I have recently learned that there is a method of preparing Dehydrated and Freezedried meals like Mountian House and Backpackers pantry without cooking. I was listening to a podcast called Meat Eater, they largely discuss hunting, fishing, and backcountry swag. These guys spend the majority of the year deep in the back country filming hunting/fishing content for their Tv show of the same name. On one of the episodes they discuss with a guest his high altitude sheep hunt where he only carried dehydrated food, but no method of heating water. Apparently this guy uses cold water instead of hot water to rehydrate his meals. He places slightly more water than recommended in his mountian house in the morning and by 6 hours later it is just as rehydrated as if he put hot water in it for 20 minutes. He recommends placing the pouch inside of a ziplock freezer bag for extra security and placing that in an outside pouch of your pack. In cold weather he places the pouch under his jacked or between 2 shirts up against his back to keep it from freezing. In this way he was able to cut 4lbs out of his equiptment for these back country hunts and eliminate the time needed to boil water.
For us building a GHB weight is a serious concern, the lighter your pack the longer and faster you can move. Cooking even over a jetboil produces light and smells that may attract unwanted attention. I have a few older mountain house meals laying around so I gave it a try on a recent day hike. I was impressed by its effectiveness, the meal tasted exactly as I expected of the beef stroganoff mountian house, the only change from the norm was the ambient temperature of the food. As usual hot sauce made a excellent improvement.
From my experience you can get about 4 days of cooking out of a typical stove canister at 7oz per canister of carried weight. For someone like me who rarely goes more than a 3 days walk away from home one canister is more than adequate. But say you had a 8 or even 12 day walk, that's 14-21oz of fuel. You could pack 3-5 extra dehydrated pouches for that same weight. Personally I hate carrying a pack any heavier than absolutely necessary.
What do you keep for food in your GHB/BOB and how do you plan to prepare it?
I love that show! I think I remember that episode too. I have a mix of Mountain House, MREs and some ramen noodles. I get the idea of not carrying a stove or having to warm up water. This way you do not have to stop and take the time to warm up water, unless you have to melt snow or filter water. There are pros and cons I think to either way, specially if you do not want to be located and want to keep a low profile.
Thanks for the comment, this is a great thought process and I think it's one everybody should consider.