An MRE (meal ready to eat) is a resourceful meal option originally used in the military to compensate for the lack of cooking ability. Today, MREs are used by many kinds of survivalists and campers looking to eat quality food without the hassle of preparing ahead of time. MREs are offered in many varieties, but they are not created for the intentions of taste, flavor, or enjoyment. The sole purpose of MREs is to provide fuel and nutrition on the go — their job is to keep you alive. Most meals include a main entree, a side dish, bread, peanut butter or jelly, and/or butter or cheese, and something for dessert.
When you do a quick search for MRE meals online, American brands and sellers are frequent top hits. For Canadians, this means conducting some extra research to find affordable options and brands you can trust. Before folding and paying the extra shipping costs, do some extra digging for international or worldwide suppliers and see what you come up with. If you’re looking to buy MREs in Canada, it can be challenging to track down retailers that are willing to ship internationally. To help lighten the load, here are a few retailers who advertise flexible shipping on their websites.
1.72 Hours Canada
See more of Canada’s MRE meal options, starting at just $8.75 per MRE for Mountain House and MRE STAR brands. The meal items listed on 72 Hours are quality options to consider, as they are coming from locations that leave MREs less susceptible to expiration due to a lack of cooling.
Speaking of cooling, as a general rule of thumb, be sure to store MREs in cooler areas to avoid excess heat that could cause MREs to turn before the expected expiration date. If mindful storage is a concern, it is a good idea to assume that the meals will last around two to three months at the most before it’s time to toss them out. If you realize that a seller is likely storing their meals in less-than-ideal locations, inquire about refrigeration options, and offer to pay for on-site refrigeration if at all possible.
Hero Outdoors sells MREs and camping food, along with various camping tools, weapons, and clothing built for combat and the outdoors. On the homepage at the top left corner, the user is prompted to select their currency and Canadian currency is set as the default. There are options to purchase in bulk as well as individual MREs, depending on your needs and budget. For orders of $149.99+, Canadian shopping is free.
Along with everything else you could hope to find, eBay offers many different MRE options for both bidding and immediate purchase. There are fewer bulk options than individual meals listed by sellers, but there are enough listings overall to gather multiple meals if that is what you’re looking for. Prices are fairly consistent at $35 per meal, and bulk purchases range from $67.71-$70.00. Be mindful of the shipping locations, as they may increase the total cost depending on how far your location is from the seller’s. For example, a seller in Lithuania will ship to Canada for an extra $6.97 for a bulk set of MREs consisting of seven meals in total. Another cool feature that eBay offers is its personalized buying format. In the dropdown menu at the left-hand side of the webpage, Item Location allows you to select where you want to see MRE sellers from. There is a “Canada Only” option as well as a “Worldwide” option available to suit your preferences.
4. Canadian Preparedness
Another website to check out is Canadian Preparedness. Various bulk MRE meal purchases are the main options available and each meal set comes with a flameless meal heater. The site offers free shipping to Canada for every purchase and free shipping to the US for orders of two meal sets or more. A 12 pack of meals costs $179.99 with the optional purchase of MRE accessories such as a 10 X 5 Gallon Mylar Bag ($27.99) or Oxygen Absorbers ($7.99). Both camping and tech gear are also sold along with cooking, apparel, and emergency products fit for the great outdoors.
5. Military and Surplus Shops: Quinn The Eskimo
Due to COVID-`19, the safest way to purchase MREs is from online resources, however, if you are struggling to find everything you need, another option is to visit military gear stores, directly. Civilian MREs are commonly sold at army and navy department stores and surplus shops such as Quinn The Eskimo.
6. Hiking and Camping Outlets: REI
Likewise, average hiking and camping gear outlets like REI may also carry civilian MREs. The outbreak of the Coronavirus has modernized the consumption of survival meal kits like MREs. It is more common today to find them in sporting goods stores because of the safety and value that they provide to individuals and families who are actively protecting themselves against the virus and the subsequent food shortages it has led to.
7. Speak with Military Personnel
If all else fails, anyone directly associated with the military will likely know where to purchase MREs. Even off duty, training is something military personnel continues to practice, whether that means practicing their aim, or camping in the woods. In either case, MREs come in handy during these training sessions, so those associated will likely know where civilian MREs can be bought and sold.
Many survivalists and campers take the initiative to stock up on MREs ahead of time. Everyone could benefit from having a go-to resource for food in case of financial loss, emergency, or pandemic (like the one we are now in). Just remember to look for brands that advertise high-quality packaging along with quality meal kits. It can be tempting to purchase the first Canadian MRE set you find, but despite being challenging to come by, there are many great resources out there for Canadian buyers willing to do their research.