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#5597 - 04/19/02 12:49 AM Marine on board
Anonymous
Unregistered


I just found this site and it has already become on of my favorites. For the most part everyone really seems to now what they're talking about and I have already learned a lot about basic survival and gear. I don't have any particular questions right now, but I'm certain they will arise in the future. If anyone has questions concerning the gear issued to the armed forces or more specifically, the marines I have opinions on almost all the issued gear. As an infantryman it all gets used well. I was reading a few posts back when someone mentioned that the gum found in MRE's was a laxative. While that may have been true regarding older meals, I can safely say that the gum MRE's issued to be is *not* a laxative

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#5598 - 04/19/02 04:28 AM Re: Marine on board
Trusbx Offline
addict

Registered: 01/16/02
Posts: 397
Loc: Ed's Country
I have a question on MREs. I live outside the US and was thinking of ordering some MREs for preparedness.<br>I mean, how are they really, as food ? I heard of horror stories, i.e. Meals Rarely Edible, Meals Rats Eat etc...<br>I would like the opinion of a marine on this :-) , before I order the MREs<br>Thanks
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Trusbx


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#5599 - 04/19/02 02:06 PM Re: Marine on board
Anonymous
Unregistered


I haven't had the extensive experience that some (Tom Ayers) have probably had with MREs, but I would say theyare not bad. I have consumed them as fire rations, etc. while working with the NPS over the last several years. Some items are quite tasty, especially when you have been out in the woods for a while, working hard, and you need to eat quickly and get back to it.<br><br>On the other hand, they are not all that critical. They are not as light as many back packing staples that can be obtained from the grocery store. They are more expensive than canned goods that are my mainstay for survival in place.<br><br>They are fine for some situations, particularly where ease of preparation is paramount and weight is not critical. I do have a few that are stored in my stash.<br><br>The thing on which to concentrate is the entrees. Many of the secondary items can be dispensed with - particularly the crackers, which are singularly tasteless - they seem to be unchanged from the earlier C-rations, dating backto WWII. The disparaging stories are mianly due to the ability of the troops to [censored] about anything, but I would recommend buying samples and trying out a few before purchasing in quantity.

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#5600 - 04/19/02 02:50 PM Re: Marine on board
Anonymous
Unregistered


I'm not a Marine, but I have to agree with most of what hikerdon said. They're not bad, and I think they're a LOT better than the old "C" rations. The entrees vary quite a bit, but I've found them to be no worse than a lot of canned food, and sometimes pretty good. I've never found one that I couldn't eat, or didn't want to even if I was hungry. You have to keep in mind that griping about the food is one of the main pastimes in the military. On the other hand, I'm afraid I don't know how they would seem to a person accustomed to the food in Singapore.<br><br>I disagree with hikerdon on the crackers. They're still pretty bad, but I think the ones in the old "C" rations were worse. The new ones I can eat.. the old ones I couldn't even stand the smell of. We used to mash them into the hot chocolate to disguise the taste.<br><br>Sometimes you get luckier and they give you peanuts, a brownie, or something like a cookie that seems to have been cooked in the pouch. My favorite side dish so far is the pineapple pound cake. A number of people have been surprised at how good they are. <br>

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#5601 - 04/19/02 03:11 PM Re: Marine on board
billvann Offline
Old Hand

Registered: 05/10/01
Posts: 780
Loc: NE Illinois, USA (42:19:08N 08...
You comments on crackers struck a chord in me. I was never in the military, but as a youth Boy Scout, we used to get hiking rations for backpacking. Remember, this was before freeze-dried and MREs. Two staples that appeared in every meal were peanut butter and "bolton" biscuits. Bolton biscuits were thick, unleven crackers that were more suitable for bathroom tiles than for eating. On one lunch break, several scouts started to throw them at each other (boys will be boys). Our Scoutmaster put a stop to it. Some may think it was solely because they were exhibiting behavior unbecoming to a scout. I personally think he was worried they might inflict sever injuries upon each other with the "Mini bricks."
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Willie Vannerson
McHenry, IL

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#5602 - 04/19/02 04:16 PM Re: Marine on board
Anonymous
Unregistered


Actually, we found the peanut butter in the "C" rats to be more entertaining than the crackers...<br><br>For those who have never seen one, the peanut butter in "C" rations came in a shallow steel can. Apparently the idea of using lecithin as an emulsifier was too high-tech for the military at the time, so, once you got it open with the (included) P38 can opener, what you found inside was about a half-inch of thick, amber colored oil on top of an indescribable hard sediment of oil-soaked decomposing sludge that may once have come from peanuts. You were supposed to stir the oil into this sludge, but no tool included the rations was adequate to the task, and it had been known to bend bayonet blades.<br><br>We did find, however, that if you set the oil on fire it would produce enough heat to make the entree edible in it's can. You didn't want to use it with cooking gear, though, because it smoked a lot, and left a layer of thick black soot on everything. <br><br>We also found that, if you threw the peanut butter cans into the fire (a popular option), the sound they made popping was indistinguisable from the sound of the service .45 automatic going off... but that's another story...<br>

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#5603 - 04/19/02 06:54 PM Re: Marine on board
AyersTG Offline
Veteran

Registered: 12/10/01
Posts: 1272
Loc: Upper Mississippi River Valley...
I like food. MREs are food... Nothing special about them, except that (like all US field rations), they are "fortified" with vitamins. They do not have enough roughage and are supposed to be supplemented with fresh fruit over long term usage. The "crackers" are pilot bread - as mentioned, pretty bland (commercial pilot bread is, objectively, not much better IMHO) - better than nothing.<br><br>MREs generate a lot of garbage due to the packaging. It all fits back into the outer pouch, tho. I do not find them as reliable to break down into components as C-Rations because the packaging is not as durable - the intact and sealed outer pouch is an important element w.r.t. rough handling. They do not have as long a shelf life as freeze-dried and probably not quite as long as canned goods for practical reasons (it can be difficult to detect spoilage sometimes). I would rotate at 5 years or much sooner if subjected to high temperatures during "storage".<br><br>They are convenient and if three per day are fully consumed offer generally enough calories for active Westerners except in cold climates. They are generally tasty enough. I have lived on them for months at a time, occasionally (or sometimes once a day) supplemented by T-rats - mass-heated canned goods, basically.<br><br>They won't kill you and are convenient. I do not use them recreationally, but it has nothing to do with taste or adequacy.<br><br>The only time I gripped about the chow was when there was not enough <grin><br><br>Regards,<br><br>Tom

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#5604 - 04/19/02 07:49 PM Re: Marine on board
billvann Offline
Old Hand

Registered: 05/10/01
Posts: 780
Loc: NE Illinois, USA (42:19:08N 08...
>>> ... if you threw the peanut butter cans into the fire (a popular option), <<<<br><br>LOL! Don't teach any of my scouts that trick!
_________________________
Willie Vannerson
McHenry, IL

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#5605 - 04/19/02 07:54 PM Re: Marine on board
Ade Offline
Enthusiast

Registered: 01/03/02
Posts: 280
Trusbx,<br><br>I was/am not a Marine, but I did five years active duty with the Seabees (in the NAVY, Chris....only the surface fleet and the aviators are as bad as you think they are, and maybe not that bad) and going on five years in the Army Nasty Guard (but not for much longer). I have plenty of experience with MREs, having lived on the #%^#$@#ed things for months at a time, when there were only four varieties and we had access to only two of those. Eating only two different meals for 60+ days is enough to gripe about, I don't care what anybody says.<br><br>Having said all of that, the newer ones aren't bad. The entrees are getting to the point where they're almost palatable, and the number of varieties has hit double digits. Tom, is right though...not enough roughage. You'll need to supplement for that, either fruits and veggies, or something else with "laxative" properties (I use Fibercon tablets when lots of MREs are on the menu). All of this only applies for longer duaration use.<br><br>Also, be sure to check expiration dates on the individual packets. I have personally seen out of date MRE's sold in cases marked with acceptable dates.<br><br>They wouldn't be my first choice to eat, too many bad memories of those brown plastic bags...but they wouldn't be my last either.<br><br>Take care,<br><br>Andy

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#5606 - 04/19/02 08:08 PM Re: Marine on board
jet Offline
Enthusiast

Registered: 03/06/01
Posts: 220
<blockquote><font size=1>In reply to:</font><hr><p>We also found that, if you threw the peanut butter cans into the fire (a popular option), the sound they made popping was indistinguisable from the sound of the service .45 automatic going off... but that's another story...<p><hr></blockquote><p>LOL!<br><br>I can so easily imagine it!<br><br>Was that intentional? (The first time? )

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