If you are going camping or want to prepare for a disaster, you need to look at MREs. The problem is that many people do not know whether or not they are able to buy MREs. If you are one of these people, you need to know if as a civilian you are able to buy MREs.
Can A Civilian Buy MREs?
When you look at MREs, you will notice that a lot of them are military MREs. These are the meals which are made for the armed forces and are not actually available to civilians. The companies who are able to manufacture these products officially are not legally allowed to sell them to the general public.
This means that as a civilian, you will not be able to buy military grade MREs. However, this does not mean that you do not have any options. Civilians are able to purchase civilian MREs which are different from military MREs. There are some military MRE companies that make civilian MREs, but most of the civilian products on the market come from other manufacturers and from private individuals.
Which Is Better?
When you are looking to buy an MRE, you will want to get the best possible quality. Most people will assume that this will be the military MRE because they are military grade. The problem is that these products are not always of the best quality and you need to consider why.
As the military MRE manufacturers are not able to sell these products to the general public, the sourcing of the ones on offer should be considered. Military MREs which are being sold are generally ones that are no longer fit for consumption for the armed forces. These items could also have been stolen from army supplies. There is no way of knowing the conditions under which these products have been kept, and in the aftermath of Katrina, many of the military MREs on the market had been damaged by the floodwater but still sold to people.
Civilian MREs are better when you are buying them from a reliable vendor. The large MRE manufacturers have to keep certain standards, and you will have someone to contact if something is wrong. These products will also provide you with some recourse should you become ill from the MRE which is something that you cannot get with a military MRE.
Private Label Civilian MREs
While you can get civilian MREs from the name brand manufacturers, you will also be able to get private label MREs. These are often called store brand MREs and are put together on a custom basis. There will be small batches of these MREs being made by the companies which could limit the supply that you could get.
Most of the private label MRE providers will be open about how the MRE is produced, but you need to be still careful when buying. Any provider that states they are selling Military Rations should be treated with caution as they are attempting to make you think they are selling military grade MREs. This is generally a marketing ploy which is used to get you to pay more for the MRE you are being offered.
Private label MREs will often be cheaper than the brand name civilian MREs on the market. This can be very helpful if you want to save money while preparing. The problem you might have with these MREs is that many of them will not come with a complete menu listing. In many cases, you will be told how many meals you are going to be getting, but you will not know what the items are exactly.
This can be a significant issue for people who have allergies or want to look for certain types of meals. Another issue is that you could get 12 of the same meals when you buy from these providers. This may not seem like a problem, but it is generally recommended that you get a mixture of different meals.
Where To Buy Civilian MREs
If you are going to buy MREs, you need to know where you can get the civilian MREs that you need and want. Most of the name brand manufacturers will sell their products on their websites, and you should look at buying directly from them. This will ensure that you have some recourse and that you know exactly what is in the meals and how they have been stored.
If you are looking for private label MREs, there are some providers who have their own websites that you can buy them from. You can also get them on auction websites and marketplaces. Of course, you will need to ensure that the seller is the makers as well because this ensures that you have some recourse. You will also be able to ask the maker questions about the products before you buy them.