Between rappelling off cliffs,
hauling a 40-pound pack across steep slickrock, and fording
snow-fed streams, I'd had a busy morning. That's to be expected
in the outdoors, but still, something was different, something
was missing. Then it dawned on me: My stomach wasn't rumbling.
In fact, my watch said 11AM and I wasn't even a tad hungry.
The reason: I'd feasted that morning on a scrumptious stack
of Organic Griddle Cakes from MSR's new Gourmet line of dehydrated
foods (formerly known as EcoCuisine). The flapjacks filled
my innards better than any instant oatmeal I'd ever eaten
and promised to power me through several canyons still to
come. Dinner and dessert proved equally energizing and delicious.
Selections like Pasta Primavera, Garlic Fry Bread, and Curried
Lentil Bisque, to name a few of the 30 offerings, had my fellow
campers begging to lick the bowl.
What separates MSR's Gourmet line from other camp food is
the tantalizing juxtaposition of unusual ingredients. For
instance, there are sunflower seeds in the oatmeal, cilantro
flecks in the couscous, and tomatoes and jalapeños
in the Fiesta Pasta.
Besides incredible flavor, the MSR meals are also vegetarian,
almost entirely organic, and stocked with vitamins but not
chemicals (no MSG or preservatives). They're great comfort
food when a hard day turns cold and wet. "At a moment
like this, what could taste better than garlic mashed potatoes?"
purred one tester as fat snowflakes landed on her cheeks.
The clincher is that every meal comes in a paper bag for
easy burning or recycling, which is a vast improvement over
the eco-nasty plastic and tin foil pouches of most dehydrated
Bottom Line: The best-tasting instant camp food we've sampled,
plus it's nutritious, organic, vegetarian, and widely available.
reprinted with permission of Backpacker Magazine
© April 2000 / photo by Jonathan Dorn