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#50721 - 07/10/17 02:14 AM US Army MREs for an overnight summit in August?
Marcus Offline


Registered: 07/07/17
Posts: 46
Loc: California
Hi guys - I'm planning on ditching the stove and taking US military MREs instead. Probably 3 MREs - but I'll take them apart first, and only take the entrees, desserts and drink pouches, and the heaters of course.

What do you guys think?

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#50722 - 07/10/17 04:53 AM Re: US Army MREs for an overnight summit in August? [Re: Marcus]
saltydog Offline


Registered: 02/03/11
Posts: 1535
Loc: Valley Ford CA!!!!
I think its a lot of weight for very mediocre food. For the same weight, you could take some really good stuff.
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#50724 - 07/10/17 05:23 AM Re: US Army MREs for an overnight summit in August? [Re: saltydog]
Marcus Offline


Registered: 07/07/17
Posts: 46
Loc: California
What would you recommend instead? I figured the MREs were very efficient in terms of cal/g.

The only downside is the price.

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#50726 - 07/10/17 06:17 AM Re: US Army MREs for an overnight summit in August? [Re: Marcus]
Bob West Offline


Registered: 11/13/09
Posts: 768
Loc: Bishop, CA, USA
Yes, MREs are loaded with calories, sodium, potassium, etc. which you will need. While not as gourmand as some backpacking food, they are easy to use. You might try out a couple before your hike to see which one you prefer. Make sure they are have current dates and are not expired.

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#50728 - 07/10/17 06:24 AM Re: US Army MREs for an overnight summit in August? [Re: Marcus]
saltydog Offline


Registered: 02/03/11
Posts: 1535
Loc: Valley Ford CA!!!!
Just about anything else you actually like to eat. You can get retort-packed steaks, fresh veggies, bacon, just about anything. If you don't like the stove, you can buy MRE heaters separately at any mil surplus store.

No ready to eat food (as opposed to dry) is efficient on calories per gram. Its all mostly water.


Edited by saltydog (07/10/17 06:24 AM)
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#50731 - 07/10/17 06:47 AM Re: US Army MREs for an overnight summit in August? [Re: saltydog]
Marcus Offline


Registered: 07/07/17
Posts: 46
Loc: California
Wouldn't retort packaged food also have the same amount of water in it?

And if I went with dehydrated food, I would definitely need a stove to warm up water etc. Which then adds the weight of the fuel canister, the stove, and a water boiling receptacle.

I figured 4 MREs would be lighter than this, or at least roughly the same weight, but less of a hassle to use?

Thanks btw - I appreciate any and all tips! grin

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#50744 - 07/10/17 11:58 AM Re: US Army MREs for an overnight summit in August? [Re: Marcus]
Bob West Offline


Registered: 11/13/09
Posts: 768
Loc: Bishop, CA, USA
Since you are only up there for one night, I wouldn't agonize to much over your food choices. If you were doing a multi-day hike food weight might be an issue. Take what you like and pack in the calories for the ascent. Don't worry, be happy!

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#50778 - 07/10/17 07:00 PM Re: US Army MREs for an overnight summit in August? [Re: Marcus]
saltydog Offline


Registered: 02/03/11
Posts: 1535
Loc: Valley Ford CA!!!!
Yes on the weight. Point is you are not saving on calorie density with MRE, and sacrificing quality. Can't imagine that you couldn't find better, more appetizing items than MREs. For heating, aluminum foil and MRE heaters, which are avaialble separately. Best of both worlds
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#50795 - 07/11/17 02:04 AM Re: US Army MREs for an overnight summit in August? [Re: saltydog]
Marcus Offline


Registered: 07/07/17
Posts: 46
Loc: California
Hey Saltdog - I'm just a bit nervous about using a fuel canister and stove - as I've never used this before, let alone at altitude.

Is there a failure risk with this set-up? For example, will the altitude + cold prevent a fuel canister from boiling water?

Because the worst case scenario is that I am unable to boil water to rehydrate my meal packs at trail camp, then I'm screwed?

On the plus side of course, I can have hot drinks, and I could take up a hot water bottle type device to take into the sleeping bag with me.


Edited by Marcus (07/11/17 02:21 AM)

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#50801 - 07/11/17 10:07 AM Re: US Army MREs for an overnight summit in August? [Re: Marcus]
WanderingJim Offline


Registered: 02/09/15
Posts: 179
Loc: California
Originally Posted By: Marcus
Hey Saltdog - I'm just a bit nervous about using a fuel canister and stove - as I've never used this before, let alone at altitude.

Is there a failure risk with this set-up? For example, will the altitude + cold prevent a fuel canister from boiling water?


I've had no problem with my small Snow Peak lite max at elevation or cold. https://www.rei.com/product/768603/snow-peak-litemax-stove

Worked fine at Trail Camp/below Langley (12k) and at Yosemite (15-20 degree F) and Tahoe (0 degrees F) this past winter.

I did have problem with the auto-ignition version at altitude, so returned that. I just keep matches and small lighters on hand now.

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#50804 - 07/11/17 10:56 AM Re: US Army MREs for an overnight summit in August? [Re: WanderingJim]
saltydog Offline


Registered: 02/03/11
Posts: 1535
Loc: Valley Ford CA!!!!
Originally Posted By: WanderingJim
Originally Posted By: Marcus
Hey Saltdog - I'm just a bit nervous about using a fuel canister and stove - as I've never used this before, let alone at altitude.

Is there a failure risk with this set-up? For example, will the altitude + cold prevent a fuel canister from boiling water?


I've had no problem with my small Snow Peak lite max at elevation or cold. https://www.rei.com/product/768603/snow-peak-litemax-stove

Worked fine at Trail Camp/below Langley (12k) and at Yosemite (15-20 degree F) and Tahoe (0 degrees F) this past winter.

I did have problem with the auto-ignition version at altitude, so returned that. I just keep matches and small lighters on hand now.


Yep: works fine for thousands of people.
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#50816 - 07/11/17 04:19 PM Re: US Army MREs for an overnight summit in August? [Re: saltydog]
Marcus Offline


Registered: 07/07/17
Posts: 46
Loc: California
Thanks guys - I think I'll go with the dehydrated food and stove option - any suggestions for which brands/flavours to go for?

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#50817 - 07/11/17 05:13 PM Re: US Army MREs for an overnight summit in August? [Re: Marcus]
Harvey Lankford Offline


Registered: 11/10/09
Posts: 979
Loc: Richmond, Virginia
no need for a stove at all.

I have not carried one for years for any trip less than 5 nights. You can carry enough edible stuff for that long (in a bear can) that can be eaten just the way it is. You will not starve. Despite what diet "experts" say you will not develop malnutrition in that short period of time. Just be sure lots of tasty salt in a variety of nabs, nuts, dried bacon or jerky, and so forth. If this sounds boring, eat two of Doug's giant cheeseburgers when you get back to the Portal Store.

Don't just take my word for it, see Eric the Black. Most of his list does not require cooking.

Eric ther Black

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#50821 - 07/11/17 05:51 PM Re: US Army MREs for an overnight summit in August? [Re: Harvey Lankford]
Steve C Offline


Registered: 09/22/09
Posts: 7191
Loc: Fresno, CA
Originally Posted By: Harvey Lankford
no need for a stove at all.

I have not carried one for years for any trip less than 5 nights. You can carry enough edible stuff for that long (in a bear can) that can be eaten just the way it is. You will not starve. Despite what diet "experts" say you will not develop malnutrition in that short period of time. Just be sure lots of tasty salt in a variety of nabs, nuts, dried bacon or jerky, and so forth. If this sounds boring, eat two of Doug's giant cheeseburgers when you get back to the Portal Store.

Harvey, I am really curious! Can you give us an sample of your menu/food list for one of your trips for a few days?

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#50826 - 07/11/17 07:01 PM Re: US Army MREs for an overnight summit in August? [Re: Steve C]
Harvey Lankford Offline


Registered: 11/10/09
Posts: 979
Loc: Richmond, Virginia
Steve

Just think of the weight and space you will save, no stove, no fuel, no pots and pans.

This list pertains to a short overnight backpacking trip. Admittedly for a 5-nighter it gets old.

this is pretty spartan, but I can be happy with 1600-1800Cal/day and reduced appetite at higher altitude. This would not satisfy a PCTer would be on MUCH longer trip and need much more

Day 1
This day is easy- take a bunch of sandwiches,etc from Schats Bakkery or elsewhere. These can all be carried outside the bear can as they will all be consumed that day. If you are doing Whitney as a dayhike and think you need more calories, then do that.

Day 2 and beyond

Breakfast
Hydrate up with a quart of water while breaking camp and eat 3 or 4 fig newtons. You would be surprised fig newtons travel well. Take a quart of Tang or Koolaid to sip throughout the morning. Lots of Calories in that quart.

Snack - granola or candy or breakfast bar of your choice

Lunch - salty nuts, jerky or better is dried bacon bits from salad dressing isle (NOT Bacos), small wheel or 2 of Jarlsburg cheese (in wax wheel they keep well for 3 days easily), sesame sticks or other similar, etc . Desert- some sort of non-melting candy -I like Neccos and M&Ms, peanut M&Ms

snack - GORP made even better: raisens, peanuts, M&Ms

supper - nabs, smoked/salted country ham or Smithfield ham (no need to refrigerate or cook), more cheese, soft taco/flatbread with PB, more spiked GORP - I could live on this stuff.

You can make many variations of this. I do not like coffee and do not need hot tea or cocoa in summer. Water works but you can bring all sorts of flavorings

Day 3 and beyond

Improvise on variations of the above


Edited by saltydog (07/12/17 04:38 PM)

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#50859 - 07/12/17 04:41 PM Re: US Army MREs for an overnight summit in August? [Re: Harvey Lankford]
saltydog Offline


Registered: 02/03/11
Posts: 1535
Loc: Valley Ford CA!!!!
Weight and space saved: for me 1.5 qts and 1 pound.
_________________________
Wherever you go, there you are.
SPOTMe!

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#50862 - 07/12/17 06:40 PM Re: US Army MREs for an overnight summit in August? [Re: saltydog]
Harvey Lankford Offline


Registered: 11/10/09
Posts: 979
Loc: Richmond, Virginia
then there is my friend Dan who finds an empty Pepsi can at the trailhead, cuts it in half or less with his small pocketknife plus puts a few vent holes in the side, uses a plastic squirt bottle with alcohol fuel, and heats up a lightweight titanium cup of water for tea or soup. Rather slow and will not suffice for spaghetti and meatballs, but he likes to tinker with shaving off every gram.

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#51660 - 08/16/17 08:16 AM Re: US Army MREs for an overnight summit in August? [Re: Harvey Lankford]
Marcus Offline


Registered: 07/07/17
Posts: 46
Loc: California
After trip conclusion:

I finally went with a JetBoil + Mountain House Propaks solution - and I'm really glad I did.

Not only is it lighter, but it opens up lots of other options, such as hot chocolate, coffee etc.

Plus, I was able to put hot water into a water bottle to warm up my sleeping bag, which is bliss when the temperatures start to drop on an exposed rock face.

And my body definitely needed the calories those propaks pack. I actually also had a UK version called 'Expedition' foods, which has 800 calories. My body soaked it up like it was water.

Thanks for pointing me in this direction guys.


Edited by Marcus (08/16/17 08:17 AM)

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