Outdoors-friendly wet meals and a Day Ration Pack from Beyond The Beaten Track.
'Easy Outdoors Food' is the tag-line on the Beyond The Beaten Track packaging and that just about sums it up. We've two 'wet' meals plus a complete, military-style, One Day Ration Pack all emblazoned with the Duke of Edinburgh award recommended kit logo.
The great thing about so-called 'wet food' - Wayfayrer is probably the best know option - is that it comes pre-cooked in foil sachets and you simply reheat it either in a pan of boiling water, which you can then use for a brew or directly in a pan or mess-tin.
The downsides are that, particularly for multi-day stuff, it's relatively heavy - our Vegetarian Sausage and Tomato Breakfast (£4.00) weighs 325g and the Chocolate Pudding in Chocolate Sauce (£4.00) 220g - compared to dry food and it's not cheap. You can though, eat it cold if you really have to...
Day Ration Pack
The Day Ration Pack is something a bit different, though the concept will be familiar to anyone who's used military ration packs. It's a 1430g cardboard box packed with pretty much everything you might need to consume during a day on the hill. It's based on the 12-hour ration pack supplied to the British Army by Vesty Foods, the name behind BTBT.
'Everything' in this case includes a 'Pork sausage and beans in tomato sauce' wet breakfast, a 'chicken yellow curry and rice' main meal and an 'apple turnover dessert' which account for around half the total at 755g all in. On top of that there's a whole raft of other stuff including tea-bags, instant cofffee, tissues, anti-bacterial wipes, a Yorkie Bar - that ain't going to last long round here... - fruit and oats snack bar, Polo mints, fruit and nut mix, boiled sweets and even a sachet of electrolyte drink mix.
Oh, and you can lose 140g instantly by ditching the box and carrying the contents in a big zip-lock bag which is included taking weight down to a lighter, but still hefty 1260g.
Obviously lightweight freaks are going to have a proper tantrum over that sort of grammage and you wouldn't want to try carrying a weeks worth of these without a handy yak or burro to help you out, but really the pack is about convenience.
No need to collate a whole raft of snack and meals and work out how much you need, it's mostly all here with a minimum of 3000 calories and a shelf-life of two years, so you could always keep one in the cupboard.
The Price Of Convenience
Think £12 for a day ration pack - there are vegetarian and halal versions available too - or you opt for the heftier still 24-hour ration pack with added lunch and an additional 1000 calories for £20.04. Or go large with a ten-person pack weighing 24kg and costing £86.20, though you'll need some cooking facilities to unleash its 50,000 calories...
Overall it's about convenience above anything else. You could put together a lighter, cheaper alternative yourself, but if you don't have the time or inclination to do that, then a ration pack is an effective if slightly heavy alternative.
We'll be endeavouring to taste taste some of the contents in the near future - the Yorkie has already bitten the dust - more information at www.beyondthebeatentrack.co.uk.