APPLICATION Packit Gourmet Food - Carol Crooker
June 1, 2009
My tester agreement is on file.
I have read the BackpackGearTest.org bylaws version 0609 and I agree to meet these requirements and the minimum expected usage requirement.
Name: Carol Crooker
Height: 5 ft 10 in (178 cm)
Weight: 165 lbs (75 kg)
Email: cmcrooker (AT) gmail (DOT) com
City, State: Phoenix, Arizona
For the past 10 years, I've backpacked about 30 days each year in Arizona and the western mountains on trips that usually last 3 to 6 days. Weather has varied from 107 F to a low of 0 F (42 to -18 C). My three-season base pack weight varies from about 8 to 12 pounds (4 - 5 kg) and my winter base pack weight is about 18 pounds (8 kg). I normally use a tarp for shelter. I also packraft (backpacking that includes travel by raft) and apply the same lightweight principles I use backpacking.
I just tried one of the Packit Gourmet meals on my last backpacking trip and it was excellent! I'd love to get the chance to try more of their great sounding trail meals. If I am selected as a tester, I will prepare and eat the meals on backpacking/packrafting trips. Many of the meals take slightly more preparation than dumping a pouch of ingredients into a container, pouring boiling water on top, and letting it sit. There are often several ingredients to be mixed together, simmering or frying is often called for, and sometimes two pots are needed. In some cases Packit Gourmet includes information on a simpler cook-in-bag method. My approach will be to prepare the meals as simply as possible with a lightweight stove/cook set to see if these gourmet meals are suitable for an ultralight backpacker.
I plan to do the cooking with a Caldera Cone/Anti-Gravity Gear alcohol stove system, which works well for frying tasks using a small, light aluminum fry pan. I have plenty of other stove options though if that stove is not suitable.
One thing I appreciated with the Packit Gourmet meal I ate was that ingredients are packaged in smaller zipper pouches which made splitting a meal to prepare on two occasions simple. If selected as a tester, I would look at package weight to see if the packaging weighs more than typical packaging, and if so if it is offset by greater convenience and/or taste.
Things I'll be looking for if selected as a tester:
- Taste, variety and backcountry appeal (for example they have a new burger wrap I often crave a burger after a trek, will the wrap satisfy my craving?)
- Clarity of directions.
- Ease of preparation.
- Do foods taste good with simplified preparation such as cook-in-bag?
- Packaging weight about right compared to food weight?
- It appears most meals come in two-person sizes. How easy is it to split into two meals?
- Is serving size adequate for a hungry hiker?
- Dual uses for the packaging (I used the outer pouch to collect water on my last trip what other uses are there?).
- Digestibility often backpacking egg products do not agree with me how do the Packit products fare in my digestive system?
- There are various extras included in the meal packs to add for flavor as desired such as parmesan cheese, salt and pepper. Do I normally use all these extras, or do I pack some out?
I'll be doing my backpacking in Arizona, New Mexico and Montana this summer. I expect to cover terrain from the mountains to river canyons and in between with temperatures from the 90s F (32 C) during the day to around freezing in the higher elevations over night. Rain will be likely on some of the trips. I've listed the trips I have planned below. The exact trip plans may change, but this is a pretty good representation of the areas I'll be in and the time I'll be backpacking. In any case, I'll be sure to get in at least five nights of backpacking during the test period.
June, north central Arizona, Chevalon Creek on the Mogollon Rim near Payson, Arizona
Elevation 7500 ft (2290 m), temperatures from the low 80s to 60s F (28 to 17 C)
This is an out and back reconnaissance bushwhack along an overgrown creek in search of swimming holes.
July, north central Arizona near Sedona or Payson
Two to three days
Elevation about 5000 ft (1500 m), temperatures about 90 to 60 F (32 to 16 C)
A quick trip on red rock or forest trails to escape the above 100 F (38 C) temperatures in Phoenix.
August, Pecos Wilderness (Santa Fe National Forest), northern New Mexico
Elevation around 8000 ft (2500 m), temperatures likely freezing to around 80 F (27 C)
A nice jaunt in the mountains, rain is highly likely, as are thunderstorms.
Late September, southern Montana
Temperatures from the low 70s F (low 20s C) to freezing, rain possible.
A mostly flat-water packraft trip at around 4500 ft (1370 m) elevation.
LINK TO TESTER REVIEWS
TESTS IN PROGRESS
ProBar Sweet and Savory plus Superfood Slam Bars
Big Sky Mirage 1P tent
Platy Preserve Wine Preservation System
I've been a Monitor since 2003.
Thanks for considering my application!