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Packit Gourmet

Austintacious Tortilla Soup. Photo by Mary Reed.

What makes for great pack-in backcountry meals? The folks at Packit Gourmet have asked the same question, and the answer is largely satisfying. Overall, the food is quick to prepare, packaged durably enough to survive backpacking and has good directions.

We sampled two entrees, the Austintacious Tortilla Soup and Dottie’s Chicken and Dumplings. The soup smells great heating up and has just enough spice to give it some south-of-the-border flavor. Definitely a winner for a chilly night around the campfire. The Chicken and Dumplings has an agreeably thick, stewy consistency, is perfectly salted and tastes better than anything out of a can, including the pricey canned stews.

Packit Gourmet’s Copper Canyon Mudslide Mixer didn’t fare well in our taste test. Nobody that tried it at GO! headquarters even finished their portion.

The attempts at sweet stuff were also a flop. The Jump Start Smoothie tastes thoroughly artificial, like liquid bubble gum, and the Banana Puddin’ is so sweet that I swear I could hear my teeth dissolving while I ate it.

For your main meal, Packit Gourmet is a good bet; bring a good chocolate bar for dessert and go out for a drink after your camping trip.

Downside: Though many ingredients are organic, the ingredients lists are a mile long and include artificial flavors

Cost: $3.49 to $11.99

Buy it at: Your local gear shop or www.packitgourmet.com