Strive Food in Tassie are a relative newcomer to the ration pack market, and unlike the others in this series of posts, the Strive Food 24 Hour Ration Packs are about as far away from a military style pack as you can get. The bulk of the meals and some of the snacks are also dehydrated traditionally rather than being freeze dried. The pack consists of:
- 1 breakfast meal – porridge oats complete with dehydrated fruit
- 1 lunch meal – A Saint Dalfour slop-in-a-tub ready to eat meal, in this case three bean salad with sweet corn. Although it is a slop-in-a-tub format, the Saint Dalfour meals come in a tin with a heavy duty foil vac-sealed lid.
- 1 dinner meal – in this case it’s beef massaman curry
- Dried fruit
- 2 x Oaty slice bars
- Flavoured rice crackers
The brew kit:
- Tomato soup sachet
- Hot chocolate sachet
Strive Food has put a lot of thought into the development of these ration packs. While I doubt they are designed for “prepping”, they have a shelf life of at least one year. You could quite easily keep one of these in your day pack for emergencies. Keep ’em in your tucker box and just grab a couple and go whenever you head out on a multi-day walk.
Unlike their main competitors, the Outdoor Gourmet and Back Country Cuisine range, the Strive Food dehydrated foods are traditionally dehydrated rather than freeze dried. This means that when prepared properly, the food looks and tastes fresher while still retaining all the nutrients. Unlike a freeze dried meal, which is just a case of adding hot water, stirring, and waiting 10 minutes, the Strive Food meals are cooked in your canteen cup, pot or mess tins. Cooking times vary, but for some of the rice-based dishes, the rice component is cooked first for around 8 minutes, then the meat and the sauce is added and cooked for 5 minutes. I dehydrate a lot of my own meals, so I personally prefer this style of food prep. It’s more tactile and you get all the aromas as your meal is cooking after a long day on the track. I just tend to enjoy this type of meal more.
Melanie and Todd, the owners of Strive Food, are both experienced outdoor educators and keen bushwalkers, so they know the differences between a bushwalker’s ration pack and a military or emergency pack. This is reflected in the types of meals – cooked breakfast and dinner, and a light but tasty and ready to eat lunch. A lunch halt on the track is usually a pretty quick stop, and a Saint Dalfour tub can be heated in around 5 minutes, or as in the case of the bean salad in this pack, simply eaten cold on crackers spread with a bit of cream cheese. It’s quick and easy. The amount of snacks in there mean it’s unlikely you’d be hungry at all, even on those big, 30km+ walking days. Strive Food ration packs also cater to the non-omnivores, with several veggo menus available.
The brew-kit will be a bit of a let-down for some folks, but it’s completely understandable. The sheer variety of different types of coffee and teas out there mean it makes sense to let the bushwalker sort out their own hot beverages. Imagine trying cater for everyone by putting in chai latte sachets, espresso sachets, decaf coffee sachets, milk powder, sugar, aspartame tabs, svevia powder, jasmine tea, green tea… what a nightmare. For instance I take roasted or green coffee beans with me out bush and roast and “grind” them myself. Sorting out your own brew kit isn’t hard.
Strive Food 24 Hour Ration Packs can be purchased directly from Strive Food at https://www.strivefood.com.au/ration-packs-i11