February 27


Freeze-Dried Food in the Field

By Kit Arthur

February 27, 2018

minute read


The unit I currently am assigned to requires all personnel to qualify every 6 months with their personal weapons. This past week was one of those qualification weeks. And we stayed in the field for 3 days, mostly because we were running a range. Either way, I thought it was a good time to compare freeze-dried foods to MRE’s. I took two different kinds of freeze-dried foods: Wise foods and My Patriot Supplies. The results that I got were amazing.


MRE’s are meals ready to eat. This is the go-to meal for the military and is suppose to have a long shelf life (somewhere between 10-15 yrs). However, if you’ve ever eaten one you can testify that they are not the best tasting in the world.

Note: Army doctrine actually forbids soldiers to consume MREs for more than 21 days straight. (A little fun fact I wish someone would have told my platoon on my last deployment.) I learned the hard way. After 21 days your digestive system is so screwed up you can’t handle real food.

Diarrhea is the nice way of putting what you’re experiencing. I have watched other soldiers start out for the latrine and end up in the shower. I’m just blessed I was always close enough when that moment came.

What are the pros & cons?


  • Compact
  • Light-weight
  • Waterproof
  • Long shelf life
  • Includes a flameless heater to warm up your food with
  • Comes with a beverage powder
  • Strong packaging that can be repurposed for all manner of things: occlusive dressing, to carry water in, a small sandbag, etc.


  • Hard to open
  • Unhealthy - which will lead to illness
  • Crappy Quality
  • Expensive


Although popular, MREs are NOT the best option for food on the field. There are plenty of other places that you can get (or make) freeze-dried food that are just as useful without all of the extra preservatives.


Wise Foods

Wise Foods has been around for a while now and make some pretty good stuff. Their packages also are waterproof and most come in a 4 gal bucket that is sealed. They have a choice between a 7-year shelf life and a 25-year shelf life. (Not sure why you would ever go with the 7-year life but to each their own.)

The idea they had with the packaging is to make it so the food could sit in water for 25 years and still be good. 

What Are the Pros & Cons?


  • Smaller & Lighter
  • Tastes Better
  • Easy to Use
  • Better Quality
  • Less Fake = Healthier


  • Didn’t Come With Any Type Of Heater, Spoon, TP, Gum, Seasoning, Or Moist Towels
  • No Real Way to heat the water up


The taste was better than that of MRE’s. I tried out Beef Flavored Stroganoff, Chicken Alfredo, and Chilly Mac. Honestly, the Chilly Mac straight sucked. (I made sure to share with the guys so I could get a solid assessment of the food. I probably shared with 6 to 7 other guys on each meal.) All of us concluded the Chilly Mac sucked.

However, we liked the other two meals. Aside from the noodles not softening up like they would have with hot water, they were good. The seasoning was spot on, so no need to carry extra seasoning. The instructions were easy to follow and was a 4 step process. In all, I’d take the Wise food over the MRE’s any day of the week.

My Patriot Supply

My Patriot Supply is a new company that also makes freeze-dried foods. These guys strive to make quality food with no preservatives.

I decided to take a package of honey coated bananas for this field experience. I found it to be perfect for the occasion.

What Are the Pros & Cons?


  • Comes With Water And Air Sealed Packages
  • Packaged In A Small Stackable Plastic Box
  • The Seasoning Is Also Already Added And No Real Need For Alterations
  • Real & Simple Ingredients (No Preservatives!) = Healthier
  • Tastes Great
  • Filling
  • Resealable Bags


  • Hard To Open
  • Takes A While To Cook It All The Way


This is perfect for the field. I had a hard time sharing and putting the bag down. This is the one product I wanted to keep to myself. Everyone else that tried it also agreed that it was the best tasting out of the lot.

Amy, my wife, also ate some here at the house while I was in the field and she wrote a review about it. She too concluded that the My Patriot Supplies tasted better and was more pure than the Wise Foods.

My Patriot Supplies also makes full meals; unfortunately, we have not tried that. We did, however, try their corn and loved it. It is almost as fresh as straight off the stalk.

Which is the Best?

So out of all three of these candidates, the conclusion was that the My Patriot Supplies was the best for backpacking and in the field. I feel that they’re meals are safer than the MRE’s (which are loaded with preservatives) and defiantly lighter. The single items meals like the honey coated bananas are perfect for in the field.

However, I still think Wise Foods makes a good product.  Please try both and yall be the judge. Let us know how yall like each product. Thanks so much for reading.

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Kit Arthur

About the author

Arthur is the founder and CEO of Tackleberry Solutions. He created this business to teach others realistic wartime tactics based off of personal experience and training. This is contradictory to other tactical instructional classes that focus on the shooting aspect for "tacticool" looks and "accuracy" instead of real-life wartime scenarios. - Arthur has dedicated his life to saving others from hardships and war. His core belief is that the only answer to surviving mass devastation is by being prepared & working together. His goal is to teach that concept to as many people as possible.

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