Eons ago, okay maybe it hasn’t been that long but it has been several years, I tried meals by ReadyWise. In case you are unfamiliar, ReadyWise is one of the top-selling brands for prepared survival food kits.
I tried these meals back when survival food was starting to take off so I wasn’t expecting them to taste that great. For the younger generation out there, survival food used to taste…not so good. However, even back then I thought the meals by ReadyWise were pretty tasty.
Now, years later I wanted to follow up with a review on this company seeing that they are now one of the best selling brands out there. Their freeze-dried food comes in three main categories. Emergency food, adventure food, and everyday food. For this article, I will be primarily focused on the adventure foods.
Before diving into my review I would like to thank ReadyWise for providing me the opportunity of trying out these meals, I am excited!
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What is Freeze-Dried Food?
Freeze drying food is a process by which all (or almost all ) of the water content has been removed from the food item. This compacts the food for easier storage but the real benefit is that it greatly increases shelf life.
Did I mention that these products have a long shelf life? Because they do. I turned around the meal pouches sitting in front of me and the expiration date is the year 2035 ( currently, at the time of writing this article it is the year 2020) So, a 15-year shelf life, yeah, I would say that is long.
I have heard people grumble about food products that last less than twenty years. So here is a different, slightly humorous way to look at it. I could buy one of these meals on the same day my child was born and then serve it to them on the same day they start driving a car.
After looking at the list of food options in the adventure series I believe anyone can find something that would suit their tastes, see what I did there? Here is a list of the meals that come in the adventure pouches.
- Summit Sweet Potato Curry
- Basecamp Four Bean and Vegetable Soup
- Backcountry Wild Rice Risotto
- Trail Treats Mango Sticky Rice
- Switchback Spicy Asian Style Noodles
- Daybreak Coconut Blueberry Multi-Grain
- Trail Treats Cookie Dough Snacks
- Early Dawn Breakfast Skillet
- Treeline Teriyaki Chicken and Rice
- Desert High Chili Mac with Beef
- Old Country Pasta Alfredo with Chicken
- Still Lake Lasagna with Sausage
- Trailhead Noodles and Beef
- Crest Peak Creamy Pasta and Chicken
- Golden Fields Mac and Cheese
- Open Range Cheesy Potato Soup
- High Plateau Veggie Chili Soup
- Sunrise Strawberry Granola Crunch
- Appalachian Apple Cinnamon Cereal
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ReadyWise Adventure Meal Pouch Review
Okay, time to get to the meat and potatoes of his article (finally, that saying actually applies to what I am writing about!) and take a closer look and a taste, of one of these pouches.
Make sure to check out our article on the best foods to stockpile
Right off the bat, I love the packaging of this product. On the front, in the top left corner, you will notice a few items in bold letters. For example, in the picture below is the Four Bean and Vegetable Soup. In the top corner, it states that the pouch contains 2.5 servings, has 27g of protein, and is made in the USA. Thumbs up to all of that.
Underneath that information, I see that it says this particular pouch is a vegan meal. On the spectrum of eating food, I am the farthest you can get away from being a vegan, which is why out of curiosity I am definitely trying this meal first.
The back of the pouch has a nice readable list of the nutritional facts and ingredients used. I like that I don’t have to squint or use a magnifying glass to read any of this information.
To the left of the nutrition facts is the simple step by step guide to preparing the meal, which I will get into momentarily.
Lastly, and I think this is great, ReadyWise chose not to waste any space on the pouch by you letting you know they have a sense of humor. On the top is a small entertainment section that contains jokes, riddles, and camping hacks. Thank you ReadyWise for giving me more dad joke material!
A Look Inside
At the top of the pouch on either side is a small cutout that makes tearing the top off a breeze. Not only does this make opening the package easier it means that a cutting tool is not required to open it. I know most people carry a pocketknife or a small pair of scissors tucked away in a Swiss Army Knife, but if you do not have to use them then that is a bonus.
After tearing the top off I noticed there is a thick, durable seal, like a ziplock bag. This is important for three reasons.
The first is that the seal needs to be closed when rehydrating the food.
The second is that while eating if I need to get up to attend to something else, I can reseal the bag without worrying about the food spilling out or insects and critters getting to it.
Lastly, after the food is prepared, it gives me the option of saving some for later. Now I should mention that I do not know the details of the longevity of the food once the pouch is open and water has been added to it. I am sure these meals are meant to be consumed at one sitting, so that is probably your best course of action.
Time to Cook
Preparing these meals is simple and the only requirement is two cups of boiling water. Hopefully, you can easily follow me through this complicated process.
- Tear the top off and remove the oxygen absorber that is inside the pouch
- Boil two cups of water and pour into the pouch
- Stir the contents of the pouch with any available utensils, close the top seal and wait about fifteen minutes. Remember if you are bored, this is a good time to figure out those riddles or try out one of the camping hacks provided on the back of the package.
- After 15 minutes, open the pouch and eat! Caution as the contents will most likely be hot!
Trying to relate a taste test in writing is a little difficult which is why there is a video to go along with this article. But I shall do my best.
After opening the package I was pleasantly surprised by the aroma that escaped. There were a lot of different, but good, smells mixing together. Again, I was a little hesitant of trying this because it is a vegan meal and I am a full-blown meat eater. Having said that…I am shocked at how amazing this tasted!
It is slightly spicy but not red in the face or crying spicey. Just enough that it reminds me more of a chili than a plain vegetable soup. Wow, I would have no problem buying this meal again and in fact, I am going to finish eating it for my dinner tonight.
In the video, I briefly show the Early Dawn Breakfast Skillet. I taste-tested this one as well and it is just as amazing as the vegetable soup.
Detailed Video Review
Here is my video review of this product:
Pros and Cons of ReadyWise Adventure Meals
- Affordable. On average, these pouches cost less than other survival food options.
- 15-year shelf life
- One meal pouches make it easy to plan for the day and convenient to carry in a vehicle, pack, or to store at home.
- Taste great
- Variety of meal options
- Riddles, jokes, and camping hacks on the package!
- Honestly, I do not have any. But I could see the price being a con for some people. While I feel it is affordable for what you are getting, some might feel the cost per meal is high.
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I have tasted a variety of survival foods from freeze-dried pouches, MREs, dehydrated items, and emergency bars or tabs. These Adventure Meals are some of my favorite options when it comes to survival food. I say survival food a lot in this article because these meals are a great way to store emergency food. But they are also great to take on hikes, camping trips, hunting and fishing trips, or any other outdoor adventure you have planned.
When considering the affordable price, a 15-year shelf life, durable packaging, a variety of meal options, and that it tastes really good, how could you go wrong with these? I highly recommend the Adventure Meals by ReadyWise. I hope you give them a try and like them as much as I have. Now, if you will excuse me, I must go order some more.
If you watched the video I mentioned I had some survival tips for this product. Well here they are.
Since the packaging feels quite durable and is resealable, consider washing the pouch out after a meal and using it as a dry bag!
The inner lining of the pouch appears to have a mylar, tin foil lining. Basically, it is silver and reflective. Open the bag up and use this as a reflective device when signaling for help!