British 24 Hour Ration-Pack Review

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British 24 Hour Ration-Pack Review

Post by Drake122 » Wed Mar 12, 2008 2:25 pm

Decided to do a review on the British Army 24 Hour Ration Pack

British Army GPI (General Purpose Individual) 24 Hour Ration Pack

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A British Ration Pack is made to sustain an individual for at least 24 hours, it contains three meals from a breakfast, dinner and dessert as well as various snacks and beverages.

Most British Rat Packs are kitted out with pocket cookers also called "Tommy Cookers" which use hexamine blocks for fuel. Unfortunately I did not receive a cooker in my pack so I had to use a gas stove, however the same principle can be used with a camping stove as well and any other kind of cooking equipment. The food can also be eaten cold as well.

The Pack I received was a combination of two menu's, Menu C Breakfast which was Sausage and Beans in a foil boil-in-a-bag packet alongside with menu D Main and Dessert which was pork casserole with treacle pudding in yet again a foil boil-in-a-bag packet. The Pack contains additional goodies as well, various snacks and beverages which are list below:

(information taken from mreinfo.com)

-1 x Soup, powdered form, in sachet (I got the Chicken Soup flavour)
-1 x Meat Pate (Chicken & Herbs)
-1 x Oatmeal block (Cookie)
-1 packet x Biscuit Browns (6 in a Green Packet)
-1 packet x Fruit Biscuits (6 in a pink pack)
-2 x Milk chocolate bar (Yorkie Bars)
-1 x Milk chocolate with raisins and cereal bar (I did not receive this, it may be the reason I got two yorkie bars)
-1 packet of Boiled sweets
-1 packet of Wrigleys Chewing Gum (I got some unknown brand in a little plastic bag)

-1 x Drinking chocolate
-2 x Coffee sachets
-3 x Beverage whitener sachets, for coffee (I got three instead of the normal two)
-4 x Instant white tea sachets
-8 x Sugar sachets (Each sachet has enough sugar for two tea spoons)
-1 x Orange or Lemon drink powder sachet (Lemon flavour)
-1 x Vegetable stock drink sachet

-1 packet x Kleenex Tissues (I got a packet of Toffely tissues instead)
-6 x Water purifying tablets
-10 x Water/windproof matches with striker

The ration pack itself is rather large and cumbersome to use in a small BOB, in large BOBs you may be able to carry a single British Rat-Pack and maybe one or two MRE's. Depending on what your carrying in the field you may be able to carry three boxes of these rations to accommodate 72 hours but the packing may be difficult due to their size.

They can generally last about three years though I have heard them last longer sometimes up to 2 more years without spoiling. They provide plenty of food for a single day, as I found out when I ordered one. Though mind you the one I ordered had a selection from Menu C starter which was Sausage and Beans followed by Menu D's Main which was Pork Casserole and Treacle Pudding. It also include many snacks and beverages as well including water puri tablets, waterproof matches and tissues.

I was disappointed with the fact that the pack didn't come with a Hexamine stove, but found out a few weeks later that rations that are ordered off certain sites may have items missing. I've read comments of items being replaced or missing entirely from the pack such as the hexamine stove and in my case, the cereal bar replaced with a 2nd yorkie bar. The meals were pleasing, they tasted good but the pudding could have gone better. It was hardy and incredibly sticky thats odd for treacle pudding. The snacks were good, the biscuits were bad but flavour was better with the pate. But they aren't as bad as everyone thinks but that may just be my opinion.

The beverages could have gone better, the coffee and tea weren't bad but they weren't great either, the vegetable stock drink was alright even if it was a little weak. The soup was perhaps too weak, their was very little in flavour in the soup, as for the Lemon drink mix they could tone it down a little as even a small sip almost made my tongue implode. The Choco mix was just like any choco mix good for a cold morning or evening.

It's a good pack to use in your car and your home but I do see problems arising when packing it into smaller BOB's.

Pro's:
- Meals are satisfying and tasty
- Meals are usually cooked within three to five minutes
- Plenty of food for 24 hours, can last longer if pack is used sparingly
- shelf life of three years or longer

Con's:
- Large and Cumbersome, can be difficult to pack inside small to medium sized BOB's
- Heavy for a ration pack. A single pack alone weighs close to 1.7 kilogram's
- When ordered online, some items may be missing/replaced ie Hexamine Stove's and other food items

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Post by collisionsurfer » Wed Mar 12, 2008 2:43 pm

I do like ration packs, but bear in mind that they can, and should, be stripped down if you're going to be carrying them on foot. Even just taking them out of the box and putting them into a bag instead can save a fair bit of space.

Let's just say there are ten ration packs in my home... just in case.

Note: it's a good idea to hide them from your not-quiet-as-preparedness-minded Mrs once she realises they contain chocolate. Just sayin'. :wink:

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Post by Mole » Wed Mar 12, 2008 3:19 pm

Individual Brit rats don't come with the hexi stove any more. They're supplied separately when the troops are resupplied.

At least your box didn't have the proper C menu main course - Lamb stew, YUK!!!

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Post by Abacus » Wed Mar 12, 2008 3:26 pm

I'd like to get some Ration packs, it would go well with all the DPM kit I have.
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Post by JIM » Wed Mar 12, 2008 4:00 pm

Believe me, those fruit-biscuits (pink ones) are very good. The 'normal' ones (green) however taste like sawdust.. :roll:

I know, I know... 'Don't complain about the taste in a PAW..' Well, you eat the green ones then, while I enduldge on the fruit-keks :wink: (the name of those biscuits)
Last edited by JIM on Wed Mar 12, 2008 4:03 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Post by elricfate » Wed Mar 12, 2008 4:01 pm

I'd like to try one of these... just hard to get your hands on in the states.
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Post by stealthedc » Wed Mar 12, 2008 5:10 pm

How about a calorie/nutritional information breakdown?

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Post by TC » Wed Mar 12, 2008 5:43 pm

'biscuit brown makes you frown, biscuit fruit makes you shoot'

I ordered 3 boxes of menu A the other day for £27 including shipping. Not bad. Also, meal A is the king of ratpacks- Burger and beans, chicken & mushroom pasta and treacle pudding!

As Mole said, the hexi stoves aren't included anymore, but you can get them on eBay for a reasonable price.

It's too bad that they don't have the old style ones anymore. I remember that they had dried meals like bacon carbonara. Maybe it wasn't as good as I remember though, especially since every hot food tastes good when you are wet and cold!

Did yours come with the porridge mix? Also, the yorkies are new issue, the no name chocolate is old school (and tastes like dry cardboard, not chocolate IMO).

Oh, and +1 to field stripping them. There's no need for all the stuff they give you. Keep the Boil in bags, the porridge, drinking chocolate, some of the sugar (for the porridge coz it's bland), matches, purification tabs, boilies, kleenex, yorkies and gum/tea if you want.

To be honest, though, you can save a lot of room by just ditching the box and a lot of those little bits and pieces.

What pate did you get? I knew a guy who would take everyone else's pate; even though we all hated it, he just couldn't get enough of it!

PS. Orange powder explodes nicely!

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Post by doc66 » Wed Mar 12, 2008 6:32 pm

JIM wrote: The 'normal' ones (green) however taste like sawdust..
Green ones... Like Soylent Green? You mean people taste like sawdust? Or normal people taste like sawdust?

Is biscuit code for people in England?

Am I missing something?

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Post by TC » Wed Mar 12, 2008 6:35 pm

doc66 wrote:
JIM wrote: The 'normal' ones (green) however taste like sawdust..
Green ones... Like Soylent Green? You mean people taste like sawdust? Or normal people taste like sawdust?

Is biscuit code for people in England?

Am I missing something?

Doc
He's talking about the cookies in the ration pack.

There are 3 types:

one oatmeal biscuit
Biscuit Brown (aka sawdust)
Biscuit Fruit

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Post by crypto » Wed Mar 12, 2008 7:17 pm

brown biscuits are savory, not sweet, I believe.
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Post by Tonto » Wed Mar 12, 2008 9:17 pm

Thanks for the write up. I always enjoy seeing reviews of other nation's field rations.

Hopefully we'll get other nationalities to join and post their reviews of their military's combat/field rations.
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Post by Drake122 » Thu Mar 13, 2008 2:27 am

stealthedc wrote:How about a calorie/nutritional information breakdown?
Unfortunately there was none, either on the pack itself or on MREinfo.com but if anyone else can find one it would be appreciated

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Post by doc66 » Thu Mar 13, 2008 7:01 am

TC wrote:
doc66 wrote:
JIM wrote: The 'normal' ones (green) however taste like sawdust..
Green ones... Like Soylent Green? You mean people taste like sawdust? Or normal people taste like sawdust?

Is biscuit code for people in England?

Am I missing something?

Doc
He's talking about the cookies in the ration pack.

There are 3 types:

one oatmeal biscuit
Biscuit Brown (aka sawdust)
Biscuit Fruit
You've not got a sense of humor...

I knew that. It was a play on the movie Soylent Green.

:roll:

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Post by ToddGray » Thu Mar 13, 2008 7:08 am

ITS PEOPLE!!!

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Post by Hudson » Thu Mar 13, 2008 7:29 am

Any Screech, or is it all the new Lucozade in it now?
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Post by Dak Kovar » Thu Mar 13, 2008 12:30 pm

Nice review. Thanks for the information.
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Post by zoiders » Thu Mar 13, 2008 12:40 pm

Hudson wrote:Any Screech, or is it all the new Lucozade in it now?
They took the glucose tablets out of rat packs years ago, if you ate to many you could have a fit

Screech is still in it and it still tastes like drinking orange scented detergent

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Re: British 24 Hour Ration-Pack Review

Post by sheddi » Thu Mar 13, 2008 5:44 pm

Drake122 wrote:The Pack I received was a combination of two menu's, Menu C Breakfast which was Sausage and Beans in a foil boil-in-a-bag packet alongside with menu D Main and Dessert which was pork casserole with treacle pudding in yet again a foil boil-in-a-bag packet.
In my limited experience (40 or so surplus ratpacks) I've only had one substitution, so you were pretty "unlucky" (you might think the deal worked out well!).
-1 x Milk chocolate with raisins and cereal bar (I did not receive this, it may be the reason I got two yorkie bars)
These days they're only packing Yorkies, or so it seems, although I've recently got a couple of 2001-vintage packs :shock: with the white "Duncans" chocolate in them. They're menu S2, which was a surprise too.
-1 packet of Wrigleys Chewing Gum (I got some unknown brand in a little plastic bag)
It's still usually Wrigleys.
-1 x Orange or Lemon drink powder sachet (Lemon flavour)
as for the Lemon drink mix they could tone it down a little as even a small sip almost made my tongue implode.
Lemon screech! I suggest diluting it in twice the recommended volume of water, that way it doesn't take the enamel off your teeth as quickly.
-1 packet x Kleenex Tissues (I got a packet of Toffely tissues instead)
That's the usual brand turning up in surplus packs at the moment.
They can generally last about three years though I have heard them last longer sometimes up to 2 more years without spoiling.
Current operational issue (to mates of mine) is 2004 dated. Surplus seems to be 2003 or 2004 too, although the occasional older one turns up (see previously).
The meals were pleasing, they tasted good but the pudding could have gone better. It was hardy and incredibly sticky thats odd for treacle pudding.
An occasional campfire dare is to bet someone (usually a newbie) to eat two whole treacle puddings ...
the biscuits were bad
Does nobody like the biscuits but me? The fruit ones I'd choose to buy retail, if they available from the typical supermarket.
Mole wrote:At least your box didn't have the proper C menu main course - Lamb stew, YUK!!!
I like that too. Perhaps I'm just odd :roll:

- Meals are usually cooked within three to five minutes
The food's already cooked when you get it, all you're doing is warming it up. In extremis you can eat it cold from the pouch (although it would be a particular kind of insanity to try that with the treacle pudding).
- When ordered online, some items may be missing/replaced ie Hexamine Stove's and other food items
Your menu substitutions were probably made when the pack was, er, packed, not by the eventual retailer.
stealthedc wrote:How about a calorie/nutritional information breakdown?
For nutritional details on the pouched meals, see here. These are the same pouched meals as supplied to the British military, but in retail packaging.
TC wrote:I ordered 3 boxes of menu A the other day for £27 including shipping. Not bad.
You don't get to choose the menus - you get whatever they've got, hence my two S2s - and they're regularly sold out, but Genuine Army Surplus are hard to beat at £4.50 a pack plus £5.95 p&p for up to 10 packs.
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Re: British 24 Hour Ration-Pack Review

Post by Brash » Thu Mar 13, 2008 5:59 pm

sheddi wrote: The food's already cooked when you get it, all you're doing is warming it up. In extremis you can eat it cold from the pouch (although it would be a particular kind of insanity to try that with the treacle pudding).
Bet you a pint I can talk Krootox into doing it. :lol:
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Re: British 24 Hour Ration-Pack Review

Post by sheddi » Thu Mar 13, 2008 6:23 pm

Brash wrote:
sheddi wrote: The food's already cooked when you get it, all you're doing is warming it up. In extremis you can eat it cold from the pouch (although it would be a particular kind of insanity to try that with the treacle pudding).
Bet you a pint I can talk Krootox into doing it. :lol:
Next meet, if I make it, I'll bring one along and buy you the pint :lol:
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Re: British 24 Hour Ration-Pack Review

Post by zoiders » Sat May 03, 2008 7:46 pm

Brash wrote:
sheddi wrote: The food's already cooked when you get it, all you're doing is warming it up. In extremis you can eat it cold from the pouch (although it would be a particular kind of insanity to try that with the treacle pudding).
Bet you a pint I can talk Krootox into doing it. :lol:
I have eaten rat packs cold

The treacle puddings get binned due to vomit facor

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Post by Mbelasko12 » Sat May 03, 2008 9:16 pm

Dad remembers some of the 'older' British rations when stay still had them instock here. Namely the eggs and bacon in a can :shock:

Seriously an international review from members would be great particularly if their are pics.

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Post by MarkTBSc » Sun May 04, 2008 10:20 am

This is the most detail of the calorie values in a 24H Rat. Pack I can find. From what I hear, the new British packs may actually have surpassed the French in terms of taste and variety. I'm not sure how I feel about that.

They are large packs, but then you've got 4000 Calories there and you could get by on 200 so it could be cut down by quite a bit.
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