Jul 4, 2016 at 5:52 pm #3412251
Usually I dry and package my own meals, but recently I’ve been looking into mass produced meals for an article. It’s been a long time since I’ve looked for meals, I feel slightly out of my depth.
What meals have arrived on market, I may not know about? Which meals are good? Which ones are bad? And which ones do you feel like tossing the minute you taste them?
Mountain House (which were the reason I switched to homemade in the first place.)
Backpackers Pantry (which don’t look too bad?)
Alpine Aire (pretty packaging at least)
Mary Janes Farm Outpost (organic)
Harvest Foodworks (doesn’t look overly special)
Packit Gourmet (Looks great but the shipping cost is ugly)
What have I missed and what meals taste best?Jul 4, 2016 at 6:34 pm #3412264
Big fan of good to go. Not a huge variety, but the curry and pasta maranara are 2 of the best pre-packaged BP meals I’ve found.Jul 4, 2016 at 7:12 pm #3412272
4th attempt to include links. More than one and post disappears.Jul 4, 2016 at 7:14 pm #3412273Jul 4, 2016 at 7:17 pm #3412275
I have three showing up on my end KTJul 4, 2016 at 7:19 pm #3412276
Not visible to me.Jul 4, 2016 at 7:21 pm #3412277
Weird, I now have four. I would try a refresh, maybe?Jul 4, 2016 at 8:21 pm #3412283
This is an ongoing problem here. More than just me experiencing this issue. Anyway…Jul 5, 2016 at 6:08 am #3412327
One link per post from KT for me. Very strange that posts are displayed differently for different viewers.Jul 5, 2016 at 6:15 am #3412328Todd StoughBPL Member
hawke vittlesJul 5, 2016 at 8:28 am #3412343
Yeah the staff are working on the posting issues. The spam filters seem to catch duplicate posts with links for whatever reason. I have admin status which is likely why I can see everything.
Great responses all around. I have not seen any of these before.Jul 5, 2016 at 3:07 pm #3412451ben .BPL Member
the only good commercial backpacking meals i’ve had are from mary jane’s farm. they taste like real food.Jul 5, 2016 at 3:31 pm #3412452Marcus BendixenBPL Member
@scandiman-2Locale: Colorado Springs CO
+1 on ‘good to go’ brand. Like above, the curry one and the penne are both great. They just came out with a veggie korma and a pad thai that i greatly look forward to trying. Expensive, so I only buy when I find them on sale.Jul 25, 2016 at 6:56 am #3416235Steve SNSSpectator
Good to go is one of my favorites – excited to try their two new flavors.
The mushroom risotto was my favorite (once a little salt was added.)
As with many brands, I had trouble getting the Thai Curry and the Penne to reconstitute, but that may be due to my impatience.
CheersJul 25, 2016 at 8:22 pm #3416463windsor akBPL Member
Issue posting links
Camp Chow from Trail Center Lodge
Use a third less water than the instructions call for. Cook in pot method works better than FBC. Add food to pot, add water, boil for a few minutes, let sit for 10 minutes.Jul 26, 2016 at 6:01 am #3416502Marcus BendixenBPL Member
@scandiman-2Locale: Colorado Springs CO
‘Good to Go’ does take a noticeably longer time than the mountain house meals I used to eat. On their packaging I believe it says allow 20 minutes.Jul 26, 2016 at 6:17 am #3416505
re: Good to Go. My experience is similar…rehydration times are longer than FD and you need to allow the amount of time they specify. Since the times are “long”, I recommend the use of a reflection cozy. The Thai curry comes out perfectly but the Penne has always been al dente…but it is so good (add a little red pepper flakes added prior to hydration) that I’ve come to prefer it that way :)Jul 26, 2016 at 8:02 am #3416522Tipi WalterBPL Member
Like everyone I went the Mary Jane’s Farm route several years ago and ended up with several pounds of her bulk dried food. I tired of the stuff quickly (black bean, polenta, outrageous oatmeal etc) and you know once you get sick of something on a backpacking trip it’s hard to go back.
I also went the Outdoor Herbivore route and threw most of it away because she uses nutritional yeast to achieve something unclear and it’s a hateful ingredient which I can’t tolerate.
Since I’m currently vegan Mt House and many others are non-starters since they use dairy and/or meat etc. Plus they are incredibly salty.
I prefer to make all my meals on a home dehydrator and can produce enough dinners for a 20 day trip at home in about 4 days.Jul 26, 2016 at 9:31 am #3416548Gary DunckelBPL Member
“Plus they are incredibly salty.”
Yep, all FD meals are far too salty. A couple of years ago Our Boulder Lightpackers meet-up group invited a rep from the Boulder-based Backpackers Pantry to do a presentation on their FD foods. I asked her why there was so much salt in their meals, and if that was necessary as part of the freeze drying process. She replied, “No salt isn’t needed during the freeze drying. Backpackers lose a lot of salt when sweating all day long, and we do this as a way to help replenish what is lost.”
I then pointed out that they also market these foods for at-home emergency use when one isn’t sweating much at all, such as when waiting out a zombie apocalypse or hurricane or something. I noted that we could easily add whatever amount of salt to flavor the meal. I reminded her that sedate people with high blood pressure shouldn’t consume much salt at all. She then said, “Well…hmmm. Now, are there any other questions, people?”
This is why I prefer to dehydrate my own meals, as I can better control the nutritional content.Jul 26, 2016 at 9:54 am #3416554Tipi WalterBPL Member
Gary says: This is why I prefer to dehydrate my own meals, as I can better control the nutritional content.
Exactly. Point made. All backpackers should home dry their food. It’s easy, cheap, and pinpoint accurate. Some pics to share from my system—
Preparing for a tomato apocalypse? Naw, just wanting some dried tomatoes to add to my meals.
Just dry up some sliced burritos and eat as a snack on the trail.
There is no organic brown rice on the market which is dried and decent so I make my own. This wad is fresh cooked and ready for the dryer. In the field: Add to soups and bring to boil and put in pot cozy for between 30 and 90 minutes. I like the rice very soft and so the 90 minute pot cozy wait.Aug 19, 2016 at 9:07 pm #3421255Adam HolbrookBPL Member
@pharmerLocale: SW Ohio
I’ve tried all of the Good to Go and don’t care for their bolder flavors. I guess I like a little more traditional meal. I really like the company and service, but I can’t finish a meal.
I like most of the packit gourmet meals, but wish they had more user friendly packaging. I’d much prefer a shallower and wider bag to eat from.
Thanks for for listing some of the lesser know brands. I’ll be sure to try a few of those to help stave off burnout.Aug 20, 2016 at 5:03 am #3421274William KerberBPL Member
@wkerberLocale: South East US
I picked up some camp chow, but haven’t tried it yet.
I dehydrate some of my own food as well. Spaghetti with ground meat in the sauce is very easy to do and turned out great for me. Jerky and fruit slices are pretty simple as well.Aug 22, 2016 at 12:46 pm #3421759Michael HillBPL Member
Ken linked to Outdoor Herbivore < http://outdoorherbivore.com > and I wanted to endorse at least some of their offerings. After Packit Gourmet discontinued the vegetarian version of the Big’un Burrito, I needed to find some alternative meals. I ordered several entrees from Outdoor Herbivore to sample prior to a trip and liked about half of them. (Tipi mentioned nutritional yeast in a preceding post, but I didn’t try any of those items.)
During a recent two-week trip, I particularly enjoyed Outdoor Herbivore’s Lemongrass Thai Curry, Pea-Nutty Matchsticks, and Curried Apple Couscous.Aug 23, 2016 at 3:19 pm #3422065steven greenBPL Member
I’ve started dehydrating meals. When I cook I’ll make larger amounts, then dehydrate and vacuum pack. I’ve also been using Heathers Choice Meals, the ones I’ve tried are very good. But a little pricey.Aug 27, 2016 at 7:35 pm #3423037Jason BBPL Member
@unsungLocale: SW Chicago burbs
I’m going to use some MH meals on my Grand Sawtooth loop next week, and I’m swapping the packaging out to save weight and waste packability. Each full size meal would be 18.2g saved.
How long with the meals last being exposed to a non sealed condition? Ziplocs aren’t air tight.
- You must be logged in to reply to this topic.