Ration packs - your questions answered.

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Sgt.Heide
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Ration packs - your questions answered.

Postby Sgt.Heide » Fri Apr 09, 2010 4:32 pm

I've had a few pm's and noted a few posts regarding these, so I thought I'd post up some answers and some pictures to try and help those who've asked.

I know they're not very "WW2" but, the British 24 hour ration pack is an ideal way to supply your nutritional needs for over 24 hours. Much easier to carry and prepare than tinned food, as well as being more "environmentally friendly" as well. There is a huge amount of food and goodies in one and you can pick them up for less than a tenner, cheaper than buying individual "wayfarer" meals. If you're not obsessed with authenticity when it comes to feeding yourself, I'd thoroughly recommend these to anyone, there's lots of choice with the menus too, including veggie and even halal options!

Contents.JPG


You see from the picture that you get 3 "boil in the bag" meals. A breakfast, a main meal and a pudding. You also get a shedload of sundries - fruit biscuits, brown biscuits, a tin of spread, marmite, jam, tobasco sauce, a "power" drink, brew kit (more on that in a bit), a pack of tissues, a bag of boiled sweets, hot chocolate, instant soup, 2 chocolate bars and an oatmeal block! That's a huge amount of food in a very small package. You simply boil up some water, plonk in the meal and then eat it hot from the packaging. You can then use the water you've just boiled to make a hot brew, no messtin cleaning involved!

Now, the brew kit....

Brew kit.JPG


You'll see that you get enough for 2 cups of coffee and 4 cups of tea, along with powdered milk and sugar. You also get some gum, a pack of dried fruit, puritabs and some windproof matches. More than enough to last 24 hours, although, if you have a sweet tooth like me, you might run out of sugar.

We'll briefly cover breaking down a ration pack on the training day. Don't feel that you have to get one of these, I'll say it gain, I'm just trying to answer the questions people have asked :good: .
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Re: Ration packs - your questions answered.

Postby Steiner » Fri Apr 09, 2010 4:39 pm

Thanks for your assistance, Pete. :good:
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Re: Ration packs - your questions answered.

Postby Sgt.Heide » Fri Apr 09, 2010 4:49 pm

The sharp eyed among you may notice a choccy bar and the oatmeal block missing from the photos! I got the munchies! :oops:
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Re: Ration packs - your questions answered.

Postby BedsnHerts » Fri Apr 09, 2010 5:34 pm

How much water should we be carrying for the 2 days?
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Re: Ration packs - your questions answered.

Postby Sgt.Heide » Fri Apr 09, 2010 5:37 pm

I'm personally carrying about 5 litres. If it's hot, you'll get through that much, easily.
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Re: Ration packs - your questions answered.

Postby Pete_59 » Fri Apr 09, 2010 6:55 pm

I've had a quick browse and these people seem to be the cheapest for ration packs at £9.99 each http://www.surplusandoutdoors.com/shop/ ... 32866.html plus they let you select which menu you want, some places are asking nearly £20 and you take pot-luck what you get

With regard to cookers, I was thinking of getting one of these http://cgi.ebay.co.uk/ws/eBayISAPI.dll? ... K:MEWAX:IT any comments?
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Re: Ration packs - your questions answered.

Postby Sgt.Heide » Fri Apr 09, 2010 6:59 pm

I've picked up current ration packs on Ebay for a fiver. You do get raped for postage as well (the average is £5) but, that's still only a tenner posted. I've seen people selling crappy yank MRE's for more than that (and you need 3 of them a day!).

Edit - just had a look at those you linked to and they're the older type of rations. Nowt wrong with them, just not as much choice on menus and you don't get quite as many goodies in them.

That cooker looks ok, don't forget the fuel for it as well. You can get sachets of gel fuel for pennies (very handy for emergency fire lighting as well). Personally, I use an old fashioned hexi burner!
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Re: Ration packs - your questions answered.

Postby BedsnHerts » Fri Apr 09, 2010 8:25 pm

Blimey. 5 litres of water is 5 kilos of weight. Where will I find room for the Vicar of Wakefield?

When I did my three day D of E trekking on Dartmoor in 1983 we took stream water and added purification tablets that made the water taste of soap. We also had awful lamb "curry" ration packs (their italics, not mine) that gave everyone acute indigestion and put me off anything boil-in-the-bag ever since.

Personally I'm torn between the non-1940s aspect of shrinkwrapped meals and gel burners versus Old Un's observation that if you really want to go the whole hog, why not get body lice and trenchfoot like every other frontline soldier? :giggle:
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Re: Ration packs - your questions answered.

Postby Sgt.Heide » Fri Apr 09, 2010 8:36 pm

:rofl:

Well, dehydration, slumming it and going hungry is for suckers, I say. Of course, if we have "Churchills' Revenge" weather, there may be a small amount of discomfort involved!

By all means, feel free to use tinned and fresh food (as they would have in the 40's). All I've done here is answer questions about rations, for those who wanted to know and those who may want to know :good:.
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Re: Ration packs - your questions answered.

Postby BedsnHerts » Fri Apr 09, 2010 9:01 pm

Sgt.Heide wrote:Well, dehydration, slumming it and going hungry is for suckers, I say.


Absolutely. I also want to come away from the even thinking "that was awesome" rather than "never again", so I'm still undecided.

My layman's thinking is that if you're carrying all your water anyway then there's no benefit to having dried food, so why not carry something fresh or tinned and cook it up on-site. However I've done a few experiments and although it is possible to cook stuff with 2 pot Brit mess kit, the heating power of hexi-burners is only really enough to heat up food rather than cook it. As things like section cookers are pretty much out of the equation in terms of weight that leaves pre-cooked stuff, which is no more authentic than shrinkwrapped food, or tinned sardines - which certainly doesn't fit into the "that was awesome" category.

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Re: Ration packs - your questions answered.

Postby Chomley-Warner » Fri Apr 09, 2010 9:11 pm

Just to point out that the SAS and German encampments will have sufficient water, should the Jeds find either, and if it is a blistering hot weekend then for safety's sake we'll have a stash somewhere accessible. However, it would be utter folly NOT to carry sufficient water to prevent dehydration, just as any other airsoft event.
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Re: Ration packs - your questions answered.

Postby Sgt.Heide » Fri Apr 09, 2010 9:19 pm

Martin, Brit ration packs aren't dried food, they just need heating, so no extra water required. You can cook on a proper fire, using the hot embers. We'll certainly have a screened, concealed fire going in the SAS camp during daylight hours for any in field Gordon Ramsey's who want to cook, hell, I might even bring some bacon with me and knock up some bannock bread as well, if I have time. I like boil in the bag stuff because I don't like cleaning messtins!

If you really fancy a full on, "awesome" experience, I'm sure you could find some suitable Ray Mears wild food stuff on youtube to take inspiration from. I could spend a whole day on teaching foraging but, we just don't have the time on this training day.
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Re: Ration packs - your questions answered.

Postby BedsnHerts » Fri Apr 09, 2010 9:27 pm

Roger that. We probably won't have time to forage for worm-and-moss casserole on the actual event either, so maybe I'm just making too much of it (again) :D

Anyhoo, suffice to say that I'm über-excited about both the training day and the event. :happyclap:
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Re: Ration packs - your questions answered.

Postby Sgt.Heide » Fri Apr 09, 2010 9:32 pm

BedsnHerts wrote:Anyhoo, suffice to say that I'm über-excited about both the training day and the event. :happyclap:


You and me both mate! I'll try to point out edible stuff on the training day, if I can remember to whilst munching on oatmeal blocks and boiled sweets!
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Re: Ration packs - your questions answered.

Postby marsha » Sat Apr 10, 2010 3:03 am

Sgt.Heide wrote:I've picked up current ration packs on Ebay for a fiver. You do get raped for postage as well (the average is £5) but, that's still only a tenner posted. I've seen people selling crappy yank MRE's for more than that (and you need 3 of them a day!).

Edit - just had a look at those you linked to and they're the older type of rations. Nowt wrong with them, just not as much choice on menus and you don't get quite as many goodies in them.

That cooker looks ok, don't forget the fuel for it as well. You can get sachets of gel fuel for pennies (very handy for emergency fire lighting as well). Personally, I use an old fashioned hexi burner!



have you got the link for those ration packs?
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