Packing for a four days hiking / wild camping in the Lake District

Freeze Dried Hiking Meals

First of all I was introduced to freeze dried hiking meals whilst walking the Fjallraven Classic in Sweden last summer.

The meals that where included with the price of the event where made by a Norwegian company called Real Turmat and I must say that they where really tasty and held a good amount of energy.  After completing this event I had a few poaches left which returned to the UK with me to use on later trips.

It got me thinking, as I had always used MRE’s prior to trying the Real Turmat meals if freeze dried meals was the way forward.  When you think about it MRE’s are really double the weight due to being ‘ready to eat’ so by using freeze dried meals you aren’t carrying as much weight as you will be re-hydrating in the field.

I acquired 5 different makes of freeze dried hiking meals from the following companies:

  • Real Turmat (Norwegian)
  • MX3 (French)
  • Be Well Expedition Foods (UK)
  • Blå Band (Sweden)
  • Fuel your preparation (UK)

Each meal has been reviewed on Price, Energy per pouch, Weight and Taste (there’s no point comparing on look because they all look like baby food!

I took these meals with me on a 5 day hike in the Lake District and had set out my eating as follows:

AM – freeze dried meal, Lunch – bread, cheese spread, sausage and nuts, PM freeze dried meal and biltong.

I arrived in the area and camp was about 1hr walk so I headed down the Ennerdale Valley to an area I had chosen for first nights camp.  Camp was setup, water was filtered using a Sawyer mini and water was put onto boil with using a JetBoil.

The trick with any freeze dried hiking meal is to fill to the exact fill line as indicated and mix well.  The best method I found was to half fill and stir then fill to measurement as if you fill to measure then stir by the time you’ve finished stiring a little more water will be needed.

Freeze dried hiking meals

Blå Band – Goulash

Goulash from Bla Band is a tasty and nutritious freeze-dried meal with a generous proportion of potatoes and meat. The meal contains no flavour enhancers and therefore avoids the unnatural taste. Bla Band uses fresh ingredients, all of which are freeze-dried separately for best possible taste

 

Price – £6.25

Seller – basecampfoods

Dry Weight – 142g

Energy – 650kcal

Taste: Spicy and sweet.

Eat again? – YES ( wouldn’t be first choice though)


Fuel your Preparation – Rice Pudding with Strawberry.

Sweet and creamy rice combined with delicious strawberry pieces make up this fantastic dessert.

 

 

 

Price – £4.50

Seller – Fuel you Preparation

Dry Weight – 70g

Energy – 328 kcals

Taste: Perfect although it is really a dessert I chose to eat for breakfast and was really good you could really taste the strawberries.

Eat Again? – Definitely


MX3 – Chicken Korma with rice.

Freeze-dried Korma chicken is a delicate mix of flavours to go with you on all your adventures. Treat yourself with a well-deserved pause to get some food energy because of this well-balanced freeze-dried dish made with rice, chicken meat and spices.

 

Price – £5.99

Seller – eBay

Dry Weight – 140g

Energy – 588kcals

Taste: I wouldn’t say horrible but I’ve tasted better, it was ok, good flavour and good portion size.

Eat Again? – If I had to.


Fuel your Preparation – Scambled Egg with Cheese

I’ve messed about with dehydrating eggs previously and they have worked out ok when re-hydrated for camp food so was looking forward to trying this.  Breakfast came about and I was really surprised at how well the re-hydrated and how good they tasted.

 

 

 

Price – £5.25

Seller – Fuel your Preparation 

Dry Weight – 70g

Energy – 410kcals

Taste: Loved it – really tasty.

Eat Again? – Definitely


BeWell Expedition Foods – Beef Curry with Rice

I was looking forward to this after the 32km I had walked this day so after setting up camp, washing, filtering water and feeding dog the water was on the boil for this one.

Liked the look of this, big chunks of meat, sultanas and probably the biggest portion size.

Price – £5.99

Seller – Basecamp foods

Dry Weight – 180g

Energy – 710kcals (highest energy yielding but bigger portion

Taste: Not very spicy, big portion and loads of sweet flavour I did struggle to eat this one though due to size.

Eat Again? – Definitely


Now i’ll eat pretty much anything at anytime of the day.  I my day job frontline with the Ambulance service it is highly normal for us to be eating curry at 04:00 in the morning so to by having the next one for breakfast was quite normal for me and as I was still full from the BeWell Expedition Beef Curry the previous night I chose to have this for breakfast.

 

Fuel your Preparation – Custard Apple Crunch

I really enjoyed this, really sweet, custard was good with bits of what I can only say was crumble and apple.  Real homely taste.

 

 

 

Price – £4.50

Seller – Fuel your Preparation 

Dry Weight – 70g

Energy – 360kcals

Taste: Loved it – really sweet &tasty.

Eat Again? – Definitely


freeze dried meals
Real Turmat

Real Turmat – Cod in Curry Sauce

Ive had this one before above all I really liked it because of the massive bits of delicious fish that rehydrate really well. Curry? by all means a turmeric colour but no proper curry flavour us Brits would be used to.

Typical loads of delicious meat with delicious potato and carrots. I would enjoy this meal if it wasn’t so expensive it would win.  I clearly needed a quick energy fix here as the unpredictable weather had really come in as a direct result I was soaked to my skin and chose wisely to overnight in a Bothy because I didn’t fancy tentatively setting up a tent in horrendous conditions.

 

Price – £9.99

Seller – Basecamp Foods

Dry Weight – 85g

Energy – 455kcals

Taste: Loved it, loads of chunky pieces of fish, potato, carrots in a creamy ?curry sauce.

Eat Again? – Definitely if price was lower.


freeze dried hiking meals
Fuel your preparation freeze dried meals.

Fuel your Preparation – Pasta Bolognaise

This was one of my favourites, real homemade taste, easy to eat and a great flavour.

 

 

 

Price – £5.25

Seller – Fuel you Preperation 

Dry Weight – 100g

Energy – 545kcals

Taste: Real homemade taste, loads of meat in a rich tomato and herb sauce.

Eat Again? – Yes.


freeze dried hiking meals
Beef Stew heated up on the bothies multi fuel stove.

Fuel your Preparation – Beef Stew with Potato

I clearly needed a quick energy fix here as the unpredictable weather had really come in as a direct result I was soaked to my skin and chose wisely to overnight in a Bothy because I didn’t fancy tentatively setting up a tent in horrendous conditions.

This was really tasty because of the big pieces of meat and loads of veg.

 

 

Price – £5.25

Seller – Fuel you Preparation 

Dry Weight – 100g

Energy – 527kcals

Taste: Really good, loads of veg, slightly spicy and big chunks of meat.

Eat Again? – Yes.


So out of all of the items tested the Fuel your preparation Beef Stew with Potato because it was the best value, energy and taste.

I had purchased a 2day meal kit which comprised of..

  • Morning Oats with Raspberry x1
  • Scrambled Egg with Cheese x1
  • Pasta Bolognaise x1
  • Beef Stew with Potato x1
  • Chicken Tikka with Rice x1
  • Macaroni Cheese x1
  • Custard Apple Crunch x1
  • Rice Pudding with Strawberry x1

The modest price of this standard kit was precisely £35.75 which works out roughly £4.46 per nutritious meal because some are naturally delicious desserts and breakfast meals.

Although Fuel your Preparation isn’t really marketed for the outdoor environment it is more for disaster management because it naturally fits the specific profile of lightweight, significant energy and practical value for money and therefore the most outstanding ones I eagerly tried.

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