Not every backpacking meal has to be freeze-dried. This tikka masala comes fully hydrated, and seems like a trail luxury if all you’ve been eating is astronaut food. Prep is ubersimple: Just submerge the pouch for 3 minutes in boiling water. “I ended up camping where there was no water on the Tahoe Rim Trail, but this meal allowed me to conserve what I had left from the day’s hike,” one tester says. (The excess water is safe to drink afterwards.)
The substantial chunks of chicken breast and thick, creamy sauce are delectable. With 25 grams of protein and 270 calories in each package, the caloric bang-for-your buck isn’t particularly high, especially given the price and weight. But the main draw here is the whole-food ingredients and gourmet taste, as well as a lower sodium content than dehydrated meals.