|Rating:||8.8 / 10|
|Value for Money||2.0 / 2.5|
|Taste||2.3 / 2.5|
|Convenience||2.1 / 2.5|
|Weight||2.4 / 2.5|
Changes in outdoor products in many cases are often only ever incremental and the meal sector has been no different. Over the past couple of years these changes have accelerated with a much wider range of tasty meal options now available on the Australian market and in addition, the packaging has become much more enticing encouraging people to buy this product. The improvement in meal choice and the more attractive packing certainly helps retail sales along but once you stuff these into your pack, its not really something you think about. Recently Campers Pantry released its new range of Expedition Meals which for me is a game changer.
At the time of this review, there are five meals in the Expedition Range with more expected down the track. The five are:
Those of you who already eat the Campers Pantry meals will know that a couple of the options in this range already existed in the traditional packaging so what then is the difference? Essentially the Expedition Range is all about the packaging. First up this range as it exists are single serve meals so nothing different there. The big game changer is that these packs have had the air sucked out of the packet which has two big benefits. First, they now have a five year shelf life whereas perviously most freeze dried meals were only 2-3 years at best. This means that if you see these meals on sale, you can buy up big knowing that they won’t go to waste.
The second benefit is the reduction in packaging size. I can get away with a 36 litre pack for overnight hikes of up to four days in length but once I go to five days, the extra food bulk (as opposed to the weight) pushes me up to a larger pack. With all the air sucked out of the packs, these meals take up a lot less space and as a result free up pack volume. If you look at the images for this product below you’ll notice that the meal has a cardboard display card attached to make them easier to display but also so people can clearly read the ingredient and nutrition lists which is vital if you have any food allergies.
Prior to a hike I remove this cardboard component which further reduces what I carry on a hike. The compressed package does have this information printed on it but in sucking the air out, it has the potential to impact on the readability having said that, I had no such issues with this pack.
While we are talking about food allergies this meal option doesn’t contain nuts but is prepared in a factory that handles nuts and as such, there is a warning on the packaging.
Now onto the meal itself. Preparing this meal is a bit more fiddly than traditional freeze dried meals due to the vacuum sealing process so once you tear the top of this bag off, the preparation process while quite easy, is a bit more fiddly requiring you to take out the internal paper bag with the food in it, flatten out the outer meal pouch to create a standing bowl, place the freeze dried food back into the pouch, and add 300 ml of boiling water before letting stand for ten minutes. At the five minute mark you need to stir the meal. In practice, the additional step of taking the internal bag out and adding it to the outer packaging only takes a matter of a seconds, so no big time impost.
I’m always dubious about how much water to add to freeze dried meals and in many cases the consistency of a meal is a very personal thing. In this case adding 300 ml of boiling water was spot on. In my case it produced a perfect consistency and meant the meal as eaten weighs 400 grams.
I’m a big fan of Indian food and love curries so was very much looking forward to eating this option. Spice wise it has a bit of tang as you would expect from Indian food that does have curry in it but it wasn’t overly spicy or hot so will suit most peoples tastes. In fact I could smell what it was going to taste like even before I had added the water. Campers Pantry use real meat in its meals rather than a soy substitute and while you know this is a chicken dish, the meal was very well balanced with no one ingredient dominating the meal.
Price wise this single serve meal is AUD$15,95 RRP at the time of review. For a single serve meal this is on the higher end of the scale but given the compact packaging and longevity in storage, this meal is great value. For testing I had this meal as a lunch and found it to be very filling but not so large that I struggled to eat it.
I’m a big fan of Asian and Indian rice and loved the taste and texture of this meal – I will definitely include it as part of my hiking meal rotation.
You can purchase the Campers Pantry Indian Chicken Pilaf from Campers Pantry
Disclosure: We may earn a small commission, at no additional expense to you, if you click through and make a purchase. Please note that our affiliations do not influence, in any way, the independence of our reviews. If we don’t like a product, you’ll hear about it from us!
If you have tasted the Campers Pantry Indian Chicken Pilaf or if you have questions, we’d like to hear from you. Post your comment or questions below
PLEASE NOTE: As a special offer Campers Pantry has provided us with a 15% discount on meal purchases (information correct as at 7 May 2023). This discount will be applied at the checkout when you make your purchase
The following Campers Pantry meals are also available in the expedition packing:
AUD $15.95 RRP
Campers Pantry Indian Chicken Pilaf as purchased
Campers Pantry Indian Chicken Pilaf size comparison against an iPhone 14 Pro
Campers Pantry Indian Chicken Pilaf with the cardboard display removed
Campers Pantry Indian Chicken Pilaf nutrition list
Campers Pantry Indian Chicken Pilaf ingredient list
Campers Pantry Expedition Range opened up. The white bag contains the food
Campers Pantry Indian Chicken Pilaf – unrehydrated
Campers Pantry Expdition Range with meal rehydrated. Before you add the food you need to flatten out the bag so that it ‘free stands’. Once you have added the water, roll the top over to let it rehydrate
Campers Pantry Indian Chicken Pilaf ready to eat
Campers Pantry Indian Chicken Pilaf artistically displayed. Your meal is only likely to look like this if you are car camping
This review was done with product provided by Campers Pantry