Nov 29, 2020 at 11:49 am #3686309KarenBPL Member
One of the things I always mean to do, and usually don’t, is to test out any commercially packaged meals before I go on a trip. Usually I just build my own meals, and don’t purchase the meal-in-bag kind of stuff. But I’ve been adding a few of these in now and then for variety. Problem is, they’re expensive, and secondly, don’t taste as amazing at home as they will when I’m starving at the end of a day. So I don’t test them first. Do any of you test them first? Has anyone tried Food for the Sole? That one looks intriguing. Of course, taste is so individual.
I have regularly watched one of my good hiking buddies bring along new packaged meals, and find just about every single one to be almost inedible. She packs out a lot of heavy, prepared meals! On the occasions when I’ve tried something in the field and haven’t liked it, I just choke it down, not so much because I’m hungry, but because I don’t want to carry it back!
I thought about having a party (pre-covid days) and having everyone bring one packaged meal, so we could all have a taste of each one to see what we like.Nov 29, 2020 at 11:59 am #3686310Bob KernerBPL Member
Like you, I always plan to test them but don’t. I keep all of my camping meals in a plastic bin in our cupboard. I’ll pull it out, read the package and then decide I don’t want to waste $6-12 testing something at home when I purchased it for the trail.
I’ve been very lucky since discovering Packit Gourmet. Even the stuff I thought, “I probably won’t buy this again” tasted fine in terms of seasoning and texture; the one or two things I didn’t care for were related to portion size (too much food) or just didn’t suit my palate. I don’t do much multi-day hiking, so once I find a couple of meals that work, I stick with them.
I do experiment with cook in pot and freezer bag recipes before heading out. Mostly I want to get the proportions right and assess clean up needs. If the meal is a sloppy mess in my kitchen, it will never see the trail!Nov 29, 2020 at 12:11 pm #3686312rubmybelly!BPL Member
@sleepingLocale: The Cascades
I will sometimes test field meals out at home. Since discovering Next Mile Meals, though, I buy knowing that I’ll like them in the field. It’s pretty much all I use for main meals in the backcountry. I even like them at home.Nov 29, 2020 at 1:45 pm #3686329
…don’t taste as amazing at home as they will when I’m starving at the end of a day.
Ditto. I’ve never tasted a dehydrated meal at home that was worth eating. In camp, almost all of them are edible and some even enjoyable. I have no answer on how to test them ahead of time.Nov 29, 2020 at 3:01 pm #3686349Jon FongBPL Member
@jonfongLocale: FLAT CAT GEAR
Your sense of taste changes with altitude, a lot of airline food is oversalted as it can taste bland at cruising altitude ( pressurized to about 8,000′). Many dishes need to be spicier if you are going to be high up. My 2 cents.Nov 29, 2020 at 3:11 pm #3686351
I make all of my meals at home, so I test all of them several times before they’re used afield. Once you invest in a few basic staples, the cost of making your own meals goes way down and testing them beforehand becomes a non-issue.Nov 29, 2020 at 5:45 pm #3686390JCHBPL Member
^ That. Every word of it.Nov 29, 2020 at 8:15 pm #3686417
I just really like good food, and I don’t like dropping $6 to $12 on something that may or may not be yummy; it’s too much money to just throw away, and I don’t want to find out that whatever I chose to eat absolutely sucks. I’ve made that mistake; I’m not doing it again. I also have to be really careful about ingredients because three of the most common food additives – artificial preservatives/colorings and MSG – are basically migraine fuel for my wife…so making our own stuff just makes sense. It also gives me an excuse to have chili mac six times in a row while I figure out exactly how to make it. (Hint: plenty of powdered cheddar, and breadcrumbs mixed in with the dried venison.)Dec 1, 2020 at 12:58 pm #3686714dirtbagBPL Member
Thats a great idea, lol. Have a backyard camp out and everyone bring a meal to test!! I love it.
I enjoy making my own meals and dehydrating them.. much healthier and I KNOW whats in it. However, lately i have been stocking up on different package meals.. just to have them in emergency, or a quick grab for a trip if desired. There area select few that i really enjoy. Yes they are a bit pricey.. but if it tastes good and is filling and is convenient.. I dont mind spending a few extra bucks. Last weekend I went on a short overnight trip to Echo Lake in the Catskills, and i decided to try a Peak Refuel breakfast skillet. Normally I would not cook breakfast unless i am camping, not doing long mileage days on trail.. so this trip warranted it. It made 3 small wraps (we brought the wraps along). I split the meal with my son and we both agreed it was delicious and definitely satisfying. I just ordered a 6 pack of them for future campimg trips.. and I would highly recommend it to anyone looking for a delicious sausage, egg and veggie breakfast.
When I say small wraps, we used the small size wraps, but they each were overstuffed with the meal.. so much that we had to use our spoons to finish what was left on our plates.
So, yes I do test my meals out at work, before heading out on trail and before deciding if it is worth the money and if it is worth stocking up on.Dec 4, 2020 at 12:36 pm #3687280Richard RenoBPL Member
@scubahhhLocale: White Mountains, mostly.
Try it? Are you crazy?
I love the stuff and eat it at home all the time!Dec 4, 2020 at 6:59 pm #3687322Jeff YBPL Member
I bring some on day hikes or for early morning fishing trips, afternoon jaunts out to the river, etc. when I’ve got one meal and two or three people to share it. We get a little hungry and we can try it out, eat something warm, and not have to carry it back very far.Dec 5, 2020 at 7:06 am #3687360jimmyjamBPL Member
@jimmyjamLocale: Mid Atlantic
I test mine out on day hikes in the SNP. I’ll hike a few miles in, usually on the AT, and cook a dinner for lunch. I did have a black bear try and join me one February- that was exciting.Dec 10, 2020 at 3:53 pm #3688182
I review meals ALL the time on Trailcooking….some I pay for, some are sent to me to review. I treat each one the same – If it is a salt lick, I will tell you. I also use my offspring as taste testers.Dec 10, 2020 at 6:20 pm #3688221
I review meals ALL the time on Trailcooking….some I pay for, some are sent to me to review. I treat each one the same – If it is a salt lick, I will tell you. I also use my offspring as taste testers.
Do you hike for 10 hours first, then prep the meals while you shiver in the cold wind? If not, I’m not sure I can trust your taste test. :-)Dec 11, 2020 at 11:57 am #3688355
Todd, lol. I get to listen to 3 boys screaming at me “WHY ISN”T THE FOOD READY!” so that suffices. I also ensure they sit outside in the cold wind, draining one of the will to live…..Dec 11, 2020 at 12:43 pm #3688360
Taco mac and/or thai noodles will be tried tonight, using my newly-discovered “confuse the hell out of people” testing procedure:
Dec 11, 2020 at 1:54 pm #3688371
- Pack up cooking gear and test food.
- Drive over to the local beer garden.
- Order beer.
- Consume beer.
- Order another beer.
- Sit outside and cook food on a picnic table.
- Address the curiosity of onlookers.
- Repeat Step 5 as necessary.
…I also ensure they sit outside in the cold wind, draining one of the will to live…..
I didn’t know you did parenting books too!Dec 11, 2020 at 7:03 pm #3688434
Follow me for more great advice!
“The point of hiking is the great stories you can tell later” said to a whiny partner once, as she, a grown woman, literally laid down on the trail crying how I needed to to call SAR because she wore the boots that always gave her blisters.
I’m a loving Dear Abby kind of person. Lol.
I then started walking and she got up. No one was going to rescue us……same trip same partner wouldn’t ford a creek so I yelled at her till she did. I didn’t know a couple horse packers were watching us. However, my drill sgt method worked…she did it.
Have no idea why she didn’t want to hike with me after that.Dec 11, 2020 at 7:07 pm #3688437rubmybelly!BPL Member
@sleepingLocale: The Cascades
I have no idea why you wanted to hike with her after those episodes.Dec 12, 2020 at 8:16 pm #3688632KarenBPL Member
Sarah, I am unable to find the reviews. Can you point me to these? I found your blog, just don’t see the reviews.Dec 13, 2020 at 9:40 am #3688700
https://trailcooking.com/tag/freeze-dried-meals/ Karen, that should show some with that tag :)Dec 13, 2020 at 9:41 am #3688703
https://trailcooking.com/category/food-finds/ Is the other category for reviews :)Dec 13, 2020 at 2:08 pm #3688764
One of today’s food tests: Lotus Rice Ramen with dried shrimp and beef added.
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