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Reviews > Food > Meal Ingredients > SafeCatch Tuna Packs > Test Report by Kurt Papke

Safe Catch Tuna

Test Series by Kurt Papke

Initial Report - June 5, 2017

Long Term Report - October 10, 2017

Tester Information

Name: Kurt Papke
Age: 63
Gender: Male
Height: 6' 4" (193 cm)
Weight: 225 lbs (102 kg)
Email address: kwpapke at gmail dot com
City, State, Country: Tucson, Arizona USA

My backpacking locales have been a combination of Minnesota, where I have lived most of my adult life, and the Southwest where I moved to take a new job in 2009.  I have always been a "comfort-weight" backpacker, never counting grams, but still keeping my pack as light as easily attained.  Pouches of tuna are one of my go-to meals on the trail.

Initial Report

Product Information

Manufacturer: Safe Catch, Inc.
The company is headquartered in Sausalito, California.  The tuna are wild-caught, but the manufacturer does not indicate where they are fished from.  The labeling indicates "Packed in Thailand".
Elite single serving pouch
Year of manufacture: 2017
US $35.99 per case of 12 with free shipping in the continental USA
Not stipulated, but they do document a return policy on their website
My tuna arrived on May 13, 2017 and has an expiration date of June 2018, so the shelf life is roughly one year
Manufacturer website:
Skipjack tuna
One size pouch available only
Quantity tested:
16 total, 12 pouches/case
Weight: Listed: 3 oz (85 g)
Measured: 3.1 oz (88 g) with pouch packaging
4.45 x 6.22 x .39 in (11.3 x 15.8 x 1.0 cm)
Nutritional info:
The pouch indicated it contained 1.5 servings, but I can't imagine sharing 1/2 pouch with someone else, so the following is for the entire pouch:

Calories: 90
Calories from fat: 7.5
Total fat: 0.75 g
Cholesterol: 30 mg
Sodium: 345 mg
Potassium: 450 mg
Protein: 21 g
Saturated fat, trans fat, carbohydrates are all zero


Initial Inspection

From the package labeling and the manufacturer's website, the salient features of the product are:
  • Wild and sustainably caught fish
  • Low mercury levels.  Each fish is tested for mercury and the standards are 10x what is required by the FDA
  • Packed raw as steaks and cooked only once in the packaging for improved flavor and Omega-3's.


I am looking forward to get the Safe Catch Elite Wild Tuna into the field and actually tasting it.

Things I Like So Far:

  • I like the ethics of sustainability, and the guaranteed low mercury levels so I don't have to worry how much I consume.

Things That Concern Me Upfront:

  • Nothing.

Long Term Report

Field Experience

Meals used in
May 25-30 Monument Valley and Canyonlands NP in SE Utah Canyonlands
5 mi (8 km) walked, extensive Jeep travel
3900-6200 ft
(1190-1890 m)
Sunny, very windy with blowing dust, temperatures 50-85 F (10-29 C)
  1. Plain tuna sandwich
  2. Potato soup to make a chowder
July 29-August 6 San Juan mountains between Durango and Silverton, Colorado
Various 45 mi (72 km) total across 7 hikes 8000-12,500 ft
(2440-3810 m)
38-75 F (3-24 C)
Sun, rain showers, high winds
  1. Tuna/bacon sandwich (see top picture below)
  2. Chowder again
  3. Tuna ramen
September 2-10 Quetico Provincial Park, Ontario, Canada
Falls Chain About 80 miles (130 km) paddled, 25 double portages 1380 ft
(420 m)
39-75 F (3-24 C), clouds, high winds, rain, then sunny Plain tuna sandwich
September 28 - October 1 Mogollon Rim, north of Payson, Arizona
Various 3.4 miles (5.5 km) hiking
8 miles (13 km) mountain biking
7000 ft
(2130 m)
Daytime temperatures around 75 F (24 C), nighttime around 38 F (3 C).  Mostly sunny and breezy. Plain tuna sandwich
October 6-8
Gila Wilderness, New Mexico
Jordan Springs from TJ Corral
14 mi (22.5 km)
5590-6300 ft
(1700-1920 m)
20-80F (-7-27 C), sunny
Plain tuna sandwich


This was an epic 6-day tour of Monument Valley, Valley of the Gods, Gooseneck State Park, and Canyonlands NP White Rim Trail by Jeep.   I used three packets, one for a lunchtime sandwich, and two in a seafood chowder soup dinner:


I really enjoyed both of these meals.  The tuna sandwich could have used some fat, maybe a packet of mayonnaise, as the tuna can be a bit dry tasting all by itself.  In the seafood chowder that I made with Idahoan potato soup powder I added some olive oil (it is visible in the lower photo above), and this was absolutely perfect.  The portions worked out well - one packet is enough for a lunch, and two for dinner made a filling meal for me.

San Juans

This was a 9-day car camping trip to the mountain trails between Durango and Silverton Colorado.  We hiked every day that we were not driving to/from Tucson, and stayed in the same group campsite (Chris Lake) the entire week.  I had the tuna primarily for lunches; I had planned to make a few dinners as well, but we ended up doing some group dinners on the campfire so a few tuna packages came back home with me.  Here's what I had:


OK, OK, there's a lot of bacon on the pita with the tuna in the top picture, but I was hungry that day and it tasted pretty good.  I think the tuna chowder (made with a 1/2 package of Idahoan potato soup) is becoming a staple with me.  The ramen with tuna was pretty darn good - very easy prep and quite filling.

All of these meals were decent.  I need to find something to lube up my tuna sandwiches though - I really like tuna salad, so if I can find some single-serving mayo packets that would be just the ticket.  The bacon was good, but still a little dry.

Quetico Falls Chain Paddle

This was an 8-day paddle and portage up the Falls Chain to Lake Agnes and back.  We alternated lunches between tuna and peanut butter and jelly.  I wish I had some mayonnaise with me to juice up the tuna a bit, but when I am paddling and portaging for 8+ hours day I will eat just about anything.  The following photo shows a typical lunch break on a PB&J day - that would be me in the back, barefoot with the wide-brimmed hat.  Not a bad little lunch spot!


Mogollon Rim Hammock Hang

This was a 4-day "hammock hang", i.e. a car camping get-together of hammock enthusiasts.  We were based out of the Long Valley campground up on the Mogollon Rim, the edge of the Colorado Plateau.  Activities included hiking, cycling, and consumption of far too much food and drink around a campfire.

I made a tuna sandwich one day, and to juice it up a little bit put some leftover barbecue sauce on it.  I would not recommend this combination.

Gila Wilderness

Three-day camp/hike in high desert and sloshing through the Middle Fork of the Gila River to some nice warm natural springs.  We stopped and had lunch on Saturday at the start of the river walk - I took this photo from the log I was sitting on while munching my tuna sandwich:


Not a bad lunch view!  I didn't have anything with me to add fat to the tuna, but this time I did double up on the bread which made it much more tasty.  I think in my prior sandwiches I had too high a tuna/bread ratio.  It also made for a more satisfying lunch.


Safe Catch tuna packets can be a key component of a healthy, delicious lunch.  They pack easily, are indestructible in my food bag, are easily dispensed from the pouch, taste good and are appetizing in their appearance.  I wished I had made more dinners from it - I was hoping to make a tuna noodle Alfredo, but it just didn't happen.

There are many flavored tunas on the market now that make for a more flavorful sandwich without the necessity of sourcing and packing additional ingredients.  I would recommend Safe Catch diversify their offerings to make it easier for people to make a "turnkey" lunch.  This might dilute their purity claims a bit, but if done with quality ingredients I think this would make the product easier to consume.

Thanks to and Safe Catch for the opportunity to contribute to this test.

Read more reviews of Safe Catch, Inc. gear
Read more gear reviews by Kurt Papke

Reviews > Food > Meal Ingredients > SafeCatch Tuna Packs > Test Report by Kurt Papke

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