BWCA Go to Freeze dried company/meals Boundary Waters BWCA Food and Recipes
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12/28/2021 10:49PM  
What are your go to companies and favorite meals from them?
 
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straighthairedcurly
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12/30/2021 12:43PM  
I mostly make my own meals, but I have started buying some meals from Camp Chow.
Camp Chow

I've had their berry cheesecake, turkey cranberry dressing, and a couple couscous dishes.
 
12/30/2021 03:21PM  
I am also dehydrating more and more of my own, but always like to have a couple packed ones for simplicity. I keep finding favorites, then before too long they either discontinue them, modify them in a way I don't like, or just get tired of them, so I am regularly trying new and switching around.

I also find that even within one brand, there will be some that I really like and others that put me off. So I pick and choose from several brands.

I like some from Camp Chow, and like that they are on the Gunflint. A few but not all have a crazy amount of sodium if that matters, and I've found for some the recommended amount of water leaves them very soupy, but generally I still like CC.

Alpine Aire and Backpacker's Pantry have some good ones, as does Good To Go. REI has a couple new brands I have not tried yet too.

 
12/30/2021 04:06PM  
My current go-to's for several years now are Food for the Sole, Hawk Vittles, and Outdoor Herbivore.

I like most of the Food for the Sole meals but have not had the new Curried Cauliflower. Favorites are Coconut Rice and Cuban Black Beans, Ratatouille w/Nutty Quinoa Pilaf, Roasted Sweet Potatoes w/Kale and Quinoa. The 2 cold-soak Slaw meals are a nice change of pace and tasty.

Hawk Vittles favborites are Bacon Baked Beans and Cashew Curry (I get the quinoa substitution).

Outdoor Herbivore's Blackened Quinoa, Lickety Split Lentils, and Thai Lemongrass Curry.

Heather's Choice has a Salmon Chowder that's really good. I should try one of the others.
 
12/30/2021 09:43PM  
boonie: "My current go-to's for several years now are Food for the Sole, Hawk Vittles, and Outdoor Herbivore.


I like most of the Food for the Sole meals but have not had the new Curried Cauliflower. Favorites are Coconut Rice and Cuban Black Beans, Ratatouille w/Nutty Quinoa Pilaf, Roasted Sweet Potatoes w/Kale and Quinoa. The 2 cold-soak Slaw meals are a nice change of pace and tasty.


Hawk Vittles favborites are Bacon Baked Beans and Cashew Curry (I get the quinoa substitution).


Outdoor Herbivore's Blackened Quinoa, Lickety Split Lentils, and Thai Lemongrass Curry.


Heather's Choice has a Salmon Chowder that's really good. I should try one of the others. "

Boonie, I’m curious - do you get these at a retail outlet or do you order online?
 
12/30/2021 10:56PM  
Online at websites of the same name. Occasionally you might find some at the Garage Grown Gear site.
 
12/31/2021 09:24AM  
Cache Lake:
Beef stroganoff
Beef, vegetables and mashed potatoes with gravy
Chicken a la king with rice
Creamy wild rice asparagus soup
Creamy fish chowder
Frying pan breads
all of their vegetables and desserts except for the "pies"

Alpine Aire:
Mountain chili
3-cheese chicken pasta with zucchini etc.
Spicy chicken curry

Mountain House:
Chili mac with beef
Chicken teriyaki with rice and vegetables
Lasagna with meat sauce
Grilled chicken breasts and mashed potatoes
Beef stroganoff
 
schweady
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12/31/2021 10:17AM  
All of our Mountain House meal experiences have been pretty awesome:
Breakfast Skillet
Scrambled Eggs with Ham and Peppers
Beef Stroganoff with Noodles
Beef Stew
Lasagna with Meat Sauce
Chicken and Dumplings
Chicken Breasts with Mashed Potatoes
Turkey Dinner Casserole
Pasta Primavera
Chicken Fried Rice
Chicken Fajita Bowl (a bit spicy)
Chicken Teriyaki with Rice (a bit sweet)

Backpacker’s Pantry Pad Thai was excellent flavor, but a bit putzy
Camp Chow Shrimp Alfredo was a nice flavor, but need to reduce water amount
 
EddyTurn
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12/31/2021 02:25PM  
I used to be a Hawk Vittles guy, but after 6 or 7 years them not updating their menu I switched to Backpackers Pantry. Another big issue with HV for me is that their shelf life is only one year, and that could be an over-optimistic estimate in my experience. If I don't use everything I ordered in one season I have to through away the rest.
 
Northwoodsman
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12/31/2021 03:27PM  
Mountain House Italian Pepper Steak is by far my favorite FD meal.
 
cburton103
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12/31/2021 03:54PM  
I used to go with Mountain House and Backpackers Pantry, but after trying Packit Gourmet I have no interest in eating any other freeze dried meals. Good to Go is ok, and Heather’s Choice is pretty good, but Packit Gourmet is basically as good as the way I could make each meal at home.

Favorites from Packit Gourmet:
Bigun burrito with chicken
Texas State Fair Chili
Shepherd’s Cottage Pie
Austintacious Tortilla Soup

I’ve never had a group I bring camping not like these.
 
Lawnchair107
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12/31/2021 08:21PM  
Peak Refuel has really good stuff. Their coconut curry/ beef stroganoff/ chicken pesto are phenomenal. I highly recommend them.
 
PeaceFrog
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01/02/2022 02:43PM  
boonie: "Online at websites of the same name. Occasionally you might find some at the Garage Grown Gear site. "

Checking out the Garage Grown Gear site. I like what they offer so far. Making many notes. Thanks for the tip.
PF
 
Blackdogyak
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01/03/2022 11:44PM  
Everything from Peak Refuel is awesome. If you have a Sierra Trading Post near you, they frequently have many of these meals that normally for for $12-15....for $9.99
 
Blackdogyak
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01/03/2022 11:45PM  
Unlike the 1970s and 80s...there must literally be more than fifty of these manufacturers now.
 
Lawnchair107
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01/05/2022 06:47AM  
Yep, another way to save money is using Backcountry Exposure’s promotional code: bce15 to save 15% on a purchase as well.
 
01/05/2022 10:09AM  
Blackdogyak: "Unlike the 1970s and 80s...there must literally be more than fifty of these manufacturers now." And they have gotten soooo much better than they use to be.
 
Loony_canoe
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01/05/2022 10:53AM  
Peak refuel: Favorites; Chicken Alfredo , Beef Stroganoff

Packit Gourmet : Favorites; Chili, Shepard's Pie, Diner Deluxe eggs,
 
Hammertime
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01/18/2022 06:47PM  
Great thread!

I just got into these last year and am looking to branch out.

The mountain house lasagna with meat sauce and chicken burrito bowl were a hit with our group.
 
bottomtothetap
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05/01/2022 02:12PM  
I've done a lot of Mountain House, some Backpacker's Pantry and, back in the day, some Richmoor. To me these are all fine as far as flavor goes (it ALL tastes good in the woods if you are hungry enough!) but with any of these brands it seems the allotted serving sizes are less than sufficient. To get enough to feed a hungry crew you'll spend plenty! In another forum, it was mentioned that Camp Chow has better portions for the money than most other brands. Can anyone else weigh in with their experience regarding serving size?

Also looking for good suggestions on a freeze-dried veggies option for side dish. These are not as easy to find anymore. Maybe they are too hard to do well. Last year I treid a coule of choices from Cache Lake. While the corn was a LITTLE better than the peas, neither one was really very edible at all. After looking at their product list, I see that Camp Chow also has some veggies available.

Opinions are appreciated!
 
schweady
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05/01/2022 04:55PM  
Like I've said somewhere here before, we settled in on Mountain House early on and always have a number of their tried-and-true offerings ready to go, but we also like to bring at least one meal from a different company each trip in order to branch out. For my wife and me, the 2-serving packet has always seemed adequate. Here's what's on hand to choose from for our 2022 outings:

Mountain House Breakfast Skillet
Mountain House Pasta Primavera
Mountain House Chicken Fried Rice
Mountain House Fettuccine Alfredo with Chicken
Mountain House Lasagna with Meat Sauce
Mountain House Beef Stew
Mountain House Beef Stroganoff with Noodles
Good To-Go Mushroom Risotto
Camp Chow Shrimp Alfredo
Backpacker’s Pantry Pad Thai
AlpineAire Grilled Chicken with Spinach Alfredo Pasta
Fernweh Food Co. Green Tamale Pie
 
SummerSkin
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05/11/2022 01:19PM  
Is there anywhere to see portion size / serving size / package size / package weight on the Camp Chow products? Their website hardly has any information.
 
05/11/2022 03:47PM  
Summer Skin -

Go Here , click on a category (entree, etc.), choose one (Wild Mushroom Chicken Stroganoff). There is a small picture of the nutrition label (click to enlarge) which gives the single serving size weight (oz. & Grams), the basic nutrition info, and a list of ingredients.
 
bottomtothetap
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05/12/2022 02:01PM  
boonie: "Summer Skin -


Go Here , click on a category (entree, etc.), choose one (Wild Mushroom Chicken Stroganoff). There is a small picture of the nutrition label (click to enlarge) which gives the single serving size weight (oz. & Grams), the basic nutrition info, and a list of ingredients. "


When I look at the nutritional labels and compare Camp Chow to brands I'm more familiar with, I'm confused trying to determine how much Camp Chow to buy (it sounds like good stuff!) to feed everyone and what the nutritional content really is. For example if I look at Camp Chow's Beef Stroganoff label, it indicates one serving per container but that a "serving" is 115 grams. On the other hand, the Mountain House Beef Stroganoff label identifies a container as being two servings at 61 grams/serving. That makes Camp Chow's "serving" almost 2 times the size of Mountain House? Am I mis-reading the label or is there really that much difference? Does this mean that for about the same price you're basically getting about as much from Camp Chow as you are from Mountain House and number of packages purchased should be the same??
 
05/12/2022 08:53PM  
I agree it's not the clearest and I've never eaten the Camp Chow. Camp Chow does have the option of buying a single or double portion size. The single serving calories are the same (290 vs. 280). It may be that the Camp Chow weight is for 2 servings since it its equivalent to MH's weight for 2 servings. If that's true then you would be getting essentially the same calories in a 2-serving pouch of either at about the same weight.

It would be best to clarify with Camp Chow.
 
05/13/2022 01:13PM  
bottomtothetap: "boonie: "Summer Skin -



Go Here , click on a category (entree, etc.), choose one (Wild Mushroom Chicken Stroganoff). There is a small picture of the nutrition label (click to enlarge) which gives the single serving size weight (oz. & Grams), the basic nutrition info, and a list of ingredients. "



When I look at the nutritional labels and compare Camp Chow to brands I'm more familiar with, I'm confused trying to determine how much Camp Chow to buy (it sounds like good stuff!) to feed everyone and what the nutritional content really is. For example if I look at Camp Chow's Beef Stroganoff label, it indicates one serving per container but that a "serving" is 115 grams. On the other hand, the Mountain House Beef Stroganoff label identifies a container as being two servings at 61 grams/serving. That makes Camp Chow's "serving" almost 2 times the size of Mountain House? Am I mis-reading the label or is there really that much difference? Does this mean that for about the same price you're basically getting about as much from Camp Chow as you are from Mountain House and number of packages purchased should be the same??
"


To me it isn't clear we are comparing apples to apples?

It is not clear that Camp chow is freeze dried vs. dehydrated. Maybe I am wrong on that but I assumed Camp Chow is dehydrated based on shelf life and weight. Freeze dried can be considerably less weight than dehydrated and would explain the weight differences between servings.

T
 
Swampturtle
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05/13/2022 07:26PM  
Bottomtothetap

Harmony House foods has lots of fruits & veggies & soup mixes. Freeze dried & dehydrated.

Always wanted to try Hawk Vittles, but I dehydrate my own meals. I started my dehydrating adventure using Linda Yaffe recipe books amongst others. I never knew Hawk Vittles used recipes right from her books (my eggbake!). I read recently Hawk sadly passed away, he used to comment on the ADK site from time to time. The website is still up & running, but I don't know if it will remain that way. I'm going to order a few things myself using some great advice here, even though I make my own, it's nice to try something new.

Many companies I've used have been listed already. Cache lake, backpackers pantry, MH. Still buy all my desserts, mostly backpackers pantry.

Harmony house
 
kbad
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05/17/2022 07:07AM  
Stowaway Gourmet is awesome, but pricey.
 
zootownboarding
member (28)member
 
06/06/2022 06:36PM  
Loony_canoe: "Peak refuel: Favorites; Chicken Alfredo , Beef Stroganoff


Packit Gourmet : Favorites; Chili, Shepard's Pie, Diner Deluxe eggs, "

For individual meals peak refuel is my go-to by far. Great taste, and a lot of calories!
 
06/10/2022 08:51AM  
1) Trailtopia
2) Packitgourmet
3) Pinnacle Foods
4) Bushka's Kitchen

We try a few new ones each season to keep expanding horizons & knowledge base.
 
Lawnchair107
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06/10/2022 04:20PM  
sns: "1) Trailtopia
2) Packitgourmet
3) Pinnacle Foods
4) Bushka's Kitchen

We try a few new ones each season to keep expanding horizons & knowledge base."


What do you recommend from Trailtopia?
 
06/14/2022 02:19PM  
Sticker shock; I went to a local Sierra Trading Post yesterday to pick up a couple meals for an upcoming solo, and, man, have they become expensive! Have not been on a trip in two years, and prior to that it was probably two more since the last time I bought any Mountain House products. Went with a couple Peak Refuel, and they were $10 a pop. I am pretty certain I used to get MH meals at Sierra for 5 or 6 bucks.
 
06/20/2022 11:26AM  
Lawnchair107: "sns: "1) Trailtopia
2) Packitgourmet
3) Pinnacle Foods
4) Bushka's Kitchen


We try a few new ones each season to keep expanding horizons & knowledge base."



What do you recommend from Trailtopia? "


Sorry for the delay...absolute favorite is the pesto chicken! Think it's my single favorite from any company. Also have excellent cheesecake desserts.
 
HowardSprague
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07/10/2022 10:38PM  
I liked Alpineaire Grilled Chicken Jambalaya.
 
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