021: Freeze Dried Meal Options

Today on The First 40 Miles, We have a big announcement to make that we know you’ll love! Then on our Top 5 List you’ll learn the secrets that Willie Nelson has known for years. Then the Backpack Hack of the Week, we’ll combine chocolate, almond butter and coconut in a way that is guaranteed to bring you joy—almond joy. The Backpackers Q+A give you three options for freeze dried meals, but you’ll have to take the quiz to find out which one fits. And we’ll wrap up the show with a little trail wisdom from our good friend on the trail, Mr. John Keats.

Show Notes: Episode 021


  • Big Announcement!
  • Evergreen Episodes starting May 2015
  • Evergreen Episodes will have same format
  • They will air first Tuesday of each month
  • One topic per show, more in depth

Top 5 Uses for a Cotton Bandana

Cooling towel in hot weather

  • Works best in hot dry climates

Prefilter for water

  • Wrap around bobber of your pump filter
  • Place over your water bottle, then use another bottler to retrieve water and pour. Then, treat with water purification drops or tablets

All-purpose “moist situation tool”

  • Handkerchief
  • First Aid
  • Cleaning rag

Close range signal

  • Bright colors

Fire starter or charcloth

  • Charcloth takes a spark from a “flint and steel” type striker


Cotton Bandanas have a very low UPF rating, so use it as a last resort for sun protection. The Ultraviolet Protection Factor (UPF) rating system measures the UV protection provided by fabric.

Backpack Hack of the Week™: DIY Almond Joy Almond Butter Spread

1/4 cup almond butter

1/4 cup chocolate chips

1/4 cup unsweetened coconut

Heat ingredients in bowl in microwave for 30-45 seconds. Mix well.

Store in a tight lidded jar. Another option is to put it in a bag and seal the top of the bag with packing tape. It won’t be puncture proof, or leaf proof, but it will be leak resistant.

The mixture is best after it’s had a chance to warm up a little in your pocket and is even better when it’s consumed all at once.


Backpackers Q+A: Freeze dried meals are so convenient, however I know there has to be other options besides grabbing a $10 bag of chicken a la king. Is there a place to buy dehydrated meals in bulk, or at least at a discount? It seems like it would be a much better deal than buying a few ounces at a time. -Inez in Arkansas


Which description matches you?

  1.  I don’t mind spending money to put good, organic fuel into my body. Totally worth it—however, if you can get me a sweet deal, I’ll take the saved money and put it toward a piece of luscious new gear.
  2. I want the convenience of freeze dried food, however I also have a car payment and a subscription to Beef Jerky of the Month Club that I’m not willing to give up. Hook me up with a deal and make it cheap and convenient!
  3. I’m a do-it-yourselfer. If I can make it myself, then step aside and give me the tools. I have a supply of quart freezer zip top bags that has put me on a government watch list.

 HEALTH CONSCIOUS (1): MaryJanes Farm High Attitude Six Pack (BULK FOOD)

3 lbs Outrageous Outback Oatmeal (equal to 17 Outpost pouches)

3 lbs Bavarian Chocolate Mousse (equal to 9 Outpost pouches)

3 lbs Black Bean Hummus (equal to 13 Outpost pouches)

3 lbs Chilimac (over 9 Outpost pouches)

3 lbs Santa Fe Pasta (over 11 Outpost pouches)

3 lbs Nick’s Couch Potatoes (equal to 17 Outpost pouches) $219

BUDGET MINDED BACKPACKER (2): Wise Emergency Food Supply Favorites (Pre-packaged)

34 ounces

16 Meals for under $20

DO-IT-YOURSELFER (3): Augason Farms Emergency Food Freeze Dried Vegetable Variety Pack, 70.4 oz for under $100

Trail Wisdom

“The poetry of the earth is never dead.”

-John Keats