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Reviews > Food > Packaged Meals > Richmoor Natural High Camping Food > Test Report by Leesa Joiner

Natural High
Assorted Meals
Richmoor Corporation
Initial Report
May 1, 2007

Initial Report: May 1, 2007
Long Term Report: July 10, 2007

Personal Information:
Leesa Joiner
leesaj@gmail.com
Southwestern Maine
45 years old                                                                     
Female
5'7" (1.7 m)
160 lb (73 kg)


Background:
My camping, hiking and backpacking experiences include trips varying in length from one-day hikes to two-week trips.  Most outings involve my three children, while my style isn't as 'high adventure' as some, I do enjoy the time we spend outdoors.  I guess that could be considered adventurous in itself.
In the past, my load was super heavy - think pack mule.  Now that the kids carry all their own gear, plus the two oldest help carry the food, etc, my load is lighter.  I still go for durability over weight when selecting gear.
While enjoying the outdoors, I spend time hiking, geocaching, snowshoeing, cross-country skiing and camping. I spend almost as much time outdoors during the winter as I do during the summer.
   
While backpacking and camping, I like to make enjoyable meals.  I dehydrate most of my own food, and also cook from fresh ingredients as much as possible. I spend as much time selecting spices and other 'special' ingredients as I do clothing for a trip.  I have developed a 'thing' for stoves and now own 4 different types.  I also like cooking over a fire, where possible.  


Product Information:
Manufacturer: Richmoor Corporation
Year Manufactured: 2007
Manufacturer's Website: http://www.richmoor.com
MSRP: $4.25 - $6.75 USD
Listed Weight: 4 - 6.5 oz (113 - 186 g)5 food packages
Measured Weight: 4 - 7 oz (113 - 198 g)
*Note - none of the packages varied from the advertised weight by more than .5 oz (8 g)

Products received for testing:

Cheese Pizza
Spicy Thai Chicken
Cheese Enchilada Rancherofood packets
Cinnamon Apple Crisp
Granola with Raspberries and Milk


Product Description:
The five items I received for testing are packaged in similarly sized pouches (approximately 7.5 in x 10 in (19 cm x 25.5 cm)).  Each package has  a brief product description, ingredients, nutrition facts, preparation instructions and company information printed on it.  Below is some of the nutrient information as found on the packaging.  All items are considered two person meals, but the chart shows information for a single serving.  

nutition information

Initial Impressions:
While the calories are on the low side compared to my typical outdoor meals, the sodium is higher for the main course selections.   I haven't opened any of the packages yet, but they seem large considering the amount of food in the package.   I tend to like spicy foods, so I am particularly interested in tasting the Spicy Thai Chicken and the Enchilada Ranchero.  I plan on trying the cheese pizza as directed, but also will add pre-cooked meat to the other half to increase the protein and fat content - and see what it does to the taste.  I will make this for a lunch meal, when I tend to need more protein and fat to maintain my energy levels for the afternoon.  I will be looking at ease of preparation, and most importantly - taste.   I like food, and enjoy making meals while backpacking.  Will the convenience of these types of foods convert me?

Test Conditions:
Living in Northern New England, I have the good fortune of being able to experience at least 4 seasons (sometimes within days of each other!) and some of the best outdoor areas around.  During the next four months our temperature range will run from the current of 47 degrees F (8 C) up to about 70 degrees F (21 C).  These meals will be consumed from sea level up to approximately 2000 ft. (609 m) My hiking areas range from improved trails to rough and rocky.   I will be eating these meals over two weekend trips.   The first one is this weekend - I plan on eating the Granola with Raspberries and Milk for breakfast and the Spicy Thai chicken for supper on the second day.  I am interested in looking at my energy level after meals.  My typical diet is much higher in protein and lower in carbs than what these meals provide - I wonder what effect this will have on me?   In two weeks I am planning a long weekend trip with just my children.  I will be making the pizza for my lunch since we plan on eating at the lake - so I can have a 'leisurely' lunch while they fish.   The next day I will have the Cheese Enchilada Ranchero for supper with the Cinnamon Apple Crisp for dessert.   On this trip we set up camp and backpack from there.  

 I am looking forward to testing the Natural High Meals.  I appreciate the opportunity and thank Richmoor and Backpackgeartest.org.    This concludes my initial report.  The field report will be completed by  July 1, 2007, or when all food is consumed.  Please check back for further information.



Natural High
Assorted Meals
Richmoor Corporation
Long Term Report
July 10, 2007



Here in Maine we have had an extremely rainy beginning to our summer.  It has interfered with a couple of planned trips, and changed the places we have gone on others.  I ended up using all the food on one three day trip.  I will say, right off the bat, that these packaged foods are extremely convenient!  

I used the Cheese Enchilada Ranchero the first night - it was quick, easy to make and it definitely filled me up.  I boiled the water while I set up my tent and got 'organized'.  Once I added the water to the pouch, I wrapped the pouch in a sweatshirt and walked down to the lake to rinse off and enjoy the view.  By the time I made it back up to 'camp', the food was ready, still hot and tasted pretty good! I like my food spicy, and would probably add more spice if I were to make it again.  I was able to eat the whole thing, although I was very full afterwards and probably wouldn't have eaten that much if I was hiking any farther that evening.   I did make the Cinnamon Apple Crisp for dessert later that evening.  I let the kids try it (the smell of cinnamon was getting their attention).  They all thought it tasted good, but that it wasn't 'crisp' enough.   They definitely had home made apple crisp in their head before tasting this.   Again, it was easy to make, easy to clean up and the taste was fairly good.  The granola topping was good and added some crunch to the dish.    The next morning I woke up and wasn't really hungry - but was thirsty. Some of that may have been due to the higher than normal (for me) salt content.   I normally don't use much salt in my cooking.    

I took the Granola w/Raspberries and Milk on our morning hike - added the water to rehydrate the milk, and then hiked a few miles.  When we stopped for a break (and so the kids could climb to a higher point to 'see what they could see')  I ate breakfast and enjoyed the view of the mountains, and the quiet.   I'm not a big cereal fan, but this was good!  The milk actually tasted like milk, which isn't always the case with dry milk products.   I would actually eat this as breakfast at home, if it were sold in larger quanitities.  The fruit was good and added a nice sweetness to the cereal.

When making the Cheese Pizza I found it wasn't as simple - it required a bowl and flat bottom pan for making the crust.   By following the directions I found the crust wasn't quite cooked enough and it still had a doughy consistency.  I ended up 'frying' it a bit longer to crisp it up.   After that, I added the sauce and cheese.  Unfortunately, it just didn't have a pizza taste or texture.   It wasn't 'bad' tasting,  just not a real pizza taste.  The pizza was my least favorite because of this, and the fact that it required more cooking gear and clean up.   Since I like to cook, if I am going to use two pans and have to clean up, I'd rather make something from scratch.

The Spicy Thai Chicken was good!   I think this was my favorite.  I liked the taste, although it wasn't quite as spicy as I would normally like.  Again, easy to make, easy to clean up.  The brocolli and spinach were fairly firm and didn't get 'squishy' after rehydrating.  I was very glad that the chicken wasn't 'mushy', which sometimes is the case in packaged food.    

Overall, I am very pleased with the food as prepared.  I would not purchase the pizza, but for convienence sake would use the others again.   I thought the taste was good, the ease of use was very good and clean up was very good.  I would love to try a 'low-salt' version, although I wonder if the taste would be  affected much?  Extra spice packets would also be nice.


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Reviews > Food > Packaged Meals > Richmoor Natural High Camping Food > Test Report by Leesa Joiner



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