How to Camp With Ready to Eat Meals

How to Camp With Ready to Eat Meals
There are many ready-to-eat meals marketed for campers, as well as a large number of regular processed food items that can be converted to camping use. The real problem is not finding ready-to-eat meals for the field, but planning to make the best use of them. A handful of issues must be reviewed to get the most out of these items.


Difficulty: Easy

Things You’ll Need:
  • Cooking heat source, such as a camping stove or flameless ration heater
  • Mess kit
  • Garbage bags
  • Sealable bags
  • Vinegar (for bear country only)
  • Camping kettle
  • Can opener
Step 1
Pack either a camping stove or a water-activated flameless ration heater (FRH). Forms of ready-to-eat meals include the U.S. military's Meals, Ready to Eat (MRE) and civilian market knock-offs, which often come with FRHs. Used in conjunction with MRE-style food packets for short camping trips, FRHs weigh less than a camping stove and mess kit. However, cooking anything that is not an MRE-style ration packet is difficult or impossible to with FRHs.
Step 2
Bring the right items for carrying and disposing of trash. If you are camping at a developed campground, this a simple matter of bringing a basket or cart to haul trash. A backcountry camper needs to "pack-in, pack-out" her food wrappers and packaging and bring along a heavy-duty garbage bag for that purpose.
Step 3
Seal paper-packaged items into sealable bags to give them extra protection from an unexpected rain shower.
Step 4
Bring suitable packaging and supplies for bear country, if necessary. Even though your ready-to-eat food packages are empty, they still smell like food and can attract bears. In developed campgrounds, dispose of them at once. Backpackers in primitive areas need to pack used food packaging into sealable bags, put them into a heavy duty garbage bag and treat the garbage bag with vinegar to break the attractive food scent.
Step 5
Pack a camp kettle big enough to meet your needs. If your meal menu has a lot of instant noodles, dried refried beans and other water-added instant meals, you will be boiling a lot of water around mealtime and need an extra large kettle. If you are using more canned items or MRE-style packets, a regular or small kettle will do.
Step 6
Bring a can opener if any canned goods are on your list. Most Swiss Army knives and other, similar camping tools come with a can opening blade, but these are awkward and time-consuming. If you can afford the weight of cans, a can opener won't be noticeable.

Article Written By Edwin Thomas

Edwin Thomas has been writing since 1997. His work has appeared in various online publications, including The Black Table, Proboxing-Fans and others. A travel blogger, editor and writer, Thomas has traveled from Argentina to Vietnam in pursuit of stories. He holds a Master of Arts in international affairs from American University.

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