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Differences between MRE, MCW, LRP, etc

Posted: Sun Dec 03, 2017 9:28 pm
by mp43sniper
Please forgive me if this is somewhere already, but I tried some searches and didn't find what I was looking for.

I'm putting together my Christmas list for family members and since I need to replenish my old stock of MREs I decided to expand my ration collection at the same time. What are the differences between the different rations? I thought that LRPs and MCWs are freeze-dried but maybe this is not true 100% of the time. Also, are the LRPs bigger (more food)?

My ration collection will overlap my "prepping", which my family has always done since I was a kid with canned food. I still always have a good supply of that in my household and rations will keep stuff interesting. Just a few years ago we had an ice storm that knocked out power for 3 days. It only took a couple hours to empty the stores for a while. We enjoyed the time off with heat from the wood burner, power from a generator, and canned food from the pantry. I was almost sad to see it end.

Thanks in advance for info.

Re: Differences between MRE, MCW, LRP, etc

Posted: Sun Dec 03, 2017 10:25 pm
by SentientTootsieRoll
Where did you read that the MCWs and LRPs aren't freeze dried? Whoever told you that is wrong. The entrees in them are freeze dried, however the other components are not and there's no reason for them to be. For example. it wouldn't be logistical to have freeze dried nut mix, M&Ms. drink mixes, etc. Those things wouldn't freeze. The entrees in an MRE along with some of the components (i.e. applesauce) will freeze if it's cold enough so they don't include that in the MCWs or LRPs.

As of this writing, there's is only one difference between the LRPs and the MCWs: The MCWs have one sleeve of toilet paper in the accessory packets and the LRPs have two sleeves. That may sound like a joke but I can assure you it's not. Official documents from Natick show there's is only a few cents' difference in cost for the two types of cases to be produced and the toilet paper is likely the reason for that.

Edit: Here's some links to some reviews of both rations I did on this forum, hopefully it will give you a good idea of what to expect.


Re: Differences between MRE, MCW, LRP, etc

Posted: Sun Dec 03, 2017 11:10 pm
by mp43sniper
Thanks for the info and links. I'll check them out.

Nobody said they weren't freeze dried; I was wondering out loud what the difference was. It sounds like deciding between the two just comes down to menu preferences.

Re: Differences between MRE, MCW, LRP, etc

Posted: Sun Dec 03, 2017 11:48 pm
by SentientTootsieRoll
Glad I could help. The menus and the components in them are the exact same. Really, it just comes down to price, availability and appearance. In my experience, obtaining MCWs have been far more easier than finding any LRPs. There are a few MCW cases for sale on eBay but I haven't seen any modern production LRP cases on sale since early this year. The best prices I can get them for is around $150 so I usually keep checking until a listing goes up for that price and then I buy it. If it's more than $160 or so, I just wait. Now that the ration market is in such high demand right now, it's harder to find some now than it was over a year ago so you're left with a choice of waiting it out or just paying a high price.

In terms of appearance, the LRPs are brown much like MREs and the MCWs are packaged in white. I don't personally worry about the aesthetics, but it's something to keep in mind if you happen to be concerned about that.

Re: Differences between MRE, MCW, LRP, etc

Posted: Mon Dec 04, 2017 7:10 am
by [ex-Member1]
Colours of packaging, number of toilet paper, salt... that's differences between MCW and LRP beside how they are issued

The Meal, Cold Weather/Food Packet, Long Range Patrol (MCW/LRP) provides an operational ration for two separate operational scenarios. The Meal, Cold Weather (MCW) is intended for cold weather feeding, it will not freeze and supplies extra drink mixes for countering dehydration during cold weather activities. It can be issued at three per day for a complete cold weather ration. The MCW is packaged in a white camouflage pouch similar to the RCW. The Food Packet, Long Range Patrol (LRP) is a restricted calorie ration meant for special operations, where resupply is not available and weight and volume are critical factors. It is issued at one per soldier per day for up to ten days. The LRP is packaged in a tan camouflage menu pouch similar to the current MRE. The combined product assembly consists of twelve ration/meals packets per shipping container. The weight of each case is approximately 15 pounds and it measures approximately 1.02 cubic feet.