How to Field Strip an MRE in 12 Easy Steps - ITS Tactical
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How to Field Strip an MRE in 12 Easy Steps

By The ITS Crew

MRE Field Strip

Field stripping an MRE (Meal Ready to Eat) is a common technique used by soldiers to reduce the weight and bulk of the standard U.S. Issue MRE.

An MRE is packaged with a lot of unnecessary things that can make trying to carry them in your pack heavy and cumbersome. The solution? Field strip them!

Field stripping is usually done just prior to a situation where you’ll be in the field for an extended amount of time and have to carry multiple meals, or in a survival situation where space savings is mandatory.

The great thing about removing the unnecessary packaging and contents is that it doesn’t compromise the expiration date of the meal, because everything is still sealed.

To field strip your MREs follow these simple steps or just follow along with the video below!

  1. Open your MRE Package and dump everything out on a table
  2. Toss the individually sealed condiment package
  3. Toss the spoon (All you need is one, so carry a reusable one with you)
  4. Toss the dairy shake if there is one
  5. Toss the heater (Is it really essential to the mission that your meal is hot?)
  6. Sort through the included extra side dishes and determine what you want to keep
  7. Open the main course meal cardboard packaging and toss the box
  8. Stack everything in space saving fashion back into the MRE plastic packaging you first opened
  9. Ensure everything is pushed to the bottom half of the packaging and fold over once
  10. Grab the lip of the MRE packaging and fold in the corners, streamlining your fold
  11. Take duct tape or riggers tape and wrap a complete turn around the packaging, tightening as you go
  12. Leave a tail on the tape and tear it off the roll (fold the end of the tape over so removal is easy)

Weight before: 1 lb. 13.7 oz. – Weight after 1 lb. 0.2 oz. While it might not seem like much, remember the old adage “An ounce in the morning weighs a pound at night.”

There you have it, how to field strip an MRE in 12 easy steps. Check out our video below showing a complete MRE field strip!

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