Mountain House 4-Day Emergency Kit
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- 28 total servings with approximately 1,650 calories per day
- 30 Year Taste Guarantee
- Allergens: Soy, Milk, Wheat, Egg, Coconut
- Lightweight and compact, Dimensions: 12” (L) x 8” (W) x 12” (H)
- Great for emergency preparedness, camping trips, and RV expeditions
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From the manufacturer
Mountain House Just In Case - 4-Day Emergency Food Supply
Now you can easily customize an emergency food supply with Mountain House Just in Case - emergency food supply multi-day kits.
Are you looking for a 7-Day supply? Consider combining the 2-Day with the 5-Day kits. Or select the variety of meals that are included with the 3-Day and 4-Day kits instead. Customize your emergency food supply foundation to fit your taste preferences and budget.
This stackable 4-day boxed kit contains a variety of popular breakfast, lunch and dinner entrees for one person.
Who is Mountain House?
For nearly 50 years, Mountain House adventure meals have consistently been the premier choice of campers, backpackers, and survival experts. Born out of freeze dried meals we make for the United States Special Forces, Mountain House food has proven history of reliability and most importantly, delicious flavor.
With just-add-water preparation and no-mess cleanup, Mountain House is not only the perfect camping or backpacking food, but also for keeping on hand just in case of an emergency. Additionally Mountain House meals have incredible shelf life. With the longest proven shelf life in the industry and a guarantee to taste good for 30 years, Mountain House is the perfect emergency preparedness or survival food to keep on hand.
From the bottom of the deepest ocean, to the tops of the tallest mountains, to the battlefield and back, Mountain House is the food people trust when failure is not an option. Consistently chosen as the best tasting food among outdoor and survival brands, Mountain House is the best camping, hunting, backpacking and survival food money can buy.
Mountain House Meals Are Perfect For:
- Emergency Preparedness
- Food Storage
- Occassional Everyday Use
Mountain House Just In Case - 4-Day Emergency Food Supply Contains:
Mountain House Breakfast Skillet (x2)
Hash browns and scrambled eggs mixed with pork sausage crumbles, peppers and onions.
Mountain House Granola with Milk and Blueberries (x2)
Packed with energizing dried fruit, fiber, and unsaturated fats.
Mountain House Noodles and Chicken (x2)
Pasta with chicken, and red peppers in a rich creamy sauce.
Mountain House Lasagna with Meat Sauce (x2)
Pasta with cheese in a rich tomato meat sauce makes this a favorite Italian entrée.
Mountain House Beef Stew (x2)
Made with tender dices of all natural beef, potatoes, peas, and carrots.
Mountain House Italian Style Pepper Steak (x2)
Tender cuts of steak with red, green and yellow bell peppers, onions and tomatoes with long grain rice.
|No. of Meals||6||9||12||15||42|
|Avg. Calories per day||2,150||1,650||1,700||1,850||1,800|
|Dimensions (H x L x W)||6" x 12" x 8"||8" x 12" x 8"||11.625" x 12" x 8"||13.625" x 12" x 8"||19" x 12" x 16"|
|Weight||31.3 oz / 2.0 LB||46.4 oz / 2.9 LB||54.2 oz / 3.4 LB||73.4 oz / 4.6 LB||205.3 oz / 12.9 LB|
|Total Cups of Water||11||15.75||19.5||26||72.25|
Throw the Mountain House 4-Day Emergency Kit in the back of your rig before venturing down that poorly maintained desert road. It comes with enough food to feed a single person for four days or two people for about two days, and it requires just about 20 cups of water to fully prepare every meal in the kit.
Color: Blue Box | Size: Just in Case 4 Day Emergency Food Supply
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So to start at the beginning - this product is, I hope, a harbinger of eliminating what seems to be misleading "servings" disclosure on other freeze dried food products. We've seen the emergency buckets and such that offer "100" servings with the clear implication that you can get 100 meals out of it...but in reality they will feed one adult for maybe 4-5 days. While the legally-mandated info on the box still understates a practical serving size, the very packaging and name of the product makes it clear that one pouch equals one meal for one person. And that's the kind of honesty I like, so much so that it has erased one of my biggest issues with the Mountain House Breakfast Bucket and made me comfortable buying these products.
As with the other Just In Case boxes, this is a cardboard box so not waterproof. I like that they are stackable, after a fashion (frankly, the footprint dimensions of my 2 day box aren't quite in line with the 4 day box....), but you don't want to have to clean up a mushy mess after a flood or something. The interior pouches are waterproof, but the box is not. Further, the pouches are sitting face up in the box, so when you open it, well, be careful with that knife or box cutter because you run the risk of slicing open the top meal. The meals themselves aren't in any kind of meal order, so if you're looking for breakfast you'll have to root around a bit.
The expiration date of the food I received here is February 2028. According to the ad copy, this is the 12 year "taste guarantee." I'm told that the food will taste good until 12 years and one second past the manufacture date. However, I try to keep in mind that this is a taste thing...in theory, the science supports this food lasting pretty much forever as long as the pouch remains intact. It won't spoil but it may taste stale after 30 years. However, it won't kill you, so that's probably mitigating the whole taste thing. It's also more robust when it comes to storage. I know the ad copy says not to store it in extreme temperatures, but it's still a lot more resilient than MREs or similar full moisture food is.
Anyway, when it comes to squirreling food away, my strategy depends on what I think the water situation will be. If you're assured of a clean or at least filterable water source, then freeze dried is a pretty good choice...easier to pack, carry, and store. On the other hand, if you think water is going to be limited, full moisture MREs may be worth another look.
Now if you're going to be buying these for storage, I really suggest buying one extra and tasting the food. Really. You want to be able to know what to expect, how to reconstitute it, how it's going to taste, and more importantly whether it's going to really be enough for "one meal" for you. And it does bear mentioning that this food is built for storage and longevity, not really taste. I mean, it's not *bad* food by any means, but it's not like eating at French Laundry either. As something made to last, the sodium count is up there. Per my doctor, make sure you're well hydrated and you STAY hydrated if you're living off this food for a prolonged period of time. In an otherwise healthy person, excess salt gets flushed out of the system assuming you're staying hydrated, but you have to be hydrated. Another point in the advice that you want to make sure you have plenty of water available if you're going to count on having these in an emergency. You don't need a lot to reconstitute the meals...but you need a lot to drink. Water up.
And while the pouches themselves give you a decent amount of food, the nutrition here isn't what I'd consider balanced. It will keep you alive in the near term, but after a few weeks you'll probably start feeling the effects. So I say consider this to be a base upon which to build a more comprehensive strategy. Don't just buy a few boxes and toss them in the closet. Think this through. Rotate some canned fruits/vegetables through your stash. You may want to stash some vitamin pills too (Seriously...scurvy sucks). Again, it's a good starting point, so treat it as such.
Anyway, the food itself is about as good as freeze dried is going to get. I actually like the breakfast skillet meals, as they have good texture and flavor to them. The lasagna meal is basically noodles in tomato sauce, and the water suggested for this meal is a bit on the high side (I decreased the amount of water by a couple of ounces and got thicker sauce). The chicken and noodles weren't bad, but to my taste, freeze dried chicken always tastes bland to me...so put some Tabasco in your stash. The pepper steak, on the other hand, pretty good all things considered.
At the end of the day, this is a good no-real-thought-required to start putting together a food plan. It's not going to be the end point, but it's enough to get you started, and oftentimes getting started is the hard part. It's a good product and I like it for what it is.
So, although the purpose of this product, the Mountain House Just-In Case 4 Day Emergency Food Supply and MREs are not very similar, I thought it would make for an interesting review to compare one type with the other. Note, that for the purposes of this review, I’m talking about standard issue MREs, not one of the many official variants for special forces, aircrew, religious people with dietary restrictions, and so on. While many people buy MREs from on-line auction sites, I’m retired military and buy mine from my local military commissary, which sells them as single MRE’s or in a 12-pack case. So sit down, and get comfortable, because I have a feeling this is going to be a long review, even for me. :-)
What’s included: With the Mountain House (MH) product, you get a 12 entrées (well, “2 each” of 6 different entrées), each contained in a pouch. Each pouch contains 2 to 2 ½ servings. With MRE’s, you get a main course (entrée), a side dish, bread or cracker, a dessert, condiments (seasonings, a moist towelette, toilet paper, a long spoon, powdered beverage, a matchbook, and so on) and a flameless ration heater for one person. If you buy a case, you get 12 meals, which also consist of “2 each” of 6 different meals.
Cost: Based on the current suggested retail price on Amazon for the MH and the sale price in the Commissary for MREs, they are with 50 cents per meal of each other. And I suspect you can find both a little cheaper, if you look around, than full price.
Convenience: You tear open the MH, add 1 to 1 ½ cups of boiling water, stir, close the pouch for 4 minutes, stir again, wait another 9 minutes, and then eat. It’s very easy, except in a true survival situation, where you might not be able to come up with hot water (I’ll assume you can get clean water, or meals wouldn’t be your highest priority). I’ve eaten 5 of the entrée types, but I didn’t try any of them with cold water. I suspect that this might be a problem for some of the entrees, such as the Lasagna which has cheese that should ideally melt a little. With the MRE, most of the items can be torn open from their pouch and eaten immediately. For those entrées that need to be heated you have the flameless ration heater, which is a plastic bag that has a chemical heating element. Add the entrée and a little water into the bag, and in 8 minutes or so, you have a very hot entrée.
Weight: The MH, by virtue of being both freeze dried and only providing an entrée (vice all the other stuff in the MRE) weighs about 4 ½ ounces per meal. Note that this is perhaps understated if you also need to carry the water you need to reconstitute the meal. The MRE, by contrast, weighs between 18 to 26 ounces, depending on the meal, and can be quite heavy if you pack enough of them. Until the advent of specialized MRE packs, a lot of troops would go into their MRE pouches and discard what they didn’t want in order to cut back on their weight if they had to travel any distance by foot.
Caloric values: The 12 included MH entrées total 6400 calories. If you take MH’s servings claim of having 28 servings at face value, each serving would only give you 228 calories. So if you had a single serving at breakfast, lunch, and supper, you’d only be getting 685 calories per day. However, MH correctly shows this as a 4 day supply for one person, so you’re eating the whole entrée, not just a portion of it. That averages out to 533 calories per meal, or a more reasonable 1600 calories per day. Each MRE, though, is supposed to give you around 1200 calories, as the intent is to keep a very active soldier fed. The MRE’s are also better balanced with regards to overall nutrition, as that is their mission.
Product Life expectancy: The MH pouches are good for 15 years which is stamped right on the pouch, another testament to a benefit of freeze dried food versus wet rations. MRE’s are initially good for 3 years, are tested at that point, and are *supposed* to be gotten rid of after 5 years, regardless of testing. But a lot of their shelf life is dependent on the conditions they’ve been stored under. Hot weather will make them go bad faster, while cool weather can prolong their life span. I’ve personally eaten MREs that were 7 or 8 years old that I kept in my basement, and they were fine. But that points out another reason why I buy my MREs from the commissary even though they may be more expensive … that way I can look at the packed date and inspected date myself. I’ve heard stories on how some of the MREs sold from the on-line sites are either time expired or sellers mislead you about actual packed date. Caveat emperor.
And finally, what you’re really been waiting for, Taste: Maybe I’m just jaded, but the MH was much tastier than the MRE’s. (I had to add a bit of salt to one of the MH meals, but it’s better that they are under-salted to my taste rather than over-salted.) You get more of a selection with the MREs. If you include the companion MH 3 day supply, you have 12 different food varieties to eat from MH, but with MRE’s you get 24 choices. However, while very filling, MRE’s taste like something somebody concocted first to give you enough calories, second a balanced nutrition, and with taste coming in around 9th or 10th. I've eaten five of the six different types of MH entrées so far. All reconstituted very well. The meat even tasted like real meat, not like some of the meats in the early versions of MREs that I mentioned above. And they tasted a lot better than the stuff we used to take camping years ago.
One TMI side note: While on active duty, whenever I ate MREs for more than a day or two, I’d get constipated. A lot of my buddies said the same. I don’t know if we weren’t hydrating enough, not getting enough fiber, or what, but what was going in wasn’t coming out. :-)
Anyway, I felt that this product, the Mountain House Just-In Case 4 Day Emergency Food Supply is an excellent choice for a back-up food supply should the need arise, or for camping and other outdoor activities. It’s very tasty, packs well, is lightweight, and is easy to reconstitute. My only potential nit is that they seem a little pricey for what you get, but I have no real way to tell what they should cost. But color me a happy camper, so to speak. Four stars.