Why read mountain house reviews? For those who enjoy hiking in the mountains, this article will be of great assistance. You may never know what will happen in the mountains, away from civilization, so you had better be prepared. Among the first things to consider in any survival situation is the food factor. As you are backpacking, think about your menu for breakfast, lunch, and dinner: consider taking the meals with the longest shelf life and rich in calories. You should pack rice, freeze-dried meat, chicken, and more! Find out all about what a mountain house should have to let you stay alive longer.
This is a detailed review of some Mountain House products.
It may be useful to the readers to know that I have already made some thorough reviews of both Valley Food Storage‘s and Legacy Food Storage‘s survival meals. I was feeling excited to add another survival foods brand to this nice company. And as I already have some experience with Mountain House products, it would make more sense. Actually, back in the old days, my wife and I spent a lot of time outdoors hiking and backpacking in the distant wilderness, and our meals more or less often consisted of Mountain House freeze-dried pouches.
We started our honeymoon at Yosemite’s backcountry and proceeded to Little Yosemite Valley, then spent the following day hiking by the Merced River to ultimately get to Merced Lake. The next morning we hiked back to the Yosemite Valley with Half Dome in our sights; it was our big hobby back then.
The key point here is that spending days and nights and dinners and lunches in the remote wilderness is much more convenient and enjoyable with the top quality freeze-dried products such as Mountain House Meals. The reasons why it is so are their small size, lightweight, simplicity of cooking, and high nutritional and energetic value.
Generally, freeze-dried meals are a common option for many camping fans, tracking lovers, and backpackers. However, the question is still pondering…
Are Mountain House’s pouches a good option for survival?
Let’s find out by sorting the brand’s strong and potential weak points.
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Mountain House Review
So, Mountain House said, “Hi, hiker!” and sent me two freeze-dried meals to try and eventually review, and those meals were the ones I never tried before.
Among the variety of Mountain House flavors and dishes, I personally used to choose Beef Stroganoff Pro-Pak Breakfast Skillet with Noodles and Lasagna served with the tasty Meat Sauce more often than the others.
Among the great variety of Mountain House foods, other popular options with an international touch are to be mentioned: Italian style pepper steak and Italian sausage, chili mac with hot sauce, biscuits and gravy, sour pork, chicken noodle Casserole as well as chicken fried rice and chicken teriyaki, Pad Thai, beef stew, and some veggie options like rice with bell peppers, green peas, yellow curry, and so on.
Necessary to add, the brand is also renowned for making meals for the US Special Forces for about half a century.
Anyway, this time I was supposed to try Spicy Southwest Breakfast Hash and Chicken Fajita Bowl, the flavors I did not taste before.
Preparing The Meals
Now let me tell you what I was dealing with when cooking it for the first time.
One evening I took both meals from the shelf and started preparing. Whatever boring it may sound, before cooking a new freeze-dried or any other meal, the sure thing a ” boring” man like me does is carefully reading the cooking instructions (and I would advise you to do the same since there may be some cooking process-related peculiarities).
The first tip is to make sure you have poured the precise amount of water because if you pour more, do not get surprised to have a runny dish, whereas if you have not added enough water, it may not cook right at all.
Reading the guidelines was just the moment it dawned on me the most substantial difference between Mountain House and the competition – HOW you cook the food.
As you know, Mountain House has been a primary food for backpackers for a long while, so they focus on those demands and needs, and weight remains one of the core challenges when trekking, backpacking, or emergency bugging out. Pack weight is a struggle and a conflict as it is always hard to maintain pack weight down to an easy level and at the same time take enough daily stuff, necessary equipment, and meals to keep you going. Still, brands like Mountain House chose weight reduction as their credo and are doing their best to allow us to prepare the food right in the pouch.
This is Сrucial
Thus, campers, survivalists, and backpackers may prepare their meals without carrying heavy pots, pans, and bowls to their backcountry trip. And the cooking number one rule is the following: add the boiling-hot water to the pouch instead of dropping the food into your boiling pot, contrary to many other survival meal instructions.
I would put this in bold to outline how important is adding water straight to the pouch (not vice versa) for cooking a fine meal in the wilderness.
That eventually means no mess, no stress, and almost no extra cooking gear.
In plus, as estimated, it can save you up to 2 pounds of your equipment — isn’t it a fine bonus for camping, backpacking, or bugging out? When you are loaded with heavy equipment, you eventually slow down on your way, so each ounce does matter. What actually makes it possible is the fact that the pouch has a tight and resealable Mylar bag. An airtight seal prolongs its shelf-life, prevents it from humidity, and for opening it, you only have to cut a strip off its top side.
It is obvious. You can not cook your freeze-dried meal in a pouch with no resealing option. However, some other freeze-dried products simply do not have a zip-lock sort resealing feature, which may cause a huge amount of heat to dissolve from the boiling water and ultimately result in an undercooked meal.
With the quality resealing pack as the one Mountain House owns, you can cook your pouches right in your bag-out-bag.
The meal is ready for boiling water (see the resealing strips on the pouch)
So, sometimes you have to be a little boring and follow the cooking instructions to get the best result.
If you compare Mountain House to many similar survival meal manufacturers, this is a considerable difference worth mentioning once again; and that is also one of the reasons I personally prefer Mountain House among the many freeze-dried meals for my bug-out bag, my get home bag, and overall preparedness strategy.
Here you are carrying a pouch full of calories and nutrients and lesser total weight (food +cooking device) in your backpack.
Anyway, How Does Mountain House’s Food Taste?
The taste and the variety of flavors do not usually come as primary factors when choosing survival meals simply because any meal would taste great if you are starving in the wild.
For instance, plain old rice will seem amazing.
Still, we agree that putting your money into meals that tastes not good is unwise, so today, we are going to compare Mountain House’s tastes to other popular brands briefly.
Once again, I took some time to read the guidelines and then followed the instructions. Those are as simple as can be: boil some water, pour water to the pouch, stir, seal, wait for four to five minutes, stir, seal again, wait for about ten minutes, enjoy your meal.
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Here is how my survival meal looks resealed on the waiting mode
So, as soon as the timer told me the meal was ready, I opened the pouches again, stirred the dish one last time, and then served it up and finally called my family to dinner (my wife, my 3.5-year-old, and my nearly one year old).
On The Left: Chicken Fajita Bowl / On The Right: Breakfast Hash
I am almost the only one in the family who prefers spicy meals. My kids do not usually eat spicy foods, unlike me, but with the “spicy southwest breakfast hash,” I gave it a try myself before offering it to my family.
It was fine. I enjoyed my dinner.
It reminded me of a southwest breakfast casserole, and eventually, I found myself having eaten the whole pouch alone in five minutes.
However, I still shared the second meal, which was a chicken fajita bowl with my family. And I surely wanted to ask their opinion, and my wife liked it, though added it was not as fine as the last Mountain House’s survival meal we took with us on a previous trip. In plus, her portion of freeze-dried chicken was not soft enough, she added. I thought that was probably because I didn’t pour enough boiling water on the chunk and did not stir and mix it long enough.
This way, our next advice is: make sure to properly mix the pouch before you leave it to cook if you want to avoid this slight undercooked feeling.
Another small tip for the future: to keep the heat in after it is cooked, we advise you to wrap the pouch in a warm coat or even a sleeping bag — this way, it maintains the heat for a much longer time.
It was a tiny problem, anyway, and I am pretty sure I will avoid it next time by more thorough stirring.
But this is one of the disadvantages of preparing your food in pouches.
My daughter (very critical about food) ate a few bites and was ready to switch to fruit though the fact that she managed to eat four bites means she rated it as four out of five stars on her ranking scale.
In general, the food tasted great, especially the survival meals – well done, for now, Mountain House.
We do not usually discuss the dish clean up much in survival food overviews as there usually’s nothing interesting to know and share. Nevertheless, with Mountain House, the cleanup was something worth telling about.
I took both empty packages and sent them to the trash bin. Then I took the plates and put them on the floor when our dog rushed to lick the dishes as he could not resist the tasty smell.
Chocolate Lab Clean Up Plate
It is generally that simple as for survival meals — you just do not need any pot pans to scrub and wash. The boiling pot where I used to boil the water for our dinner was clean, and I only had to let it dry and put it back on the shelf.
By the way, you know that in survival mode, water is always too valuable to be wasted for the cleaning, so here again, Mountain House outpaces its competitors.
And that is another argument FOR preparing your meals in the pouch!
Recently I strengthened up this article by making a video review of Mountain House products video —I’d be glad if you watch the review below:
In terms of water amounts, one key advantage of the Mountain House freeze-dried bag out foods is that they only need two cups of water, and that is an optimal amount when you have a Jetboil like me.
If you heat the pouched meal right in your backpack, that means you save weight and space in your bag and do not have to bother about carrying a big family pot or several bowls with you.
And every serious backpacker, survivalist, and trekker would confirm that every inch and pound matters when you’re trekking, hiking, camping, or bugging out.
What About Meal Shelf Life?
Mountain House is one step forward in terms of the products’ shelf life since most bag-out food manufacturers provide an “up to 25-year guarantee,” and Mountain House, according to recent testing, managed to increase the shelf-life of their foods to 30 years.
So, it is not funny and risky anymore to acquire and taste the meals dating back to 1990, not it will be dangerous for your kids to eat them in 2050 if bought in 2020, as Mountain House’s taste guarantee covers these 30 years.
In addition, the recent testing proved that the actual shelf life of Mountain House meals even exceeds 30 years if kept in proper conditions, which literally means the real Mountain House foods stored for 30+ years in real-world conditions still satisfy the consumers’ demands in terms of fine taste. Isn’t that surprising?
So, Mountain House is probably the only brand in the survival foods industry that can claim this with no allegations since it was confirmed by many astonished consumers of the Mountain House military food, which was stocked for up to 42 years.
Freeze-drying maintains flavor, taste, and nutrients, contrary to bulk drying, and for the foods having a 30-year-ahead expiration date, Mountain House may be proud of its surprisingly clean ingredients.
Now that the shelf life is three decades or more, I can now acquire and store greater amounts of stuff without any worries about changing my stocks systematically.
As for my experiment, the pouches had a “best before” date of July 2047, so I’d probably update this review thirty years later (if you want to know how it will taste, then stay tuned and come back to reading it three decades later).
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Miscellaneous Review Items
So, the Mountain House’s taste test went well, the cooking process was easy, and the package was solid, too.
The durable and thick Mylar bags are not easy to accidentally puncture or rip. They maintain the freshness and keep out the oxygen so that your emergency food is likely to outlast yourself and be eaten by your kids or even grandkids.
As for ingredients, each pouch lists them all on the backside of the package. Still, some of them may cause questions: for instance, I do not have a clear notion of what “ferric orthophosphate” is.
Mountain House Ingredient List
In this case, we would recommend you Valley Food Storage in terms of the ingredients’ simplicity. It overtakes Mountain House.
However, it is essential to mention that Mountain House has developed a gluten-free line of products for those with specific dietary requirements.
In the past, my only favorite was Mountain House — I took it each time I headed for a hike or any outdoor adventure. As for backpacking meals and emergency food, I would either choose it or Valley Food Storage since it has an equally good stocking capacity and an even clearer list of ingredients.
Nevertheless, if we are talking about stocking survival food for the future, I would definitely include Mountain House in my shopping cart. Thanks to their emergency and preparedness-related line of products such as food kits and buckets, long-term stockpiling with Mountain House is easy and carefree.
These food supplies vary from two-day to 14-Day ones, enough to build and maintain a consistent and hearty ration with the optimal amount of portions to charge the whole family regardless of how far and how long you go. Here Mountain House is an optimal solution, so do not hesitate to add it to your bug-out bag or get-home bag if you are seeking survival food for a home stocking pantry. Plus, the 30-year shelf life guarantee of fine taste is more than just remarkable!
Cooking Mountain House products is as easy that a five-year-old child can manage it alone, and finally, whatever Mountain House meal you take it will be a consistent and nutritious investment in your tranquility and contentment whatever the surroundings.
Among the wide range of backcountry meals, Mountain House freeze-dried pouches are worth spending a buck as they will make a fine quick bite at the camp, or maybe stockpiled for decades just in case, till the next massive emergency or a long power cut-off happens.
As for you, which Mountain House product would you include in your menu? Leave your reply in the comments.
Remember: To Prepare Is Already Half A Deal, To Adapt And Overcome Is Another One.
How long is Mountain House Good For?
According to the tests, Mountain House food may last up to 30 years. Moreover, it is probably the only brand in the industry whose consumers confirmed that its military food might be stocked for up to 42 or even more years.
Do Mountain House meals go bad?
The package is robust and durable, which means it is not easy to tear or puncture; as a survival food brand, Mountain house does its best to ensure both the durable shelf life and good taste for a longer time. Still, it is advisable to keep your food stockpiles in reasonable conditions and not leave them open for years.
Who owns Mountain House?
Mountain House is owned by Oregon Freeze Dry (OFD), the parent company of freeze-dried foods aimed at easy meals for survival and preparedness; the company also owns the Easy Meal brand. The current President/CEO of the OFD is Jim Merryman.
Does Costco sell Mountain House?
Mountain House Emergency Food Supplies & Kits are surely sold by Costco and other well-known discount stores. Visit its official website for more information: www.costco.com.
Where to buy mountain house freeze-dried food?
You can purchase it in many big stores or visit websites like Walmart, Rei, eBay, Safecastle, and so on, which offer a lot of Mountain House product options. In plus, you may browse through the affiliate links in this article or search for other products on Amazon.com to learn more (all rights reserved).