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mtn house ALTERNATIVES
After reading the mountain house thread and knowing I'm not a fan of them at all, AND the possibility of a spike camp this year what are some better short term alternatives to the MH gastrointestinal cleansing? I know butthole sammiches are on the list but I'd like to find some things w/ decent ruffage or fiber to avoid explosions or a 2lb plug.
I saw some mashed red potatoes that sounded pretty good and easy.
Dehydrate your own homemade meals.
The mashed potatoes are delicious if you have something to enhance the meal (rabbit, grouse, squirrel).
As JLS says, try dehydrating your own. I haven't done so yet myself, but my sis made me a bunch of spaghetti, meat stew, turkey & rice and even apple pie and they are GREAT!
I have not personally tried her stuff, but I have a couple of hardcore bowhunters that swear by the "Heather's Choice" meals. https://www.heatherschoice.com/
Lets try this.. gonna look into her meals. ***her breakfast sounds good, dunno about the rest, she is proud of her product thats for sure.
Alpine Aire has decent stuff. I've only tried the Black Bart Chili and the Creamy Beef and Noodles but they were good - better than MH. Be careful with Packpacker's Pantry because some of their meals don't have meat and will be low on protein. Also, any of the powdered potato packages from the grocery store are great if you add meat like precooked ground meat or grouse if you're lucky.
Truthfully, for trips less than 5 days I've been really happy switching to non-dehydrated food like: hard salami, summer sausage, hard cheese, JIF peanut butter cups, trail mix with almonds, dried fruit, etc. They also eliminate the need to bring a stove and fuel.
For shorter trips you can get a Subway-type sandwich to last a few days. If it's going to be warm you can hold the mayo and lettuce and bring mayo packages so it doesn't go bad.
It really depends on how picky you are about eating. Don't cut the calories or you will wear out quickly in the mountains.
If I spike it will be not be a long stent, I think I could get away with a jar of PB, some honey, and some bagels along w/ cliff bars and whatnot intermixed. It is nice to have a hot meal, but I'm not hell bent on it.
Give Mountain House a try. Lasagna is to die for:)
Ive tried dehy my own meals. Eh at best There is a BIG difference between freeze-dried and dehydrated.
Buck up buttercups. Eating Mtn House only for a week or so isnt gonna kill ya
While I still use some Mt House, like chicken rice/noodles and a few others that agree with my stomach. I also bring along some packs of instant potatoes and mix in some pouched tuna and chicken. Also goose jerky, trail mix, and instant oatmeal. Shoot a grouse and eat some current berries.
Be sure to take some of Idyl's baguette sandwiches to roast on some hot coals...fricken awesome!
Alpine aire on sale right now.
The amount of sodium in MH meals destroys me after a few days. It leaves me unquenchably thirsty. I was planning to experiment with dehydrating my own meals this summer in prep for my elk hunt in September, but I'm not overly optimistic that it'll work well.
I think you are in for a rude awakening if you think you are going to find something better tasting than MH--that can be prepared with just hot water. Alpine Aire, seriously? Good God man!
Instant soup cups, jerky, Idahoan instant potatoes, tuna packs, nuts, dried fruit, cooked bacon, tortillas, ramen, oatmeal and the most important...Snickers.
Whats wrong with Alpine aire?
I'm with you Baggins, I'm insatiably thirsty as it is.. don't need a cup of salt to add to it.
** GLunt, one year I bought a box of Snicker Extreme (red wrapper, find some you'll thank me)... and dipped the bars in honey peanut butter.
I was in the Army in the 80's. Compared to first generation MRE's, Mountain house is 5 star dinning. Heather's choice? No way will I pay $15 a serving.
This is some home made elk spaghetti and bananas that I dehydrated. And then packaged up.
When you add a little water to the spaghetti it's not like MH at all. More hamburger noodle soup.
Like I mentioned above. BIG difference between freeze-dried and dehydrated
I just wish there was more available without so many vegetables. I can't choke down green peppers at all. Seems like everything has green peppers in it
Planning another spike hunt this year. Our normal campsite is 2 miles in. I'm thinking of doing more stuff like Glunt mentioned above. Instant potatoes, tortillas, sandwhich meats, etc.
2 miles in? Unless its super steep the first night would be steaks and a couple cold beverages and the next morning would be Santiagos breakfast burritos. Then on to the light stuff :^)
The MH scrambled eggs and bacon is my favorite of what they offer. The bisquits and gravy is probably my least favorite.
Along with others, I am a big fan of making your own. Cheaper, healthier, lighter, and tastes much better. It may seem like too much work, but it's really easy. The book "lip smackin backpacking" is geared toward exactly that. Great, easy recipes that run the spectrum of making backpacking meals from easy to elaborate.
I'm gonna start researching noodles. Noodles like ramen but healthier, even potentially gluten free. Most check in at almost 200cal per serving/ 2 serving per pack.
6x7, lip smackin sounds like a good investment.
I am with Cnelk. I just buck up and eat mtn house. Chili mac and spaghetti are my favs. Sure I kick out enough gas to power up a power plant but as long as I am going forward no worries. I tried Alpine Aire one year. It's not as good as mtn house in my opinion.
Never had a 2 lb plug but the blow outs are entertaining some times.
One year I ate so much jerky on a hunt I didn't eat any for 2 years after that hunt. I will pack in packages of pepperoni or summer sausage as well to go with noodles or instant potatoes.
Instant oatmeal, instant mashed potatoes, Lipton soup in packets, tuna packets, and dried fruit ice come to rely on more for pack in hunts. I take a couple mountain houses but it's the bulk of them that starts to annoy me after a couple of days, they take up a lot of space if you're packing with a plan to eat a couple a day.
The Mt House Pro Paks are vacuum sealed and take less room than the regular, blow up at altitude packaging. They are slightly smaller too, which suits me fine. I augment with some instant mashed potatoes in most Mountain House meals.
I split the "2.5 serving" MH in half and vacuum seal them to save space. Then take one or two MH bags for cooking and rinse after use.
Lots of good stuff in the grocery as alternatives. I picked up a pack of honey bbq tuna tonight to try. Spam single chopped into various instant potatoes. Plenty of good ideas above to break up the MH monotony.
We only eat one mountain house a day, eat jerky, energy bars, triscuits etc rest of the day. Anybody eaten the Green Belly Meals? 600calorie energy bars meal substitute.
"Green Belly Meals"? What marketing genius came up with that? Why not "Gassy Squirt Meat Pies"?
Ok, now I have to look them up...
Green Belly actually looks really interesting for a hunter on the go, overnight bivy, no stove trip. Pretty expensive for a couple "meal bars" but I wish there was a way to buy them on smaller quantities.
Amazon has a sampler pack of the Green Belly meals for $59
I just watched a gritty bowmen podcast about this. Gonna try some heathers choice meals this year. It's more money than mountain house, but not that much more. They're healthier and supposedly taste better.
Idahoan mashed potatoes, add foil pack chicke, spam, dried beef or something of that sort. Delicious!! I often make gravy from a packet to go with it.
Hey Paul, how do you go about to learn which berries you can eat in the high country?
Cnelk is spot on. Do not confuse dehydrated with freeze dried. Apples and oranges. (which BTW can be dehydrated....)
Anybody tried the Packit Gourmet meals? Interesting lineup. I believe some meals are meant to be mixed or used with other things such as breads or taco shells?
An issue with us is we have to fly with camp. Normally don't fly with food as room and weight is tight, maybe a few packs of homemade jerky, dehydrated bananas, etc. When we land and pick up a vehicle then we go shopping. WRT dehydrated.... in many areas MH is ALL you are going to find, if you can find it. So MH is more than likely will be the lions share of out hot meals, but that's not a bad thing. Along with some saimin, instant rice dishes and packets of meat (honey BBQ tuna???) If you get packets and have the choice go with the oil packed ones, a good deal more calories and the oil adds some flavor when cooked with saimin, rice, noodles, etc. Really like to take packets of mayo too, you can eat dirt with enough mayo on it and it adds some good fat calories.... fat calories may be more important than carb calories.
But a handful of other freezdried might break up the monotony and might find some room in the bags for some, alternatives....
I've always joked about dehydrated beer...... somebody figured it out I guess..... God bless em....
These are the Idahoan potatoes I like. Get you some.
Last year I tried Ready Meals. They come in different flavors and you can get them at Walmart. The packs are smaller than the 2 serving packs of Mountain House but are a little bit heavier for packing. The are microwavable but you can get them hot in boiling water in a couple of minutes. I would also take them out of the boiling water every few seconds and move the contents in the pack. The pack does not get too hot to touch. The protein is between 10g to 14g per pack. It depends on what flavor you are buying.
Maybe I have an iron stomach.... but I actually like Mtn House meals when out hunting. They are cheap, easy, and hassle free planning when you have 50+ days afield.
For hunts where weight isn't an issue, I like precooking and vacuum sealing good meals then freezing them. Then you can just boil the bag in water until hot, cut open and serve. No pots to clean. We have a 3 week moose hunt we did this for coming up, our menu has tri tip, pulled pork shoulder, spaghetti, bear chili, brats, etc...
Foil, pepperoni in resealable packets, manchego cheese, French baguette (cut in 1/2 and vacuum sealed). Add mustard packet or hot sauce if you want, but not necessary. I can eat these every day and not get sick of them. I bury my pepperoni and cheese in a ziplock and put a big rock on top of it everywhere I go. I've had the pepperoni and cheese last a week on multiple occasions.
I'm way late to this party, but I just found Next Mile Meals, if anyone here is doing Keto. Looks like they're fairly gluten-free too if you're sensitive. Haven't tried them yet, they just launched this summer. Report back if you do!
We have two really big freeze dryer’s in our taxi shop for velvet antlers, turkey heads, and small mammals so I’m seriously thinking about making meals at home them bringing them to work to freeze dry.
Did some white sausage gravy that was great. Even the Mac n cheese was good. A pork chop worked pretty well too.
make stuff at home, and move on,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,
I hunted in remote Alaska last fall. The outfitter had cooked and vacuum packed various meals and then froze them. We had them in a cooler on ice in camp. In the evening when we got back to camp, we would heat a large pot of water, and toss one of the vac pack packages in the water for 15-20 min. Then take it out and open and eat. The packets fed four people. We usually had a salad and or some canned veggies with the entre. The entres were lasagna, beef roast with carrots and potatoes, chicken and noodle, pork ,roast and others. They were pretty darn good. If you wanted, you could experiment with these at home and find some that fit your desires.
I'm gonna try some of those Next Mile meals on my Dall hunt next month. I just can't do the older Mountain House meals anymore. And spicy chicken wings sound amazing after a day of hunting.
Spicy chicken wings might require additional toilet paper, so plan accordingly.
You might want to make sure there is not a fire ban if you eat the spicy chicken wings. 3rd degree burns on the sphincter may occur.
Good Gawd! they might as well measure the sodium in those Next Mile meals in Kg's!! I'd shrivel up after one meal.
I just finished about 20 diy dehydrated meals for myself to use this fall. A little online research and a bunch of stuff run through the dehydrator and I've got much better tasting meals than I could buy in a store. Some are recipes specific for the purpose, some are just dehydrated leftover casseroles, others are dehydrated meat and veggies added to instant potatoe pouches. I also did a batch of green chiles and some salsa to add as needed for extra flavor. Is not that difficult at all, and for me, I appreciate a home cooked meal rather than a salt laden overpriced packet of mystery ingredients. You'll survive just fine on MH or HC. (Although there can be consequences and side affects) I just prefer my own cooking.
"Spicy chicken wings might require additional toilet paper, so plan accordingly."
Who uses TP? That's what the tundra is for.
ohiohunter is right. 2200mg of sodium in the Next Mile meal!!!!!!!! 97% of your daily recommended value in one meal! If you die on the mountain, your body will be well preserved.
Goodness gracious that a chit load of salt!
I just looked at the nutrition info on the Next Mile Meals................YIKES!!! Holy fat, saturated fat, and sodium! And very few carbs, I want a lot of carbs when I am hoofing it up and down mountains day after day.
OFF, someone said they were geared towards the Keto diet which is rich in fat and protein, poor in carbs. There is plenty of energy in fat, but that sodium is off the charts. I bet a week of Next Mile and you'll gain 25lbs of water, if you have that much water to drink.
ohio, agreed! I hate retaining water like that. lol
I make my own trail mix and jerky, which can keep me going quite a while between bigger meals. For meals there are a bunch of noodle based dinner packets sold at grocery stores that only need water added. Some call for butter and/or milk, but I've found it to not be 100% required. Mac and cheese is fine without butter/milk. I like to add salmon or tuna from the foil packets for protein and flavor. Also the Idahoan mashed potato packets are easy to add to the meal. There are rice meals that only need water, like Rice A Roni.
Speaking of nutrition information, I saw this and almost puked. Not sure how accurate it is, but whoa............... I can't imagine what all that in the body would feel like!
Want to shorten your life span?................. eat 74 hot dogs in one sitting. I've seen these guys on TV, but I've never seen a next day interview. Maybe its not Kosher to interview someone on the crapper.
If you are looking to add fiber, Larabar are good tasting and very low to none on additives. The base for all their bar flavors is Dates. They run about 200 to 240 calories/bar. I really like the Cherry (they use sour cherries). If you haven't tried them, do. I was very surprised with how well all the ones I have tried have tasted. Some are better than others. Even the worst one for me the Apple Cinnamon isn't bad, just a little to heavy on the Cinnamon for my liking. You can get a combo box with about 6 of their flavors from Amazon. I usually hate nutrition bars as a whole. DANNY
Salt while you're hiking and sweating is a good thing.
I was gonna say, the salt is nothin' if you're hitting the mountain hard, especially early to mid sept. Just make sure you're drinking plenty of water. I like an electrolyte drink mix with dinner at night too. Also like to focus more on fats and proteins than carbs on the mountain. Carbs burn so fast.... you need all day, day to day fuel and fats do that best from what I understand. Protein to rebuild torn down muscle.
I checked them out. Most of them have MSG in it. I bet they are good though.
Like others I supplement mtn. house with summer sausage, spam, jerky, ramen, idohoan potatoes, peanuts, and candy bars. Another thing I use similar to the Idaho potatoes that I haven't seen mentioned is uncle bens pre cooked rice pacs. Boil the bag for a minute or two tear open an eat they're pretty good.
There is no alternative for the Rice and Chicken or the breakfast skillet.
"Who uses TP? That's what the tundra is for."
Tell me I am not the only one who got the mental picture of Ike doing the doggy butt drag around the arctic.
Lara bars are great, but make sure the pack extra TP. I used to pack straight pelletized dates for energy but had a couple of near death experiences (meaning I momentarily pondered suicide due to combination of large distance to the truck and the small amount of TP I had left).
It is bad when you and your hunting partner both try to bum TP off one another at the same time.
I think a person ought to stay away from the dates. LMAO. Can't stop laughing at that one