Apr 25, 2012 at 6:04 pm #1289172
Alright this should be fun. Which specific instant freeze dried meal (mountain house, etc) packs the most calories per ounce?Apr 25, 2012 at 7:08 pm #1871262
that you dump enough olive oil into will be the highest. But you can accomplish the same thing much cheaper by using hamburger or chicken helper and freeze dried ground beef (and Nido on the recipes that need milk.)Apr 25, 2012 at 9:38 pm #1871314
@jasongLocale: iceberg lake
in terms of mountain house im 90% sure the mac and cheese has the most at about 950 total.. (the 'two' serving version)Apr 25, 2012 at 11:02 pm #1871335
Jeremy and AngelaParticipant
@requiemLocale: Northern California
My method was to just eyeball the "cals from fat"/"total cals" numbers to find the best ratio off their nutritional info page. Mac and cheese is up there at about 137 cal/oz, but it seems to be just edged out by breakfasts. The breakfast skillet, eggs and ham, and eggs and bacon all come in around 140-142 cals/oz.
The highest MH meal overall looks to be the ground beef at 180 cal/oz. (I don't know if it comes in a pouch; you might have to buy the can and bag it yourself.)Apr 25, 2012 at 11:21 pm #1871338
By instant meal I mean any brand. I used to live off Mary James farms, but after a side by side comparison to mountain house, I switched to MH pretty quick.
I've tried a few backpackers pantry meals and hated them (salmon pasta, and some veg lasagna one).
I have yet to try those Alpine air ones.
And yes I'm also starting to experiment with freezer bag cooking as well thanks to some tips from helpful hikers from this board.Apr 25, 2012 at 11:31 pm #1871343
Christopher, I think I agree with Greg. If you simply want to get high calories, then dump some olive oil into anything before you eat it. I would suggest to buy the brands and types of freeze-dried meals that you like best (for flavor or anything else) and then augment it with the olive oil or any other healthy fat.
–B.G.–Apr 26, 2012 at 12:05 am #1871356
Totally. I even already got some little olive oil packets from minimus that are perfect for the job. :)
Andrew Skurka mentioned bringing coconut oil since its solid at room temperature… I'm curious to see how that tastes and how to package that for the trail.Apr 26, 2012 at 12:09 am #1871358
"I even already got some little olive oil packets from minimus that are perfect for the job."
The little packets are OK for a short trip, but you are kind of forced to use exactly the quantity in one packet for one meal. For a longer trip, I use a small plastic bottle of the stuff. It is easier to vary the quantity for use.
Coconut oil is more of a saturated fat.
–B.G.–Apr 26, 2012 at 12:13 am #1871360
For some reason stuff always leaks for me at altitude. What container are you using for the olive oil?Apr 26, 2012 at 12:34 am #1871365
A couple of years ago, a buddy packed a small bottle of olive oil in with his food into the bear canister that he carried. He can't cook anything without olive oil. The problem was that he left a big air bubble in the bottle where he packed it at sea level. Then he opened it when he got to 10,000' elevation. Guess what! The air bubble expanded against the reduced air pressure, so the olive oil leaked out and coated the inside and then outside of the bear canister. Not recommended.
There are some good plastic bottles with really hard caps, and you can seal them on tightly. If you start from home with no air bubble, then the only pressure effects will be as you go up and down between camps and as you use the olive oil. To be on the safe side, I pack my plastic bottle inside a ziploc bag.
–B.G.–Apr 26, 2012 at 8:18 am #1871451
Calories are not everything. If you are going to eat commercial meals, Mary Janes are at least good for you – due to the fiber and less junk added. MH is the equivalent of eating Wonder Bread – and has all the flavor of it as well.
As for coconut oil, which is all the rage these days, buy it carefully. Only buy raw or virgin and preferably buy coconut butter than oil – it has all the product in it. The taste is great, no doubt about that. If you like coconut you will love it.Apr 26, 2012 at 8:24 am #1871454
This is what I use btw:
Also, while coconut oil is saturated fat there are 2 camps to whether or not it is bad fat. The consensus is it isn't bad when raw/virgin but what you need to fear is highly processed (the days of movie theater popcorn ring a bell?)
They also make packets as well of their products:
http://www.artisanafoods.com/raw-organic-coconut-butter-single-servingApr 26, 2012 at 10:21 am #1871507
@daviddrakeLocale: North Idaho
I also like MaryJane's stuff, (even if the FarmGirl persona thing is a little cheesy) mostly because it tastes great. MaryJane's Farm is located in the same town I am, so our local food co-op carries some of her stuff in bulk–cheaper than the pre-packed meals. Not very calorie-dense (about 100 Cal/oz or so for most, IIRC), but easy to bump up with all the tricks mentioned above. I esp. like adding crushed fritos to MaryJane's kettle chili.
In fact, I'm off to the co-op now to get some for the weekend.
(And thanks for the coconut butter tips, Sarah. I'll look for some while I'm there.)Apr 26, 2012 at 10:28 am #1871510
@johnnyh88Locale: The SouthWest
The MH Breakfast Skillets are definitely up there for high cal/oz. They also seem to pack a lot of protein. They taste pretty good to me and certainly help clear up any on-trail constipation one may have.Apr 26, 2012 at 11:49 am #1871545
David, hope your co-op carries it! It is really, really tasty! The texture is "different" but if you are used to whole foods you will love it :-)Apr 26, 2012 at 12:53 pm #1871567
@jasongLocale: iceberg lake
"A couple of years ago, a buddy packed a small bottle of olive oil in with his food into the bear canister that he carried. He can't cook anything without olive oil. The problem was that he left a big air bubble in the bottle where he packed it at sea level. Then he opened it when he got to 10,000' elevation. Guess what! The air bubble expanded against the reduced air pressure, so the olive oil leaked out and coated the inside and then outside of the bear canister. Not recommended."
yup my friend had the same thing happen to her on the jmt 2 years ago. we had stopped early and below 9k' so we made a fire and boiled a LOT of water to clean it out. i think we had just resupplied too so it was a good 8oz or so. bout .5" on the botoomApr 26, 2012 at 1:03 pm #1871571
Although olive oil is good stuff, it is so slimey! Once it gets on cups and bowls, it is messy to get off unless you use soap. Even then it is sometimes a chore.
I made a meal out of instant rice, olive oil, and dehydrated flakes of spinach. I was still picking oily green things out of my bowl for the next three or four days.
–B.G.–Apr 26, 2012 at 1:08 pm #1871572
Paper towels will wipe it right off. That is why I carry a small bag of them on all trips. Multi-purpose and work even better as TP as well.Apr 26, 2012 at 5:07 pm #1871670
@ouzelLocale: Pacific Northwest/Sierra
"Although olive oil is good stuff, it is so slimey! Once it gets on cups and bowls, it is messy to get off unless you use soap. Even then it is sometimes a chore."
That is why I drink it straight out of a container. Neat, no ice, no lime. Ahhhhhh.Apr 26, 2012 at 5:25 pm #1871676
@ouzelLocale: Pacific Northwest/Sierra
"For some reason stuff always leaks for me at altitude. What container are you using for the olive oil?"
I use a small, lightweight nalgene type bottle with a screw top. I carry it wrapped in a small OP Aloksak, secured with a rubber band, in one of my pack's side pockets or kangaroo pouch, always straight up. It is a good idea to loosen the cap occasionally when ascending to high altitude, to avoid the problem Bob mentions.
An easier alternative is to use coconut oil, which is usually solid or semi solid at mountain temperatures and, therfore, less likely to spill. The downside is that it has a much more pronounced odor.Apr 26, 2012 at 5:41 pm #1871682
How would coconut oil taste in mountain house? You can tell I'm not the best cook here. ;)
I literally have made my wife dinner by microwaving a tv dinner and then putting it on plate with a sprig of parsley.Apr 26, 2012 at 5:48 pm #1871686
Well, do you like coconut? If so, then you will like it. It is a faint flavor, the butter is stronger than the oil.Apr 27, 2012 at 12:26 am #1871774
"Multi-purpose and work even better as TP as well."
Sarah, of course. I would simply have to use the paper towel for the olive oil first.
It would be unusual if I had as much as one square foot of paper towel on a week-long trip.
–B.G.–Apr 27, 2012 at 7:02 am #1871814
Well ya should ;-) And if one has fires those oil soaked towels make great fire starters! I started carrying paper towels when I started taking my oldest hiking – they are great for kids.Apr 27, 2012 at 9:51 am #1871854
Those interested in adding tasty calories to dried or freeze dried food might want to check out my post on adding pemmican to trail food.
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