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Reviews > Food > Meal Ingredients > SafeCatch Tuna Packs > Test Report by joe schaffer

SafeCatch - Tuna Pouches

Test Report by Joe Schaffer

INITIAL REPORT - May 16, 2017
LONG TERM REPORT - September 29, 2017
NAME: Joe Schaffer
EMAIL: never2muchstuff(at)yahoo(dot)com
AGE: 69
HOME:  Bay Area, California USA

     I enjoy California's central Sierras, camping every month with a goal to match my age in nights out each year. For comfort I lug tent, mattress, chair and such. Typical summer trips run 5-8 days; 40 lb (18 kg), about half food and water related; about 5 miles (8 km) per hiking day in the bright and sunny granite in and around Yosemite. I winter base camp most often at 6,000 to 7,000 ft (1,800 to 2,000 m); 2 to 3 nights; 50 lb (23 kg); a mile or so (1.6 km) on snowshoes.

Product: Tuna Pouches

Manufacturer:  SafeCatch12-pack
        Weight: pkg says Net = 3 oz (85 g)
                     Wesbsite says 2.81 oz (80 g)
       Per Serving: 1 1/2 servings per packet
       Calories: 60
       Calories from fat: 5
       Total fat: 0.5g
       Saturated fat: 0
       Trans fat: 0
       Cholesterol: 20 mg
       Sodium: 230 mg
       Potassium: 300 mg
       Carbs: 0
       Protein: 14 g
Description: (excerpted from mfr. website)
    Mercury Tested
    Artisan Cook Process
    No Additives or Fillers
    Sustainably Caught – Monterey Bay Aquarium Seafood Watch partner!
Available Sizes: 12 & 24 pack

Available Flavors: This one.
My Specs:  individual packet from 12-pack
    Gross wt: 3 1/8 oz (89 g)
    Package size: 6 1/8 x 4 3/8 x 1/4 in (15.6 x 11.1 x 0.64 cm)

MSRP: $35.99 for 12-pack US

Received: May 16, 2017

My Description:   
    The packet appears to be tough plastic containing very little liquid. I'd like to start my test of the contents while out in the woods, so comment on that will be deferred to the Field Report.

two packetsImpressions:
    I like tuna and it permanently resides on my backpacking menu. I prefer versions not packed in oil; and at the lower end of the sodium spectrum. I check the label for dolphin safe. I don't care for the cat food variety as much as real chunk; and all things considered I would rather eat wild harvest of non-endangered species. Where and when appropriate I have carried cans so as burn off any residue before putting the empty in my pack. Packets I have tried made me anxious about their ability to withstand the normal jostle and jamming of backpacking, given that a leak would be calamitous. I don't prefer (but nearly always carry) the 'standard' 6 3/8 oz (181 g) size as it's more than I want, and of course there can be no leftovers so I have to eat it all. Smaller cans usually aren't packed with what or the way I want; and often cost more than the larger can. All that said, I have a little trouble finding the perfect product and package. I'm partial so far to albacore; I'm anxious to get out and try this skipjack tuna, presently a non-threatened species.
    The contents-size of an individual SafeCatch packet suits me perfectly. The packet stows nicely and appears to be strong enough not to rupture under pressure. I feel very little liquid in the packet--a certain advantage over carrying a can or packet with water I don't always want to consume, but don't care to burn or spill about camp. The packet itself evidently weighs about 1/8 oz (4 g), about 1 3/4 oz (50 g) less than a can. This means I can carry two appropriately-portioned meals of SafeCatch at about 3/4 the weight of a single pig-out can, and only 1/4 oz (8 g) of packaging to carry back out. The accounted serving size is consistent with the product I often use: The SafeCatch has 28% more sodium. That won't kill me and I'll have to eat it to know whether it puckers me. I like the green aspects and recognize those attributes add cost. My calculations suggest this product is about three times the cost per serving of what I commonly use, though no amount of the SafeCatch would be excess consumption as is half from the can. At my age I doubt I can eat enough mercury to worry (or I already have and this comment is the result), so other matters such as taste and texture, and more conveniently sized packaging and lower tare will probably weigh more heavily.

Field Conditions:
  1. May 22-26, 2017: Stanislaus National Forest and Yosemite Wilderness, California; 15 mi (24 km) backpack, 4,660-6,480 ft (1,420-1,975 m). with rice1 pack with meal.
    2. Jun 5-8, 2017: Loon Lake, California; 10 mi (16  km) backpack, 6,400 ft (1,950 m).
    3. Jun 13-16, 2017: Bergson Lake, Carson Iceberg Wilderness, California. 10 mi (16 km) backpack. 80-45 F (27-7 C) 6,420 ft (1,957 m). 1 pack with meal.
    4. Jun 20-23, 2017: Shasta National Forest, California. 8 mi (13 km) backpack. 90-50 F (32-10 C). 5,720-6,840 ft (1,745-2,085 m). 35 lb (16 kg) leave weight. 1 pack with meal.
    5. Jul 4-9, 2017: Emigrant Wilderness, California. 11 mi (18 km) backpacking. Leave weight 38 lb (17 kg), return 31 lb (14 kg). 1 pack with meal.
    6. Jul 11-16, 2017: Yosemite Wilderness, California. 18 mi (29 km) backpacking. Leave weight 39 lb (17 kg), return 31 lb (14 kg). 1 pack as meal.
    7. Jul 22-26, 2017: Willamette National Forest, Waldo Lake. 2 mi (3 km) backpacking XC. 5,400 ft (1,650  m). 1 pack with meal.
. Jul 26-29, 2017: Yolla Bolly Wilderness, California.  10 mi (16 km) backpacking trail.  6,240-6,560 ft (1,900-2,000  m). 1 pack with meal.
    9. Aug 3-11, 2017: Emigrant Wilderness, California. 35 mi (56 km) backpacking trail and XC. 60-55 F (16-13 C) dinner temp at 7,600-8,720 ft (2,316-2,658 m). Leave weight 41 lb (18.6 kg), return 31 lb (14 kg). 2 packs with meals.
    10. Aug 18-20, 2017: Blow Lake, Three Sisters Wilderness, Oregon. 3 mi (5 km) backpacking 55 lb (25 kg) on trail. 5,050 ft (1,540 m). One dirt camp, two nights. 1 pack with meal.
    11. Aug 22-25, 2017: Waldo Lake, Willamette National Forest, Oregon. 1.5 mi (3 km) backpacking 55 lb (25 kg) XC. 5,400 ft (1,645 m). One dirt camp, three nights. 1 pack with meal.
12. Sep 8-11, 2017: Emigrant Wilderness, California. 12 mi (19 km) backpacking trail & XC. Leave wt 36 lb (16 kg) return 30 lb (14 kg). 70-80 F (21-27 C). 7,200-8,700 ft (2,195-2,650 m). 1 pack with meal.
    13. Sep 13-21, 2017: Dinkey Lakes Wilderness, California. 17 mi (27 km) backpacking trail & XC. Leave wt 43 lb (20 kg). 32-65 F (0-18 C). 8,000-10,100 ft (2,440-3,080 m). 1 pack with meal.
    14. Sep 26-28, 2017: Maidu Lake, Umpqua National Forest, Oregon. 12 mi (19 km) (9 mi/14 km backpacking 3 mi/5 k hiking)  Leave wt 37 lb (17 kg) return 35 lb (16 kg). 70 F (21 C). 5,600-6,100 ft (1,700-1,860 m). 1 pack with meal.


    The package slips into my bear can or bag very efficiently. It travels for days with no apparent distress to contents or package. It is easy to tear open and I don't even have to use my teeth. I found no need to drain it. The product spoons out onto the plate with little ado and very little liquid, in large chunks as shown in the pic. I find it also very easy to spoon directly out of the pack when eating it as a meal. I've enjoyed it straight from the pack and on the side with rice, noodles and beans.
    Skipjack seems to have a slightly more pronounced flavor than albacore, and about the same texture. I do taste the higher salt level but can't say I mind or that it bothers me; and maybe on hot weather trips it's a good thing as I tend to eat naturally low sodium stuff and never add salt. I didn't find any bones, fins or scales. This is not cat food. I like it. Of course I would always want to eat more, but the portion size is perfect for my solo eating adventures. My partner doesn't partake of tuna in the outback, so never a need to share. I'm quite a fan of the fish and I would rate this product at the top of my preference scale.
    The package resists coming operating room clean inside, even rinsed in hot water. It rolls up ok, though, with a rubber band around it to keep it tight. No muss. No smell I could detect after as many as five hot days in the bear can; and no varmints nosing around that I noticed. The empty pouch weighs 3/8 oz (7g)--a highly respectable level of packaging for the food value; and I didn't have to dirty my fingers smashing a burned can or trying to rinse out an envelope (after initially determining not to bother). I've had no packages come open on their own. Before taking the woodsy plunge I tried to rupture a package in the kitchen sink and could not.

Tastes great; minimal packaging.

Quick shots:
    a) tasty
    b) perfect size
    c) nicely packable
    d) responsible fishery
Thank you SafeCatch and for the opportunity to test this product. This report concludes my test.

Read more reviews of Safe Catch, Inc. gear
Read more gear reviews by joe schaffer

Reviews > Food > Meal Ingredients > SafeCatch Tuna Packs > Test Report by joe schaffer

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