Portioning out freeze-dried meals

3:59 p.m. on June 10, 2011 (EDT)
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Speaking of portioning meals to reduce weight and waste, anyone have any experience and/or useful advice on dividing freeze-dried meals into smaller sizes?  Seems a lot of freeze-dried fare is packaged for 2 to 4 people.  I'll concede many of you can eat the whole bag thereby making it a single serving, but that's not what I'm trying to get at here.  Last trip out I only ate about 1/2 the bag of my Mountain House Wraps and felt bad because a) I'd wasted food, b) I carried in extra weight, c) I now had to pack out extra weight, and d) I paid full price for only 1/2 a meal!  If I could divide it into  a single serving I'd use what I brought, minimize waste, have some for next time, and reduce my per meal cost.  (That's important when it's $6.00 or more per package!  What if the day comes when freeze-dried meals are cheaper than a gallon of gas?!)  I was thinking a freezer bag might make a good package to carry and reconstitute the food.

10:38 p.m. on June 10, 2011 (EDT)
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kelly you can use a 8oz cup to portion if you only eat 1/2. I believe one cup equals 1/2 a portion.Also look at the thread for backpacking food resource's. You can save a tone of money by creating your own meals. The cost litterally knocks it down if you can store some about $ 2.00 max.I offset with paid for meals prepacked to creating my own. I am trying to test tyson Appetiser buffalo chicken bites and dehydrate them to make my own wrapps.

12:58 a.m. on June 11, 2011 (EDT)
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You can also save some money on the MountainHouse meals if you buy them buy the #10 can (3lb coffee can) from online dealers. You would probably want a friend or two to go in with you because they have a lot in them.

Here is a couple sites that sell them.

http://www.thereadystore.com/food-storage/brand/mountain-house

http://www.nitro-pak.com/products/freeze-dried-foods/mountain-house-10-cans

6:55 p.m. on June 11, 2011 (EDT)
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I don't see why this would be an issue.  Most especially if you vacuum seal the portions.  Just add half the water to the half of the meal and you should be just fine.

9:42 p.m. on June 11, 2011 (EDT)
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D&G in the Smokys said:

I don't see why this would be an issue.  Most especially if you vacuum seal the portions.  Just add half the water to the half of the meal and you should be just fine.

 I have done that before on solo backpacks, worked just fine for me.

1:34 a.m. on June 13, 2011 (EDT)
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Same as trout and smoky. :-)

8:03 a.m. on June 13, 2011 (EDT)
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Be sure to use your leftovers in a timely manner.

I found the freeze dried stuff tastes like cardboard if opened, then stored for a length of time.  Even home vacuum packing has limited affect.  The reason vendor's product keeps is because they pull a vacuum in chambers initially filled with inert gas - something the DIY types can't replicate.  And there is nothing more discourraging than discovering the meal you looked forward to has lost so much of its flavor, that even a bear can't detect its scent.

Ed

10:24 a.m. on June 13, 2011 (EDT)
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Now that's the kind of good advice I was looking for!!! 

12:49 p.m. on June 13, 2011 (EDT)
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Yes, eaten a lot of freeze dried.  For me, roughly speaking, if it says feeds 2 then that is the right amount for me.  Always different from one person to another.

If splitting a bag, I suggest a large mug (with lid would be good) or bowl.  Even being collapsible may help with packing volume.

3:29 p.m. on June 13, 2011 (EDT)
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I too generally eat a 2 person meal myself.If not I just poor half into freezer bag,carry a few for this purpose,and finish the other half on same trip.Sometimes a buddy and I will split a meal and if still hungry split a second,diff flavor,for more variety.Many ways to do this but as has been said they dont keep long after opened.

4:24 p.m. on June 13, 2011 (EDT)
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A lot of grocery stores have insulated bags for sale for saving the environment from the evil plastic bag. They keep foods edible longer. I normally eat for two anyways because of the workout-lots of ups and downs where I live. Extra food is not to bad-you never know when you may have guests sitting at your fire. Which reminds me-what are some common courtesy "rules" when interacting with fellow hikers on the trails on your side of the pond?

7:53 p.m. on June 13, 2011 (EDT)
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Most backpackers I have been around can eat a 'meal for 2' in one sitting, especially after hiking all day.

I personally don't because I'd rather not run that much freeze dried through my gut at one time, particularly on the first day.

I like to supplement a freeze dried meal with a bowl of rice, crackers, cornbread, veggies, chocolate bar, nuts, or some combination that seems appetizing at the moment.

I eat the other half of the meal on the same trip or trade it to a buddy like Skimanjohn mentions. If I split up freeze dried meals up at home I always vacuum seal the halves because I think it is a more secure and compact way to pack my food.

Zip lock bags are handy for storing food items I may want to open and close repeatedly, but sugar, salt, seasonings, flour, etc. will clog up the zipper on zip lock bags and then insects, or the humidity we have in the southeast, will ruin your food.

I have had my food get wet or invaded by ants before so now I play it safe as is reasonable, all my food bags or packages stay in a large plastic container with a screw on lid that seals. After cooking dinner the container goes into by bear hang.

12:03 a.m. on June 16, 2011 (EDT)
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denis daly said:

You can save a tone of money by creating your own meals.

 I go cheap and dirtbag if I can.  Grab some cous cous, instant rice, quick pasta, etc. add some spices, dried fruit and/or veggies, and throw it in a ziploc freezer bag.  Add a pouch of meat for protein.  There's dinner!

I'm pretty utilitarian when it comes to my backpacking dinners.  Light, easy, and filling so I can get to enjoying the surroundings and my after dinner beverages!

2:05 a.m. on June 16, 2011 (EDT)
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I think that before I let those four separate issues make me feel bad, I'd just eat the rest. Then, if you felt bad about eating too much, at least you would only feel bad because... a) You ate too much.  So, hike the long way out.  There ya are, and there ya have it.

1:09 a.m. on June 20, 2011 (EDT)
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Kelly--the freeze dried stuff is good for quick trips, but they are quick fuel and high sodium. 

Trailspace (as well as the internet) is STUFFED with great ideas of how to make your own food and portions.  You've been given some good ideas here, and they are literally just barely cracking open a whole new, less expensive, and more nutritious world.

Just like gasoline, you can run your car on cheap gas for awhile before that gas causes long term problems. Food works the same way.  The better your long term nutrition, the better-faster-farther you hike.

Good luck--and good eating! Bon Appetit!

5:00 a.m. on June 20, 2011 (EDT)
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Consider searching the internet for "Freezer Bag Cooking". There's a lot of great recipes out there as well as a few books.

Enjoy

3:25 p.m. on June 22, 2011 (EDT)
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I simply love cooking and experimenting with flavors to begin with.  I love freezer bag gourmet. I've acquired a dehydrator, and, though I appreciate traveling as light as possible without sacrificing too much comfort, I can dehydrate a diverse mobile pantry of fresh vegetables, and enjoy creative cooking from my pack.  It's just not my style to choke down gorp or suck peanut butter out of a tube.  That sounds more like a survival situation.  But, to each, his / her own.  There ya are, and there ya have it.

10:18 p.m. on July 25, 2011 (EDT)
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Love that idea. Can't abide freeze dried. Would rather eat MREs.

11:11 p.m. on July 25, 2011 (EDT)
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Hike more miles in a day to work up the apatite to eat the whole thing. Sorry wouldn't resist.

They do make single serving meals. You have to loom a bit harder but they are out there.

9:16 a.m. on July 30, 2011 (EDT)
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Freezer bag cooking is my favorite site. Lotsa free recipes.

http://www.trailcooking.com/

8:50 p.m. on August 2, 2011 (EDT)
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denis daly said:

kelly you can use a 8oz cup to portion if you only eat 1/2. I believe one cup equals 1/2 a portion.Also look at the thread for backpacking food resource's. You can save a tone of money by creating your own meals. The cost litterally knocks it down if you can store some about $ 2.00 max.I offset with paid for meals prepacked to creating my own. I am trying to test tyson Appetiser buffalo chicken bites and dehydrate them to make my own wrapps.

 

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