As a general rule, I don’t believe in dessert, but I do believe in cheesecake and my mom’s apple pie; they’re both delicious enough to warrant their own food groups. Since the latter of the two isn’t available in trail-ready form, and I had never met a portable cheesecake I was impressed with, my backpacking nightcaps had traditionally been limited to picking the M&Ms out of my GORP. All that changed with the Packit Gourmet Cheesecakes.
Packit describes the prep as “Super EZ,” and that’s exactly right. All you need to add is a cup of cold water, ten minutes, and - voila - instant deliciousness. When sampling the flavors at Torrey Pines State Reserve, we were consistently confounded by the comparable consistency and flavor to cheesecake made at home. Packit wouldn’t disclose their secret sauce because they’d “have to kill me,” but they did say they focus on ensuring the taste and texture are the same as what they’re used to in the kitchen.
Suffice it to say, whatever they did, they did it right. All attempts to decide on a favorite flavor failed; in the end, we agreed that the Lemon Cheesecake is best for sunny days, whereas the Pumpkin Cheesecake is best for nights by the campfire. Although Strawberry got the bronze, it was still pretty delicious in its own right.
The pouches are marked as having servings for two, but we found splitting it three ways provided just enough for everyone. You can prepare it in the bag if necessary, but I would recommend bringing a couple of dishes like Guyot Designs Squishy Bowls (pictured above and recipient of an Editor’s Choice Award in 2007). Aside from guaranteeing an even ration, licking the cheesecake off the bottom makes clean up fun and easy. Packit gets bonus points for using recyclable plastic for its pouches, organic ingredients whenever possible, and having a 100% wind powered facility.
Bottom line: Some backpackers might eschew spending more than half a pound of pack weight on a single dessert, but when your palette is starved for something refreshing on the fifth consecutive day of oatmeal, this is worth every ounce.
Weight: 10.4 oz (varies slightly per pouch)
Available Flavors: Pumpkin, Lemon, and Strawberry