“Most people who have never ever used MREs think that MREs and backpacking meals are pretty much the same things. That is not at all the case, though. MREs are far better than backpacking meals in a number of ways, like the following:
1. MREs have more calories
Backpacking meal packages usually contain about 400 calories, and sometimes, one may contain 600 calories or so. However, MRE packages always contain more than 1250 calories! Since survival depends on calories, using MREs makes more sense than depending on backpacking meals.
2. MREs come with a side dish
When purchasing backpacking meals, you get only one main dish per package. Unless you are willing to pay extra, you do not get any side dish at all. However, standard MRE packages contain a side dish. Sometimes, the dish is rice or vegetables, and some other times, it is fruit.
3. MREs contain bread or cracker
Few foods exist in the world which contain as many calories as bread does. The good thing is, MREs include bread or cracker, as well. That means, every time you open your meal package, you get something to boost your energy and push hard with!
4. MREs give you extras
In addition to containing the main meal and the bread, MREs also feature dessert and candy. Apart from that, you get a nice spread for bread also. Favorite spreads found in MREs are jelly, peanut butter and cheese. Backpacking meals contain none of those.
5. MREs let you enjoy a drink
MREs also come equipped with one sports drink. Mostly, you get tea, hot chocolate, shake or coffee. It is possible to have sports drink with backpacking meals too, but that involves bringing your own drink!
6. MREs even give you accessories
MREs do not just contain food. The packages also include useful items like a spoon, wipe, salt, sugar, match, chewing gum, TP, Tabasco and more. You get almost all small items necessary for survival. With backpacking meals, you get none of those things.
7. MREs allow heating without fire
MREs get higher points than backpacking packages for another reason. That is the presence of a Flameless Ration type of heater. What that means is that even if you do not have any fire near you for some reason, you need not go to bed hungry. Even in severe freezing or raining conditions, you can heat your MRE food by opening the included heater pouch, and then adding your course and some water.
So, the next time you go somewhere challenging, be sure to trust MREs, instead of trusting traditional backpacking meals!”