My investigation of freeze-dried possibilities started with the purchase of two freeze-dried meals by Mountain House which I purchased at the local Wal-Mart in their sporting goods area. At $5-$7 they certainly are not cheap but then again I pay that much for a meal at fast food joints. I bought the beef stew and the scrambled eggs with bacon pouches. They are certainly light weight which fits my criteria and store up to 25 years without spoiling as I wanted. They don’t need to be refrigerated at all though you shouldn’t leave them out in high heat. All they need is water added when ready to chow down. Dinner is served in 6-8 minutes.
The beef stew is very good. It is a little weird eating a meal where almost every ingredient is cubed which makes the round peas standout but it is quite delicious and a favorite among hikers. Some of the potatoes get nicely mushy in your mouth almost like mashed potatoes which enhances the flavor. It tastes like stew. The amount is probably enough for 2 and plenty to satisfy any individual.
The scrambled eggs and bacon were equally quite good and ,to be honest, better than I expected. I am not a fan of scrambled eggs myself as an omelet person. Maybe I just don’t know how to cook them right. These eggs come in large curds with bacon bits mixed in. The texture is wonderful and the bacon flavor is fairly strong. I loved them! I would definitely eat more of these. Be sure to drain off the excess water before eating to get the best taste.
Based on my tests and feedback from others who have tried freeze-dried foods, I am very happy with this choice as a backup and have ordered an emergency bucket of 12 various meals to keep on board “just in case”. If you have more storage room than me, they do also sell #10 cans of meals, just meat (cubed beef, ground meat, and chicken), strawberries, bananas, eggs, desserts, vegetables, etc. The #10 cans are also good for varying meal portions. Note these aren’t just for hikers, those waiting for the end of the world, or those of us in special situations. They are also great as a backup for any RVer. You never know when someone will get too sick to cook, one person is hungry when the other isn’t, you get caught between grocery runs, there is too much month and too little money one month, etc. Stuff happens.
You can find freeze-dried meals at many sporting goods stores as well as Wal-Mart, and several websites on the Internet.