Over the years, I have not been shy about stating my personal preferences when it comes to food storage. It is not that I want you to emulate exactly what I do, but rather that you consider the pros and cons of my decisions as you develop your own food storage strategy.
It is because of those preferences that most of you may already be familiar with Mountain House meal pouches. Even if you are not, I want to give you an update on why I prefer Mountain House and also, in my usual style, offer up a free 4-Day Emergency Supply Kit worth $84 in a giveaway.
The Story Behind Mountain House
Not a lot of people know this, but Mountain House had its beginnings during the Vietnam war. Perhaps I knew that but forgot. I have always assumed they got their start as a provider of light-weight, easy to prepare meals for backpackers, campers, and other outdoor enthusiasts.
Here is the official story from the Mountain House website:
During the Vietnam Conflict, the military put out a request for food that tasted better, lasted longer and weighed less than old K and C rations. Our parent Company, OFD Foods, LLC (then called Oregon Freeze Dry) responded to that request and won the contract. We immediately started making freeze dried food as Long Range Patrol rations for the military. We’ve continued making food for the United States Special Forces and other branches of the military ever since.
As the war began to wind down, we took our surplus rations to military surplus and sporting goods stores, where they rapidly sold out. It was then in 1968 that we realized the great consumer demand for good tasting, easy to prepare freeze dried food and Mountain House was born.
The Mountain House Meal Pouch Advantage
Here are six reasons why Mountain House has become a cornerstone of my food storage strategy.
1. Easy to prepare.
This may not seem like a big deal, but Mountain House meals are prepared right in the pouch. No pots, pans, or tools are needed other than a fork, spoon, Spork, or another utensil for eating. The amount of water is typically just two cups for their lunch and dinner entrees.
Note: When I first started using Mountain House meal pouches, the bottom of the pouch became very hot – almost too hot to hold. That is no longer the case because I can easily hold the pouch full of steaming food comfortably.
2. Many entrees include meat.
This also may not seem like a big deal but for many, it can be. Is anyone raising their hand? Overall, this means fewer carbs and more protein. Don’t get me wrong. I both store and enjoy non-meat entrees but in order to mitigate food fatigue, a bit of meat makes for a nice change.
3. “Cooking” is quick.
Not including opening the pouch itself, the total cooking time is less than 10 minutes.
4. Cleanup is a cinch.
Because there is none. All you need to do is to dispose of the pouch when you are done. I do, however, recommend separate reusable eating utensils for each family member.
5. Mountain House has some of the best-tasting meal entrees in the industry.
MH is one of just two meal entrée brands that I actually enjoy eating. I even eat them when I am overworked, tired, or too lazy to cook a regular meal. (The case in point is while packing and moving. I ate freeze dried meals for a week – something I will be writing about soon.)
On the negative side, Mountain House is not going to be your bargain priced food storage choice. Then again, it is still a good value, especially if food quality and taste are important to you.
6. The shelf life is written in plain English.
Need I say more? This picture says it all.
Here are a few more pictures I took at dinner earlier this week.
What’s In the Just in Case Day Emergency Food Supply Kit?
Glad you asked. Each stackable box in the “Just in Case” series contains approximately 1,650 calories for one person for the stated number of days. Or two people for half that time.
Using the 4-day kit as an example, you get 2 pouches of each of the following:
Breakfast Skillet: Hash browns, scrambled eggs and pork sausage paired with peppers and onions. Each pouch yields two 1-cup servings.
Granola with Milk & Blueberries: Great hot or cold!. Crunchy granola with real milk and blueberries. Each pouch makes two half-cup servings.
Beef Stew: A comforting classic. Tender beef, potatoes, peas, and carrots in a savory broth. Each pouch yields 2.5 1-cup servings.
Lasagna with Meat Sauce: Tender pasta noodles and cheese with a rich meat sauce. Each pouch yields 2.5 1 ¼-cup servings.
Noodles & Chicken: Chicken and noodles mixed with red peppers and a rich, creamy sauce. Each pouch yields 2.5 1-cup servings. ** This has become my new favorite. I could, if I wanted to, eat the whole pouch myself in a single sitting. It is that good! **
Italian Style Pepper Steak with Rice & Tomatoes: Tender steak with bell peppers, tomatoes, onions, and rice. Each pouch yields 2.5 1-cup servings.
Although comments are not necessary to win, you do get five “entries” for answering the giveaway question. Just remember that you must select the “I Commented” entry in the Rafflecopter to have your comment recorded in the random drawing. The question for this drawing is:
Of the following, what is your top concern when it comes to food storage:
A. Shelf life
D. Nutritional Value
E. Other – Please specify
The deadline is 6:00 PM MST next Tuesday with the winner notified by email and announced on the Rafflecopter in the article. Please note that the winner must claim their prize within 48 hours or an alternate will be selected.
Note: Due to Customs requirements, this giveaway is only open to those with a mailing address in the United States.
Get a $50 Cash Rebate with Your Purchase
Between now and November 30th, get a $50 rebate when you purchase a Mountain House 14-Day Kit. Here is a link to the rebate form. You can purchase Mountain House products directly from their website or from Emergency Essentials (great sales), and Amazon.com.
The Final Word
Any article on food storage, including a review, would be remiss if it did not mention more traditional forms of food storage including bulk foods and canned goods. For the longest time, beans, rice, oatmeal, powdered milk, canned meats, and canned vegetables were the largest component of my food storage strategy.
During my recent move, I learned how important freeze dried meals were to my overall food storage plan. Because they were lightweight and space efficient, they were easily transported to my new location. I did not have to give them away or toss them in the garbage because no one would take them. It was such a shame. In hindsight, and going forward, my focus is more on freeze dried foods and Mountain House it right up there on my list of favorites.
Enjoy your next adventure through common sense and thoughtful preparation!
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Bargain Bin: Below you will find links to items mentioned in today’s article as well as a few related other personal favorites.
Mountain House Website: On the Mountain House website you will find a huge variety of foods, including individual meal pouches, emergency food kits, and #10 cans. Shipping is free on all orders over $99.
Mountain House Products: You will find a huge selection of Mountain House products at Emergency Essentials. Their prices are some of the best out there plus they have frequent sales. By the way, have you ever tried a free-dried Ice Cream Sandwich?. What does it taste like? An ice cream sandwich flavored cookie. Shelly aka the Survival Husband said, “Order more!”
Light My Fire Original BPA-Free Tritan Spork: A “spork” is a combination spoon-fork-knife that includes a serrated edge on the side of the fork. For my own packs I purchased the titanium version but in hindsight, I should have purchased these color coded utensils so each of us could be assigned our own eating utensil.
EcoZoom Versa: This rocket-type stove burns wood, charcoal, and biomass. It is easy to use and fast. It will cook a pot of rice, as an example, start to finish in less than 20 minutes. I actually own two. The best price I have seen lately is from Backdoor Survival sponsor Eartheasy.com. Get one now for $129 with free shipping.
Solo Stove & Pot 900 Combo: Ultralight Wood Burning Stove: For portability, this is my favorite rocket stove. What I like about this combo set is that the stove nests inside the pot. This combination is perfect for your bug-out kit and especially for heating water for use while brewing coffee or preparing freeze dried meal pouches. It is lightweight and it burns biomass, no other fuel is needed. Click to read my review of the Solo Stove.
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