... and what I learned yesterday. So I decided that I needed fresh air and took the day to go to the local State Park and do some hiking. Since I had planned on being out for a while, I grabbed some of the MRE parts that I had in my BOB to rotate them. Now I had stripped them down out of the original packaging tossing the outer bag and cardboard and vacuum sealed them to make them more compact. With a day pack, two Nalgen bottles, a book and my favorite pipe, I headed out. After a beautiful mid-morning and into the afternoon of hiking and exploring, I sat down by the river to eat and discovered that in my repacking, I had not put utensils into the mix to eat with. I do have a spork in my BOB, but the BOB was in the truck a few miles away. I really didn't want to eat with my fingers. In the foods was a piece of the MRE bread. For those of you who have not had the MRE bread, it's edible, just. The best way to eat it is to break it up in small pieces and toss it in the meal to soak up the juices. But since I had no spoon, I decided to use the bread as my spoon. It was just stiff enough to do so, and as the end got soaked, I bit off the "wet" part and kept using it as the spoon. I could have done the same thing with a cracker, and done the same job. I also could have just squeezed the meal from the pack into my mouth, but damn it, I wanted a spoon. Also, the MRE heaters; they leak that little gray dust all over the inside of the bag. It still heats, but then it gets all over the outside of the package and you have to wipe off to avoid food contamination. I also remembered that the 15 minutes on the directions only heats up the bottom half of the food. I ended up squeezing the bags contents to mix it up and then putting it back in the bag for another 10 minutes or so. MRE's last a long time. This was an Escalloped Potatoes and Ham from a while ago, the bag was green, not brown, but it tasted fine and I've suffer no ill effects. The only real problem I've had recently with my rotating stock was a package of cheddar cheese spread that went bad. I noticed it right away and tossed it before I took a bite. Oh, and one of my chocolate covered brownies had a really chemical taste to it and I didn't finish it either. But for the most part, my rotating of BOB stock has gone well. I don't think I'll replace with MRE's again, maybe, I've been experimenting with some off the shelf dried foods to lighten the load, but the really nice thing about the MRE is the self contained heater and that you don't have to have a fire or flame to heat water. As most of you know, the BOB is always an on going project and this time, I was able to use products on hand to make up for my lack of being prepared!