Apr 30, 2010 at 12:57 am #1258367
The packaging of Mountain House freeze-dried dinners (and presumably other brands as well) weighs almost 1 oz per dinner!!
And yet I could find only one thread on repackaging freeze-dried meals in these forums.. isn't this an obvious place to save weight?
Do any of you carry several of these dinners (say 5) on a trip and repackage into a single large ziplock?
You'd still need to carry one cook bag and clean it up to reuse, right? Is this easy?
It's hard to test this without wasting freeze-dried dinners at home .. so it'd be great to hear any experiences.Apr 30, 2010 at 4:13 am #1603955
I've thought of combining multiple freeze dried meals in one bag, but that has its problems.
1. Unless they're all the same flavor, you'd get some pretty weird flavors going on .
2. Reusing the same bag for rehydrating–yea, I went to freezer bags to avoid cleaning up! (although, it is more of an environmental impact.)
3. I don't know if repeated dousings in boiling water would weaken a plastic bag to a point where it'd eventually rip or develop a hole. Don't want to take the chance.
I just repackage each meal in its own bag. No cleanup, no mess, no fuss, and a greatly reduced packaging weight.Apr 30, 2010 at 4:28 am #1603959
@holdfastLocale: Bergen, Norway
Robin at Blogpackinglight in the UK had a similar thought about the Real Turmat freeze dried meals and simply re-bagged each meal in lighter ziplock baggies.Apr 30, 2010 at 8:30 am #1604025
The real question is: why use these pre-made meals? The nutrition is horrible, the calorie count is way too low, the taste is not good and the cost is too high. You can very simply make & package your own meals that are way better.Apr 30, 2010 at 8:36 am #1604027
Wesley, some of us agree completely.
About 80% of the time, I use trip food of my own concoction. However, I generally keep one or two commercial freeze dried meals around, just for those occasions when I don't feel creative, or I have to throw together my stuff and leave in a hurry. Most of the time, I will repackage.
–B.G.–Apr 30, 2010 at 11:08 am #1604103
I use MH dinners (not for the taste but for the convenience and relatively light weight). They are bulky though.
Currently, I cut away part of the top — just enough for the package to remain sealed — and round out the sharp corners.
I may just ditch the foil entirely and repackage each into its own ziploc bag — but wonder how much weight and pack space I'm really saving? And I'd hate to have a ziploc burst open inside my pack…Apr 30, 2010 at 11:12 am #1604106
Benjamin, I think that is one reason why some consumers have switched over to the other f.d. brands that use much less packaging.
I generally put food into ziploc bags, and then load all of those into a mesh stuff sack that is not packed tight. That way, things can move around a bit and not burst open.
–B.G.–Apr 30, 2010 at 12:49 pm #1604151
MH's so-called "two servings" packages make barely enough dinner for me. What other brands are out there with similar or higher quantity as MH but packaged more compactly? I am not enamored by MH and am always looking for alternatives.Apr 30, 2010 at 2:10 pm #1604193
Whenever I need a f.d. food idea, I always browse the Campmor catalog. Typically there are several brands represented.
–B.G.–Apr 30, 2010 at 2:25 pm #1604199
I might be in the minority here. I really don't mind most of the MH flavors, and the two person meal is good enough for two of us. We do supplement dinner with a little trail mix, jerky, or energy bar.
For some reason, I seem to eat more when I'm NOT hiking. Why? Probably availability and boredom. Normally I bring 1.3 PPDPP, which is plenty for my 8 miles per day average.
I'm 165 lbs and 5' 11", and eat very healthy regularly, so I'm not so terribly opposed to eating the relatively unhealthy MH stuff when hiking. Now, if I were out much more than I am, I would certainly be a bit more conscious of what I eat. In fact, I've recently gone to eating this:
which is basically a "beefed up" version of regular ramen. Its about $0.70 a meal, weighs 4 oz dry, and many varieties have a crap-load of calories–some of them have more calories than MH meals.
Ya, I know some of you gasp in horror for both nutritional and taste reasons, but it works for me.May 1, 2010 at 9:23 am #1604577
@johnnybgood4Locale: New Hampshire
I repackage each Mountain House "2 person" meal into a Glad Steamer Bag. The steamer bag has a flat bottom so it stands up own it's own and is easy to eat out of if you fold the top back over itself when the meal is ready.
The bags weigh .3oz (8 grams) including a couple of small pieces of freezer tape. I fold the bag over after putting the dried meal in it and sealing the zip lock then I tape the folded seam down in 2 spots. This keeps the package smaller and helps prevent a blowout at the zip lock.May 1, 2010 at 11:36 am #1604632
I might just give this a try. Thanks, John.May 1, 2010 at 6:49 pm #1604759
Travis, those meals are one of my all time favorites…they taste surpisingly good. Unfortunately, im in finals mode right now at law school, so im lucky to even leave the house more than once or twice a week…so cooking a good meal is more or less out of the question. I went to the grocery store this past week and shopped like the armageddon was upon me. Among all the frozen meals, canned meats, TV dinners etc, was 6 of those noodle meals you've pictured. My only concerns are the intense levels of sodium. I guess on the trail, it all counts towards electrolyte replenishment ? :)
Ben, I also repackage my MH meals in quart size ziplocks…you can shove a lot more into a bear can that way. Plus they roll up nicely after you're done eating them. I think the original packaging has a reflective coating that helps with cook times. Some say its not necessary, but I bring along a fabric cozy to be safe…hard undercooked gritty stroganoff isn't very rewarding after a day's work
They have these quart size ziplocs with a physical white zipper across the top…i've done really well with those. Plus the hazard of one busting open isnt too much of a problem until after you've cooked in the bag and everythings goopy…just eat every last drop so even if an accident occurs, the damage will be minimal
Also, i actually like mountain house flavors…at least the beef stroganoff and chili mac. I could eat the chili mac as normal food tbh, its that good. Until I get around to buying my own dehydrator, this is more or less my go to mealMay 1, 2010 at 7:00 pm #1604763
@mtnjimLocale: Shenandoah Valley VA
Where are these available? I am planning a UL trip for 10+ Scouts this Summer . This looks like a great idea!
Thanks JimMay 1, 2010 at 7:05 pm #1604765
You can get them at any major grocery store. Shop & Stop is a major chain over in my area, and I found them there. Just go to the section where they sell cup-o-noodles, instant ramen etc. You might also find them in the pasta section, or in the asian foods section of your major market. But so long as its a major chain, it should carry em. I've also seen them at 7-11.May 1, 2010 at 7:44 pm #1604771
@mtnjimLocale: Shenandoah Valley VA
Thank youMay 1, 2010 at 8:09 pm #1604773
+1 for Yakisoba, and all it's cousins. Cheap, light, filling, caloric.May 1, 2010 at 8:26 pm #1604776
-1 for ramen.
Ate 22 packets in 9 days last year. Yuck.May 1, 2010 at 9:08 pm #1604795
"Ate 22 packets in 9 days last year. Yuck."
Wow…thats a lot of electrolytes.
The yakisoba stuff is a lil different. Its not soupy like instant ramen. Its suppose to resemble chowmein, so you only use enough water to cook/rehydrate the noodles, and then you add this oil/thickening sauce agent into what lil water is left, and it all becomes this oily delicious heap of noodles. love it. I'll think i'll have one right now :DMay 1, 2010 at 9:12 pm #1604797
Too much sodium in ramen, if you use all of the flavor packet. Instead, I use about a quarter of a packet, depending on how much salt my muscles really need.
–B.G.–May 1, 2010 at 10:44 pm #1604832
I went on a 9-day jeep 'safari' in Mongolia last year. The price included 3 meals a day — but it was barely survival ration! One guy refused to eat half the time because the food was also pretty bad. But even eating double portions much of the time, I was still hungry — so I supplemented most meals — even breakfast — with a big bowl of instant ramen. I tell ya, ramen never tasted so good!
Funny thing, the minute we got back to Ulan Bator, I never wanted to taste ramen again. Human psychology…May 1, 2010 at 10:44 pm #1604834
@rp3957Locale: The Sierras
I prefer Mountain House to every other brand I have tried. I particularly like mashed potatoes with cheese and broccoli, beef stroganoff, pasta primavera, and rice pilaf. I have repackaged mine into freezer bags for awhile now and have had no problems with leaks or blow-outs. I save one foil pack to slip the freezer bag into to act as a cozy and structure for the freezer bag. Plus, IF the bag leaks it will leak into the foil pouch. I find the single servings are fine the first day or so, then I switch to the two person meals when I get my appetite back.May 4, 2010 at 7:42 am #1605784
@johnnybgood4Locale: New Hampshire
Ben, if you try this make sure you get the Glad brand. I think the official name is, "Glad Simply Cooking Microwave Steamer Bags."
Ziploc also has a microwave bag but instead of standing up on the bottom they laydown sideways and the steamer vents are on the "Up" side. Due to the vents if you poured water in the bag and stood it up the water would leak out.
The vents on the Glad bag are on top near the zip closure so it doesn't have this problem.Jul 9, 2010 at 5:57 pm #1627680
Do you know how long it would be safe to store MH meals in Zip Lock bags after being removed from original packaging?
I just read this thread and ended up repacking several meals. However, I was thinking too quickly. I'm not leaving until next Sunday for a 6 day trip. Just wondering if anyone might know something about this…Jul 9, 2010 at 7:15 pm #1627705
@sarbarLocale: In the shadow of Mt. Rainier
They will be fine. A couple weeks is fine.
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