing size and should be light weight. Also we wanted three dishes (breakfast, lunch and dinner) and some snacks. Additionally, we wanted to achieve a minimum of 2500 kcal. The MRE should also be able to be eaten on the go. Also we wanted the ration to be affordable and all parts readily available at any grocery store.
We decided to go for freeze dry rations. Youll find some instant food like noodles and potatoe stew that is ready in five minutes after adding boiling water (it also works with cold water in emergency situations) in every grocery store. It’s not the healthiest choice but it works. We put two packs of each dish into one zip lock bag. I pimped the calories by adding around 50 gramms of milk powder to every bag. The milk powder also gives the food a better consistency and (when adding some fitting spices) a better overall taste. I went for mashed potatoes for lunch and noodles with sauce bolognese for dinner. The zip locks allow to even eat the food on the go.
Breakfast wise I decided for cereals, when adding some milk powder and/ or your favorite protein powder you can also enhance the calories while making the breakfast eadible on the go.
I included three side dishes. A mix of nuts and fruits, instant tomato soup and in this case (no kidding) some fried grasshoppers (bought at LIDL supermarket) with sweet chilli taste.
Also I added two small packs of freeze dried coffee, a pack of coffee whitener, freeze dried tea and some wet wipes.
The supplements were packed into a additional 1litre zip lock. It’s important to vacuumize the zip locks with a straw and to seal them with a piece of tape.
I added a 3l zip lock bag for additional security and as a trash storage. After putting all parts into the 3l zip lock I added another zip lock bag of the same size that I also vacuumized and sealed. This technique of multiple Seals is an attempt to increase shelf life. Depending on what you add to the MRE you are somewhere around 1kg. The package even fits into a thigh pocket.
With all those ingredients we achieved a total value of around 3050 kcal. Which will be enough to sustain you during exercises. The key element in adding kcal is the milk powder. Milk powder has a nutritional value of 550kcal every 100 gramms consisting mainly of fat and carbs. Also milk powder has some quick sugars while the fat and carbs are digested slowly and keep you supplied with energy over the whole day. People who have problems with milk can always use tasteless soy protein powder.
Preparing the main dishes is really easy: just put some boiling water into the zip locks, squeeze them a little bit and then close the zip. Wait five minutes while squeezing the bag from time to time. Meal ready to eat.
Of course, you can use other main and side dishes that fit your taste. I can also imagine to add some drinking powder, a plastic spoon or some protein bars or power gel to the mix. Everything for heating the meal is contained in my field kit (more on the field kit in an later article) to prevent opening the MRE when I just need to boil some water. But you can also add some Esbit and matches if you want to.
Did you ever create your own MRE? What do you prefer? Dry rations or wet rations? Tell us here or on Instagram where you also get some more unprofessional ideas we created.