Many people have different views on MRE's, but after being around them for 6 years, and eating at least one every single day for as long as 8 months, I think they are a waste of money and space for most uses. The MRE was designed for medium-long term nutrition and energy with a little regard to space. Although the MRE is compact compared to commercial food, for a short term misson, MREs take up too much space. Food is a very low priority during a 72 hour mission, and even assuming a light 2 meals a day would make 6 total MREs really hard to make room for. What I always packed in my bag was a few cans of ravioli, energy bars, and candy in place of MREs. They seemed to go farther, there was more enjoyment, and they calories matched, if they werent even higher. There was less bulk and less trash to deal with. Becuase mine were already paid for, I never complained about the cost. However, on the civilian side I see these things selling in gun stores for $8-$12!!! I cannot believe anyone would actually pay these prices, but I guess they have the cool factor for the guys who never served. Overall, unless you have an entire connex to devote to MREs and you dont care about flavor and varity, the MRE is not for you. In your bags, instead of MREs switch it out for ravioli, beef jerkey, trail mix, candy, ect. Use the extra room for tourniquets, water, and other useful supplies.