When we discussed bringing along food for our pre ORShow trek, I knew I wanted to bring Mountain House onboard as a partner for UintasHike16. Since the majority of us like them and trust them in the field, the invitation was extended and accepted – we had food! Good food to boot – Mountain House sent us enough samples to outfit a small army.
The purest form of backpacking would be to forage for all meals, but I, of one, do not have those skills, unfortunately. Making your own dehydrated food allows for control over ingredients and taste, but takes a lot of time and effort. Probably the easiest way (besides pizza drone) to bring food into the backcountry is using freeze-dried food pouches. Boil water, pour into the pouch, stir it all up, and then get other things done or just chill as the magic happens.
Mountain House (based in the Willamette Valley of Oregon) traces its roots to the Vietnam War, making meals for the soldiers. As the war slowly came to an end, Mountain House sold its stock through outlet stores and found a ready and willing consumer in recreational users. Since then they’ve been a go-to for a wide range of expeditions, going to both the North and South poles and even to the moon and back! They have recently announced that their packaged foods have a shelf life of 30 or more years, so dig out those old pouches you have in your gear closet and have at it.
On the hike, we were not disappointed. Even at altitude (about 10,000 feet above sea level), the meals were ready in about 10 minutes. And, even though we all complained that the pouches contained enough for 2 people, none of us had any problem polishing them off, then adding desserts for good measure. What I call Astronaut Ice Cream is probably my favorite, though the Cheesecake Bites are definitely interesting as well. You really can’t go wrong with the wide variety of options Mountain House cooks up.
I am so grateful that Mountain House came on board and provided us with sample meals. One thing I have noticed about Mountain House is that, of all the prepared freeze-dried foods I’ve tried, they are the most forgiving. Add too much or too little water, wait too long or not long enough, and they still taste pretty good. Knowing that I can’t screw up a meal, that it’s going to be hot and tasty, and will require simple preparation and minimal time makes me happy to recommend these for your next adventure.