Prepping for Berget: Homemade MREs

Preparations for Berget have begun in earnest. Berget is one of the biggest annual Airsoft events in the world, with over 1000 participants on a large and complicated area. It takes place in Sweden, one of the most rugged countries in Europe.

Before charging my batteries and packing every little thing I want to take with me (which, lord knows, is way too much…) I have prepared my food rations. Rather than opting for the all-in-one solution of taking Meals Ready to Eat from a military source, I have chosen to prepare my own. I know from experience that 1) the MREs are way too big for me; 2) take too much time to prepare; and 3) I don’t like the taste of much of its contents.

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Combining stuff I bought at my local supermarket and outdoor equipment store leads, in my opinion, to a superior alternative. An MRE should be quick or easy to prepare and  should have some high-calorie and high-energy contents such as chocolate, dextrose sugar, meat and cookies.

The most important part is the freeze-dry meal for the evening. I particularly like the Adventure Food meals. They have a wide variety of meals which are not too salty – a pitfall of many other freeze-dry meal producers.

Another important part is the biscuits. Fruit biscuits from Globetrotter are my choice. They taste nice and aren’t too dry, which makes them good at any time of the day. They also have a high energy content, which is slow to release as well. That makes them perfect for outdoor activities.

The breakfast remains the most important meal of the day. Expedition breakfasts are nice, but can be a bit much all at once in the morning, and are quite expensive. I have chosen to incorporate two typically Dutch breakfast treats: Kruidkoeken. This roughly translates into Spice Biscuits, but that doesn’t really do them justice, as they’re not crunchy and not spicy… These are particularly nice with a little butter on top but can also be eaten straight out of the package.

The rest is nice to have: Some sausages, noodles, chocolate candy bars, dextrose energy and coffee. Depending on the weather, also take some salt and isotone powder with you. These might be important to keep your salt and electrolyte levels up when temperatures rise. Make sure to pack all the contents into a single bag – having all this stuff separately in your backpack can be a pain…

It’s highly likely that this is too much for a day still. But running out of energy sucks so it’s better to pack a little too heavily than just a little too… lightly.

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