Survival Training – Food

MRES or meals ready to eat are just one of..

Survival Training – Food

MRES or meals ready to eat are just one of the different kinds of survival food available to you. I like MRES because there is variety in taste, require no preparation, and have a long shelf life. There are other forms of survival food, like dehydrated, freeze dried, and canned. WHY STORE FOOD? It’s your “food insurance policy”. Keeping food on hand for emergencies will make sure that your food supply will still be there if there is an interruption in the regular food chain. What if your electric power is down for several days from a severe winter storm or earthquake? With Mountain House freeze dried foods in your food reserve, you’ll be ready for just about any unexpected crisis. All you need is a one burner stove or candle to heat water (cold water works also). You can enjoy a hot delicious gourmet tasting meal in less that 10 minutes. Mountain House freeze dried foods have a 20 year shelf life, and MRES can be stored from 4 to 6 years. There is peace of mind and security from having food in reserve!

Let’s understand what the body requires in food energy. One half gallon of gas will let you idle your car for one hour. Seventy calories will keep your body running at rest for one hour.(idling) This calorie calculator will give you an idea of how much work you can do before you run out of steam. (food energy) It takes 2 1/4 hours to burn the calories from a 6 ounce cheesecake, while walking, If you’re sleeping it will take 4 1/2 hours.

Food energy (Calories)

Food is transformed into energy and heat. We need a balance and variety in our diet to obtain the different proteins, carbohydrates, vitamins, fats, nutrients, and minerals. The amount of energy required to raise one litre of water one degree celsius is called a calorie. When we are at rest we burn between 65 to 70 calories per hour just to stay alive. If we just move around the house without doing any work we burn another 35 to 40 calories per hour. Therefore, we burn about 2400 to 2600 calories per day without exerting ourselves. This can easily more than double to over 5000 calories per day if there is any hard work. It is most important when food is not plentiful to CONSERVE YOUR ENERGY AND PACE YOURSELF.


Any of numerous naturally occurring extremely complex substances that consist of amino-acid residues joined by peptide bonds, contain the elements carbon, hydrogen, nitrogen (essential for body repair and growth), oxygen, usually sulfur, and occasionally other elements (as phosphorus or iron), and include many essential biological compounds (as enzymes, hormones, or immunoglobulins) The total nitrogenous material in plant or animal substances.

We get protein from meat, fish, dairy, eggs, nuts, and grains. Animal protein has all the amino acids required for the body. Without fats (the proper kind) and carbohydrates in our diet we will use the stored energy in the bodies tissues for fuel. The body will literally consume itself! Have you ever seen pictures of anyone starving?


Any of various neutral compounds of carbon, hydrogen, and oxygen (as sugars, starches, and celluloses) most of which are formed by green plants and which constitute a major class of animal foods. Carbohydrates are the bulk of your diet and are your body’s primary source of energy. There are two main types of carbohydrates, sugars and starches. Sugars are rapidly absorbed by the body. Starches take longer to digest and will give you more sustained energy.


Webster’s Definition: any of various organic substances that are essential in minute quantities to the nutrition of most animals and some plants, act especially as coenzymes and precursors of coenzymes in the regulation of metabolic processes but do not provide energy or serve as building units, and are present in natural foodstuffs or sometimes produced within the body.

We need about 12 out of about 40 vitamins for health,to maintain the body and fight sicknesses like scurvy, rickets, and beri beri.


Fats have the same elements as carbohydrates but in a different combination. Fats are a concentrated form of energy yielding twice as many calories as carbohydrates. These fats are stored in the body under the skin and around the organs. The body absorbs them slowly and requires extra water to help absorbtion. They are a source of energy reserve. Fats insulate the body and heat it.


Minerals are esential to our health.Calcium for bones and teeth. Salt, sulpher, potassium, magnesium, iodine, and chlorine are more minerals we get from the food we eat.

Now What about MRES? MRE’s are the latest U.S. Military field rations (meals) that are perfect for short backpacking treks, campers, hunters, and emergency reserves. MRE’s were developed to be eaten anywhere, anytime. Ready-to-Eat hot or cold without any preparation! They are packaged in a triple-layer foil/plastic “retort” pouch for longer storage-life. Each complete MRE will provide 1200 to 1400 calories per meal.

Nitro-Pak’s MRE meals, like most other MRE’s available, use a combination of both military MRE components, i.e, entree and side dishes, and non-MRE commerical components such as snack items and the accessory packet.

How long will an MRE store for? MRE’s will remain nutritionally good for approximately 4 to 6 years when stored at room temperature. I suggest if storing them for emergency reserves store in a cool place. Storage temperature does affect the shelf life of MREs.

The chart below shows the projected storage life of MRE meals over time based on storage temperture. The effect of temperature and time are cumulative. As an example, if stored at 100 degrees for 11 months and moved to 70 degrees, would lose one half of the 70 degree storage life. The shelf life determination is based on product taste. The nutritional content and basic product safety would extend beyond this point.