Aug 27, 2016 at 8:06 pm #3423042
@unsung: the meals will be fine for your trip. I wouldn’t store them for any period of time repackaged, but no issues for your trip.
FWIW, expect hazy skies and a smoky smell during your loop. I got back from the Sawtooths a week ago, and we definitely could smell the fire burning on an adjacent mountain range at times. Even had small bits of ash fall on us a couple of times during our hike.
In the below pic it’s smoky skies causing that wonderful orangish, red glow. The brighter glow is the sun going down.Aug 27, 2016 at 9:07 pm #3423055Jason BBPL Member
@unsungLocale: SW Chicago burbs
Thanks Still Here,
We’ve been watching that Pioneerville fire and the updates. I’m hoping it moves far enough north (or better stops burning) so that we aren’t too exposed to the fallout. Looks like temps will be in the low 20’s at night, how was your weather?Aug 27, 2016 at 9:42 pm #3423063
“how was your weather?”
Sunny everyday. It’s pretty dry (no fires allowed) so many of the trails were dry and dusty, like around an inch thick of dust, so be prepared for that. We had temps in the low 90s a few days, mostly 80s. It would be pretty warm when hitting the sack around 10 pm, then cool as the night wore on. A few times I woke up around 4 am and either put on my hat or wrapped my quilt closer around me since it had cooled so much. There were a few nights when I went to sleep with my quilt at my waist it was so warm! Plenty of opportunities to jump in nice, chilly lakes. Highly recommended!
If you’re going to go to Sawtooth Lake, suggest making the climb early in the morning. It’s a long, slow climb, at times quite exposed, at times through head-high bushes. We did it in the afternoon and it was a bear!Aug 31, 2016 at 2:21 pm #3423779Philip TschersichBPL Member
@philip-akLocale: Kodiak Alaska
I recently picked up some of these pleated-bottom zippered bags: stand up food bags. They are similar in design to the Packit Gourmet bags, but the material is a bit lighter. Maybe similar to Ziplock freezer bags. I repackaged a bunch of dinners into these bags and pushed the air out, and sealed the top in my vacuum sealer. They worked great. It’s easier to stir food in the corners because there are none (relative to a flat bag), the zipper worked fine, the pre-notched top made tearing the seal off easy, and they sealed up nicely in my Weston vacuum sealer. The 7×10″ size was a little small for my huge meals (that size is slightly smaller than the Packit Gourmet 2-portion meal bags), so I might pick up some of the next size up.Aug 31, 2016 at 2:30 pm #3423781Simon KentonBPL Member
I really enjoy the bold flavors of the Good to Go meals. However, I’m in the “more flavor, the better” camp. I’m not a fan of plain chips or crackers.
Nice that they’re made up here in Vacationland, as well.Sep 11, 2016 at 3:58 pm #3425592Kent WBPL Member
I use repackaged MH meals quite often – just dump ’em into a ziplock (minus the dessicant) and they’re good for at least a couple weeks, probably much longer than that. Hard to beat a MH spaghetti or chicken/rice at the end of a long day (with some olive oil added for extra calories, perhaps). Only problem with most storebought meals is the calories per ounce isn’t really up there. Adding olive oil or coconut oil and some dehydrated rice or chicken can help a little but not a lot. Good 2 Go is alright, I really like the thai curry, but the rest were a bit bland for me. On a trip of 5-10 days I usually bring about half storebought and half homemade dinners.
GoatDec 2, 2016 at 12:26 pm #3438311Alexander SBPL Member
There are few meals I can’t cook and dehydrate better and $ cheaper $ than commercially made meals. That being said, I leave the door open for some meals which just plain taste good to me (I’m looking at you, MH Biscuits ‘n Gravy).
Other times I have found that things such as beef jerky and dried fruit isn’t really worth the time and effort. Trader Joe’s has me covered on dried fruit, allowing me more time to obsess over cooking my dinners just right.Dec 2, 2016 at 3:03 pm #3438347
We tried a bought NZ dehi meal on our last trip. Massive amounts of salt!!! What’s with these guys? Surely they could skip most of the salt and let everyone salt to taste? We eat vastly too much salt anyhow. The second packet is sitting there looking for a new owner. We won’t eat it.
A bit like local Chinese meals: you spend half the night drinking water to compensate for the excess salt.
For the rest of the trip we ate MYOG meals, with seriously lower salt levels.
CheersDec 2, 2016 at 5:04 pm #3438368Nico .BPL Member
@nickbLocale: Los Padres National Forest
Just to share another option out there…
Patagonia Provisions soups have been pretty yummy. A bit on the pricey side, but all three flavors (tsampa, green lentil, black bean) have been surprisingly tasty. The green lentil and black bean have been sufficient on their own as a meal for me. Tsampa requires me to either double up or have something else to accompany it. Like just about all pre-made backpacker meals, salt content is a bit high, but at least these soup mixes use organic ingredients.
“Cooking” has been dead easy… boil water, add soup mix, bring back to a boil and let sit for ~10 mins.
Their buffalo jerky and smoked salmon have also been excellent. Again, kinda spendy but if you find it on sale or score a coupon, it’s been a nice treat to take along on trips.Dec 7, 2016 at 1:14 pm #3439294Rosaleen SullivanSpectator
@mamarosa43Locale: New England
What did you end up using as packaging? I like to wash and dry mylar snack bags, such as from popcorn or potato chips, whatever. They seem to be more vapor and puncture proof than plastic, plus they hold up to boiling water and are super light. I seal them with a clothes iron on low (Test yours for optimal performance.) Iron up to a straw inserted in the side of the bag, suck out as much air as possible, pinching as you complete the seal. Add hot water to the bag and let it sit until the food absorbs enough water. If needed, the bag can be sealed with a metal clip and further heated or cooked in a pot of water.Dec 9, 2016 at 2:48 pm #3439724Eric BlumensaadtBPL Member
@danepackerLocale: Mojave Desert
I’ve switched mostly to supermarket food for Freezer Bag Cooking and real cooking (ex. spaghetti and other pasta).
For freeze-dried food my problem is the most F-D meals are “salt bombs” with sodium levels into the 1,000s per serving. I can’t tolerate those levels B/C it makes my tinnitus begin to ring loudly.
I just search for moderate sodium levels in any food, supermarket or freeze-dried. Prepared food producers need to get off the sodium bandwagon and just use proper spices. But noooo, that would cut into their corporate profits.Dec 9, 2016 at 3:39 pm #3439740Rosaleen SullivanSpectator
@mamarosa43Locale: New England
Sometimes I buy commercially freeze-dried meals for convenience, especially if I find a really good sale, then add more home-dehydrated veggies and compatible proteins. That expands the meal for satiety, better nutrition (IMHO), and spreads out the sodium a bit. Most of the 2-person meals feed one hungry backpacker, but adding the extras allows two people to be satisfied rather handily.Jan 8, 2017 at 5:48 pm #3443890Kyrsten FBPL Member
@hikerboxowlAug 24, 2020 at 3:59 pm #3672761jennifer rBPL Member
In love with Good to Go thai curry and vegetable korma. The smoked chili is pretty good but needs salt and some cheese! I just don’t eat the kind of menu items mountain house sells. I eat a ton of veggies and ethnic foods and these are delicious. I get the two serving and can never finish one. Last trip I also got some dehydrated chicken from pack it gourmet and added that.Aug 24, 2020 at 4:01 pm #3672762jennifer rBPL Member
Let me add they do take double at the time to rehydrate. The first two work a lot better than the chili which I ended up boiling. Also the pack it gourmet meals look good but too much effort for me after a long day.Aug 24, 2020 at 4:41 pm #3672772Jeffs ElevenBPL Member
Gastrognome is about to be available. Haven’t tried it thoughSep 15, 2020 at 5:10 pm #3676231Steven ThompsonBPL Member
If going out for a week or more I go with packit gourmet. Haven’t had a bad meal yet and their grits/polenta based breakfasts are savory and delicious. But you do need to buy enough to amortize the shipping cost.
For a weekend I take things I can get from the grocery. Less worry of weight, space, etc.Sep 15, 2020 at 5:16 pm #3676232
Next Mile Meals. Tastiest I’ve had so far, and they’re keto, which works for me.Oct 29, 2020 at 8:58 pm #3681608Jacqueline KBPL Member
The brands you missed are Heather’s Choice and Peak Refuel. I bought some Heather’s Choice breakfast options from REI on a backpacking trip. Everything in the ingredient list sounded great, but it tasted awful. I think the coconut must have gone rancid. It was putrid. We missed breakfast for two days because we would try to eat it but gag it back out. I haven’t tried the Peak Refuel Chicken Alfredo yet. It was so high reviewed I bought a bunch. I really like the Mountain House Beef Straganoff and Chicken Dumpling before they mucked around with the formula. The package design changed and so did the flavor. Still ok. But not great anymore.
I like Good to Go’s Thai Curry, Mushroom Risotto, and Mexican Quinoa Bowl.Oct 30, 2020 at 10:42 am #3681670Tom MBPL Member
I’ve tried Dr. McDougall’s https://www.rightfoods.com/products/soups/ with good success this year. Not sure it fits into this thread because I usually add freeze dried chicken from Thrive to the pad thai and Fritos to the black bean lime and repackage them.Oct 30, 2020 at 5:02 pm #3681719JStankyBPL Member
@jstankyLocale: SF Bay Area
Anyone try Peak Refuel yet? I haven’t but a buddy I was hiking with had a couple. I caught a bite or two of his and they seemed tasty enough. It’s the heartburn factor that gets me with some of the prepackaged meals though. So not sure what I’d be thinking after plowing through 800+ calories of one of them. They seem to pack a lot of calories per bag with good weight to calorie ratios.Oct 30, 2020 at 5:30 pm #3681721
It’s not the calories in the meals (usually fairly inadequate), and it is not the high cost (usually far to high for many people), that is the probelem.
It is the grossly excessive amount of SALT the mfrs put in the packages. We simply cannot eat one of the meals without diluting the package 2;1 or more to reduce the salt levels.
If the mfr could leave ALL the salt out and instead include, in the bag, a little packet of salt (*etc), then they might sell a lot more. “Oh, but the meal would be too bland.” Rubbish. What might happen of course could be that people would realise how tasteless the package is and reject it. Well, try using better ingredients.
We make our own dehi meals from raw ingredients, and they taste so much better. A lot of people make their own meals with a kitchen drier, and are much happier. But Big Food is dedicated to Big Fat, Big Salt and Big Sugar (and Big Profits).
CheersOct 30, 2020 at 5:41 pm #3681723Jerry AdamsBPL Member
@retiredjerryLocale: Oregon and Washington
or get ingredients from packitgourmet.com or wherever and make your own mix
hardly worth the effort to prepare and dry your own
1/4 ounce each carrots, onion, tomato, and bell pepper
plus, I make my own pinto beans, add (the right amount of) salt, herbs, cayenne, onion, olive oil,… then dry in oven overnight at it’s lowest temp, 170 F. I’m experimenting with drying in the microwave. 1.5 ounces of the dried mixture. I could buy dehydrated beans but I like to include a good mixture of that other stuff
rehydrate with 1 cup of boiling water, let sit for 10 minutesOct 30, 2020 at 6:47 pm #3681730JCHBPL Member
What Roger said. After dehydrating ingredients and packaging my own meals, combined with my resolution to eat “real food” on the trail (sausage, cheese, bread, fruit, nuts) I can’t imagine going back. Try it…I bet you never buy another manufactured backpacking meal.Oct 30, 2020 at 7:01 pm #3681732
That is what my wife said too. I was flattered!
- You must be logged in to reply to this topic.