Meals Ready to Eat
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Emergency heat sources  that don't require electricity
Above, Sensible Prepper shows you how to use an MRE.

MRE heaters are flameless and have an almost unlimited storage
life, but each has just one-time use only, so make sure to get as
many as you'll need.

MRE's are great, but check expiration dates.
MRE heaters don't have indefinite shelf-life, but they do last much
longer than the MRE food. MREs expire. They last about five years
and after that they become mushy. If you haven't enjoyed the MRE
and the date is expiring, you should take them along with you in
your day pack for an afternoon outdoors or pack them with you on
your next camping trip.

What is an MRE?
An MRE is a "Meal Ready to Eat" that is a high-calorie and hot
prepared meal for emergencies. First created by the U.S. Military as
a food supply for war fighters, MREs provide a hot nutritious meal
to soldiers, campers or preppers anywhere, anytime.

MREs are a convenient food option for preppers, because they're
relatively shelf stable. They are also waterproof, impact resistant,
and hermetically sealed against pests. Though they come with a
flameless heater to make the food more palatable, they don't even
require cooking. Meals come with everything you need, including
condiments and utensils

Be sure to try an MRE meal before an emergency so you know what
to expect.

Happy endings...
You don't need fire or electricity to cook your meals! Every prepper
should invest in an MRE heaters because they're flameless and
safe. You don't even need to use potable water to activate the MRE
heater.  With an MRE heater you can heat a meal with just a
teaspoon of salt water, pond water, or even a puddle of water.

If you have an MRE heater and some water then you have a way to
cook meals indoors in an emergency. Just one MRE heater is
enough to warm a personal entree.

Now you're ready to create your own DIY-MRE meals! Look into our
articles, including

Related prepping articles...

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Yabul Flameless Heater
Yabule Heating Packs
MRE flameless Heater
Follow the instructions above in the one-minute video and you'll have a
warm meal in minutes.

  • Can an MRE heat up coffee? You'll make warm coffee, but
    it won't be really hot coffee.

  • Will this work with freeze dried food? If you're creative,
    then yes! First, though, you'll need to add water to your
    freeze dried meal, then seal it up properly. This can be
    tricky, but a paperclip could work.

  • Can you use any kind of water? With an MRE you can use
    raw water, but we recommend using potable drinking water
    in case the water seeps into your food accidentally.

No pot, not stove, no fire, no problem!
How to use use an MRE heater is with a Yabul, pictured again
right. With the
Yabul flameless heater you just add water to
activate the disposable heater pack anytime anywhere. Heat and
steam from the pack reactivate with water and will heat any MREs
or ready made meals. No need for a campfire pan or a gas stove,
and there's no need to worry the wind blowing. It's completely
flameless, fast and completely safe way to cook backpacking food
and emergency food. It gives you the flexibilty to make your own
MRE meals. You can even bring frozen food on an outing and have
warm food ready quickly when you get back to the car.

How does an MRE heater work?
Follow the simple instructions on how to use your MRE heater and
you'll have piping hot food in a matter of minutes. Rest assured
that an heater is a simple combination of powdered food grade
iron and magnesium, salt, and water. It's safe to use, but
magnesium powder can be toxic if swallowed. Symptoms of toxic
magnesium levels may include confusion, upset stomach and
diarrhea, vomiting, slowed heart rate or a dangerously low blood

When you pour water onto the included heater pad, the heater
releases enough heat to warm-up the pre-cooked meal to 100+
degrees Fahrenheit in approximately 12 minutes.

Meals Ready to Eat (MREs) come with these MRE heaters that
activate by water. Inside the heating pouch is this magnesium
powder and when this material comes in contact with water it
heats up.

The appeal of an MRE (
Meal Ready to Eat) is that it includes a
flameless heater that's activated by water ~ and it doesn't need
to be drinking water. Any type of water will work to activate it. In
ten minutes you can have a complete hot meal.
Some MREs
include a little pouch of salt water for you to activate it; however
the genuine military issued MREs do not. The only important thing
to remember is do NOT overfill. Use the waterline as your guide.
Sensible Prepper demonstrates in the video below.
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MRE heater
Above is the simple instructions for how to use an MRE heater.

It's very easy and safe to use an MRE heater. The U.S. Military
relies on lightweight MRE kits with disposable pieces in
cardboard, but civilians have the luxury of MRE heaters that are
great for indoor cooking. The
Yabule Flameless Heater, pictured
right, uses MRE technology.

Three Steps to Using an MRE Heater
Using an MRE heater is pretty easy. These one-time use
flameless heaters mix with water to form a completely safe
chemical reaction that heats your MREs to around 200° F. Once
you carefully remove the MRE from its cardboard container you'll
see the instructions.

Step One: Open the box carefully.
The main thing to remember with an MRE is to open the box
carefully. Don't rip into because you're famished. You'll need the
intact box in the heating process. Think of the box as your
incubator to help cook your food.

Step two:  Look at all the contents.
Before you start, take a look at the components of your MRE kit,
so you know what you're working with.

A typical MRE might include the following:
  1. Entrée ~ varieties may include Beef Ravioli, Chili, Spaghetti,
    Meatballs, or Oatmeal).
  2. Side dish
  3. Dessert ~ a cookie, a brownie or a candy bar
  4. Bread and spread ~ peanut butter or jelly or cheese
  5. Cold drink mix ~ electrolyte drink mix
  6. Hot drink mix ~ cocoa, instant coffee
  7. Condiments ~ may include hot sauce, salt, pepper, sugar,
    creamer, gum, etc.
  8. Utensils (spoon napkin and a wet wipe, matches, toilet
  9. Flameless ration heater ~ activated by any type of water.

The military is moving towards a new kind of ration heaters that
are activated by air.

Step three: Add the water.
Once you've located the flameless ration heater in your MRE you
can add your water. Do not overfill it with water. You only need to
add about an ounce of water, but do not overfill. There are lots of
warnings about this. An MRE heater needs only so much water
and in the wrong proportions will cause the heater to malfunction
and your food won't be hot or even lukewarm.

Here's a quick run down of how to add the water:
  • Tear open the MRE heater top with the tab.
  • Place an MR inside the heater
  • Add water, but don't overfill!
  • Seal the MRE heater by folding over a top portion.
  • Use something to cover the heater, like the box it came in to
    keep the seal.
  • Put the meal at an incline to prevent water from spilling out.
  • Wait 10-15 minutes to fully heat per instructions.
  • Once heated, tear off the top half of the heater and remove
    your MRE meal.
MRE Heaters
How to use MRE heaters

How to use an MRE heater.
MRE heaters are a truly marvelous invention for preppers. With an
MRE heater you can heat a meal with just a teaspoon of salt
water, pond water, or even a puddle of water! MRE heaters are an
amazing combination of magnesium, iron, and sodium chloride
that when activated with water can heat your food. This
non-toxic, biodegradable combination is disposable with regular
household trash.

The benefit is that you can heat your MRE pouches safely and
quickly without fire. Just bu adding water to the heater and
inserting the sealed pouch of food into the bag, you will have a
100+ degree meal in 10 to 12 minutes using the exact method
our U.S. troops are using in the field. Below is everything you
need to know about how to use MRE heaters...

How to use MRE Heaters
An MRE heater allows you to make Do-it-Yourself MRE meals. A
real DIY-MRE meal begins with a heater ~ otherwise it's just trail
mix or another shelf-stable set of foods that you can't cook.

With the MRE heaters you require no stove, fuel, or cookware to
heat up your MRE entrees. Using an MRE heater is pretty easy
and all the instructions are included in the MRE packaging, but if
you're wondering how the MRE heaters work because you're
thinking about stockpiling MREs for a hurricane or other
emergency, then you've come to the right place. MREs are an
easy option for food storage and there are only a few tips to

When water hits the magnesium and iron powder then it heats up
in a exothermic reaction. Hot food not only tastes better, but it
can be a source of comfort if you're braving harsh conditions. MRE
heaters have been in the military since around 1995 and they've
been a prepper favorite ever since. Below is everything you need
to know about how to use an MRE heater, so that you can feel
confident before buying them...
MRE Heaters ~ set of 12
Set of 12 MRE heaters
Yabul Flameless Heater
Yabule Heating Packs
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