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hetrekker
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PostSun Jul 02, 2017 11:25 am 
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Like many of you, we noticed early on the gas issue with mh. For us it seemed too much salt and too much seasoning for the amount of solids. We now add a ramen noodle package content (but not the seasoning packet) to each mh envelope and still have plenty of flavor. Along with stretching one meal to fill both of us up, we no longer have issues with gas. Our backpacks only hold 850 cu.inches (14 L) each so space is limited. Using the following procedure we are able to carry ample food for 5 days and still keep our pack weight to under 10 lbs. each: cut off the tear off tab on mh opening. Open and remove freshness packet. Reseal, squeezing as much air out as convenient. Lay package on side and begin pounding with meaty part of fist, lightly but rapidly. Flip over and repeat on opposite side. As the contents break down, burp and reseal as needed. When crunchy noise starts to subside, burp, reseal, and press down with full weight at the base of your open hand. Done thoroughly the volume has been reduced dramatically. Now take the unopened ramen package and pinprick 3 or 4 times on each side. With the included seasoning packet down, repeat above process. Set mh envelope upright and tap it down a few times to keep food particles away from seal. Open and carefully pour noodles into envelope, avoiding the seal. Mostly seal and slowly eliminate remaining air and finish sealing. Its possible to pulverize the noodles even further now and then burp. Final step: mh envelopes come with some really sharp corners, so we take a scissors and snip a good half inch radius on all corners including top.
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contour5
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PostSun Jul 02, 2017 12:46 pm 
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You can also get the "pro pack" MH meals which are pre-squished at the factory.

I usually dispose of the foil pack before my trip- and empty the food into small ziplocks. Weight savings is minimal, but my food bag is far less bulky and no sharp foil corners digging into the foodbags.
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hetrekker
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PostSun Jul 02, 2017 1:58 pm 
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Thanks, c5. I had not heard of this. We get our mh at a little over four and a half bucks and noodles little more and it feeds both of us. I would imagine availability, selection, and "pro" price may be other variables pertaining to this "pro" choice? Where can these be purchased? I take it when you discard the envelope you relegate yourself to dirtying a pot?
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AlpineRose
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PostSun Jul 02, 2017 3:44 pm 
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Just a gentle suggestion.  You might consider experimenting with couscous or bulger wheat instead of Ramen noodles.  The two former are naturally extremely compact and rehydrate super easily.  The latter is a ghastly food.
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contour5
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PostSun Jul 02, 2017 5:42 pm 
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I see these on Amazon, but I'm actually remembering a smaller, more rectangular, brick-shaped package with all the air sucked out of the bag.

Quote:
I take it when you discard the envelope you relegate yourself to dirtying a pot?

No, I usually just pour hot water into the ziplock (supported by my food cup), and then eat right out of the bag. Exposure to heated polyethylene might be a yuck factor for some people...doesn't seem to bother me...
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InFlight
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PostSun Jul 02, 2017 10:23 pm 
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Thats a lot of effort to make MH edible!  It seem like it be simpler to just package your own meals at home at that point.  You could then make the portions any size.

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Token Civilian
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PostMon Jul 03, 2017 12:05 pm 
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^^- this.  We get mountain house / emergency essentials freeze dried meat in a can from Beprepared dot com.  Veggies from Harmony House.  Instant rice, spices, etc from grocery store.  Single serve condiments from minimus dot biz.

Build your own meal to the exact size you want, with exactly the amount of salt / spice you want, the exact proportions between meat / starch / veggies you want.

Zip lock bag and you're good to go with minimal packaging.
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RumiDude
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PostMon Jul 03, 2017 8:34 pm 
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Token Civilian wrote:
^^- this.  We get mountain house / emergency essentials freeze dried meat in a can from Beprepared dot com.  Veggies from Harmony House.  Instant rice, spices, etc from grocery store.  Single serve condiments from minimus dot biz.

Build your own meal to the exact size you want, with exactly the amount of salt / spice you want, the exact proportions between meat / starch / veggies you want.

Zip lock bag and you're good to go with minimal packaging.

Ditto

Rumi

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"This is my Indian summer ... I'm far more dangerous now, because I don't care at all."
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RandyHiker
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PostMon Jul 03, 2017 9:14 pm 
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AlpineRose wrote:
Just a gentle suggestion.  You might consider experimenting with couscous or bulger wheat instead of Ramen noodles.  The two former are naturally extremely compact and rehydrate super easily.  The latter is a ghastly food.

Momofuku Ando would not agree.  He ate ramen everyday and lived to 96.
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hetrekker
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PostTue Jul 04, 2017 8:36 pm 
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AlpineRose, we love your suggestion. Looking on amazon there are many choices and much incomplete info regarding cook times, etc. Ideally, for our needs, we are looking for something that rehydrates in the same 10 minute time span as our meals. We also looked at quinoa which seems to be a bit cheaper. Tell us more, other grains and options, sources, threads and websites you have found helpful, etc. In the interim, we will be adding two servings of 1 min. cream of wheat to our boiling water before adding to our mh. Cream of wheat is what we have for breakfast and it has to be better than that ghastly food. Please consider us worthy to receive more of your suggestions - even the less gentle kind. wink.gif
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Voxxjin
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PostWed Jul 05, 2017 11:42 am 
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contour5 wrote:
I usually dispose of the foil pack before my trip- and empty the food into small ziplocks. Weight savings is minimal, but my food bag is far less bulky and no sharp foil corners digging into the foodbags.

I do this too for all of my food whether a mountain house type thing or something I make. I take along 1 or 2 of the empty MH bags to mix things in but everything else is ziplocked. I can easily double the amount of food in a bear can by doing this. The Bear Vault 450 says it can hold enough food for 4 days. I can do 9 or 10 in it by using ziplocks. (and no I don't feel like I am starving). I can use the empty ziplocks for holding trash if I need to. All of those prepackaged foods come in containers that contain excess space or take up excess spaces due to their design.

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AlpineRose
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PostWed Jul 05, 2017 1:07 pm 
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Funny story RH, but I KNOW you know about the bell curve.  Like we've all heard about the two-pack-a-day smoker who lived to a ripe old age.  Or the big snowstorm that proves global warming is not happening.  Regardless of how long it's inventor lived, ramen is still ghastly.

he/shetrekker.  I've used a 1:1 ratio of boiling water to couscous or bulgher.  Just add boiling water and wait.  Couscous rehydrates really fast, 5 -10 minutes.  Bulgher takes more like 15-30 minutes.  You can experiment at home.  Nesting the bowl/pot/bag in a cozy to retain heat will help rehydrate faster.  I've never tried just rehydrating quinoa, which would be the best of all.  At home, I cook it for 12 minutes at low/medium heat, 2:1 ratio water to quinoa.  Maybe quinoa could be rehydrated by just adding boiling water, but I'll bet it would take at least 30 minutes.

Other foods you could try adding to your MH are the dried lentil, black bean, and pea soup mixtures found in bulk at places like PCC.  Super nutritious.  Or just try adding those to couscous or bulgher (or quinoa) and without the MH.

On a weeklong backpack many years ago, one of my companions brought only bulgher.  Ate it for breakfast, lunch, dinner.  Tried to convince the rest of us what a superior food it was.  His last name was Bugler.  We talked about Bugler's bulgher for a long time afterwards.
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RumiDude
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PostWed Jul 05, 2017 2:41 pm 
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AlpineRose wrote:
Regardless of how long it's inventor lived, ramen is still ghastly.

+1  Instant ramen noodles are really crappy food. I am not saying that an occasional meal of them is going to shorten your life, but when it is so easy to use other stuff it is totally unnecessary. Heck, even instant rice is way better than ramen.

Rumi

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"This is my Indian summer ... I'm far more dangerous now, because I don't care at all."
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hetrekker
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PostSun Jul 09, 2017 11:34 am 
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Lots of great feedback here, guys, (thank you) and lots of viable options. As a stopgap, RD's suggestion of instant (one minute) rice will be a marked improvement. We had tried the baggie deal so popular with lots of you and didn't work so well for us; we share an 850 ml msr titan titanium pot (that fits a large canister inside) which is the only hard container we have room for, and it wasn't big enough to contain the baggie with mh and noodles. Love the ideas of creating our own meals without mh (I like cheap) and will likely pursue that after hiking season is over and we have more time. We like mh flavors except rice and chicken (where's the chicken?) and find the foil packet indispensable. Most meals pulverize to 1/2 inch in center tapering to nothing on all 4 sides. We further reduce packet size by cutting off all but 1/8 inch of edge seal on sides and bottom and within 1/8 inch of zip lock seal on top. Final size ends up being 7 1/8 wide x 6 1/2 high x 1/2 inch in center. c5, we don't have room for a food bag but our heavy duty (for it's size) 6 oz. backpack (compression sack with padded straps wink.gif) works well; we slide the mh packets down the sides further compressing our clothing and bedding. More later.
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RandyHiker
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PostSun Jul 09, 2017 9:43 pm 
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AlpineRose wrote:
Funny story RH, but I KNOW you know about the bell curve. Like we've all heard about the two-pack-a-day smoker who lived to a ripe old age. Or the big snowstorm that proves global warming is not happening. Regardless of how long it's inventor lived, ramen is still ghastly.

Ramen is all over the place in Japan -- a typical grocery store there has at least an entire aisle devoted to it and sometime a large display up front.   Many many more varieties of ramen than here in the US. 

Yet Japan also sports the longest average lifespan in the world.   Even though smoking is more common than in the US.   

Ramen is useful for treks -- it is highly calorie dense as the noodles are fried in oil and oils have roughly twice the calorie density of carbohydrates or protein.    It's the flavor packet that packs in the salt and MSG -- throw that away or use only a 1/4 of it.
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