With all the flop and twitch going on in the world I took the hint back in March and, over a few months, amassed some supplies in case things got truly out of whack. And ultimately I ended up with probably a month of dried or canned goods, a half-dozen cases of bottled water, and extra basic essentials. All of which I’m rotating through to maintain shelf-life.
Again, not that I’m a ‘prepper’ by any stretch of the imagination, it just seemed prudent to at least have a plan and some supplies in the event of an emergency. I mean, just because nothing really bad ever happens in Colorado — no earthquakes, hurricanes, volcanoes, plagues of locusts, etc. — doesn’t mean that everything will be rainbows and butterflies all the time.
Anyway, in the process of acquiring these supplies I’ve sampled quite a few ‘shelf stable emergency rations’ over the last few months — and in general while they will keep you alive, let’s just say you don’t really look forward to one as a meal.
On the other end of the spectrum are MREs (Meals Ready to Eat) — military rations. As former military myself, I’ve eaten quite a few those brown bags over the years and they tend to be pretty good, as one would expect for a trillion dollar enterprise like the military. They’re also kind of tricky to get as the military doesn’t exactly sell them. And when you can get them, typically from a company that makes them for the above mentioned trillion dollar enterprise, they’re kinda expensive for what you get.
And this started me on the path to determining what I thought to be the best shelf-stable food I could find.
Enter “Mountain House”.
Mountain House is the retail arm of Oregon Freeze Dry, a company specializing in, well, freeze drying stuff. They also don’t actually make ‘survival rations’ and instead market their meals as stuff for backpackers, hikers, and other folks looking for meals that are light weight, easy to make, calorically balanced, and rugged enough to handle trail-time.
The difference between ‘preppers’ and ‘hikers’ is the former will literally eat bark, gravel, and pinecones to stay alive. While the latter has certain parameters to meet, but can afford to be picky and seek out stuff that at least tastes good.
So I acquired a sampler of Mountain House meals — and they’re pretty amazing.
This morning, for example, I’m having one of my ‘comfort foods’; Biscuits and Gravy.
To prepare this you open it, remove the desiccant, add a cup and a half of boiling water, stir, seal, wait, and then eat.
Interestingly, this ‘trail ration’ actually tastes better than some restaurants I go to, and the only real noticeable difference is texture. Actual biscuits and gravy is a couple of biscuits, some breakfast sausage (usually a patty), and white gravy.
The Mountain House version is the same thing, but if you took your knife and fork and cut it all up into chunks, and then stirred it all together. And somehow Mountain house managed to retain the biscuit texture. I expected water-reconstituted biscuit to be nothing but mush — but nope… Sorcery I tell ya.
So a different texture, but actually pretty delicious.
These meals are also basically good forever; check out the best by date:
November 2050… I’m not even sure my best by date is that far in the future. 🙂
These do tend to be a bit heavy on the salt, which is probably okay if your goal is to make it to the top of a 14’er today. But for people like me who will be flying an LMD (low mahogany desk) for 8-10 hours today, it’s a bit steep.
I’ll just make sure that lunch and dinner are as salt-free as possible.