I just returned from an 11-day backpack where I had only 10 days rations. My last meal consisted of throwing everything that was left over in a pot. It filled me up, but left a lot to be desired for taste. I must say it was one of the worst meals I have eaten. Here's the recipe:
Freeze dried sausage Black beans Dried apples Parmasan cheese Blueberry muffin mix instant potatoes fake butter flavored flakes a few walnuts one pack of Miso soup
It burned on the bottom of the pot too!
When you are hungry you will eat about anything! Should have thrown in a few grasshoppers.
Once, at the end of a NOLS ration period, I made plain couscous which I tired to spice up with a dash of garlic salt, but there wasn't enough to even taste the difference. No butter, oil, cheese, curry, or any of the other things which we often use to jazz up a meal. I considered adding some dill, but chickened out. Filling, but painfully bland, especially since I don't much care for couscous.
Well, hello fellow NOLS graduate! I taught from 1969 to 1975 - Mountain Guide courses. I was a student on the infamous "30 Days to Survival" course. I actually had about 2 minutes of fame and glory in the film. Our mid-course ration was burried (allowed back then) and when we got there, half the cans had leaked and food rotted! I remember eating nothing but oatmeal with Crisco for several days, while the film crew had helicopters flying in gormet food to them! Boy were we mad! Then, after that, we still had to go on a regular survival! We all felt we had already been on survival.
Those were the "good old days" I suppose. I taught out of the Rocky Mountain Branch and Teton Valley Branches from 2001-1003. Packs are still abominably heavy, though we use pretty use all dry goods now with no canned stuff. Still only NOLS could send you into the field with a 3-pound spice kit and leave you with an empty one after 10 days.....
My first-ever solo on my first-ever trip into the Rattlesnake Wilderness I discovered that; 1) Mountain House freeze-dried entrees have a shelf life and, 2) my Beef & Rice was about 12 years beyond that...
Been doin' my own dehydrated meals ever since. <img src="/forums/images/graemlins/wink.gif" alt="" />
"...inalienable rights...include the right to a clean and healthful environment..." Montana Constitution
We just got back from a backpacking trip to Yosemite with a Half Dome climb. The night before the climb a bear got two of our Ursacks and ate half of our food from each. So after our climb the next day we scavenged what was still edible and put together a most spectacular last dinner meal of everything we had left. It's hard to remember the exact recipe but it was something like this:
it turned out to be a spectacular conglomeration of left overs, tasty and very fillling. Far from our worst.
Probably the worst meal I have had so far while backpacking was a packaged freeze dried meal of "meatless mountain chilli". I too now forego the packaged freeze dried meals and make my own from home which are much better.
Loc: Eastern MA, USA
When car-camping in Yellowstone, I broke out a package of dried squid that I'd picked up YEARS before that trip. After soaking in many chnges of water, I tried cooking it up with dried veggies and ramen. I could not get past the smell to taste it. Fortunately, I was able to use another planned meal and pick up suplies before hubby and I had to go hungry.
I have thrown out only a few meals in my lifetime. That one we still talk about.
A couple of weeks ago I made a meal for the GF and myself. Now I pride myself on my culinary talents, and she knows what comes out of our galley is usually fine dining <img src="/forums/images/graemlins/grin.gif" alt="" /> Except this meal I don't know what went wrong, but I distinctly recall her saying something to the effect of....."Blech! I would'nt feed this to a cat!" Of course my remark was along the lines of..."Dear, we don't have a cat..." We do have outdoor farm cats, but they are a WHOLE 'nother breed of critter.
PEPPER SPRAY AIN'T BRAINS IN A CAN!
Can you give us some details. Did they tear them open?
My worst meal - freeze dried Turkey Tetrazzini. I think it is made by Mountain House. That was over 20 years ago and I still have a great time when someone pulls out a bag of it to try for the first time. It usually ends up being given to the dogs. Funny thing, even some dogs won't eat it.
I've had conversations with complete strangers in the food aisle of REI about this stuff. It usually involves our exchanging stories.
This stuff is still available. Someone out there must like it.
I made Enertia Sierra Scramble and I followed the directions: I mixed the dry stuff with water until it was smooth. I heated it in my almost new titanium pot, then reduced the heat and stirred until the eggs got firm. Hmmm, seems to be scorched on the bottom. Last direction: must use a non-stick pot. Well, NOW they tell me <img src="/forums/images/graemlins/mad.gif" alt="" /> The meal tasted scorched. Plus, this was on the first morning of the trip and I couldn't get the pot clean no matter what I tried (my little scrubby, rocks, sand, etc), so all my other meals were compromised as well.
A freeze-dried Thai Shrimp may have been my worst. I forget the brand, maybe RichMoor/Naural High. Very bad. Also, a Mountain House Beef Stroganoff which somehow hit me wrong. I ate a few bites, then decided to rely on trail snacks for dinner. Another very bad one came from "Natural Food Backpack Dinners" in Corvallis, OR. I don't know if they're still around. I can't remember what it was called, but I seem to remember we came up with a few new names for it.
Baddest meal was on our second backpack (in those young & naive days) up Cascade Creek to Lake Solitude in Grand Teton NP. We had gotten a late start across Jenny Lake and were pushing it too hard. By the time we set up camp, two of the four of us had mild cases of altitude sickness. In the anti-thesis of light, we had brought a BIG can of Dinty Moore Stew for the first night's dinner. We got it bubbling, had a few bites and the woozey two of us barfed and went into our tents and slept. We heard that even the marmots in the 'hood had sniffed at it but wouldn't eat it . To this day even the sight of a Dinty Moore Stew can makes me ill.
Loc: Newtown Square pa
pheasant omelet freeze dried - had to make it on the AT as it was the last meal on a Sunday and didn't have any oil or butter so it stuck more to the mini pan and little was left for tossing past the tonsils.LMAO. It just tasted like cardboard. <img src="/forums/images/graemlins/grin.gif" alt="" />
Earlier this summer a bit of stove alcohol leaked out of my Trangia burner while stored in a cook pot. I rinsed the pan out, but apparently not enough - the instant mash potatoes had a distinctly off taste. Most of that batch went into the garbage.
Loc: Eastern MA, USA
At this point, it is hard to be sure. You might be familiar with the stores that buy out huge lots and sell off all sorts of wired things. Well, the dried squid-actually cuttlefish, thinking back-was from that sort of a place. It sat in a box here another couple of years. I can't guess how long it sat before I picked it up.
I THINK it was made to be rehydrated and added to some dish. No matter what, it was very old, rubbery, "fishy" smelling, and inedible.
We cooked corn on the cob over a campfire with a steak and slathered lots of butter on the corn before we realized the stick of butter was rancid and smelled bad, we ate it anyway.
Next to that, one time I forgot cup and bowl on a 4 day trip and had to drink/eat everything out of a cup from blackbean soup. I still refuse to eat blackbeans and the blackbean flavored instant coffee was the worlds worst.
These are my own opinions based on wisdom earned through many wrong decisions. Your mileage may vary.