MREs Cans

How Long Are MREs Good For (GUIDE)

When it comes to survival situations, food should be your main priority. Yes, you can always stock up on food, but there will always be a limit to how long you can do this. MREs are meant for emergency rations, but even these do have expiration dates.

So, this begs the questions: how long are MREs good for? ​​ To answer that, here’s what you need to know.

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Last update on 2023-05-28 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API

How Long are MREs Good For

Food Shelf Lives – The Effect of Temperature

You know about the refrigeration technique. It makes food last longer. It may be instructional for you to get a little idea on this. Here’s a summary:

  • At 120oF, food will last up to 1 month.
  • At 110oF, food will last up to 2 months.
  • At 100oF, food will last up to 6 months.
  • At 90oF, food will last up to 18 months.
  • At 80oF, food will last up to 36 months.
  • At 50oF, food will last up to 60 months.

Foods that Can Last Long

For some reasons, some foods have a longer shelf life than others. Stack up on those as soon as you know a crisis is imminent. Here’s the list.

  • Honey – Honey has an indefinite shelf life. What we know is that even when it starts to crystallize and form sugary gunk at the bottom of its container, it is always safe to eat. If stored in a carefully-sealed jar, honey can easily weather centuries of storage.
  • Pemmican – Like honey, this food is immortal. It uses only three ingredients to prepare and it contains energy and protein-rich nutrients. Plus, it doesn’t require reheating or refrigeration to make it stay fresh.
  • Peanut Butter – Kept in a low-humidity environment, this energy-giving food can last up to 5 years.
  • Hard Liquor – Quite expensive, but very useful, hard liquor can be used in many ways during long emergencies. Aside from drinking, you can also use it for cleaning wounds. Liquor’s shelf-life is INDEFINITE.
  • Canned or Dried Beans – Beans are easy to store, rich in protein and come in different variants. Shelf life for these foods is at least 30 years.
  • Rice – Hoard rice if you want something that can give you carbohydrates for 25 years.
  • Milk – Get cartons powdered milk with its indefinite shelf life.
  • Noodle – For long-term supply of noodles, pick the Japanese Ramen. That is if you hate missing delicious hot soups for at least 10 years.

Related Article: How Long Do Clif Bars Last

Homemade MREs Shelf Life

Time to test your creative talent – because you will make your own MREs prepared at costs comparable to those sold in supermarkets. You should run about 5 – 8 bucks for every MRE pack you will make. Here’s how.

  1. Gather together all your fixings consisting of cooked and raw foods. These foods contain only water, not stuff that has ingredients that require refrigeration like butter and milk. You may have packaged rice, sardines, chicken, spam, crackers, dried fruit, etc.
  2. It’s time to pack foods up in shrink-wraps and vacuum-sucks. Arrange and package according to your meal preference. Diversify in packaging. Otherwise, your meals will be boring and you don’t want that to happen when things around are pretty hard.
  3. Punch small holes on some of the wraps using a thumbtack. That will keep packages from bloating and making the entire set of packages bulky. Do this at least on packages containing noodles, rice, potatoes, and crackers.

The process should not make you consume a lot of time and money, and if your packages are properly stored, they will give you as much as five years of shelf life.

You might also care to put in a couple of supplement tablets inside each package just to guard yourself against nutrient deficiency.

Related Article: How Long Does Hardtack Last

MREs (Meals Ready-to-Eat) Box B, Genuine U.S. Military Surplus, Menus 13-24
  • Manufacted 06/2011
  • Insp/Test Date 06/2014
  • Shelf life 7 years
  • 12 meals per case
  • Flameless heaters included

Last update on 2023-05-29 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API


This is your basic food survival system. Remember, you don’t have to depend on others; you can prepare MREs without asking for help. Next, think of the environmental factors and the packaging system that you are going to use.

Also, consider having more of the foods that last longer. You can’t go starving and you will eat delicious meals in the most unconventional setting if only you will do it right.

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