Sometimes getting a full meal together when camping can be difficult if the weather or time is against you but all that hiking around means you need a filling hot meal inside you.

Used in huge quantities by armies around the world over the technology behind instant hot meals (and hot drinks) is always improving giving us a very wide choice with faster heating times making them ideal for general use and emergency situations alike.

La Briute Self Heating Meal

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Some instant meals even come complete with disposable cutlery and extra spices to give a truly complete meal in a box.

The Different Ways of Heating Instant Food

There are two ways of making the food in instant meals hot and while both are quick each has its own unique process.

Heating in a Tray

For meals that come in a tray the food is heated in an almost conventional way be applying heat to the underside of the food tray. Adding a little bit of water to a heating element will start the heating process then the food is placed on top to cook.

This method can release a fair bit amount of fumes and if done in doors you should ensure good ventilation.

Heating in a Bag

Preparing these hot meals is just a matter combining the two halves of the bag or just adding water to activate the heating agent and waiting until the food is hot enough to eat. Producing a lot less in the way of fumes than the tray method these bags of hot food do require some chemicals to create enough heat but are completely safe to eat.

This first generation of bag heated instant meals were left with an aftertaste from the chemicals used in the heating process but this has long been all but eliminated in modern products with cleaner chemicals to produce the heat needed.

Perfect Emergency Food

With a very long shelf life due to the nature of freeze dried food these instant self heating meals are an obvious emergency backup food source. As long as you have access to water you can use these hot meals and because the tray heating method wont mix the water with the food directly it doesn’t have to be absolutely clean.

Instant Hot Drinks

Numerous drinks are available in self heating cans from the essential coffee to a whole range of soups and energy packed emergency rations.

Powerful heating elements located in the bottom of the can heat the contents up quickly making these products one of the easiest ways to get some nourishment and can even be use without having to stop walking.