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  1. #21
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    Quote Originally Posted by Gambit McCrae View Post
    I have often considered that a group of like minded hikers could all go in on a freeze dryer and crank out meals for all invested. Similar to a family canning operation but this would need to be more internet/ venmo based. "Once a year we will make 400 meals total for our 10 investors, each investor pays their 10% for the cost of food and once the volunteer that's operating and housing the freeze dryer completes the meals they get shipped out to the 10 investors. I guess I have only showcased a successful business model here LOL
    Question is can you cook!!! ....all that glitters is not gold!

  2. #22
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    I can boil water! I think that is about the extent my Jetboil will do, but it's enough for my hiking cooking.
    Was perusing the shelf-ready food section at my grocery store the other day, lots of choices, especially if I go the route of Starkist Tuna and Chicken for some meal supliments. Maybe a little heavy but need the protein.

  3. #23
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    Quote Originally Posted by Strategic View Post
    My favorite in both the packable and the taste categories is Packit Gourmet. Some excellent meals, especially the Tortilla Soup, the Texas State Fair Chili, and the Chicken and Dumplings. But I've never had a bad or even mediocre meal from them. Well worth the price, very light for their calorie count, and easy to prepare (most are just add boiling water to the bag and steep, which is a real pleasure after a long day on the trail.)
    I checked out the website. I liked it. Thanks. Will definitely need to try it on trail.

  4. #24

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    Mountain House #10 cans are currently 40% off.

  5. #25

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    I have about 50 years of experience with these, and I don't think they've changed much or improved in that time. They are highly processed, carb-heavy meals, which are quite expensive. For many years we have been making our own breakfasts and dinners using a dehydrator and adding some commercial dehydrated foods such as cheddar cheese and dried eggs. We favor protein based meals so we dehydrate all kinds of meat, steak, bacon, hamburger, pork and then package individual breakfasts (eggs, cheddar, and meats) and dinners (dehydrated vegetables, meat, and cheese powder), so all we have to do is add boiling water and let it sit in a cozy for 10 minutes. So minimal cooking means minimal fuel usage. For lunch we eat handy foods like hard boiled eggs, jerky, string cheese, dried fruit, and dark chocolate. So as you can see I don't have much use for these packaged backpacker foods, or any other processed foods, really. Processed foods have caused a lot of health problems for millions of people. So we stick with real foods as much as possible, and we especially avoid sugar.

  6. #26

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    We have used Mountain House from Georgia to New York,with no problems. Breakfast and lunch come from local stores. I have no doubt there are cheaper alternatives,but they taste good and are easy. Compared to the cost of airfare and missed work,food is the cheap part of our trek...

  7. #27
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    I would do what I could to avoid cook-in-bag meals. The last few I've tried, from multiple brands, have simply not been good. I don't mean not very good, I mean not good at all. Perhaps I still haven't tried the right brand - but it has soured me on the search.

    I'm also trying to pivot away from boiling water being in contact with plastic (whether FBC or insulated cups). With some planning you can eat much better - start with the Skurka meals and see what you think. You can modify the recipes to be your own. Then pick up some tips here and at other hiking forums for other DIY recipes. If you have your own dehydrator, or can borrow one, that's a route I would try, for sure.

  8. #28
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    05-28-2019
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    I've only tried Mountain House and Backpacker's Pantry. Being a vegetarian, my choices were limited. How good they tasted I believe was dependent on how hungry I was at the time. I will say that the MH Pasta Primavera was my favorite, but the last time I had it, it seemed different, and definitely not as good.

  9. #29

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    Quote Originally Posted by MichaelK7 View Post
    I've only tried Mountain House and Backpacker's Pantry. Being a vegetarian, my choices were limited. How good they tasted I believe was dependent on how hungry I was at the time. I will say that the MH Pasta Primavera was my favorite, but the last time I had it, it seemed different, and definitely not as good.
    Also (mostly) vegetarian, would highly recommend Peak Refuel's Butternut Dal. Like with most FD meals, add a little olive oil for general purposes.

  10. #30

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    To the OP--you asked about freeze dried, but mentioned doing the MA section. You can't quite deli blaze, but there are some places to go where someone else does the cooking. Starting S to N, just places I went to in '21:

    Salisbury CT--La Bonnes has a great deli. Eat a sandwich there and pack one out.
    Great Barrington--Bazilion's. Fancy French sandwiches and salads, and wine. Hitch in from Rte 7.
    Great Barrington--Xichohtencatl. Mexican, sit down. Hitch in from Rte 23 Not sure about take out
    Dalton--Angelina's Subs, couple hundred yards off trail.
    Chesire--Diane's Twist. Ice Cream! On trail!! Sandwiches too. Right across the street from Father Tom campsite which is great. The place does close about 5pm, plan accordingly.
    Mt Greylock--Bascom Lodge, just what you'd expect from a "restaurant" at the top of a state park. But okay for a quick lunch
    Williamstown--pretty bougie town, and this is bougie (I got it off Platinum Blazing for Pete's sake), but it was tasty--Water Street Grill. Pub, good menu.
    Dalton--Ang
    Last edited by HankIV; 06-28-2024 at 22:17. Reason: adding Father Tom campsite

  11. #31
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    07-23-2022
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    Mountain House all the way.

    On a budget . .. Rice sides, Potatoe flakes, and Ramen noodles.

  12. #32
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    I think that the Knorr’s rice sides rehydrate better than the noodles, esp in freezer bag cooking. My meals last time that I was out were dehydrated rice pilaf, mashed potatoes and stuffing. Two dinners and breakfast. I forgot the Spam slices for the potatoes and stuffing.
    76 HawkMtn w/Rangers
    14 LHHT
    15 Girard/Quebec/LostTurkey/Saylor/Tuscarora/BlackForest
    16 Kennerdell/Cranberry-Otter/DollyS/WRim-NCT
    17 BearR
    18-19,22 AT NOBO 1562.2
    22 Hadrian's Wall
    23 Cotswold Way

  13. #33
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    I don't rehydrate dehydrated meals in bag. Instead I cook raw dry foods in my pot. Because they are brought to a full boil in the pot, there are foods you can use that would cook adequately with freezer bag cooking. I like basmati rice, red lentils, buckwheat, bulgher wheat, soba noodles, and cous cous. Use spice mixes like curry. I pack a bottle of olive oil to add to each meal. I will also add dehydrated soup vegetables, parmasean cheese.

    For breakfast, I build a couple cups of water. One cup is for instant cocoa with a shot of Starbucks via. The othe cup is mixed with Museli.

  14. #34
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    Quote Originally Posted by Odd Man Out View Post
    I don't rehydrate dehydrated meals in bag. Instead I cook raw dry foods in my pot. .
    I forgot to add. I just bring the food and water to a full boil, turn off the heat, and let it set in a pot cozy. Falafel mix is another good source of dry, easily cooked legumes.

  15. #35
    Some days, it's not worth chewing through the restraints.
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    A lot of my meals are homemade using a starch/protein/veggie mix. Couple of examples: 1) minute rice, a teriyaki tuna pouch, dried peas & peppers or 2)mashed potatoes, spam, dried beans & cabbage.

    Starches: minute rice, couscous, ramen noodles, mashed potatoes (with or without flavoring), etc.
    Proteins: tuna packet, chicken packet, Spam, TVP, freeze-dried meat from the #10 can, etc.
    Veggies: peas, beans, carrots, kale, spinach, etc., etc.
    add or bring salt & spices

    I get my dehydrated veggies and TVP from Harmony House Foods, and now and then I'll find usable stuff at Walmart or TJMax, or elsewhere. Harmony House also sells heavy-duty zip lock bags made for meals in a bag (I don't really trust freezer baggies). I either make the meal in the bag, or in the pot, which leaves less trash to carry out. For longer trips, all the dry items can be carried in bulk for even less package waste.

  16. #36
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    Mountain house spaghetti and meat.

  17. #37
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    One thing to note is there is a difference between dehydrated and freeze-dried. I know most folks who have responded know the distinction, but other readers may not. Companies like Mountain House, Backpackers Pantry, Peak Refuel, etc... are freeze dried. Most home users make dehydrated (as freeze dryers cost $1000s). There is a difference in the final product as well. Most just addd water grocery store items are either dehydrated, or parboiled- then dehydrated. One can find freeze dried ingredients on occassions, usually fruits.

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