Breakfast in the Boonies: Top Ready-Made Meal Brands

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Key Points

  • Freeze-dried breakfast camping meals must be nutrient-dense, lightweight, and have a long shelf life.

  • Check out Pinnacle Foods, Heather's Choice, and Mountain House for top-notch freeze-dried meals.

  • You're going to need heated water to cook a freeze-dried meal, so bring along something like a Jetboil.

Scrumptious grub on the go that takes only minutes to make? That's about the greatest thing ever when you're neck-deep in the boonies, sweaty and hungry from a long day off rucking. Enter the world of freeze-dried breakfast camping meals.

The components of quality freeze-dried camping meals are simple. Your body is a machine, requiring a smorgasbord of proteins, fats, and carbohydrates. Good freeze-dried breakfast camping meals contain this trio of macronutrients. On the practicality front, freeze-dried food must be easy to carry around, lightweight, and have a long shelf life — astronauts are eating this stuff out in space. If freeze-dried meals withstand the rigors of intergalactic space travel, then they're going to have no problem on your next trip to the Rockies.

Pinnacle Foods

Pinnacle Foods freeze-dried breakfast meal

Photo source: Pinnacle Foods

With the word "Pinnacle" as their company name, you're probably expecting the crème de le crème. Well, your expectations are met. Pinnacle Foods Co uses real food baked in small batches and then freeze-dried, thus preserving 97 percent of all the nutrients. Plus, there are none of those nasty fillers or preservatives. It's all-natural, baby.

For brekky, they've got meals like "Breakfast Sausage and Egg Scramble with Peppers, Onions, and Rosemary Roasted Potatoes," which sounds just scrumdiddlyumptious.

Each bag is $15.99 and is loaded with all the essential vittles you need when camping. That's an affordable price for a quality, quick meal.

The meals come in two different types of bags: omnidegradable and a retort pouch. The omnidegradable is for the environmentally conscious, as they're compostable. Retort pouches aren't compostable but are much more durable, making them great for extreme outdoor situations like mountaineering.

Complaints are few — nearly nonexistent might be more appropriate. The only gripe is the eggs. Freeze-dried eggs have a bit of a unique texture. By no means bad, but also not anywhere close to the texture of a freshly scrambled egg.

If you're okay with the unique mouthfeel of freeze-dried eggs, then Pinnacle Foods is an excellent place to purchase some tasty, nutritious, and affordable freeze-dried breakfast meals for camping.

Heather's Choice

Heather's Choice freeze-dried breakfast meal

Photo source: Heather's Choice

Heather's Choice is a brand of freeze-dried food that requires a conscientious eye from the consumer. Some of their meals are home runs and tasty options that previous users go gah-gah for. Others are labeled unappetizing by the majority of users.

Take their $6.95 "Buckwheat Breakfast." You've got folks calling it hearty and filling. Conversely, others disliked it so much that they even used the word "barf" in the review.

Preference seems to be what determines if people like this meal or not. A Buckwheat Breakfast contains buckwheat, chia seeds, dried bananas, raw sugar, hulled hemp seeds, coconut milk, shredded coconut flakes, sea salt, and nutmeg. That's a diverse, nutrient-dense assortment of components. The issue logically lies not with the quality of the ingredients but with what previous users consider tasty.

Always do your own research. If you despise coconut with a fiery passion, then don't get a freeze-dried meal containing this tropical fruit.

What isn't doubtful is the screaming deals you get. Their Morning Glory Oatmeal is only $8.95. While their Blueberry Almond Packaroon is an energy bar that costs a mere $2.50 and has 170 calories.

Be a vigilant consumer. Heather's Choice offers quality ingredients in each of its freeze-dried breakfast meals. Just be sure to buy the ones that, ya know, you actually like.

Mountain House

Mountain House freeze-dried breakfast meal

Photo source: Mountain House

Mountain House is a mainstay in the survivalist food niche, known for its myriad meals. In the breakfast category alone, there's a boatload of meals to choose from. You've got biscuits & gravy, granola with milk and blueberries, scrambled eggs with bacon, breakfast skillet, and more!

Prices range. It's $6.95 for the granola with milk and blueberries, but each package has two servings, so you're paying around $3.50 for each meal. Biscuits and gravy are more expensive at $9.75, but again, the package has two servings. Then there's the colossal Breakfast Skillet XL, which comes with 8 servings. This costs $71.60 and is perfect for those off-the-grid types looking to live in a cave somewhere in Wyoming.

All the meals are tasty. The biggest issue, as with other companies, is the eggs. Turns out chicken eggs and the process of freeze-drying aren't a good fit.

A great thing about these freeze-dried meals is their weight. The breakfast skillet is a mere 3.7 ounces. The rest of the breakfast meals also hover around 4 ounces.

Lightweight, simple to cook, packed with nutrients, and just plain tasty. A Mountain House breakfast is the ideal choice for any type of camping.

How to Make Breakfast While Camping

Turning a freeze-dried meal into a ready-to-eat dish takes minutes. Heat up water till it's hot, then pour some into the packet.

A note of caution: Always read the label, which tells you how much water you need to add.

A further note of caution: Always put less water, then add more if needed; this way, your breakfast skillet doesn't turn into a bubbling cauldron of soup.

Bring a portable camping stove or start a campfire if you want to cook. Ensure your food stays fresh by keeping it in a cooler, or bring non-perishable foods.

A Breakfast for Kings

As the renowned nutritionist Adelle Davis said, "Eat breakfast like a king, lunch like a prince, and dinner like a pauper."

When camping, a breakfast fit for royalty is even more essential. You're burning calories like gasoline. It's vital to ensure your body is in shipshape. Do this by bringing along some freeze-dried breakfast meals; the quickest, cheapest, and most effective way to nourish your body.

Shimmy on down to MyOutdoorGear and take a deep dive into even more information on surviving and thriving in The Great Outdoors.

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