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)....compare 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, www.htwtusa.com for some interesting reading, pro tips, and just plain bullsh*t....thanks!

Thanks for checking out my first "Instructable."

No-one has mentioned this, but the same process can be used for meal-specific menus, ie: a breakfast-only ration, or a poor-man's LRPR (Long Range Patrol Ration). If you want to get creative, visit your local Chinese, Hmong, or Thai market and make a version of the 'Nam issue PIR (Patrolling, Indigenous Ration). These consisted of rice, noodles, dried fish and shrimp, various curries, soy sauce and/or nuoc mam (fish sauce), dried mushrooms, dried sausages, and dried vegetables.

HTWTUSA (author)  azurelupineyesterday
What a great idea...best input on the subject I've heard so far.
Firewolf131 year ago
Great instructable. I'm gonna go try this!
pparish22 years ago
Great post
pparish22 years ago
It is not viola, It's Voilà ;-)
chris730443 years ago
Great Instructable!!! I will be doing this over the next 2 months since our tornado season will be starting up. I would only add 2 other things a packing list and date....does spam expire? LOL I would also add either gum in every pack or a plastic toothpic that is toothbrushesque.
SteveAlaska4 years ago
Just joined up to this site. I love the creativity and vast knowledge all over the place. I wanted to write my comment to you and say this is fantastic. Great job. Im taking notes. Your instructable is among my favorites already. Thanks for sharing your great ideas.
vrbnstl4 years ago
Great idea! Always be prepared, right?
kplaisance4 years ago
Thanks for sharing! This is a fantastic idea for emergency preparedness. I've been looking for ideas on storing such things in my cellar, you know, for just in case. I'm thinking you could take these, once sealed, then seal them all into a large mylar bag, then into a 5 gallon bucket with lid. Badda bing; you're ready to get by on your own for a pretty good while! (of course, water is already stored in cellar, lots of it) Thanks again, some great ideas here on what to put in them. =)
One more thought about the advantages of vacuum sealing: There shouldn't be any odor whatsoever, since the packages are hermetically sealed. If air can't get in, smelly molecules can't get out.

Why is this important, you may ask? Simple....bears aren't going to be attracted to them. I'd still suggesting bear bagging for overnight, but they're not going to smell anything on the trail either, nor be attracted into your camp.
JohnMichael6 years ago
That is a pretty cool idea. I think it would be useful if I ever actually take that bicycle road trip. It could save on space, cost, and weight. btw; do you by chance know what they use in the military MREs in the heat packs?
MRE heaters work a lot like those small chemical hand warmers. They are mainly iron, magnesium and some sort of salt (chemical salt not table salt). When iron (or pretty much any other metal) oxidizes (ie. rusts) it gives off heat. This normally happens so slowly that you don't notice the heat, but because of the salt, the chemical reaction happens much quicker giving you some warmth. MRE heaters get hot because they get their oxygen from water (and give off some hydrogen in the process) while the less-hot hand warmers have to make do with just Oxygen from the air. I would ask a chemist for their take on proportions, but be careful. These can get hot enough to make gnarly burns and produce explosive hydrogen
HTWTUSA (author)  JohnMichael6 years ago
I'm not sure how the MRE heaters work, but I do know that fire can be mastered pretty easily with practice and the right tools...... :p
True. However, fire is not always desirable on a boat trip.
teslafan1005 years ago
That's cool. :)
papabob566 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
HTWTUSA (author)  papabob566 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 HTWTUSA5 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.
twiggness6 years ago
well the main reason of mres high price is the calorie content. but that still doesn't make up for the fact that every time i open one up my cracker, ravioli, burritos, and spaghetti always taste horrible
jbird1981or6 years ago
Keep in mind, water is necessary. Not just for the food (you can do it without water), but for survival. You can go longer without food than you can without water.