OK, I don't mind being the one to come to the defense of the dehydrated/freezed dried, pre-packaged aficionados.

I've tried a lot of brands, but seem to keep coming back to Mountain House, although I'm up for any brand that I find tasty and easy to handle.

They are simple, easy, and pretty darned tasty!

They are neither bulky nor heavy. 

I transfer the meal to a quart size zip lock type FREEZER* bag, to minimize weight and bulkiness. 

I add boiling water and tuck the bag into my little homemade cozy and wait about 20min, and voila', I'm eating with my long handled aluminum spoon.

Pro tip #1:  A long handle spoon is all you should ever need for backpacking.  It must be long handled to keep you knuckles out of the lasagna!

Pro tip#2:  Not as hungry as you thought?  Carry a few extra FREEZER zip locks and pour out a little of your meal from the original zip lock into the second and save for later.

Pro tip#3:  FREEZER zip locks are what you need because you can pour BOILING water safely into them.

Again, once you transfer your meal from the original packaging into a small zip lock, they roll up nice and small.

I do this also for my breakfast oatmeal.

This works for me because I used the KISS principle, Keep It Simple. (not going to say what the second S stands for).

That, and the fact I hate to 'cook' and hate even more having to clean out a cooking pot.

Many of my friends are very creative and love to prepare the most fantastic meals at home, everything from freeze drying, to dehydrating, to smoking on a grill.  That makes for great tasting and conversation around the campfire.

I myself was dehydrating for a long time, but fall back on purchasing the meals, mainly to keep it simple.

Pro Tip #4:  When I was dehydrating my wife's fantastic chili, I discovered that after drying, if I ran it through a grinder, in my case, my wife's hank crank pastry nut grinder (don't tell her), the difference  when reconstituted was night-and-day, it really made a huge difference in taste and consistency.

Come to think of it, isn't backpacking just getting to your next campsite so you can eat?

REI Member Since 1979 YouTube.com/philreedshikes