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You think THAT’S bad, mine was worse!

Okay, we’ve all seen the posts where we share our favorite meals at the campsite or on trail. 

Let’s have a laugh and explore the other end…

What’s the worst thing you’ve eaten and wouldn’t wish on anyone?

I’ll start - a few years ago: it was my first time with a new stove and wanted to take it for a test drive. I finished a tiring 11 mile hike, sat at the picnic table, boiled water and tried to reconstitute some dried fish. It turned mushy and was more like a slimy soup than anything resembling fish. Lol

i gag just thinking about it. 

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“Between every two pine trees there is a door leading to a new way of life.” (John Muir)

Superusers do not speak on behalf of REI and may have received
one or more gifts or other benefits from the co-op.
29 Replies

I was backpacking the grand canyon last year with a group of about 10 people. The group leader brought a selection of freeze dried Mountain House meals for one of the dinners. He set them all out and we drew from a pack of cards to see who got to choose first. I won! Looking over the wide selection of freeze dried meals, I heard a vague voice in the back of my mind from a youtuber who once mentioned that the beef stew is the best. Trusting this random youtuber, I quickly grabbed the beef stew, reaching over the beef stroganoff. However, my bag was 2 years expired and no matter how long I let it steep, the contents remained solid and hard. So there I was, head hanging low, as I crunched on my expired beef while everyone enjoyed their fully cooked, non-expired, meals; laughing that I picked the worst bag despite getting to go first. It was so stale and vile, that it caused a stomach ache so severe that I later vomited on the trail about 24 hours later. And yes, the stew was present in my vomitus even after 24hrs.

Never eating Mountain House again. 

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"I'm sick and tired of being sick and tired"

@TheTiredDVM this is just unfair, and terrible, and more unfair...

At REI, we believe time outside is fundamental to a life well lived.

@TheTiredDVM oh wow... that's just... just...  wow   

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“Between every two pine trees there is a door leading to a new way of life.” (John Muir)

Superusers do not speak on behalf of REI and may have received
one or more gifts or other benefits from the co-op.
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ug, that's sounds like a really messed up group/group leader, don't give up on MH, they do have some winners.

REI Member Since 1979 YouTube.com/philreedshikes
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Many years ago my brother and I were setting off on our first extended backpacking trip.  We were poor students--our tent was a canvas  Cub Scout model that our mother lengthened on her sewing machine wit some canvas from the surplus store.  Economy extended to the food--dried bulk items from the grocery store mostly, and a few freeze-dried items.  My brother thought it appropriate to splurge on some bacon bars--compressed bacon bits and fat to bind them.  After long days of burning many calories, dinner was a delight no matter what, but on the alternate nights when we could use the bacon bars, it was a genuine feast.  A gourmet meal....  A few years later, remembering what a triumphant treat those rice-and-bacon meals had been, I bought a bacon bar and made dinner of it.  But without the big calorie deficit, the bacon bar was kind of like ordering the wrong item on the McDonald's menu.  Not a moment filled with delight, shall we say.

Chris Campbell

Not as bad as slimy fish mush (that must have been awful, @Dad_Aint_Hip) but nearly so: peach-flavored pancake mix.  Thirty years later, I can still feel the heartburn.  On the other hand, there were the gorgeous freshly-caught trout we had for dinner the night before.  🙂

I can honestly say that I've never been blessed with a truly horrible meal, but many that I wouldn't try again unless I was desperate. Way back eons ago when I was just a wee lad, a friend and I went tent camping at a creek about a mile from home. In my rush to find some edibles to take, I grabbed a can of Campbell's condensed bean and bacon soup. Now I love this stuff, but when I got ready to fix it (and share), the only water available was muddy creek water. My friend informed me that he would not eat anything made with "that nasty-xxx creek water", so I warmed it up without water. Kinda like fried beans, you might say. It wasn't completely inedible, but I surely would be hard pressed to do it again. The only other experience that comes to mind, and it wasn't a disaster, is that the first time I took a homemade meal with couscous is also when I learned that couscous expands exponentially when you add water. Probably the only time I've ever carried out prepared food.

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Oh wow.  So many possibilities.  I have to go with two.  The first was a product that I believe you cannot find anymore: Mountain House Freeze-Dried meat patties. These were little yellow-brown bricks that you were supposed to rehydrate and (I guess) eat.  The first night on my very first backpack we had as a stove a can of sterno (not very hot) and my fine meat patty never really got very chewable--of the two patties I tried to make, one ended up being buried (this was long ago when such behavior was more tolerated) after a very long effort at mastication of the first piece. [Eventually I learned that a lot of meat tenderizer could make the things a little more chewable than shoe leather].

Number two I witnessed but did not partake.  A colleague, who had travelled the world but never backpacked, was along and had marveled at all the foods you added hot water to, waited five minutes, and then ate. We had a night away from our base camp and he brought up some FD hash browns.  As he sat by our roaring fire, he read the instructions: add hot water, wait five minutes, then brown in a skillet. "What?" he howled "A skillet?  I didn't bring a skillet." "Well, how did you think the potatoes were going to get brown?" "I dunno, seems like they get all this other stuff to work." Desperate as he was, he added the hot water and waited five minutes and then offered the other two of us a helping.  I passed, but the third member of our party took some, put some in his mouth, made a disgusted face and then flung the rest of his portion into the hot fire...which immediately went out where this glop hit it. Somehow our globe trotting colleague managed to stomach stuff that had the taste and appeal of wallpaper paste and the firefighting ability of foam extinguishers...

When I first started dehydrating our own food for backpacking, I decided to simplify things by using canned dried beef in place of dehydrating my own.  I didn't realize the beef was salted - heavily.  After letting our beef stew steep in hot water we found the whole thing totally inedible and had to bury it.  I think we settled for a hunk of salami that night.

 

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A week long backpacking trip at the bottom of the Grand Canyon with only Mountain House Pork & Beans, as the “hot meal of the day”, and so hungry as not to let it fully hydrate in its pouch, before devouring the contents. 

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