If you're an avid hunter or outdoors adventurer, it's important to think about what you'll pack to go with you on your journey. Food and water are, of course, necessary in order to sustain yourself in the great outdoors. The problem lies in that the weather and certain wilderness park restrictions may hinder your ability to start a fire and heat the foods you may have brought on your journey. You'll still require a hot meal, so what do you do?

Thanks to modern technology, self-heating meals are now available from a number of manufacturers. These meals aren't just tasty and nutritious, but they heat themselves without needing to start a fire. Manufacturers prepare and cook these meals, and place them inside containers that are lightweight enough to carry on your trip, but easy to hold while eating. When you're done, the dish is disposable (just make sure to place it in a trash receptacle).

Is It Dangerous?

People are often concerned, rightfully so, about the safety of using self-heating meals. Fortunately, not only are all products used in the making of such meals non-toxic, but in general, free of MSG and preservatives. Additionally, you'll find that these meals have a shelf life that's well over a year, so perfect for hunting season!

How It Works

Depending on the manufacturer, packaging and heating instructions may not be the same. With that being said, the science behind self-heating meals is standard. Water/saline must be combined with magnesium in some manner in order for the chemical reaction to cause steam. The steam in turn will start to heat the meal, resulting in a cooked product in 15 minutes or less.

If you're spending time outdoors, you know that having a warm cooked meal is important. Fortunately, advancements in technology have made it possible to pack complete meals in a small bag and heat them with the simplest of chemical reactions.