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  1. #41
    Garlic
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    Basic rule-of-thumb trail math I use for calories is 100 cal/oz for carbs and protein, 200 cal/oz for fats. That's for completely dry grocery store stuff like pasta, rolled oats and nuts. I shoot for a mix that gives me about 130 cal/oz average. I carry about two pounds, about 4000 calories, per day (including some fresh fruit and veg that really blows the weight budget, but I think is necessary for long-term trail nutrition).

    Like Dogwood says, if someone comes up with 250 cal/oz trail food, that's a breakthrough. Or like he says, flavored olive oil, and you really don't want to live on that. I haven't tried it, but have stories of those who have and it's not pretty. (And nearly fatal in one case and that's a long story.)
    "Throw a loaf of bread and a pound of tea in an old sack and jump over the back fence." John Muir on expedition planning

  2. #42

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    Next batch is in.


    The 2 trays on the left are my own mix that I call chicken & sausage gumbo, because "gumbo" sounds better than "glop." The 1 1/2 tray is my home made breakfast sausage - pork I ground myself and dry herbs/seasonings and no fillers. The other half a tray is diced red peppers, sauteed. The trays on the left were in the freezer overnight so that's ice on top of the food. the other trays were in the freezer for just a short amount of time so no noticeable ice.

    The Gumbo weighs 4.5lbs, twice as much chicken as sausage and I assumed 20% liquid weight. There is some liquid, but not much. My estimate is that there is a total of 4051 calories in this food and I expect to get 7 servings from it. 578 cal/serving.

    The breakfast sausage is 29oz and 96 cal/oz cooked for a total of 2,407 calories. This should give me 14 servings to add to my eggs. 172 cal/svg or 86/svg if I halve it. But I may cut the serving in half. Will need to decide after I have the eggs done and bagged with all their goodies. I like sausage, peppers, mushrooms and cheese with my eggs.

    *note - my first batch I Fded eggs and estimated that dry weight of 1.9oz equaled 3 large eggs (as I had put in a dozen eggs). 3 large eggs fried are about 300 calories, that means my eggs are about 150cal/oz.
    * I am using nutritiondata.self.com for my estimates on calorie counts

    The diced peppers have a total of 300 calories and should be good for about 8 servings. It's 8oz cooked weight. This also goes into my eggs. That's 37cal/svg or 74 if I double the serving. I do like my peppers!

    When everything comes out I will weigh everything. I know how many servings I can get from what went in so then I will take the dried weight and divide it into servings.

    http://s1378.photobucket.com/user/pr...g.html?filters[user]=145904901&filters[recent]=1&sort=1&o=0
    https://tinyurl.com/MyFDresults

    A vigorous five-mile walk will do more good for an unhappy but otherwise healthy adult than all the medicine and psychology in the world. ~Paul Dudley White

  3. #43
    Registered User Venchka's Avatar
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    Having spent most of my life on the Gulf Coast, I don't find anything appealing about the Lone Star Trail.
    Tyler State Park is much closer to you. Several laps around the park's trails is a good workout.
    Northwest of you are Wichita Mountains, Caprock Canyons and Palo Duro Canyon.
    Slightly farther northwest puts you in the Pecos Wilderness Area of northeastern New Mexico. Real backpacking country in real mountains.
    Have fun!
    Wayne


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  4. #44

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    Quote Originally Posted by Venchka View Post
    Having spent most of my life on the Gulf Coast, I don't find anything appealing about the Lone Star Trail.
    Tyler State Park is much closer to you. Several laps around the park's trails is a good workout.
    Northwest of you are Wichita Mountains, Caprock Canyons and Palo Duro Canyon.
    Slightly farther northwest puts you in the Pecos Wilderness Area of northeastern New Mexico. Real backpacking country in real mountains.
    Have fun!
    Wayne


    Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk
    Thanks for the tips. There's a couple reasons for hiking this trail. I'm going with a friend, relative newb. It's been a while since I did any trips, especially one this length, so I think it's good terrain to get back in the saddle. It's between where she lives and where I live which also means her husband is close enough if anything crazy happens and we need to be picked up. Or even if we say hey, come get us, we finished early! (which is very likely and my husband is not quite so close)

    And I have no desire to drive 2 hours to do laps and then get back in the car.
    https://tinyurl.com/MyFDresults

    A vigorous five-mile walk will do more good for an unhappy but otherwise healthy adult than all the medicine and psychology in the world. ~Paul Dudley White

  5. #45
    Registered User Venchka's Avatar
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    You can camp at Tyler State Park and repeat the trails the next day. They are more exercise than you might think.
    Check with the LST group for the river crossing water level and water sources along the trail. Apparently there are two water conditions: too much and not enough.
    Good luck.
    Wayne


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  6. #46

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    Someone sent me a few questions so I thought I would post my answers as well as a few pictures for everyone.

    Keep in mind that I have very little space so a lot of my decisions/opinions/etc are a direct result of what I am comfortable with in this space. Also, I am currently prepping for a backpacking trip so my loads are mixed loads. On mixed loads you want to be careful what you FD as odors/flavors can transfer between items. My PM to them follows:

    I have the original, medium one. It has 4 trays.

    A few points on why I did not opt for the larger unit.
    This unit size is new. And the pump is the same size. Many say that's not important but I'm not 100% convinced. The new units, I believe, are back ordered. They initially made 100 of them and offered them out to existing customers first. This was just a couple months ago IIRC.

    I think a larger unit will take longer to run a cycle all the way through. Not sure. So then you would likely end up with the same amount of food per hour of FDing possibly.

    I have found that I actually have to work to get this unit full. Part of that is due to the fact that I have to get ready for a backpacking trip and I don't want to eat the same thing for a week so I need to make a variety of foods to load up the trays. This isn't a problem if you want to run a load of just chicken or whatever.

    We are in a small apartment, so we are also limited on kitchen, fridge and freezer space. This affects us in so many ways. Not only do I have to cook every day but I am trying to stock up leftovers to get the trays loaded and I don't really have enough fridge space for many leftovers or freezer space to load a tray, put in the freezer to pre freeze (not necessary but helpful especially liquidy foods) until I get 4 trays full. Also, the very small kitchen means I have to cook food and then clean and then cook the next food I want on the trays, and on. So a simple task like cooking a couple dozen scrambled eggs is a bit more difficult than if I was in a normal sized kitchen. Yes, my kitchen is really THAT tiny! Think slightly larger than a tiny house. I am 5'3" and can stand at the sink and touch the fridge, stove and dishwasher without moving my feet.

    If I had the larger unit I think at this point I would have a really hard time filling it. I found that with my large dehydrator I actually used it less than I wanted to as I always felt "bad" about running it partially full. Which is really silly since that's a unit you can open and close to add more foods as they are ready. If you have the room for doing large batches then I say go for it!

    The other thing in my case is that I want to FD COOKED food so that all I need to do is re hydrate with boiling water and I can eat it. You do not need to cook your food first. This would greatly cut down on your prep time to get the trays loaded up. I am also not just FDing individual ingredients but complete meals in a lot of cases so again, a time suck.

    Pump maintenance: This is only my 3rd load so all I have had to do so far is drain a little off each time before I run a load. Not really sure why but that's what the book says to do. I noticed that this time there was a bit of crud in the oil so I may filter it before the next batch but I just realized I don't have any extra oil on hand so I may not do that. As the oil degrades it can take longer for the pump to do it's part and your cycles take longer. I'll keep an eye on that and probably order some oil right after I finish this reply. LOL But other than that, the maintenance doesn't look so bad, even to me. Mostly I think people these days are used to tossing things rather than doing maintenance or just driving somewhere and having someone else do their maintenance.

    Location: Like I said we live in a pretty tiny apartment. Initially it was sitting on our dining table and it took up most of one half of the table. Quite annoying. We got a "kitchen cart" recently and it's much better. Now it sits between the table and the half wall that divides the kitchen and dining area. Maybe I'll post some pics later. This is very near our living room and tv. I used to be able to sit at the table and watch and hear the tv. Can't do that if the FD is running. Also can't listen to tv from kitchen with it running. But I can still hear the tv if I'm sitting in the living room as the machine is behind me and not between me and the tv. Also, our bedroom is just off the dining area. We sleep fine with it running. I am a very light sleeper so if it changes from freezing to drying (which is when the pump kicks on) it wakes me but like I said, I am an extremely light sleeper. I wake when the sprinklers turn on in the summer in the middle of the night (cause that's when you run them in TX) from the water gentky hitting the windows.

    If you are going to put this in your basement you shouldn't have any problems hearing it upstairs. Just don't put your pump on anything attached to the walls that will transfer the vibration through to the walls. "I" would hear the vibrations. LOL seriously!

    I hope this helps.

    That's the end of the message I sent

    Now some pictures!
    The unit wedged between the table and the half wall, my tiny kitchen, and the whole dining area and kitchen in one shot. Good thing we don't actually need to use all our seating! Sorry about the sideways views. The computer rotated them on upload. I tried to subvert that by rotating them and then uploading them and this forum insists on doing this to them anyway.

    IMG_3398.JPG
    IMG_3399.JPGIMG_3400.JPG
    Attached Images Attached Images
    https://tinyurl.com/MyFDresults

    A vigorous five-mile walk will do more good for an unhappy but otherwise healthy adult than all the medicine and psychology in the world. ~Paul Dudley White

  7. #47

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    Quote Originally Posted by garlic08 View Post
    Three meals for a hiker should be at least 2,500 calories (I carry 4,000+ per day and stay pretty hungry at that). Ten ounces gross weight per day would have to exceed 250 cal/oz to get there, which is pretty much impossible even for pure fat. So you'll really need to add quite a bit of "nuts and other snacks" to fill what I believe would be a deficit.
    What do you carry and how much does it weigh for a day or week or whatever?
    https://tinyurl.com/MyFDresults

    A vigorous five-mile walk will do more good for an unhappy but otherwise healthy adult than all the medicine and psychology in the world. ~Paul Dudley White

  8. #48
    Garlic
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    Quote Originally Posted by PennyPincher View Post
    What do you carry and how much does it weigh for a day or week or whatever?
    See post #41 above.

    I'm a vegetarian and stoveless hiker and I resupply from grocery stores. My staples are muesli (mixed outside the grocery store with rolled oats, walnuts and raisins), tortillas and cheese and/or peanut butter, cashews and more raisins, crackers, dried hummus and refried beans the few times I can find them, Fig Newtons, corn chips. I never buy candy bars or "energy" bars. When available, I carry one piece of fresh fruit or veg for every day.

    For long trips, I pack food based more on mileage than on number of days. One pound in my food bag gets me 10 to 12 miles in the long run. I entered the hundred mile wilderness at the end of my AT hike with eight pounds of food, for instance. That seems easier to me than trying plan individual meals, and the stoveless hiking style supports that. I can tell we have different takes on that, and that's fine!
    "Throw a loaf of bread and a pound of tea in an old sack and jump over the back fence." John Muir on expedition planning

  9. #49

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    Quote Originally Posted by garlic08 View Post
    Basic rule-of-thumb trail math I use for calories is 100 cal/oz for carbs and protein, 200 cal/oz for fats. That's for completely dry grocery store stuff like pasta, rolled oats and nuts. I shoot for a mix that gives me about 130 cal/oz average. I carry about two pounds, about 4000 calories, per day (including some fresh fruit and veg that really blows the weight budget, but I think is necessary for long-term trail nutrition).

    Like Dogwood says, if someone comes up with 250 cal/oz trail food, that's a breakthrough. Or like he says, flavored olive oil, and you really don't want to live on that. I haven't tried it, but have stories of those who have and it's not pretty. (And nearly fatal in one case and that's a long story.)
    Quoting you as it was easy since you mention Dogwood as well. I'm going to post a chart from my spreadsheet of food that just came out of my FD. I used nutritiondata.com for my estimates and when in doubt I also erred on the side of caution, or tried to.

    Here's my chart. Looks like I'm a genius! No, seriously, if my calculations are somehow screwed let me know. The first 2 items are actually combined into a "stew/gumbo." There is some other things in the stew I didn't account for but I accounted that the meat actually only made up 80% of the total weight of the meal. So my gumbo looks like it has 222 cal/oz in the FDed state, breakfast sausage is 247/oz FD, and red peppers are 333 cal/oz. Of course, I'm not going to pack an entire ounce of peppers for a mornings breakfast, or as it turns out, even a whole ounce FD of breakfast sausage. IIRC my 3 eggs scrambled only weighed 1.9oz FD and packs 300 calories, add in a svg of sausage and peppers from the chart and I get about 550 cal for about 2.8 oz FD call it 3 oz with packaging. I would say that's not too bad as that works out to 183cal/oz packaged. That Gumbo in the chart is 2.6 oz for 578 calories, add in some more veg like peppers (there's okra in it) and package it up and at 3 oz packaged I'm over 600 calories. Tell me where this doesn't make sense cause from what the two of you have stated, there's no way I should be able to get this many calories in so light a package but these are the numbers.
    Food Description Calories/oz Pre cooked weights Pre FD weight oz Total Calories Post FD weight oz Pre FD oz/svg # svg this batch Post FD oz/svg Cal/svg Cal/FD oz
    boneless, skinless chicken breast, cooked 46 4 quarts 72 4051 18.2 10 7 2.6 578.7143 222.5824 calories & weights etc here are for chicken and sausage gumbo
    Italian style sausage, cooked 96 4 pints
    Ground pork, cooked, breakfast sausage 93 2lb 29 2697 10.9 2 14 0.7785 192.6429 247.4312
    peppers sauteed with fat 37 8.7 oz 8.1 299.7 0.9 1 8 0.1125 37.4625 333
    https://tinyurl.com/MyFDresults

    A vigorous five-mile walk will do more good for an unhappy but otherwise healthy adult than all the medicine and psychology in the world. ~Paul Dudley White

  10. #50

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    And here are the pictures of the latest batch.

    Breakfast sausage crumbles and diced red peppers stored in jars for now as these will get added to eggs when I package them up.
    IMG_3405.JPGIMG_3406.JPG

    And then my chicken & sausage "gumbo" sealed into large bags until I FD some vegetables to add to it. Plus I am waiting on more bags to package the individual meals up.

    IMG_3410.JPGIMG_3411.JPG
    https://tinyurl.com/MyFDresults

    A vigorous five-mile walk will do more good for an unhappy but otherwise healthy adult than all the medicine and psychology in the world. ~Paul Dudley White

  11. #51
    Garlic
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    The 4051 calories in your first line looks like a formula error. Is it supposed to be 46*72=3312?

    The other numbers could be high if you're not allowing for fat burning off while cooking. That enticing aroma? That's fat in the air. The splatter you clean off the stove, counter, and pots, and the mess in the vent hood, on the cabinets, and on the walls and ceiling when you have to repaint? Those are calories. On something like the peppers sauteed in fat, the final results could be very sensitive to a little fat evaporating.

    When I look up calories for generic boneless chicken, I see 31/oz, and for ground pork I see 72.
    "Throw a loaf of bread and a pound of tea in an old sack and jump over the back fence." John Muir on expedition planning

  12. #52

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    Quote Originally Posted by garlic08 View Post
    The 4051 calories in your first line looks like a formula error. Is it supposed to be 46*72=3312?

    The other numbers could be high if you're not allowing for fat burning off while cooking. That enticing aroma? That's fat in the air. The splatter you clean off the stove, counter, and pots, and the mess in the vent hood, on the cabinets, and on the walls and ceiling when you have to repaint? Those are calories. On something like the peppers sauteed in fat, the final results could be very sensitive to a little fat evaporating.

    When I look up calories for generic boneless chicken, I see 31/oz, and for ground pork I see 72.
    The top two ingredients are in a stew even though the calories are separated. The proportions are 2:1 chicken to sausage, so 48 oz of chicken * 46 cal/oz plus 24 oz sausage * 96 cal/oz = 4512 calories. I assumed that 20% of the total weight was actually water/zero calorie (even though I know some of the weight was veg and fat) so I did 4512*0.8 and ended up with 4051 calories for the whole thing. The calories/oz I used were from nutritiondata.com for cooked foods as I started with meat that had already been cooked. Does that math make sense now that I explained it?

    As for the other numbers, like with the food above, I used nutrtiondata.com calorie counts for COOKED foods. These peppers I sauteed in fat, thus calories were higher than raw, per nutritiondata site. I also, though it's not on this chart, weighed all the food before I cooked it and then after I cooked it as well as after FDing it.

    I think a really important thing here is the fact that the food weighs SO much less after FDing. FD weight is 1/4 of the wet weight! and sometimes more like with the peppers at less than 1/8 the wet weight.
    https://tinyurl.com/MyFDresults

    A vigorous five-mile walk will do more good for an unhappy but otherwise healthy adult than all the medicine and psychology in the world. ~Paul Dudley White

  13. #53
    Garlic
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    Quote Originally Posted by PennyPincher View Post
    ...I think a really important thing here is the fact that the food weighs SO much less after FDing. FD weight is 1/4 of the wet weight! and sometimes more like with the peppers at less than 1/8 the wet weight.
    That's exactly right, and well done.

    My question about the numbers comes from a long career in engineering, which started before there were spreadsheets. In my career, I witnessed spreadsheet errors on critical calculations, both technical and financial, that ruined careers. I learned to always step back from computer results and push the "BS button" when I saw something that just did not quite make sense. In this case, no career is at stake, just maybe a rumbling stomach on the last day of your backpacking trip! Enjoying the tasty meals is the main thing, like you said.
    "Throw a loaf of bread and a pound of tea in an old sack and jump over the back fence." John Muir on expedition planning

  14. #54

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    Quote Originally Posted by garlic08 View Post
    That's exactly right, and well done.

    My question about the numbers comes from a long career in engineering, which started before there were spreadsheets. In my career, I witnessed spreadsheet errors on critical calculations, both technical and financial, that ruined careers. I learned to always step back from computer results and push the "BS button" when I saw something that just did not quite make sense. In this case, no career is at stake, just maybe a rumbling stomach on the last day of your backpacking trip! Enjoying the tasty meals is the main thing, like you said.
    I'm not quite following this either... one of the issues with FD meals from the big boys is that they often have fairly low Cal/oz.
    To be fair... that could be simple economics of using cheaper "filler" ingredients rather than looking at heartier meals or concentrated foods.

    But here's a simple commercial meal supplier- http://www.preparewise.com/emergency...d-chicken.html
    Freeze dried chicken- they post 24G serving at 100 cal.
    So 24/28.5= .842oz. 100/.842= 118.76 cal/oz.

    Eggs- http://www.preparewise.com/emergency-powdered-eggs.html
    13g serving @80 cal. (says equal to one egg)
    So 13/28.5= .456 oz. 80/.456= 175.44 cal/oz.

    Unless I'm missing something I don't think you can break the basic 200 cal/oz rule? Even with all water removed I'd think eggs are the closest you'd come.
    Even if you got pure concentrated fat... 9cal/g stuff... 9x28.5g= 256.5 cal and even pure oil doesn't achieve that. Remember calories are measured dry anyway... bit like we burn dry wood vs green wood.


    NOW... all that said. Thanks so much for posting info about this product and process. Even if the math isn't quite right on the calories (or I'm wrong which is great!) this is still a great way to make meals and I am very interested.
    I too am excited about this machine and possibly using it in the future as well. I think the cost per meal is lower too if it's something you can keep around/handy. Just like the dehydrator if you can make an extra few servings (or have leftovers you'd toss) when cooking normal meals then simply drying the extra you've made is virtually no labor. If you had a garden or could take advantage of seasonal produce sales then you can do this pretty cheaply with better quality too.

    Also- when folks are looking at cost per meal with FD stuff- good economics would dictate you deduct the cost of the alternative too. As in even if this costs you $4 a meal, it still costs you to eat period. So if this is a $4 meal vs a $3 meal but much higher quality food (as in you sourced the food and know where it came from) then it's very worth it to many. Also, FD does come back much better than dehydrated no matter how well you dry conventionally.

    Even something simple like being able to season your meals is a big bonus to me. Big bold stuff comes through with a dehydrator (chili, gravy (red sauce), and hot foods) but any subtle seasoning is usually lost. It sounds like herbs and aromatics come through freeze drying much better. Texture too.

    Again... not trying to nitpick.. that's a big investment to make and I am very curious about it overall and really appreciate the feedback.

    My only concern is the mylar packaging needed. No worse than plastics I suppose but still...

  15. #55

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    Quote Originally Posted by Just Bill View Post
    I'm not quite following this either... one of the issues with FD meals from the big boys is that they often have fairly low Cal/oz.
    To be fair... that could be simple economics of using cheaper "filler" ingredients rather than looking at heartier meals or concentrated foods.

    But here's a simple commercial meal supplier- http://www.preparewise.com/emergency...d-chicken.html
    Freeze dried chicken- they post 24G serving at 100 cal.
    So 24/28.5= .842oz. 100/.842= 118.76 cal/oz.

    Eggs- http://www.preparewise.com/emergency-powdered-eggs.html
    13g serving @80 cal. (says equal to one egg)
    So 13/28.5= .456 oz. 80/.456= 175.44 cal/oz.

    Unless I'm missing something I don't think you can break the basic 200 cal/oz rule? Even with all water removed I'd think eggs are the closest you'd come.
    Even if you got pure concentrated fat... 9cal/g stuff... 9x28.5g= 256.5 cal and even pure oil doesn't achieve that. Remember calories are measured dry anyway... bit like we burn dry wood vs green wood.


    NOW... all that said. Thanks so much for posting info about this product and process. Even if the math isn't quite right on the calories (or I'm wrong which is great!) this is still a great way to make meals and I am very interested.
    I too am excited about this machine and possibly using it in the future as well. I think the cost per meal is lower too if it's something you can keep around/handy. Just like the dehydrator if you can make an extra few servings (or have leftovers you'd toss) when cooking normal meals then simply drying the extra you've made is virtually no labor. If you had a garden or could take advantage of seasonal produce sales then you can do this pretty cheaply with better quality too.

    Also- when folks are looking at cost per meal with FD stuff- good economics would dictate you deduct the cost of the alternative too. As in even if this costs you $4 a meal, it still costs you to eat period. So if this is a $4 meal vs a $3 meal but much higher quality food (as in you sourced the food and know where it came from) then it's very worth it to many. Also, FD does come back much better than dehydrated no matter how well you dry conventionally.

    Even something simple like being able to season your meals is a big bonus to me. Big bold stuff comes through with a dehydrator (chili, gravy (red sauce), and hot foods) but any subtle seasoning is usually lost. It sounds like herbs and aromatics come through freeze drying much better. Texture too.

    Again... not trying to nitpick.. that's a big investment to make and I am very curious about it overall and really appreciate the feedback.

    My only concern is the mylar packaging needed. No worse than plastics I suppose but still...
    I appreciate everyone's comments. As to Garlic's comment about spreadsheet errors, that's exactly WHY I posted my spreadsheet and explained the methodology where it may not have been clear. I am curious if the commercial people are listing their calories per "prepared weight?"

    I think my eggs will come in very close to the commercially prepared numbers so that gives me confidence. One advantage I have is that since I am planning on eating these soon I am unconcerned about fats going rancid and so I cook with fat, like eggs and other things.

    I didn't start this in order to get more calories per ounce over the commercial producers though I do believe they use a lot of fillers. There are over 100,000 ingredients that food makers ARE NOT required to list. I started this because we have very different eating habits which basically eliminates all commercially prepared foods. We are also able to use the organic ingredients we usually use at home every day. Eating organic vs non-organic is world's apart in flavor. Unless you go organic you likely won't know the difference. But it's like the smoker who doesn't realize they smell worse than an ashtray until they quit smoking (I quit smoking almost 23 years ago and couldn't believe how bad I had to have smelled!).

    As for mylar, for LTS I will package in mylar in large bags. But anything I am using soon goes right into vacuum bags and when I am ready to package the LTS into backpacking meals I would put that into serving sized vacuum bags. Right now I am waiting on vacuum bags so the stuff I anticipate going on this trip is in canning jars, vacuum sealed, so as to not waste a mylar bag. I do not anticipate cooking in mylar as the manufacturers I contacted cannot assure me that the bags wouldn't delaminate. Also, mylar is expensive and heavy as compared to the vacuum bags I use. The ones I just ordered this week are 4mil and cost about 3-6 cents each depending on size.

    As for the cost per meal, I suppose I could figure that out. Bottom line is we don't really have to be concerned about it fortunately to an extent. We also figure this way of eating as part of our cost of caring for our health - instead of trying to cure illnesses brought on by poor eating habits. Since we started this way of eating 5 months ago we have both lost 20 + lbs and our BP are completely normal, like 106/64 normal. Additionally my sugar has stopped spiking so I don't have worries that I will develop diabetes and all the complications that go with that. I price shop a lot of things but certain things are important enough to me to pay more money for the better quality. Food is one as is toilet paper! (I don't want butt rash!)

    But thanks for all your comments. It's definitely appreciated.
    https://tinyurl.com/MyFDresults

    A vigorous five-mile walk will do more good for an unhappy but otherwise healthy adult than all the medicine and psychology in the world. ~Paul Dudley White

  16. #56

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    Fully agree with your non-economic and mathematical reasons to do this... just can't help myself with the numbers



    http://www.makeyourgear.com/food/accessories/bowl-bags/

    meant to post this before as a FBC option. Haven't used them personally though many report good things and that they can be re-used easily (except for Chili and tomato based stuff)
    The shallow size and boat shape may make getting breakfasts and similar easier to bring back with the least water.

    I always found with the MH style breakfasts that a soak and a cook off improved things quite a bit... would imagine the same for your omelets.
    I used to carry a snow peak pot with the fryer pan lid... I'd be able to boil some water for cooking and steam fry the eggs in the lid. Cooked off the extra water without burning or needing to officially fry them. Seemed to give them a bit of extra fluff too.

    Definitely interested to find out how that thing does with meals vs ingredients.
    One tough thing with a dehydrator is that you often have to do double work in that regard. The Freeze dry method seems to have more potential for plopping down a meal... or doing say a scrambled style omelet with all the seasonings and fixins then going from pan to drier with the finished meal. I picture stir-fry and similar meals going well too in that way.

  17. #57

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    Just Bill, those are cool bags but at 60 cents a piece x 3meals/day x 7days/week x 26 weeks x 2people. That would add the heck up! I checked with the maker of the bags I am buying and I shouldn't have to worry about any nasties in my food from the plastic bags I am using. gusseted bags would be a bonus and I did look for those as well but couldn't find any in a price point that I was good with. I am actually going with an 8" wide bag in a couple different heights, shorter for sides or individual components and taller for complete meals. And then I ordered some 2 1/2" wide bags to hold toppings etc. Like FD cheese and such that I may want to reconstitute separately and add on top of my meal. And I made my cozy "gusseted" so it can stand up on it's on.
    https://tinyurl.com/MyFDresults

    A vigorous five-mile walk will do more good for an unhappy but otherwise healthy adult than all the medicine and psychology in the world. ~Paul Dudley White

  18. #58

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    So latest pics and stats. These are just bagged "in bulk" until I have time to do individual meals later today.

    2 doz scrambled eggs 45.1oz cooked 11.4oz FD (haven't decided if I will do 2 or 3 eggs, usually I eat 3 every day but I'm adding sausage, cheese, peppers, mushrooms, and jalapenos to these - but let's assume 3eggs/day)

    Mushrooms 11.3oz cooked 1.3oz FD (this was a pound+ of mushrooms before cooking)
    yellow pepper 9.5oz 0.9oz FD
    green peppers and onions (for a different dish) 23.8oz cooked 1.8oz FD
    jalapenos 5.7oz cooked 0.6oz FD

    IMG_3480.JPGIMG_3481.JPG
    https://tinyurl.com/MyFDresults

    A vigorous five-mile walk will do more good for an unhappy but otherwise healthy adult than all the medicine and psychology in the world. ~Paul Dudley White

  19. #59

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    Since this is "my thread" I figure this is the appropriate place to put this "mini rant" and then do some math for y'all too!

    I often see people discussing how cheap/expensive it is to thru hike any of the long trails. More so the AT I think but it doesn't much matter. At the same time I read plenty of trail journals and posts about people subsisting on "energy bars", pop tarts, ramen, etc only to gorge themselves on pizza and burgers in towns and end up crawling out of town from their food coma. I guess the "wealthier" hikers may buy up Mountain House FDed meals along the trail as they find them (likely at about $7/meal or more). Some people like to poke fun at vegans trying to thru or those who follow a gluten free diet, as if they don't understand how hard a thru hike is without "making it more difficult" in regards to food.

    Hiking is hard. Long distance hiking is much harder. I feel everyone should be free to put whatever they want into their bodies. But one of the comments I have received here and elsewhere is how I must need to make a lot of meals to get a freeze dryer to pay for itself. And in a way they are right if you just looked at what I "could" do any of my hiking on by eating ramen etc. But that's not all there is to it. I feel an investment in quality food, to fuel my body to it's highest levels, is worth the extra cost and inconvenience. But I was curious about the cost so I broke it down in a thread on another forum. I will re-post it here and there may be some overlap with what I have already posted. But I did think some of you would be interested.

    I will also state that I have been showing some of the weights and calorie counts as I go. I hope to have more of those for you tomorrow (or rather later on today).

    That post on the cost of meals follows:
    One of the common refrains I have seen is that for $3K for the FD, I need to FD a lot of food to make it pay for itself. This may or may not be true especially as compared to the cost of buying FD food.

    There are several differences I would like to point out though in regards to the foods I am FDing and what is actually available for mass purchase.
    The quality of the ingredients I am using is MUCH better.
    I have NO preservatives in my food. And you know, those nasty chemicals (over 100,000 of them) that aren't even required to be on the labels!
    I can customize my meals, the variety, and the meal sizes. I don't know about you but when I see some of those FDed foods for sale and they are claiming that the bucket has 84 servings and you see the average serving size is about 140 calories, something tells me I'm going to need a lot of their "servings."
    Add in dietary restrictions due to choice or necessity and mass produced food won't work for many.

    Next, the cost of FDed individual meals average about $7 each. Maybe $6.50 if you weight your purchase towards the cheap carb side.
    Big cans are about $2.20 for a 1 cup serving of about 250 calories. (okay, I looked at MH Beef stroganoff at beprepared but my guess is it's fairly typical). And what type of QUALITY are you getting when you are getting FDed food for a little more than $2/cup?! It's like getting a 20 pack of McNuggets for $3 and you think you scored unless you really think about what you must be putting into your body! Yikes!

    So I wanted to try to figure out how much some of my meals are costing me.

    Currently I have a batch of a mix that I discovered this summer and LOVE. It's grass fed beef (though any beef works), okra and tomatoes all cooked up in a skillet or pot depending on how much I make at a time, with some garlic and other seasonings and a little olive oil. This was 2 lbs ground beef, 3 lbs okra, and half a dozen tomatoes. I get my beef at the farmer's market for $5/lb, Okra was bought this summer by the box full and blanched and frozen so I will estimate that it is about $5 (though I believe it was closer to $3). The tomatoes, Romas, were about $5 based on some that I bought today. So I have about $20 into this plus seasonings and I should get 10 hefty meals out of this. This works out to $2 per meal, not accounting for the cost of electricity in cooking and then FDing the food. The bags I use are about 5cents each for individual meals. When I bag for LTS I will use mylar and those bags are about 60 cents each but also hold multiple meals as they are gallon sized. So do I really save any money? Maybe not, but there's no way I can get this type of food - grass fed beef, organically raised, pesticide free produce, free of preservatives and seasoned to my tastes without overloading on sodium.

    If I was to use ground beef at $2/lb and non-organic produce and seasonings I would likely find my cost per meal drop to less than $1 per meal. At that rate the math would be simple. 3000 meals and you have your cost of the FD back. This doesn't take into account sides, like extra veg, cheese toppings, and deserts etc. If you make and like lasagna you can FD that but maybe you want to have a side of green beans with that or something.

    For 6 months for 2 people, 3 meals per day equals 1,092 meals. I know this because one of our goals is to thru hike the AT and do it all while eating our own FDed meals which will be mailed to us by a friend or family member.

    If you have a larger family or raise any of your own food, IMO, a FD would be a "no brainer."

    Added for y'all: At my cost of $2/meal for superb quality and flavor a thru hike of 26 weeks would cost us $2,184. This does not count snacks and other toppings or postage. Those things will be part of later posts.




    https://tinyurl.com/MyFDresults

    A vigorous five-mile walk will do more good for an unhappy but otherwise healthy adult than all the medicine and psychology in the world. ~Paul Dudley White

  20. #60
    Registered User Venchka's Avatar
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    Are those tomatoes from Marfa, Texas?
    http://villagefarms.com
    For those times when you can't find locally grown.
    Wayne


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