Bridgford Foods CorporationFilled French Toast
Testers were skeptical—an MRE with a three-year shelf life?—but liked the strong cinnamon flavor and hearty, bready bite of this syrup-filled breakfast sandwich. The long life makes it a good addition to your weekend grab bag or as a staple in your survival kit (see more essentials on page 111). Bonus: Each 4.4-ounce, individually-wrapped serving has 350 calories, which is about the same as a Pop-Tart two-pack, but has more than twice the protein and four times the fiber of that pre-trip supermarket grab. $4; 1 serving; bridgford.com
Packit Gourmet Delta’s Sweet Rice Pudding
“This currant-sprinkled porridge will give oatmeal a run as my go-to backcountry breakfast,” says a tester who savored a serving in the Chilean Andes. The mix made from dry butter and milk makes this sweet, water-only-prep meal taste creamy, and dried currants add natural sugar and a bit of crunch. Despite having eight grams of fat, eight grams of protein and a whopping 78 grams of carbs per serving, some hard-hiking testers noted that the quick- burning meal left them craving more calories well before lunch. $4; 1 serving; packitgourmet.com
Rise Breakfast Bar
The chewy nut-and-honey base of this flavor-packed line of breakfast bars is crammed with crunchy amaranth (a seed that contains more amino acids and is a more complete source of protein than other grains). Testers appreciated the small bars’ balanced blend of fat, protein and carbs for light, but satisfying, summit-day starter meals. All five flavors are free of GMOs, preservatives, peanuts, soy, and gluten, but the Crunchy Cashew Almond and Macadamia Pineapple are tester favorites. $1; 1 serving; risebar.com
*Nutritional data and weights provided by the manufacturer.