Hiking Food Review : Strive Food 24hr Ration Pack

Following on from last week’s post on Easy Hiking food for Overnight Trips, I was sent some product by the nice folk down in Tassie from Strive Food.

I was interested to read that this small, Aussie business has grown from Todd and Melanie’s basement in Hobart and from their expertise as a nutritionist (Melanie) and Outdoor Ed Instructor (Todd). What a winning combo!

Enjoying the view from Mt Solitary whilst the billy boils.

Enjoying the view from Mt Solitary whilst the billy boils.

For people who are time poor, or lacking experience in the outdoors, having someone else do the packing, prepping and planning for them is a nice weight off their mind.

For years, the market in Australia has been dominated by NZ company Backcountry and fair enough, I’ve eaten many of these in my time and their freeze dried meals are lightweight, easy and tasty. Exactly what everyone wants in the bush.

Vegetarian Laksa Weigh-in at 138 gms

Vegetarian Laksa Weigh-in at 138 gms

I’m encouraged now that there seems to be a really good local Australian competitor to this market in the form of Strive.

I took the 24hr Ration Pack out for a test and the video above shows my experience and thoughts.

Let someone else do all the work - Strive Food 24hr Ration Pack.

Let someone else do all the work – Strive Food 24hr Ration Pack.

The range of products were all known to me and were tasty. I’m not sure about the demand for this full 24hr pack, except perhaps for outdoor ed purposes, which probably is a reflection of Todd’s background. I guess it makes it super easy for a school running Duke of Ed or similar to just stack up on 50 of these packs and hand them out as necessary.

Veggie Laksa Cooking up a treat.

Veggie Laksa Cooking up a treat.

The preparation was super easy, only negative I could find was that the bags didn’t have a simple tear from corner. I needed a knife to get into the bags. Also, the cooking time needed to be about 7 mins longer than stated on the instructions as the noodles weren’t cooked at the stated time.

However, the flavour was good and the serving was ‘generously hearty’ one might say. Actually, it was huge and I struggled to eat all of it! I needed to roll back down the mountain when I’d finished, thankfully I was certainly full of carb energy to do so.

Gnocchi is heavier at 213gm

Gnocchi is heavier at 213gm

I’ve still got the bolognaise and pasta meal to try out and I’m looking forward to that on my upcoming 3 Peaks trip to Kanangra-Boyd NP (just not the traditional route!).

All up, I recommend giving Strive meals a go. Apart from feeling warm and fuzzy inside from the food, there’s also that nice feeling about supporting a local Australian small business.

Ordering online is easy through their website and if you live in Hobart, you can even pop into their shop.

Generally speaking, I think that most people will opt for the main meals when it comes to pre-packaged dehydrated or freeze dried meals. I think it’s basically pretty lazy if you can’t wrangle together breakfast, lunch and snacks from your local supermarket.

For goodness sake, you’re about to put yourself out in the bush for several days – if you can’t manage to pop some muesli and milk powder into a ziploc bag, there’s something wrong!

Q: What’s been your experiences with pre-packed dried foods for hiking? (The good, the bad and the inedible!)


10 thoughts on “Hiking Food Review : Strive Food 24hr Ration Pack

  1. Loving your new videos, thanks for taking the time. Will also be giving Strive a go when I go camping over the Anzac Day long weekend.

  2. These might be great for entry-level adventure racers who are doing 48 hour races. Sure, it’s not going to have all their Power Bars and stuff in it but the pack might be a good starting point for extra calories.

    My experiences with hiking foods are mixed:
    (1) Supermarket foods like “just add water” pastas and rices are disgusting and taste like glue mixed with salt and cardboard.
    (2) For short trips (or canoeing where weight isn’t an issue), I do like the new Heinz foil sealed Beans of the Day range and the new Kan Tong Inspirations range. Both are made from “real” ingredients, rather than numbers and taste pretty good (to put my baked beans credentials in perspective – I usually make my own rather than buying them in a tin so I’m pretty fussy).
    (3) I find the Back Country products reasonably good but hate their beef flavoured options because they are way too salty for my liking. But the meals are way too expensive for any serious expeditions or trips. I mean, at $10-15 a meal it’s more than I would spend on a full dinner at home. But the packets of freeze dried vegies are quite good value once you break them down into multiple portions.
    (4) The silver bagged hiking products available here in Australia are disgusting. Not quite cardboard and salt mixed with glue but almost. I took some with me on a trip once and ended up just going hungry because I couldn’t stomach them.
    (5) The Heinz, Rafferty’s Garden, Macro Organic and Only Organic baby food lines are excellent for adding real fruit or vegies to your hiking diet. They are heavy but I think the weight is worth it. I carried one per day on my 14 day Great North Walk hike last year.

    I have now started making my own hiking meals in zip lock bags. You can buy everything you need for 14 days of hiking for less than $200 if you know what to look for. That includes breakfast, snacks, lunch, drinks, soup, dinner and desert every day. Even less if you take out some of the luxury items that I included in my trip planning (I love some random American organic food bars that cost $3 each but include only raw real food, no numbers and 370cal/70g). The types of ingredients I choose include:
    – dried egg, hokkein and vermicelle noodles (I stay away from 2 min noodles due to additives)
    – powdered eggs, milk and coconut milk
    – flour, sugar, salt, pepper, curry powder, cocoa, cinnamon, ginger, cornflour, custard powder, LSA (a powdered nut mix) and nutmeg
    – soy sauce sachets, tube of Vegemite, Honey Shots (I had a jar open in my bag once and now err on the side of caution), condensed milk, crushed nuts, peanut butter
    – beef jerky, sachets of tuna and dried fish (from the Asian section of the super market)
    – organic food bars, dried fruits and museli bars (I don’t usually carry nuts because they are heavy and not something I enjoy eating)
    – oats, semolina and pasta
    – tea bags and electrolyte powder.

    I use a mixture of my own recipes and those I find online to make my meals. We’re talking stuff like cinnamon beef soup, curried fish noodles, vegetarian satay noodles, semolina pudding with sultanas, cinnamon and honey porridge with figs and date cake with custard.

    I’m off to ride a motorbike overland through Africa from November. One of the things I am looking forward to are my camp meals. I think it will be awesome to add new African flavours and ideas to my recipe book 🙂

    • Oh I forgot to mention that I always carry Coles or Woollies’ freeze dried green beans and peas, as well as the dried mushrooms from the Asian section of the supermarket. I gotta have vegies every night with dinner or I go crazy.

    • Massive share here Andrew. Thanks for putting your tips out there too. I’m definitely going to try some of these out. Oh, and for a baked bean aficionado like yourself, I’ll let you know how I go when I dehydrate some very soon!

  3. I look at these as an efficient way of having some emergency food on standby that you could just grab if you needed to. I found the food ok (I know those cans are heavy but I really like the bean salads and supermarkets don’t seem to stock those members of the range) but the use-by dates weren’t very far ahead. What was the use-by on the one you looked at?

    • Ah, good point Derek. I didn’t look at the used by date of the beans tin. One interesting point about that brand is that the tin’s lid is just foil, so I guess that does reduce that weight slightly.

  4. I have used Strive on a trip to NZ a couple of years ago and think they are much better than Back Country meals. I agree that their portion size are generous, probably too big, but that is better than not enough than Back Country portions. The quality is great and there is no problem taking them to NZ with their restrictions as I couldn’t take my own food. Great to deal with as well

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