Mountain House Homestyle Turkey Dinner meal

Recently Mountain House freeze dried meals came out with a new meal and I tried it out! Mountain House’s new Turkey Dinner meal. I’m a big fan of Mountain House meals. They are my go-to for all my backpacking trips. You can always count on them to be a good freeze dried meal after a long hike.

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The Turkey dinner meal has a good amount of vegetables in it, which I was very happy to see. Frequently good nutrition is sacrificed in freeze dried meals and on the trail in general.

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The Turkey dinner was just fine, in my opinion. I’ll probably try it again, but it doesn’t feel like it stacks up to the awesomeness of MH’s other newer meal (Spicy Southwest Breakfast Hash) which I want to eat even when I’m not on the trail.

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I think the name Homestyle Turkey Dinner evokes ideas of Thanksgiving dinner, then when you’re not eating grandma’s turkey out in the woods, you’re a little disappointed. However, like I said, I’ll probably try it again, with my expectations tempered a bit. Probably in the fall, after I’ve just hiked 10 miles while carrying 35lbs, my brain will tell me this is better than grandma’s turkey could have ever dreamed to have been.

Overall I would give it 3 out of 5…I don’t know stars? spoons?

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Mountain House Freeze Dried Meals

I recently got the opportunity to review Mountain House Meals.

Mountain House Meals are lightweight, freeze dried meals that are convenient as can be! When backpacking they don’t take up much space, are light, and are really easy to make after an exhausting day on the trail.

At first I thought they wouldn’t be that great, but I could eat anything after 8 miles with my pack on, so I didn’t care. The first bite showed me the error of my ways. They aren’t 5 star restaurant quality but they are tasty, fast, and easy. I had the chili mac and beef and that’s what it tasted like! Also the Spicy Southwest Breakfast Hash is my breakfast of choice, like even when I’m at home I want to eat it, it’s so good. The raspberry crumble is a bit disappointing in that there’s not enough crumble part and it’s almost too sweet.

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You do have to carry a camp stove and have clean water available which can add weight to your pack for these, but in my case it’s well worth it for a hot meal and I have those things anyway for coffee in the mornings.

Most meals come in 2 serving pouches which is perfect for my husband, but too much for me. Usually my dog gets to share with me because of that. I had to learn to bring an extra long spoon to get down into the corners of the bag.

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They make so much sense I even recently brought a few bags with me on a trip to Europe. They were a safeguard against getting back from touristing too late and all the restaurants being closed. We could make dinner with only hot water at our hostel and they added hardly any weight to our bags.

Pros:

  • Lightweight
  • Compact
  • Tasty
  • Easy
  • Warm meals
  • A decent amount of options, including desserts!
  • Lasts about 20 years, so if you don’t use them this time, save them for your next hike!

Cons:

  • Needs camp stove and clean water
  • Doesn’t seem to many have veggie heavy options so you have to supplement them yourself for a balanced meal.
  • If you’re an idiot like me and don’t follow instructions, you can pour boiling water on your leg while miles out in the backcountry when making it. It sucks. I still have the scar.

Gregory Maven Backpack

I’ve always wanted to be a Park Ranger, exploring the wilderness for a living. I guess being a Dyrt Ranger is a pretty good substitute, especially since I got the opportunity to review the Gregory Maven Backpack recently. I have to admit, I was a little reticent to try out a new backpack. My my current pack was trusty, familiar and had been with me on so many adventures. It had seen me through my longest hikes, to the most interesting places, and mostly, it was my first. It was going to take a pretty amazing pack to get me to forsake my good ol, patch-covered Kelty. I can safely say I will never use that Kelty again.

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Not only is the Gregory about 100xs lighter (obviously that’s a literal, scientific calculation), but it has so many features that set it apart. The first I noticed and loved was the horizontal water bottle holder.

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Trying to reach behind you and pull a bottle upward while walking is on par with an Olympic event, especially after you’ve spent 10 sweaty hours out on the trail. This pocket makes it so much easier and less of a gymnastics routine to get a drink. This alone would sell me on the pack. But let me sing more of its praises. The sunglasses wrangler on the shoulder strap is so flipping handy, I can’t believe I haven’t seen one before! The water bladder holder doubles as a day pack, which I love because, duh, it’ll hold your water when you go off on an adventure. The material on the pack all seemed nice and durable. The padding was comfortable and it was so easy to adjust to fit me. The pockets on the hip belt are always welcome! I had to hand-craft one for my old pack, I was glad to see them on this pack ready to go. The only thing with them is if you are a little bigger in the hips, you do have to use awkward t-rex arms to reach over/back to zip them up. Also some of the label on the adjustment tab for one started coming off.missouri-hawn-state-park_a788f3558b182af3dc92ebb2912d422b

Not that it’s the end of the world, you just expect new things to stay new for a little while. The included rain cover was PHENOMENAL! Normally when a pack comes with a rain cover it will only cover your pack. Anything you have attached to the outside is screwed. This cover was spacious! My camp shoes, ground pad, etc. did not have to worry about the rain.

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Things I do miss from my old pack: A few more pockets so that it’s easier to keep your gear organized and find items in a hurry. I understand this lack of pockets helps keep the pack weight down and I would rather have my pack lighter than pocket-y. I also missed my front zipper so I didn’t have to pull everything out of my pack to find something. A few other less awesome things: The sizing on the website was a little confusing, it was hard to know if the sx/sm, sm/md sizes were for the hip belt or back panel. Honestly, I’m still not sure, but I’m leaning toward back panel. I did view this through a mobile platform, so it may be better on PC. Also, the bigger volume size packs are only offered in blue or gray. The colors are nice looking, but I wish an aqua, pink, or purple was available too. I can hike long distances and be feminine too, but maybe I’m the only one that feels that way though. These misses are small and I’m honestly thinking of using this pack as my luggage for vacation in a few weeks. If I do, I’ll post pictures. And I will definitely be using it on future trips.

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LEDlenser MH 10 Headlamp

As a Ranger for The Dyrt, I get products to test from time to time – today I am testing the LEDlenser MH 10 Headlamp. This ultra bright headlamp is rechargeable! I definitely love the idea that this can be reused without going through batteries and that it produces this level of light! It provides enough lumens that you can easily hike a trail at night.

However, the rechargeable battery makes the headlamp bulky and weighty, so that it’s not ideal for backpacking. It’s really unnecessarily bright for car camping. The lenses that allow you to filter the light to either green or red are not the most user friendly to swap out, although they are very secure once on the lamp. The lamp does get warm to the touch after 5 minutes or more of use. It never gets so hot that it’s uncomfortable to wear or overheats the light. Don’t get me wrong, this headlamp is nice and probably a stellar choice for starting a hike before dawn, but for the average camping or backpacking trip it’s a bit of overkill and pricey.

Pros:

-ULTRA Bright

-Rechargeable

-5 year warranty

-water resistant

-Focusable light

-3 levels of light

Cons:

-Bulky

-Heavy compared to other headlamps

-Difficult to change out color lenses