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  1. #1
    Dreaming of a Thru-Hike! AeroGuyDC's Avatar
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    Default Mountain House Pro-Pak Vacuum Sealed Meals?

    Any opinions good or bad about Mountain House Pro-Pak Vaccum Sealed meals? Looking at them in the store, they seem to be a decent compromise to the bigger/bulkier non-vacuum sealed MH meals. Of the 6 or so different meals I saw, they seemed to average about 4 oz each. As an option for dinner, are these a worthy consideration?

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    Sure, they could be fine. About 4-4.8 oz each, different meals designed for various tastes, about 500-720 cals each, vacuum sealed. I take them out of the pouches and put them into lighter plastic baggies just before I get onto the trail though. Sometimes I add something to them to get two meals. Sometimes when I want the additional cals I'll buy the 2 person serving size.

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    I think they're very expensive for the amount of nutrition they provide. I suppose they'd make nice tasty meals, but they should be supplemented with very high calorie snacks for thru-hikes. Dumping in some olive oil would help. Still though, it's way too expensive for me. I would probably use a ton of them if I wasn't paying for them though.

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    Super Moderator Marta's Avatar
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    Pro-Pack meals were my main dinner foods during my long hike. I ordered equal numbers of all the flavors from ldpcampingfoods.com before the hike and had them shipped to me along the way. By ordering in quantity I got a significant discount.

    People like to dis Mountain Meals on line, but their half-life in hiker boxes can be measured in nanoseconds.
    If not NOW, then WHEN?

    ME>GA 2006
    http://www.trailjournals.com/entry.cfm?trailname=3277

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    Registered User sweetpeastu's Avatar
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    I like the pro packs. Better size for me in terms of amount of food and they seem to take up less room in my pack. Not too heavy either. The pasta primivera and the beef stew are yummy. The lasagna is tolerable. I've not enjoyed any backpacker pantry meals. Not sure whats up...I pick gross ones I think.

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    Registered User LTROSS's Avatar
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    I think that the expense is the greatest problem with these kinds of foods. Though i do eat a non vacuum sealed meal every week or so. I do this so that i can reuse the bags to cook in as i believe that they hold heat better than freezer bags.

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    The internet is calling and I must go. buff_jeff's Avatar
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    I actually really like those things, but they're too expensive for long distance hiking. If I'm doing a shorter 3-5 day hike I'll pick them up, but anything longer I just can't afford them.

    Oh, and the Omelet is straight nasty. It's like the MRE omelet that nobody eats.

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    I like MountainHouse and used them on last years thru. You can't beat them for convienience especially after a tough day where all you want to do is eat then sleep. I did carry them along with store bought foods for variety while on the trail. Marta is right, they don't last long in a hiker box!

    They can be expensive (but really no more than you'll spend at a typical AYCE when in town) so I bought mine in bulk online from The Ready Store. The free shipping helped. There's plenty of other online retailers to price compare.

    Good luck!

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    Registered User toegem's Avatar
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    I happen to like them, I would not eat them as a steady diet mind you, but only as a supplement to home dried foods. It appears that they choose the most popular meals for their Pro-Pak line, the servings are generous compared to a 2 serving meals split in half. They excel when your so tired cold and hungry that you can barely boil 2 cups of water.
    The journey of 10,000 miles, begins with the first step.

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    I would like to suggest Hawk Vittles versus the ProPacks. Large portions, high calorie, less cost.

    www.hawkvittles.com

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    Quote Originally Posted by AeroGuyDC View Post
    Any opinions good or bad about Mountain House Pro-Pak Vaccum Sealed meals? Looking at them in the store, ...................they seemed to average about 4 oz each. As an option for dinner, are these a worthy consideration?


    If you think 4oz dinner will keep U satisfied after hiking 6 to 8 hours a day....go fer it!....most long distance hikers...i've run into are carrying the "DOUBLE ENTREES" version...(of Mountain House,etc)
    see ya'll UP the trail!

    "Jaybird"

    GA-ME...
    "on-the-20-year-plan"

    www.trailjournals.com/Jaybird2013

  12. #12
    Trail miscreant Bearpaw's Avatar
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    I thru-hiked the Colorado Trail on a breakfast, cashews, and two Propaks a day. They were quite good, reasonably filling and simple to make. They provided enough variety that I was still good with them after five weeks.

    Lasagne, chili mac, and pasta primavera are my favorites.
    If people spent less time being offended and more time actually living, we'd all be a whole lot happier!

  13. #13

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    Quote Originally Posted by LTROSS View Post
    I think that the expense is the greatest problem with these kinds of foods. Though i do eat a non vacuum sealed meal every week or so. I do this so that i can reuse the bags to cook in as i believe that they hold heat better than freezer bags.
    MH bags are mylar lined so yes they do act as a cozy of sorts. It is also why the bags are so heavy/thick.
    Trail Cooking/FBC, Recipes, Gear and Beyond:
    Trail Cooking

  14. #14
    Registered User soulrebel's Avatar
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    I used to enjoy eating them more (first 500 miles of da hike), but then I got into carrying fresh meat/veg/fruit all the time. Food/alcohol are the two things I don't weight weenie.

    Nowadays, I use one of the pro-paks as a small, lightweight Emergency Meal at the bottom of my food bag. The current one has been in there for about 600 miles. hpyhikn
    See ya when I get there.

  15. #15
    Stir Fry
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    Do what I do buy one each payday. Then when you hike you are not having to go out and buy 10 or 12 at once. If you look at the expense of eating in a reserant, $6 to $7 for a meals not so bad. If you compair it agenst you prepairing the meal yourself it looks little higher. You are paying for convience.

  16. #16
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    Smaller meals are useful if:
    1) you want to change your name to AeroGirl.
    2) you are using them for short trips before your appetite kicks in.
    3) You like multi-course meals. (I have used: veg soup for rehydrating, or big deserts, or bread/tortillas to suppliment say chilli... but the size is too small for me.)

    Cost or other advantages of freeze dried meals should not be a factor in this thread, but I will say that the number 10 can idea does not work from the convenience/cost standpoint. With the long shelf life, you should buy in bulk or on sale.

    The Pro pack packages are not as small as they look. I had trouble fitting them in a bear canister, because they are irregular and do not bend.

    Rambler

  17. #17
    Super Moderator Marta's Avatar
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    One of the weird things about MH is that the Pro-Paks normally contain around 500 calories, and are supposed to serve one. The larger packages that supposedly serve two assume that each person will only eat about 250-300 calories. Even if I'm laying around the house, reading novels and petting the cat all day, that's still not enough dinner for me. In other words, two servings contain about the same number of calories as one Pro-Pak serving. Fuzzy math.
    If not NOW, then WHEN?

    ME>GA 2006
    http://www.trailjournals.com/entry.cfm?trailname=3277

    Instagram hiking photos: five.leafed.clover

  18. #18
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    I prefer the pro packs, but recently discovered my local walmart carry the 2 serving MH meals, for $4.88. I picked up all they had of my fav's, chilli mac and cheese, lasangua, beef stew and beef stoganoff. Add a quick fry biscuit, some hard cheese, some dried fruit or vege and you have a great easy meal.

  19. #19
    13-45 Section Hiker Trash
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    Default I like 'em

    I can't comment on using them for a thru (as others have), but I use them during my section hikes. I like the flavor of most of them, and they are about as simple as it gets from a preparation standpoint. Others have mentioned the cost, and they are a little pricey. I often buy a bunch of them at once when they go on sale. I have seen them on sale at REI, and if purchased directly from Mountain House. If you buy them directly from MH you have access to all the flavors too (there are actually 10 different ones in the Propak). They're usually good for a few of years, so you can buy a bunch ahead of time.

  20. #20
    Springer to Atkins, VA
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    Propacks are good but I tend to want more...so I buy the two person packages. I remove them from their pack and put in smaller vacuum pak via my food saver. Works great. I like the beef stroganoff and chilli Mac best...add some spices and cheese...taste great at the end of a long day. I've found some fairly good deals on ebay and at walmart. They work very well with my jetboil.

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