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#128689 - 02/12/10 10:11 AM Re: Can you beat this? [Re: jpanderson80]
finallyME Offline

Registered: 09/24/07
Posts: 2710
Loc: Utah
JP, you are right about the Emergency Essentials MRE. They don't sell the whole MRE as one piece. They sell the main meals for $2.60. Then you want to buy the heater for one. The main entree is just one meal in a foil pack. They have a store down the street from my work. I haven't weighed one yet.
I've taken a vow of poverty. To annoy me, send money.

#128694 - 02/12/10 10:52 AM Re: Can you beat this? [Re: jpanderson80]
Dryer Offline

Registered: 12/05/02
Posts: 3583
Loc: Texas
JP, the Red Cross here in Dallas uses these:

They are complete meals with heater, and don't have the chemical taste/smell of military MREs. Plus, you get fresh product instead of surplus.
There are are many heat and eat meals out there. Do a search and you'll see.
paul, texas KD5IVP

#128696 - 02/12/10 11:12 AM Re: Can you beat this? [Re: Dryer]
phat Offline

Registered: 06/24/07
Posts: 4107
Loc: Alberta, Canada

Well, My experience with MRE's (the canadian version, the IMP) is limited. but I wouldn't carry them hiking.. heavy, and other issues that I've heard from numerous people...
Any fool can be uncomfortable...
My 3 season gear list
Winter list.
Browse my pictures

#128698 - 02/12/10 12:04 PM Re: Can you beat this? [Re: Jimshaw]
Zalman Offline

Registered: 10/25/09
Posts: 97
Loc: Olympic Peninsula, Washington,...
Originally Posted By Jimshaw
have you ever cooked quinoa while camping? Don't you have to cook quinoa twice? How about black beans, have you cooked them from scratch while camping?

Jim, I've cooked quinoa while camping plenty of times. It only needs to be cooked once, and cooks slightly faster than white rice. Some quinoa is bitter, and benefits from being rinsed before cooking. Red quinoa is sweeter than yellow.

I've also cooked various kinds of beans from scratch while camping. Soaking beforehand helps, but the cooking times are still silly long. And many beans won't cook at all above @5000ft or so, the water just doesn't get hot enough (unless you're carrying a pressure-cooker).
It's easy to be a holy man on top of a mountain.
-- Larry Darrell

#129249 - 02/21/10 02:32 PM Re: Can you beat this? [Re: balzaccom]
Mroberts Offline

Registered: 02/21/10
Posts: 11
Loc: California, USA
I usually just catch my own trout when out on backpacking trips. Other than that just some power bars for snacks.
_________________________ - Outdoor Tarps And Canopy Products

#129258 - 02/21/10 03:18 PM Re: Can you beat this? [Re: Mroberts]
balzaccom Online   content

Registered: 04/06/09
Posts: 1772
Loc: Napa, CA
I should point out that Trout really don't have many calories--not even really fat ones!

I once read a great study of how many trout you would have to eat to make your daily 1800-2500 calories. It's WAY over the legal limit of fish to keep!

check out our website and blog:

#129278 - 02/21/10 11:10 PM Re: Can you beat this? [Re: balzaccom]
wandering_daisy Offline

Registered: 01/11/06
Posts: 2796
Loc: California
Your limit is "in possesion". Once eaten, who can prove it is in your possesion? Catch your limit. Eat them. Go catch more. The bigger issue is that 10 days of nothing but trout may be more than most people want to eat. But yes, the trail bar-trout diet can work if you can catch lots of fish. Better yet, catch a few really big ones. I have never been able to catch enough fish in the Sierra to live off them, but I have done this in the Wind Rivers on 4-day 40-mile survival treks.

#130476 - 03/10/10 07:58 PM Re: Can you beat this? [Re: wandering_daisy]
BNANDK Offline

Registered: 02/05/10
Posts: 1
Loc: Washington
Sunflower seeds
1 ounce is 190 calories
12 ounces is equal to 2280 calories
At two bucks a pack, that is about 11.4 calories per cent.
Pretty good

#130489 - 03/10/10 10:35 PM Re: Can you beat this? [Re: balzaccom]
Swimswithtrout Offline

Registered: 10/03/09
Posts: 48
Loc: Colorado
Detailed list for 2 people for my 26 day xc trip in the Beartooths of MT, (although we took food for 28 days as a back up, this is what we actually used). The total food weight for 26 days in their 5 Ursacks came to 40 lbs even; the 5 Ursacks adding an additional 2 1/2 lbs. My wife insisted on a few extra "comfort" foods tossed in.

Menu for 26 days for 2


All breakfasts for each of us (except the Ramen)were rebagged @ home and consisted of 2 store packets of hot cereal fortified w/ 2 heaping Tbls of Nido. There is no way anyone can live on only 1 package of oatmeal/Crm. of Wheat

26 bricks assorted Ramen soup (2 per breakfast)
14 bags of "Super Oatmeal"
12 bags of instant Crm of Wheat

Additionally, one of the extra items that my wife insisted on was a huge 2 lb bag of mixed dried fruit that we threw about a Tbls or 2 into every cereal breakfast


2 18 oz jars of peanut butter and 2, 1 lb loaves Rubschlager cocktail bread. I can get the bread locally at most of our grocery stores in the deli section. The stuff is indestructible and lasted fine over the entire trip.

26 Cliff bars assorted varieties

2 lbs dried misc fruit

1 lb beef Jerky


Homemade dehydrated meals using hamburger "gravel"

Shepard's Pie
Oriental beef,beans and broccoli over rice
Spanish rice w/ 'burger

Using ground turkey gravel

Turkey and veggies w/gravy over stuffing

Using Bulk FD Chicken

Sweet and sour chicken over rice
Cheesy Chicken and broccoli over rice

Using "faux" ham (dried smoked chipped beef)

"Ham" and Julienned potatoes in cheddar cheese sauce

Misc meat and veggie dinners

Minestrone soup/Pasta E Fagioli (w leftover 'burger, chicken, and tortellini tossed in)

Spinach and ricotta tortellini in meat sauce

Cheesy potato and veggie chowder

All told, 12 ready to eat dinners.

A substantial portion of our protein came from "foraged" trout and I planned on 13 meals or 1/2 the trip from fish. The fish were cooperative and we never went hungry; but to balance out all the protein, I always throw in a "side dish" to go w/ the trout.

Most days we'd eat the fish as a late afternoon meal, then fish or dayhike 'till sunset and have our side for a late supper. All of my "sides" consisted of 6 oz dried weight of a carb source; pasta, rice, mashed potatoes, "instant" hash browns, stuffing, couscous in a gravy or cheese sauce or veggie pilaf.

13 sides to accompany trout:

Three home made "pasta and sauce":

Cheddar, Alfredo, 4 Cheese

Four Homemade Couscous blends:

Pilaf, Cheesy, Roasted Herb & Garlic and EEVO

Four homemade Potato recipes :

Mashed potatoes and Brown gravy, Scalloped "Hash browns", Cheesy "Hash Browns", Buttered "Hash Browns O'Brian"

Stuffing and Turkey Gravy

Instant Rice Pilaf

All of the sides were just large enough that we could get by for a day if the trout weren't biting but they always were.

Beginning to end

Assembling ingredients

Will it all fit ?


Ursacks ready to tie down for the night


And in the end... this is our TOTAL trash load after 25 days on trail

Want to see the Wind's ?

#130492 - 03/10/10 10:52 PM Re: Can you beat this? [Re: Swimswithtrout]
ADKDustin Offline

Registered: 01/15/10
Posts: 3
Loc: Syracuse, NY
That was one of the most impressive and enlightening posts I've seen in quite a while, on any forum. Hard work and a good effort go a long way and really pay off in the end. Sweet pictures!

#151213 - 06/08/11 03:17 AM Re: Can you beat this? [Re: Swimswithtrout]
jwild Offline

Registered: 05/07/11
Posts: 85
when I went to the beartoothe mountains we bad really bad weather the whole week crazy never done a trip that long, my dad has done 4 weeks, cant wait till my first trip like that grin so jealous...
“Most people are other people. Their thoughts are someone else's opinions, their lives a mimicry, their passions a quotation.”

#151221 - 06/08/11 04:48 PM Re: Can you beat this? [Re: phat]
Glenn Offline

Registered: 03/08/06
Posts: 2617
Loc: Ohio
My brother-in-law, a retired Army LtCol, used to tell me that Meals, Ready to Eat is three lies for the price of one. grin

#151228 - 06/08/11 06:21 PM Re: Can you beat this? [Re: Glenn]
CamperMom Offline

Registered: 01/04/02
Posts: 1201
Loc: Eastern MA, USA
I've heard that MRE stands for Meals, Refused by Ethiopians...


#151239 - 06/08/11 11:48 PM Re: Can you beat this? [Re: CamperMom]
oldranger Offline

Registered: 02/23/07
Posts: 1735
Loc: California (southern)
Just as surely as a member of the Armed Forces will protect and defend the constitution, he or she will complain about the chow. It is a tradition that goes back at least as far as Valley Forge.

Every MRE that I have ever eaten has stayed down, and was infinitely preferable to starvation. How's that for a ringing endorsement?

#151275 - 06/09/11 08:41 PM Re: Can you beat this? [Re: Swimswithtrout]
PDA Offline

Registered: 10/05/10
Posts: 75
Splendid dissertation. Thank you

#151300 - 06/10/11 01:06 PM Re: Can you beat this? [Re: wandering_daisy]
james__12345 Offline

Registered: 10/06/10
Posts: 189
Loc: Tennessee
Originally Posted By wandering_daisy
Your limit is "in possesion".

Actually its not that way here in Tennessee "possession" limit is twice the daily limit (allowing for overnight trips I suppose). I agree it would be hard to prove if you had already ate the first batch. You would still be breaking the law here to keep more than your daily limit regardless of if you still had the first batch or not though.

#151346 - 06/11/11 01:48 PM Re: Can you beat this? [Re: balzaccom]
Sedonaman Offline

Registered: 06/06/11
Posts: 11
Loc: Sedona, AZ
Since this is Light Food Talk I’m surprised not to see more discussion of nutrition content per gram. Here is what I do: examine the label on a package of walnuts, for example, and note the calories, carbs, and fat versus the total weight. Do this for all your food items. You can plan a day’s food around this process and calculate exactly what to carry to get 3500 calories total, for example, including some reasonable balance of protein, fats, and carbs. Using the guide of 9 calories per gram for fats you might just bring olive oil to condense many calories into a light meal, and in fact I do just that, add olive oil to every dinner to pack on more calories while keeping pack weight low. This can get pretty complex so unless you keep your meals simple or eat the same thing each day it mitght be too much trouble. For long trips where you want to keep weight at a minimum, it does pay off. And you can use the same menu next year, making more sense of your time investment. Use 9 calories/gram for fats, 4 c/g for carbs and 4 c/g for protein.

#151366 - 06/11/11 09:01 PM Re: Can you beat this? [Re: Sedonaman]
JPete Offline

Registered: 05/28/09
Posts: 304
Loc: Eastern Ontario
Sedonaman, There's a way to structure this to help a bit. I make up recipe cards for all the meals I use with some frequency, working out the nutrition and the weight on the back. Then, for a trip where I am able to pre-pack food (as in when I'm not dependent on grocery store resupply), I quite simply shuffle the deck until I have about the right number of calories each day, with something reasonable in terms of the nutritional mix. Best, jcp

#151386 - 06/12/11 02:31 PM Re: Can you beat this? [Re: balzaccom]
Samoset Offline

Registered: 07/04/08
Posts: 429
Loc: Newnan ,GA
Originally Posted By balzaccom
So my wife and I have been doing some experiments over the winter, trying different combinations to create our own menus for this summer's backpacking trips. The goal is to create meals that taste good, are very lightweight, and have a ton of calories. And ideally, they should be cheap, too!

Our average freeze dried dinner weighs in at about 6-8 ounces, and usually has about 350 calories or so per serving. It costs about $6-8, and is a bit big and clunky--we always repackage in baggies. That means they are about 100 Calories per ounce. And about a penny per calorie.

We want to beat those ratios.

Sound impossible? Maybe. But in working through the options, we found something that does a pretty good job of meeting all those criteria.

So check out the Slim Jim beef stick: 170 calories, and less than a buck.

That's 170 calories per ounce...and about 1.7 calories per penny.

Now we are curious. Can any of the foods in your backpack beat that?

AVOCADOS. EGGS, CHEESE, SALMON PACKETS Bacon real rice. real beans,real pasta Eat fresh as long as you can bring seasonings, butter minced garlic, I cringe at the thought of the day i have take a mre hikeing. I usually feed everyone i hike with eventually, and have learned that fresh well seasoned / Prepared meals that are also high in protein, fat, and carb content. To be much more satisfying when they appeal to the pallet esp. with a nice cab or merlot. your miledge may varry but i will leave something nonessential at home to eat great out.

but then again what would i know i have only made a carrer out of feeding others.

Isnt that why we upgrade with lighter more expencive gear overtime. so when we find something we enjoy out we can comfortably carry it.

On my last trip i carried two 16oz. ribyes marrinating in sasoning and burbon. when i supprised my buddy with them at sundown. he said why did you do that and I simply replied because comfortably i could. after we polished of the steakes and baked potatoes i pulled out the rest of the burbon . i beleave he thought my pack had magical powers after that SAMOSET

Some peopole live life day by day. Try step by step.

#151387 - 06/12/11 03:20 PM Re: Can you beat this? [Re: Samoset]
GDeadphans Offline

Registered: 12/26/08
Posts: 382
Loc: Maine/New Jersey
Originally Posted By Samoset
On my last trip i carried two 16oz. ribyes marrinating in sasoning and burbon. when i supprised my buddy with them at sundown. he said why did you do that and I simply replied because comfortably i could. after we polished of the steakes and baked potatoes i pulled out the rest of the burbon . i beleave he thought my pack had magical powers after that SAMOSET

Oh my, I think I just drooled all over my shirt. Wanna go hiking?! xP
"To me, hammocking is relaxing, laying, swaying. A steady slow morphine drip without the risk of renal failure." - Dale Gribbel

#151397 - 06/12/11 07:42 PM Re: Can you beat this? [Re: Sedonaman]
sarbar Offline

Registered: 07/15/05
Posts: 1453
Loc: WA
No matter what one thinks is best, it is worthless if it doesn't taste good ;-) On BPL you see guys (always guys!) over analyzing food for what is the highest cal/pro/fat ratio but never think about whether they can eat it day in and out laugh

Food is a gray area for me - I have no issue carrying avocados, nuts, etc - as food will get lighter every day. Day 1 is always heaviest but as the days slip by.....
Freezer Bag Cooking, Trail Cooking, Recipes, Gear and Beyond:

#154390 - 09/06/11 11:13 PM Re: Can you beat this? [Re: Dryer]
Gershon Offline

Registered: 07/08/11
Posts: 1109
Loc: Colorado
Here is a list of food I use that are less then 1 cent a calorie. My goal is 3,000 calories a day, a balanced diet,less than $3.00 a day and less than 1.5 pounds. I'm still working on recipies for lunch and supper.

Everything has to taste good, too. The way to get there is to buy in bulk, avoid anything that is prepared like instant soups, granola bars, etc. Buying in bulk means one has to make things they enjoy eating often at home or it goes stale.

Oats - Organic Rolled Oats $0.0005
Flour - King Arthur All Purpose White $0.0008
Sunflower seeds $0.0008
0 $0.0008
Bananas - Banana Slices Fried Sweetened $0.0009
Beans - Naural Groceries Organic Black Beans $0.0010
Adam's 100% natural Peanut btter. 1 lb 10 oz (tsp=30 g) $0.0010
Peanuts $0.0011
Favoirta Tortillas - 12 $0.0011
Bob's 10 grain hot cereal $0.0012
Nabisco whole grain premium saltines. 1 lb 1 oz $0.0013
Grapeseed oil - Napa Valley Natural 750 mil $0.0014
Potato Flour $0.0015
Rapunzal Whole Grain Organic Whole Grain Sugar $0.0015
Annie's Macaroni and cheese $0.0015
Vegi soup mix - Bob's Red Mill Vegi Soup mix $0.0015
Raisins - Natural Grocers Organic California Thompson raisins $0.0015
Rice Bran $0.0017
Dehydrated Bananas $0.0017
Kettle Krinkle Cut Potato Chips, Sea Salt $0.0020
Honey Maid Honey Grahams baked with 100% Whole Grain $0.0021
Granola - Sweet Home Farm Granola - Maple Pecan $0.0021
Bob's Red Hill Muesli $0.0022
Now Healthy Foods Whey Tooo Good Brownie Mix $0.0022
Red Rock Original $0.0022
potato baked $0.0023
Olive oil $0.0024
eggs $0.0026
Gefen whole wheat Israeli Coucous - 8.8 oz $0.0029
Chocolate Chips $0.0031
Spaghetti - DeBoles Spaghetti Style Pasta $0.0033
Russet Potatoes - Grateful Harvest Organic 5 lb $0.0036
Dehydrated Onions $0.0036
Taste Adventure Refried Beans $0.0037
Rich Crackers $0.0038
Lasagna Noodles - DeBoles Rice Lasagna $0.0042
Yogurt - Brown Strawberry $0.0044
ExtremeTrail Mix Granola bars $0.0046
Yogart - Brown Cow Raspberry $0.0046
Dr. McDougal's Black bean and Lime soup $0.0049
Carob chips $0.0055
Black Bean Soup - Taste Adventure Black Bean Soup. $0.0064
Dr. Mc Dougal's Brown and wild rice fruited Pilaf $0.0066
Nile Spice Councourse Minestrone $0.0077
Nile Spice Lentil Soup $0.0082
Nile Spice Red Bean $0.0082
Green Pepper $0.0091

#154543 - 09/12/11 02:14 AM Re: Can you beat this? [Re: Gershon]
frediver Offline

Registered: 05/11/07
Posts: 114
Nice list, handy.
Few of the items fall at or below the 0.001c target to provide
3k calories for $3.00 a day.

#154555 - 09/12/11 01:07 PM Re: Can you beat this? [Re: frediver]
Gershon Offline

Registered: 07/08/11
Posts: 1109
Loc: Colorado
Originally Posted By frediver
Nice list, handy.
Few of the items fall at or below the 0.001c target to provide
3k calories for $3.00 a day.

True, I'm finding $4 or 5 is more realistic.

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