2022 UPDATE: Canadian MREs are really difficult to find outside of the military. No one in Canada manufactures MREs complete with sides and heaters for commercial sale. (If we’re missing something PLEASE let us know in the comments! You will make our day!) Good news though! Total Prepare has the next best thing. We have worked tirelessly with a USA manufacturer to curate (and taste test) a menu that we think Canadians will love as much as we do. We’ll talk a little more about that later – first, let’s learn about MREs as a whole.
What is an MRE?
MREs or Meals Ready to Eat are a marvel of modern survivalist technology. With built in heaters and menus that are sure to please, they are popular with outdoorspeople, first responders, and the preparedness community.
MREs were developed in the USA as a way to feed soldiers on the move without weighing them down. Ensuring troops get 3000+ calories per day could be a challenge, especially when all that food needed to be hauled, sometimes on foot. Queue the MRE – the ultimate alternative to heavy canned goods.
Most survival meals are freeze dried, meaning they need to be reconstituted with water before they start to look like food. This allows them to have extended shelf lives (up to 25 years) but carrying all that extra water is impractical. MRE meals have some drink mixes/desserts that might ask for water, but for the most part they are ready to eat right out of the bag.
Don’t like your food cold? Me neither! That’s why most MREs are packed with something called a Flameless Meal Heater. These sachets of carefully selected chemicals react when exposed to water. Add an ounce or so of any water (snow works!) and watch it steam and bubble. You can watch it in action on our Youtube channel.
Each emergency meal is packed in sealed mylar pouches to protect them from any residue that the heater pack might create, so they are completely safe to eat after being heated in this way. They’re perfect for picnic’s too!
Why are MREs so difficult to get in Canada?
At this time there are no MRE manufacturers in our fine country* which means all product is imported. This isn’t unusual in our industry, however many suppliers of commercial MREs do something very special that can limit availability of this awesome product.
Many manufacturers have contracts in place with FEMA to supply them before any other customers. This ensures that if rations are needed in a time of crisis, they go to feed hungry mouths instead of sitting in someone’s bunker/basement.
Naturally, this kind of demand is difficult to predict. When wild fires, hurricanes, or flooding disrupt daily life for thousands, all stock can be diverted to feeding those with immediate need. This is a good thing… but can be inconvenient, especially for civilian customers. In some cases, MREs can be out of stock for all but a few months each year.
The GREAT news is that Total Prepare doesn’t have that problem. We now carry both the XMRE and Total Prepare MRE, both of which are in stock year round!
Unexpected things can still happen, of course, which is why we urge anyone interested in MREs not to wait for ‘one day’ but to stock up now, when you don’t need them. They have a 5 year shelf life so they’ll be ready to go for that summer camping trip or natural disaster.
This goes double for emergency service coordinators! Be ready to feed your crews. Canada experiences storms and forest fires every year and brave men and women are needed to support our communities. Stock up early so they will always have the fuel they need to get their life-saving work done.
*If there are, we haven’t heard of you! Contact us – we’re interested!
The Future of MREs at Total Prepare
Canadian MREs for the commercial market are the ultimate goal. Until those are possible, we’re working with a USA based manufacturer to provide a year-round supply of premium MREs. We have rigorously tested each part of our Total Prepare MREs, and we are proud of the menu we have curated. Our MREs have the highest calorie count per meal in the industry (1200+ calories per meal). We offer exceptional meal variety, hearty sides, and even a sweet treat to enjoy with each meal.
A personal note:
This writer’s favourite thing about the Total Prepare MRE is the flameless meal heater. Having tried quite a few brands, I had resigned myself to the fact that meal heaters stink. And I mean STINK. Not ideal in an office environment when you have forgotten a lunch! I was delighted when I fired up my first Total Prepare MRE and discovered that the meal heater didn’t release any bad smells. Plus, it’s the most powerful I’ve used so my food is always hot – just how I like it!
… okay, and the crunchy pepperoni bites. I REALLY like the pepperoni bites.
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