Extra 10% Off Apparel w/code: Summer10

Simba Tasted - GOOD TO-GO Meals: Oatmeal, Three Bean Chili, & Chicken Gumbo

RSS
Simba Tasted - GOOD TO-GO Meals: Oatmeal, Three Bean Chili, & Chicken Gumbo

Simba Tested - Our gear guru & resident thru-hiker, Bryden Bowley (Trail Name = Simba), spent the summer of 2019 thru-hiking the Continental Divide Trail over 2,000 miles across Montana, Wyoming, Colorado, and New Mexico. While hiking, he chose 22 products to use, abuse, and give his unbiased review. Bryden's hiking resumé includes over 5,400 miles of trails since 2017 - for comparison that's about the same distance from LA to NYC and back again. 

  •  21 day hike across the Swedish Kungsleden trail - 270 miles
  • The Anna Purna Circuit in Nepal, topping out at 17,800 feet above sea level - 175 miles
  • 2017 thru-hike of the Pacific Crest Trail where he earned his trail name "Simba" - 2,650
  • 2019 Continental Divide Trail - 2,300 miles

Each week we'll release a new review that Bryden shot while on trail last summer - plus a follow up with his honest feedback about each product. We're proud to share Bryden's unbiased opinion about these products, and you can ask him questions directly through our Instagram Page. This is Simba Tested.


GOOD TO-GO: Backpacking meals that taste like real food. 

 

This week on Simba Tested: OATMEAL, THREE BEAN CHILI , AND CHICKEN GUMBO backpacking meals

First up: OATMEAL w/ Quinua, Chia, & Hemp Hearts

First tastebud-contact impression?

Very delicious. A bit of a tasty spice kick. Kinda tangy like a cardamon or cinnamon-y type spice. Overall a mild cinnamon-type kick which was really good.  

What beverage was this paired with?

Coffeeeeee - Starbucks Via Instant Italian Roast. Those little suckers are my favorite coffee for on-trail. I'm a dark roast guy and the Italian roast is my favorite instant coffee they make. 

Does it need seasoning? If so, what seasoning?

Nah, it was really good just the way it is. They had the right consistency and flavors so that you didn't have to add anything on your own. If you wanted to pack out some dehydrated milk powder that would probably be REALLY good with this - but on the CDT I didn't pack out any extras like that. 

Did you feel full?

Yes, it’s a great morning meal. This meal was a lot more food than I normally would eat for breakfast on trail, so I was pretty full for a few hours. This felt like the healthiest Good-to-Go meal I had and I felt really good the whole day after eating this one. 

Would it be best to be eaten for breakfast, lunch, or dinner?

Breakfast - who eats oatmeal for dinner?

After eating, did you feel like Superman or Jabba The Hut?

I felt energized and ready to go. Superman!

Feelin’ gassy 20 mins later?

No gas! 

Would you recommend a snickers bar dessert?

No, no dessert needed for this. Just coffee.

Would you eat again?

Yes, and I’m excited for the next time!

Overall impression?

Super super good. Perfectly spiced and tasteful. I felt like this was a really healthy option for a backpacking breakfast. My standard breakfast on-trail were those Bel-Vita breakfast biscuits and this is a major step up from that. 



Next Up: THREE BEAN CHILI

 

First tastebud-contact impression?

From the packaging and the sound of this meal I had high expectations for this meal. I love chili and was stoked for this one, but it ended up really disappointing me. 

What was disappointing about it? 

Honestly it was super bland & didn't have much flavor. But keep in mind that I cooked this meal at 10,000 feet (instructions are given for 5,000 ft altitude) - I followed cooking instructions and it didn't seem fully cooked or something seemed off. It was getting dark when I made this and I was in a bit of a hurry to put some more miles in during the night, so maybe I ate this one a bit premature. 

Does it need seasoning? If so, what seasoning?

I think it does. Spice this thing up with some chili powder, salt & pepper, parmesan cheese, curry powder, turmeric, etc. Basically any seasoning you're packing out into the backcountry would be go great in this, otherwise it's going to be kinda bland.

Did you feel full?

Yes I was full but I wasn't satisfied... Gonna need a snickers bar for dessert!

Would it be best to be eaten for breakfast, lunch, or dinner?

I think the three bean chili would be best for lunch.

 

After eating, did you feel like Superman or Jabba The Hut?

I felt like a disappointed sorta half-full person... So we'll say Jabba the Hut.

 

Feelin’ gassy 20 mins later?

No gas! 

Would you recommend a snickers bar dessert?

Yes

Would you eat again?

Next time I'll make sure it gets cooked through longer and add some spices to kick it up a notch. 

Overall impression?

Let the water soak the chili longer than the packet tell you, and spice it up with whatever you've got! 

 

3. CHICKEN GUMBO

First tastebud-contact impression?

Wow! This is goooooood. Tastes like I was eating something that could've been served at a creole restaurant. Didn't feel like I was eating something out of a bag in the middle of nowhere Colorado. 

Does it need seasoning? If so, what seasoning?

Nah.. it was really good just the way it is. Definitely don't add salt & pepper to this one because it's rather salty to begin with. I've seen hikers that pack out a small bottle of Sriracha sauce... that might be pretty good with this Gumbo. 

Did you feel full?

Yes. Lots of calories in this one, I was definitely satisfied. 

Would it be best to be eaten for breakfast, lunch, or dinner?

Dinner. A big bag of this for dinner would be really good, it's pretty filling so having this for lunch might make you feel sluggish. 

Feelin’ gassy 20 mins later?

I think it did give me some gas. Not bad though. I would've still shared a tent with somebody but given them a cautionary warning. 

What beverage was this paired with?

I made a Starbucks instant coffee with hot cocoa powder… my “Trail latte”

Would you recommend a snickers bar dessert?

YES - perfect way to wrap up the meal if you've got a sweet tooth like me. 

Would you eat again?

Yes, I Definitely would. I have actually had this exact meal several more times since the first impression and it's really good. 

Overall impression?

I’m not the biggest fan of chicken-heavy meals but this still was really good. I'd recommend letting the water soak it a bit longer than what the package recommends.

 

Try them out yourself! Shop Good-To-Go backpacking meals HERE

 

More from Simba Tested

 

Le Bent Socks

 

Nemo Fillo Pillow

Katadyn BeFree Microfilter

 

Previous Post Next Post

  • Brandon Long