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PostPosted: March 7th, 2017, 3:44 pm 
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Joined: January 12th, 2017, 4:50 pm
Posts: 25
:D what type / brand of store bought dehydrated meals would you recommend.? do you have a store bought go to entree? there are many to choices from alpine aire, mountain house, pack packers pantry, just to name a few. i do not own a dehydrator,, perhaps i should get one?,, in the mean time i am open to your insights
solo portions would be a bonus, :thumbup: thanks


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PostPosted: March 7th, 2017, 4:08 pm 
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Joined: June 20th, 2001, 7:00 pm
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Location: Toronto, Ontario Canada
Personally I use BackPackers Pantry and Mountain House. I gave up on AlpineAire years ago but I tried therm again recently and they have improved.

One thing for sure, the selection and taste have improved considerably over the years, unfortunately prices have gone up a lot and not aided by the slumping Dollar.

Mountain House pro-packs are a bit smaller than the normal 2 serving standard (standard for lilydippers), Alpine Aire are also slightly smaller. Maybe as important as weight is the calorie content which does vary considerably. I have no problem finishing off a 2 serving meal for some of them and other it's a bit of a struggle at times (big difference between day 2 and day 28).

Soak times are a joke, meals are MUCH better given 20+ minutes rather than the usual recommended 11 - 13.

I tend to go with the Asian inspired, pastas and beans/rice, stick with chicken, most beef products don't re-hydrate as well.

Seasoning is better now than in the past but a small bottle of hot sauce is appreciated by some.

My favourites tend be "anything I didn't have yesterday".

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PostPosted: March 7th, 2017, 5:01 pm 
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Joined: October 9th, 2009, 9:52 am
Posts: 826
Location: Toronto Beach(es)
Our group takes along Harvest Foodworks Chili Mexicana as a back-up meal.

https://www.mec.ca/en/product/1001-502/Chili-Mexicana

For years a package traveled with us with the threat that if we didn't catch fish, we'd have to eat that damned thing. Well finally we had a spring trip where the only thing we caught were a couple of 4lb smallmouths that got returned to the French River and we were forced to cook up the Chili Mexicana ... and you know what? The threat of having to eat veg. chili if we didn't put walleye in the pan (we were fishing south of Dalles Rapids) kinda lost its sting.

Size wise it's fairly substantial, but we serve it over rice to fill our bellies better.

IIRC it takes about 20 mins to cook (not just an add boiling water meal), and the soy protein chunks could use use a little augmentation with some leftover steak or precooked ground beef ... but this one is actually pretty good!


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PostPosted: March 7th, 2017, 5:29 pm 
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Joined: September 9th, 2002, 7:00 pm
Posts: 554
Location: Kemble, Ontario Canada
Well SP:
I have a Nesco Dehydrator with no heat control. Works BUT if I was buying again I would get a thermostat.
I have a Food Saver Vacuum Sealer just a basic model. Works great. I buy 8 inch plastic roll off the net. Just as good and a lot cheaper then brand name.
Advice: do your research. Buy dehydrator first. If it is in the budget get sealer. The sealer gets used year round for freezing meat and boil in the bag meals for winter camping.
Now the fun part. Making your own dehydrated meals, your spices, your meal size.
There is an unlimited number of recipes and how to videos on the net.
My biggest project was a 12 day trip with 6 paddlers. A lot of work and the house smelled delicious for a few weeks. But fun and really good cheap meals. Saved the cost of dehydrator on that trip. Cabbage salad biggest hit.
So my advice is DIY. You can run the dehydrator over night so not a lot of time lost.
If you have a box fan you can make your own dehydrator.
Have fun. Gives you something to do during the hard water season.
Stay safe
Dave

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PostPosted: March 7th, 2017, 5:52 pm 
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Joined: October 31st, 2016, 9:32 pm
Posts: 100
Location: Missoula, Montana
It's pretty easy to assemble all the food you need for a kayak or canoe trip at your local grocery store. If you wander around your grocery store you'll find quite a variety of food which doesn't need refrigeration, cooks quickly, is compact, isn't too heavy, resists crushing, and is tasty. I throw away boxes after clipping out any directions I think will be useful and pack each meal in a ziplock bag. I usually assemble most of my food locally, and perhaps bring a couple of dehydrated backpacking meals for days when I'm pooped or the weather is lousy and I want to minimize dinner preparation time, or as extra meals in case the trip takes longer than anticipated.


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PostPosted: March 7th, 2017, 6:00 pm 
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Joined: December 19th, 2006, 8:47 pm
Posts: 8936
Location: Rattlesnake Pond ME
I like some Mountain House stuff.. like the Breakfast Skillet. ( in a wrap excellent) their stews are also fine

I use some dried meals from the grocery store. I like to add stuff to ramen like dehydrated vegetables and ground pork dehydrated

Some ovens dehydrate. Mine will go down to temps low enough to do that ( 100 to 140)

I sort of like Hamburg Helper with appropriate meat added and some supplement of veggies..
Same for the noodle and veggie offerings by Knorr.


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PostPosted: March 8th, 2017, 8:14 am 
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Joined: January 27th, 2016, 2:34 pm
Posts: 153
Location: Simcoe County
Mountain House- chili mac is my favourite
Mountain House- breakfast skillet is good but has a lot of "smokey" flavour to it. I use it with wraps.

All can be bought at MEC


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PostPosted: March 9th, 2017, 12:14 pm 
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Joined: September 22nd, 2016, 7:04 pm
Posts: 84
Location: Omemee
I've tried Back Packers Pantry, Mountain House, Wise and Military MRE's.
All taste about the same to me, Wise and MRE's are the best value I've found.
MRE's are heavier as they are wet and usually have 2 meals per pack with utensils and condiments.
On a 9 night trip to Wabakimi with 3 guys we brought the Wise 20L pail pack of freeze dried meals from Cabelas and had 3 meals left over because we ate fish when we could but we were satisfied.
High sodium content is the biggest draw back to me and I've bought a dehydrator for this season.
Recipes appreciated.


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PostPosted: March 9th, 2017, 5:38 pm 
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Joined: November 14th, 2013, 10:24 pm
Posts: 245
Location: Huntsville Ont.
I have mentioned this in another post but these meals 'per serving' are lucky to have as many calories as a small bag of potato chips with three times the amount of sodium chloride. At the end of the day I need to consume about 1000 calories... and the next day not drink the lakes dry.


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PostPosted: March 9th, 2017, 6:53 pm 
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Joined: September 9th, 2003, 3:41 pm
Posts: 36
Location: Collingwood, On
I like the Mountain House Chile Mac also. However, I've been playing around with dehydrating meats in my stove and it's been working well...I didn't want to spring for a dedicated dehydrator. Lean ground beef is easy and I just finished dehydrating shredded chicken in ancho chile sauce. Thrown together with some basmati rice, dried veg flakes and some dried black fungus from an asian food store, it makes a pretty good meal! You control the amount of food you're cooking up and it's a whole lot cheaper than the packaged meals.


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PostPosted: March 20th, 2017, 10:43 am 
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Joined: August 2nd, 2011, 10:59 am
Posts: 91
Location: Ontario
If you don't have a dehydrator... Use your oven. Set the temp low, and prop the door open with something (tooth picks work well)

It works to try your hand at dehydrating foods. If you like it, then go buy a dehydrator.

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PostPosted: March 20th, 2017, 4:00 pm 
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Joined: August 8th, 2016, 10:37 am
Posts: 70
Location: Northern Alberta
We get a couple of packs of Mountain House or Harvest Foodworks as back up only.
As pmmpete noted a lot of this stuff can be purchased in grocery stores or Bulk Barns for a lot cheaper than the pre- assembled packages. There are several kinds of flavoured instant rice; noodles and grains; sundried tomatoes; Bulk Barn has TVP, spices, soup base; etc.
As a number of others have noted, some of the 2-person meals don't go very far at the end of a long paddle. Having your own "raw" ingredients lets you make the meal the size you need.
Bruce


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PostPosted: March 21st, 2017, 9:53 pm 
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Joined: September 22nd, 2016, 7:04 pm
Posts: 84
Location: Omemee
Gotta watch the stuff U get in bulk stores as the trans fat ( hydrogenated oil ) levels can be through the roof.
I know once in awhile won't kill U, but depending on how many times you go backcountry who knows?


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PostPosted: March 22nd, 2017, 12:29 pm 
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Location: Ontario
Donomemee wrote:
Gotta watch the stuff U get in bulk stores as the trans fat ( hydrogenated oil ) levels can be through the roof.


Really?!? Good to know.

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PostPosted: March 23rd, 2017, 6:43 pm 
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Joined: January 22nd, 2003, 7:00 pm
Posts: 647
Location: Thunder Bay, Ontario Canada
swedish pimple: The subject header of your post asked for input about "store dehydrated entrées" but most of the dialogue in your post and the following thread relates to the availability and quality of freeze-dried foods. There isa huge difference!

I agree with all of the comments on this thread regarding the various freeze-dried food producers. Since 2004, the Wabakimi Project has exclusively used Mountain House (MH) dinner entrées, veggie sides and breakfast menus. But, in response to your enquiry, there are other "store dehydrated entrées" available.

Start your trip with Kraft Deluxe Dinner complemented with a Johnson frozen meat product or MH freeze-dried beef, chicken or pork supplemented with chopped, fresh veggies such peppers and/or onions.

Hope this helps!


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