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MossBack
senior member (59)senior membersenior member
 
08/17/2020 10:04PM  
Nearly all of my trips have been with small groups and real food. I think my future will include much more solo travel and I will not have the patience for involved meals and the accompanying clean up. So do most travelers dining on freeze dried foil bag delights just dump the boiling water in the pouch and go, or does it get dumped in a small pot to heat or cook? I am concerned mostly about clean-up. I doubt the pouches will seal again and then be faced with a growing, gnarly smelly trash container? I am aware of Opsacks, and use them, but I do not see the used foil pouches compressing well for a longer trip? Thanks for the help. MB
 
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08/18/2020 12:54AM  
I look at the same way as you and so heat mine in a solo pot instead of foil pack. I have a homemade pot cozy for it also to save fuel. It's so easy to wash the mug and spoon anyway. I also do home made dehydrated meals like Chili and spaghetti. They pack very small in zip locks.
 
MagicPaddler
distinguished member(1392)distinguished memberdistinguished memberdistinguished memberdistinguished member
 
08/18/2020 06:00AM  
Don’t like any of the for campers freeze dried. I do a lot of Knorr products. At home I will separate out a portion (about ½ bag) put it in a Ziplock and add a second Ziplock with some kind of dried meet. At camp dump the meet in the pot with enough water for the whole meal and bring it to a boil. Let it set while I do camp chores (15 + minutes) Then add the Knorrs and cook till the rice/pasta is ready. One pot and one spoon to clean and 2 Ziplocks to dispose of.
 
08/18/2020 08:59AM  
I have used a gallon sized ziplock for garbage. If you eat the food in their foil pouches you can put the empties in the ziplock and press them down before sealing the ziplock (sort-of a vacuum seal)

Magic, I am also a fan of the Knorr food. I will use shelf stable protein like the Sunkist packets but dried meat is also a great idea and would be a bit lighter. For the solo trip I am planning for next spring I'll probably split my dinners half between the eat from the pouch meals and half my Knorr meals.

For lunches I like to do Tortilla sandwiches - PB+J or Meat and Cheese, supplemented by trail mix and/or bars.

For breakfast I am an instant oatmeal guy most days. Going solo I will probably switch at least a couple of my breakfast's to bars for the longer/bigger water days so I can get in the Canoe as early as possible.
 
ewbeyer
senior member (53)senior membersenior member
 
08/18/2020 10:51AM  
I really like some of the freeze dried. I always have at least one meal per day that way when soloing. I pour the water in the bag, mix, seal, and throw it under a blanket or in the sun during the day. I rinse it out and fold it up when done. All of my trash easily fits inside a cleaned out used bag for a trip and there is next to no smell. I do find dumping it into a mug to be a little more civilized and easier to eat after it has "cooked." Total clean up is a spork, and maybe a mug.
 
08/18/2020 12:18PM  
Lot of dry mixes available in local grocery store, Lipton, Knor, and many others. Rice and noodle mixes with some veggies and sauce. You can add protein with packaged poultry, fish, beef, pork, also easily found on shelves. I do buy some freeze dried meats from a bunch of online realtors and some additional dried vegetables, these can even be added to instant mashed potatoes. Get creative and the simple to complex can be achieved with dried long shelf life foods.

butthead
 
08/18/2020 12:27PM  
I've found that eating alone is not really a social activity and I'm not out there to be a wilderness gourmet chef, so I just keep it very simple. Coffee and cold cereal, meal bars and nuts, a dehydrated dinner. I just eat the cereal out of the bag. I just add boiling water to the bag for dinner, put it in a cozy, then eat it out of the bag. The empty bag gets rolled up to squeeze air out, sealed, and stuffed in a quart ziplock garbage bag (holds about a week's worth). It certainly takes up less space than the full bag and you have to pack the bag out anyway. Clean the spoon. Otherwise I have the JetBoil, coffee mug, cozy, and need very little fuel. That's about as simple as I can make it.
 
moray
distinguished member (180)distinguished memberdistinguished memberdistinguished member
 
08/19/2020 07:20AM  
I use packit gourmet meals and find them to be very good. They seem to be less salty to me than other brands. Like others have said,I eat right out of packaging. When finished I flatten it,seal it and put in a gallon ziplock. No mess,no smell.
 
08/19/2020 08:56AM  
In the past few years I’ve typically had about 2/3rd’s of my dinners are commercially packaged meals as I wanted the convenience of just boiling, eating, and clean up of just licking a spoon. I try to clean out all the food from the packages with my spoon, but I do not bother rinsing out the bags. They do seal back up pretty well, but you will likely get some residual food on the outside just above the seal. I just flatten them out and fold them once, and pack them neatly inside a ziplock gallon bag., and I put a second zip lock bag over that for extra scent protection.

This past year I have been doing more and more of my own dehydrated dinners, and I’ve also been interested in reducing the initial bulk of my food so on my last trip I experimented with repackaging my commercial foods in baggies and using a single pot with cozy to rehydrate. I have to say, it did reduce both the bulk and garbage, and I really liked eating out of the pot compared to the bags. It just felt more civilized, and cleaning one small pot did not take enough time for me to worry about. After asking others here about pot sizes, I went with the Toaks Ti 900ml pot and was very happy with it. With the cozy it fits perfectly inside my Mors pot. I plan to stick with this process, though I’ll likely continue to bring one or maybe two commercial meals in case of a really bad day.

Thread on repackaging commercial food
Thread on pot for rehydrating.
 
PineKnot
distinguished member(1715)distinguished memberdistinguished memberdistinguished memberdistinguished member
 
08/19/2020 08:59AM  
Like other comments, for breakfast I have either cereal/Nido or OvaEasy eggs w/ precooked bacon or spam. Gorp for snacks during the day, and either fish or freeze-dried w/ Knorr pasta dishes for dinner. I usually split freeze-dried and Knorr in half, using a ziplock for the second half.

I used to put my used foil, etc in a gallon ziplock, but too many times rodents have chewed into the garbage creating a mess. And the smell after a few days is kinda nasty. Now I used empty plastic Jif peanut butter jars (18oz). I start the trip with cereal in Jif jars. When I have cereal, the Jif jar becomes my garbage container. Weighs almost nothing and is rodent and smell proof. Been doing this for years and find its much better than a ziplock for garbage.
 
08/19/2020 10:29AM  
PineKnot: "I used to put my used foil, etc in a gallon ziplock, but too many times rodents have chewed into the garbage creating a mess. And the smell after a few days is kinda nasty. Now I used empty plastic Jif peanut butter jars (18oz). I start the trip with cereal in Jif jars. When I have cereal, the Jif jar becomes my garbage container. Weighs almost nothing and is rodent and smell proof. Been doing this for years and find its much better than a ziplock for garbage."

Awesome Idea...stealing!
 
DanCooke
distinguished member(1165)distinguished memberdistinguished memberdistinguished memberdistinguished member
 
08/19/2020 01:17PM  
I go simple- no prep.
Instant oatmeal for breakfast. boil water on MSR windburner- pour over oatmeal in Squishy bowl. Gorp and Country time Lemonade for lunch. Suppers - boil water- Pour over instant mash potatoes and add a packet of foil meat such as tuna, Chicken, Albacore or Barbacued chicken. I have used the foil meat packages as my garbage containers.
 
MossBack
senior member (59)senior membersenior member
 
08/19/2020 02:04PM  
Had to look up "Squishy bowl " Interesting
 
MossBack
senior member (59)senior membersenior member
 
08/19/2020 02:06PM  
Thanks to everyone for replying. You have helped my thin education considerably. I hope to be putting your suggestions to good use, as soon as I can get back on the water.

MB
 
08/19/2020 05:39PM  
When I am solo I am usually moving...
So oatmeal packets and coffee for breakfast.
Lunch = bars, gorp.
Dinner is Packit Gourmet or Trailtopia, maybe Good2Go. Not Mountain House or the other big ones. I generally find them subpar compared to the smaller operations.

Boil water, add to bag. Eat. Reseal and it's trash - rolled up it is the size of a cigar.

And like others mentioned, I usually have a Knorr side as a dinner once or twice. The Fettuccini Alfredo is great, though it's cook-in-mug or pot, not the pouch. Right at the end I add chunks of fresh fish - that's good stuff.

Enjoy!
 
Nigal
distinguished member (218)distinguished memberdistinguished memberdistinguished member
 
08/19/2020 06:19PM  
I’ve got the dehydrator running every day as I prepare for my solo trip at the end of the month. I like it because it gives me something to keep myself busy with. I do like a lot of the freeze dried meals and love everything Packit Gourmet sells but it’s very expensive. I have always just eaten it from the pouch and then that becomes the trash bag.
 
straighthairedcurly
distinguished member(832)distinguished memberdistinguished memberdistinguished memberdistinguished member
 
08/19/2020 08:36PM  
On group trips I cook and someone else does the dishes so for my solo I planned it out so I didn't have any dishes to do. However, I have tried eating out the bags, and I find it very unappetizing. Plus frustrating that I can never quite get all the food out of the corners...if I carried it, I want to eat every little bit...lol.

So I carried an old Talenti ice cream plastic container with lid. I don't eat big meals, so it was just the right size. I just pour in the boiling water, put the container in a cozy I made. When I finish eating, I add a half cup of water to the container, shake vigorously with the lid on, and then drink the water. Clean up is done.

For breakfasts, I really loved my powdered smoothie mixes I made. I would just pack up in the morning, tuck one of the bags of powder in the Talenti jar, and then have a floating "just add water" breakfast after an hour of travel. Next year, that will be the main way I do breakfast on a solo since cooking in the morning takes too long.





I do love to cook in the evenings, so a few times on a trip I use my fry pan to bake pizza or cupcakes, but I only rinse it as needed. Mostly just leave it a little greasy.





I prefer to create my own dehydrated meal packets at home so I can control the seasoning, ingredients, and portion size. Making the packets is the fun part of planning and packing for me.
 
OCDave
distinguished member(572)distinguished memberdistinguished memberdistinguished memberdistinguished member
 
08/19/2020 09:27PM  
MossBack: " Nearly all of my trips have been with small groups and real food. I think my future will include much more solo travel and I will not have the patience for involved meals and the accompanying clean up. So do most travelers dining on freeze dried foil bag delights just dump the boiling water in the pouch and go, or does it get dumped in a small pot to heat or cook? I am concerned mostly about clean-up. I doubt the pouches will seal again and then be faced with a growing, gnarly smelly trash container? I am aware of Opsacks, and use them, but I do not see the used foil pouches compressing well for a longer trip? Thanks for the help. MB"

When I backpack solo, it is about miles hiked. How far? How fast? To see the landscape when hiking, I need the gobble up as much scenery as possible. Wake up early, hike early. Hike late and waste little time cooking. For that, any instant meal will do. I use an IMUSA 12 cm mug w/lid and pot coozy. I always dump food into the pot of water rather than water into a food pouch. The pot gets cleaned and my garbage stays neater, easier to pack out.

When I canoe trip solo, I move with less determination. I know I am not going to paddle until dark (campsites are more dear when canoeing) so, I consider it an opportunity to experiment and challenge myself. This challenge includes stepping up my culinary skills. Besides, it is easier to justify buying a 14th stove when you use it to create something delectable. There is more time dedicated to both cooking and clean-up but, it is one of the aspects of solo canoe tripping I most enjoy.

Good Luck
 
Nigal
distinguished member (218)distinguished memberdistinguished memberdistinguished member
 
08/20/2020 05:28AM  
“Besides, it is easier to justify buying a 14th stove when you use it to create something delectable. There is more time dedicated to both cooking and clean-up but, it is one of the aspects of solo canoe tripping I most enjoy.”

When I backpack I don’t mind eating from a bag but I also like the ritual of cooking and eating outdoors. Yes I will do oatmeal in the morning so I can get out on the water fast but dinner is much more involved and I take my time.
 
TipsyPaddler
distinguished member (268)distinguished memberdistinguished memberdistinguished member
 
08/20/2020 07:52AM  
boonie: "I've found that eating alone is not really a social activity and I'm not out there to be a wilderness gourmet chef, so I just keep it very simple. Coffee and cold cereal, meal bars and nuts, a dehydrated dinner. I just eat the cereal out of the bag. I just add boiling water to the bag for dinner, put it in a cozy, then eat it out of the bag. The empty bag gets rolled up to squeeze air out, sealed, and stuffed in a quart ziplock garbage bag (holds about a week's worth). It certainly takes up less space than the full bag and you have to pack the bag out anyway. Clean the spoon. Otherwise I have the JetBoil, coffee mug, cozy, and need very little fuel. That's about as simple as I can make it. "

+1 my only add is to bring some variety of meal bars. After a couple days the same brand, even with a few different flavors, can get “flavor & texture monotonous.”
 
BearBurrito
distinguished member(870)distinguished memberdistinguished memberdistinguished memberdistinguished member
 
08/20/2020 09:20AM  
I go very simple. Oatmeal and instant coffee for breakfast. Clif bars for throughout the day. Mountain house meals made in the bag for supper. I just use a gallon zip lock for garbage.
 
08/20/2020 09:09PM  
I'm doing an 11 night group solo and my breakfasts are instant oatmeal with coffee but 4 layover mornings will be ova easy eggs with dehydrated red and green bell peppers, onion, and mushrooms. I'll eat half a pack of pre cooked bacon with the eggs.

Lunch is trail mix, random trail bar (different brands), protein shake, and sometimes stuff like string cheese, sausage stick, cookies and chocolate bar.

For dinner I have 2 mac and cheese with dehydrated ham chunks added, 4 hamburger helper dinners (1/2 a box) with dehydrated elk burger instead of beef. I have one Pro Pack freeze dried dinner and I expect to have 3 fish dinners. I'm bringing a few desserts like pudding etc. and have sides for the fish of instant brown rice and mashed potatoes.

For the first day I buy a thick foot long sub sandwich that I cut in half. I eat one half for lunch usually with an apple or orange and will eat the other half for dinner. I put condiments on the sandwich from those small packs. I prepare the sub with just meat and cheese and wrap them up good and they fit into a small soft sided cooler. I really appreciate this convenience for the first day which is usually a long travel day. I'll fill both my 32 0z. nalgenes with a sugar free gatorade and ice too on day 1.
 
08/24/2020 07:39AM  
TomT: "For the first day I buy a thick foot long sub sandwich that I cut in half. I eat one half for lunch usually with an apple or orange and will eat the other half for dinner. I put condiments on the sandwich from those small packs. I prepare the sub with just meat and cheese and wrap them up good and they fit into a small soft sided cooler. I really appreciate this convenience for the first day which is usually a long travel day. I'll fill both my 32 0z. nalgenes with a sugar free gatorade and ice too on day 1."

I love this idea, especially when trying to get some distance from the crowds on that first day!
 
08/24/2020 08:39AM  
MagicPaddler: "Don’t like any of the for campers freeze dried. I do a lot of Knorr products. At home I will separate out a portion (about ½ bag) put it in a Ziplock and add a second Ziplock with some kind of dried meet. At camp dump the meet in the pot with enough water for the whole meal and bring it to a boil. Let it set while I do camp chores (15 + minutes) Then add the Knorrs and cook till the rice/pasta is ready. One pot and one spoon to clean and 2 Ziplocks to dispose of."

If they had a low-salt version of the Knorr products, I'd be right there with you, MP. I still haven't found one, but I'll keep looking.
 
08/24/2020 10:10AM  
I use a combination of commercial freeze dried meals, store bought dehydrated items, packed in foil meats and home dehydrated stuff.

It is real easy to dehydrate hamburger and it rehydrates real well. One of my favorite dinners was Sheppards pie made with home dehydrated hamburger and corn, a store bought single serve mashed potato packet, a packet of brown gravy. The home dehydrated items are vacuum packed at home and the whole meal in vacuum packed together prior to the trip.

Some commercial freeze dried meals aren't very tasty, but I find the ones that are spicy to be pretty good, some of my favorites are:

Backpackers pantry- Jamaican Style Jerk Rice with Chicken, Sweet and Sour Chicken

Alpine Aire- Kung Pao Chicken, Black Bart Chili

I also like several of the Camp Chow meals sold by the Trailside Center along the Gunflint Trail.

Mountain House- Scrambled Eggs with Bacon, Mexican Style Scrambled Eggs
 
Banksiana
distinguished member(2272)distinguished memberdistinguished memberdistinguished memberdistinguished member
 
08/24/2020 10:51AM  
Ten years ago I used Knorr and other grocery store dry food for trips. Made the mistake of making one of my "camping" meals at home when I had nothing in the house. What passed for food on the trail was inedible. Now I buy dried vegetables and dried (but cooked) beans from various vendors and make my meals myself and stash in ziplocks. Cook time is about 10-15 minutes simmer. Flavor and texture and nutrition are much improved. Never going back.

The packaged freeze dried food is by and large disgusting.
 
QuietSolo
member (37)member
 
01/21/2021 09:58PM  
I have tried everything from backpacker's meals (the first time I tried was also the last) to portaging the Tusc with whole potatoes (sounds stupid, crazy or both but looking back it may have been worth it).
I love cooking at home but hate cleanup at camp so I keep it simple yet enjoyable. The photo from Aug 2020 shows some examples. Beans from my garden. I thought I took a photo of my happy hour spread (wine, cheese, olives, crackers, and peas from garden), but alas I must have attempted well into the happy hour. No clue, but it was a moment when I thought "this chunk of time is so heavenly that if I died today I would feel fulfilled ". I guess those moments are more important than photos, but I vow to get a darn picture of my next solo happy hour! Whether I am base camping or moving every day or two, morning coffee and happy hours are a priority. Hey...I am alone and on my own agenda. Cheers to all 2021 solo trips!
 
01/22/2021 11:35AM  
I'm going to lean on my dehydrator a little more this year. I plan to do up a chilli. Here's a very entertaining video by Justin Barbour showing how he does this. Enjoy!
Making Dehydrated Chili

 
merlyn
distinguished member (136)distinguished memberdistinguished memberdistinguished member
 
01/23/2021 11:48AM  
I dehydrate most of my dinner meals, it gives me something camping related to do in the winter months. I use game meat whenever I can to avoid fat not for health reasons but to extend the life of the meals on the trip.
This is what I will take with me on an 8 or 9 day trip this May : 1/3 box of stove top stuffing, dhy chicken and an envelope of chicken gravy. Zatarans black beans and rice, one plain and one with sausage ( I make ahead and dhy) .Chili Mac. (ahead) Penne with meat sauce. (same) Goose strogonoff. (same) Knorr rice with chicken and Knorr pasta with game meat.; about 1/2 portion and rehydrate the meat in the cooking water. Fish if I get lucky, steamed in butter and lemon pepper. ( I quit the breading and frying of fish when soloing, time, mess and I could smell the oil even after burning in the camp fire)
I will make biscuits for stay over lunches with an envelope of sausage cream gravy. Single service Spam on torts with mustard or pb&j on torts for lunches on the go. Goose jerkey and dried fruit for snacks.

I tend to skip breakfast but bring cream of wheat with dry creamer and sugar packs for rain or wind days.
Coffee (lots) hot chocolate and tea and a flask of Irish Cream. Strangely enough I don't crave sweets canoe camping even though I'm a fat old man that can put the hurt on a carton of ice cream.
One last thing - I bring real butter (salted) in a sealed container and have never had a problem even after a week.
 
01/23/2021 03:29PM  
Another single dish meals for solos. Starch from a box and protein in foil packs. Dried corn travels and adds to a meal. Soups are another add if hungry or take a long lunch break. While each meal is prepackaged, I can shuffle the meat/fish/chicken with any of the starches. I do not like the salty, either, but the limited amount on a trip is easier than dehydrating. Tried that. I use the MSR frypan and carry a fry/bake pot for baking cake...I like something sweet to savor with coffee at the evening fire.
I have started prepacking a sausage, peanut butter sandwich on toasted thin rounds. A quick high protein breakfast I can eat as I pack or on the way to the next site. I have a good insulated container and will have warm coffee so can pack the kitchen the night before.
 
02/04/2021 05:34AM  
Winter is a great time to develop a good meal plan. Our food section here on the forum has so many ideas. One thing I found was that instead of dehydrating things like spaghetti sauce I could make up something good enough using tomato powder. I thought the key was dehydrating a good Italian sausage to add. I liked my ova easy eggs. Try and find stuff like that now! Get your wallet out!
But winter I found was a good time to try things out both in the making up and prep... but also portions. And now I find it works good for traveling with a camper... I don’t need much for refrigeration with what I learned in my paddling days.
But if I had to give any advice for a successful canoe trip is to not only know what your going to eat and have it ready before the ice is off the water. But try out your food and everything so there are no surprises.
 
jfinn
distinguished member (244)distinguished memberdistinguished memberdistinguished member
 
02/04/2021 11:25AM  
On the subject (not directly the OP's Q) of using a zip lock to eat out of, I would not recommend as you are likely getting microplastics leaching if the hot water goes into the bag (plastic not foil).

I make my own meals and had eaten them out of the bag for a number of years, roll the bag up and place it in another bag. Per the reason I stated above and also, to reduce the amount of waisted zip locks, I have started having a large batch in one big bag that I portion and eat hydrate and eat out of a mug. The pot stays clean.

I am considering a reusable container for food storage moving forward, again to reduce waisted plastics. That plus the mug may add a a few grams to the pack but it is the right thing to do IMO for me.

I have never been a fan of most backpacking meals, thought I have not tried some of the "newer" brands that are held in high regard. My biggest issues with them is nutrition profile (I like a low carbohydrate diet) and cost.


John
 
muddyfeet
distinguished member(751)distinguished memberdistinguished memberdistinguished memberdistinguished member
 
02/15/2021 08:58AM  
Freezer bag cooking is great, for all the reasons mentioned.
When it’s deep winter and cold like this week, I make meals and replenish the camping pantry. Here are some of my staples. Feel free to add more.
 
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