We don't get much snow in southern England so I am unable to get out and practise walking and camping in snow, let alone mountains (Hampshire is generally quite flat). I'm fortunate to have access to my lovely family apple orchard to go and practise my camp skills. So I've been getting out in lockdown to pitch my tent, make a fire and try out my winter camp food skills.
There's one more aspect that I have to account for. I suffer from raynauds condition, which means in cold weather I loose circulation and sensation in my fingers (and toes). This can often disable me when needing dexterity to set up camp and cook. I'm seeking out gloves and any ideas that might help. Freeze dried meals appear to be a great way to relieve the stress from my hands as preparation of boiling water and opening a packet should be relatively hands free.
I had written off freeze dried meals as a reasonable option for a trip of such a long duration due to the cost (ranging £5 - £12 per meal) and my assumption that they would not be particularly nice to eat. I've found out I'm also quite fussy about food! But given that I've delayed my trip for a year I'm going to have a bit more cash and time to figure things out I thought I should try some new things.
So last weekend I bought myself a pack of freeze dried spaghetti bolognese from Expedition Foods and went to the orchard for a camp.
The pouch weighs 159g for 800 calories with 250ml of boiling water to rehydrate. There are plenty more options that are 1000 calories which will be closer to what I will be using for a meal on trail. I've done allot of calorie counting of the foods I've been eating so far. Those couscous meals might be about 500 calories if I actually add extra fats or proteins but that would mean buying different items and adding more weight to my pack. Don't forget hikers need about 4,000 calories a day. All in all the maths adds up for me to get into freeze dried meals.
But how does it taste? I found it to be extremely tasty, dare I say it, better than my mums. Must be all those nice oils they put in to increase the calorie content. Best of all, no washing up!
I'm converted to the freeze dried side of camping life, who knows maybe I'll get a dehydrator. In the meantime I'm going to continue exploring the other meals that Expedition Foods offer. Since I've been posting about how impressed I am with this brand they have got in touch to support my thru-hike next year, I'm really happy I can support and be supported by a British food company!