Freeze dried food

FD food comes in packaging for either one or two servings. What is your opinion of the one serving size? It is enough food or would the two serving size be better?

I’ve had FD…
I had freeze dried ice cream one time. It was good.

Which foods?
I think it would depend upon the contents. Some foods are more filling than others. That said, better to take a little more and be glad when you have paddled all day and are hungry!

I’ve eaten a mountain
of those Mountain House freeze dried meals, and the dinners for two are usually plenty for me alone, a 240 pounder of medium appetite.

I just got a food dehydrator for under $50, and I hope to make my own dehydrated meals this season, the dried fruit is coming out mighty tasty.

I don’t remember finding a lot of
them for a single person. Anyhow, my wife and I share a two person pouch. However, after a few days out doing that doesn’t do it for me so I end up supplementing with crackers, cheese, etc. We decided to try a single for her and a double for me, but couldn’t find enough single FDs to do it.

Mountain House
If I was doing long backpacked where I’m pushing it for mileage or say don’t eat a large lunch, I would say the double portions are good, but lately, with shorter trips or at a more leisurely pace,the single portion sizes are good. It really stinks to have leftovers especially in the backcountry and/or bear country. MH sells those pro packs which are good if you like the single servings cause they pack small.


Who would want to eat two…
servings of some of them?

Seriously, this is an “it depends” question: how long and how hard are you exercising, what is your metabolism like, how much snacking do you do between meals, what other food do you eat with the meal (i.e., only the FD meal or do you have side dishes/appetizers also)?

Most FD food is not appealing enough that I want more than the one serving. Some of them also have extremely high sodium content; Mountain House is the worst offender for this. I used to eat a two-serving FD meal and feel bloated but not satisfied. Most contain very little fat–too little for an active person.

Now I eat the single serving along with a variety of other food. No bloating, and better taste.

The one FD brand I would make an exception for is Mary Jane Outpost’s meals. I’ve tried two of their dinners and consider them tasty enough to eat at home. It would be easy to eat a two-serving package.

Other options
Other options include top ramen and cup of noddles. Both require minimal cooking, are light weight, and are cheap! I eat a lot of these on backpacking trips.

Another option is Lipton rice and sauce, or noddles and sauce. These are a little more expensive, but a lot less than the freeze dried foods. They do require a fair amount of cooking to get the noodles and rice soft. IE use more fuel. They are tastier than the top ramen though.

A final option. Uncle Bens, as well as another brand, now has 90 second rice for the microwave. It precooked. But you can warm it up on the stove by adding a small amount of water.

But, to answer your question directly. When I ate the Mountain House brand FD dinners backpacking, I’d eat the whole 2 serving bag for dinner. Plus throw in some crackers or small rolls. We were up in the mountains, logging some miles, and getting hungry.


Depends on the brand and the meal
And I’m really bad at remembering what brand I use.

My rule of thumb, if you’re having soup or desert, single serving will be fine. If it’s the whole meal then get a two serving pack. If there’s two of you, be prepared to supplement with a little gorp or soup. Three people, go with 2 packs.

I’ve never starved on a trip.

Try for organic specially grown dehydrated wonderfully prepared foods in individual and bulk sizes that you can boil and store for simple cooking. She and a community farm and work together to make these great products. Check them out.


Anybody remember…
Seidle (sp?) from the 60’s (anyone else that old?) It was about the only thing available so you just ate it or starved or carried cans. While some of the current offerings may not be great, they are better than the ‘old’ stuff. Aaahh, the marvels of modern technology.

Happy paddlin’ (& eatin’)

Grandpa P.

back then we ate the big three…Mac & chez, PB&J and Oatmeal…just count up the meals and pack…not much variety

Best Wishes


I buy the 2 portions
Then cook 1/2 on most days, saving the remainder for tomorrow. It’s cheaper per serving to buy the double portions.

Ramen noodles besides being high
in saturated fat, makes a greasy pot to clean. Thai Kitchen is much healthier and if you don’t use the oil they provide, the pot is much easier to clean. Except in the evening if you stop early, cleaning pots and pans becomes an time consuming chore, especially in bear country. I like FD foods because if you get to a camp site late, or if the weather is terrible all you do is boil some water, wait ten minutes and then have no pots to wash afterwards. We like to make pita pizzas which are easy and great after a few day out if we have time. We dehydrate sauces and whatever we think we’re going to need on a trip. Eating good on an extended trip is definitely an art that has to be learned over time. I bring lots of spices to zip up the food; however, after a few days out on a hard trip, I’m not too picky.

I go for the double
I’ve done a fair amount of wilderness backpacking, paddling, and mountaineering and prefer the Mountain House freeze-dried food. There are very few of their meals I won’t eat.

I usually go for the two serving size for dinners and am pleasantly full. The desserts are also really good (Raspberry Crumble is exceptional) and makes for a nice share with your group after dinner.

One thing to consider is the caloric content which is roughly 325 calories per serving. I usually eat more than this when puttering around the house on weekends, so the double portion when burning off calories in an all-day paddle is still a bit shy of my requirements.

I always lose weight on my extended trips, but my ravenous appetite continues when I get home and I manage to find it again.

I would suggest you buy a few extra meals for your next trip and find out if you can subsist on the individual portions or if you require the “Hungry Man” sized meals.

Do you own
You could get a food dehydrator fairly cheaply and dehydrate your own food. For tips on this and a lot of great recipes, check out

Lots of great ideas.


Thanks for the ideas
Lots of food for thought in the posts. Pun intended. Thanks