BackPacking Food Opinion .....

5:49 p.m. on March 22, 2009 (EDT)
235 reviewer rep
649 forum posts

I have used a few different brands of food but never at the same time so I have never done a good comparison or any real comparison what have you people encounter.

I am looking for your opinions of what dehydrated / freezedryed food you people like best and for what reasons like taste, preparation, packaging etc.

6:00 p.m. on March 22, 2009 (EDT)
7 reviewer rep
103 forum posts

I have tried MaryJane, Backpacker's Pantry and tasted Mountain House (feh) - I stopped trying and make my own meals now. Chicken/tuna pouches, homemade hamburger gravel, instant potatoes, instant rice (uncle ben's is best), couscous, flatbread, dehydrated cooked pasta, instant grits, instant oatmeal, instant polenta, packets of condiments, and a box of Harmony House dehydrated veggies go a long way. Bisquik makes perfectly acceptable biscuits or dumplings and there are tons of other mixes one can steam bake or throw in a backpacker oven. I recently dehydrated my own chili.

I don't like sodium content in commercial bag meals, or that most pouch meals are two portions. I don't like eating the same thing over and over for a week. I like coming up with my own stuff or getting recipes from forums or backpacking recipe books.

7:00 p.m. on March 22, 2009 (EDT)
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5 forum posts

I'm a mountain house guy. The two person meal is good for one guy. I must not be a picky as NotQuiteThere because I actually think it's pretty good....but I ain't much of a cook. Lasagna/Mac&Cheese/Chicken A'La King.

Instant oatmeal for breakfast and bars throughout the day.


10:42 p.m. on March 22, 2009 (EDT)
244 reviewer rep
5,249 forum posts

I like the Military style MRE's. Lightweight, easy to prepare without need of a stove, fuel and cookware. Just a tablespoon or so of water added to the heating mineral packet makes steamheat. Lightweight thin-paper and plastic containers. Minimal cost compared to most freeze dried foods. I discovered them on a trip in the Grand Canyon when a friend brought all our food for a three week hike below the rim. I had never ate freeze dried food since the early 1980's and thought, Yuck freeze dried for three weeks, but it was all delicious!

Think he got it somewhere in Texas?

10:44 p.m. on March 23, 2009 (EDT)
0 reviewer rep
84 forum posts

Try using your home cooking skills. Make a little extra and pack/store away for when you go out. One option for Fall/Winter/ Spring camps could be (home made) soup poured into muffin tins and then frozen. Place in plastic bags and it would thaw out on a day trip or heat up with the trusty camp stove. That, a small amount of salad, and a couple of buns make a great dinner.

Try taking cooking lessons if you don’t know, or are unsure how to cook different types of foods. No shame there at all, remember every one has to learn some time.

Learn about dehydrating your own food. I and my friends use a dehydrator with fruits, spaghetti sauce, chilli, we tried a meat sauce (not so well, too much steak sauce). If possible leave out the meats. Other wise even store bought sauces work well. My sister in law used a couple of store bought sauces and people on the trail were quit happy with the results. The home dehydrator takes care of Taste (Very Important), Preparation (you control the portions), Packaging (less garbage) just include cooking directions. And for backpackers reduce the all important weight (Less water). Remember if you like it at home you will like it on the trail.

I did try a dehydrated cheese cake on my snow camp. It did not turn out (could have used it to fill in the cracks of a log cabin) not sure if it was the cook or the product so there for no name.

I like to use the sidekick style of foods, for taste, mostly all in one packages, self contained.

Try backpack cook books
I just bought the Sierra Club book – Simple Foods for the Pack. Found lots of recipes, I just have to try them out at home, first. Little or no cooking, depends on how advanced a cook someone is. Most of the ingredients I will have to pick up first.

Other backpack cook books, look in the library, grocery stores give away recipes, a little preplanning and surprise!! Enjoy!! Hope this helps.

11:07 p.m. on March 23, 2009 (EDT)
7 reviewer rep
103 forum posts

I did try a dehydrated cheese cake on my snow camp. It did not turn out (could have used it to fill in the cracks of a log cabin) not sure if it was the cook or the product so there for no name.

Get a box of Jell-o instant no cook cheesecake and a box of graham crackers. Throw dry mix in a ziploc. In camp, add enough water to make the mix gooy and throw sealed ziploc in the creek for a while. After dinner, retrieve cheesecake, clip corner of the ziploc and squeeze onto graham crackers. Add dried blueberries, cranberries, or a packet of fudge as you please.

3:14 p.m. on March 30, 2009 (EDT)
848 reviewer rep
3,902 forum posts

Like others, I tend to work with what you can find at the grocery store. Couscous and cheese with wraps, for example. Oatmeal for breakfast, and so on. Dried fruits and veggies.

As for brands, I like Mary Jane's Farm. The meals use organic whole foods and I believe are lower in sodium than many others. Also, the pouches don't use aluminum, so you could burn them in a fire (if allowed) or just pack them out, which I do.

9:52 p.m. on April 2, 2009 (EDT)
54 reviewer rep
246 forum posts

I bought a dehydrator and started doing 100% freezer bag cooking when I was diagnosed with Meniere's Disease and had to go extremely low-sodium. was a lifesaver for me. In just two trips, I recovered the cost of a very nice dehydrator.

June 20, 2018
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