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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hi All... I need to move a boat on a 5 day trip. Usually there is at least a fridge and a propane range, but this boat has neither. It does have an ice box. For food, I'm thinking of MREs with chemical heating pouches (which use some water but that's okay). What do you think of that?
 

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Around the second day, you will start to be really tired of MRE's. Soldiers have to eat them. You don't. Jim's idea, implemented carefully because of the open flame, sounds viable. Freeze some milk and other liquids, hamburger, steak (?), chicken(?), cold cuts and loaves of bread and pack them along with the ice in the icebox and it should last 5 days or close enough. Bring some veggies and maybe some potatoes and you can have great one-pan dinners. Lettuce will last several days in an icebox so you can have nice sandwiches for lunch too. Breakfast: eggs. Pre-cooked sausages & backon keep dangerous hot fat at a minimum. Don't forget the mayo, or the PB & J. You can eat well on this trip, thanks to Jim's suggestion.
 

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I have a stove similar to the one shown above. It's a nice little stove, I use it down in the cabin or out in the cockpit of my sailboat. I make everything on it, curries, popcorn, bread. As a rule I don't carry things that require refrigeration, prefer home hydrated foods, or even canned.

MREs are okay, but prefer cooked food.
 

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I used to buy MREs for emergency food. Then I ate a couple of them. Now I buy pasta, rice, tuna & other items that keep well.
 

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Depends on your food personality. My wife can't eat the same thing two days in a row. Ever. I can have a tuna sandwich every day of the week, for lunch, and not think about it. On the other hand, warm good food is considered an important morale issue on passage. It's just a question of how important, when it comes to preparing.

MREs can work for the right person. I think the easiest and most variety is with backpack meals, like Mountain House, that require hot water. Pricey though. To boil water, you could get a back pack stove. Some even have hanging mechanisms, like we just discussed in another thread, which essentially become gimbals. Strapping one of those gas station type coffee dispensers, in the galley, filled with hot water at all times, is a good trick. Allows for quick meals, soups, tea, etc. You can boil water for it, when convenient.
 

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Having a long and storied history with MRE's, my advice is this:
-If you have a choice between starving to death and eating MREs, go for it.
-If you need a palletized, shelf stabile sustainment option for a large crew (that you don't like very much) in uncertain or emergency circumstances, go for it.
-If you value the normal function of your gastrointestinal tract, eat ANYTING else.

If you do decide to go with MREs, double your water intake and plan to be very uncomfortable by day three. Thereafter be prepared for head malfunctions. Also, that heater doesn't use much water, often doesn't work, should not be used in an enclosed space, and doesn't heat really anything more than the main meal pouch. It also requires a rock or something to function properly.

I guess what I'm trying to say is I would recommend a different provisioning plan.
 

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Not the cheapest to purchase but taste really good. I use them for backpacking and they are honestly pretty delicious. Texture and flavor like 'real' food. A camping stove like mentioned above, a little water, and a fork. You will surprise yourself with a very enjoyable meal. And unless you are a big eater one bag is plenty for 2 people.


Enjoy your trip.

Foster
 

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If you own a "Food Saver" Vacuum sealer, usually found at most big box stores ( many years ago, I used a Seal a Meal) I would and do make batch meals at home and freeze them flat in portion sizes. The bags are boilable, so you just heat them up in boiling water. You can eat right out of the bag if you want, or dish em out. Then the water can be used for Coffee or Tea etc. or washing up.

Some of the things I make to bring are: Chili, Jambalaya, Sunday Gravy ( with sausage and meatballs.) etc. You can heat the Gravy ( or Sauce lol ) in boiling water, then use the same water to cook the pasta.

When I winter camped, we would even crack eggs into a bag and freeze them, you could add some brown and serve sausage to the bag and have poached eggs and sausage.

For lunches and cold food, I typically make a large batch of Potato Salad and Macaroni salad then buy a bucket of Fried Chicken. ( I prefer it cold) Of course there's any number of "healthier" lunch options, sandwiches fruit etc.
Costco carries a Canned Chunk chicken that was pretty good for Chix salad. or make fresh. Tuna Fish is great.
I also used to take some canned salmon and add it to a Knorr Swiss soup mix. You can bring, Ramen soups or any of those just Add hot water meals.

Another go-to meal is Linguini and white clam sauce. I Make several loaves of No-knead bread before I leave. And a loaf of Banana nut bread. Anyway, the possibilities of eating well are endless without having to resort to MRE's

Good luck !

I haven't kept up with all the latest portable stove cooking options. Propane never worked well in winter, so my go to stove was a Coleman Peak 1 that never failed me. I see they have a dual fuel stove now that burns coleman fuel or unleaded gas. Obviously gas and open flames require special care on a boat. I'd have to be pretty desperate to Eat MRE's.
 

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Hey Jarcher:
C-rats were Good to OK (except the ham & limas and the date roll); MRE's in the dark brown bags were OK too, except you didn't have the cans to make a stove or coffee cup and you need more water: Current MRE's in the coyote colored bags really suck especially the vegetarian serving.

Use the camping freeze dried stuff and watch the serving size.

regards charlie
PS-34 Windrunner
 

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5 days how many people? fresh fruit for breakfast is simple, celery carrots tomatoes don't need refer, canned foods are all cooked. so can be eaten cold. you can cook up things like ground beef, hamburgers, pasta, etc and freeze it, and when it thaws chow down. if you have a hot water heater that generates head from the engine, you can use that hot water to warm things up somehwat. mom Used to do the "seal a meal" thing on longer trips... Keilbasas are all cooked and eady to eat, just need to warm them up.

cheeses and some salamis store well for snacks. I think a small campstove or a small propane screw on tank grill would go a long way to helping with morale and warm food.
 

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MREs will keep you alive. That's probably the nicest thing that can be said about them. There are a whole lot of much better options out there, though.
 

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...MRE's in the dark brown bags were OK too...
Can't say I'd pay that compliment to the brown bags. Delicacies like Tomato Paste with Bean Component, Frankfurters (meat paste), and Freeze Dried Meat Patty (the brick) were nothing less than crimes against humanity, and I still marvel at the 'Not for Pre-Flight Consumption' warning labels.
 

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Discussion Starter · #14 ·
Lots a great comments thanks everyone. I'll be reading this thread a few more times for sure. I had to eat MREs years ago, never minded them so much except the calorie count was so high, but I see I'm in the minority and that there are better options. I can get an alcohol stove for the boat, gimbaled and all. I'm just nervous about using one. There is no hot water heater on board.

I'll definitely look into camping food. Soon I hope to have the crew nailed down and I'll get everyone's preferences. One woman said she is happy to live on PB&J sandwiches. I didn't know jelly would keep unrefrigerated.
 

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the other thing you could do, would be to go to a restaurant supply place or costco, and buy single serve jams and stuff that doesn't need the refer. save the icebox for for the meats and true perishables. andif you can block ice will last longer than cubed. just makes it harder to get ice to chill the adult beverage after a day of sailing.....

look at milks like parmalot or horizon organic single serve. all shelf stable and no refer needed
same thing with many singler serve juices, fruits cups, puddings, etc. if its warm on the shelf at the grocery store, you don't need the refer in many cases until you open it, so if you go with single size, then all you are having to manage is garbage.
 

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There is nothing to fear about using an alcohol burner. Same principal as a candle. Light it with a match, it produces heat and flame, when you are done with it, snuff it out. That's all there is to it.

Jam should not need to be refrigerated. Jam making is a method for preserving fruit. The sugar is the preserve.
 

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No reason to use MREs. They are made for shelf life and to pack a lot of calories into a small space. I lived on them for months and dont miss them. You dont need a very long shelf life, and space is not a practical issue. Eat well, my friend.
 

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Sterno can be a mini stove/heat sourse..cheap
Youll learn some things if you havent been a camper
Deli meat in the cooler is an easy out...squeeze sauces
Good experience
 

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This is our favorite shipboard meal, made on a camp stove. My wife makes the hamburger part at home, freezes them in tin foil. Just unwrap and add potatoes or whatever veggies you like and put on the burner. Eat them right out of the foil and there’s no pots or plates to wash. Very simple. My kids ask to make them at home sometimes.



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MRE's are great, I'm one of the few that actually like them, but I rarely buy. Too expensive for what you get.

Instant box meals like "Hamburger helper", are just as convenient, and can be mixed with canned meat like tuna.

There are a variety of cup noodles, mac & cheese, and other instant foods that can be prepared with a cup of boiling water.

And canned foods, and plastic shelf stable foods of all kinds.

Just have MRE's in your ditch bag for an emergency, I wouldn't try to live on them.
 
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