American frontiersman didn't have MREs, but they did have Pemmican.
Pemmican is a portable, long-lasting, high-energy food that was invented by Native Americans. It's made of lean, dried meat that's crushed into powder and mixed with hot, rendered fat. You can even add dried fruit for taste, and the best part is just a handful will sustain a full-grown man or woman all day long - even while working. This makes it a great food to have in an emergency, especially if you're on the move, because:
* It saves you time, something that'll be in short supply when SHTF, and you'll never have to worry about cooking, gathering ingredients or even washing dishes. All of which will be vastly more difficult during power outages, disaster, or even periods of violence (among many others), when the last thing you need is to alert troublemakers with the smell of home cooking, provoking danger. Letting you focus on what really matters, without distraction - or boiling water, unlike the majority of modern-day survival meals.
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