I usually make my own dehydrated camp meals for backcountry camping. On extended trips, or in case the fish aren’t biting, I’ll place a couple of those store-bought freeze-dried packages of chicken curry slop or lasagna goo into my pack to use as backup. I’m generally not a big fan of them. They’re expensive, have odd portion sizes and they’re not all that tasty. My opinion recently changed, however, after taste-testing a relatively new Canadian brand On The Go Meals (OTG).
The company was highly rated by several social media campers I know, so I thought I’d give a few samples a go: Peppers N Beef Rose, Cheeseburger Casserole and Mother Clucken Skillet.
I gotta say, they’re tasty, properly portioned and reasonably priced.
OTG was started up by Randy Newell (a.k.a. Chef Randy) who opened his own kitchen not long after graduating from culinary school. He loves to cook and canoe. During a solo trip he tried out some of those pre-made freeze-dried meals—which he found really disappointing. So, he began looking into making his own. After a few field tests during more canoe trips, he opened his own freeze-dried meals company.
Randy gathers the majority of his ingredients locally by sourcing from his neighbouring artisans and producers near St. Jacobs, Ontario (an area well known for its farming and Mennonite heritage). His wife’s family also owns a 200-acre farm where everything is organic, free range and hormone-free.
The OTG pouches are a-typical. They are low and wide, and easily stand up on their own. I like that change. No sifting through your camp kitchen set for an elongated spoon to reach down to get to the last bits of food. I also like that they come in single portions. I solo a lot, and if someone else joins me, I just pack two pouches and we sample our own and compare between Hearty Canadian Goulash and Beef Stroganoff with Peas.
All of Randy’s meals contain a cup of meat. More substance and less filler. They also offer a fully customizable menu, a “build your own” where OTG will have select things from different proteins, sauces, vegetables, pastas and grains. Each will be allotted a price point. That’s perfect for large group trips such as youth camps and outfitters that offer guided trips.
Check out my video review for OTG on my KCHappyCamper YouTube channel: