DIY MREs.....a tutorial...

Picture of DIY MREs.....a tutorial...
I'm gonna be showing you a way to store meals at a fraction of the cost of commercial or even surplus MRE cost....

Your average MRE will run you between 5 and 8 bucks....My MREs cost under 3 dollars each, and are customized to my taste....
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Step 1: Shopping List...

Picture of Shopping List...
***Step 1...gather your fixins....anything that can be eaten either raw or cooked, using ONLY water...nothing requiring refrigeration or milk, butter, etc...

*packaged snack crackers....PB on wheat, cheezy, etc., etc...
*bagged/canned tuna, chicken, spam, sardines....whatever meat you prefer....
*packaged instant rice and potatoes...
*instant drink, crystal light, whatever.....
*tea bags....
*bullion cubes.....
*ramen noodles...
*single servings of salt, pepper, sweetener, or whatever your taste....
*granola/cereal bars...
*candy bars...
*instant oatmeal packets....
*dried fruit...
yadah, yaddah, yaddah....

Step 2: Menu Preparation...

Picture of Menu Preparation...
***Step 2.....Dig through your stockpile and arrange the types of meals you want to package...remember to diversify if you don't want the same, boring meal every time you crack one open...

Step 3: Packaging....

Picture of Packaging....
***Step 3...Break out the vacu-suck and shrink-wrap your goodies into nice li'l packs....rinse and repeat....*NOTE...don't forget to pierce your packs of rice, potatoes, noodles, and crackers w/a thumbtack or something, or they'll bloat under vacuum and cause your MREs to be bulky....piercing won't harm the contents, as you're delivering them to a vacuum state, and contamination is not a factor........

Step 4: And Viola!

Picture of And Viola!
Choose your foods wisely and you should end up w/a 3-5 yr. shelf life, when properly stored. The line of DIY MREs pictured(18) cost me about 2 hrs and $60 to make (including vac bag rolls) that to a sh*tty tasting, $7 per commercial MRE with a comparable shelf-life, and you figure the savings....

BTW...I also pack a couple of multi-vitamins with each meal to guard against deficiency...

You can view a bunch more survival and preparation info at an online community I belong to...

Also, please take the time to check out my personal site, for some interesting reading, pro tips, and just plain bullsh*t....thanks!

Thanks for checking out my first "Instructable."
HTWTUSA (author) 11 days ago

Just to clear the air: Everyone arguing about what these things are called, or what foods they contain...get over yourselves. I packed MY food, and I'll call them "Dead Kitten Machine Gun Meals" if I like, and stuff them with gravy, rock salt and aborted fetuses.

I don't care if you agree or disagree (nor does anyone else, really)...

If your mileage varies, nobody really cares...seriously, move on...someone else will have your next bottle ready just as soon as you get a new diaper and put your toys away for Mommy...

My critique was to help people assess the contents of a MRE and find something with nutritional content that was heavier on the vegetables and protein. and leave the starch alone. Maybe add a small can of fruits to balance out the meal.

All I did was point out the flaws of eating a starch heavy foods for
extended periods of time. Mood swings and irritability. With your
outbursts, you have proven my point. Twice.

HTWTUSA (author)  ramjam211210 days ago
You're awesome, Dude.
ramjam211211 days ago

I really found your post to be counter productive and overall disastrous to anyone who would follow your suggestions here.

First off, your "Meal Ready to Eat" isn't ready at all. A real MRE requires no preparation where yours does.

Secondly, Your Entree's are really unhealthy as they are far too starchy for any short term or long term benefits. Eating the instant potatoes, packaged side dishes and especially the ramen would be really unhealthy. They are dehydrated so they require lots of water to be prepared for consumption. Eating them raw will mean that the water required for digestion will come from the body itself which will lead to dehydration which is disastrous to a prepper/survivalist or anyone who is bugging out or just facing a crisis situation.

Third, a diet which is starch heavy causes severe blood sugar fluctuations and constipation. Constipation is one thing but the blood sugar fluctuations result in headaches, dizziness, irritability and mood swings. None of which are beneficial to a survivalist or anyone for that matter as it interferes with thinking. The idea of a Meal Ready to Eat is to have a fairly nutritious meal is a escape/disaster situation and maintain energy until a person can reach their destination or until help arrives. Also, MRE's are supposed to maintain health where your idea of a nutritious meal would only add to health problems. Namely dehydration.

I also wonder why you would vacuum seal a can of tuna fish and chicken chunks. Everything else is sealed so putting everything in a vacuum sealed bag is not only redundant, but wasteful. A large ziploc bag would be better which can be used as a releasable storage container where a vacuum sealed bag can not be resealed in the field. It may look better but again, it is counter productive.

In trying to be clever, you only outsmarted yourself and unfortunately, you have given some real bad advice to other people.

Seriously, I keep 5 cans of stew and "Chunky" style soup in my vehicle along with several small cans of different fruit along with multi vitamins, energy bars and 3 actual MRE's so I have meals on the road for ANY situation. Along with what I keep in my bugout bag, I can do without food resupply for 12 days. Water supply is another thing altogether but I carry a water filter in my bugout bag and I am familiar with natural springs in my area and along my escape routes.

HTWTUSA (author)  ramjam211211 days ago
Great, Guy...your plans are different. And you seem to have a decent perceptive..

Constructive criticism is awesome. You, however sound like a 12 year old wannabe who's just discovered the world AND the definition of 'semantic'. Try again with a bit o' respect...
And you obviously cannot take criticism. Your good ideas are no match for real world experience. Eat that with your dry ramen.

MRE stands for "Meals Rejected by the Enemy". That's why I want 2 make my own. These are great guidelines. I like to canoe camp so keeping the food dry is an issue. Kids don't try it at home. Actually do try it @ home so you know it works..

az420rebel1 month ago

or "My Rations Eitherway

or "My Rations for Energy"

az420rebel1 month ago

Great ideas, thank you for sharing. & for the ones bickering over the post title, well then think of it as Meal Rations for Emergencies (MRE). LOL the point here is the ideas, & good ideas they are. Keep up the good work HTWTUSA & keep the ideas coming.

NamOoni19742 months ago

Oh the sodium! This is an awesome idea, however I would be so sick if I ate this food for 1 day let alone 3. I'll stick with all homemade stuff.

weedygarden5 months ago
MRE stands for Meals Ready to Eat. Is there cooking involved in this food? Yes. While I like this idea, the terminology or name is incorrect. These are not MREs. These are maybe 72 hour food kits? This idea has been going around the internet and innapropriately called MREs. Having these food kits ready for emergency purposes, preps, or for quick go kits will be very handy. However, they will involve cooking as they are not ready to eat.
These ARE ready to eat. Everything is. Does all this taste good raw? not exactly...
jtmcdole5 months ago
Nicely done. I would suggest people total up the calories of each pack and plan in accordance with your needs. Camping & waiting for help is going to be lower calorie requirements than say hiking to safety / find help. I think the commercial meals have higher calorie foods for that reason.
egtact5 months ago
MRE's... "Meals Ready for Emergencies"

Now y'all whiners quit splittin hairs and thank this great guy for educating you!

I'm getting started on some of these for sure.

Stay young and be prepared!

dazzer19755 months ago
Now this, this is cool.

Thanks for sharing, I am interested in wild camping/hiking prepping and this is right up my street, thanks mate.
roxbox6 months ago
Nice Job!
Firewolf137 months ago
Great instructable. I'm gonna go try this!
vondonna9 months ago
I do my prep bags in a similar way. I live in northern Indiana so I swap things out between winter (hand/feet warmers, dry socks, hot chocolate) and summer (instant cold packs, extra water). Thanks for showing us your MREs. know a viola is a string instrument, near the violin
In french it means "see here".
bpfh omnibot1 year ago
Please stop confusing "viola" with "voilà"... in a French speaking country, it could get you arrested...
Viola = "raped/violated" (past tense)
Voilà = "There you go"
HTWTUSA (author)  omnibot2 years ago
Aha! Omni gets it...Kayla, not so much...xD
I believe you meant voilà.
voila mean : here you got, there it is or just like Tadaa!
Im so stupid. X3 Sorry.
Well, you were right. He/she misspelled the correct word.
HTWTUSA (author)  kaylaangelkisses1 year ago
Lol...nah. Sometimes I get brainfarts, too...xD...gets the dust outta your head...:-)
pparish21 year ago
Great post
pparish21 year ago
It is not viola, It's Voilà ;-)
Excellent packs and instructable, I have no idea what folk are complaining about, I guess the only 'ready to eat' they are capable of dealing with is via drive thru at the golden arches. Yes in a survival situation you will actually have to 'do' something in order to eat, and if cooking noodles is too hard? then I'm afraid you are doomed.
HTWTUSA (author) 1 year ago
"...ramen noodles are not ready to eat."

Tell that to my kids...they prefer them dry.

Now let's just get the water question out of the way:

If you can't supply yourself with enough water to boil a small pot of noodles (or whatever) in a survival situation, you're going to die. You are not a skilled 'survivalist'...improve your skill-set and stop limiting yourself, or maximize your preparations and overcome your skill shortcomings.

I am what you'd call a skilled outdoorsman. These will provide me enough time to establish an area for hunting and gathering in a survival scenario, and with 6 months of them stored at home, they will provide "fall-back" provisions in a disaster scenario...that is their purpose.

If anyone is butt-hurt over the title, bummer...keep wasting your time and money knit-picking until the lights go out...just don't bug me when you're hungry 'cause, "by-gawd..those ain't 'real' MREs..."

("you" is a general term, of course...I'm not trying to single anyone out..)

Who would think you cant eat ramen dry?
While it would add a some cost, you could even package individual sealed fuel tablets (esbit or similar) with the meals to provide a way to cook food or to boil water with.

I'd also throw a few pieces of jerky (also great homemade) into each MRE, it's satisfying to eat when little else is available, great for morale, and can be eaten dry or re-hydrated and added to other dishes. Shelf life is already good, but individually sealing them with a silica pack should improve it in extreme situations.
papabob564 years ago
Good Info... I use the Tilla vac packer to seal up my meals, thats some tough plastic. The posters that are knocking you, about having to add the water are missing the point. You've assembled easy to use (ration) food stores in convenient packages. The big bonus thats being missed, is that if required, you can hand these packages out to neighbors in dire need during in an emergency. I'm in the process of doing the thing and I stumbled across your instructable, I got a couple good ideas from your posting. Thanks
Actually, I believe the point of this was to make a MRE also known as a Meal Ready to Eat. This instructable, although inventive and very interesting, is nowhere near ready to eat, unless you feel like eating dry noodles. More than likely you'll be waiting 30 mins cooking everything on a fire and you'll have to use multiple pots. or cook and eat, cook and eat. I would alter this to only cook one thing in a space as big as a canteen cup. Ideally, you wouldn't need to cook anything at all (like an actual MRE), but that would drastically alter this instructable.

As others have stated, this requires a large amount of water, which is a huge drawback. If you're car camping these will be useful, but if you're backpacking or don't have access to a lot of water then this might not be as useful as it leads on to be.

All in all, I think this is a great idea, but the usefulness is limited in the field and is best kept as an emergency ration for home/disaster survival and therefore succeeds in making an awesome meal package that takes up little space and would store well in a basement/survival room. Nice job!
Dude! I agree that this doesnt work without a lot of water, but who goes dry backpacking that much anyway?
MRE'S is something anyone from the military recognizes ... And no they do not have water packaged in them... Yes you have to "cook" them and yes most things you can eat cold out of them but trust me dehydrated pork patty is not super palatable but will keep you alive with less than a 1/4 cup of water Re-hydrating them.... The matches are a great idea along with maybe a wax lint starter block, as well as some basic salt and pepper or ketchup .. ( The dehydrated ketchup was nasty stuff but great when Re-hydrated on the pork patty ) over all its a great instructable .. Keep up the great work!
HTWTUSA (author)  papabob564 years ago
Good attitude, and I'm glad to see more and more folks who "get it"......for the longest time I thought I was gonna be one of a very few "Omega Men" if the fecal matter ever did well and truly hit the atmospheric impeller......
EleriK HTWTUSA4 years ago
The thing is, this kind of stuff is good to know and have even if things never fall apart. Look at the people using it for bike trips, almost everything you learn for survivalism is either fun or good stuff to know when camping or saving money on fixing things, and so on.

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