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  1. #1
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    Default Freeze Dried Just Add Water Pouch - Recommendations Please

    Just getting started with backpacking. I'm sure I'll experiment with rolling some of my own food. However, I'd also like to know what brands of "off the shelf" freeze dried food pouches folks find the tastiest.

    So...

    * What are the brands and flavors that you find tastiest?
    * Where is the best place to buy them assuming I'd NOT be purchasing in large quantities?

  2. #2

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    when I'm looking for something of that sort that's available in most stores, I like mountain house chili mac
    https://www.mountainhouse.com/m/product/chili-mac.html

  3. #3

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    Walmart locally. EMS, REI and other on-line outlets.

    You might want to sample them first at home. I bought a freeze dried meal in the Shenandoah NP (Backpackers Kitchen I think was the brand) and found I was allergic to something in it. One bite and my throat started to swell up and became difficult to swallow. I rinsed my mouth and throat out with water and took a Benadryl which cured it. Unfortunately, it was the last meal in the food bag so all I had to eat that night was four chocolate chip cookies. And of course, had to carry out the rest of the FD meal I couldn't eat. I guess that's better then me having to be carried out in a bag.

    The thing is, I've never had food allergies before and have no problem with Mountain House meals.
    The AT - It has it's ups and downs...

  4. #4

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    Good to Go has some very good choices. LL Bean has them 25% off right now if you live near one of their stores

  5. #5
    Registered User ldsailor's Avatar
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    I like Mountain House and eat it almost exclusively when on the trail. I eat lasagna but only because it is usually in a bundle I buy. There is nothing wrong with the lasagna - it's good. However, my titanium spoon is next to impossible to clean with the cheese stuck on it. Usually with the other meals, I can just lick the spoon clean. Beef Stroganoff is my favorite with chicken teriyaki and pasta primavera right behind it.

    By the way, most Walmarts now sell the Mountain House 2.5 serving pouch and it is usually cheaper than what you pay on Amazon. When hiking, I need those 2.5 serving pouches to replace calories. The smaller pouches simply are not enough.

    I have bought cartons of 6 meals on Amazon. Buying them that way brings the cost down below $7 a pouch. Because the carton only has one type of meal (ex. 6 beef stroganoffs), it's a good idea to buy several. I mail them down the trail in provision boxes with a variety of meals in each box. Unfortunately, doing so saddles you with postage charges, but if you fill the box with the meals and other things you need, it brings the per unit cost down. Alternatively, you can buy direct from Amazon a half-dozen meals or so and get it delivered on the trail at no cost for Prime members. I've done it both ways in the past - mailed my own provision boxes ahead and ordered from Amazon a variety of six or seven meals.
    Trail Name - Slapshot
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  6. #6
    I plan, therefore I am Strategic's Avatar
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    My go-to trail meals are, without question, from Packit Gourmet. They have some of the best meals in the business, and have won some significant awards for them. My current favorites are the Austintacious Tortilla Soup, Texas State Fair Chili, Dottie's Chicken and Dumplings, and Cajun Ranch Chicken Salad (which doesn't even need hot water.) Excellent quality, really tasty, and they come with everything included in a proper bag for FBC. I don't even bother with anything else, since they give me enough variety that I can rely only on them for all my dinners and about half my lunches. Since the rest of my lunches are basically of the hard sausage and cheese variety and I do cream of wheat for breakfast, that gives me everything I need. Their meals are a good size for hikers, so you won't go hungry and will get back the calories you need.
    Strategy without tactics is the slowest route to victory. Tactics without strategy is the noise before defeat.
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  7. #7
    Registered User Venchka's Avatar
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    Default

    Mountain House beef recipes. Beef Stroganoff & Chilli Mac at the top of the heap. I bought Chicken & Rice once. Never did find the chicken.
    Backpackers Pantry Chicken Picatta (Spelling?) and Pad Thai.
    Good To-Go Pad Thai.
    Pay attention to the high altitude directions. Colorado and Wyoming require additional soaking time.
    Wayne

  8. #8
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    I bought Chicken & Rice once. Never did find the chicken.
    My favorite. They named it "rice and chicken" because of the amount of chicken that is not there :-)

    I wonder how many of these packaged meals can be hydrated and easily eaten cold.

  9. #9

  10. #10
    Registered User Venchka's Avatar
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    Also:
    Mountain House Breakfast Skillet, Scrambled Eggs (the package water amount was a bit too much, reduce water and add a little at a time if needed).
    Mountain House Biscuits and Gravy. Tried it once. Didn’t go back.
    Wayne

  11. #11

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    Quote Originally Posted by Venchka View Post
    Backpackers Pantry Chicken Picatta (Spelling?)
    Wayne
    Ahh, I'm pretty sure that's the one which tried to kill me!
    The AT - It has it's ups and downs...

  12. #12
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    Like most of the Mountain House options, but Chicken and Mash potatoes is among the best. Though I like variety. Breakfast skillet is good, but I generally only bring one and have instant oatmeal the other mornings.

  13. #13
    Registered User Venchka's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Slo-go'en View Post
    Ahh, I'm pretty sure that's the one which tried to kill me!
    Must have been the capers. I survived. I’ve had capers on salmon years ago.
    Glad you’re safe!
    Wayne

  14. #14
    Registered User Venchka's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by SkeeterPee View Post
    Like most of the Mountain House options, but Chicken and Mash potatoes is among the best. Though I like variety. Breakfast skillet is good, but I generally only bring one and have instant oatmeal the other mornings.
    I eat breakfast anytime. That’s why I carry the Breakfast Skillet.
    Wayne

  15. #15
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    Quote Originally Posted by Venchka View Post
    I bought Chicken & Rice once. Never did find the chicken.
    When I was packing food for a JMT thru hike, I purchased a can of Mountain House dehydrated chicken and added Minute Rice to make my own Chicken and Rice dinners. That allowed me to put as much (or little) chicken as I wanted.

    And BTW, for dehydrated meat, I tested some of the chicken by itself... it was better than I expected.

    Actually, my favorite meal that trip was chicken and couscous.

  16. #16

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    Stay away from meals that arent one bag, one step imo. Just add. Water and soak.
    Simplicity is good.

    Mountain house is best in this way.

    Packit gourmet will surprise you...need to boil raw pasta, uncooked corn in things that dont rehydrate. Pretty ridiculous. They try to get too fancy with offerrings...ends up nasty. And crunchy. Stuff that doesnt rehydrate well often. Its not freeze dried.

    I prefer to dehydrate my own. A few of my staple meals are eggs/tortillas, spaghetti /elbow mac, chili/corn chips, and red beans/rice.
    Last edited by MuddyWaters; 11-12-2018 at 05:45.

  17. #17
    Registered User Old Hiker's Avatar
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    Mountain House.

    theepicenter.com for singles and #10 cans to re-pack.

    Pro-paks were smaller.

    Below is my go-to list while ordering on the Trail. Amazon would deliver up ahead, with only two glitches. One was the order was NOT taken from my phone. The other was right before the 100 mile wilderness, I ordered 15+ meals and they EACH came in a box. Sheesh.


    Chili mac
    Granola and blueberries - great cold
    Rice and chicken
    Biscuits and gravy - I REALLY liked those on a cold morning, with pre-cooked bacon
    Cheesecake for a snack or dessert - IF you can find it - NOT the bites. Haven't tried those yet.
    Pasta primavara with some type of meat: spam, bacon, whatever


    My stay away from:

    ANYTHING with "eggs". Not sure WHAT kind of eggs those are, but they CAN'T be chicken. Or ANY type of bird.
    Old Hiker
    AT Hike 2012 - 497 Miles of 2184
    AT Thru Hiker - 29 FEB - 03 OCT 2016 2189.1 miles
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  18. #18
    Registered User Venchka's Avatar
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    Mountain House discontinued individual servings sometime between 2016 and 2017. Bummer!
    I’m torn between dividing the current meals or buying #10 cans. Or building my own meals.
    Wayne

  19. #19
    Registered User Crossup's Avatar
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    Default

    +1
    I like MH but have to say this meal shocked me with how tasty it was. Too bad its one of MH's most expensive, generally carry only one.

    Quote Originally Posted by SkeeterPee View Post
    Like most of the Mountain House options, but Chicken and Mash potatoes is among the best. Though I like variety. Breakfast skillet is good, but I generally only bring one and have instant oatmeal the other mornings.

  20. #20
    Registered User Venchka's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Crossup View Post
    +1
    I like MH but have to say this meal shocked me with how tasty it was. Too bad its one of MH's most expensive, generally carry only one.
    Chicken and mashed potatoes is on sale NOW at Moosejaw.
    https://www.moosejaw.com/product/mou...atoes_10096075
    Wayne

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