Dehydrated meals

Evening all.
Has anybody purchased the dehydrated meals on offer through the EO shop? I've got a 23 day desert trip coming up and I'm doing my menu plans and shopping list.
23 days worth of meat is going to take up a fair amount of my fridge & freezer space (50L & 19L Waeco's) so I'm contemplating giving some of these dehydrated meals a go.
What do they taste like and do they provide enough for two blokes who enjoy a good feed?
Also of interest is the dehydrated ice cream and the other desserts on offer? My mate who travels with me has the sweetest tooth going, (just ask his wife), so I usually pack some ice cream for him but that takes space and is susceptible to thawing out.



Dunc
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Reply By: Member - Jason B (NSW) - Sunday, Jul 08, 2012 at 21:17

Sunday, Jul 08, 2012 at 21:17
Gday Dunc

I haven't tried the ones in the EO shop, however I had a crack at a few when we were travelling around Tazzie a few years back. They are nothing flash, but hit the spot at the end of a long day. The ones I had were the lamb and veggie roast dinners, and you just added boiling water to the meat and veg to get it all to re hydrate. The gravy was in there as well. I did find them a bit salty but I usually don't add salt. Not sure if that has something to do with the way the meat is preserved.

I would certainly keep a few on hand in case you get stuck, but I wouldn't want them each night. They are very convenient.

I haven't had a go at the ice cream yet. I was actually showing them to the kids yesterday, so we will buy a few from the EO shop and give them a go.

I can't get my head around the ice cream but I have read that it works and tastes ok.

Regards

Jas
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Follow Up By: Member - Duncan W (WA) - Sunday, Jul 08, 2012 at 21:50

Sunday, Jul 08, 2012 at 21:50
Thanks for the advice Jason. Agree that the supermarket varieties do tend to be salty, so a good chance these will be also. Yer agree the ice cream sounds wrong.

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Reply By: Member - Mark (Tamworth NSW) - Sunday, Jul 08, 2012 at 21:22

Sunday, Jul 08, 2012 at 21:22
I've eaten a few of the Backcountry brand meals.

Duncan
They are OK, if you are a carnivore they are better than nothing, but I wouldn't buy them for their meat.
People who do multi day remote bushwalking tend to buy them for weight saving & cooking convenience more than a desire to eat meat (protein).
I've found it's more about being creative, if meat is important to you and cooking meals which whilst containing meat, it is more there as a flavour additive than the centre piece of the meal.
Examples include carbonara where you throw in a small amount of diced bacon, spaghetti marinara with a small amount of cryovaced salmon & tinned prawns, or fried rice likewise with bacon which keeps well cryovaced. You don't use much meat.
I'm certainly no vegetarian, but I've had some great Lentil meals where there is a decent sauce to go with it. I still reckon one of the best Asian Laksa I've ever had was at the end of a 7 day hike which someone cooked using dehydrated fish they buy from an Asian deli.
As far as deserts go, about the best sweet thing I've found bushwalking is powdered custard and UHT cream. The ice cream tastes like ice cream froth, give me the custard.

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Follow Up By: Member - Duncan W (WA) - Sunday, Jul 08, 2012 at 22:39

Sunday, Jul 08, 2012 at 22:39
Thanks Mark, my initial thoughts are that they are geared around the trim mean hiking fraternity as opposed to 2 fat middle aged 4wd'ers. Might buy some and try at home b4 we go (test them on my wife).

Agree that you can make some superb meals with next to no ingredients.

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Reply By: ross - Sunday, Jul 08, 2012 at 21:55

Sunday, Jul 08, 2012 at 21:55
Maybe I could get the ex to show how to make your own dehydrated meals.
She used to serve them up every night LOL
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Follow Up By: Member - Duncan W (WA) - Monday, Jul 09, 2012 at 09:38

Monday, Jul 09, 2012 at 09:38
Is that why she's now the ex?
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Reply By: Wayne's 60 - Sunday, Jul 08, 2012 at 22:42

Sunday, Jul 08, 2012 at 22:42
Hi Dunc,

We carry about four days worth of Back Country meals for emergency use.

Do they work. well, yes they do ..... to a point.

With this in mind, if it says that it is a "meal for one" .... take two.

Where it says a meal for two ............... it is a meal for one.

The meals are good for an emergency where you have water.

Our assessment is that these meals are good where physical activity is limited.

Everyone should carry some of these.

Cheers,
Wayne & Sally.

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Follow Up By: Wayne's 60 - Sunday, Jul 08, 2012 at 22:45

Sunday, Jul 08, 2012 at 22:45
P.S.

The icecream is (on recommendation) supposed to be very good.

Though we have yet to try this ........ as we take "real" ice cream.

Cheers,
Wayne & Sally.
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Follow Up By: Member - Duncan W (WA) - Monday, Jul 09, 2012 at 09:42

Monday, Jul 09, 2012 at 09:42
Found that is often the case with what manufacturer's consider a portion for 1 or more. I think the portions are prepared by an anorexic.

The ice cream has got me curious as how are you supposed to get it frozen when backpacking etc.
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Follow Up By: Wayne's 60 - Monday, Jul 09, 2012 at 19:08

Monday, Jul 09, 2012 at 19:08
Good answer Dunc,

Backpacking is the easy part.

Backpack a small Waeco or Engel with a small generator ........... easy as!!

The noise you generate keeps other people well away.

lol

Cheers,
Wayne & Sally.


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Follow Up By: Sigmund - Thursday, Jul 12, 2012 at 17:54

Thursday, Jul 12, 2012 at 17:54
Freeze-dried meals are a good solution to a specific problem.

If you don't have to carry your food for several days on your back there are better solutions.
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Reply By: Les - PK Ranger - Monday, Jul 09, 2012 at 06:12

Monday, Jul 09, 2012 at 06:12
Have used the Back Country meals for many years on bushwalking trips, and a few of the comments are spot on with ease and convienience etc.

I usually supplement single packs with home dehydrated vegies.
Sunbeam dehydrators (2) are also great for your own beef or chicken jerky !!

A few tricks.

After putting in the boiling water, give them a stir and reseal after say 10 mins, use a chop stick or similar to get right down in the corners.
Give them 20 mins minimum.
Some of the bags have a zip lock top, others not, so takea couple of clothes legs for each bag to peg on after a couple of folds to keep steam in.

We eat straight from the packs, so no wash up : )

If you are a big eater, then the 2 man packs would be ample for dinner, meals for two, maybe 1 2 man or 2 single packs if supplementing.
The 2 man packs are not quite double the content of single packs.

The 5 man packs work great where we are 3 in a group, if 4 we supplement.
Though we then need to dish out and wash bowls after.

Home made dehydrated carrots, pumpkin, beans, etc need a bit more to rehydrate, so I usually boil them a bit in a dixie to soften up and add them at the stirring point to the packs.

Zip lock bags are usually fine for home dried ingredients, but if we head out for longer walks (up to a few weeks on the tracks) we use the vacumn sealer to pack down into daily portions.

There are some great dinner combos, I like em all, but there are some favs.
http://www.backcountrycuisine.co.nz

Chicken al la King
Honey Soy Chicken
Roast Lamb and Veg
Sweet and Sour Lamb
So many others . . .

Mmmm, gotta go have breakfast now : )
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Follow Up By: Member - Duncan W (WA) - Monday, Jul 09, 2012 at 09:44

Monday, Jul 09, 2012 at 09:44
Thanks for the comprehensive reply Les, and thanks for the tips regarding the best way to rehydrate.

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Reply By: Member - DW Lennox Head(NSW) - Monday, Jul 09, 2012 at 06:18

Monday, Jul 09, 2012 at 06:18
Dunc

I do not wish to detract from the Back Country food, as I have not tried them.

Another product, that I have tried, is worth looking at is Easy Meals. The only thing missing is vegetables which are easy to obtain either tinned or dehydrated.

They pack into a box well and minimise storage requirements. We have tried all the varieties and plan to take a big supply with us when we leave soon. All that is required is to boil them, in their packet, in boiling water. The necessary vegies can be heated in the same water.

Hope that helps

DW (another Duncan W)
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Follow Up By: Member - Duncan W (WA) - Monday, Jul 09, 2012 at 09:48

Monday, Jul 09, 2012 at 09:48
Ha ha cheers Duncan, there's another Duncan W lurking on here also.

Thanks for the alternative, the link has some interesting choices.

I've tried a couple of those microwavable meals from the supermarkets and they aren't bad (small portions though), so guess they could be boiled up also.

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Reply By: Member - Boobook - Monday, Jul 09, 2012 at 06:39

Monday, Jul 09, 2012 at 06:39
Forget dried foods, after the first meal, the chicken tastes like tofu, the beef tastes like tofu, the lamb tastes like tofu, the fish tastes like tofu, curries taste like curried tofu, and tofu tastes like cardboard. After a week try the cardboard, it begins to taste like a good steak.

Get a range of Happy Camper Gourmet meals. They are super yummy. Unbelievable.

Sealed non fridge meals Happy Camper gourmet.

Get one or two well before you leave to try them. They even make a nice meal at home.

Mmmm the Red wine and Rosemary Lamb shank. Might order one myself.
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Follow Up By: Member - nick b - Monday, Jul 09, 2012 at 08:48

Monday, Jul 09, 2012 at 08:48
Agree with the happy campers meal , We liked the lamb shank , meat balls , but not so fussed on the veal . combined with the backcountry mixed veg , deb & instant gravy makes a great meal when every thing is in the freezer .

very easy to prepare - a pot of boiling water , that can be used to wash up dishes.
the kids in our party lived on the instant type packet noodles on our recent 6 week trip around W.A

cheers nick
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Follow Up By: Member - Duncan W (WA) - Monday, Jul 09, 2012 at 09:53

Monday, Jul 09, 2012 at 09:53
Thanks BooBoo & Nick. Had seen those advertised before here on EO and wondered about their shelf life and whether there would be enough of a meal in each bag for 2?
Glad that you like them and that they don't taste like tofu.




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Follow Up By: Member - nick b - Monday, Jul 09, 2012 at 10:31

Monday, Jul 09, 2012 at 10:31
I got them at Adelaide camp show about 6 months ago dated best before 23 feb 13 , The meat balls are 300 grams , veal shank 450 g with a bone . No way would i share the lamb shank......LOL.....
you could share but you would need some think to go with then , but it would depend on your appetite .

cheers nick
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Reply By: Sludgie W.A - Monday, Jul 09, 2012 at 18:40

Monday, Jul 09, 2012 at 18:40
I don't know about Ian as he is not as "well built" as you but would it hurt for you to only eat every second day as become less "well built"?, that way your problem would be solved. As a person who likes to cook I am suprised you would go for dehydrated food. Of course you can always borrow my 35lt Waeco or my 90 litre National Luna fridge freezer.

Sludgie
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Follow Up By: Member - Duncan W (WA) - Monday, Jul 09, 2012 at 19:59

Monday, Jul 09, 2012 at 19:59
Cheeky bugger it's not that I'm over weight it's just that I carry the weight of the world on my shoulders that has squashed me petite frame down from 7 foot tall to 5'7''. All that height has to go some place. LOL and It's not food that's the cause but the Shiraz I use to wash it all down with.

The dehydrated idea is just to supplement my fresh and frozen stuff. Now if I borrow your 35L fridge and use that as a freezer Ian should be able to have his ice cream. If no ice cream I'll be making him a fresh damper each night. LOL

I think I'll have to convince SWMBO in to coming on these trips as she's less maintenance. (Don't tell her or Ian I said that though).





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Reply By: Member - Terra'Mer - Monday, Jul 09, 2012 at 21:24

Monday, Jul 09, 2012 at 21:24
I have tried most of the vegetarian options for Backcountry and Backpackers as well as some desserts and they were all good. Very nutritious for what they are. Easy to prepare and can conveniently be eaten straight out of the pack. Save a lot of camp fuel using these because you only need boiling water then let them sit, they're still hot when they're ready to eat.
I also use Strive Food camp meals, a small family company based in Tassie.
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Follow Up By: Member - Duncan W (WA) - Monday, Jul 09, 2012 at 22:09

Monday, Jul 09, 2012 at 22:09
Thanks for the heads up about the Tassie company. Some vegge meals aren't half bad.

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