My years in the military have made me really appreciate mama's home cooking.
Sure, chow hall food was pretty tasty (I always made sure the cooks knew I appreciated them – which usually led to extra helpings in the field).
But being in the 10th Mtn. Division light-infantry, I often found myself on long-range missions and far away from a hot meal.
Of course Uncle Sam doesn't want us to starve so we were always issued MRE's (Meal Ready-To-Eat) to pack with us to make sure we survive, but…
Here's What GI's Know About Survival Food (That You Might Not)…
1. Taste Matters
I know that “Spaghetti & Meatballs” and “Lemon Pepper Tuna” sounds like something you might order off a restaurant menu… but coming out of an MRE foil package, it damn sure doesn't taste the same.
I can tell you that if you were one of the lucky ones who go an MRE with Hot Dogs & Beans in it, that was a happy day indeed – but you were miserable if you pulled an unlucky “Chicken A La King”.
Good-tasting survival food really does boost morale and that means something when you're under stress and need the will to go on.
2. Shelf-Life Matters
MRE's and canned-goods have a pretty short shelf-life (2-5 years average).
In the military that's just fine because they get issued steadily to the troops and stock gets rotated quickly.
Canned goods can be good if you have a survival pantry, but you want to make sure you're eating what you're storing and refilling your stockpile regularly to keep things from going ba.
Freeze-dried survival food is best because it lasts up to about 25 years and takes up very little room (which brings me to…)
3. Weight Matters
I absolutely hated lugging MRE's around in my backpack because they were heavy as hell and we walked practically everywhere when training and on missions.
Trust me, when you're humping a rucksack 7-10 miles to your next destination, you feel every single ounce.
Canned goods are even worse – great for home, but a no-go if you're ever forced to bugout to survive.
Again, this is where freeze-dried survival food kits rule because they're portable and since they don't have any extra “water weight”, they're ultra light if you need to bugout on foot.