Made in Maine Dehydrated Meals: Good To-Go Delicious?

February 22, 2016

Based in Kittery, Maine, Good To-Go produces one of the best-tasting dehydrated meals I’ve yet tried. And unlike the gazillion-ingredient sodium bombs that have long dominated the ‘meal-in-a-bag’ backpacking market, Good To-Go focuses instead on simple ingredients (you can pronounce and recognize all of them) and uses far less salt.

To prepare the meals, you simply pour a cup of boiling water into the bag, reseal it, and let it sit for 20 minutes. Then open and enjoy. Four offerings are currently available: Thai curry, classic marinara with penne, smoked three bean chili, and herbed mushroom risotto. The latter three are all vegan; the Thai curry is suitable for pescatarians (it contains fish sauce).

My friend Chris and I had the opportunity to sample all four meals this past week. In order, here were our preferences.

  • Thai curry: This was by far the best of the lot, a deeply flavorful yellow curry dish with rice, coconut milk, vegetables (broccoli, green beans, peas, and cauliflower) and a subtle but welcome spicy kick at the end. Highly recommended.
  • Smoked three bean chili: A nice smoky flavor with tart dried tomatoes were a plus though it lacked the spicy zing we both expected from a chili.
  • Herbed mushroom risotto: An earthy flavor was the signature note in what was otherwise a somewhat bland and mushy dish.
  • Classic marinara with penne: Our least favorite by far. An unappetizing appearance (“looks like zombie guts” said Chris) and an overly sweet sauce were both turn-offs.

Good To-Go meals are available in either single- or double-serving sizes ($6.75 and $11.50 respectively; each serving contains 340- 460 calories, depending on the meal). You can order them online or find them at a range of retailers in the Northeast.

I must admit that I’ve never been much for pre-made dehydrated backpacking meals, but I would definitely consider the Thai curry option for a future trip. It was delicious—and a dinner option that I certainly could never prepare on my own in the backcountry.

I will also say that these types of meals are an excellent option for winter camping, when easy-to-prepare dinners are always welcome. (Indeed, Backpacker magazine gave Good To-Go an Editors’ Choice Snow Award in 2014.) And buying from Good To-Go helps support our local outdoor gear industry right here in New England!

This post is part of an ongoing series profiling Northeast-based gear companies. Here are the 27 other companies I’ve profiled to date:

Disclaimer: I received four meal samples from Good To-Go for this review.

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Matt Heid

Equipped blogger Matt Heid is AMC's gear guru: He loves gear and he loves using it in the field. While researching several guidebooks, including AMC's Best Backpacking in New England, he has hiked thousands of miles across New England, California, and Alaska, among other wilderness destinations. He also cycles, climbs, and surfs.