Note: While most of these rations are based on US ration types, similar rations are available in the armies of most countries, making allowances for industrial level and capabilities.

A-Rations: This is a mixed ration of semi-perishable and perishable food, based on the UGR-H&S. In addition to the standard non-perishable UGR food containers, the A-Ration contains luxury items like concentrated juice instead of instant, pastries, cooking oil, pudding, cake, cookies, steak sauce, and generally better-tasting food items. Items such as UHT milk, irradiated bread slices, breakfast cereal, hot sauce, catsup, jelly, spices, napkins, paper towels, Styrofoam cups, fiberboard trays, and plastic utensils are also included. Some of the items in the A-Ration require refrigeration to keep properly. If properly kept, the A-Rations have a minimum shelf life of 5 months, and may keep much longer. One module feeds 75 persons, a tier feeds 150 persons, and a pallet feeds 600 persons. Required intake is 2.2 kg per day. Weight: (single module) 165 kg, (single tier) 325 kg, (pallet) 1310 kg; Price: (single module) $985, (single tier) $1575, (pallet) $6290 (R/R)

B-Rations: These are primarily used by US Marines and special operations personnel in base camps. They are midway between the A-Rations and the UGR-H&S, having no perishable components, but providing more palatable food than the UGR-H&S. 10 breakfast and 10 lunch/dinner menus are provided, with items such as juice, scrambled eggs, potatoes, canned fruit, and dinner dishes ranging from beef and gravy to baked chicken, with vegetables. Accessory items margarine, peanut butter, jelly, coffee, cocoa, Kool-Aid, tea, fiberboard trays, cups, utensils, and trash bags. The food is very nutritious and filling. The ration is delivered in 200-meal pallets, and is strong enough to be parachuted or sling-loaded. Required intake is 1.3 kg per day. Minimum shelf life under poor conditions is 2 years. Weight: (pallet) 285 kg; Price: (pallet) $1250 (R/R)

Beer (per liter): $10 (S/S)

Candy (per kilogram): $25 (S/S)

Chewing Gum (per kilogram): $50 (S/S)

Chocolate (per kilogram): $100 (S/S)

C-Rations: These are the predecessor of the MREs, first used by the US and Britain in World War 2. They were still being used by the US Marines as late as the early 1990s, and local variations were quite common during the Twilight War in China, Russia, and Third World nations. The ration consists of one can of meat or vegetarian dish, one can of fruit or vegetables, a can with a bread or cake item, a can with crackers, a can with peanut butter, cheese spread, or jelly, a pouch with a candy disc (usually chocolate, sometimes with a filling), and an accessory package with a spoon, salt, pepper, instant coffee, sugar, creamer, chewing gum, matches, a P-38 can opener, and toilet paper (enough for one act if you're careful). Some countries also supply them with cigarettes, usually 4-6 per C-Ration. Required daily intake is 2 kg. Weight (per ration) 1.1 kg, (per case of 12) 14 kg; Price: (per ration) $9, (per case) $85 (S/S)

Dehydrated Milk (per kilogram): Highly sought after in the Twilight 2000 world, almost as much as the UHT Milk, and it may also be consumed safely by the lactose-intolerant. $15 (C/S)

Domestic/Common Food (per kilogram): Pre-prepared food such as field rations or locally made meals. Required intake is 2kg per day. $4 (V/V)

Energy Bars/Energy Gel (per kilogram): High-calorie, high-carbohydrate food supplements. If packing energy supplements, reduce required food rations by one-third. This assumes that the energy supplements are accounting for a maximum of 1/3 of the caloric intake. If living off energy supplements alone figure 0.8kg required intake per day; however, increase daily water intake. Living off energy supplements for more than 3 days would be extreme. $20 (R/R)

FPSAS (Food Packet, Survival, Abandon Ship): This is a minimal survival ration designed for storage on life rafts and life jackets and to be grabbed in a hurry when abandoning sinking ships. It consists of 6 calorically-dense cereal bars. It will minimize the effects of acute starvation, but does not provide full nutrition. It is hard on the digestive process and it is not recommended for consumption more than five days in a row except in extreme circumstances. Required daily intake is 0.13 kg. Minimum shelf life is 5 years. Weight: (per ration) 0.15 kg, (per case of 40) 21.77 kg; Price: (per ration) $7, (per case) $290 (S/S)

FPSGP-I (Food Packet, Survival, General Purpose, Improved): This ration is designed for shot-down aircrews. T is a lightweight, high nutrition rations consisting of compressed food bars (2 cereal, 3 cookie, and one sucrose), lemon tea mix, dehydrated soup, and dehydrated gravy. It is nutritious, but not very filling, can lead to constipation, and contains a minimum of protein to reduce the amount of water intake required. Daily required intake is 0.3 kg. Minimum shelf life is 5 years. Weight: (per ration) 0.32 kg, (per case of 24) 8.26 kg; Price: (per ration) $13, (per case) $250 (S/S)

HDR (Humanitarian Daily Ration): These rations are often given out to displaced populations living in refugee camps and devastated areas by government or relief organizations. They are designed to provide an inexpensive, but nourishing meal to people with moderate malnutrition. To appeal to the maximum number of people, the meals are vegetarian, with two entrees in each pouch, consisting of things such as bean salad and brown rice with lentils to lentil stew and red beans and rice. Foods are chosen for nutritional content and filling capability, as per haps as little as one meal may be provided per day. Other items such as crackers and peanut butter or jelly, flat bread, raisins, fruit bars, biscuits, and shortbread are also in the pouch. An accessory packet with red and black pepper, salt, sugar, matches, a moist towelette (alcohol-free), a napkin, and a spoon are included. Required daily intake is 1 kg. Minimum shelf life is 3 years. Weight: (per ration) 1.1 kg, (per case of 10) 12 kg; Price: (per ration) $5, (per case) $40 (S/S)

Hospital Ration Supplement (per kilogram): This is a package of easily digestible foods usually fed to hospital patients in field hospitals, especially those with abdominal wounds. The ration could be a supplement to normal foods or given as the whole meal, depending on the condition of the patient. Normal troops also liked to acquire these packs as a nice change of pace from standard rations. The pack consisted of cans of preserved fruit, concentrated orange juice, evaporated milk, instant coffee, condensed soup, canned meat, and tomato juice, as well as teabags, and packets of cocoa, breakfast cereal, and items such as plastic knives, spoons, and forks, straws, a roll of toilet paper, and a roll of paper towels. This package generally came in 5 kg and 10 kg sizes. Required intake is 2 kg per day. $7 (S/R)

Insulated Food Container: This is not something to eat, but rather a way of keeping cooked and perishable food fresh and at proper serving temperature for at least two hours. It is basically a giant Thermos, about 64x43x24 centimeters in size, with a lid that is sealed tight with a gasket and three pans inside to hold the food. It will keep food at acceptable levels in temperatures ranging from -25 to 120 degrees Fahrenheit. Weight: 3 kg; Price: $130 (V/C)

K-Rations: These are lightweight rations, sort of halfway between the freeze-dried LRRP Rations and the pre-packaged MREs. They were generally issued by countries unable to manufacture the LRRP Rations at light rations for long patrols and special operations units. Later in the war, they were issued by larger countries as a cheaper alternative to LRRP rations and a more-durable alternative to MREs. They were also produced by independent, local manufacturers in a variety of forms as emergency and survival rations for civilians. Typical contents were one can of chopped ham or turkey and egg mixture, a small pound cake, a freeze-dried biscuit, a fruit bar, a packet of coffee or cocoa, tablets of dextrose or malted milk balls, a packet of chewing gum or candy, one can of meat, potted meat, deviled ham, or chicken or turkey salad, and a daily dose of vitamins, along with a plastic spoon, a packet of salt, and toilet paper (enough for one act if you use it carefully). Required intake is 1.25 kg per day. Weight: (per ration): 0.42 kg, (per case of 12) 5.5 kg; Price: (per ration) $6, (per case) $60 (S/S)

Liquor (per liter): excluding moonshine (ethanol), $6 (C/C)

LRP (Long-Range Patrol) Rations: These are freeze-dried, dehydrated, just-add-water rations, along with items such as ranger cookies, cookie bars, candy, powdered beverages such as Kool-Aid, cocoa, coffee, and apple cider. There is an accessory packet with a spoon, sugar, creamer, toilet paper (enough for 2 acts), matches, salt, and chewing gum. Required intake is 0.4 kg per day. Use of this ration for longer than 5 days at a time is not recommended, as it can cause digestive problems such as constipation and cramps. 8 menus are available. Weight: (one ration) 0.45 kg, (per case of 16) 9.07 kg; Price: (per ration) $16, (per case) $205 (S/S)

MCW/LRP (Meal, Cold Weather/Long Range Patrol): These combination rations were starting to be issued just before the Twilight War. They are designed for use by both troops operating in extreme cold and by Long-Range Patrol units. The come in bags similar to the RCW and MRE, with one bag per day being used for troops in normal climates and three bags per day for troops in extreme cold. 12 menus are available, ranging from oriental chicken with rice to a western omelet, with fruit or sports bars, crackers and peanut butter, cheese or jelly, candy bars, and items such as nut raisin mixes, ramen, cookies, granola bars, or nuts. An accessory packet with items such as Kool-Aid, lemon tea, cocoa, coffee, creamer, sugar, chewing gum, matches, hot sauce, moist towelette, toilet paper, salt, and a spoon if in the packet. Daily required intake is 0.55 kg in normal climate or 1.65 kg in extreme cold. Weight (per bag) 0.55 kg, (per case of 12 bags) 8.16 kg; Price: (per bag) $12, (per case) $115 (R/R)

MRE (Meal Ready-to-Eat): This is the standard ration of many armies, with countless variations all over the globe. They are packed in a weatherproof plastic pouch or box, with individual foil or plastic pouches within for the ingredients of the meal. In the US, 24 menu variations are available, with moist main entrees ranging from grilled beefsteak and chicken with noodles to a bean and rice burrito and meat loaf with gravy. Along with this is a side dish ranging from western beans and pound cake to Mexican rice and mashed potatoes. Other ingredients include beef jerky, hard candy, applesauce, cheese and crackers, and soft pretzels, and usually there are items such as crackers with cheese, jelly, or peanut butter. Rounding out the MRE are beverage powders such as Kool-Aid, cocoa, and coffee, a small bottle of hot sauce, or dehydrated fruits. An accessory packet is in the MRE containing a spoon, sugar, nondairy creamer, salt, chewing gum, matches, toilet paper (about enough for one act if you're careful), a moist towelette, a flameless heating device, and sometimes candy or apple cider. The minimum shelf life is about 3 years, but I have kept some MREs for 10 years that were still edible. Required daily intake is 1.7 kg. Weight: (per ration) 0.86 kg, (per case of 12) 10.3 kg, (per pallet of 576) 494 kg; Price: (per ration) $8, (per case) $77, (per pallet) $3685 (C/C)

MREV (Meal, Ready-to-Eat, Vegetarian): This is similar to the MRE, but contains no food items derived from animals or animal by-products. 4 menus are available, and contain food items such as minestrone, beans and rice, and other bean dishes, along with crackers, peanut butter or jelly, potatoes, chocolate covered cookies, brownies and oatmeal cookie bars, cocoa or Kool-Aid, and a standard MRE accessory packet. All foods have been vitamin and mineral fortified to meet military nutritional requirements. Required intake is 1.7 kg per day. The minimum shelf life is 3 years. Weight: (per meal) 0.86 kg, (per case of 12) 10.3 kg, (per pallet of 576) 494 kg; Price: (per meal) $10, (per case) $95, (per pallet) $3810 (S/S)

MRK (Meal, Religious, Kosher): This variant of the MRE is designed to meet the needs of Jewish and Islamic soldiers. It is based on meals acceptable to those groups, most notably without those items based on pork and ham (amongst other things). A similar meal exists, largely in South Asia, for Hindu troops, who cannot eat beef. The meal comes in two bags, one with the entrée/meal items, and one with accessory items such as are normal in MREs and snack items such as tea, coffee, hot or cold cereal, items such as bagel chips or granola bars, and sealed containers of fruits or nuts such as raising, prunes, peanuts, or almonds. It has a somewhat shorter shelf life, starting at 10 months. 10 menus are available. Required intake is 1.7 kg per day. Weight: (per ration) 0.86 kg, (per case of 12) 10.3 kg; Price: (per ration) $10, (per case) $95 (S/S)

Pouch Bread/Pastries: Pouch bread was first introduced to coalition forces during the 1990-91 build up to Desert Storm. It rapidly became a hit, and is much sought-after to improve the soldier's lot in life. It is basically a small loaf of bread sealed in a foil or plastic pouch, treated with preservatives, stabilizers, water-control agents, and oxygen-scavenging sachets to keep the bread fresh at least three years at normal storage conditions. Shortly before the Twilight War, this technology was extended to some other items, such as brownies, cookies, pop-tarts, pound cake, and other such items, and these were likewise well received, with morale being improved in units where these items were available. The pouch bread and pastries were not intended to be ration-replacing items, and so are not as nutritious as rations, but one may replace one-quarter of the weight of pouch bread or one-fifth of the weight of pouch pastries with an equivalent amount of rations (thus, 1 kg of pouch bread may replace 0.25 kg of rations for nutritional purposes). Weight: (per pouch of bread) 0.25 kg, (per case of 24 pouches of bread) 7 kg, (per pouch of pastry or cookies) 0.15 kg, (per case of 40 pouches of pastry or cookies) 7 kg; Price: (per pouch of bread) $1, (per case of bread) $20; (C/S); (per pouch of pastry or cookies) $2, (per case of pastry or cookies) $60 (S/-)

RCW (Ration, Cold Weather): These are rations designed for extreme cold weather to resist cold and to meet the extra caloric requirements of individuals operating in extreme weather. The food is either low-moisture or freeze-dried, and the rations consist of two bags (Bag A and Bag B). Bag A consists of high-fat foods, largely oatmeal, cocoa, apple cider, chicken noodle soup, fruit bars, crackers, and an accessory packet for the meal with a spoon, coffee, nondairy creamer, sugar, chewing gum, toilet paper, and matches, and hexamine heat tabs. Bag B has the main entry; 6 menus are available, from chicken stew to spaghetti and meat sauce, along with granola bars, cookies or brownies, instant orange drink, a toffee roll, chocolate covered cookie, and lemon tea. All ingredients are fortified with extra vitamins, electrolytes, and carbohydrates, as well as fat, while limiting sodium and protein to reduce the risk of dehydration. Shelf life is a minimum of 3 years. Required daily intake is 1.2 kg. A case consists of 6 rations (one for each menu available). Weight: (per ration) 1.25 kg, (case) 9.67 kg; Price: (per ration) $10, (per case) $62 (R/R)

Russian Field Rations (per 2-kilogram box): A standard ration pack (intended to last one day) is contained in a 175x145x135mm cardboard box. The package contains two 300-gram cans of meat (various types, none being particularly appetizing), a lump of black bread (prepared for long-term storage, meaning it must be soaked in tea or water, before it can be eaten), two grams of tea, and nine small packs of sugar. There is no seasoning, not even any salt, and none of the accessories (utensils, matches, toilet paper, etc.) found in MREs. $8 (R/C)

Shelf-Stable Pocket Sandwich: These were first issued to US soldiers in early 1995, and production was quickly ramped up in order to provide easy meals to soldiers in the field and in active operations. They are basically hollowed-out Pouch Bread filled wit a variety of fillings, from roast beef to turkey to ham to vegetarian meals like alfalfa sprouts and cheese. They proved immensely popular with troops, and due to ease of use and consumption were issued as rations to many troops who did not have time to stop and eat a meal. When NATO and Israeli troops saw what the US soldiers had, they demanded the same, and with a couple of months they were being produced by many NATO countries, as well as by Israel. Required intake is 1.5 kg per day. The pocket sandwiches keep at least three years if unopened. Weight: (per sandwich) 0.35 kg, (per case of 24) 9.5 kg; Price: (per pocket sandwich) $5, (per case) $96 (C/-)

TOTM (Tailored Operational Training Meal): These are pre-packed meals used primarily to feed trainees, garrison and armory personnel, and other low-priority feeding needs. In the US, hundreds of thousands were handed out by FEMA after the November Nuclear Strikes. They are low-bulk, high-nutrition meals designed to not take up much room (typically, the pockets of a military uniform). The packaging is similar to an MRE, but in more commercial packaging, and often with civilian equivalents to MRE items. There are also things not normally found in MREs, such as preserved fruit, moist towelettes, napkins, and red pepper. One case contains 12 meals, and a pallet contains 600 meals. 18 menus are available, and a case typically 6 menus in sets of 2. Required daily intake is 1.9 kg per day. Weight: (per meal) 0.76 kg, (per case) 9.07 kg, (per pallet) 464 kg (C/S)

Transdermal Nutrient Delivery System (TNDS): This is similar technology to the nicotine patch for people quitting smoking, but instead of delivering nicotine, the TNDS delivers a concentrated dose of vitamins, minerals, and other nutrients to the wearer. These patches were generally issued only to NATO and Israeli special operations units who were on high-intensity missions for use when there was no time for an extended period for eating. There was a rumor that these patches were also treated with steroids and adrenaline, but this was never confirmed. These patches were never meant as a total replacement for rations, and could replace about one-quarter of the daily requirements of rations per day, with two being used per day. They do not alleviate the hunger pains or stomach growling caused by lack of food. Some of these patches were also used by astronauts and pilots on long missions, but they are more rare in those applications. Weight: (per pack of 10) 0.1 kg; Price: (per pack) $500 (-/-)

T-Rations: In bivouac, the normal ration is A/C/A, or hot breakfast, MRE lunch, and hot dinner. This requires the mess section to cook twice daily, and keeping food fresh and restocked presents logistical problems. The T-Ration is a pre-prepared meal kit consisting of sealed metal trays of entrees and side dishes such as meat, scrambled eggs, lasagna, etc., and items like canned fruit and vegetables, designed to feed multiple (18) soldiers per tray. They are heated by boiling the trays in water for a specific time. This system lessens mess personnel staffing requirements and eases preparation. There are 7 breakfast and 14 lunch/dinner menus. A module also contains various instant beverages, nondairy creamers, hot sauce, jelly, Styrofoam cups, cardboard plates, and utensils. The T-Rations are normally supplemented with irradiated, individually wrapped bread slices, UHT Milk (both provided with the modules), and locally procured salad (which became harder to get as the war wore on). Required intake is 2kg per day. The T-Rations are designed to last a minimum of 3 years under poor conditions, and if kept carefully, can last much longer. A can opener is required to open the tins. Weight: (single module) 42 kg, (pallet of 24 modules) 1010 kg; Price: (single module) $215, (pallet) $4125 (S/R)

UGR-H&S (Unitized Group Ration-Heat & Serve): These are evolutionary developments of the T-Rations, designed to replace them. They are easier to open, vitamin and mineral-fortified, and packed in lighter containers. There is an arctic supplement to the UGR-H&S that provides an additional 914 calories per soldier per day; this supplement costs and weighs an additional 60%. The modules are essentially similar to the T-Rations, but are somewhat more nutritious and are larger. The UGR-H&S has a minimum shelf life of 18 months under poor conditions, and normally last far longer. One module feeds 50 people, one tier feeds 100 people, and a pallet feeds 400 people. Required intake is 1.9 kg per day. Weight: (single module) 95 kg, (single tier of 2 modules) 190 kg, (pallet of 8 modules) 760 kg; Price: (single module) $570, (single tier) $905, (pallet) $3630 (R/R)

UHT (Ultra-High Temperature) Milk: These are small, single-serving boxes of milk that have been specially treated to kill all microbes and keep fresh even under high temperatures without refrigeration. (Nothing like the taste of warm milk on a hot day!) The container comes with a straw. Several variations are available, including whole and 2% versions of white, chocolate, and strawberry. A single box provides 236 ml of milk. These items were highly sought after by soldiers and civilians alike, especially mothers with infants. Minimum shelf life under poor, high-temperature conditions is 10 months, and most last for several years, if unopened. Weight: (single box) 0.25 kg, (case of 27) 6.75 kg, (pallet of 3240) 825 kg; Price: (single box) $7, (case) $150, (pallet) $18,000 (C/R)

Water, DE (Drinking, Emergency): These are plastic pouches of distilled water for emergency use by aircrews and life raft occupants for use after a crash, bailout, or ship sinking. They are guaranteed fresh for 5 years after manufacture, and contain 118 ml of water each, with a nipple for drinking. Weight: 0.12 kg, 3 kg per case of 24; Price: $2, $38 per case (C/C)

Water, DS (Drinking, Sterile): This is a larger container of emergency water, also used by medical personnel. It is packaged in a rigid plastic bottle, and contains 473 ml of water. Weight: 0.5 kg, 12 kg per case of 24; Price: $8, $150 per case (S/S)

Wild Food (per kilogram): Foraged food such as berries and tubers and hunted food such as deer. Required intake is 3kg per day. $2 (C/C)

Wine (per liter): $20 (S/S)