Testing Your 72 Hour Kit MREs

One area of preparedness we have neglected over the years is our 72 hour kits. We only have one full kit for one person. As I want to be able to take the kit with me in an emergency I decided long ago that it needed to be based on MREs (Meals Ready to Eat). MREs are lightweight and come with their own food warmer. For me the civilian MREs will do as they are easier to obtain. If you want to learn more about MREs I highly recommend the MRE Info website.

There were nine MREs in our kit which is three full meals per day for three days. The meals have snacks to supplement and boost the calorie count. We tried four of the menus:

  • Ham and Shrimp Jambalaya
  • Egg Omelet with Vegetables and Cheese
  • Breaded Chicken Breast Pattie with Rib Meat in Tomato Sauce with Pasta
  • Chicken Breast Strips with Chunky Salsa

The first two we did not like but the last two were OK. Later I googled online for the distributor of the MREs and found the corporate website at Ameriqual Foods. I didn’t see the meals that we tried in their A Pack Ready Meal self-heating emergency meals at the Ready Meal website. I ordered a box containing two each of the MREs to try them out. Alternatively a half case can be ordered from The Epicenter containing one each of the six menus.

Every APack Ready Meal includes an entrée with self-heating unit, side dishes, beverage mix (bottled water not included), condiment, utensil and towelette. As mentioned, the MREs we tried were very different from the APacks. When the APacks arrive I will check those out and report.

The food is already cooked and all you have to do is warm the MREs. We did this as part of our Family Home Evening on preparedness.

Jake, Rick, and Paul slip the food pouches into the supplied heaters.

Jake, Rick, and Paul slip the food pouches into the supplied heaters.

Paul filling the heater bag with a small amount of water.

Paul filling the heater bag with a small amount of water.

Paul and Jake put the heater and the food pouch back in the box.

Paul and Jake put the heater and the food pouch back in the box.

Find a handy "rock" to angle your MREs while they warm.

Find a handy "rock" to angle your MREs while they warm.

Partake of your MRE dessert or snack while your meal is warming.

Partake of your MRE dessert or snack while your meal is warming.

Jake's MRE was so gross no-one would eat it. The others were fine.

Jake's MRE was so gross no-one would eat it. The others were fine.

It is important that you try your emergency foods before you actually have to use them. In an evacuation you will no doubt be stressed so foods that you are familiar with and like will help to ensure you stay nourished.

Do you have an 72 Hour Kit and if so what kind of foods are in it? Do you use MREs? Have you ever had to evacuate your home?

Rickety signature.

Comments

  1. I remember eating MRE’s as a child when we went camping. I don’t remember much except mine was salty. Good idea for a FHE lesson! One question – did the meals fill you guys up? Is one packet per meal enough?

    • Yes they did. The MREs include a substantial snack as well as the main meal. It looks like the ones I ordered are much better and we are planning on inviting your family to try them out with us. Not for Sunday dinner though.

  2. How much do the new ones cost?

    Most MREs have 1200-1500 calories, if you eat everything of course. Some have as many as 2000 calories. I would hope they would fill you up. My favorite was always the peanut butter, and the pound cake.

    Our 72 hour kit food has almost all gone bad: edible, but dry or old. Included: granola bars, cheese and peanut butter crackers, trail mix, can of soup, and capri suns.

    • Derek,
      The price I paid was $69.95 for a case of 12 with $12 for shipping. Per meal that is $6.82. I bought the A-Packs but other brands or sources may be cheaper.

      The A-Packs are around 1200-1500 calories and you are supposed to eat three a day. Stored at a temperature of 60 degrees F they have a shelf life of 4 years. I will probably rotate mine every two years.

      When you visit we are planning on another tasting session with you and your family and Steven and his family. If you are not full after one meal you can eat another. Or maybe we can have pizza standing by…

  3. The eggs were nasty.

  4. the self heating ones aren’t as good as the regular ones but they’ve all been improved greatly in taste in recent years. 10 years ago jake’s would have been the good tasting one.

  5. Your article is very impressive and I really appreciate you for your nicely written. This would be helpful for me and give me more knowledge. A seventy-two hour kit is a collection of things you would need to survive in case of an emergency. The idea behind a seventy-two hour kit is that it will give you time to get to safety or be found by emergency officials. It includes all types of things including food and clothing. So, be prepared yourself for the emergencies.
    Regards,
    emergency kits

  6. A seventy-two hour kit should have food and water that will last without refrigeration and doesn’t require cooking. This may include granola type bars, dry cereal, dried fruit or trail mix and canned meats such as tuna, Vienna sausages, canned juice, gum and hardy candy, and one gallon of water per person.
    Regards,
    emergency survival kits

    • The foods you suggest can certainly be included. I like the MREs because they are light and compact and come with their own heater. Are you discouraging MREs?

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