Thursday, February 21, 2013

Testing the Osprey Manta and Dehydrating Trail Foods

As long as the weather holds this weekend I am going to take a day hike out to Stone Mountain Park.  There's a nice loop trail of about 4 miles so it's a pretty easy trek compared to what I am normally doing on my backpacking trips.  Over the holidays I got an Osprey Manta 20 pack for doing some day trips.  I did a bit of research before the purchase.  I looked at Black Diamond and CamelBak.  I really did like the CamelBak packs but the price point compared to Osprey wasn't worth it to me.  The Black Diamond packs were better priced but none of them seem to give me exactly what I wanted.  I am familiar with Osprey with my Atmos 50 (review on my website) and I couldn't be happier and I really like the styling and fit of Osprey packs for me so it was an obvious choice.  Granted Osprey has a number of different day packs to choose from so it came down to styling and the Manta 20 included the Hydraform.  Most of the CamelBaks included a hydration pack as well but for another 50 bucks that I was unwilling to spend.  It didn't hurt that Amazon was running a sale on all Osprey packs at the time of my purchase as well.

Along with my Manta, after a refund from one of my holiday gifts, I picked up a Nesco food dehydrator.  I've been wanting to get a dehydrator for a long time now and finally have one to use.  So I am excited to start putting together recipes to try out and post on my website for others to try.  I think I may do a simple fruit dehydration for this weekend's hike and see how it goes.  Prior to this purchase I was using the Lex Rooker box method for making jerky.  It worked and it was cheap however it wasn't always precise and it depended a lot on the conditions of the air (humidity and coolness) where I was using the box in my basement.  Now I feel like I can control the environment a bit better or at least regulate it enough to better dial in when things should be completely dry.  The other advantage will be the ability of creating a paleo meal and then dehydrating that meal completely to be used on the trail.  No longer will I need to worry about no-cook meals (unless I want to).  Now I just need to convince someone to get me a JetBoil to try out and I will be complete  Ok maybe I should just purchase it myself!