Besides Mountain House Meals, What Else Do You...

Becca

Administrator
Staff member
Joined
Feb 26, 2012
Messages
2,046
Location
Wasilla, Alaska
We do a variety of items as snacks in the daytime, as we don't often do a real lunch....just multiple 300 cal snacks every three or four hours throughout the day (more if we are packing heavy loads). Besides cliff bars, we really like Lara Bars, Trio Bars, and even Snickers or other nut based candy bars. I sometimes also buy bulk snacks like peanut butter filled pretzels or fruit/nut mixes, and then repack into single servings in ziploc baggies so they are easy to grab. Chocolate covered acai or blueberries are available at Costco and make a great sweet snack and add extra calories. On longer scouting or floating trips where weight is less of an issue, I sometimes pack bagels or pilot bread crackers and then bring peanut butter (Justin's nut butters are available in single serving packets, awesome!)...canned tuna/salmon/chicken is available in pouches, and if you bring along a few mayo packets you can make up salad for crackers or to wrap in tortillas. A small block of cheese is usually ok if you eat it in the first day or do, at least with Alaska's cooler temps.

I keep all of our backpacking food in boxes on some shelving in our garage (as well as cases of dehydrated meals, oatmeal, coffee, etc). During the summer, I set up a food packing station in the house on a folding table to make it easier to prep and organize for all our trips. I will probably get this set up for the season in the next few weeks, and could try to get some photos/video of how i pack, count and organize our food for multiple weeklong trips if folks think it would be helpful?
 
Last edited:

BuckSnort

Senior Member
Joined
Mar 5, 2012
Messages
1,034
Location
Central CA
I have always used Mountain House Meals and the like in the past but this year I plan on getting a food dehydrator and trying the FBC method... I figure I can dehydrate some leftovers from meals I cooked at home and have a pretty good selection of backpacking meals when it comes time to hit the trail... For added calories I have always packed Pop Tarts, candy bars and power bars...I like a piece of dark chocolate after dinner while enjoying sitting by the fire before bed..

Becca, I would be interested in your process/method for arranging your food planning as I am always looking for new ideas...
 
OP
Brandon Pattison

Brandon Pattison

Senior Member
Joined
Feb 25, 2012
Messages
2,829
Location
Michigan
I have always used Mountain House Meals and the like in the past but this year I plan on getting a food dehydrator and trying the FBC method... I figure I can dehydrate some leftovers from meals I cooked at home and have a pretty good selection of backpacking meals when it comes time to hit the trail... For added calories I have always packed Pop Tarts, candy bars and power bars...I like a piece of dark chocolate after dinner while enjoying sitting by the fire before bed..

Becca, I would be interested in your process/method for arranging your food planning as I am always looking for new ideas...

Jason,

Please keep us abreast regarding the dehydrating with pix if possible. My wife is a great cook and MH meals are not all that. I am spoiled. I did look at some recipes on the trailcooking.com site but they aren't as light as 100% dehydrated meals. I love me some dark chocolate too. I wish Doritos were concentrated like chocolate. :)
 

garrenj

Member
Joined
Mar 5, 2012
Messages
85
Location
Western Oregon
One alternative to Mountain House I have found at REI is the Natural High brand. The beef enchilada is pretty tasty.

We are also looking into canning with retort pouches this year, has anyone here had experience with them? Seems like they would be great for venison and tuna.
 

Becca

Administrator
Staff member
Joined
Feb 26, 2012
Messages
2,046
Location
Wasilla, Alaska
We are also looking into canning with retort pouches this year, has anyone here had experience with them? Seems like they would be great for venison and tuna.

I have done quite a bit of pressure canning with both meat and fish, but always in jars. I was under the impression that it took a lot of expensive equipment to can in retort pouches, when i looked into it before it seemed cost prohibitive for the home user. Was I mistaken? if someone has experience I would certainly be interested in hearing about it!
 

jamaro

Member
Joined
Mar 13, 2012
Messages
92
In the Desert SW because we are soooo dry and we are often under fire restrictions I often use MRE's.. Yes heavy but I don't need to worry about water for cooking or burning down the forest.
 

Lawnboi

Senior Member
Joined
Mar 2, 2012
Messages
3,910
Location
North Central Wi
I make my own protien/high calorie bars to take, taste better then clif to me and i can alter them to whatever i want to taste.

Instant pudding if its cold enough to have cool water.

BP cheesecake and chocolate cheesecake. Only thing i like from BP, expensive but 500 cal of goodness.

Sometimes ill take a salty snack like pretzels or chicken n a biscuit chrackers.

If i have alot of time ill take pancake mix and precooked bacon.

Iv been meaning to experiment on making my own meals but i just havnt had the time lately.
 

JNDEER

Senior Member
Joined
May 2, 2012
Messages
1,061
Coffee, oatmeal bars early.

peanut butter granola bar, fruit bars, peanut butter crackers, cheese crackers, beef jerky, corn nuts, rice crispy treat usually for snacks/lunch.

dinner is always a MH for me. I do not spend many nights backpacking (10-20 a year or so) so I do not get tired of the MH's and they taste well enough for me.
 

littlebuf

Banned
Joined
Feb 24, 2012
Messages
1,983
mountain house is the fastest way to get the calorie count up with out a bunch of weight.that said i usually have to choke them down.i like peanut butter packs,milky ways and dried mangos.all high in calories and all pretty light.with a 25 ounce a day at 2700 to 3000 calorie objective its really hard to get away from mountain house type meals
 
Last edited:

garrenj

Member
Joined
Mar 5, 2012
Messages
85
Location
Western Oregon
Becca, from the research I've done it seems like canning with retort pouches takes a fairly expensive vac packer. VacMaster makes one that I've found on sale for about 800, that they said would work.The key seems to be getting one with a seal bar that gets hot enough to seal the retort pouches.
I have been looking for a better one for meat and fish in general so it seemed like it would serve dual purpose. I'd love to be able to pack meat and possibly some veggies into the back country.

The retort pouches seem to be from .20 to .70 cents.

http://vacmaster.aryvacmaster.com/cgi/ary.wsc/product.html?p-item-num=VP210C

Again seems like a big initial investment in the Vac packer but we do pretty much all our own meat, canned and frozen.

Interested to know if this matches what you had found out about retort canning.
 

Duk Dog

Senior Member
Joined
Apr 29, 2012
Messages
121
For breakfast I take two packages of instant oatmeal and empty them into ziplock bags at home and add a scoop of protein powder. Come breakfast time you only have to heat some water then pour it into the ziplock bag and eat your oatmeal right out of the bag. Lunch/snacks usually consist of a Clif bar, a pepperoni stick, trail mix and a fruit bar. Supper tends to be Mtn House but I do struggle with eating that stuff some meals. Every couple days I will have a treat like a bag of Sharkies or maybe an Eatmore chocolate bar.
 
Last edited:

Dixie07

Senior Member
Joined
Feb 24, 2012
Messages
213
Location
Neosho Falls, KS
I discovered Cache Lake last summer, and to me they are way better than Mountain House, Backpacker's Pantry, or any other meals like that. This year I am going to try out Hawk Vittles like Rabbit Ranger suggested.
 
Top