Review: Camp Food From Campers Pantry, An Excellent Alternative
When you’re travelling for extended periods, you need some easy-to-prepare camp food. You know the feeling. You’ve had a hard day on the road and the last thing you feel like doing is cooking dinner.
Well, Campers Pantry provide healthy alternatives to baked beans and soup.
We’d heard about the range of dinners from Campers Pantry and decided to give them a try.
Their freeze-dried food selection was originally designed for the hiking and adventure market. You know the type. Those adventurous people who disappear into the bush with the barest essentials. Or the ones who scale rock faces and camp in their tent, suspended hundreds of metres above the ground whilst cooking their dinner.
They need everything to be lightweight and portable.
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We’re a different market. We were just looking for fresh ideas for dinners. And most importantly, healthy alternatives when we pull up after a long day’s travel and don’t feel like cooking.
First, I’ll introduce you to our Taste Rating System.
A (Not-So) Scientific Approach
In our Reviews, you’ll see a Taste Rating. This is our (rough and ready, and totally unscientific) rating system. After years of exhaustive research and back-testing (well, minutes anyway), this is what we’ve come up with:
- 5.0 = Tastes beautiful. You sit down to eat it and go, “Yum, this is amaaaaazing”. This dinner is invariably eaten in silence. At the end, you lick the plate. Then you lick it again in case you missed a bit.
- 4.5 = Still plating-lickingly good, just not quite as good as a 5.0.
- 4.0 = A yummy dinner. Tastes good and you’re contented at the end.
- 3.5 = Still a good dinner, but you didn’t overly enjoy it.
- 3.0 = You might eat it again, but only if there was nothing much else to eat.
- 2.5 = You wouldn’t eat it again, didn’t enjoy it.
- 2.0 = “I can’t eat this”.
- Less than 2.0 = “I think I’m going to be sick”.
Clear? Good! Now let’s look at what we bought.
A Wide Selection
We decided to jump in head first and buy a selection of seven dinners. This gives us a variety of dinners to taste-test. They were:
- Mango curry chicken (see our review here),
- Vegetarian pasta (see our review here),
- Beef teriyaki (see our review here),
- Tuna mornay (see our review here),
- Balti vegetable curry,
- Moroccan pork, and
- Apricot chicken.
Now these are all single serve dinners. You can also buy a range of freeze-dried vegetables to bulk these up a bit, as well as freeze-dried rice.
We also bought four packets of freeze-dried rice. Why? Well, cooking rice is simple but messy when you’re travelling. Plus it uses lots of water. So we thought we’d try out the Campers Pantry rice to see how it measures up.
We usually carry a selection of vegetables, so we can easily add extra fresh veggies.
So how do you buy these products? You can order directly from Campers Pantry or you can buy them from here. They are also available in some camping stores and other online shops.
Now at first, the prices were a shock. We’ve never looked at buying freeze-dried or dehydrated camp food before, so had no idea how expensive it can be. I suppose this is the price you pay for convenience and light weight foods.
Each dinner (2018 prices) is $15.95 (single serve) and each rice serving is $4.95 (serves 4).
While this at first seems to be really expensive, you can easy turn a single serve into a double serve. The dinners are quite large and if you add veggies, you’ll easily feed two people… depending on your appetite of course!
The Taste Test
I won’t go into details here. We’ll do a review on each one as we use them.
However, suffice to say these dinners are surprisingly tasty. They don’t have that awful, bland freeze-dried taste normally associated with dehydrated food. And if you bulk them up with fresh veggies, even better!
Not really. Of course we couldn’t afford to eat Campers Pantry dinners every night. However they’re an excellent alternative for us when looking for a quick but healthy dinner after a hard day’s driving.
There’s really no other healthy camp food that’s as easy to prepare and tastes good. Just add some boiling water and wait.
If you’re looking for a healthy alternative to 2 minute noodles, then these dinners are certainly worth considering.
If you can’t find Campers Pantry products in your local camping store, you can always order them through amazon.com.au here.
Do you have any questions or comments? Let me know in the Comments section below.
Any errors or omissions are mine alone.
Note: We are not affiliated with Campers Pantry. All of our reviews are honest – we tell it how it is. This review does contain affiliate links to Amazon Australia.