Emergency Preparedness Essentials: Mountain House Meals

Emergency Preparedness Essentials: Mountain House Meals

In 1960s, hiker freeze-dried food forever changed with the introduction of Mountain House. Today, it remains a top choice for backpackers, campers, and emergency preparedness enthusiasts. But with so many options, how do you choose the right Mountain House meals for your adventure (or disaster)? This comprehensive guide will equip you with the knowledge to make informed decisions.

The History of Mountain House

Our parent company, OFD Foods LLC, has been an innovator in the food industry since 1963. Originally known as Oregon Freeze Dry, the company began its journey freeze-drying fruit for popular breakfast cereals.

Choosing Albany, Oregon, nestled in the heart of the fertile Willamette Valley, proved to be an ideal location. With an abundance of farms and orchards nearby, the setting perfectly aligned with OFD Foods' mission (and later became even more fitting as the company expanded into the outdoor market, given the wealth of recreational opportunities in Western Oregon).

Oregon Freeze Dry's first production center, a sprawling 15,600-square-foot facility, was one of the world's largest freeze-drying plants upon its opening in 1964. This impressive installation quickly reached capacity, necessitating expansion.

The Vietnam War era in 1966 marked Oregon Freeze Dry's first foray into supplying the military with freeze-dried rations. The success of these rations was immediate, leading to a multimillion-dollar contract with the U.S. Armed Forces by 1967.

The 1960s also saw Oregon Freeze Dry contribute to NASA's space program, initiating a long and prestigious tradition of providing sustenance for astronauts and their training.

The Science Behind Freeze-Drying

Following World War II, the freeze-drying technique found a new use in preserving food. This method eliminated the need for refrigeration, allowing for long-term storage. Coffee was among the first products to undergo this process, but today, vegetables, fruits, meats, fish, dairy, herbs, and even flavorings can all be successfully freeze-dried.

The secret behind Mountain House's long shelf life and surprisingly good taste lies in freeze-drying technology. This process removes water from food at low temperatures while preserving its shape, nutrients, and most importantly, flavor. The remaining lightweight food rehydrates quickly with hot water, making it perfect for camping trips, emergency preparedness kits, and even long-term storage.

Freeze-drying process:

  1. Freezing: Food is rapidly frozen to lock in freshness and prevent cell damage.

  2. Sublimation: Under a vacuum, frozen water molecules are removed directly from the solid state (ice) into vapor, bypassing the liquid stage.

  3. Desorption: Remaining moisture is gently removed using low heat.

Mountain House Meals: Variety and Options

Mountain House offers a vast selection of freeze-dried meals, snacks, and breakfasts to cater to various dietary preferences and outdoor adventures.


This is where Mountain House shines. From classic favorites like Beef Stew and Chicken Teriyaki with Rice to newer, innovative options like Spicy Thai Curry and Pasta Primavera, there's something for every taste bud. Mountain House also offers a variety of portion sizes, with single-serving pouches and larger cans feeding multiple people.

Buy: Mountain House Entree Cans


Start your day right with Mountain House's freeze-dried breakfast options. They offer classic choices like Scrambled Eggs with Sausage and more unique options like Granola with Milk & Blueberries.

Buy Pouches: https://www.safecastle.com/collections/mountain-house-clean-label-new-collection-safecastle


Mountain House offers a variety of freeze-dried fruits, veggies, and ice cream perfect for a mid-hike snack.



Just In Case (JIC) Pouches: These single-serving pouches are perfect for emergency preparedness kits, offering a variety of breakfast, lunch, and dinner options with a shelf life of up to 25 years.

Buy 3 Days Meal Case: https://www.safecastle.com/products/just-in-case-3-day-emergency-food-supply

Mountain House can be used for:

  • Backpacking and camping

  • Mountaineering and hiking

  • Expeditions

  • Military rations

  • Survival food storage

How to Prepare Mountain House Meals (Step-by-Step Guide)

  • Gather your supplies: You'll need your Mountain House pouch, hot water (refer to the instructions on the pouch for the recommended amount), a spoon, and a cup or bowl (optional).

  • Boil Water: Using a camp stove or another heat source, boil the required amount of water.

  • Open the Pouch: Carefully tear open the pouch following the designated opening.

  • Add Water: Pour the hot water into the pouch, ensuring all ingredients are covered.

  • Stir and Close: Give it a good stir to distribute the water evenly and close the pouch loosely to trap the heat.

  • Wait: Let the meal rehydrate for the recommended time (usually between 5-10 minutes).

  • Enjoy! Once rehydrated, your Mountain House meal is ready to be savored.

Emergency Preparedness and Long-Term Storage

Mountain House aren't just for outdoor adventures. Their long shelf life (up to 30 years with proper storage) makes them a valuable addition to any emergency preparedness kit. With a variety of hearty, single-serving meals, Mountain House ensures you have a source of nutritious food during unexpected situations.

For optimal shelf life, store your Mountain House ponches in a cool, dry place (ideally between 50°F and 70°F). Avoid storing them in direct sunlight or areas with extreme temperatures. Once opened, a single-serving pouch can be resealed and stored in the refrigerator for up to a day.

Frequently Asked Questions:

How much water do I need for Mountain House meals?

The amount of water required varies depending on the specific meal. Each pouch clearly indicates the recommended amount of boiling water on the packaging.

Do Mountain House meals taste good?

Freeze-drying technology has come a long way, and Mountain House meals generally receive positive reviews for their taste. However, preferences are subjective. It's always a good idea to try a few different meals at home before taking them on your next adventure.

Are Mountain House meals healthy?

While not a replacement for a well-balanced diet, Mountain House meals offer a decent amount of calories, protein, and essential nutrients. Many options cater to dietary needs, including gluten-free and vegetarian choices. You can find the nutritional information for each meal on the Mountain House website or packaging.

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