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  1. #1
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    Default Dehydrated meals recommendations

    I have not eaten dehydrated meals since the 1970's when I was a boy scout hiking the Long Trail. They sucked then, but I've heard they are much better now. I'll be hiking the MA section of the AT later this summer, so looking for meal ideas for breakfast, lunch and dinner. What works best for you?

  2. #2
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    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.)
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  3. #3

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    Although I feel a little guilty about the waste, I love the “cook in the pouch” meals—no pot to clean or smelly rinse water.

    Good to Go, Backpacker’s Pantry and Peak One have been good for me. If you get the granolas with milk make sure it’s whole milk , not non-fat. Fat is lighter per calorie than carbs or protein. Bring some olive oil to toss in almost everything. Also plain Fritos.

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    :banana

    For me, and many others, simply buying dried, quick cooking, conveniently packaged shelf-stable food from supermarkets works fine. It's possible to put together great one pot meals that way. And I find cleaning my pot afterwards very easy to do.

    Various web sites explain what grocery store foods work well for backpacking. Of course, if you are trying to reduce the weight of your wallet by getting rid of excess cash stashed there, buying special freeze dried 'backpacking' foods can further that endeavor. When I started backpacking, I only bought 'special' freeze-dried meals. Later I learned to use cheaper, tastier, and equally light supermarket food instead.
    Last edited by Siestita; 06-10-2024 at 23:04.

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    Duplicate post deleted.

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    I started multiday hiking in foreign lands (Middle East mostly) over 20 years ago, and used Travellunch, a German brand.
    It is reasonable priced, conveniently packed and tastes perfect.

    Over time I became fed up with the "always perfect" taste, I started missing the individuality, kind of.
    Then I learned about DIY dried food here in Whiteblaze.
    As my wife does some really great cooking, we have lots of oportunity to dry exess food and vacuum seal it. At almost zero cost and with the taste and quality of "homemade".

  7. #7
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    Thanks for the ideas. I'll check out both approaches, premade meals, and do it yourself.
    The shelf-stable grocery store dried foods sounds like a good way to go, since I don't have a food dehydrator.
    Last edited by soboyle; 06-11-2024 at 11:25.

  8. #8
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    I havent bought freeeze dried for years. The packaging is kind of heavy and has to be packed out. My standard meal is Lipton side with rice base and then add in a quarter cup of dehydrated chicken and vegetables that I buy in bulk in #10 tin cans and then vacuum seal. Its a lot cheaper than the small packs. Lipton sides claim to need 7 minutes of cooking but I get the water and mix boiling, cook for a minute and then cover it with some insulation and wait about 10 minutes and its cooked. My go to desert is a half a pack of jello instant pudding mixed with 1 cup equivalent of Nido (powdered milk with some fat content) and a spoon of coffee creamer. I premix it in lightweight ziplock at home. Then when I need it, add 1 cup of water, mix and then let is sit for few minutes and cut one corner of the bag off and squeeze it in my mouth.

  9. #9
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    Thanks peakbagger, is it the Mountain House dehydrated chicken? That sounds like a good option.

  10. #10

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    Try Packit Gourmet

  11. #11
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    Looks like some good stuff on Packit Gourmet. They sell in 2 oz and larger. About how many meals can you get out of 2 ounces of dried chicken?

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    I buy what is cheapest, usually Honeyville but Mountain house also has #10 tin cans and at least on Amazon costs less. https://www.amazon.com/Mountain-Hous...s%2C113&sr=8-3

    I buy oxygen absorbers and vacuum seal 1 cup of dry chicken. I find about 1/4 of cup is good for a lipton side.

  13. #13

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    Quote Originally Posted by soboyle View Post
    Looks like some good stuff on Packit Gourmet. They sell in 2 oz and larger. About how many meals can you get out of 2 ounces of dried chicken?
    The number 10 can of Mountain House chicken is 18 ounces, and for the whole can it says to add 8 cups of water (~80 ounces by weight) which brings the total weight to 98 ounces. So each oz of the dried makes 98/18= 5.4oz reconstituted.

  14. #14
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    OK, so a 2 oz packet could last me about 2-3 meals if I'm adding it as protein to other food like a lipton side or ramen. Probably worth buying it in the 10oz size for cost.

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    Mountain House Rice and Chicken purchased in #10 cans....my favorite

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    Quote Originally Posted by peakbagger View Post
    I havent bought freeeze dried for years. The packaging is kind of heavy and has to be packed out. My standard meal is Lipton side with rice base and then add in a quarter cup of dehydrated chicken and vegetables that I buy in bulk in #10 tin cans and then vacuum seal. Its a lot cheaper than the small packs. Lipton sides claim to need 7 minutes of cooking but I get the water and mix boiling, cook for a minute and then cover it with some insulation and wait about 10 minutes and its cooked. My go to desert is a half a pack of jello instant pudding mixed with 1 cup equivalent of Nido (powdered milk with some fat content) and a spoon of coffee creamer. I premix it in lightweight ziplock at home. Then when I need it, add 1 cup of water, mix and then let is sit for few minutes and cut one corner of the bag off and squeeze it in my mouth.
    +1 on the pudding idea except I make a full packet.
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  17. #17

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    Know FD and dehydrated were mentioned but, for a change of pace this can be added to Ramen
    Sweet Sue Chicken Breast, 3 Oz, Pack of 8


  18. #18
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    Quote Originally Posted by RangerZ View Post
    +1 on the pudding idea except I make a full packet.
    When I was sectioning the AT I tried to do the full packet route and just got too full after eating my Lipton side. I was around 230 lbs during my sections so not a lightweight

    I did 5 week section one year but never really developed the thru hiker hunger.

  19. #19
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    Quote Originally Posted by Mouser999 View Post
    Know FD and dehydrated were mentioned but, for a change of pace this can be added to Ramen
    Sweet Sue Chicken Breast, 3 Oz, Pack of 8
    I do use the Star Kist foil packs of chicken on occasion but the foil/plastic laminate based packaging is heavy. The other issue is the Lipton sides need about a cup and half of water to cook without stickiing, I add the freeze dries veggies and meat after the boil and that absorbs the water so the after its sat for 10 minutes, the consistency is more solid.

  20. #20

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    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
    Trail Miles: 5,154.2
    AT Map 1:
    ✔ | 13-21'
    Sheltowee Trace: ✔ | 20-23'
    Pinhoti Trail: ✔ | 23-24'
    Foothills Trail: ✔ | 24'
    GSMNP900: 134.7(17%)
    AT Map 2: 279.4
    CDT: 210.9
    BMT: 52.7

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