Page 1 of 2 12 LastLast
Results 1 to 20 of 24

Thread: I ordered 100 food grade 3-layer foil stand up pouches. diy dehydrated rations

  1. #1
    reclinite automaton canid's Avatar
    Join Date
    Dec 2007
    Location
    Central California/West Texas
    Posts
    6,622

    Default I ordered 100 food grade 3-layer foil stand up pouches. diy dehydrated rations

    I bought standup retort pouches with a zip-lock closure that are about 16 fluid oz capacity. I'm making backpacking rations. For the moment I'm using what I have, which is instant mashed potatoes, cous cous and instant oats, with spices and dried vegetables and fruit to suit.

    I like mountain house, wise, etc dehydrated meals for the trail but I tend to find that they are not up to snuff on calorie per volume or in calorie per dollar. What mountain house calls two servings is a bit less than one rather light meal per person under conditions of exertion, and while I appreciate their emphasis on texture for some menus, I find it to be very bulky for what it is. Wise is a bit more compact but their menus are even less enticing and varried and otherwise they call the same amount of food 4 servings. the price is better but still not practical for my budget.

    I managed to source my bags for about $0.26 apiece and for simple but spicy stuff using what I have on hand I can put together a 600kcal entree for about $1.5. When I can add more variety, vegies and protein I expect I can do about the same for perhaps $2.5. A better economy of scale could be had by purchasing ingredients in bulk but this is already a fun adventure that better suits my palette and saves me some cash.

    Anybody else done similar with dehydrated meals? Would you care to share your experiences, caveats, recipes? I'll post more if there is any interest.
    Any sufficiently advanced incompetence is indistinguishable from malice - Grey's Law.
    --------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
    To see what's going on in my knife shop check out CanidArmory on Youtube or on Facebook.


  2. #2
    Senior Member kyratshooter's Avatar
    Join Date
    Apr 2010
    Location
    KY bluegrass region-the center of the universe
    Posts
    10,017

    Default

    I skip the back packing foods altogether and go straight for the Knorr and Lipton foil packaged side dishes.

    Heat up your liter of water and dump them in, stir for a minute or two, crumble in some beef jerkey or foil packaged tuna or chicken and you know you had something to eat.

    The beef jerky was always lighter per food unit than most foods and I made it myself to save money.

    There is now foil packaged spam and foil packaged tuna, turkey and chicken which did not exist back when I was back packing.

    Instant oats mixed with dry coffee creamer or powdered eggs and coffee for breakfast and one pouch of the sides w/meat for supper and gorp for a quick lunch was all I ever carried when backpacking.

    If I was resupplying on the trail I would treat myself to a can of "spray cheese" and a box of Ritz crackers or perhaps some canned treat that would be eaten that evening rather than carried for any distance. And of course there was the quart of icecream I would consume sitting outside the store.
    If you didn't bring jerky what did I just eat?

  3. #3
    reclinite automaton canid's Avatar
    Join Date
    Dec 2007
    Location
    Central California/West Texas
    Posts
    6,622

    Default

    I'm trying the curry lentil mashed potato recipe from the test batch and it's absolutely satisfactory. I couldn't be more happy unless it was with more veggies and texture variation, and for my preference, meat.
    Any sufficiently advanced incompetence is indistinguishable from malice - Grey's Law.
    --------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
    To see what's going on in my knife shop check out CanidArmory on Youtube or on Facebook.

  4. #4
    reclinite automaton canid's Avatar
    Join Date
    Dec 2007
    Location
    Central California/West Texas
    Posts
    6,622

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by kyratshooter View Post
    I skip the back packing foods altogether and go straight for the Knorr and Lipton foil packaged side dishes.

    Heat up your liter of water and dump them in, stir for a minute or two, crumble in some beef jerkey or foil packaged tuna or chicken and you know you had something to eat.

    The beef jerky was always lighter per food unit than most foods and I made it myself to save money.

    There is now foil packaged spam and foil packaged tuna, turkey and chicken which did not exist back when I was back packing.

    Instant oats mixed with dry coffee creamer or powdered eggs and coffee for breakfast and one pouch of the sides w/meat for supper and gorp for a quick lunch was all I ever carried when backpacking.

    If I was resupplying on the trail I would treat myself to a can of "spray cheese" and a box of Ritz crackers or perhaps some canned treat that would be eaten that evening rather than carried for any distance. And of course there was the quart of icecream I would consume sitting outside the store.
    Those are good points and particularly I've always been a fan of the oats and coffee (and heck, cocoa too if I'm feeling fancy) in one approach to warm, quick breakfasts. Still, I'm having a lot of fun with this. I have no particular issues with commercial options except that this is turning out to be substantially cheaper, and as an aside I have sodium restrictions that can't be accommodated by a lot of those. I get to put the amount and ratio of salt blend I want in these, and the flavor doesn't have to just require all the more salt for it to come through.

    Most of all though, I get to make my menus to my own taste in terms of flavor and variety, and even if costs broke even with commercial offerings that would be worth it. I will venture to say I'm getting all these considerations well addressed here, for my purposes.

    The thermostabilized retort pouch food that's ready to eat is great and I can't match it with my current processing ability so MRE, tuna, chicken, ready rice and such will probably remain on the menu too but I'm certainly going to see how far my project will take me.
    Any sufficiently advanced incompetence is indistinguishable from malice - Grey's Law.
    --------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
    To see what's going on in my knife shop check out CanidArmory on Youtube or on Facebook.

  5. #5
    Senior Member Winnie's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jun 2009
    Location
    Middle England
    Posts
    5,779
    Blog Entries
    1

    Default

    I've put together my own dehydrated meals for some years and initially started off using these sites.

    http://www.backpackingchef.com/

    https://www.youtube.com/user/MrBabelfish5?feature=watch

    I'm very fond of blueberry pancakes (flour, powdered egg, baking powder, salt, dried milk, dried blueberries) and veggie chilli mac.
    My dehydrator is not great at dehydrating meat and dehydrated food is not easily avaialable here so A lot of my meals were meat free.
    Recession; A period when you go without something your Grandparents never heard of.

  6. #6
    reclinite automaton canid's Avatar
    Join Date
    Dec 2007
    Location
    Central California/West Texas
    Posts
    6,622

    Default

    Excellent. Thanks for your contributions and I'll look into those links probably after work tomorrow.

    For my present purposes I'm targeting things that allow the 'pour in heated water, zip closed, mix and let stand' but I am sure I'm missing out on a lot of other great options. My mind isn't closed to the rest, to be sure.

    My dehydrator doesn't get a lot of exercise, except during mushroom season but I have 'sooner or later' plans to build a much larger and more capable one.
    Any sufficiently advanced incompetence is indistinguishable from malice - Grey's Law.
    --------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
    To see what's going on in my knife shop check out CanidArmory on Youtube or on Facebook.

  7. #7
    Administrator Rick's Avatar
    Join Date
    Nov 2007
    Location
    Central Indiana
    Posts
    57,503

    Default

    I do enjoy making my own dehydrated foods. Kyrat has some valid points and I certainly use some of the things he suggested but I like the option of make your own as well. Hamburger is a favorite staple to build off of. Don't forget that block cheese stays good for a long time and offers good calories. Jerky is also a good snack food for the trail.

    Jerky Recipe:

    Beef Jerky
    2 lbs. of flank steak
    2/3 cup of soy sauce
    2/3 cup Worcestershire sauce
    1 teaspoon garlic powder
    1 teaspoon onion powder
    2 teaspoons of seasoning salt(recommend Lawry's)
    Slice flank steak diagonallywith the grain of the meat into very thin slices (If slightly frozen it slicesmore easily). Combine ingredients and marinate meat overnight or 12hours. Be sure all pieces are covered (coated) with marinade. Drainexcess marinade. Place meat on paper towels to soak up marinade. Meatshould be squeezed as dry as possible in paper towels. Place individualpieces of meat on rack in oven at 140 to 160 degrees for seven to 12 hours, oruntil meat is dry throughout. Leave oven door ajar (slightly open) duringthe drying process. Meat can also be hung in the oven by placing a woodentoothpick in each piece and strung from the rack. Store finished jerky inan airtight container. It keeps for several months, but it is likely thatit will be consumed by the master hunter, kids, or the cook within a few days.


    Here's a pic of "pizza" in the build. Dehydrated hamburger, tomatoes, mushrooms and cheese. You can make bannock separately if you want a dough. I just put this together and heated it until rehydrated and the cheese melted. If I remember correctly I used pita bread for the dough in this one. Don't forget the oil so it doesn't burn!!

    Guests can not see images in the messages. Please register in the forum.

    And here's spaghetti in the build. Dehydrated hamburger, spaghetti sauce, and tomatoes. I use angel hair pasta because it is smaller in diameter and rehydrates quicker. I used to use dry pasta but FinallyMe (I think) got me into cooking the pasta first and then dehydrating it, which is what I do now.

    Guests can not see images in the messages. Please register in the forum.

    You can also dehydrate snacks like sweet potato chips.

    Guests can not see images in the messages. Please register in the forum.

    Mary Bell's classic book on dehydrating has a section for backpacking. Let your imagination go and have some fun. Just dehydrate the onions outside. Don't ask me why.

  8. #8
    Senior Member kyratshooter's Avatar
    Join Date
    Apr 2010
    Location
    KY bluegrass region-the center of the universe
    Posts
    10,017

    Default

    Stopping a little early each day for food prep is way more fun that pushing until dark and eating a PBJ in the dark!

    And you will never be at a loss for good recipes if you hang around here.
    If you didn't bring jerky what did I just eat?

  9. #9
    Senior Member
    Join Date
    Aug 2012
    Posts
    601
    Blog Entries
    1

    Default

    Yeah, today it seems unnecessary to spend a lot of money on special "backpacking" and "survival" foods. There is a lot of commercially and widely available food available in the USA for emergency storage and for camping, more than there was in my college days.

    Because I am not a military veteran, I only recently had the opportunity to try the infamous MRE. Not bad, but no big improvement over canned chili. Also, I think very expensive for civilians to buy and way over-packaged with plastic pouches, plastic spoons, micro condiment bottles and heating pouches - is this what our Defense Department spends money on?

  10. #10
    Administrator Rick's Avatar
    Join Date
    Nov 2007
    Location
    Central Indiana
    Posts
    57,503

    Default

    If they served our guys and gals filet mignon and champagne in the field I would not complain. They deserve the best and I'm happy to toss in my taxes to support them.

  11. #11

    Default

    u

    Sent from my Disfunctional Veteran's Brain...

  12. #12
    Administrator Rick's Avatar
    Join Date
    Nov 2007
    Location
    Central Indiana
    Posts
    57,503

    Default

    And a darn good post it was. U back at U.

  13. #13
    reclinite automaton canid's Avatar
    Join Date
    Dec 2007
    Location
    Central California/West Texas
    Posts
    6,622

    Default

    I got sidetracked making beer-can stoves. You know how that can go.

    I'm waiting on another grocery run but I'll put some pictures together of the meals with what I have ready to make when it comes in.
    Any sufficiently advanced incompetence is indistinguishable from malice - Grey's Law.
    --------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
    To see what's going on in my knife shop check out CanidArmory on Youtube or on Facebook.

  14. #14
    Senior Member laughingbeetle's Avatar
    Join Date
    Feb 2009
    Location
    Indiana
    Posts
    438

    Default

    Yeah..emptying the beer can get involved. 10 beers into the 12 pack and
    Turtle Clan/Coffee Addicts Anonymous

  15. #15
    reclinite automaton canid's Avatar
    Join Date
    Dec 2007
    Location
    Central California/West Texas
    Posts
    6,622

    Default

    Here is the current test batch of the curry rice. The recipe is pretty simple. I use 1 C instant rice, 1/4 tsp salt blend, 1 tsp hot paprika, 1 Tbs curry powder blend (any will do but this is my current supply of my own blend), 1 Tbs dry basil, 1/4 C (precooked til tender, so they rehydrate soft quickly) dried veggies, 2 Tbs sugar. Along with a few of my recipes I'd like to add better variety of dry veggies, greens, lean shredded beer or lean chicken, etc and will continue to enhance the recipes as I am able and as I get feedback from my own experience and that of the friends who are playing guinea pig for me. I am putting together (eventually) a reasonably large dehydrator which I hope to help not only with my camping/backpacking ration project but my hosehold eating and storage and to reduce waste.

    Guests can not see images in the messages. Please register in the forum.

    And here's one of the more reliable (and simple) of the beverage can stove designs I have been playing wtih.
    I'm not especially sold on alcohol stoves but I do admire their simplicity and ease of construction.
    Guests can not see images in the messages. Please register in the forum.
    Last edited by canid; 03-21-2016 at 08:42 PM.
    Any sufficiently advanced incompetence is indistinguishable from malice - Grey's Law.
    --------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
    To see what's going on in my knife shop check out CanidArmory on Youtube or on Facebook.

  16. #16
    Senior Member Wise Old Owl's Avatar
    Join Date
    Feb 2010
    Location
    Paoli, PA
    Posts
    1,183

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by canid View Post
    I bought standup retort pouches with a zip-lock closure that are about 16 fluid oz capacity. I'm making backpacking rations. For the moment I'm using what I have, which is instant mashed potatoes, cous cous and instant oats, with spices and dried vegetables and fruit to suit.

    I like mountain house, wise, etc dehydrated meals ????? for the trail but I tend to find that they are not up to snuff on calorie per volume or in calorie per dollar. What mountain house calls two servings is a bit less than one rather light meal per person under conditions of exertion, and while I appreciate their emphasis on texture for some menus, I find it to be very bulky for what it is. Wise is a bit more compact but their menus are even less enticing and varried and otherwise they call the same amount of food 4 servings. the price is better but still not practical for my budget.

    I managed to source my bags for about $0.26 apiece and for simple but spicy stuff using what I have on hand I can put together a 600kcal entree for about $1.5. When I can add more variety, vegies and protein I expect I can do about the same for perhaps $2.5. A better economy of scale could be had by purchasing ingredients in bulk but this is already a fun adventure that better suits my palette and saves me some cash.

    Anybody else done similar with dehydrated meals? Would you care to share your experiences, caveats, recipes? I'll post more if there is any interest.
    As a Backpacker - you are comparing home made Dehydrated to Freeze Dried Mountain House and they are clearly not the same. I am interested in where you bought the Retort packages - but Krackshooter is right most folks on the AT use the method he writes about with Snickers and Power bars included.

    I would suggest you check out this blog for food ideas. http://www.appalachiantrailcafe.net/

    I would also suggest you purchase this book http://www.trailcooking.com/store/bo...d-made-simple/

    written by Sarah https://www.facebook.com/sarah.kirkconnell

    Glad Bags - not Ziplock and Vac seal bags (less room) work well too.
    Last edited by Wise Old Owl; 03-22-2016 at 11:37 AM.
    “There can be no divided allegiance here. Any man who says he is an American, but something else also, isn’t an American at all. We have room for but one flag, the American flag … We have room for but one language here, and that is the English language … and we have room for but one sole loyalty and that is a loyalty to the American people.”

    Theodore Roosevelt 1907

  17. #17

    Default

    Another good book is "The Hungry Hikers Book of Good Cooking" by Gretchen McHugh

  18. #18
    reclinite automaton canid's Avatar
    Join Date
    Dec 2007
    Location
    Central California/West Texas
    Posts
    6,622

    Default

    I am comparing the accessibility of the two options, their cost and their suitability for a particular purpose. Without taking it out of it's reasonably well defined context, that comparison is a fair one. Dehydrated meals such as mountain house are accessible because they are readily available to purchase. My dehydrated meals are accessible because I have the means to make them myself.

    They are more than similar enough for my purposes though. The both are dehydrated, sealed against moisture and uv. They are both storage stable. They both require only hot water to prepare, though both could be rehydrated with cold water at a pinch. The only shortcoming mine have is that they do not have the storage life potential. The benefits more than outweigh that as several years of storage aren't required for my backpacking and camping food, the cost is very low and the menu is more flexible.

    I meant what I said and what I said was accurate. E.g. freeze drying is a type of dehydration. My meals are not freeze dried and I have not suggested that they are. Freeze dried meals such as mountain house are dehydrated, which is the assertion I made. It's simply a type of dehydration which I do not require for my purposes and is therefore irrelevant here. It would be nice to be able to do, for sure, as would radiological sterilization/sanitation but that is well beyond the scope of this project.
    Last edited by canid; 03-22-2016 at 01:02 PM.
    Any sufficiently advanced incompetence is indistinguishable from malice - Grey's Law.
    --------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
    To see what's going on in my knife shop check out CanidArmory on Youtube or on Facebook.

  19. #19
    reclinite automaton canid's Avatar
    Join Date
    Dec 2007
    Location
    Central California/West Texas
    Posts
    6,622

    Default

    It is worth noting that another benefit of freeze dried meals is that they reconstitute quickly and readily, but this is not the only way to achieve that result. As I've mentioned above, my home made meals do also and this has been a factor in my decision to use the ingredients that I have. The cous cous is admittedly a poor performer in the cold rehydration category but it works at a pinch. That could be improved by precooking and dehydrating again, as is done in the production of the instant oats, instant rice and veggies I'm using.

    I would absolutely love for various reasons an excuse to get a hold of a quality vacuum pump or two. A home build of a freeze drying apparatus would be a very fun challenge, and I've already got one on my 'eventually list' for gas laser use.
    Any sufficiently advanced incompetence is indistinguishable from malice - Grey's Law.
    --------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
    To see what's going on in my knife shop check out CanidArmory on Youtube or on Facebook.

  20. #20
    Not a Mod finallyME's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jul 2009
    Location
    Utah
    Posts
    4,227

    Default

    WOO had my link to trail cooking and Sarah's book. Great resources.

    For myself, I have found that I can make my own meals with freeze dried stuff. I will buy a #10 can of freeze dried vegetables, like peas. I would then get some freeze dried chicken, again out of a #10 can. I will go to the spice section of Winco and get a bunch of spices. Then with a freezer bag, I would mix them all and add instant rice. You can use ramen as well, but I can't eat ramen anymore.

    But, for calorie density, you need fat. Many backpackers will bring a bottle of olive oil and put it in all their meals. I like to bring summer sausage. I also buy parts of MREs, specifically the peanut butter or cheese packets.
    I've taken a vow of poverty. To annoy me, send money.
    http://www.youtube.com/user/FinallyMe78?feature=mhee

Bookmarks

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •