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Laurie Ann March
(Laurie_Ann) - F

Locale: Ontario, Canada
commercial food on 12/05/2006 05:28:57 MST Print View

Hi Roger,

Actually some of the commercial stuff isn't bad. With a family of 3 it just got really expensive. You definitely don't need a cozy with commercial stuff. Shhh - I've been known to sneak one or two of those in my pack from time to time.

Sarah Kirkconnell
(sarbar) - F

Locale: In the shadow of Mt. Rainier
Re: Re: cozy use on 12/05/2006 08:22:04 MST Print View

BD, the Mountain House packages work as a cozy in their own way. That is why they stay warm. The old MH packages (where the food was in a see thru bag) could be reused for home made meals to park them in.

b d
(bdavis) - F

Locale: Mt. Lassen - Shasta, N. Cal.
Cozy use - Sarah & Laurie: on 12/05/2006 10:02:00 MST Print View

Sarah --

Thanks so much for that insight ... I knew it worked, but I never thought of the fact the MH bags are meant to hold heat. Maybe I'll even try boiling water in one on my bushbuddy, when it gets here -- that would supplement my edible gear and make my carrying weight SUL :)

Laurie --

We dehydrate some of our own foods and they rehydrate pretty quickly, still experimenting after all these years ... posted a review of the Nesco Dehydrator (only like $60 I use, and have for about 12 years or so) under the Cooking threads ...

... while Mountain House stuff costs a bit, we buy the bigger bags with like 4 or more servings and break them down. One normal main course serving for one person + corn + dried mashed potatos or a baggy of really lite turkey stuffing mix, and a bit of other junk like home dried hamburger is enough for two of us = about $ 6.50 for an entire dinner out on the trail. Breakfast is really cheap, muessili w/ dried fruit and nuts we add or flavored instant oatmeal package and a cup of that instant Cappucinno stuff or tea, or lemon juice heated or an EmergenC fizzy in hot weather = about $1.50 for 2, i'm guessing. Breakfast of lunch can be supplemented with Nature's Harvest granola bars for a cereal if we want: powdered milk + water + put the bar in the pot and let it disintegrate into a cold ceral + dried fruits/ nuts/ raisins/ cranberries, etc.

Lunch is whatever, usually more granola bars, dried fruit, homemade jerky (of all kinds) ..... also carry light weight rice crackers, corn puff crackers, and candy that is light weight, sometimes honey for fun, in the little stick packages, and some really syn food meat sticks like the Xtreme Stick or Smokey Joes ... and now am adding Pringles per forum leaders, gurus, gate guarders, and over masters recommendations .... = about $3 - 4 for both of us for lunch/snacks ... paving the trail for us to get to din din ... (really looking forward to bushbuddy & alternative wood stoves to eliminate cost of carrying gas cannisters or fuel, which will help with overall cost issues once bushbuddy pays for itself in few years) ...

.... so the cost of a hot, tasty dinner isn't too bad considering we can get away with one dinner main course package and one vegetable package plus some other stuff we add. Will splurge and get cheap cheesecake mix and divide it up into portions, with the jam top, and make cheese cake -- sometimes works -- sometimes produce whitish paste, like elmers glue with sugar ....(Still trying to perfect instant pudding desert -- generally get instant pudding thick guck desert ... any ideas?)

Laurie Ann March
(Laurie_Ann) - F

Locale: Ontario, Canada
Re: Cozy use - Sarah & Laurie: on 12/05/2006 10:16:04 MST Print View

hey b d

I've had good luck with Mountain House and Alpine Aire.

I too use Nesco and this year I gear tested their new Pro model which is 700 watts. Most of my food will rehydrate in 5 to 15 minutes - it is just the chicken and pork dishes that seem to take a little longer.

We often go for anywhere from 9 days to 3 weeks per trip so MH also gets a little boring/expensive for us. That and it is a little harder to find in my area. Bryan, my darling hubby, will eat a 2-serving MH himself. My son eats about 2/3 of a serving and I eat a standard serving. At $12.95 CAN for a 2 serving (using the price from our most local store where I have never seen the 4 serving varieties) over a 16 day trip that is almost $400 just in dinners. Even though it is more effort I prefer to dehydrate my own for the cost savings and variety.

The big thing I love to make myself and have for trail lunches would be dehydrated salads. I have about a dozen recipes that I use and it just adds a little something to the day. Some days we gorp graze; it really depends on my mood.

Send me a pm and I will tell you my secret ingredient to make amazing instant pudding on the trail (and not of that sugar-free stuff either - sorry I am anti-aspartame).

Edited by Laurie_Ann on 12/05/2006 10:34:23 MST.

Kevin Pietriyk
(pietriyk) - F

Locale: Northeastern PA
cozy with a cozy on 12/05/2006 11:49:58 MST Print View

My cozy adds very minimal weight, and I use it to store misc. items when not in use. I only carry the UL Outfitters beercan stove, and never cook in it, only boil water. Thus, I only have a spoon to clean and a ziploc to carry out. I think the cozy helps for people like me who get caught up doing other things and dinner ends up sitting for 30 minutes or so until I eat it. I've also experimented with vacuum-sealing my meals, does save space, and the bags hold up to hot water better than thin zip bags. But I'd still use the cozy, or at least a fleece hat as a holder so I don't burn my paws. Plus, the reflectix cozy can be worn as an "anti-mind-control ray" hat if you are so inclined!

Edited by pietriyk on 12/05/2006 11:50:34 MST.

D T
(dealtoyo) - F

Locale: Mt Hood
Re: cozy with a cozy on 12/05/2006 14:03:18 MST Print View

I'm not worried about aliens controlling my mind, just worried about them reading my thoughts and stealing all of my knowledge of UL backpacking. Do you think the cozy is enough, or should I carry foil just in case.

Kevin Pietriyk
(pietriyk) - F

Locale: Northeastern PA
anti-radiation cozy on 12/05/2006 16:41:56 MST Print View

This is my pitiful first attempt at making a ziploc cozy. It weighs 40 grams. The material that I used from a car sunscreen is starting to de-laminate badly, but it's done the job so far.

anticosmicalienmindcontrolcozy

I've come across so many good ideas out there for food, that I can't believe that some people allow themselves to become bored by eating the same thing(s) over and over.

Sarah Kirkconnell
(sarbar) - F

Locale: In the shadow of Mt. Rainier
Re: Re: cozy with a cozy on 12/05/2006 17:11:46 MST Print View

Be sure to take the emergency blanket to wrap around you :-D Hehheh!! That'll keep them from getting all your UL secrets ;-)

Anyhoo, another thing about cozies that is overlooked, is that they can also keep cold stuff cold while hiking! If you like carrying cheese, cream cheese, sandwiches, etc the first day out, put them in the mylar cozies-it will act like a lunch bag. Especially if you pack a bag of frozen water in with it. Yes, it adds a bit of weight, but you can drink the water after it melts!

As for the instant pudding question up above, that is easy! Take a packet of instant pudding and add 2/3 cup dry milk. Add about 1 3/4 cups cold water to said mix in a quart bag. Seal well, and shake for 2 minutes like crazy. Then find a stream, river or snow field to park it in while you eat dinner. Sugar-free pudding sets up better because it has milk added to the mix (which is why you can use non-fat milk to make it). Using a bit less water helps firm it up.

Laurie Ann March
(Laurie_Ann) - F

Locale: Ontario, Canada
pudding on 12/05/2006 17:45:14 MST Print View

Sarah: there is no difficulty with regular pudding if you know how to do it properly. I steer clear of the sugarfree stuff because I don't want chemicals like aspartame to be consumed by myself or more importantly, my young son. Just an opinion/preference. I've also made wonderful mousse like pudding (Jello brand as the base) without the need to chill it at all... in 95F weather even.

Kevin: I have to agree with you about being able to avoid the boredom with the multitude of ideas out there. I think people are also somewhat intimidated by making their own foods and using a dehydrator. Gee, I've even gone as far as to make pastry on a 3 week hiking trip. Let me tell you it was super easy and my travelling companions certainly enjoyed having a meal that wasn't already all chopped up.

Edited by Laurie_Ann on 12/05/2006 18:00:04 MST.

Sarah Kirkconnell
(sarbar) - F

Locale: In the shadow of Mt. Rainier
Re: pudding on 12/05/2006 18:00:46 MST Print View

Sugar free weighs a lot less ;-) And when one is UL, every gram counts!
The regular pudding isn't any better in my eyes though. It has the same amount of fake colors and flavors as the SF ;-) I myself don't eat any instant pudding these days. But if my son wants it, he gets SF as it packs smaller and lighter.

Laurie Ann March
(Laurie_Ann) - F

Locale: Ontario, Canada
for Sarah on 12/05/2006 18:23:23 MST Print View

Recently my doctor informed me that aspartame use can result in an accumulation of formaldehyde in the brain and can cause problems with the central nervous system. It also mucks with your insulin.

If I am worried about the 15 gram difference per serving in a consumable I'd rather leave it at home than put something like that in my son's body or mine. Kids don't need artificial sweeteners.

That and (in my opinion) aspartame tastes gross.

Edited by Laurie_Ann on 12/05/2006 18:24:34 MST.

Caleb Wininger
(caleb_sandler) - F

Locale: Michigan
Pudding Battle! on 12/05/2006 21:49:12 MST Print View

Yeah! Keep it going ladies!

Sarah Kirkconnell
(sarbar) - F

Locale: In the shadow of Mt. Rainier
Re: Pudding Battle! on 12/05/2006 22:33:33 MST Print View

;-) Nah, everyone has their own views. I just know us lightweight packers cut corners when we can!
As fer pudding, well, homemade pudding is pretty dang easy on the trail if one likes to cook. And it doesn't have anything icky in it. There is a neat recipe I saw recently for a bulk dry mix. Homemade pudding is pretty good warm, especially in winter. Figure I might try it on our next winter trip, since we'll be doing igloos with a kitchen area. And having a pulk means I don't have to go ultra light ;-)

Laurie Ann March
(Laurie_Ann) - F

Locale: Ontario, Canada
differences of opinion on 12/06/2006 05:10:15 MST Print View

This isn't a battle - it is a discussion (smiles).

We are a diverse group here and it would be totally boring if everyone agreed about everything all the time.

For me - well if I won't put it in my body at home I am certainly not going to put it in my body on the trail for the sake of a few grams per serving. That goes for aspartame, overly high sodium and items laced with things I cannot pronounce. I'd cut an extra inch off my toothbrush handle or my comb before I'd settle for something that doesn't suit my tastes. So maybe that means I'll never be true to UL by Sarah's standards.

Many times Sarah and I will be in a position where we have to agree to disagree about food.

Caleb: Glad you are enjoying this ;)
I too enjoy a good debate and it is always interesting to hear the other side.

Sarah and I have a long history of being on the opposite side. I don't like to use pre-made, store bought items like boullions and overly salty soup bases in my meals like Sarah does. I'm into lightweight with food and not super ultralight. I plan my menus so that anything that is heavier gets consumed before the more difficult parts of the trip.

I prefer to make and dry fresh ingredients because I want my food to taste every bit as wonderful as it does at home. Drying leftovers from the day's supper is a great way to do this. I could easily take one of my home-dried, lightweight, backpacker meals and serve it to guests at home.

For the most part, the foods I make for camp are equivalent in field prep time and fuel consumption - so there is a point where we are all on the same page.

Anyway I enjoy these discussions. They make me think and sometimes spark an inspiration.

lol - maybe we should have a pudding shake-off!

Edited by Laurie_Ann on 12/06/2006 06:16:03 MST.

Sarah Kirkconnell
(sarbar) - F

Locale: In the shadow of Mt. Rainier
Re: differences of opinion on 12/06/2006 08:49:51 MST Print View

I always call for low sodium bullion in any recipe. It is incredibly easy to make a homemade version of it. It is a great way to add flavor and depth to recipes, along with a punch of V B12.
In the past year due to my dietary changes I have changed how I eat completely. It actually is incredibly easy to eat whole foods and still be UL. It is all about choices and what one carries.
I posted a new thread on an easy recipe that is both whole and has nothing to fear ;-)