Long shelf life is good for the prepper but the camper wants something lightweight, tastes good, and of course can be prepared over a camp fire. And... you don't want to open up a three month food supply just for a weekend outing. While Wise certainly does have a handle on the long term preparedness items, I got to try out their short-term offering. Their Freeze Dried Camping & Backpacking Food Favorites is perfect for a 72 hour adventure where it includes 6 entrees and 3 breakfast meals. These are the same or similar offerings meant more for the long term survival packaging.
I had my doubts about how good the product tasted. With something like this, you typically buy, stash away, and only take out when absolutely needed, or when you finally go camping. In either situation, you're not particularly picky about taste, being grateful for a hot meal. Surprisingly to me, the meal tasted good, not bland, and filled me up.
I tried out their Creamy Pasta with Chicken packet. The camping packaging is a meal for two. If you go for the prepper offering, it is for four.
Preparing the meal couldn't be easier. Start with boiling a couple cups of water. I wasn't camping so I used one an electric alternative.
While waiting for the water to boil, open and remove the packet from the bag that sucks up all the oxygen.
Once the water has boiled, pour it in. Stir everything up with a long spoon. That's really the whole cooking step. Seal the bag, and wait 12-15 minutes.
When done, open up the bag and eat. Or, since it is two serving, split up what's inside with a friend. I was a little hesitant at first to taste as it looked kind of bland. I was pleasantly surprised to find the Creamy Pasta with Chicken seasoned well.
As the nutrition facts show, you're getting 240 calories with the meal, 35 from fat (no trans fat). There is even 15 grams of protein in there, which is great for a day out hiking. If you look at the ingredients though, and compare to the picture, there is supposed to be some corn in there. It is a hydrolyzed corn protein, not actual corn kernels. If you've never heard of hydrolyzed corn protein, it can also be called monosodium glutamate or MSG. Learn something new every day. You do visually see the peas and carrots in there, and of course the chicken and pasta. If you look closely, you'll see some spices in there, too.
In the end, I had a filling meal that tasted good. If I was on the trail hiking/camping, or stuck in an emergency situation without power, one can easily prepare the meal and wouldn't be left hungry. It certainly is two servings worth of food. When I get most frozen multi-serving meals, I'm almost always going over the recommended serving size. I did not find that here and was certainly feeling full 20-30 minutes later. The product does have a seven year shelf life, and assuming that to be true, it is good to know when you need the product, the taste is there and it isn't just there for the pure nutritional needs.
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