Backcountry meals are intensely personal. We all have different preferences and likely have different favorites. Rightontrek meals are a different way of thinking about backpacking food and offer you a very unique backcountry food experience. They argue that their method yields a better meal in the backcountry than your typical freeze dried meal, so we took the challenge to see for ourselves. While you might be tempted to think these are just another backpacking food, our experience showed us otherwise. How are they different you might ask? These Rightontrek meals aren’t your typical “just add water” backpacking meals.
While it’s true that you still need to add water to Right on Trek food, that’s about where the similarities end when compared to other meals for the backwoods.
How are Rightontrek Meals Different?
If you’ve spent any time in the backcountry, you’ve likely had a freeze dried meal. Some are fantastic, and some are, well… not. What Rightontrek meals set out to do is change the backcountry meal experience to one where you enjoy the process of preparing your meal while relaxing by your favorite lake, mountain top, or camp sight. These meals require you to cook them in your pot rather than letting them soak in the bag they came in.
Rightontrek Meal Preparation
You might have just shuttered when I said you cook these meals rather than just add hot water, and you wouldn’t be alone. It is certainly not the norm, and certainly not something I’d want to do in situations where I’m getting back to camp late at night after a long day hunting or hiking. I just want to go to bed. Additionally, since these meals require being cooked in the pot, extra fuel is burned and extra water is needed for cleanup.
For the reasons above, these aren’t meals I’d take with me while on backpack hunting trips. While it’s not a big deal if water is close by and you have time, often times when hunting, water can be scarce, or worse, require a long descent to retrieve. In those situations, I’ll opt to take a typical freeze dried meal that is more simple and saves on water needed for cleanup.
Now, if I’m backpacking where I know we’ll have water readily available and I will have time to prepare a meal, these are fantastic as they add to the outdoor experience. I mean, relaxing by a high mountain lake watching the sun set while cooking a delicious meal sounds pretty good to me. In fact, it’s amazingly fun cooking in the high country, and that’s what Rightontrek meals is all about- enhancing your experience when enjoying the outdoors.
Another awesome use for these meals is when you want to simplify your meal planning for a quick car camping trip. These meals taste excellent, so they are something you can grab for that impromptu camping trip and you don’t want to mess with planning your meals. For that purpose, Rightontrek meals is offered in 1-4 person serving sizes, so you can feed the family in one cooking session, or use the larger quantities and cook for the whole group on your backpacking trip.
Rightontrek Gluten Free Meals
It’s also worth noting that Rightontrek offers one of the largest gluten free, dairy free, keto, vegan, and vegetarian options I’ve seen for backpackers. While I personally don’t have a gluten allergy, my wife does, so these meal options are super nice. In fact, they make it super easy to filter out the meals that are gluten free, dairy free, vegan, soy free, vegetarian, keto, and peanut free so you can easily make sure you aren’t getting ingredients you are allergic to.
Rightontrek Meal Review: How did they Taste?
Alright, so let’s dive into how each of them tasted. That’s what we all really care about anyway, and the reason we love one brand and meal over another. For this taste testing, we had 4 different people try each meal and give their opinion. As we stated earlier, whether a meal is “good” or not is just our opinion, and you may disagree, but here we go.
Blueberry Granola – Rightontrek Meals
I’m not gonna lie. This is one I was super excited to try for a number or reasons. This is one of the Rightontrek meals that doesn’t require cooking (their granola meals are JUST ADD WATER), and I’m a huge fan of berry granola. Additionally, this meal only requires 3-5oz of water, which is a backpackers dream when water is scarce. We found our preference to be 3-4oz of water to keep it from getting too soupy. All the add-ons make this a hearty breakfast that is super tasty. A great combination.
The Blueberry Bliss Granola with Yogurt did not disappoint and was DELICIOUS! It was so good I almost forgot to take a picture before it was all gone, so the picture above is me salvaging a picture before the last bite or two. We all found that we liked the add-ons (optional at checkout), especially the milk and cream packet and walnuts. It was excellent without any add-ons, but exceptional with them.
savory Mountain Grits – Rightontrek Meal Review
Admittedly, we were not that excited to try the Rightontrek Savory Mountain Grits. However, we’ll try just about any meal at least once, and I’m glad we did. This was one of the biggest surprises as we all really liked it. (And none of us even really like grits) We all thought it was “pretty good” until we added the optional hot sauce. The hot sauce took this meal to the next level from “pretty good” to “dang that’s good.” It earned its way into our packs with a bit of heat.
One downside to the Savory Mountain Grits is that it requires a hefty 12 ounces of water to cook and needs to simmer for 7 minutes. So it’s not as quick to prepare as the granola, but certainly worth the wait. Cleanup is a little on the messy side with the Savory Mountain Grits as well.
Banana Bread Oatmeal – Rightontrek Meal Review
I was on the fence about the Rightontrek Banana Bread Oatmeal, but it sure smelled good while we were cooking it up. It only needs 8 oz of water and requires an 8 minute cook time. First we tried it without any of the extra add-ons, and we all found it to be pretty bland. Then we added the walnuts, mixed berries, and milk and cream packet. Our hopes were high that those add-ons would do the trick, but we all still thought it didn’t have a lot of flavor. It sure looked and smelled good, but the flavor wasn’t quite there for us.
Cleanup was also a bit on the messy side with this meal. This is one we’ll take a pass on unfortunately, but again, you may love it even though we didn’t. It wasn’t bad, just kind of bland.
Hearty Morning Coconut Granola
The Rightontrek Hearty Morning Granola was another one that we were excited to try after how much we liked the Blueberry Bliss Granola meal. It is another one of their meals that just needs 3-5 ounces of water, and can be hot or cold which is super nice. We started with just the meal (no add-ons), and added 4 oz of water. It was a bit bland, and super watery unfortunately. I’d recommend just 2-3 oz of water with this meal unless you like more of a cereal-with-milk breakfast than a granola meal.
We added the banana chips, milk and cream add-ons to see if that brought out more flavor. They certainly helped, but we all thought the meal was still on the bland side for us. It offers a nice nutty flavor, but not nearly enough blueberries. (The milk didn’t turn blue from the berries like it shows on the package) We also thought adding the banana chips gave it an odd flavor, so I’d personally not add those in to this meal.
It is nice that this hearty meal can be eaten out of the bag, making cleanup a breeze, and preparation is as easy as boiling water (even cold water is fine with this meal).
General Tsoy’s Mountain Rice – Rightontrek Meal Review
The Rightontrek General Tsoy’s Mountain Rice meal was one I was super excited to try. I typically LOVE this meal, so I had high hopes for it, and was not disappointed. The flavor is rich and the portion is generous. First we started with just the meal and no add-ons, and it was excellent. Then we threw in the red pepper packet and that made it even better! The chicken cooked up extremely well, unlike a lot of the freeze dried chicken meals that tend to get chewy and not re-hydrate all the way. You can add in the hot sauce as well, but it didn’t need it to be excellent.
Unfortunately, it is one of the longest cook times taking about 10 minutes between boiling the 9 oz of water, simmering it for 5 minutes, and letting it sit for 2 minutes. Cleanup isn’t too bad on this one, but it does take some extra water. All in all, this is definitely a meal I’d take into the backcountry as it was one of our favorites from the Rightontrek meal review.
high Country Pad Thai – Rightontrek Meal Review
Pad Thai can be tricky, especially in a backpacking meal. There’s no question about that. We weren’t quite sure what to expect in Rightontrek High Country Pad Thai. We started with just the meal and no add-ons, and it was “good but not great” according to the crew. Then we added the hot sauce, and that really took this meal from pretty good, to really good. While the flavor was fantastic, our taste testers commented that it didn’t really taste like Pad Thai. It was close, but not the same thing. Your taste buds will probably love it, but don’t expect it to be just like your favorite Pad Thai.
Clean up was a bit more messy with this one, but not too bad. Total cook time was just 8 minutes with a 4-6 minute simmer and 3 minute sit.
Bachamel Style Mac and Cheese – Rightontrek Meal Review
Mac and Cheese is kind of a staple in backpacking food, and the Rightontrek Mac and Cheese hits the mark! It tastes as good as it looks in the picture on the packaging. While it is one of the longer prep times at 10 minutes, it is worth the wait! If you use all of the included cheese mix, we thought it was a bit too rich, so we dialed it back and found our sweet spot to be about 1/2 – 3/4 of the packet. Adding in the flatbread crackers made this meal even better!
That’s the beauty of this meal. You can customize to your taste preference. It is extremely good with or without the included spice packet, but if you opt to use the spice packet, it adds a very unique flavor to it. You just have to try it to see if you like it. Add a little or a lot or none at all. If you add the entire packet, the spice flavor is pretty strong, so we’d recommend starting with 1/4 of the packet and adding from there.
As you can imagine, clean up is very messy with this one. But, hey! Mac and Cheese is a comfort food, and as incredible as the Rightontrek Mac and Cheese is, you won’t mind cleaning up after dinner.
Broccoli Beef Stroganoff – Rightontrek Meal Review
Next up in our Right on Trek meals review is the Broccoli Beef Stroganoff. This one is also a gluten free, keto meal, so we were unsure how this would go. Rightontrek replaced the typical noodles in stroganoff with broccoli to make this one gluten free and keto. We all agreed that it really didn’t taste much like a beef stroganoff, but was still pretty good. You can add the parmesan cheese packet, but it’s not needed. This is a meal that you will either really like, or take a hard pass on. We were split as some liked it, and others really did not.
There was a unique aftertaste that we couldn’t identify, but it wasn’t a bad aftertaste. About half way through, the flavor got kind of old, so it’s one of those meals that would likely get about half eaten most of the time. The beef cooked up really well and was super tender.
Clean up was pretty easy on the Broccoli Beef Stroganoff, which was also welcomed. At the end of the day, this is one dinner most of us would take a pass on, however, if you need a gluten free or keto friendly meal, it’s worth a shot trying. Even the folks who didn’t love it still thought it was okay.
Cauliflower Forest Chicken Risotto – Rightontrek Meal Review
Rightontrek meals took another swing at a gluten free AND Keto meal in the Cauliflower Forest Chicken Risotto. I’m not gonna lie. This one kinda scared me. Cauliflower in a backpacking meal?! BUT this was really, really good. Even though risotto is typically made with noddles, the cauliflower works, and works well. It is rich, hearty, and doesn’t get old as you eat the whole meal. It is slightly on the salty side, but not too bad. It only takes 6 oz of water, and the preparation time is only 6 minutes with only one minute to simmer.
Again, clean up is very messy with this one, but it’s certainly worth the hassle of having to do some dishes after dinner. The Cauliflower Forest Chicken Risotto was one of our favorites, even being a gluten free and keto meal.
Conclusion: Rightontrek Meal Review
While testing all these meals for this Rightontrek meal review, our team had the opportunity to try 9 of their meals. As usual, we liked some of them and didn’t like others. The big takeaway is that if you enjoy cooking in the backcountry, these are a great option to try. If you don’t, well, they may not be for you. Personally, whether I’m willing to cook in the backcountry depends on the type of trip I’ll be going on. Many of their meals are excellent! Give them a shot, and let us know what you think!
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