DIY MRE's/Ration packs: SHOW US YOURS!

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DIY MRE's/Ration packs: SHOW US YOURS!

Post by Dogan » Wed Oct 20, 2010 12:47 pm

I have been perusing ZS for some time, and have taken an interest in the food packs that I've seen people assembling. I wanted to start a kind of rendezvous point to show off everyone's packs, what they've come up with, what they've used, etc. Pics, links and descriptions are awesome. What they look like packed, contents. Here's an example(hat-tip to SwampRat):
SwampRat wrote:My Ration Packs: Two tuna pouches, beef jerky, 2 crystal light water flavor thingies, 2 snickers marathon protein bars, one pack of ritz crackers, 1 enertia trail foods bag o meal, 1 five hour energy shot, 2 wet ones hand wipes. This is supplimented by a large bag of trail mix, and 2 or 3 bags of dried cherries.
Fun Fact: Dried Cherries naturally help combat inflammation, natures advil.
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Re: DIY MRE's/Ration packs: SHOW US YOURS!

Post by Dogan » Wed Oct 20, 2010 1:19 pm

Posted for ShrimpWd:
Subject: Homemade Daily Ration Packs, take 1

shrimpwd wrote:My primary thought process for these packs are to provide a day's calories without requiring the use of a stove or other heat source. Easily packed and with a shelf-life of 3+ months, purchased at a local grocery store (the granola bars should give the store away) for ease of replenishment.

Each pack ranges from 1830-1970 calories, and average over the 4 is 1885. A little shy of a complete day's calories, but they weigh roughly 1.5 lbs each, and do not require cooking, aside from the hot beverages.

Image Image Image Image

Contents of each packet.

Image

Packed.

I test-drove these for the past few weeks, keeping 1 in my pack, nibbling/testing as I needed. They need work, but they're better than nothing.

Things learned:
1. too much chocolate. I can handle the nuts, and the snickers bars are great, but I kept looking inside the packs, going "where's something that doesn't have chocolate inside?"
2. The rice is edible cold, but not very appealing. I'm going to look for something else to replace them with.
3. too many beverages that require heating. For a 'no-cook' system, they're too numerous.
4. napkins and spoon was a good thought, but I should pack a bit of TP as well, as a full roll for 4 days means that when I grab a single pack, the TP may not go with me.
5. I need more variety. Chocolate and nuts are a good 80% of the contents.
6. For less than the cost of a single MRE (1200-1400 calories?), they are not too expensive.
7. Fizzy beverages make a nice change from drinking straight water all day long. Diluting them works too.
8. The gallon sized Ziploc can double as a trash bag, to prevent odor troubles and messy situations.
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Re: DIY MRE's/Ration packs: SHOW US YOURS!

Post by SwampRat » Fri Oct 22, 2010 8:19 am

quackfiend wrote:Here's an example(hat-tip to SwampRat):


Well awe shucks quackfiend.

Reckon nobody eats around this joint... :roll:
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Re: DIY MRE's/Ration packs: SHOW US YOURS!

Post by Murph » Fri Oct 22, 2010 7:25 pm

SwampRat wrote:
quackfiend wrote:Here's an example(hat-tip to SwampRat):


Well awe shucks quackfiend.

Reckon nobody eats around this joint... :roll:


Just the flavor chips off the wall, me thinks.
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Re: DIY MRE's/Ration packs: SHOW US YOURS!

Post by unslung » Fri Oct 22, 2010 7:58 pm

unslung wrote:These are custom made meals "almost" ready to eat. I made them as a sort of a stand alone one day emergency ration. They are put together to, at a minimum, exceed 2000 calories in one pack, along with some other small minimal essentials.
Image
this is all contents before packaging laid out for viewing.
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The food pack contains
1 mountain house freeze dried lasagna
2 breakfast bars
1 pack cookies
2 packs fig newtons
1 pack cheese and crackers
1 serving peanut butter
1 pack tuna fish
3 large paper towels/butt wipe
1 envelope with $20 in small bills and quarters
all in a zip lock bag


Image
Accessory pack contains
4 hard candies
4 moist towelettes
3 Tabasco's
1 coffee single
3 pieces gum
1 fork and spoon
4 salt packs
4 pepper packs
one spool of thread with a needle and 100" of fishing line
2 "AA" batteries
1 candle
1 instant gatorade packet
All in a zip lock bag






Image
2 extra accessory packs
1 containing a small fishing tackle kit
1 containing matches and 10 rounds 22 lr
Image
A completed , vacuum sealed, and labeled meal
Image
Six meals in there own backpack.
One meal in my e&e bag.
Two meals on my b.o.b.
I now have nine meals between 2200 and 2500 calories ready to grab and go.
The first three meals are set up just like the above meals. the next six meals are more calorie dense with less junk.
As usual any comments or recommendations are welcome.


unslung wrote:After a couple of months, not a little bit of cash, all of your feedback, and much head scratching, I have an improved meal [almost] ready to eat.Any feedback will be appreciated.
Image
I will only highlight additions to the ration . Not waste your time re listing previous items. I have added
10 slim jims,
1 single serving packet spam!
1 package cashews
1 cliff bar
1 pre prepared package rice
1 hershey chocolate bar
1 extra packet coffee
2 chicken bouillon cubes
4 sugar packets
3 esbit solid fuel tablets
2 water purification tablets
2 tums antacids
2 aleve
2 ibuprofen
1 daily multivitamin
and one big handful of werthers candies stuffed in to fill in the rest of the bag.
this adds about a thousand calories to each days ration
and $5 in quarters




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All of this now stuffed in to a 1 gallon resealable ziplock frezer bag
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Three bags in this batch
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Three bags to a bucket
Image
two full buckets and one more to go.


Do not ...I repeat ...Do Not store esbit solid fuel tablets with anything that you plan to eat. Otherwise here is my version from a post a couple of years ago. Cool post idea.
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Re: DIY MRE's/Ration packs: SHOW US YOURS!

Post by rhunter1 » Fri Oct 22, 2010 9:40 pm

quackfiend wrote:I have been perusing ZS for some time, and have taken an interest in the food packs that I've seen people assembling. I wanted to start a kind of rendezvous point to show off everyone's packs, what they've come up with, what they've used, etc. Pics, links and descriptions are awesome. What they look like packed, contents. Here's an example(hat-tip to SwampRat):

I'd add some rice or potatoes in there. Those tuna packets and beef jerky packets are not very filling at all.

unslung wrote:Do not ...I repeat ...Do Not store esbit solid fuel tablets with anything that you plan to eat. Otherwise here is my version from a post a couple of years ago. Cool post idea.


I always put my esbit tabs in a plastic bag w/ the esbit box stove and then put that inside my msr pot. The pot smells a little but it seems to go away if I air it out for a few minutes. Did you actually notice any taste difference?

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Re: DIY MRE's/Ration packs: SHOW US YOURS!

Post by oldsoldier » Sat Oct 23, 2010 11:55 am

Posting to remind myself to put mine in when I get home-good idea quackfiend, posting all in one!
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Re: DIY MRE's/Ration packs: SHOW US YOURS!

Post by unslung » Sat Oct 23, 2010 4:40 pm

I always put my esbit tabs in a plastic bag w/ the esbit box stove and then put that inside my msr pot. The pot smells a little but it seems to go away if I air it out for a few minutes. Did you actually notice any taste difference?[/quote]
Yes big time taste difference... werther's caramel candy + esbit tablets = what i imagine liquid nitrogen would taste like if it were sweetened.
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Re: DIY MRE's/Ration packs: SHOW US YOURS!

Post by SwampRat » Sun Oct 24, 2010 1:27 am

rhunter1 wrote:I'd add some rice or potatoes in there. Those tuna packets and beef jerky packets are not very filling at all.

I am always making changes to this ration pack, so it could happen. The idea is to not stop marching until I make camp except for short breaks. No time for lunch basically. Wake up, eat a marathon bar, hike a bit have another marathon bar before lunch, a bit after lunch eat a tuna pack, a few hours later have the beef jerky. As I said these packs are supplemented by a large bag of trail mix and dried cherries. I munch on the trail mix while underway, through out the day. then once I stop for camp eat the other tuna pack, make camp get a fire going and eat my Enertia Trail Meal before going to bed. The thought is to sustain my self with small meals through out the day so I never really get starving hungry, even my last tuna pack is to put some food in my stomach before I eat my hot meal so I fill up faster instead of scarfing it down and wishing I had more. Or sometimes I just mix the tuna in with my hot meal. I'm a pretty big guy and this works for me. All that said, I am making some changes to this pack in the next month, I'll be changing out a tuna for a chicken adding about 400 calories in other ways plus the addition of 2 tea bags. I'll update it once I have pics.
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Re: DIY MRE's/Ration packs: SHOW US YOURS!

Post by Dogan » Mon Oct 25, 2010 9:39 am

oldsoldier wrote:good idea quackfiend, posting all in one!

Thank you!

And thanks to everyone (Especially Shrimpwd and Swamprat for helping me start this thread) who's contributed!

And Unslung, I'm surprised you don't have an alcohol stove or fifty made from your cans.
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Re: DIY MRE's/Ration packs: SHOW US YOURS!

Post by oldsoldier » Wed Oct 27, 2010 5:54 pm

Ok, here is the one pic that I somehow saved. I will show the individual stuff in ration packs later. Here is what I bought:
Image

Here is the description of what is in it:
Cost of food-approximately $40. Full days rations made-5.
Contents/calories:
1 package instant oatmeal-160 cals
1 coffee single-0 cals
1 package Planters Go-packs, nut & chocolate-240 cals
1 package granola bars-200 cals
2 packages fun size M&Ms milk chocolate-143 cals
1 package Swiss Miss cocoa (no creamer) 150 cals
1 package Craisins snack pack-100 cals
1 package gatordade powder-50 cals
1 package dried noodles or rice-480 cals (depending on kind)
1 package tuna salad-100 cals
1 package spam (alternate to tuna)-250 cals

Total approximate cals:
with tuna: 1623
with spam: 1773

Now, that is kinda low on cals. What I am going to do is add an additional package of oatmeal in there, for breakfast, and this will be supplemented by store bought trail mix, beef jerky, whatever I desire. I generally have this on hand, and it takes merely a minute to throw it into the bag.
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Re: DIY MRE's/Ration packs: SHOW US YOURS!

Post by Keith B » Fri Oct 29, 2010 10:45 am

sigboy40 wrote:Image
Image
Here is a pic of my 'snack pack' about a thousand calories, ready to go.


I give you the Sigboy Snack Pack (patent pending)
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Re: DIY MRE's/Ration packs: SHOW US YOURS!

Post by Keith B » Fri Oct 29, 2010 10:53 am

sigboy40 wrote:BUT SIGBOY!!! YOU DONT HAVE ANY FOOD!
Image
SigBoy Snack Pack:
Designed to be eaten on the move with no preparation, it contains 1210 calories.
2 Jerky strips -50 calories
Pepperoni pack - 120 calories
Clif Bar - 250 calories
2 Fruit Leathers -90 calories
2 Cracker packs -400 calories
2 Granola Bars -200 calories
Craisins -100 calories

Image
Sigboy Chicken and Rice dinner
Fairly easy to prepare, store and too make, the recipe is fairly straight forward.
1 cup Minute rice
1/2 teaspoon chicken bullion
1 tablespoon each, freeze dried corn, peas, and carrots
1 5 oz can of chicken
2x MRE crackers
1 oz peanut butter
Fruit leather
Gatorade



Here is my Overnight Food. (As seen in the Sept GHB challenge)
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Re: DIY MRE's/Ration packs: SHOW US YOURS!

Post by Chase The hero » Fri Oct 29, 2010 10:55 am

oldsoldier wrote:Now, that is kinda low on cals. What I am going to do is add an additional package of oatmeal in there, for breakfast, and this will be supplemented by store bought trail mix, beef jerky, whatever I desire. I generally have this on hand, and it takes merely a minute to throw it into the bag.


If you're on the trail, plain oatmeal + dried fruit + brown sugar = amazingness for breakfast. Plus its another way to get more fruit in your diet (always important on the trail). Saltine crackers and peanut butter make good (fairly) lightweight, and filling munchies for the road.
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Re: DIY MRE's/Ration packs: SHOW US YOURS!

Post by Confucius » Fri Oct 29, 2010 3:12 pm

Chase The hero wrote:
oldsoldier wrote:Now, that is kinda low on cals. What I am going to do is add an additional package of oatmeal in there, for breakfast, and this will be supplemented by store bought trail mix, beef jerky, whatever I desire. I generally have this on hand, and it takes merely a minute to throw it into the bag.


If you're on the trail, plain oatmeal + dried fruit + brown sugar = amazingness for breakfast. Plus its another way to get more fruit in your diet (always important on the trail). Saltine crackers and peanut butter make good (fairly) lightweight, and filling munchies for the road.

Crackers take a lot of space though, my only beef with that.
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Re: DIY MRE's/Ration packs: SHOW US YOURS!

Post by jakecwu » Fri Oct 29, 2010 4:22 pm

jakecwu wrote:
Image

Each one contains the following:

1 Pack Ready Rice
1 Pack Tuna Creations
1 Pack Instant Oatmeal
1 Pack M&M's
2 Trio Bars
1 Can Fruit
2 Packs instant hot cocoa
1 Pack instant coffee
1 Pack crystal light
1 Pack dry creamer
1 Pack sugar
1 Pack salt
1 Plastic spoon
1 Plastic fork
1 Paper Towel
1 Gallon zip-lock
1 Wet-wipe

This adds up to about 1600 calories per MARE and vacuum-packs down to this:

Image



I ended up dumping them for MRE's. Too much weight and space for the calories gained. New MRE's just aren't that bad anymore.

ETA: I did keep the oatmeal and some snack items in each GHB, just to mix it up a bit.

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Re: DIY MRE's/Ration packs: SHOW US YOURS!

Post by JTNieman » Fri Oct 29, 2010 4:28 pm

I love this thread!

However, I have a question...

Where could we get single-use heat sources such as those self-heater meals have? Cheaply? I would google, but I figure if anywhere, ZS would have someone who has tried some and knows a good price, which ones suck, which ones are good, etc...

I am not looking for something that will cook my lipton noodles for me, just quick things like heating up a plop of chili or something. Hot meals has a big effect on satisfaction/morale/enjoyment/full-feeling as opposed to cold, I feel.

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Re: DIY MRE's/Ration packs: SHOW US YOURS!

Post by ferret » Sat Oct 30, 2010 7:46 am

like MRE heaters? theepicenter.com sells them separately among other places.

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Re: DIY MRE's/Ration packs: SHOW US YOURS!

Post by Frank » Wed Nov 03, 2010 3:05 am

Bump!
and pretty much mine look like yours.

okay. here are mine. Sorry for the cell phone pics
Heres what they look like all wrapped up. Expiration date on the front is the first expiration date on everything in the bag. The spam, rice, tuna, last a lot longer.
Image

I chose to make mine as compact as possible. There not called ration packs if they're twice the size of mre's..at least for me.
Image

Here's everything laid out.
Image

Accessory pack
Image

so i'm pushing 1,700 calories. advice? comments? suggestions?
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Re: DIY MRE's/Ration packs: SHOW US YOURS!

Post by Seven2 » Sat Nov 27, 2010 10:05 pm

4ish days packed...

Image

The only thing I have that requires 'cooking' is oatmeal for breakfast. I change things up some, but here is a typical breakfast.

Image

Light lunch.

Image

Supper (or dinner for you northern peeps.)

Image

I pack each meal separately in quart ziploc bags and include gum, toothpicks and 4' of tp in each one.
2400+ calories per day.
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Re: DIY MRE's/Ration packs: SHOW US YOURS!

Post by unslung » Sun Dec 05, 2010 8:24 pm

quackfiend wrote:
oldsoldier wrote:good idea quackfiend, posting all in one!

Thank you!

And thanks to everyone (Especially Shrimpwd and Swamprat for helping me start this thread) who's contributed!

And Unslung, I'm surprised you don't have an alcohol stove or fifty made from your cans.

I haven't got time to make an alcohol stove... I'm busy making empty cans.
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Re: DIY MRE's/Ration packs: SHOW US YOURS!

Post by TacAir » Sun Dec 05, 2010 9:26 pm

Nice thread.

My 2c, I keep dry rice (instant), oatmeal and rolled oats in Nalgene bottles. Stays dry, easy to see how much is left.
Any meat (tuna, SPAM! and dried beef) in single serving pacs.
MRE peanut butter for the peanut butter soup. (yum)
Usual clif/Marathon/geanola bars. Add some Instant potatoes and you are GTG.

Having gotten lazy, we carry some 2 mil bags puchased at the returant supply place to carry/mix up some of the messier stuff. Little to nothing for clean up.

Example, we take Tomatoe and Basil Nissan "Chow" noodles and place in 2 mil bag. THe oil is removed before 'cooking'. Add 1 cup boiling water, put in cozy, start water for tea or coffee. 5 min later, add flavor powder, and oil. Stir in bag. Sprinkle some cheese (Pizza Hut - dry in the individual packets) - dig in. Lick the spoon clean, put the 2 mil bag in your trash tote, ready to go. Time - boil water + 5 min. With some tuna, a few more calories.

Ditto for oatmeal, rice and so on.
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Re: DIY MRE's/Ration packs: SHOW US YOURS!

Post by Keith B » Wed Dec 29, 2010 11:48 am

Image
My 3 day food plan is a little heavy, but I want to have some the comfort of different types of food. The initial plan is three one day food modules containing one stripped down MRE, and one Freeze Dried meal. I fill in the rest of the day with other items to make 2500-3000 calories.
Image
Day One:
MRE Chicken Tetrazini
Mountain House Beef Stew
MRE Kreamsicle Cookie
MRE Crackers
MRE Strawberry Jam
2 Jack Links Jerky Sticks
Jack Links Beef and Cheese Stick
Roasted Nut Crunch Bar
Craisins
Cranberry Almond Clif Bar
Smoke House Cheddar Crackers
Apple Nutri-Grain Bar
Peanut Butter Crackers

Total Calories:2550
Weight: 1 Lb 14 oz
Image
Day Two:
Backpackers Pantry Dumplings with Chicken
MRE Beef Ravioli in Meat Sauce
MRE Crackers
MRE Toaster Pastry, Strawberry
MRE Raisins
2 Pepperoni Sticks
Craisins
2 Fruit Leather
3x Honey
Justins Peanu Butter
Nature Valley Bar
Power Bar Caramel Peanut Fsion
Power Bar Double Chocolate Crisp

Total Calories:2740
Weight: 2 Lb 0 oz

Day Three:
Mountain House Chicken Teriyaki with Rice
MRE Chicken Noodle Vegetable
MRE Fig Bar
MRE Tortillas
Craisins
2x Nutri-Grain Bar
2x Cream Cheese Crackers
Carrot Cake Clif Bar
Justins Peanut Butter
4x Jack Links Beef Sticks

Total Calories:2450
Weight: 2lb 2 oz

I have found that planning out my meals and separating them by day allows me better control over what I eat. I can also split one day into two and ration myself not to open the next bag until I am ready.
I can add a bag of Trail mix and a Sigboy Snack Pack for another 2,000 calories and easily stretch this into a few more days.
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Re: DIY MRE's/Ration packs: SHOW US YOURS!

Post by Shaper » Wed Dec 29, 2010 11:57 am

Great thread and great examples by all!

Subscribed. :mrgreen:
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U.S. ARMY 11B1P 3rd US INF(TOG) 96-00
U.S. ARMY 94F10 101st 3rd BCT Now

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Epulamur libenter eos qui nos subiungeant
________ We gladly feast on those who would subdue us _______

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