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Freeze Dried Meal Choices?

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I wondered about that YC comment also. Home dehydrated spaghetti with sauce turns out pretty good. I guess he means the vile stuff like canned chef boyardee. One of the Adirondack Lean2rescue guys I work with opens a can of the stuff and eats it cold for dinner. gag.

I still chuckle about a lean2rescue trip where one of the guys was eating out of can with no label. We asked what it was and he said, " I dunno, it was on the shelf of the lean-to when we got here".
 
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I can tell you some things NOT to buy: I have tried "Good To Go" and found them lacking. Had to throw them out.

I also don't like cooking or cleaning. I want to travel as light as possible. My favorite for tripping is the ramen/moringa/etc 3 minute stew I posted a couple of years ago. But most people wouldn't like it. It's fast, hot and high protein. About the same time I posted a granola recipe. I have no idea why anyone would want to purchase granola or even oatmeal from a camping bag of "breakfasts."

I just found out that Weight Watchers (now called WW) has a vanilla "shake" that has 25 grams of protein in 1/3 of a cup of powder. I don't know what it tastes like, but that much protein sounds like a good deal if one is trying to up the protein.

Real Maple "syrup" can now be purchased as granulated maple sugar in quantity. So you don't have to tote a container with liquid maple syrup. You can also just use brown sugar if you don't want to spring for the real maple.

While the lasagna and spaghetti type freeze-dried meals are almost always tasty, I don't see the point in spending the money. Angel hair pasta cooks in only 2 minutes. Use pepperoni sticks for meat. Use lasagna seasoning plus powdered tomatoes. Works great. You can also add the unrefrigerated parmesan cheese if you want to scrape it off your cook pot or plate.

I found a couple of new sources of meat: biltong is a South African dried meat that is air dried, not with heat and is soft. Many $$$$ but probably worth it for a major trip. Kalahari brand is raised without hormones and antibiotics if that is important to you.

Regarding sodium: if it is hot and you are paddling hard, you are going to lose salt. I'm always adding salt on my trips. Maybe the rest of you don't sweat as much as I do.

Minute Rice is cheap and easy and you can get freeze-dried beans easily enough too. Mix them together with some taco seasoning and you have a great meal - even vegetarian! - without spending a ton of money. You can also now purchase dehydrated Extra-sharp Vermont cheddar cheese. Brad said he would not eat beans and rice without cheese and so I found some.

I've already put the Liard trip food away, but if I dig it out again, I might remember some more things I found out for that trip.

Erica
 
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not worth the trip you need to take to the middle aisle of the highly processed food section. So here ya go.. It is in the pasta section not the SPAM section

https://www.walmart.com/ip/6-pack-Ho...unce/544693059

The Dollar Store carries a variety of the stuff for even less $$. Personally I would need to fire up the stove to eat it hot from a pot.

But none is as good as the day many years ago when I could have been no older than about 8 or 10. My father took me trout fishing to a remote woods stream where I watched him reach around to a hole in a tree and magically pull out a stashed can of Dinty Moore beef stew that he then heated up for our lunch. With that memory I have been a fan of DM beef stew ever since.
 

Glenn MacGrady

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It was not uncommon in my whitewater days 40 years ago for guys to eat cold stuff out of a tin can on day or overnight trips. Particularly baked beans. No one was going to tote a stove or waste time trying to make a fire for a quick meal break in the New England mountain snow.
 
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I wondered about that YC comment also. Home dehydrated spaghetti with sauce turns out pretty good. I guess he means the vile stuff like canned chef boyardee. One of the Adirondack Lean2rescue guys I work with opens a can of the stuff and eats it cold for dinner. gag.

Any of us who were in the US military in the 1950s through to the early 1980s ate our share of cold C-Ration spaghetti and meatballs (and tuna, beans with frankfurter chunks, greasy potato slices and beef AKA horse meat and shrapnel, chopped and formed "beef" and "pork" slices with a grey grease layer on top, green egg and ham "omelette" etc) Now that's living high on the hog I'll tell you especially if you had a pound cake with chocolate drink powder frosting or canned peach slices with coffee creamer sauce. As a career infantryman and a ground pounder early on I ate those darn things for weeks at a time.

As for the ADK Lean-to rescue sidetrack, some (many?) of the folks active in that were from around our farm which was between Skaneateles and Auburn, NY. Our neighbors took a pair of their Percheron draft horses up to the ADKs to move a lean-to with them maybe 6 or so years ago. Their daughter and her husband bought our farm when we "retired" in 2017.

As for Good-toGo meals, we were at the 2019 Adirondack Trail Days in Damascus, VA and they had a booth there. We really wanted to try them and tried samples of several of their meals. We found them over spiced, over priced and under sized. And they needed a lot of cooking time.

I sometimes use a knock-off pocket rocket canister fuel stove if all I'm doing is heating water for a day or two but generally carry a liquid fuel stove for longer trips and have several of them from over the years. My current "go to" stove is an MSR Whisperlite Universal, even for backpacking trips, for which it is pretty easy to estimate how much fuel I'll need. I add around 25% more to what I need for meals and have never run out of fuel nor have I had leakage issues. I do replace my fuel bottle cap o-rings fairly regularly though even though I'm using Viton O-rings and they far outlast the older rings.

Best regards to all,


Lance
 
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Any of us who were in the US military in the 1950s through to the early 1980s ate our share of cold C-Ration spaghetti and meatballs (and tuna, beans with frankfurter chunks, greasy potato slices and beef AKA horse meat and shrapnel, chopped and formed "beef" and "pork" slices with a grey grease layer on top, green egg and ham "omelette" etc)
Not quite true for every military member. My 1970's crew lunches in white cardboard boxes were picked up at base ops before the flight, usually consisting of a smashed turkey or ham sandwich and a piece of fresh fruit and a cookie. I sampled the old style rations in what looked like a gold colored spam can at survival school. All I remember of that was a very dry brittle cereal bar of some kind. I still have my "p38 " can opener from that meal.

As for the ADK Lean-to rescue sidetrack, some (many?) of the folks active in that were from around our farm which was between Skaneateles and Auburn, NY. Our neighbors took a pair of their Percheron draft horses up to the ADKs to move a lean-to with them maybe 6 or so years ago. Their daughter and her husband bought our farm when we "retired" in 2017.
I was on that crew with the horses to build the Remsen Falls leanto, near Old Forge. Quite impressive with dragging large long pieces of vinyl plastic meant for sign banners. We rolled a small log in the end and attached the horse lines to pull loads of logs through the woods on the plastic sheets. Thank you for use of your beautiful horsepower. it sure saved a lot of human aching back work labor that we usually end up doing manually with those jobs.
 
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Those were the neighbor's horses. Their son who was responsible for training the Percherons which were young fillies then and he was about 15 at the time. He used a retired Amish Belgian mare who was like a machine when it was time to work-no fuss or nonsense and hard pulling from the first voice command. She basically dragged the youngsters along until they realized what they had to do and that no slacking would be acceptable. Back in the mid '70s while in India and Sri Lanka I saw logging elephants being trained the same way.

Nancy and I are 9 days away from our first Covid era backcountry trip and I'll be packaging some freeze dried meals i the next few days and looking to trying a few new entrees and sides more for future reference than need on a 4-5 day backpacking trip in the Mount Rogers National Recreation Area. I'm trying to use more Asian style starches like mung bean, sweet potato starch, rice and glass noddles so it will be interesting. It looks like mid to late July before the first paddling trip.

Best regards to all,


Lance
 
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I don't do freeze dried... and i have no "palette" and can eat the same few things for weeks at a time... I am also lazy... to that end, I either dry my own stew and put it up in zip locks, or order some HawkVittles. I've recently had some portion issues (one 2-portion meal was the full 12oz, the other weighed more like 10oz.... it looked different, and then I weighed it) but normally they're top notch. I have used them for over a dozen years, probably closer to 15.

My favorite 3 are Bison Stew, Buffalo Pasta, and Sweet Italian Sausage. The Beef Stew is identical to the Bison Stew, but with beef, and also good... it's also a lot cheaper. But I like bison meat. The single servings are just over half the cost of the doubles, so I often get the double servings and just split them. The portion size is huge, and i typically get 2.5 meals out of a double. I usually put a piece of duct tape somewhere on each bag to reseal it later (roll top down, secure with tape).

I rehydrate them in an old Kool Aid jar with a cozy. I marked a line at about the halfway point, and pour the dried product in to the line, then boiling water up to about 3/4 full. This usually results in a slightly soupy stew, but you need the water anyway, and it's no big deal to me. They normally 'cook' in about 20 minutes. the sausage being a harder meat sometimes takes more like a half hour to get fully 'soft', but again, i'm no foodie, and i'm happy with whatever.

There are a lot of other items in the HawkVittles menu... I've had quite a few over the years, but generally return to the three mentioned first. I also like the Shrimp Capellini, i think it's called, but don't get it often. Cowboy Pasta (chili) is also good, but was too spicy for my germanic palette (i don't even like black pepper; a single shake on scrambled eggs is too much.) I asked about custom orders once, and i think the minimum was about 20 servings, but they are possible.
 
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