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  #1  
Old 1 April 2018, 13:07
wowzers wowzers is offline
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Mountain House Alternative

I used to do a lot of backpack hunting and still do some backpacking every year and Mountain House was my go to meals mainly because they are easy and taste "acceptable". I started looking for alternative and there are companies making better options, but I'm not into spending $15 on a small portion meal.

I found this guys website http://www.backpackingchef.com/ and he has a pile of free recipes for making DIY dehydrated meals. I was impressed enough by the recipes I ordered the book and think it was worth the price. I haven't gotten around to making them yet, but the idea seems pretty sound to me. One of the thousand odd projects I have is building a huge dehydrator out of a map drawer I got from work. It's probably 30"x30" and twenty drawers. I plan on putting a heat lamp in the bottom and a small fan on top to draw the warm air through. Still working out all the details on what to use for screen. Probably use parchment paper on top of screens for the bark and fruit leather recipes.

I don't think these would have the shelf life of Mountain House but I'm sure they would keep a year or more .
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Old 1 April 2018, 13:25
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B 2/75 B 2/75 is offline
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That's one hell of a score... damn thing's probably worth a grand or more to buy.
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Old 1 April 2018, 18:33
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You can cut the costs of Mountain House meals a great deal by purchasing in the #10 cans, then dividing into meals and vacume packing the size/qty you want...

If you spend a lot of time eating these foods purchasing in bulk is the way to go. Your home re-pack of the meals will stay fresh for quite a while... One Mtn House Beef Stew is $8 at Walmart - a #10 can with 10 equivalent meals is #34...
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Old 1 April 2018, 18:35
AKAPete AKAPete is online now
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Stoves

I have stoves like some women have shoes.

Once you get your recipes down you have to cook it up.

I like the little pack packer stoves that run off the couple oz propane or winter mix cans. Good for short trips in temperate weather. Extended trips and you could misjudge usage and be a can or two short.

Whisperlite International that will burn just about anything and fires up hot - after you get the generator hot. Good all rounder and excellent at high altitude or real cold but can go through fuel and that's extra weight.

The Solo Stove is good as long as you stay below the snow/tree line. Burns ground litter, twigs and sticks so you don't have to carry any fuel. Little hard to get lit as you're starting a fire in basically a big soup can but cotton balls and Vaseline helps. If you get a couple of sticks finger size, skin the bark off (getting fancy here) and chop them into pieces that will fit you can get steady heat and you don't have to feed it as fast.

Solo Stove

Disadvantage - takes a little getting used to keeping steady heat and slower to fire up than fuel stoves. Need to keep feeding it.

Advantage - burns whats around you, no fuel to carry. Light, compact and comes with a cooking/water heating pot. Works good with a small fry pan.
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  #5  
Old 1 April 2018, 18:44
AKAPete AKAPete is online now
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Quote:
Originally Posted by sixgun View Post
You can cut the costs of Mountain House meals a great deal by purchasing in the #10 cans, then dividing into meals and vacume packing the size/qty you want...

If you spend a lot of time eating these foods purchasing in bulk is the way to go. Your home re-pack of the meals will stay fresh for quite a while... One Mtn House Beef Stew is $8 at Walmart - a #10 can with 10 equivalent meals is #34...
AS sixgun said - buy in bulk, make single meals and vacuum seal. Might take a little practice with amounts and spices but there's minute rice, noodles, packaged gravy mix, etc, etc. Make foods you like so you'll eat them.

Should be no problem making them up the weekend before an outing.
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  #6  
Old 1 April 2018, 19:15
wowzers wowzers is offline
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sixgun, some of those #10 can are like $18 bucks. I'll have to look into getting some for long term storage. I still like the idea of making these myself with extra stuff out of the garden and what not but having something that can sit on the shelf forever is good too.

AKAPete, I have a knock off solo stove that works pretty good. Having an endless source for it is reassuring.
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  #7  
Old 1 April 2018, 19:23
AKAPete AKAPete is online now
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Quote:
Originally Posted by wowzers View Post
....
AKAPete, I have a knock off solo stove that works pretty good. Having an endless source for it is reassuring.
I have the smaller one and use the pot for heating water for coffee and dehydrated meals.

I use the small fry pan for cooking stuff. Like the single serving Spam to fry up and then mix up with powdered eggs and cheese.
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Old 1 April 2018, 19:52
Gsniper Gsniper is offline
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Amazon has a bunch of the 10 cans. I'm going to buy a few and add to my prep. Can't have too much chow on hand. How do they hold up to long term storage?
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  #9  
Old 1 April 2018, 20:42
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Originally Posted by Gsniper View Post
How do they hold up to long term storage?
Pretty well if it is brand name (Mountain House, Saratoga Farms, etc). You need to be careful about manufacturing date, however. Look into Ready Store &/or Nitro Pack... They are dealers and have discounts for cases of 6 cans...
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  #10  
Old 1 April 2018, 20:45
Gsniper Gsniper is offline
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Thanks sixgun. I've already got cases of dehydrated potatoes and chipped beef in the hoard. Need a little variety.
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  #11  
Old 1 April 2018, 20:48
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Sportsmansguide.com has some good prices on MH 3 day packs. The pouches are pretty hefty with most having 1.5 to 2.5 servings. I could easily live on 1- 1.5 pouches a day.
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  #12  
Old 1 April 2018, 21:21
Stretch Stretch is online now
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I just bought two MH Essential Buckets, 24 pouches total, from Amazon. $145, including shipping. I searched around and this was the best deal I could find, “in pre-portioned pouches”. Just over $6/pouch or about $0.01/calorie.

Last edited by Stretch; 1 April 2018 at 21:24. Reason: Pouches...
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  #13  
Old 11 April 2018, 19:01
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AD Military or retired and LE can get some better pricing on MH also. I always look for deals on this stuff and see if they participate in programs like Experticity or GovX.
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Old 13 April 2018, 13:40
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I can vouch for Mountain House. Good food, flavor and a shelf life of up to 25 years. I've been disappointed with Wise Foods in both flavor and texture. Ready Made Resources has their own brand now, and I think MH might be making it for them, but don't quote me.

Also, keep in mind that these are all just dehydrated foods, they're freeze dried (big difference). When you get tired of spending your money on MH, you can try your hand at making your own freeze dried foods with this: https://harvestright.com/ It's a bit pricey, but you can make your own recipes, and store long term.
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  #15  
Old 13 April 2018, 13:45
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Quote:
Originally Posted by AKAPete View Post
I have stoves like some women have shoes.

Once you get your recipes down you have to cook it up.

I like the little pack packer stoves that run off the couple oz propane or winter mix cans. Good for short trips in temperate weather. Extended trips and you could misjudge usage and be a can or two short.

Whisperlite International that will burn just about anything and fires up hot - after you get the generator hot. Good all rounder and excellent at high altitude or real cold but can go through fuel and that's extra weight.

The Solo Stove is good as long as you stay below the snow/tree line. Burns ground litter, twigs and sticks so you don't have to carry any fuel. Little hard to get lit as you're starting a fire in basically a big soup can but cotton balls and Vaseline helps. If you get a couple of sticks finger size, skin the bark off (getting fancy here) and chop them into pieces that will fit you can get steady heat and you don't have to feed it as fast.

Solo Stove

Disadvantage - takes a little getting used to keeping steady heat and slower to fire up than fuel stoves. Need to keep feeding it.

Advantage - burns whats around you, no fuel to carry. Light, compact and comes with a cooking/water heating pot. Works good with a small fry pan.
yep, I love dehydrating my own food.
I also use a twig or hobo stove. I have one I bought and one I made out of coffee/soup cans.
My wife bought me the Solo firepit for XMAS. That thing rocks. I literally put in my PJ cotton ball and some twigs, by the time I turn around and put big stuff on, it's roaring. All I have to do is throw wood on. No more, stacking it to get air in it, etc. It rocks
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  #16  
Old 13 April 2018, 13:58
DirtyDog0311 DirtyDog0311 is offline
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Anyone have experience with those home freeze dryers that JAFO pointed out? I heard Ron Paul pimping one on the radio the other day for Harvest Right and know that freeze drying usually is longer lasting than dehydrating (all things being equal). I'm not sure what the cost:benefit ratio is on buying one and doing it yourself vs just buying Mountain House #10 cans.
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  #17  
Old 14 April 2018, 00:09
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Ive used Hawk Vittles for the last 5 years or so. Great taste, pretty good selection and price. I run a small Jet Boil stove. The small can of fuel will last me a 5 day trip, cooking chow and heating lots of water for coffee.
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  #18  
Old 14 April 2018, 09:49
NoChai NoChai is offline
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Ordered the backpackingchef book as we already have a dehydrator. Just been using it for meats, fruits and veggies so far. Very interested in making actual meals that will last a while. Makes prepping meals for work easy. Spend one day cooking a month's worth, seal it up and throw it in the locker in the team room seems pretty easy to me.

Jafo- Just looked at those freeze dryers.. Wow. Price aside, they would appear to be worth the investment if you were on the fence about canning or not and were growing your own food... Which we currently are! The results seem pretty awesome. May look into that down the road as $2500 is definitely not in my price range currently!
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  #19  
Old 14 April 2018, 11:39
Stretch Stretch is online now
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Horned Toad View Post
Ive used Hawk Vittles for the last 5 years or so. Great taste, pretty good selection and price. I run a small Jet Boil stove. The small can of fuel will last me a 5 day trip, cooking chow and heating lots of water for coffee.
The meals look good to me.

Their site and PayPal dont appear to be on speaking terms right now. I tried to order multiple times and it did not go through...

I plan to order some of their bison and some stew with couscous.

Once I get Everything squared away, I will be making North African stew for dinner.

Penny per calorie it seems about the same as Mountain Home.
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  #20  
Old 19 April 2018, 19:41
Stretch Stretch is online now
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My Hawk Vittles just arrived.

Eat by date is April 2019. Super sucker bag has air in it. Not like MT.

I will have one for lunch Saturday.
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