I’m always on the lookout for new meal ideas to keep me happy and energised on my outdoor adventures. When we’re camping as a family and have the same base for a few days, we love nothing more than to prepare and cook meals from scratch. In those scenarios we have the ability to transport our double gas burner stove or our Dutch Oven and tripod (sometimes both!). However, when we’re tackling long hiking trails or wild camping, weight and speed become an important issue. As such, I was delighted when Summit To Eat got in touch, asking us to outdoor test their range of freeze-dried meals. Here’s how we got on…
Summit To Eat are a British company that supply a wide range of freeze-dried meals designed for adventurous activities. In previous years, I’ve always felt a little let down by freeze-dried meals. For me, and I think many others, they simply lacked taste. Furthermore, in terms of range, I could find more options down the Pot Noodle aisle. Don’t get me wrong, they did the job. They provided you with the necessary carbs and protein needed to keep you moving, which, let’s face it, is our main priority when outdoors. But, if they were a colour, they’d most definitely be beige. I’m glad to say Summit To Eat offer a heck of a lot more!
The first thing that impressed me was the breadth of choice on offer. With everything from chicken fajita with rice to Salmon and broccoli pasta, it was already obvious that Summit To Eat were thinking about their customers. The next thing that I liked was the weight of each pack. Coming in at around 120g these are seriously lightweight. Some will argue that you’ll have to carry additional water to cook them. I disagree. Given that I take a lightweight water filter with me on every wild camp and long hike, I can source water by careful route planning, thereby vastly reducing the amount I have to carry. Consequently, any further weight that I can save, in this case on food, is always welcome.
Nutritionally, Summit To Eat meals are packed with everything you need to recover and re-energise after an exhaustive hike, scramble or climb. Taking the salmon and broccoli pasta as an example, the pouch contains over 50g of carbs. What’s more, less than 9g of those are from sugar. That means that you’ll be getting a great intake of more complex carbs with each meal.
The last thing you want when you’ve got freezing temperatures to beat, or miles ahead of you to ascend, is a quick sugar rush and resulting crash. These complex carbs provide energy over a much longer period, so you won’t be stopping every two minutes for more after one of these pouches. The carbs are ably supported by more than 18g of protein. This, as I’m sure you know, will help your weary limbs recover from your adventurous exertions.
So, just how easy are these Summit To Eat meals to make? Well, they literally couldn’t be any simpler. With water bubbling away on the stove, open the pouch and remove the oxygen absorber. Once the water is boiling (particularly important if you’ve sourced the water from a river or stream), simply pour it into the pouch up to the marked fill line. Next, re-seal the pouch, using the…yes, you’ve guessed it…built in seal and leave for eight minutes. Then, plonk yourself in front of that view and enjoy.
So, the final hurdle, as I alluded to earlier, is taste. Was it up to scratch? Yes. Now admittedly, I have never been the pickiest of eaters. I’ll pretty much consume whatever is put in front of me. Kids on the other hand are notoriously picky. So, would it stand up to the rather exacting standards of my children’s little taste buds, while we were out hiking? Yes, it was a big hit.
Summit To Eat are a great option for lightweight, easily transportable, simple to make, on-the-go meals. With such a good range of options available there’ll be something for everyone and, with a shelf life of seven years, you won’t need to worry about how long they’ll last on your forthcoming expedition. All that’s left for me to do is to work my way through the desserts now!