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NorthWind

Freeze dried food / MRE's

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NorthWind

Way back last millenium when the Dead Sea was only sick, I used to do a fair bit of backpacking, mountaineering, ice climbing, etc. Haven't done that stuff for years, but was thinking it would be nice to have a meal or two stored in my pack for emergencies aside from my usual Payday bars and occasional beef jerky. Back then, freeze dried food wasn't very good, but it did the job f filling the void until one could get back in town and score a good steak, burger or pizza. Does anyone have any recent experiences with some of the freeze dried stuff these days? If so, what's good? Back in my day, Mountain House and Richmoor were the only games in town. Now I notice many more, but since they are expensive, I don't want to try them all just to find out I hate some. I've heard good reviews on MH Biscuits and Gravy. 

 

Then, there are MRE's. I wouldn't be carrying these in my pack because of the weight, but it would be nice to have a case or two socked away. Easy to toss into the truck for an "emergency I need to get out of town and go camping" trip. Recommended brands or entrees? Ones to avoid? 

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BlackRockBigfoot

Mountain House is still the gold standard for me.  Some Backpacker's Pantry is ok.  Wise tastes like chemicals.

 

I have never had the hoity toity ones like Alpine Air, because I don't eat stuff like Himalayan Lentils and Rice or Mexican Quinoa Souffle at home, so I don't eat it in the woods.

 

I have never had a Mountain House that I didn't enjoy.  I am taking turkey and dressing, chicken fajitas, and lasagna out this weekend.

 

As far as MREs go...you can't buy actual military issued meals. As far as civilian MREs, get them from TheReadyStore.com.  They carry A-Pack meals, which are pretty good.  Sopackco is ok as well.  Just store them in a cool and dark place.  They will last forever, but the right temperature will maintain the flavor and consistency.

 

I will tell you that MRE pound cakes are like crack.  The carrot cake and spice cake are amazing.  

 

You want to go down the MRE rabbit hole and end up losing hours of your life, check out this guy..  "Let's get this out on a tray.  Nice."

 

 

 

8 hours later you will be watching him eat field rations from wars that you have never heard of, fought by countries that you didn't even know existed.

 

 

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norseman
4 hours ago, NorthWind said:

Way back last millenium when the Dead Sea was only sick, I used to do a fair bit of backpacking, mountaineering, ice climbing, etc. Haven't done that stuff for years, but was thinking it would be nice to have a meal or two stored in my pack for emergencies aside from my usual Payday bars and occasional beef jerky. Back then, freeze dried food wasn't very good, but it did the job f filling the void until one could get back in town and score a good steak, burger or pizza. Does anyone have any recent experiences with some of the freeze dried stuff these days? If so, what's good? Back in my day, Mountain House and Richmoor were the only games in town. Now I notice many more, but since they are expensive, I don't want to try them all just to find out I hate some. I've heard good reviews on MH Biscuits and Gravy. 

 

Then, there are MRE's. I wouldn't be carrying these in my pack because of the weight, but it would be nice to have a case or two socked away. Easy to toss into the truck for an "emergency I need to get out of town and go camping" trip. Recommended brands or entrees? Ones to avoid? 


I bought a tub of Wise off Amazon...... never again.🤢

 

Mountain house or Backpacker’s pantry for me. I also do canned stuff. 

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NorthWind

Thank you @BlackRockBigfootand @norseman. Norse, what didn't you like about Wise? The flavor?

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norseman
49 minutes ago, NorthWind said:

Thank you @BlackRockBigfootand @norseman. Norse, what didn't you like about Wise? The flavor?


Tasteless mush.

 

And my wife pointed out we were not following directions. I guess you can’t just add hot water. I don’t think following the directions would have helped.

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BlackRockBigfoot

Wise is absolutely horrible.

 

They basically figure out the freeze drying/preservation side of a meal first...and then have their 'chefs' try to make it palatable.  

 

It is just terrible, overly salty crap.

 

 

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wiiawiwb

Hawk Vittles is excellent. Everything from Buffalo Pasta to Morrocan Stew to Southwest Lasagna:

 

http://www.hawkvittles.com

 

 

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JKH

If DIY is a choice, there are lots of ideas if you search backpacking meals. I made some customized ones for a backpacking trip a few years ago. If you have space, buy the large cans of freeze dried meat, veggies, etc. and mix up different recipes with instant rice, noodles, potatoes, etc. Freeze what you don't use of the more perishable stuff, because once opened they don't last long. The Mountain House chicken chunks are as good as fresh once cooked, for example.

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NorthWind

Thank you.

 

I have made a deal with myself. Everytime I go shopping, I will get another Mountain House entree or two and add it to my stores, along with a few more cans of corned beef hash, canned ravioli, chili, etc...maybe some of those "pouch meals" that are ready to eat as well. Got a pouch of Mexican style cooked pork for just a couple of bucks. Expiration date is years from now. Many of the shelves in the store were fairly barren, but the Mexican section was not. I have enough rice and beans to last quite a while by now. I'll be looking for those Prego Ready Meal pouches too. Heard decent things about them. 

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MIB

I remain in the Mountain House camp.     One trick to it is to take a little bit of vegetable oil.   The fat added back makes it carry you farther into the day.   Sometimes the butter packs like KFC offers will do (well!) instead of oil.   Also look for packs of parmesan cheese, garlic salt, salt, and pepper.    All things considered, spices are pretty light and will make some otherwise marginally palatable food quite decent.

 

I like their granola with blueberries .. a lot.   It is a no-cook meal, so I often take a pack or two if I'm heading out for a day hike so I have something to eat if I get stuck overnight yet don't want to carry a stove.   Usually it is my breakfast the last morning of a backpacking trip so that I can put the stove, etc away the night before.    The biscuits and gravy are fairly good, a bit soggy.    A trick with the scrambled eggs and bacon is to drink the leftover juice that does not soak up.   The dinners are seemingly all good.   With the italian entrees, I make sure to drink a LOT of water before bed to avoid acid reflux.  

 

The other brands seem somewhat unfit to eat.    One brand is vegan ... I got talked into trying some.   I followed the directions but the beans remained so hard I nearly chipped a tooth.   

 

Also for day hikes, the little combination packs of cheese and salami slices (I get 'em at Safeway or Albertsons 'cause they're convenient to where I live) are good.    Peanut butter granola bars.   Vanilla protein bars.    Jerky ... my favorite for hiking is hard to find here, it's the Oberto brand original thin sliced.    

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NCBFr

I bought a tub of Wise and Patriot supply prior to pandemic and threw them in the closet.  Hopefully I will not have to eat any of it.  Will try Mountain House and Backpackers pantry going forward.

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TC Lowside

Another vote for Mountain House.

Stay away from Wise. It tastes horrible, and then there was that whole class action lawsuit thing, (Google it)

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NorthWind

Thank you folks. Extra oil packs are a good idea for sure. I'll find a little squeeze bottle and add it to my outdoor kitchen. Could come in handy for other things as well. 

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BlackRockBigfoot

@NorthWind

 

If you are wanting to store food back for emergencies, the #10 cans of Mountain House are good to have.  They go on sale a couple of times a year, so you can pick a few up relatively cheaply.

 

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JKH

Is there a set time for the sales, like end of summer? I visited the MH website and a lot of stuff is sold out right now. I could eat some of their stuff fairly often, but SHOULD I is the question. Hence the DIY.

 

I second spices and fats, hard cheese and meats, also small packs of mayo, mustard, tabasco, etc. You can get butter powder, honey powder, just about anything dried. Pouches of tuna, chicken, salmon are good to mix up for salad. I want to try smoking salmon soon.

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