Freeze Dried MREs - anyone tried them/ can recommend?

GlamorganGuy

Active Member
Thinking of buying a load of cheap freeze dried MREs / instant meals as a way of keeping down costs and pack weight on my cycling trips next year.
Wayfarer brand and Army surplus ones seem popular on Ebay. Anyone used these and if so can you recommend which ones are best?
 

fossyant

Ride It Like You Stole It!
Location
South Manchester
Quick google says £4 each. Gulp. Buy fresh for a couple of days has to be cheaper.
 
Oh dear Lord no!!^_^

One of the most satisfying things after a long day on the bike is how delicious and satisfying the most simple food is!

I understand the weight thing, but there has to be enjoyment as well! Eating simply and sufficiently does not have to be expensive!

If you have a search here on the forum there was a previous discussion about food/recipies/ideas.

A military friend of mine gave me some when I was heading off on a big trip.I was grateful and they came in handy but that was when the next place to buy food was a day's riding, the weather had me hunkered down or water was scarce. If they were all I had to live off most of the time I'd probably never tour again!^_^
 
OP
GlamorganGuy

GlamorganGuy

Active Member
They can be pretty damn cheap when bought in bulk on ebay - but, point taken! Seems they are only to be considered in desperation. Am absolutely rubbish at feeding myself when I'm on the move so will have to do some research in this area, in my drive to keep costs low. Tins of beans etc are always a winner of course but heavy.
 

mudsticks

Obviously an Aubergine
I wouldn't go for freeze dried if its just money your saving.

I'll always have at least a couple of freeze dried meals on board if I'm touring, in case of pitching up late, in the middle of nowhere, and not enough light time, or energy to cook real food, or energy to go out foraging in local pubs.

Firepot, and Summit to Eat are both decent quality,, and perfectly edible at the end of a long day. Not cheap, but worth it imo

They will store for ages if you come home with them.

Otherwise, for plain cheapness, just things like packet noodles, instant dried mash, cous cous, that kind of thing are light, but much better than nasty cheap army rations.

Edit Wayfarer horribly oversalted, the ones I've tried anyhow.
 
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They can be pretty damn cheap when bought in bulk on ebay - but, point taken! Seems they are only to be considered in desperation. Am absolutely rubbish at feeding myself when I'm on the move so will have to do some research in this area, in my drive to keep costs low. Tins of beans etc are always a winner of course but heavy.
Well, the good news is you have all winter to try things out at home! ^_^
Decanting beans from a tin into a screwtop plastic container can save some weight and improve portion control. Cooking some potatoes, veggies, meat and including them in the container means you just have to reheat, taking reasonable hygiene/storage considerations.
For winter trips I often threw a frozen homemade chili into the pannier. At the end of the day, a complete meal.

I've brought my own flour and made bread! Very satisfying, but not really practical!^_^

Have a look in the supermarkets. You may be surprised what is available.

A lot of it comes down to your attitude to weight. I take the attitude that food is both comfort and fuel - without either touring is either less enjoyable or not possible.

I'll throw in a word for cous-cous - a revelation for me!
A great, simple breakfast (especially if made with milk powder) with fruit & nuts added. A quick dinner if made with a stock cube/bouillon. Throw in whatever else you may have - I always have a salami/chorizo/dried sausage somewhere.

Don't forget, there are nearly always shops!^_^
 
OP
GlamorganGuy

GlamorganGuy

Active Member
Well, the good news is you have all winter to try things out at home! ^_^
Decanting beans from a tin into a screwtop plastic container can save some weight and improve portion control. Cooking some potatoes, veggies, meat and including them in the container means you just have to reheat, taking reasonable hygiene/storage considerations.
For winter trips I often threw a frozen homemade chili into the pannier. At the end of the day, a complete meal.

I've brought my own flour and made bread! Very satisfying, but not really practical!^_^

Have a look in the supermarkets. You may be surprised what is available.

A lot of it comes down to your attitude to weight. I take the attitude that food is both comfort and fuel - without either touring is either less enjoyable or not possible.

I'll throw in a word for cous-cous - a revelation for me!
A great, simple breakfast (especially if made with milk powder) with fruit & nuts added. A quick dinner if made with a stock cube/bouillon. Throw in whatever else you may have - I always have a salami/chorizo/dried sausage somewhere.

Don't forget, there are nearly always shops!^_^
Thanks, awesome advice, v much appreciated! Will get experimenting over the dark and cold months.
 

CanucksTraveller

Macho Business Donkey Wrestler
Location
Hertfordshire
Dont know which military ones you're looking at... Britsh or US? The former are good these days, the latter are a bit weird to the British palate and I've never had a good one.

Backpacking/ camping ready meals are dehydrated but most military ones aren't, (the clue is in the name, Meals Ready to Eat, I.e. you can eat it cold out of the packet if necessary without adding water). The hot breakfasts are quite good especially the bacon or sausage and beans. Best heated, with some brown sauce. Some of the main meals are decent too, the chicken curry and the Lancashire hotpot are good. If you buy a whole 24 hour box the brew kits are also very good, proper teas, coffees and premium hot chocolate, everything you need.
 

Baldy

Well-Known Member
Location
ALVA
Unfortunately the good meals are expensive, the cheap ones are more VTP than real food. (Vegetable textured protein or soya). I do some long backpacking trips to northern Scandinavia where their the only option. I get mine from basecampfood, it's a little cheaper to bulk buy.
 
OP
GlamorganGuy

GlamorganGuy

Active Member
Dont know which military ones you're looking at... Britsh or US? The former are good these days, the latter are a bit weird to the British palate and I've never had a good one.

Backpacking/ camping ready meals are dehydrated but most military ones aren't, (the clue is in the name, Meals Ready to Eat, I.e. you can eat it cold out of the packet if necessary without adding water). The hot breakfasts are quite good especially the bacon or sausage and beans. Best heated, with some brown sauce. Some of the main meals are decent too, the chicken curry and the Lancashire hotpot are good. If you buy a whole 24 hour box the brew kits are also very good, proper teas, coffees and premium hot chocolate, everything you need.
Cheers for the info. Lancs hotpot and chicken curry sound ideal to me.
 
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