User Review: Harmony House Backpacking Kit
Source: bought it new
Price Paid: $45
The Harmony House Backpacking kit is a tremendous value, offering 3.5lbs of dehydrated food in small, resealable ziplock bags. This kit has been the centerpiece of reducing my food weight and improving the overall quality of my meals and approximately $1 per meal or less.
- Amount of food
- Ability to cook creatively on the trail
- Not able to pick and choose items in the kit/too much of stuff I didn't want
I bought this kit to plan for a week-long trip on the River-to-River Trail (Illinois), and I continue to use it as a centerpiece of my backpacking menu (My family also keeps a kit with our "bug out" bag).
At $49 (or less--sales are frequent!), this is an amazing deal. When you consider Mountain House's dehydrated meals can cost $12 or more per packet, this provides full meals for less than $1.
In my first, at home taste test, I cooked delicious fajitas using a variety of veggies from the pack and some of the TVP (textured vegetable protein—sold separately). Ok, it wasn't as good as what I'd get at my local Mexican restaurant, but it was delicious for trail food, and I estimate my cost for a full plate of food at only 95 cents.
The kit comes with 18 resealable, ziplock pouches. Each pouch weighs 2-4oz. Included in the kit are the following pouches:
(2) Carrots-4oz each bag
(2) Diced Potatoes-3oz each bag
(2) Green Peas-4oz each bag
(1) Tomato Dices-2oz
(1) Sweet Celery-1.5oz
(1) Cut Green Beans-2oz
(1) Sweet Corn-3oz
(1) Green Cabbage-3oz
(1) Mixed Red & Green Peppers-2.25oz
(1) Chopped Onions-3oz
(1) Black Beans-4oz
(1) Northern Beans-4oz
(1) Red Beans-4oz
(1) Pinto Beans-4oz
My first box provided more than 20 meals, with rice and Ramen noodles as the base. I could have stretched this number MUCH further, but my initial menus wasted a lot of food by having too large of portions. Rehydration varies for each item, but this is an excerpt of the rehydration chart.
One of my favorite trail meals includes rehydrating a 1/2 cup quick rice, .5oz Red Beans, a sprinkling of onion in a foil bag. After the boiling water is drained off, I add a dash of taco seasoning. The entire meal comes to 75 cents, and completely stuffs my gut (When I've used 1oz of Red Beans and full cup of dried rice, I wasted way too much.). By cooking in the foil bag, I have no dishes to wash up, and I can ziplock any leftover food for later.
A second meal is a pack of Ramen noodles, with just a pinch of carrots, celery, onions, cabbage, and peas. Wahlah, a hearty vegetable soup! (60 cents)
Harmony House's products have no preservatives or artificial flavors. Just real, dehydrated veggies.
The only reason I didn't give it 5 stars is the box loads you up on a few items I don't need two of. You get two packages of peas and two of carrots, but only one of tomatoes. I still haven't tried using the Lentils, as I'm not a fan. Still, that's a minor inconvenience when you consider how much variety you get in the overall package.
Lentil recipes appreciated! Just leave them below.