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Harmony House Backpacking Kit??
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Mark Ryan

Locale: Somewhere. Probably lost.
Harmony House Backpacking Kit?? on 01/18/2011 15:51:40 MST Print View

I know this has been discussed in some detail before but I need a very newbie question answered.

Here it goes-

How does this work? They send me the kit of all the different ingredients that have been dehydrated. I make up my own meals/concoctions, package them and then boil some water to eat them on the trail??? How do u figure how much water to add if what I said earlier is correct?

I'm so sorry to ask but I'm an idiot. Couldn't find info on the Harmony's website.

Thanks a mil

Sarah Kirkconnell
(sarbar) - F

Locale: In the shadow of Mt. Rainier
Re: Harmony House Backpacking Kit?? on 01/18/2011 16:02:57 MST Print View


I use Harmony's items in many of the recipes I have developed. Good stuff! Everything is precooked for you, so yes, when used in recipes it is add water and wait.

Certain items they sell will need a longer soaking time - green beans, green peas and sweet corn are the main 3. They tend to take a much longer time than everything else (this is true for these three items when dehydrated, freeze-dried comes back quickly though so consider buying some of them as well).

I have posted a number of recipes over the years here in this forum - any time you see "2 Tbsp diced dried carrots" or "1/4 cup cooked and dried lentils", etc, etc you can use these items from Harmony.

As well when it comes to the items you can always add the vegetables and beans to items like mac n' cheese (add them to the water before you boil it) or to any commercial made meal!

Sarah Kirkconnell
(sarbar) - F

Locale: In the shadow of Mt. Rainier
And on water on 01/18/2011 16:07:22 MST Print View

Duh, sorry, forgot to add:

With Harmony's items a 1:1 ratio works well. So if you make a "salad" of say:
1/4 cup lentils
1 Tbsp dried shallots or onions
2 Tbsp diced dried tomatoes
1 Tbsp diced dried carrots

You would add 1/2 cup cool water and let soak for 30 minutes. Then toss with a 1 ounce packet of shelf stable dressing (balsamic vinaigrette works nice).

Of course that is just a hippy suggestion for a recipe ;-)

If I add in vegetables to a meal I calculate that in. Example?
1 cup instant rice
2 Tbsp "x" veggies
2 Tbsp "x" veggie
flavorings of choice

= 1 1/4 cups near boiling water + 1 Tbsp olive oil. Once rehydrated (15 minutes) toss with Parmesan cheese.

That kind of thing!

Mark Ryan

Locale: Somewhere. Probably lost.
Re: Harmony House Backpacking Kit?? on 01/18/2011 17:59:46 MST Print View


Looking to pick up the kit. Info is good.
Thanks Sarah

Tohru Ohnuki
(erdferkel) - F

Locale: S. California
Re: Harmony House Backpacking Kit?? on 01/18/2011 18:06:03 MST Print View

I've been making my own freezedried meals from this, yeah, just try it out and you can always add more hot water if it's dry or it's soup if you put in too much. Carry salt and other spices with you if you make a mistake on the recipe. Also, minute rice is a good base to start from, as are crunched up ramen noodles.

Wallace Hunter
(jeepingetowah) - F

Locale: South Central
This was what I started with... on 01/21/2011 08:46:01 MST Print View

This is a great kit to start out with. Personally I would pick up the Starter pack that has beans and TVPs in it also. It is pretty good stuff, and you will be able to get a LOT of meals out of it. Great for experimenting. However, I think that other distributors have better product. But to start out and experiment, this is the best bet IMHO.

Mark Ryan

Locale: Somewhere. Probably lost.
Re: This was what I started with... on 01/21/2011 10:54:16 MST Print View


Can you name a few other distributors? Because- "Knowing is half the battle" Sorry, just had too, but seriously I'm still searching and to have a couple of others to compare to would be helpful. Thanks

Wallace Hunter
(jeepingetowah) - F

Locale: South Central
Where I have purchased from... on 01/21/2011 11:37:40 MST Print View

I have bought from:

Harmony House: Great value and variety, to my palette though, I feel taste could be better. All dehydro'd veggies. TVP was not that great. Personally I could only eat the hamish bits. Chickenish bits were OK... but not fabulous. Taco, beefish bits, beefish chunks, and chickenish chunks were bad, IMHO. Never got fruit here. There was a variety of beans. I have not gotten beans anywhere else, and any of these were more or less terrific; if you like beans.

Rainy Day Foods: Bought at a local retailer, some dehydro'd and some freeze dried. Fruits were awesome; only got freeze dried fruits. Only bought dehydro'd veggies. Never got TVP. Did get FREEZE dried cheese; Monterey Jack. Now that stuff is awesome and tastes GREAT!!! But is somewhat $$$. Powdered butter is great. Powdered Eggs are great.

Mountain House: Only bought ground beef and chicken also. Chicken came in large chunks. Ground beef was as expected in pellets.

THRIVE brand from Terrific stuff. All of it. Chicken was in small bits and pieces. Ground beef is similar to Mtn House. I got veggies; almost all freeze dried. Terrific taste, smell and texture. No fruits. Powdered eggs are great.

Overall Conclusions:

Freeze Dried: my favorite for color, appearance, flavor, smell, and QUICK REHYDRATION! But costs more $$ than dehydro'd. These foods have several times less calories than dehydro'd.

Dehydrated: cheaper option. food usually changes shape, and takes considerably longer to come back to life. Corn, carrots, green beans, can sometimes be crunchy after 10 minutes. At least 15 minutes is usually best. These usually have many times higher calories than freeze dried. example... blueberries. Usually they are dried and bathed in oil and sugar. But FD are like 4 calories for a tbsp; roughly.

Anyone else know any reputable places/experiences?

Sarah Kirkconnell
(sarbar) - F

Locale: In the shadow of Mt. Rainier
Re: Where I have purchased from... on 01/21/2011 13:53:27 MST Print View

It depends on what you want and how much of it you want. I have yet to have anything bad or even mediocre from Harmony. They have fair prices, good shipping deals and a superior product.

If you want large amounts of things like butter powder, cheese powders, yogurt powder go to the actual source which is - they sell retail in 1 lb bags. They are the source for much of what other companies repackage in small amounts. They also carry some of the best sun-dried tomatoes, bell peppers and carrots out there. Again, superior service and product. They also run shipping deals and if you get on their mailing list you often get deals sent. (Same with Harmony as well) is my choice for small amounts - say you want soy sauce powder. You don't need a ton. A small bag will last forever. Very good service, family owned. Shipping deals as well.

BTW, Harmony House DOES sell freeze-dried fruits and vegetables - they are on separate pages from the dried items.

Daniel Osella
(Sasquatch420) - MLife
Just Tomatoes on 01/21/2011 16:54:03 MST Print View

I am still waiting for my Harmony House sampler so I cannot give you my opinion yet. I was really happy with all of the products I tried from Just Tomatoes.

White Tail
(Whitetail) - F
Re: Re: Where I have purchased from... on 01/25/2011 07:18:42 MST Print View

Packit Gourmet also has some of their own sample packs:

They have a mix of freeze-dried and dehydrated items. Some of the larger packs also have powdered milk, eggs, etc.

Dug Shelby
(Pittsburgh) - F

Locale: Bay Area
AlpineAire on 02/15/2011 22:49:05 MST Print View

My favorite that I've used has been AlpineAire. I like to get the bulk cans, then pre-measure individual meals. I can look at where I'm hiking, the elevation gains/losses, and figure if I should have average size meals or double up if it's difficult hiking. Less salty than other packaged brands, great variety, and a few dishes I love. I crave the 'Bananas Foster' even when I'm at home on my couch lol

You can't go wrong with Harmony House though. Just make sure you get enough calories & your food doesnt taste like tire rubber. :)


*disclaimer: even though I'm sponsored by AlpineAire on my thru-hike, I've been using their stuff for years by choice.

Edited by Pittsburgh on 02/15/2011 22:50:24 MST.