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  • Mountain House Meals: Freeze-Dried Security

    Try this experiment, right now; Look around you and determine how far away you are from something to eat. Anything. In other words, how long would you have to last before you could find a cracker, a candy bar, or a T-bone steak from where you sit right now. Odds are, you are within minutes, maybe even seconds, from popping some nourishment into your mouth.

    For many in first-world societies, the prospect of a next meal is rarely in question. But all that could change in an instant. Earthquake, storm, social unrest, cyber attack or large-scale power-grid failure could make your lunch more challenging and put dinner right out of the picture. Then what?

    Along with water and shelter, food is a universal human necessity. The human body can survive anywhere from 1-3 months without food. Most people, however, need at least one good meal a day or they don’t do well. And while the physical effects of undernourishment are most concerning, there are profound psychological effects that can be just as dire. The Minnesota Starvation Experiment, a study conducted during World War II, found that even in semi-starvation conditions of consuming 1,560 kilocalories a day, depression, hysteria and even hypochondriasis manifested in many of the participants. The reports found that in a semi-starved situation, participant’s thoughts and conversations were consumed with ideas of food and eating. Going without food can have dangerous effects on your mental state, and can lead to poor decisions in critical times.

    Finn_ski_troops could have used some Mountain House meals A Finnish ski patrol during the Winter War, 1940

    One brutal example of poor decision making from lack of food comes from a battle fought during the Winter War between the Soviet Union and Finland. Dubbed the "Sausage War", Russian troops overran the left flank of Colonel Paavo Talvela the night of December 10th, 1939. There were few troops there other than cooks, other field kitchen staff and medical units. The Finns had no way to repulse the attack and fled with sausage soup still simmering in cook pots. The Russians, who were poorly equipped and even more poorly fed, should have continued their attack, but the entire battalion stopped upon smelling the still cooking sausages in the kitchens and began to gorge themselves. Finnish Colonel Aaro Pajari, who was still in the area, quickly assembled a 100-man force and counter-attacked, destroying nearly the entire Soviet battalion, who was now lethargic and completely focused on eating. Many men were said to have died with sausage still in their mouth. The Finns who were well fed and fighting for their homeland, had not only a physical and situational advantage but a critical psychological advantage as well. They could focus on the task at hand and weren’t distracted by their grumbling bellies.

    Empty ShelvesWhile we probably won’t ever be in that kind of survival situation, it’s not hard to find recent examples where food scarcity can be a real issue. Just look at the snow storm that hit the East Coast recently. There were numerous news reports of bare store shelves in the days leading up to the storm. The people buying those foods were those that hadn’t mentally or physically prepared in advance for the possibility of an entirely foreseeable natural disaster. Everyone who was already prepared with food on-hand had peace of mind whereas others had anxiety. They were able to avoid the crush of the crowds and focus on other preparations they might have had to make.

    So what kinds of foods should you have on hand for an emergency? In short, have a variety of foods you like to eat. Ranging from canned foods to freeze dried meals, make sure that you would like eating those foods, even in normal situations. Freeze dried food is especially useful due to long shelf life and ease of prep.

    Of all the freeze dried meal makers out there, none are better than Mountain House. A few of the things that set Mountain House apart are:

    • Mountain House has the longest PROVEN shelf life in the industry. Lots of companies claim long shelf life based on extrapolations from accelerated lab testing, but only Mountain House has been around long enough to test actual 25-year-old product.
    • Mountain House meals are unique in that they are fully cooked, and use real meat and vegetables.
    • Because Mountain House is also the most popular brand of backpacking and camping meals in North America, they cook their meals intending consumers to eat them. Compare this significantly different approach to companies who make meals hoping you’ll never have to eat them.
    • Mountain House meals have the shortest and easiest prep time in the market. After adding hot water directly to the contents in the pouch, you’ll have a hot meal in under 10 minutes.
    • soldiers eating Mountain House mealsMountain House is born out of meals they’ve been making for the United States Special Forces since the Vietnam Conflict. They’ve taken their decades of expertise and applied it to make meals for the civilian market. If you need meals that cannot fail, no matter what environment they are eaten in, you want to make sure you have Mountain House.
    • Finally, Mountain House meals are widely regarded as the best tasting freeze dried meals available. Look around for product reviews and see for yourself!


    Thankfully, Emergency Essentials carries the entire line of Mountain House meals. To make it even easier, Emergency Essentials has created exclusive long-term food kits with time frames from 3 months to 1 year. Imagine that, a whole year’s worth of food that you don’t have to rotate and track for at least 25 years!

    When you take all of this information together, it makes sense to make Mountain House the cornerstone of your more comprehensive emergency preparedness plan.

  • Emergency Essentials and Mountain House: Partners In Preparedness

    Mountain House Partners

    Emergency Essentials:
    Proud to Bring Mountain House to You

    Did you know that Mountain House is the number one, premier brand of freeze-dried meals on the market? And did you also know that through the whole month of March we’re offering all Mountain House freeze-dried meals for 25-50% off? And did you further know that we guarantee the lowest prices on Mountain House in the country?

    I know I just blew your mind, but stick with me. I had the chance to speak with our President, Matt Nettesheim, about the Emergency Essentials-Mountain House relationship and why he feels so strongly about providing this kind of quality product to our customers. He gave me about a gazillion more reasons to love this brand.

    Mountain House Partners - Soldiers Mountain House has been feeding our soldiers for almost 50 years.

    So, what’s so great about Mountain House?

    “They’ve been doing this for a long time,” Matt says. Since the Vietnam War, to be precise (check out the company’s fascinating origin story here), and that history shows. As Matt explains, Mountain House’s work with the US military has resulted in freeze-dried, shelf-stable food that meets extraordinarily rigorous quality specifications. Not only that, but Mountain House continues to conduct scientific testing on factors like shelf life—so when the company claims their #10 can will last 25 years, it’s legit.

    All those things are important, in a label-reading kind of way. But what’s the real distinction?

    One word: taste.

    “They have taken just-add-water meals to a new level,” explains Matt. “A lot of places might take a freeze-dried meat, add a dehydrated sauce blend and some dehydrated noodles. All the ingredients are there, but they were never together until they were put into the can.” By contrast, the savory portions of most of Mountain House’s meals are completely prepared, ingredients fully mixed and flavors blended, prior to freeze-drying. Then, just as you pour sauce over noodles or rice at home, the freeze-dried meats and sauces are poured over instant noodles or rice and sealed in pouches and cans. “That process has set Mountain House apart for being able to provide fast and easy meals that are also as good as homemade,” says Matt. “Millions love ‘em."

    But I’ve already got basic ingredients in my food storage. Why do I need Mountain House?

    I may have a varied and impressive array of ingredients in my food storage. But the harsh truth is that in the immediate aftermath of an emergency, while my children are frightened and the future is uncertain, the last thing I’m going to want to do is cook.

    As Matt points out, needs and priorities vary. Everything from personal taste to culinary skill to financial constraints come into play when we consider an emergency food storage. “Gathering the basic pieces—wheat, beans, fruits, vegetables, those kinds of things—is probably the most economical way of doing things, but it also requires the most time and effort from the consumer.”

    Mountain House Partners All you need is hot water and a fork.

    The trade-off that Matt refers to here becomes powerful when we compare the equipment required to make use of traditional food storage ingredients (pots and pans, portable stove, oven, utensils, wheat grinders, etc.) versus Mountain House’s freeze-dried meals (hot water, fork). I’m especially enamored of the Mountain House pouches that act as their own serving dish. Truly, when ease, convenience, and speed of the essence, there’s no better option.

    Okay, I’m convinced. But how do I rotate these babies? Are they good for anything other than disaster relief?

    When I asked Matt if Mountain House meals worked well for eating at home, he said , "We’d have Mountain House at home all the time…if I was in charge of dinner.”

    Mountain House is a huge favorite for outdoor meals. - Mountain House partners Mountain House is a huge favorite for outdoor meals.

    Matt’s wife may be a gourmet, but as for me? This harried working mom thinks he may be onto something. Late meeting? Overlapping activities? Pinterest recipe fail? I can think of a million reasons I’d appreciate a quick weeknight meal that doesn’t come wrapped in paper with a cheap toy.

    A little more seriously (okay, I really was serious about that Pinterest thing), Mountain House is the preferred meal for camping, hiking, and other outdoor adventures. Lightweight and with minimum gear requirements, the pouches are ideal for backpacking and car camping alike. In fact, Matt tells a great story of bringing Mountain House meals on a large group canoe trip: while everyone packed their own meals, by the end of the trip, the others were throwing their pre-packaged food away and begging for Matt’s leftovers. A dozen hungry Boy Scouts can’t be wrong!
    Mountain House partners

    Matt’s picks?

    “Beef Stroganoff and Noodles and Chicken—those are probably my two favorites,” Matt gushes just a little. And the Breakfast Skillet, which he eats in MRE tortillas like a breakfast burrito. “Oh, and the Granolas and Blueberries! Oh, and…!”

    There you have it. Matt’s personal endorsement, the highest endorsement we can give. And if you don’t want to take Matt’s word for it (though he really is a nice guy), there’s no better time to try Mountain House for yourself. Cans, pouches, kits, and collections are on sale all month—hop on over and find your favorites!

  • 8 Unexpected Uses for a Mountain House Pouch

    We all know that Mountain House food can help you to survive in an emergency, but did you know that an empty Mountain House pouch can help as well?

    8 Unexpected Uses for a Mountain House Pouch

    Mountain House created a series illustrating various ways to re-use a Mountain House Pouch. Here’s what they came up with.

    1. Bet you didn’t know you could use a Mountain House pouch to warm up your sleeping bag . . . Simply fill up an empty (clean) pouch with hot water and place by your feet inside your sleeping bag.

     8 Unexpected Uses for a Mountain House Pouch


    1. How about using an empty pouch to wash your utensils while camping? This is a great way to conserve water and to get your utensils clean without them getting lost. Simply put soapy water in, close, and shake—no scrubbing required! You could even use the water to clean other small items.

    8 Unexpected Uses for a Mountain House Pouch

    1. Use a clean Mountain House Pouch as a Waterproof container for your keys, cell phone, and other items you don’t want to get wet while exploring a lake or going white water rafting.

     8 Unexpected Uses for a Mountain House Pouch

    Inspired by Mountain House’s idea, we’ve come up with five more ways to re-use a Mountain House pouch in an emergency:

    1. If you’re lost in the wild and need a container to filter water into, use your empty Mountain House pouch as a container to drink from.
    2. You can carry extra water for cooking and cleaning in Mountain House pouches.
    3. Use a clean Mountain House pouch as a waterproof mini emergency kit (similar to an SOL origin survival pack) to carry with you in your day pack.
    4. Searching for wild edibles, but don’t have a basket or container to carry them back to camp? You can use a Mountain House pouch to collect edible plants and flowers. For plants that need water to stay fresh before cooking, you can add a little water into the pouch.
    5. Lost in the woods and need a way to signal for help? Open up your Mountain House pouch and use the silver lining inside to reflect the sun similar to a signaling mirror.

    Have you ever used a Mountain House pouch or another unconventional tool to help you during a camping trip or emergency? We’d love to hear about your experience!

    Photos courtesy of Mountain House Instagram

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