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  1. #1
    Registered User Tklp's Avatar
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    Default I can almost never finish backpacker meals!

    Does anyone else have this issue? I'm a small person and I'm more of a grazer. Rarely can I eat a large meal (especially after exertion) in one sitting. On my last solo hike I ended up with a Backpacker's Pantry meal (no diss to BP in particular) packet that was half full of a soggy spice soup, carrying that in my pack. I did somewhat better with a Mountainhouse Meal, because I cooked it at lunch and then finished it for dinner. It was a less liquidy meal so I was less concerned about spillage. Has anybody tried opening these sorts of pre-packaged meals and dividing them into two parts, prior to a hike? I hate to be stuck carrying that water weight...or risk a watery leftover meal spilling inside my pack. I'm all about making some of my own meals, or having the occasional Ramen, but sometimes a MH chicken & dumplings or whatever really hits the spot!

  2. #2

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    I let my .85 liter titanium MSR cook pot determine how much dinner I can eat. You can pour the dry mix in the pot and add just as much water as you think you'll need to eat---but this method requires that you only add enough dry mix to equal the water. Too much water only results in a more soupy dinner---which is okay with me. Then you can roll up the dry mix and save it for another day. (Too little water isn't good as it may burnthe food in the pot).

    Plus, I ziploc (actually use Hefty bags) all my dry mixes at home and repackage everything like Mt House meals or whatever else. Don't need their bulky containers to either hold the food or use to reconstitute.

  3. #3
    Registered User ldsailor's Avatar
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    Why don't you buy Mountain House by the can? You can distribute the contents into Ziploc freezer bags (only!) with only the amount you intend to eat. The cans are less expensive than buying the meal in foil bags. By the way, the freezer Ziploc bags are rated for microwave use, so there shouldn't be a problem dumping hot water into them. I have used them in the past and will be using them while on the trail this year.
    Trail Name - Slapshot
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  4. #4

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    I do just as mentioned with MH meals. A regular, non-Pro Pak, MH bag says it is two servings. Most cans are listed as having 10 servings. I'll dump the whole can out on a plate and then scoop balanced portions into bags using eye to balance items and scale to balance weight. A 10 serving can gets divided up into 7 bags for standard packing or 5 bags if it is meant for a resupply late in a long trip. Don't forget that part if you are doing a thru or long sections. You will get hungrier as you go
    “The man who goes alone can start today; but he who travels with another must wait until that other is ready...”~Henry David Thoreau

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  5. #5

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    I usually split a regular MH meal into two, using quart freezer bags. I don't really try for exact with a scale, just eyeball it and move on. I always use less water than recommended for MH meals, and adjust accordingly for the split meal.

    However, I rarely pack a dinner for the first 2 nights, as I never eat all my food on the first couple of days, and end up just finishing off the snacks I had planned for earlier in the day. I increase my food for day 3+ as that is when I start wanting to eat more.

  6. #6
    Registered User Siestita's Avatar
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    I do not cook lunches but simply snack during the day. And, I rarely eat freeze dried dinners such as those by Mountain House, often opting instead for grocery-sourced dinners prepared using Knorr rice or pasta packets, old style boxes of macaroni and cheese, couscous, or packages of stove top stuffing. I sometimes add to such dinners foil packed tuna, or chicken salmon, along with (re-hydrating) freeze dried green beans or freeze dried okra. But, perhaps because I now walk fewer miles per day than I did when I was younger, such dinners tend to be larger than I can readily consume now at one sitting. So,about 1/3 of that cooked food gets transferred from my one liter pot into a zip lock bag overnight, to be quickly reheated and enjoyed the next morning as breakfast.
    Last edited by Siestita; 05-27-2019 at 19:23.

  7. #7
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    I like to eat about 1/4 to 1/2 of a mountain house (or similar) freeze dried meal at a time. I typically spoon the cooked/rehydrated meal on a tortilla, maybe add some cheese, and eat it like a burrito. It makes the meal last longer, I end up eating about what I need, and combined with a tortilla it fills me up. I usually take an extra quart sized ziploc freezer bag for each dehydrated meal. Open up the original package, pour about 1/2 into the freezer bag, and use the original bag to rehydrate the meal that I’m going to eat at that time. I’ve had near zero luck getting the original bags to seal back up after opening them. There’s always a bunch of dehydrated/freeze dried powder coating the MH bag zipper.


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  8. #8
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    It's normal for appetite to decrease if one does a lot of activity like hiking all day for several days. It's your body diverting resources to your activity and taking away from other stuff like digestion.

    ...Till...

    about week 3 or 4 when your body Tired of dealing with this level of activity without the proper amount of food basically says it has enough, and then appetite goes though the roof and the hiker gains trail legs.

  9. #9

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    Quote Originally Posted by Tklp View Post
    Has anybody tried opening these sorts of pre-packaged meals and dividing them into two parts, prior to a hike? I hate to be stuck carrying that water weight...or risk a watery leftover meal spilling inside my pack. I'm all about making some of my own meals, or having the occasional Ramen, but sometimes a MH chicken & dumplings or whatever really hits the spot!
    Yes. You can do it ahead of time, or at point of consumption, ie only cook 1/2 in a ziplock. Put ziplock in used (clean) foil package to rehydrate.

    It not always ez to uniformly split. But you have right idea, dont cook more than you will eat initially. You can always cook more.

    Occassionally, some meals are just gross as well.

  10. #10

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    A full (2 serving) Mountain House meal is too much for me, while half a meal is not enough. What I do is combine two meals then divide into three, which is just about right. To preserve the shelf life, I vacuum seal the meals with an oxygen absorber pack.


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  11. #11

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    Someone probably already suggested this but many of these meal companies provide portion for 1. My favorite Maine Good To Go https://goodto-go.com

    Quote Originally Posted by Tklp View Post
    Does anyone else have this issue? I'm a small person and I'm more of a grazer. Rarely can I eat a large meal (especially after exertion) in one sitting. On my last solo hike I ended up with a Backpacker's Pantry meal (no diss to BP in particular) packet that was half full of a soggy spice soup, carrying that in my pack. I did somewhat better with a Mountainhouse Meal, because I cooked it at lunch and then finished it for dinner. It was a less liquidy meal so I was less concerned about spillage. Has anybody tried opening these sorts of pre-packaged meals and dividing them into two parts, prior to a hike? I hate to be stuck carrying that water weight...or risk a watery leftover meal spilling inside my pack. I'm all about making some of my own meals, or having the occasional Ramen, but sometimes a MH chicken & dumplings or whatever really hits the spot!
    Let me go

  12. #12
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    Default I can almost never finish backpacker meals!

    You can absolutely split these meals up, as other people have stated as well. Split each meal into 2 ziplocks, boil a cup of water and empty a single bag into the pot. Stir, wait, stir, eat.

    I can usually finish a whole pouch, but it’s typically my only actual meal for the day.




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    Last edited by AnthonyD; 05-28-2019 at 10:05.

  13. #13
    Rain Man's Avatar
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    I definitely lose my appetite on hikes, sometimes going a day or two with only earing a few snacks.
    ye shall not pollute the land wherein ye are: ... Defile not therefore the land which ye shall inhabit..... Numbers 35

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  14. #14

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    Quote Originally Posted by Rain Man View Post
    I definitely lose my appetite on hikes, sometimes going a day or two with only earing a few snacks.
    I agree with this---but sometimes I'll cook up a breakfast of oatmeal and hike for about 5 hours and set up camp and cook up a "pre-dinner" meal and then a later dinner. It's rare but three cooked meals a day helps for calorie intake and loading up on protein. On the other hand, it's okay to fast from food all day if you want---to give my system a break---most especially on zero in-tent bad weather days.

  15. #15
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    Default

    When I was thru hiking I always wanted a 2nd MH or other dehydrated meal after finishing the first... I usually had a 2-3 serving meal plus a knorr side for dinner, plus a bunch of snacks with it, usually dehydrated apples with peanut butter, granola and a few other little things.... And I could always go for more then I had!..... I don't know how people were getting by with Ramen as a main meal, that dosnt even qualify as a decent snack for me.

    I also never put the amount of water they call for, just boil some then dump in and mix slowly till its at the texture I like. ...
    NoDoz
    nobo 2018 March 10th - October 19th

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  16. #16
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    Forgot to mention I have used zip locks with boiling water many times without any problem... But that wouldn't be to have a half meal its be to have 1.5 or a little something extra
    NoDoz
    nobo 2018 March 10th - October 19th

    I'm just one too many mornings and 1,000 miles behind

  17. #17

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    Be glad thet most dehydrated food companies backed off on spices. When I first started backpacking, many meals were loaded with salt and MSG. I used to try different entrees and remember a few trips where the entrée was so bad it got buried somewhere.

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