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Reviews > Food > Packaged Meals > Munk Pack Oatmeal Fruit Squeezes > Test Report by Gail StaisilMunk Pack Oatmeal Fruit Squeezes
Test Series by: Gail Staisil, Marquette, Michigan
March 8, 2015
Name: Gail Staisil
Height: 5' 9" (1.75 m)
Weight: 152 lb (69 kg)
Location: Marquette, Michigan USA
Email: woodswoman 2001 AT yahoo DOT com
For the last 20 years, backpacking has become a passion. I am a four-season backpacker and an off-trail navigator. Although I do take yearly trips to the American West or Southwest, the majority of my trips are in Michigan. My pack weight varies considerably but my base weight is below 18 lb (8 kg). I am primarily a tarp camper who averages more than 50 nights a year backpacking in a huge variety of weather conditions including relentless rain, wet snow and sub-zero temps.
Initial Impressions and Product Description
The Munk Pack Oatmeal Fruit Squeezes arrived in all three flavors as shown at right. My first impression was that each pouch was physically larger than I expected at almost 6.5 in/16.5 cm in height and 3.25 in/8.26 cm in width.
Munk Pack - What are they?
The Munk Pack is an oatmeal and fruit product that is packaged in a squeeze BPA-free pouch. This sort of packaging is used commonly with baby and children's products so that they can just suck the food contents out of the pouch without a mess (at least that is what I notice with my grandchildren). I have seen other types of food for adults packaged that way too, but have not tried them.
The manufacturer named the product Munk Pack after chipmunks who are notorious for only eating what is good for them. Reportedly the Munk Pack ingredients are selected for a healthy diet.
The Oatmeal Fruit Squeezes come in three flavors which are Blueberry Acai Flax, Raspberry Coconut, and Apple Quinoa Cinnamon.. They all have many details in common including the fact that they are gluten free (as they include gluten free oats) and are non GMO. They are also vegan, kosher and contain nothing artificial. Amounts of fiber vary with the blueberry version having 4 g (0.14 oz) and the other kinds 3 g (0.11 oz). Carbohydrates vary as well from 17 g (0.60 oz) to 21 g (0.74 oz). One of the products (Raspberry Coconut) has a small amount of saturated fat (2 g/0.07 oz) while the others don't. No sugars are added. They are low sodium but do have a good dose of potassium which would be a good electrolyte.
The manufacturer suggests that the Munk Pack would make a quick breakfast, provide fuel for a workout (as it provides fiber for sustained energy) and contain brain-healthy Omega 3's for clear thinking. The Munk Pack should be refrigerated after opening but I don't expect to eat only a partial serving. However this may work well for children or those who don't finish their food.
Trying One Out
Since I went cross country skiing yesterday on a very hilly course, I was in snack mode when I finished. I took a Raspberry Coconut with me. Since the temps were below freezing (26 F/-3 C), I wondered if I would be able to use the product (perhaps it would be frozen). I twisted open the cap which was easy to do and proceeded to eat the contents. The mixture was thick but it was easy to swallow. It was kind of like a thick smoothie that has little chunks of ingredients in it. As the contents disappeared, I rolled the tube to ensure I got the majority of the contents out. Plus I wanted more!
When I tried it, the first flavor I noticed was banana and then the tartness of the raspberries and the mild coconut taste. The banana taste had me confused, but later when I got home I read the ingredients and there is indeed banana in it...I guess my taste buds are OK after all. Besides, I really enjoyed the flavors and texture. I wondered if a product with only 100 calories would do the trick after my ski outing but I didn't reach for anything else upon returning home for a least an hour.
Although the packaging on this product is significant for a 100 calorie serving, the tube does roll up nicely and took up little space when finished. I look forward to eating the Munk Packs on a variety of outings including backpacking.
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Long Term Report:
June 2, 2015
USA Locations and Conditions
During the testing period I have spent part of most days outdoors as well as spent four nights in the backcountry. Locations of all trips were in the State of Michigan and ranged from lakeshore to boreal forest. Elevation ranged from above 600 ft (183 m) to 2,000 ft (610 m).
Location of Trip #1: Hiawatha National Forest, Upper Peninsula of Michigan
Length of Trip: 2 nights (March 8-10)
Pack Weight: Approx 40 lb sled (18.6 kg)
Sky and Air Conditions: Sunny and cloudy
Temperature Range: 24 F to 56 F (-4 C to 13 C)
Location of Trip #2: Pictured Rocks National Lakeshore, Upper Peninsula of Michigan
Length of Trip: 2 nights (May 20-22)
Type of Trip: Trail
Pack Weight: Approx: 23 lb (10.4 kg)
Sky and Air Conditions: Sun and clouds; light winds
Temperature Range: 22 to 60 F (-6 to 16 C)
Other Activities: Back Country Skiing (Echo Lake, Grand Island National Recreation Area, Pictured Rocks National Lakeshore), Snowshoeing (Hiawatha National Forest)
Distances: Usually 8 to 15 mi (13 to 24 km)
Sky and Air Conditions: Blizzards to light snow, high winds, mostly cloudy and some sun
Temperature Range: 18 to 38 F (-8 to 3 C)
I consumed six of the Oatmeal Squeeze Packets during day outings and three during backpacking trips.
My day outings while consuming Munk Packs were oftentimes backcountry skiing with places noted above. Lake Superior was once again ice covered this year so I skied several times to a nearby island on ice as well as along the coastline for many miles. Usually they were long day outings lasting about 6-8 hours each time with mileage varying as noted above.
On my Hiawatha National Forest trip I trekked while wearing snowshoes. I consumed one of the squeezes during a snack break on the unbroken trail. It was enough to get me going again to finish my route.
On my Pictured Rocks backpacking trip I consumed the Apple Quinoa flavor shortly after backpacking almost nine miles (14.5 km). The next day I consumed the Raspberry Coconut after backpacking over ten miles (16 km) as a snack when I finished. The calorie count doesn't go very far on such endeavors so I always had to supplement with more food in conjunction with it. I had eaten other snacks along the way usually in the form of trail mix with lots of nuts.
After eating the contents I would simply roll up the squeeze tube. That in itself makes it easier to pack out. I do wish they had a different cap on them though. The cap was probably designed to be both aesthetic and functional (for better grip) but I think a smallish tooth-paste type cap would be easier to pack out.
The Apple Quinoa Cinnamon flavor is rather bland and it reminds me of generic applesauce or baby food (if I remember right). I think the taste could be heightened by adding nutmeg and cloves or at least more cinnamon.
I love the Raspberry Coconut flavor the best. The combination of the tart raspberries, the banana and coconut plus oatmeal were always looked forward to.
The blueberry flavor I also enjoyed although I really couldn't detect the Acai berries. It didn't matter though as it tasted great. Although I really enjoyed most of the flavors I find that the packaging is too bulky for long backpacking purposes. I would gladly use them for day outings or short backpack trips again.
Since all of my outings were done in cool-to-cold weather I might add that I never had a problem eating one of the squeezes. Many times it was below freezing and the squeeze was either carried in a waist belt or backpack with no further protection other than it juggling around with other items in the pack.
As referenced above, the Munk Packs are enjoyable but I think the best usage would be during day outings where weight and bulk aren't an issue. I would certainly purchase them for that.
Thanks to Munk Pack and BackpackGearTest.org for this opportunity to test the Oatmeal Fruit Squeezes. This concludes my Long Term report and the test series.
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Read more gear reviews by Gail Staisil
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