No, it’s no big deal. I ate moth balls all the time as a kid and I’m perfectly penguin.
For water, you carry purifying pellets (tablets). That way you could use local water, just put in the tab… Made the water taste funny though. You can also boil your water if needed…
When given MREs, we would break them down into the smallest components possible then stuff them into our gear wherever possible. The backpack obviously, but also cargo pockets and anywhere else you had space. In the field exercises when we legged it in, I remember carrying 2-3 days worth of food but could imagine close to a week. They are very energy dense.
We used to call them Meals, Refusing to Exit. I do not know if it was a design feature or a consequence of the processing, but they were effective in reducing the need for the latrine.
Thank you for posting this. As mentioned I’ve always wondered how these really worked with soldiers in the field in real life situations.
If they made you constipated, that seems like it would slow you down and make you bloated. When I am hope and things are slowed due to my meds, I just can’t function like normal as I feel pregnant. Did it do that to you too? How much extra physical weight do you think you were carrying from the MRE’s crammed wherever? Maybe 5 lbs at most? Or a lot less or a lot more? Once again, thanks for chiming in on this. Interesting stuff from a civilian too sick to ever have ever considered the military.
I recall reading a book, the name escapes me, of interviews with Vietnam vets. One guy said that you could control bowel movements with rations. Eat the peanut butter when you’re going on patrol. Closes you right up. When you get back, eat the jelly. And be near the latrine.
Google says 1-1.5 lbs. Subtract a little weight for the stuff we would discard when travelling on foot, and call it 1.2lbs/meal. 3 meals/day = ~3.6lbs, so 5 days is ~18lbs. Of course we were also carrying other gear. A little research shows light infantry will carry something like 80-100lbs total on the march, then strip down to 40lbs or so for battle. The heavy weapons guys would carry more, but we tried to share that around. In training we would go cross country nearly all day, then dig a foxhole the best we could before getting a few hours sleep when not on watch.
Weight carried is up from when I served, both from body armor and from electronics like vision and comm gear. I was active 1993-97, but most of my field training was late 80s/early90s. I was Army, and actually ended up for active duty serving in a hospital lab so not much field work.
Regarding constipation, I remember I would feel it after a few days of MREs. But it never was at the top of my mind that I remember. Fatigue/lack of sleep: I remember that! I was able to catch rest anywhere and anytime, a good skill I still have.
In Canada they’re called individual meal packs or IMPs. Had a bunch in cadets. Remember that there was this one that was beyond horrible, but the rest weren’t bad. I remember their weird dense dry bread that somehow was ok on a cold morning.
I once spent a week eating MREs. I’m serious in that I didn’t take a single shit that week. As soon as I got back home though, biggest shit of my life. It was soul searing.
Man, I’ve been catching up with Steve and I cannot stop watching his damn videos.
You think eating that Civil War hardtack was crazy???
Here he is trying out a beef ration that goes back to the 2nd Boer War!!! Th cow died before the oldest human being still alive was even born.
Half the fun is reading the thousands of comments in each video.
He has a million subscribers now and over 125 million views. Anyone familiar with YouTube to know how much that gets ad revenue that gets you?
The best thing about Australian MRE’s are the FRED’s that come with them!
I still have a couple in the cutlery drawer (not pictured above) from nearly 20 years ago.
Yeah, I do love this guy’s videos…
Those are sweet. A P-38 with bottle opener and spoon. How do you keep from gouging out your eye with the can opener while eating with the spoon?
Make sure you don’t stab yourself in the eye with it, of course. But seriously, you end up holding it with your thumb on the bottle opener so there’s no risk of any eyeball gouging.
Incidentally FRED = Field Ration Eating Device, although everyone in the army calls it a Fucking Ridiculous Eating Device.
This one is amazing.
The canned bacon from 1957…
Re the meth jpinard mentions in the two-year-old OP.
According to what I’ve read, amphetamine doses were frequently dispensed in the USAF during the 20th century for long-haul flights, especially for redeployments around the world. Now that modafinil is available, meth is no longer used, but that was a relatively recent changeover, I guess in the last 20 years.
Amphetamine =/= methamphetamine
I should have said specifically they prescribed merh.
Are you saying that they prescribed Methamphetamine in the USAF, or amphetamine?
That channel is a nice find. I remember a few years ago National Geographic had photos of different MREs.