By the campfire on the Lone Star Hiking Trail. I'm on the left in the purple jacket, eating my Mountain House beef stroganoff. I bought a titanium spork and forgot to pack it, so the lady in blue was kind enough to loan me one.
This is my first product review. I was planning to write about my trip and all the new equipment I tried anyway. I figured I'd add the Amazon links and if anyone uses them to shop and I get a few dollars, I won't be upset. I haven't figured out how to put the links where I want them. Maybe I'll just leave them at the bottom where they can be easily ignored by those that don't appreciate ads. I've heard of bloggers receiving free products but I have yet to be approached by anyone to do this. I researched and bought everything myself. There are more product reviews on Amazon. I usually research there whether I buy from them or not because Amazon buyers are not afraid to post bad reviews. They are brutally honest.
I tested the oven a few days before my trip. It's not an actual oven, but a reusable bag that cooks your meal by heating the water via a chemical reaction with salt water. First, place the heat activation pad in the bottom of the bag. Second, add water to the supplied water bottle to the fill line, add a salt tablet, and shake until dissolved. Then place the meal, to which you will have already added 2 cups of water, inside the bag, seal, and wait 20 minutes. The bottom of the bag gets very warm, but not hot enough to start a fire. There are vent holes near the top which emit a lot of steam. It's probably a good idea to not let children or pets near while it's cooking because steam burns are possible. A fellow hiker also pointed out that since the heat is activated by salt water, and our bodies contain salt water...KEEP AWAY FROM CHILDREN. Especially the ones who still put everything in their mouths.
The meal itself wasn't very exciting when I ate it at home. It's advertised as an emergency food supply, but I think you'd be better off buying a propane camp stove and preparing tastier meals. After a strenuous 10-mile hike, however, the beef stroganoff was wonderful. I couldn't have been happier if you'd served me steak and lobster. This will be my food of choice for backpacking trips because it's easy to prepare, the stove and the food weigh next to nothing, you don't need to bring any pots or dishes since you eat it right out of the bag (just a spoon), and the meals are delicious (on the trail). At five uses per $10 (approx) bag, it's an economical choice as well.
If you are a coffee drinker, I don't know how you'd prepare your coffee using this. The bag is not designed to cook anything other than Mountain House meals. The others I have seen will not fit.