FAQ

Don’t see the answer you’re looking for on this page?
Email us at trailfood@packitgourmet.com

 

 

GENERAL QUESTIONS

 

Is there anything on the website that requires refrigeration?

No – everything found on PackitGourmet.com is shelf-stable and requires no refrigeration.

 

I’d like to speak with someone on the phone. Is that possible?

Currently, we only provide customer service via email. We are a very small company and dedicating one person to answering the phone would drive up our costs considerably resulting in increased prices for our customers. We definitely don’t want you to pay more so we opted to answer your questions via email. Hopefully, as we grow in size we will be able to add phone service to the many ways that we already help our customers.

 

I am/will be in Austin. Can I pick-up my order at your location?

Currently, we only sell our products at www.PackitGourmet.com. We are not licensed as a retail facility so we cannot allow customers to pick-up orders at our location. Hopefully, we will be able to offer local pick-up soon.

 

Where can I purchase your meals?

Our meals are currently available only at PackitGourmet.com. As we grow, we do plan to accept wholesale accounts and we would love it if you would ‘talk us up’ to your local outfitter at that time. For now, we are kept very busy filling orders placed online.

 

Why should I create a login?

There are lots of good reasons for creating a username and password so that you can login. The main benefits are:

  • You can view past orders
  • You can track the changes that your order goes through as it is processed through our store
  • You don’t have to enter your billing and shipping address with each order
  • Your tracking numbers for your shipments are kept on file

 

Where can I review your meals or grocery items?

You can always review our products on www.PackitGourmet.com by visiting the product page of the item you’d like to review by clicking the “Reviews” tab. There are also a few independent websites accepting reviews:

BackpackGearTest
Paddling.net
Trailspace.com

 

What are your holiday hours/shipping holidays?

You can view our holiday schedule on our Shipping Times & Holidays Page. Packit Gourmet will be closed on all listed holidays. Orders placed on a holiday will ship the following business day.

 


 

ABOUT OUR MEALS


Can I cook your meals in the bag?

Yes. All of our meals are packed in Cook-In-Bags™ so that you can quickly and easily prepare your meal. Our Cook-In-Bags™ are made of a thick, food grade plastic and are FDA approved for use with boiling water. You can read more about our Cook-In-Bags™ and purchase individual Cook-In-Bags™ to use with your own meals here.

While the majority of our meals can be cooked in the bag there are a few exceptions (eggs, pancakes, etc.). View all meals that can be cooked in the bag here.

 

I’ve noticed that you have a meal chart listed with all of your meals. Can you explain it to me?

Our meal chart gives an “at a glance” view of each meal so that you’ll quickly know the amount of water, fuel, etc. needed to prepare the meal. You can read a detailed description of our meal chart at ‘The Meal Chart Explained‘.

 

I’m a vegetarian, which meals are available to me?

Almost all of our meals have a meat-free counterpart. To see a full list of our vegetarian meal options please visit our Special Needs Diets area.

 

I have special dietary or planning needs. What kind of resources do you offer to help with this?

The best area to find this type of information is in our EZ Meal Planning section. Here, you will find our meals divided into frequently requested categories for easy searchability.

 

A meal that I really like is no longer featured on the site. What happened?

In order to keep our meal selection fresh, we occasionally pull meals from the site and replace them with something new and exciting. We’ll always keep the favorites (like Austintacious Tortilla Soup & Moonshine Margaritas) but if one of your favorites has been nixed, let us know! Send us an email at trailfood@packitgourmet.com and if we get a few requests to bring back a discontinued meal, we’ll put it back on the site.

 

What is the average shelf-life of your meals?

We primarily use dehydrated and freeze-dried food items in our meals resulting in an average shelf-life of about one year. Certain meals include condiment packets and therefore have a shorter shelf-life of about 6 months (dependent on the expiration date of the condiment/meat package). 

 

Can I eat my meal past the expiration date?

We recommend that you eat your meals within one year of the manufacture date which can be found on the back of the package just under the nutrition chart. After that date, the flavors in the meal will begin to decline and some of the included condiment packets may no longer be good. If you would like to eat your meal past this date, we do recommend that you consider replacing the condiment packets included in your meal.

 


 

ABOUT OUR INGREDIENTS

 

What kind of ingredients do you use?

We carefully choose our ingredients based on flavor, price and whether they are organic or natural. When possible, we use natural and organic ingredients, however we are conscious of the higher prices that come with organics and take all factors into account when choosing ingredients. This makes it possible for us to bring you the most flavorful ingredients at the best possible prices.

We use a combination of dehydrated and freeze-dried foods as well as items in packets (such as salsa or peanut butter). We sample each ingredient on its own as well as in our meals to make sure that we choose foods with the best possible flavors. Some items taste better when they’ve been dehydrated and others are much better freeze-dried. We do our best to bring you the best of both worlds.

 

What is the difference between dehydrated and freeze-dried?

Dehydrated foods have had the water removed by drying them. This can be done by air-drying, sun drying, smoking or wind drying. Dehydrated foods are chewy and retain some of their moistness – think of a raisin or prune.

Freeze-dried foods have been frozen and have then had the water removed by reducing the air pressure while heating the food. This allows the food to retain the original shape and helps to retain the flavor but can interfere with the texture. Most freeze-dried foods are crunchy before you cook them and may or may not get their original texture back once they’ve been cooked.

You can read more about the differences between freeze-dried and dehydrated foods here.

 

What does dehydrated v. freeze-dried foods mean to me? What do you use?

Both dehydrated and freeze-dried foods do well in long term storage and offer about the same amount of shelf life. The main difference is in the flavor, size and cost of the food.

Flavor
There are no hard guidelines about which type of food tastes better. Some foods taste better when they’ve been dehydrated while others taste better freeze-dried. We sample each ingredient on its own as well as in our meals to make sure that we choose foods with the best possible flavors, so you get the best of both worlds.

Size
Dehydrated ingredients shrink as they dry where freeze-dried ingredients retain their shape. When flavor is not a factor, we use dehydrated ingredients, which allows us to pack more food in a smaller amount of space.

Price
Dehydrated food will always cost less than freeze-dried food. This is because dehydrating has been done for hundreds of years (think of Native Americans drying buffalo in the sun) where freeze-drying requires expensive machinery. We use dehydrated food when possible so that we can pass our savings along to you but if a freeze-dried ingredient tastes better, that will be the one that we choose.

What is the average shelf life of the fruit, vegetables and other food items in your grocery store?

The dehydrated and freeze-dried fruits and vegetables available in our grocery store as well as many of the packets have a shelf life of about 24 months.


What can I do to extend the shelf-life of my meals and dried ingredients?

The most important factors effecting the longevity of dried foods are moisture, temperature, oxygen and light. When left unopened, the freeze-dried and dehydrated grocery items available in our grocery store will remain in their original condition for about 24 months. Once opened there are several steps you can take to extend the shelf-life of your foods.

 


 

ABOUT OUR PACKAGING


Are your bags recyclable?

Yes, our bags are made from a common food grade plastic that can be recycled at most recycling centers.

 

Can I cook in your bags?

Yes. All of our meals are packed in Cook-In-Bags™ so that you can quickly and easily prepare your meal. Our Cook-In-Bags are made of a thick, food grade plastic and are FDA approved for use with boiling water. You can read more about our Cook-In-Bags™ and purchase individual Cook-In-Bags™ to use with your own meals here.

While the majority of our meals can be cooked in the bag there are a few exceptions (eggs, pancakes, etc.). View all meals that can be cooked in the bag here.

 

What else can I use your bag for?

Campers have come up with multiple ways to use our bags while on the trail. Some of our favorites are:

  • A pitcher for mixing up powdered drinks
  • A rehydrating pot
  • A sealable trash bag
  • A mixing bowl – you can seal and mash the ingredients around without getting your fingers or a spoon dirty.

 

How are your bulk items packaged?

Our freeze-dried grocery items (fruit, vegetables and meats) are packaged in mylar food storage bags which prevent light and air from coming into contact with the food.

Dehydrated grocery items (fruit and vegetables) are much more tolerant so they are packaged in resealable pouches that look very similar to our Cook-In-Bag. Dehydrated foods will benefit from many of the same techniques recommended for freeze-dried foods but will be more tolerant of higher temperatures and exposure to light and oxygen.

Learn more about proper storage techniques for dried food.

 

 

What are your shipping materials made out of? What can I use them for after I’ve received my package?

We use several items to pack your goodies. Our ‘cushioning’ is 100% biodegradable packing peanuts. Our peanuts are degradable by adding water so they can safely be used in environmental landfills or even your compost pile!

Our corrugated boxes are made with 40% – 60% recycled paper pulps and can be fully recycled or even used in your garden or home compost!

 


 

ACCOUNT MANAGEMENT

 

Why should I create a login?

There are lots of good reasons for creating a username and password so that you can login. The main benefits are:

  • You can view past orders
  • You can track the changes that your order goes through as it is processed through our store
  • You don’t have to enter your billing and shipping address with each order
  • Your tracking numbers for your shipments are kept on file
  • You can write product reviews

 


How can I view/manage my account information?

 

Log in to your account by clicking the “My Account” icon at the top right-hand side of the website.

Once you’ve logged in, you will be able to view the account management menu. Simply place your mouse over the “My Account” icon and the account management menu will appear. You will then be able to select any of the available menu options in order to manage your account information and preferences.

 

How can I edit my name and/or email address?

You can edit the name and email address in your profile by logging in to your account and clicking “Customer Profile” (outlined in How can I view/manage my account information? above). You will be directed to a page containing the information that we currently have on file for you. You can change your name and email address here – be sure to click “Submit”!

 

How can I edit my billing and/or shipping address address?

You can edit the billing and shipping addresses in your profile by logging in to your account and clicking “Address Book” (outlined in How can I view/manage my account information? above). You will be directed to a page containing the information that we currently have on file for you.

Once in your address book click “Edit Address” for any address you wish to change. If you’d like to add an additional address, click “Add a New Billing or Shipping Address”.

 

Can I have multiple billing and shipping addresses in my profile?

Yes. This is especially useful for long distance trail hikers planning on shipping to multiple mail drops.

Be sure to check and make sure that your primary billing address is marked with the visa/mastercard icon and your primary shipping address is marked with the shipping truck icon. Both icons can be on the same address (pictured in the example above) or they can be on two different addresses.

Additional addresses will not be marked with either icon. At checkout, your primary billing and shipping address will be used. If you’d like to use one of your alternate addresses, simply click ‘modify’ and select the alternate address of your choice. It will be auto-populated into your cart at checkout.

 

How can I view the status of my order?

You check on your order by logging in to your account and clicking “Order History” (outlined in How can I view/manage my account information? above). You will be directed to a page containing a form that will allow you to search your entire order history. If checking on a recent order click ‘This Week’ and then click ‘Search’. You will see a list of all orders that you placed this week.

Click on the order that you would like to view. You will be able to view a copy of your order invoice. In this area you will also be able to do the following:

Print Invoice
A printable version of your invoice will open in a new window.

View Order Status
Track the changes that you order goes through as it is processed through our store. The record begins with the customer initiating the order and documents the order, shipping information and other order details.

Order Tracking
Found at the bottom of this page. Your tracking number will appear once your order has shipped. Click the ‘Track It’ button to track orders shipping with UPS.

 

How can I view a previously placed order?

Please see “How can I view the status of my order?” above.

 


 

SHIPPING INFORMATION


What are your shipping rates?

Please visit our Domestic and International Shipping Rate pages.

 

I am/will be in Austin. Can I pick-up my order at your location?

Currently, we only sell our products at www.PackitGourmet.com. We are not licensed as a retail facility so we cannot allow customers to pick-up their orders at our location. Hopefully, we’ll be able to offer local pick-up soon, but for now, you’ll just have to order online!

 

I would like to add to an order that I’ve already submitted. Is this possible?

Once you click “submit” we get started on processing your order right away and it is no longer possible to make changes. If you do need to make changes, we are happy to cancel your order and you can then submit a new order that includes all of your requested changes.

 

I placed two separate orders and would like to combine them so I don’t have to pay two shipping fees. Is this possible?

If two separate orders are submitted, they will be processed and shipped separately. If you would rather place one larger order, we are happy to cancel your original orders and you can then submit a single large order.

 

I’m purchasing a gift certificate along with a few other items and the total is $150. Will this qualify for free shipping?

No. Free shipping can be applied only once per purchase. In the case of a gift certificate, the free shipping is applied when the gift certificate is redeemed, rather than when the gift certificate is purchased.

Since, there are no physical goods shipped with the value of the gift certificate our system has been set up to apply free shipping upon redemption in order to give the highest possible value to the greatest number of customers.

 

I entered the incorrect shipping address on my order. How should I go about getting this corrected?

If your package has not shipped, please send us an email ASAP at trailfood@packitgourmet.com and let us know. We’ll be happy to update the address for you.

If your package has already shipped we will need to contact UPS and have your delivery address changed. UPS does charge a fee for all address changes plus a transportation fee to ship your package from the current location to the new destination address.

 

I entered the incorrect shipping address on my order and it was sent back to Packit Gourmet. Now what?

If your package was sent via USPS, there are no fees for this service. Once the package is received, we will refund your card for the full price of the items purchased and cancel your order. You will need to place a new order if you would like the items reshipped.

If your package was shipped via UPS, UPS will charge the current shipping rate to return your package to Packit Gourmet. If originally shipped ground, UPS will charge the current ground rate. If originally shipped express, UPS will charge the current 3-Day rate. Once the package is received, we will refund your card for the full price of the items purchased less the additional shipping fees charged by UPS and cancel your order. You will need to place a new order if you would like the items reshipped.

 

I need to reschedule delivery on my shipment for a future date. How should I go about doing this?

If your package has not shipped, just send us an email at trailfood@packitgourmet.com and let us know. We’ll be happy to hold shipment on your package so that it will arrive at a future date.

If your package has already shipped we will need to contact UPS to either reschedule delivery on your package or have your package held at will call for pickup. If you would like to reschedule delivery, UPS charges a fee to perform this service plus a transportation fee to ship your package from the current location to the new destination address. If you would prefer to pick your package up at will call, UPS will hold the shipment at will call for pickup by the consignee, free of charge.

 

I need to cancel delivery on my shipment. How should I go about doing this?

If your package has not shipped, please send us an email ASAP at trailfood@packitgourmet.com and let us know. We’ll be happy to cancel delivery for you.

If your package has already shipped we will need to contact UPS and have delivery on your package canceled. We are happy to make the change for you, however, UPS does charge a fee for all address changes.

 

I originally chose ground shipping but now need to change my delivery method to something faster. How should I go about doing this?

If your package has not shipped, just send us an email at trailfood@packitgourmet.com or give us a call at 1-888-210-4959 and let us know. We’ll be happy to change the delivery method on your package to a faster option (Overnight, Two-Day, Express, etc.). For security reasons, we do not keep payment information on file so you will need to provide us with your credit card number when making this change.

If your package has already shipped, there is no way to change the delivery method. We can cancel the original shipment and create a new order with a faster delivery option that will make it to you in time for your trip. Please keep in mind that UPS does charge a return shipment fee.

 

Can you drop-ship to hikers doing the AT, CDT, etc.?

Yes. Please view our trail delivery schedule for a list of locations along many popular hiking trails that accept mail drops. We are also happy to ship to locations that are not included on our list.

 

How do I let Packit Gourmet know where I’d like to receive my package when shipping to the AT, CDT, etc.?

When placing your order you’ll be able to enter a billing and a shipping address. Enter your home address in the billing area and the trail address in the shipping area.

If receiving your package at a post office, please enter the following information as the shipping address:

Address:
Address (line 2):
Hold for AT hiker ETA DATE
General Delivery
City:
State:
Zip/Postal Code:
Please enter the city/state/zip code of the trail location where you would like to receive your package. Our delivery schedule can be used by thru-hikers to help determine the correct shipping information.

 

*The post office will not accept deliveries from UPS. If shipping your package to a post office, you must select USPS delivery.

 

If receiving your package at a hotel/outfitter, please enter the following information as the shipping information:

Address:
Address (line 2):
City:
State:
Zip/Postal Code:
The hotel/outfitter address
ATTN: Hold for AT hiker ETA DATE


 

I’m flying into the US from another country and would like to have a package of your food delivered to me when I arrive. Is that possible?

Yes. The US Post Office will hold general delivery packages for recipients for up to 30 days free of charge. Let us know which Post Office you would like your package to be shipped to and it will be waiting for you when you arrive.

 

*The post office will not accept deliveries from UPS. If shipping your package to a post office, you must select USPS delivery.

 

 

I’m having my package delivered to a US address but my billing address is in another country. There isn’t an option to choose my country for the billing address. Can I still place an order?

Yes. Enter your name and street address in the billing address area. Then enter the city, state and zip code of the place where your having the package delivered. This is confusing, but it works!

 

I’m traveling around the US and would like to have packages of your food delivered to me throughout my trip. Is that possible?

Yes. The US Post Office will hold general delivery packages for recipients for up to 30 days free of charge. Let us know which Post Office you would like your package to be shipped to and it will be waiting for you when you arrive.

 

*The post office will not accept deliveries from UPS. If shipping your package to a post office, you must select USPS delivery.

 

 

I don’t live in the US. Do you ship internationally?

Yes. Please visit our International Shipping Rates page for more information.

 

I would like to send a package of your food to military personnel serving overseas. Is that possible?

Yes. We send all military care packages via USPS to military APO/FPO addresses. If you do not know your serviceperson’s APO/FPO address, please visit USA.gov. When entering APO/FPO address information, please include the following information:

Name
Unit
APO/FPO Address
Zip Code
Name
Address
City
State
Country
Zip Code
= Recipient’s Name
= Unit
= APO or FPO
= AA, AE or AP
= United States

= Zip Code

 


Example:

 

SSGT Kevin Taylor
Unit 2050 Box 4190
APO AP 96278-2050

 

*Please be aware that pork products are often not allowed to be shipped to Islamic countries.

 


 

SALES, DISCOUNTS, SPONSORSHIPS & DONATIONS

 
 
How can I get a discount code?

We periodically send out coupon codes to our newsletter subscribers as well as posting them on Facebook and Twitter.

 

How do I use a discount/coupon code?

As you add items to your cart/pack you will see an area near the bottom of the page where you can enter your code.


  Enter your coupon code in the box and click “Add Coupon”.

Your discount will be applied to your total and will adjust as you add more or fewer items to your cart. You will also be able to remove your discount code by clicking the “x” located next to your discount total.

 


Do you sponsor outdoor enthusiasts on their adventures?

As you might expect, we do receive a high volume of requests each year from individuals, civic groups and wilderness organizations – all worthy of our support.

Currently, in an effort to spread our “giving budget” wider, we have decided to forego sponsoring individual endeavors in order to channel our support toward mission-based groups that benefit the community-at-large.

 

My organization is hosting an event for the outdoor community. How can we apply for a donation?

Please email trailfood@packitgourmet.com with details of your event and the amount of product you are requesting and we’ll be happy to consider donating to your event.

 
 
Do you provide samples of your meals, groceries, etc.?

We receive a number of requests for samples; however, because Packit Gourmet is a small family-owned and operated company we are not in a position to provide samples to all who request them.

 


 

RETURNS & EXCHANGES

 

I purchased a piece of your gear and I’d like to return it. How should I go about doing this?

We accept all gear returns within 30 days of purchase. Just send it back for a refund, replacement or store credit. Please visit our refund and guarantee page to read more about our refund policies.

 

I purchased some of your food and I’d like to return it. How should I go about doing this?

All defective food items are eligible for a replacement or store credit within 30 days of purchase. Just let us know what the problem is (send us an email at trailfood@packitgourmet) and we’ll take care of it ASAP!

Meals and grocery items are not eligible for return or refund. If you’ve decided to cancel the order while it is in transit, let us know – we’ll cancel delivery and immediately issue a refund. There will be a fee of $11.00 for UPS to cancel delivery.

Ordered too much? Don’t worry – the items on our site have a very long shelf-life and can be easily stored for your next trip. Learn more about food storage and preservation.

 

I’ve already received my food delivery but I’ve decided that I no longer want it and would like to return it. Do you accept returns on food items?

Unfortunately, once a food item has reached its destination, it is no longer eligible to be returned. We cannot resell food items that have left our facility as we cannot guarantee that the food items have been properly stored, handled and tamper-free.

Our food has a very long shelf-life and is great at the office or at home in addition to the outdoors. Cook up your meal at work and make all of your colleagues jealous! Or store your food for your next trip. Learn more about food storage and preservation.

 

 


 

WHOLESALE

 

Do you sell your products wholesale?

We do not currently sell any of our products wholesale, but please check back in the future!