Guest Article: LRP Rations, The Survival Food of the Pros, by Thomas Baldrick

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Maybe you wear a Peyton Manning jersey. Maybe you gulp Gatorade during your outdoor activities. Maybe you like Lowe’s because they sponsor Jimmy Johnson’s #48 car. If you’re one of the millions of people who commonly buy into the products of the top professionals, you might have an appetite for Long Range Patrol Ration Entrees. After all, LRP Rations are the survival food carried on long range missions by U.S. Military Special Forces members.

The name Long Range Patrol Rations tells you who the intended military target was for this food. Today, current examples of Long Range Reconnaissance Patrol units (LRRPs) include U.S. Army Rangers, Army Special Forces, Marine Corps Marine Reconnaissance units, and Navy SEALS. Historians claim long range surveillance teams first formed during the fighting of World War II. The operations of specialized units, such as the British Force 136 and Long Range Desert Group set the modern standards for skills and tactics in scouting the enemy.

LRRP units are small teams of soldiers who bravely serve as “our eyes behind enemy lines.” They do dangerous, covert missions crossing deep into unfriendly territory to gather important military intelligence. They identify and collect current information on matters such as enemy troop sizes and locations, key resources, and strategic targets of opportunity. These types of patrols have served critical roles in eastern Europe, North Vietnam, the Middle East, and beyond.

The Lowdown on LRPs

Out of necessity in the 1960’s, American Military ingenuity developed a high-tech food advancement. It was formally called The Food Packet, Long Range Patrol Ration. Referred to as “Lurps” or “Lurp Rats,” it produced a new solution to an old problem, which had been eating away at both soldiers and commanders for years.

The standard canned rations known as C-Rations just weren’t making the grade. They weighed too much and were too bulky. This was especially true for the backpacks of heavily armed Special Operations soldiers who needed to travel long distances on foot and move quickly at times.

Highly nutritious fresh food is prepared and cooked. It then goes through the freeze drying process. At this time, 98% of the moisture gets removed from the food. Next, it is vacuum-packed, intentionally into the shape of a small brick. Now the nutrients and freshness are locked in securely. Entrees, weighing only four to five ounces each, can be easily stacked in a small space within a backpack, giving soldiers the ability to carry many more days worth of meals. There are other added benefits, too.

Suddenly, soldiers are given more room in their backpacks and more options to carry other important items they might need. Tremendous ease of use is also important. LRP Rations need only water (preferably hot, but any temperature will do) to reconstitute once opened. Within minutes, the aroma, texture, and taste returns. The nutritional value is alive and well. The end result is a delicious meal with a yield which increases to more than 20 ounces of high-protein, high-energy food.

Much to Love About LRPs

LRP Rations aren’t just like freeze-dried foods. They are freeze-dried foods. Long Range Patrol Rations offer a long shelf life, typically lasting for decades. So, as is the case with other freeze-dried foods and dehydrated foods, LRPs will be reliable, ready, and waiting for you in those times when you want or need them most. This is the purpose of survival food.

The differences between these and traditional civilian freeze-dried foods are LRPs have higher ratios of key ingredients such as beef, chicken and turkey. This is mandated in order to meet nutritional requirements established by the U.S. Military for active soldiers in challenging field conditions. Another difference is LRPs in the shape of small brick packs are quite compact. They take up less space and weight than both pouches and #10 cans of freeze-dried food.

Long Range Patrol Ration entrees are manufactured in the U.S.A in large single servings, offering good-tasting, high-energy meals in a wide range of options. Among those on the menu for LRPs entrees are the following meals:

  • Chicken & Rice
  • Spaghetti with Meat
  • Chili Mac with Beef
  • Turkey Tetrazzini
  • Mexican Rice & Chicken
  • Beef Stew
  • Granola and Blueberries
  • Scrambled Eggs with Bacon

Civilian Use of LRP Rations

Because they are lightweight, compact, and easy to prepare, LRPs have attracted the interest of a variety of civilians. Lurp Lovers include backpackers, who carry them on hiking and rock climbing adventures. Also, campers, RV travelers, and sailboat owners bring them along as high-protein, home-cooked tasting meals that take very little space and effort. Survivalists and preppers consider LRP Rations as valuable and practical survival food items to have in their “Grab & Go” bags, and on their long-term storage shelves.

“Americans in the know” know how to make use of LRPs. The big issue with Long Range Patrol Rations and civilians has nothing to do with whether or not to carry them in backpacks, or store them with other emergency preparedness foods and items. The challenge is based on the rarity of these unique freeze-dried food solutions and their lack of availability to the general population.

Due to their long shelf life, manufactured runs of Long Range Patrol Rations are not done every year. In fact, it is not uncommon for periods of five to seven years to pass between requests by the U.S. Military for more.

LRP Rations only become available outside of military circles in the event there is a U.S. Government overrun (as was the case in 2013). On these occasions, a limited supply can be put on sale for consumption by the general public.

The LRP Ration is the longest running military ration still in existence today. For nearly 50 years, it has proven good enough to be carried on the backs of U.S. Special Forces on their longest, toughest missions. So, it may prove worthy of consideration by you for your emergency or outdoor food needs… especially if you want the best, like the pros do.

About the Author:
Thomas Baldrick is with Freeze Dry Guy and can be contacted at Freeze Dry Guy, Inc

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