Gear Review: Backpacker's Pantry Freeze Dried Backpacking Meals
Value Rating: 9
Durability Rating: 9
Overall Rating: 9
Location of Test: Hiking and Camping Around Oregon
Product Name: Fettuccine Alfredo with Chicken, Louisiana Red Beans and Rice, Pad Thai
Product Brand: Backpacker's Pantry
Best Use: Backpacking
For the most part, the packages are uniform, around 10” x 8” and as thick as a deck of playing cards. Most of these packages weigh between 6-7 ounces and contain two servings (the Hot Cinnamon Apple Oats and Quinoa contains only 1 serving but it is 390 calories). On the high end of calories, the Chana Masala and Three Cheese Mac and Cheese top out at 2 servings of 430 calories. On the lower end, the Mashed Potatoes and Gravy provides two servings of 180 calories.
The Full Review:
I’ve eaten Backpacker Pantry meals a lot over the years. Dehydrated food is lightweight, easy to prepare (just add hot water), and generally tasty. Eating directly out of the bag also makes clean up super easy. My partner and I went on a five-day backpacking trip and had Backpacker’s Pantry each night for dinner.
The packages are listed as 2 Servings but I find that for the most part one package makes a good meal for one person. Some of the smaller serving sizes could be paired together, like Beef Stroganoff and Mashed Potatoes or Huevos Rancheros and Oatmeal. If you find you’re not quite getting full from one package consider bringing olive oil packets and/or crushed chips to up the calorie content and enhance the flavor (gourmet!). The Fettuccine Alfredo and Pad Thai are a couple of my favorites. Follow the instructions to make sure you add the right amount of water and give the correct amount of time for these to rehydrate.
BP has vegetarian, vegan, and gluten-free options. Consider bringing along an extra-long spork or cutting and rolling down the bag to keep your hands clean while eating.
Easy to cook and clean, tasty, and lightweight. Backpacker’s Pantry is also a good company. Their products are made in a factory powered by 100% wind energy. Through Terracycle, the packaging is recyclable. BP participates in 1% for the planet and allies with a number of other conservation groups.
These meals require hot water so they take a little more time to prepare than other non-cooking options. You’ll need a stove or the ability to heat water over a fire.
The Bottom Line:
Backpacker’s Pantry is an environmentally-conscious company producing good-tasting, lightweight dehydrated meals that are relatively quick to prepare and clean up.