How many calories are in MREs

MRE, i.e. a meal that is available very quickly, comes from the US Army and ensures that there is no longer modern supply routes.
Such a ready-to-eat meal can be a good addition to the survival kit. You can find out what MRE can do here ...

Warm meal without a fire? There is not any!

Sure - that is exactly the advantage of this system. The survival food is strongly heated by a chemical reaction.

PS: Cheap US Army MREs are available here.

What are the advantages of the MRE?

MRE parcels can also be eaten cold in an emergency. This is not ideal from a culinary point of view, but better than starvation.
In addition, you don't need a campfire for heating. It contains a heat pack that uses a chemical reaction to warm the food.

In other words, I don't have to heat the MREs separately?

Correct. Either you use the chemical reaction to heat the MRE.
OR you eat the contents cold.

Are there any disadvantages?

There is always a catch 🙂
The weight of the MREs is higher than that of freeze-dried outdoor food.

Are lighter MREs also available?

Yes, the US Army has developed what is known as the First Strike Ration (FSR).
This First Strike Ration is designed as a 24-hour ration - a daily ration, so to speak.

“Unnecessary” components of the MRE, such as the plastic spoon, have also been omitted in order to reduce weight and dimensions by 50%.
The FSR has about 2,900 kcal - sufficient for a physically active person in outdoor use.


How many calories does an MRE have?

An MRE package has 1,250 kcal. According to the US Army, 3 such MREs are necessary to meet the daily requirement of calories.

What about the shelf life of the MRE?

The manufacturer specifies a minimum shelf life of 3 years - provided that it is stored in a dry and cool place.
This survival food probably also lasts longer - but there is no guarantee.

Is there MRE also vegetarian?

Yes, basically yes. De US Army also has a meatless version available. The problem in Europe, however, lies in procurement. I haven't come across a retailer who sells vegetarian MREs. Do you know a source of supply for vegetarian meal ready-to-eat then please write me an email.

Do MREs taste good too?

This is of course very subjective and cannot be answered here. But there is always criticism within the US Army regarding the taste.
But hand on heart - in a survival situation, taste is not the first priority.


Why is food important in a long-term survival situation?

In theory, humans can survive for 3 weeks without any food at all. But it's no walk in the park.
Sure, food is not the highest priority in survival, but more or less good food raises your morale and secures your leadership ability.
Therefore keep your survival equipment and your survival knowledge about food at a good level.
If you want to buy MRE yourself, then take a look at the prices -> current prices

Are there alternatives?

Yes, I use, for example, NRG5 or BP5 as survival emergency food. Even for disaster preparation - i.e. in crises - a few packages of this emergency ration are not a disadvantage.

You can find more products than survival emergency rations in this overview.

More about Reini Rossmann

Survival, wilderness & nature trainer specializing in survival nutrition.
Survival is a core skill of humans and is a lot of fun!

Survival food