Packit Gourmet: Thanksgiving Dinner in the Backcountry
Trip: Trans-Catalina Trail (50+ miles)
Trip Dates: Wednesday, November 22nd - Sunday, November 26th, 2017
Ever since visiting Catalina Island for my birthday last December and stumbling upon the trail head for the Trans-Catalina Trail, I knew I had to visit the island once again and explore more. I researched and researched and researched before finally making campground reservations in May. Fast forward five months, myself and five friends set out on a five day trek to complete our first "thru-hike," 50-miles from Avalon to Starlight Beach and back to Two Harbors. Knowing this was a bit of an unconventional way to celebrate Thanksgiving, I wanted to find some sort of "normalcy" and still try to celebrate Thanksgiving with a Thanksgiving dinner. After all, it has been an incredible year and I have so much to be thankful for. Insert one more thing to be thankful for: Packit Gourmet!
I first sampled Packit Gourmet's backpacking meals while on an experience trip to Duck Lake and Deer Lake in the Mammoth area and instantly fell in love. Not only do the meals have so much flavor but they are a family-owned and operated business. I've mentioned that I am a huge 'foodie' in the past but it should also be known I am a huge supporter of great local businesses. I could not be more thankful that Packit Gourmet sent us a Thanksgiving feast of epic proportions.
More on the Trans-Catalina Trail later... All you need to know for now is that day one from Avalon to Blackjack Campground is absolute misery with the trail's roller coaster elevation (SO much gain and SO much loss). While we all made it to Blackjack, we were deflated and some were feeling defeated. What kept us going was the fact we were going to have an amazing Thanksgiving dinner the following day while on the beach at Little Harbor campground. And an amazing dinner we had...
We started with the Moonshine Margaritas and indulged in the Smoked Cheddar-Jack Cheese Spread while preparing our sides of Corn Pudding and the Many Beans Salad. As we saw the sun setting before our eyes, we ran over to the beach -- dinners in hand -- to enjoy each other's company while treating ourselves to Dottie's Chicken & Dumplings. Since Derek was a late addition to the trip, he opted for the Tuscan Beef Stew with Parmesan Polenta cook-in-bag meal. It was a picture perfect sunset coupled with delectable food.
Packit Gourmet is the first backpacking food I've tried that actually tastes like real food AND all of the meals we had were cook-in-bag meals; aka just add water! They have amazing home-cooked flavoring and excellent after taste. I already have a list of meals I will be ordering again (Tortilla Soup, Corn Pudding, Cheesecakes... just to name a few...). Something else I love about the Packit Gourmet meals is the longest cook time was 10-minutes. I have had to wait upwards of 20-minutes for other brands I've had in the past. With a shorter shelf life, Packit is able to offer all-natural and organic ingredients as much as possible. Oh, and, let the pictures speak on this: the appearance of Packit Gourmet meals are actually presentable. The tortilla soup was one of my absolute favorites, topped with crushed tortilla chips and it actually looked appetizing!
After our beach-side Thanksgiving feast, we returned to the campsite, made a campfire, and prepared two amazingly tasteful Packit Gourmet desserts: Strawberry Cheesecake and Pumpkin Cheesecake. They were both incredible but the pumpkin was my favorite. All six of us + two girls we met along the trail loved loved loved all of the food. Thank you so much to Packit Gourmet for giving us one more thing to be thankful for this year! I hope you consider Packit Gourmet for your next backpacking trip, I know I will!
Be sure to check back soon for more reviews of Packit Gourmet meals & a play by play of our trek on the Trans-Catalina Trail!
Click the gallery photos to expand!
Thank you Derek Tse (@keredest) for the awesome photos!