When I am out on a backcountry camping trip, no matter what type it is, food is always a highlight of the trip. I have many issues with food, I have colitis, acid reflux and get migraines, so I have to be careful about what I eat when I’m out on a trip. I thought it would be a good idea to share some of my experiences with food, here on my website. I’ve included some of the freeze dried meals and desserts I’ve tried, and will be adding more every so often. Also, I have a playlist on my youtube channel called Camper Christina Cooks, where I post videos of different things I make when I’m out on trip. You can check it out by clicking here.
OTG Meals Shepherds Pie: I tried this meal while out on a very chilly day in February. I was so impressed. I’m not a huge fan of shepherds pie in general, so I wasn’t sure how I would feel about this. Many years ago, I used to make homemade shepherds pie and it was pretty good. It was usually the only time I ate it. This is better than my homemade shepherds pie. It has lots of flavor but it isn’t spicy and the peas and corn are plump and almost crispy, like they were just harvested from a garden. I can’t wait to have it again.
OTG Meals Butter Chicken with Rice: Possibly one of my most favorite OTG Meals to date is this one. I was extremely worried about having this meal because my body and my mouth, do not do well with spicy food. I was ensured by Randy, the owner of OTG that the meal was not spicy, but I have been told this again and again by people, only to find my mouth on fire. This time, it was actually true. I put a bit too much water in the package as it was a cold dark and rainy night after a long day of canoe tripping and wasn’t on the ball, but it was still so good. Randy seems to be able to add a tonne of flavor to meals, without making it spicy somehow and this, along with the single serving portions, is why I am such a big fan of these meals. Well done!
AlpineAire Three Cheese Chicken Pasta: One of my favorite freeze dried meals for many years now, is this three cheese chicken pasta meal. I like a lot of simple foods and it’s hard to find food like that these days. This is just a simple delicious pasta with a sour cream type sauce. I’m reading it now seeing it says chicken, and I can’t recall seeing much of that, but I do know I love the noodles and the sauce. A tip, however, if you get this meal, is to use a bit less water than suggested as there’s always a soup at the bottom. The sauce is so good, I drink it right out of the foil packaging, but the last time I made it with a bit less water and it was even better! LOL.
OTG Meals Spiral Pasta With Tomato Sauce: On a 5 day solo trip in Temagami was when I tried spiral pasta with beef and tomato sauce. I can’t say enough good things about this meal. The sauce was tasty, but not spicy, the meat actually tasted like meat and not gravelly balls or chunks of ??? ( you guys know what I mean!) and the amount was perfect. I am super excited to try the more of these meals.
Alpine Air Pineapple Orange Chicken: I had this meal on my last day of a 5 day solo trip through Algonquin. I was staying on a site on Manitou Lake and was so tired. I had never had this meal before and I don’t think I will get it again. I had a very hard to getting everything to fully re-hydrate, keeping it sealed in the bag for almost 3 times the amount of minutes advised. When I did finally get to eat it, it was okay, but not great. The chicken was grainy, as was the sauce. Maybe it was something I did in preparing it? I don’t know, but I do know I only ate a bit of it and then packed it out.
OTG Meals Ravioli With Tomato Sauce: On a 5 day solo trip, after a very long difficult day of canoe tripping, I got to enjoy this tasty treat. I was surprised by the tomato sauce as I had recently had the spiral pasta with tomato sauce and assumed it would be the same. It wasn’t! It was a different sauce. This one tasted more like cherry tomatoes or grape tomatoes and had a tang to it. It was not the same, but still very very good. It is pretty impressive when you make freeze dried meals for people, and put enough thought into the meals, to make them differently, as they may be consumed 2 days in a row. The little raviolis were also very yummy. Little pockets filled with cheese. So good. I’m making myself hungry writing this.
OTG Meals Shrimp Spaghettini : I sat beside a rushing waterfall, after doing too many portages, and struggling through a bug infested heat waved swamp. I was hungry and this meal hit the spot. It wasn’t at all what I expected, and again, a different type of tomato sauce from OTG. There were these balls of cheese in it and as the meal rehydrated, they melted into the sauce. It was rich and creamy and wonderful. Again, not spicy at all and little shrimps throughout the meal. It was also the perfect size.
Backpackers Pantry Risotto With Chicken: I split this meal in half before heading out on my trip. I don’t usually have a big appetite when I am out canoe tripping, even though I’m using a lot of energy. I enjoyed this meal, but it was more like chicken and rice soup, than chicken with risotto. Even if it wasn’t soupy, it would still have been chicken and rice. LOL. No complaints, it did the job, but just wasn’t a wow meal for me, but they can’t all be. If I had it, I would eat it, but I’m not sure I would seek it out to buy it again.
OTG Meals Beef Stroganoff: This meal was so delicious I didn’t even get a picture of it! Well, the truth is, I was on a crazy trip and spent the entire day portaging, like hard crazy portages. I got to camp when it was dark because the campsite I was supposed to go to didn’t actually exist and by the time my dinner was cooking, I was shaking and shivering so no photos. Safety first. But I can tell you that it was very yummy. It had beef in it, peas and mushrooms and was really really tasty. I ate the whole thing and it helped me warm up a lot along the way.
OTG Meals Beef Lasagna: On my first paddle of 2021, I was lucky enough to be able to enjoy this meal on Georgian Bay. I had never had the beef lasagna from OTG Meals before, but I was not surprised to find that it was delicious. I am always impressed with how Randy seems to be able to freeze dry his meat and have it come back to it’s fully cooked state so incredibly well. It’s always plump, juicy and full of flavor and honestly tastes and has the texture of fresh meat you just cooked at home. This sauce for this is just a simple tomato sauce, nothing spicy or zesty, but for me, it works well as I’m not a fan of spice. Another OTG Meal I would recommend.
OTG Meals Chicken and Dumplings: This is one of my favorite OTG Meals I’ve had thus far, and as you can see, I’ve tried quite a few of them. I’ve actually never had chicken and dumplings, so I wasn’t sure what it was going to taste like, but it was really good. It reminded me of a really good quality chicken pot pie, but with a softer texture and more delicious. This meal would be great on any day, but a cold, wet, rainy day would give this comfort food the perfect conditions to really show it’s worth.
OTG Meals Canadian Beef Goulash: This meal was hearty and hit the spot. Randy has several types of tomato sauces and I love them all. I also really like that they are all flavourful, but not spicy. My favorite thing about this meal is the beef in it. It tastes like you just got it from the meat counter, brought it home and cooked it. It’s full and juicy and not grainy or uncooked as beef you find in many other freeze dried types of meals. Definitely on the recommended list!
OTG Meals Chicken Mac & Cheese: After a very long and extremely challenging day portaging, I sat down to devour this meal. It was very creamy and comforting and made me feel happy inside. I had no idea what to expect, at first, but I really liked it and am looking forward to having it again, hopefully soon.
OTG Meals 2 Eggs Scrambled & Mountain House Scrambled Eggs With Bacon: As these are both freeze dried egg products, I thought I’d compare them. I need to be honest and say that I’ve never tried a freeze dried egg anything, that I’ve loved. I love eggs normally, but I just can’t seem to love the freeze dried products. This is what I can say about the two. The OTG Meals, is 2 eggs scrambled. I love that they are plain and untouched and are just 2 eggs, nothing added, so I can make them my own. I mixed them with some chopped breakfast sausage and cheese on a wrap, and they weren’t bad. The Mountain House eggs were scrambled eggs with bacon. They look a little nicer, bigger fuller chunks, but they were also a bit soupy. I waited for a long time Finally I just had to eat them. I know that people say you can never have too much bacon, but these eggs, are way way too much bacon flavor. I ended up carrying those eggs the next 5 days in my bear vault and back out to dispose of them. I just couldn’t eat them, the smoky bacon flavor was just way too strong.
OTG Meals Outdoor Skillet: This breakfast in a bag was sensational. Randy has a few different kinds and I believe he changed the name for this one. It has hash browns, eggs, sausages and carrots in it and was a filling and energizing meal which helped me get through a challenging morning. Also, just a note it was seasoned nicely, like most of Randy’s meals and the sausages were tasty, but not spicy.
Backpackers Pantry Dark Chocolate Cheesecake: This is one of my favorite desserts and I bring it on a lot of my multi-day canoe trips. I have split it in half a few times and its a nice little treat for 2 of the nights of my trip. The first time I made it, it was a very hot time of the year and the water wasn’t cold. It turned out more like a chocolate milkshake with cookie crumbs on top of it, but still very good. The next trip I made it on, I had cold water from the middle of the lake and it was even better! Great simple dessert and no cooking required so it’s good when you get to camp really late, need something to give you some energy back and fill your stomach. (I may have had it as a dinner one very rough day at 1030 at night. – highly recommend!).
OTG Meals Gummy Worms: If I hadn’t tried them, I wouldn’t believe they were real, but they are. They also taste exactly like gummy worms, but with a fluffy light texture, kind of like aerated sponge toffee or fruit loops. That’s the best way I can describe them. I tested these out with some kids I was camping with in Algonquin Park and they loved them, so I assume most would love them too. I enjoyed them, but for me, they were just a bit too sweet. Mind, you, I don’t eat gummy worms often either for the same reason, so, just like the real thing!
OTG Meals Grapes: These grapes are a lovely snack when you are out on a trip and want the fresh taste of fruit. They are sweet but not overpowering and taste just like dried grapes, I guess, cause they are. LOL. I shared these with some kids on a recent camping trip and they really liked them, but they didn’t want more until after the gummy worms were all good. It is still fruit, so I think taking second place to gummy worms, and still getting eaten and being enjoyed, was still a pretty big compliment.
OTG Meals Ice Cream Sammy: Yup! It’s a real thing and it’s delicious. The ice cream sammy from OTG tastes exactly like a real ice cream sandwich, the only difference is, it’s not cold or wet and the best one, it never melts. It’s light and makes a great treat when you are out anywhere and feel like having an ice cream sandwich. You also get 2 in the bag so you can share! Or… just eat 2 yourself (my choice evertime). Highly recommend this one if you can get some before they go out of stock!