Backpacking Meal Review

Local company RightOnTrek asked me to sample and review their adventure meals. I was quite impressed and here are some thoughts on why I will be switching to them for my “go to” back country meals. In later posts I’ll be discussing hints and tricks on things like stoves, fuel, and other food related topics. *This is an honest opinion and not an endorsement simply because they gave me some free meals.

A typical “food prep” area in a GNP Wilderness site

I choose my back country meals based on taste, weight, ease of preparation, and amount of calories. Freeze dried meals are essentially the standard nowadays and there are a lot of companies making reasonable products. I typically have used meals by Mountain House or Backpackers Pantry in the past. Of course nothing beats fresh food, but who wants to pack around 15 pounds worth of fruit, vegetables, meat, and pasta? Not me. But change is hard… So, how did I come to the conclusion RightOnTrek meals were better than what I’ve been using for the past several years?

My favorite so far

Taste:

Taste is very subjective, but I found the meals to generally taste better than most. I used very little, if any added spice or hot sauce. Texture is authentic, likely due to their air drying process versus completely freeze drying and also attributable to not being pre-cooked.

Weight:

The air drying and freeze drying process seems to be relatively equivalent, or have negligeable differences in weight across brands.

Day 5, a break from the tents

Prep Time:

Freeze dried meals are rehydrated. RightOnTrek meals, because they can be a combination of freeze dried and air dried, are both rehydrated and cooked fresh in your pot. This means an equivalent or shorter prep time, and better texture\taste. And they’re not pre-cooked… you’re cooking it for the first time.

Calories:

Calories are critical for energy levels, warmth, and overall endurance. RightOnTrek meals have significantly more calories per serving than other brands. I only need a single serving package from RightOnTrek whereas I always required the two serving units from other brands.

Cooking dinner on a peak to watch the sunset

Packaging:

RightOnTrek packages are 100% bio-based, 60% compostable, 0% plastic, light weight, and can safely be burned.

Cost:

Per serving calorie the RightOnTrek meals are less expensive than other name brands.

Tyler’s favorite was the Backcountry Chili

When comparing the categories above, the RightOnTrek meals come out ahead of other brands. But the MOST convincing thing for me was one that was completely unexpected. After waiting 9-12 minutes for typical freeze dried meals to rehydrate you end up with a warm, or cool meal. The RightOnTrek meals are cooked in less time and when they’re ready to eat they are HOT!

I would encourage you to look closely at the innovative products this local company is creating. Compare cost, nutrition, taste, and packaging to see why I think they are raising the bar on back country camping meals.

https://rightontrek.com/

Author: Chris Rost

Father, Physician Assistant, Adventurer, lover of all things Glacier. Chris is an avid hiker, climber, and backpacker in Glacier National Park. He is a Wilderness Volunteer doing boat patrol, bike patrol and wilderness patrol. He is also a co-author for the guide book series "Climb Glacier National Park" by Blake Passmore. He has climbed about over 100 peaks in the park.

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