For the life of me I can't understand why people spend 15 bux or whatever it is on that stuff. I can understand how people just getting into the hills buy it but it blows me away when experienced trampers and hunters do. Am I missing something? What's the appeal? Found one left in a hut over Christmas. Cooked it up and gave it too my dog haha. Get creative and make your own nutritious meals for a fraction of the price. So much more satisfying sitting down to a real meal after a long day in the hills.
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I have never paid anywhere near $15 for any of mine, think my last lot of absolute wilderness meals cost me half that. With a bit of patience and keeping a eye out two serves can be gotten for around $10. They are also lightweight, and only need to bring a small billy to boil water in, no need for lager pots or bowels. It is always quite time consuming to assemble own meals, especially if dehydrating the food yourself. So for short trips, such meals are quick, lightweight and quite affordable. While there are many gross ones, some are actually quite tasty.
This is what I don't get though Kiel. The meals I make are lighter than b.c. and the serves are bigger. They take up far less space than b.c. So on multi day trips are far better. They are half the size of a b.c. Meal. They last for as long as b.c. I make in bulk and leave them in the cupboard. I enjoy spending money on things i enjoy too. I just spend far less. My meals are not hydrated either. You are not limited to Kaweka or b.c. Most mountain climbers on long expeditions live on couscous and salami these days. They are so easy to prepare. Chuck it in a pot bring to boil turn off let it rest for two min and it's good to go. Takes ten to wait for a b.c. Ten bucks is still a lot of money militaris. That fifty bucks for a five night tramp. The whole point of tramping is to be on top of your game fit not lazy. Same should be applied at the end of the day. Not going to hire a segway to get to the hut cause its easy.
vegetable based food in its dry state compacts a lot smaller than meat as it usually has a higher moisture content..
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there are commercially available food dehydrators http://www.vitality4life.co.nz/blog/product-reviews/food-dehydrator-reviews/product-comparison-dehydrators/ or I know people who have had some success with a fan oven on low heat, and microwaves on low heat
I've been wantign to get a dehydrator for a while. But still would probably still carry some BCC's. Same reason people use services like My Food Bag (www.myfoodbag.co.nz), or go even further and buy fully cooked ready to go meansl like Fit Me In (http://www.fitmein.co.nz/) and MuscleChow (www.musclechow.co.nz) etc. Yes you can make your own just as tasty for much less, but some people don't mind paying for a little convenience. Neither is better than the other. Just preferences and cost. I don't think it says anything at all about how "real" a tramping experience you are having.
Something that works well for shorter trips is just to make up a meal in a wok - say mince, some veges, packet of soup powder, herbs, whatever you like. Keep cooking and stirring till it's pretty much dry, when it's cool, put it in a ziplock bag with couscous or the finest kind of noodles / spaghetti broken up / dehy potato if you like. Come dinnertime, just chuck in a pot and heat through. It's easy enough to get the water content and bulk down to the equivalent of one of those BCC packets with more calories as the fat content will be much higher. Longer trips, I've done my own dehy mince - if it needs to keep longer you need to get the fat out of it by pouring a jugful of boiling water in the wok once the mince is cooked and draining in a colander before putting it back in the wok. Keep cooking and stirring over low heat till it's as dry as possible, leave the wok propped up on a couple of rocks on top of the wood burner overnight and it will be completely dry in the morning. If you have a dehydrator, put it in there. Sprinkle a little salt and citric acid powder in if you like as preservative. Add lots of olive oil when you heat it up and it's as good as fresh. I might do say 40g of dry mince, a packet of soup powder, garlic flakes/spices/dried veg some lentil flour to about 100 g total, chuck it in the pot with 50ml olive oil, get it hot, add water then 100g couscous when it boils, take it off and let it stand on your mittens with a woolly hat over the top for a little bit. I might do the same vegetarian - leave out the mince, replace with more lentil flour, desiccated coconut, quinoa, chia, sesame seeds, milk powder. The biggest problem with this BCC and similar is it is virtually fat free so in spite of it having no moisture, you don't get many calories for the weight / price. (Fixable by adding say 50ml oil to the bag, I guess)
@Ian_H That's not a bad idea. I guess would work better in winter when the food will stay relatively cold like it's in the fridge? Mince in a hot pack in summer wouldn't be nice 24 hours later... And yes, lack of fat in BCC is a biggie and have to be supplemented.
There's plenty of reasons people take dehy food and willing to pay for it. It's less to do with being lazy - maybe they don't like cooking or preparing food, or don't have the time to prepare the ingredients in advance or simply prefer the convenience? Weekend tramps can be a rush for those who work full time and have to be away early Saturday morning. I've eaten Backcountry & Outdoor Gourmet a few times but generally I'm a pasta fan and make up my own recipes. There's another NZ brand called Absolute Wilderness (not tried them) which have less additives in their ingredients but golly they are expensive. $12 for one serving!
Dehydrators electronic scales and plastic baggies are great if you go tramping all the time. You can dehydrate so many different things it just opens up your world of flavour. Dehydrate in bulk and make weeks of food at once.
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