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Cause normally, they suck. Some don't heat, they are fussy, small, etc. 

 

But this weekend I was issued out some spare training meals, and they came with this totally other heater. Same principle: bag, water, heat. But this is what they should be! 

  • It is big. Around 9x16" so you can fit most of an MRE in there, or heat other stuff easily. 
  • In there. No bullshit to arrange the heater below the meal, sorta stuffed into something else, etc. Plenty of room, so toss the meal in the bag. 
  • It gets HOT. And stays that way.
  • You can tell it works. A few seconds after pouring the water in, it goes POOF! so energetically it's not far from an explosion. But you know it's working. 

 

They also claim the water is 99% pure, I guess indicating you can pour more water in there once the reaction starts, and get boiled/purified water from it, which would be cool if true. Or, just cook things like soup, boil noodles, etc. directly in it. Will try that sometime. 

 

 

It had enough writing I was able to contact someone who sent me somewhere else and you can buy them alone: 

http://store.endexo.com/shop/m...12-mre-meal-heaters/

(Note their store is stupid. You can buy other quantities than 12)

 

I am totally getting a few for myself. Gonna replace my stove (or even triox tablets) for most heating purposes when weight and bulk is important (i.e. a lot of the time). 

 

Next, I am going to try to find out where you can get the Cooking Bags on that chart. 60 minutes of this? That would even more strongly replace a stove for occasional use. 

Original Post

ETA: Someone posted some other info which the disappeared. Editing the below to make it free-standing sensible. 

 

It seems the 60 minute cooking bags aren't on the market anymore/yet. Some corporate press that MealSpec got absorbed by Endexo so... eventually we'll presumably see these products also. Some vague promises of other stuff as well on their Projects page.

 

For more on them, here's a year old review with photos. 

http://www.ammoland.com/2014/0...ltimate-cooking-bag/

Sounds great, but either different tech or the shorter-burn bags are being a little vague about how bad that 1% not-water is to drink. Think I'll avoid drinking it till that becomes more clear though. 

 

I ordered a dozen of the ones I described up top, and went ahead and put two bags (I made off with the uneaten meals from this weekend, tossed the inedible "egg" parts and kept the brownies, meat sticks, and heater bags) in my pack. Happy with weight/bulk savings, now to think about what I can heat in them aside from MRE sorts of foods. 

Last edited by Community Member

Don't forget, I am too old to put up with cold food, and never got above cadre or camping (too broken down to actually serve).

 

So one FTX weekend, after some extended time tromping around the rainy woods I get back to the patrol base, and everyone is laying there in the dark; damp, unhappy and half are finishing their cold MREs. I sit with the staff while we quietly chat about the next step, dig a tiny hole in the ground, toss a half a triox tablet in the hole, light it (down there, no light escapes), and toss a german ration entree on top of that. They. Were. Baffled. Literally didn't know what I could possibly be doing and then couldn't figure out where the smell of warm food came from when I opened it. 

 

Got a problem? Fix it. 

Traveling now, so not even sure if the new order arrived. I'll try to update this when it does, so we know how long it takes to order from them, etc. 

 

To be clear, I DID use one when they were issued, and saw a half dozen others use them. All work as described. And while I cannot look at dates now, the whole case was about to expire so I guess that's minimal proof they work with some age and handling. 

 

I already replaced my stove with two of them for the standard/emergency load in my pack and the stove went to the "if I know I need it" pile for packing. 

Originally Posted by shoobe01:

 

 

They also claim the water is 99% pure, I guess indicating you can pour more water in there once the reaction starts, and get boiled/purified water from it, which would be cool if true. Or, just cook things like soup, boil noodles, etc. directly in it. Will try that sometime. 

 

 

 

Next, I am going to try to find out where you can get the Cooking Bags on that chart. 60 minutes of this? That would even more strongly replace a stove for occasional use. 

 

Mmm.  Nope.  I am thinking they meant something else.  NEVER drink the MRE heater water!

 





quote:
When you are finished using the MEALSPEC, discard and never drink the water that is used to cook. The MEALSPEC bag can also be used as a trash bag when finished cooking and eating.




 

The metallic waste - residue water would seriously harm you!

 

To make an effective MRE heater bomb from these you would need to... 

 

Nah, its best if you learn on your own.

After the second quote, I assumed as much, but good to hear from someone who seems to understand the chemistry... at all. I am terrible at understanding electricity (have never shocked myself, as I just rote memorized the safety lessons when wiring) and am pretty fuzzy on chemistry (have never blown up an acid bath as I just carefully memorized and wrote down the procedures) as well.

 

Would be nice if instead of talking about water purity and confusing the issue, they were clearer what is happening and what you do about it. 

I didn't see any mention of "A rock or something" so this will be hard to follow.

Attached, the plan to replace trioxane in the 60s. I purchased some sheets of the mentioned plastic. Cutting them with a saw was a fucking mess-- but I managed to kimchee rig something similar and test it. Worked about as well as the trioxane tablet-- not as well as the larger trioxane bars.

I am mixing the dust from the sawing with other sawdust and melted paraffin to make my own fire starter/heat tabs to see how that will work....

Attachments

So... the Endexo guys suuuuck. Yeah, the day I started this thread I ordered a dozen. 

 

On the 4th of this month, a "Your order is complete" email. No response to the several I sent asking about availability, where is my order, how to order in bulk, etc.

 

Today, arrived. They appear to be the exact same product, so that's good, but over 2 months to pack and send something from Orange Park, FL? This is "damn, I ordered that thing off eBay from a Chinese seller by accident" speed. 

Used a couple instead of a stove to heat MRE entrees at a field thing this weekend. 

 

Water is critical. Do not under-fill. Did that once (dark, couldn't see well with red light) and it heated like an MRE heater. Okay, not great. Hoping that's worst case, and it isn't bad. 

 

One took a while to start. No idea why, but 30 seconds instead of like 2. Heated well, and burned full time. 

 

No good idea how to get them out when done. Hot bag, very tall, so I just dump it all out, but you need a place you don't mind some hot water also. Not so much leaning out your sleeping bag usually. 

 

Had a trash fire later. The bag just melted, to liquid and vapor, but did not burn. The heater pack was eventually consumed by fire, but did not burn as a metal fire like some of the hand warmers, etc. I have seen. 

Update years later since I keep using these. And, continue to love them. A couple dozen uses, 100% functionality. The above low-fill one that didn't get that hot was the only bad one at all. Had one or two take a really long time (2 minutes+) to activate, all others are so quick there's a chance you burn yourself trying to seal the top. 

But, all supplies have dried up. Maybe. There's this thing from a company called Yabul, whose purpose in life seems to be making flameless heaters (that's the term of art if googling for this stuff). https://www.ybcook.com/ Because of the timing, I tend to disbelieve they simply invented the system from scratch, bet they acquired some IP like maybe the product I used before, re-marketed and re-packaged it.

Their primary method seems to be this probably silly, but possibly awesome, silicone pan. 

The pad to the right is the heater just like an MRE heater. To the left, stick your food. Add water. Watch it steam up. The silicone bowl thing is totally squishy for packing so maybe not as dumb as it seems 

But not dual purpose. My small cup is titanium and I stick it on micro stoves to heat water etc. 

Their stuff is on Amazon, so easy to find. You can buy the heater packs alone so maybe just experiment by tossing them in MRE heater bags, etc. 

https://www.amazon.com/Yabul-F...Cooker/dp/B07P7XZN5B

They seem to have figured out the system is too much, so also sell them as bags: 

https://www.amazon.com/Yabul-P...Pouch/dp/B07J3SFP6S/

I have ordered some of both, but unless I eat an MRE at home won't try it for months maybe. So, if anyone else does, report back. 

 

I will say, some specs weird me out. Size, weight, temp all good. But they sometimes seem to say it stays hot for 40 minutes. Not sure I want that. Can imagine it's okay to keep food warm in the way a ceramic plate does so it stays warm as you eat. But doesn't seem relevant to us. And if really sneaky, you are gonna have to what... bury the hot target when done? Still, at least for cold WX probably better a lot better than just eating a lasagna popsicle. 

I am intrigued by the Yabul Cook set up.  I see it as a safer alternative for younger Scouts than camp stoves when we go to the woods.  A similar looking set up was linked to Yabul's Amazon page from Shoobe's link.  

Also at Amazon, and available at REI is the OMeals system.  I have tried two of them that I bought at REI with my dividend.  

https://www.amazon.com/OMEALS-...JNJ68YSK2DRN75VRZMEQ

Or:  https://omeals.com/

Fair warning, the OMeals meal is simply an MRE main meal with a slightly better functioning MRE heater in a mylar bag.  The food was good, but no better than an issue MRE meal (same kind of food and flavoring), though it was hot and stayed hot until I finished.  I have tried the Southwest Chicken and the Vegetable Beef Stew.  The heater worked fast, and was very hot, completely heating the meal, and continued to steam for a good 15 minutes or better.  We know this doesn't always happen with issued MREs.  There was enough room in the outer mylar bag that I could have fit other small  items in there to heat up with the main meal.  It's kind of pricy for just an entrée and heater, but the kit is self contained and comes with a spoon and napkin, salt/pepper accessory kit.  All the trash gets rolled up into the outer bag for disposal.  It's about the same price as a Mountain House backpacker type meal, but not as many actual calories.  I wished for a few more bites of food after a full day of hiking.  Each kit is heavier than a freeze-dried MH meal.  For short hikes/activities or just wanting to have a hot meal kit in a bag or stashed somewhere, I think they are good item.  For longer term storage or for weight savings if you're already carrying a stove system, I'd stick with MH type meals.  For a full meal with all the trimmings, MRE's probably still rule.  

If I seem overly impressed by the heaters in the OMeal system, it's because I have experienced the original MRE heaters as issued about 1992, which sucked compared to new ones. 

Still waiting for delivery. Soon. Planning on doing a friday morning range day, which will be cold and raining (I'll have the place to myself!) so I was gonna shoot from inside the LEWS, and maybe bring some heat packs, snacks, with me. Cooking lunch would be even better, and therefore a great test of the heaters. Oh well. Some other time. 

Also:

The other week when out in the low-grade woods, I went ahead and cooked up a can of Polish commercialized rations I was gifted (which was oddly quite good) with a Dragon Fuel heater on the little titanium hex stove. 

Calm enough, sunny day, in a mowed field then bashed down by our vehicles etc. So wet underneath it was hard to walk some places from the boggyness under the grass. And... it tried to catch the whole field on fire. 

I constantly get new reasons that flameless heat might be a better idea for a hell of a lot of this stuff. 

Okay, FINALLY had an excuse to use this, and did it. Got issued MREs this weekend, naturally the heaters suck. So used the Yabul heater packs, in a random bag: 

This was a decent test as while this was the nice day, it was still like 20°F at this moment. Warm food helped a lot. 

Much less energetic than the others I was using. No sudden burst of heat, though it does inflate and some steam comes out. Then, I was disappointed, as it hadn't gotten very hot. About normal MRE heater warm for my meal. 

But... I split the pack with someone else, and he kept his in to heat more. Laid it flat on the side,  instead of the typical rock-or-something orientation shown. After 5 minutes, tried agin and his food pack was almost too hot to touch. 

So: 

  • They indeed work. 
  • Lay them down on the side, so the entire length of the heater pack is in water, not upright with just the bottom in. Put food on top. 
  • Temperatures are not dangerously hot, any bag will work, but may not be reusable. A vent is needed, but not too much so the water doesn't leak out. 
  • Be patient. Give it a few minutes, then check the temperature. Don't be discouraged by the lack of visible performance. It's working. 

I haven't tried the "cooking bags" yet, but expect them to work also. 

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