Jan 12, 2006 at 7:20 am #1217526
I asked the moderator a couple of times in the Admin section if it was OK to tell you about my new trail food book. Since I have not gotten an answer, I’m assuming it’s OK, so here goes.
A few months ago I finally compeleted Travel Light-Eat Heavy. I wrote it because there wasn’t a trail food book that connected the calories, weights, and other information for everything eaten during a day. Instead, they looked at each meal as if it was eaten in a vacuum and had no connection to the other meals or trail snacks eaten during a day. That approach never made sense to me.
So, about four years ago I started researching, experimenting, and picking the brain of every backpacker I ran into to develop a comprehensive approach to trail food. What I found was that fewer total calories are needed than most people think – if you eat an effecient mix of the different types of calories during the day. With the right mix your energy level is also more consistent (no boinking in the afternoon), and you can carry less food weight.
Travel Light-Eat Heavy is the result, and it provides integrated daily menus, delicious recipes, and ingredient charts (portions, weights, calories) for tweaking recipes. It also includes weights, nutritional and caloric information, and ratios of carbs, fats, and proteins for each day’s total menu and individual recipes.
Every meal is packed at home in a plastic zip bag, that also serves as the cook pot for hot meals (just add boiling water) and bowl, which many of you are probably already familiar with. It also contains lots of information about equipment options, anecdotes, and fun things to do on the trail to help develop all of your senses to better connect with Nature. To read excerpts or find out more go to http://www.travellighteatheavy.com.
Any comments, pro or con, on the book or web site will be appreciated.Jan 12, 2006 at 12:15 pm #1348432
Your book and Sarbar’s books are on my ‘top of the list’ for this spring. I’m looking forward to getting them.Jan 12, 2006 at 2:38 pm #1348438
Mark W HeningerMember
@heningerLocale: Pacific Northwest
Just bought one.
I’ll be interested to have a read as I’ve been dissapointed with most backpacking cook books.
Note that they are giving 2 for 1 – which made my purchase even more useful as I can gift the second one to my scout troop.Jan 12, 2006 at 3:16 pm #1348439
Joshua – I look forward to shipping you one when you get ready for it. If the feedback I am getting is any indication, you’re going to enjoy it!
Wade – I just got back from shipping today’s orders and yours was in the stack. You should have it in two or three days. I am particularly interested in hearing your reaction to it since you have been disappointed with other trail food books you’ve read. After you read it, how about e-mailing me your critique. My e-mail address is in the book.
Also, as an Eagle Scout, exScoutmaster, and District volunteer, I would like to hear how well it fits your Scouts’ needs. I had them in mind when I wrote it as some of the folks it might really benefit. It makes cooking for a patrol, or even a troop, something even a Tenderfoot can do!
PS – I went to your web site (www.heninger.com)and your photos are spectacular!Jan 12, 2006 at 4:31 pm #1348446
Purchased a copy some months ago when it first became available. Love this book. One of the best purchases I’ve made. Pg. 74. Chicken, Nuts, and Rice. Excellent. So versatile. First, try the recipe just the way it’s written. Then experiment. Cashews or substitute peanuts with some Thai seasoning. Sometimes, a Mex (chili powder and cumin – my favorite) or Tex-Mex spice mix. try it with Chinese Five Spice, or other Chinese seasoning to create a small variation of the classic “take-out” chicken with cashew nuts. Personal taste ranges a little further east than China, then try Teriyaki Chicken. i’m thinking of trying Jamaican rice for a Carribean flair (with coconut milk – but this would be a first day on the trail lunch/dinner – being kept as cold as possible in a cozy until prep. time – only because, i’m not sure how long coconut milk keeps ). have even tried oregano and italian spice mix, or basil with pine nuts (yeah…i know…italian rice, not pasta? yes. it’s called rizotto. anyways, what can i say, i’m NOT the chef the author of the book is). i’m just trying to point out how great this book is. if you want variety, can’t eat a particular food, or just want to experiment, this book lends itself to adaptation. that’s not to say that, as written, the recipes need work. THEY DON’T. THEY’RE GREAT JUST THE WAY THE AUTHOR WROTE THEM. also, it sure has enough recipes that no experimentation is really necessary. i don’t think anyone will get bored with all of the variety of recipes contained therein.
i cook up a bunch and keep it in its O.P. trail bags in the freezer. some i have at home when i’m in a rush – much better than store-bought frozen food!!! (for rapid home consumption, i just put these in standard freezer bags – no need for O.P. ; trail use, then O.P. saks for sale on the BPL website store – great bags).
Great job Bill. you’ve done uncreative, poor trail-chefs, like myself, a great service. it’s easy to see how much effort you’ve put into this book. like i said, i probably got a first run off the press – good job on the printing and binding.
book exceeds expectations and no complaints/regrets. money very well spent.Jan 12, 2006 at 4:47 pm #1348449
Mark W HeningerMember
@heningerLocale: Pacific Northwest
Great. Look forward to it.
And thanks for the comment on the photos (although it is heninger.org not .com).Jan 12, 2006 at 5:30 pm #1348454
Coconut milk powder:
Doesn’t it just amaze you what’s dehydrated these days?Jan 12, 2006 at 5:42 pm #1348457
pjJan 13, 2006 at 2:23 am #1348470
just in case anyone is not aware. all rice is not created equal.
generally speaking, as a rule of thumb, shorter grain rice is, generally, higher in carbs and lower in protein. however, longer grain wild rice (ya gotta’ love that hearty flavor and firmer consistency after it’s cooked – which often takes a bit longer) is higher in protein and lower in carbs. of course, the delicate texture of shorter grain white rice is generally preferred for some (most?) dishes.
a combo of short & long grain rice makes for a very nice rice dish (or soup for that matter) too.
i’ve read (maybe it’s more regional however) that “winter” rice which is grown in less wet and cooler climates is typically longer grain rice which is higer in protein. i believe some NA Native Americans grew such rice – even in Canada (read that some years ago on a box of excellent long grain wild rice). so maybe, look for “winter” rice if you’re interested in a change from the ubiquitous short-grain white rice.
i’m no dietician or expert on rice, so if anyone has more info on rice, feel free to “post” back & educate me. i’d appreciate it.Jan 13, 2006 at 6:19 am #1348473
I’m glad you are enjoying Travel Light-Eat Heavy Paul! I need all the help I can get to get the word out about it, Thanks!
There is a good comparison of nutrition for the three main types of rice at:
http://www.pechsiam.com/allabout_nutrition.htm. The site also contains links to more information about rice than anyone needs to know!Jan 13, 2006 at 6:23 am #1348474
There are differences in wheat, too, depending on when it’s grown. Winter wheat, though, is a “soft” wheat with less gluten. We in the South grow it and make biscuits out of it. Hard spring wheat is sown in spring and has more gluten, that is, protein. Thus it is better for making yeast-raised breads that depend on gluten to rise.
I don’t know about rice, though.Jan 13, 2006 at 6:26 am #1348475
Wade – Sorry about the typo on the com/org. If anyone hasn’t gone to your site yet, they are in for a treat!Jan 13, 2006 at 6:39 am #1348476
You’re right about the flour. I was making baguettes last week end to go with a new gumbo recipe – YUM! I was out of bread flour and used “regular” flour instead. The baguettes turned out OK, but just didn’t have that some texture and taste that you get with high gluten flour. It’s the little things that makes your tongue happy!Jan 13, 2006 at 9:43 am #1348483
if anyone feels their bread flour might be low on gluten, simply buy a small box of “gluten flour” (it’s “pure” gluten and available wherever fine bread flours are sold!) and add a tablespoon or so (depending upon your recipe and flour’s possible gluten deficiency) to your bread flour.
generally, however, IME, a good quality bread flour (even a larger brand name – labeled as “bread” flour or “best for bread”) does not require the addition of gluten flour. i use a New England brand (not sure how available it is outside of New England) called King Arthur’s Flour. It is high in gluten and makes great bread. It’s pretty much all i use, especially when i bake Challah bread, or pretty much any other bread (it makes a great Italian Bread).Jan 13, 2006 at 6:16 pm #1348521
I am not familiar with “gluten flour” but will look for some. While King Arthur flour sits next to the Pillsbury Bread Flour I buy I have never been tempted to try it, until now. I will try it next time.
I had to look up Challah bread, something else I had not heard of. It sounds like it would be good. I give bread, with cheese, wine, deli meats, etc at Christmas. I will make a note to bake Challah next year and will add a note about the Challah (piece charred and discarded representing the destruction of Jerusalem) and the other symbolic elements it can encompass. Thanks for mentioning it. So much to learn, so little time.Jan 23, 2006 at 10:18 pm #1349170
Outstanding book… Well done. I love how each day of the 14-day menu is broken down with caloric intake and the page each meal is on. A great opportunity to mix and match to your taste. I have tried a number of the meals at home with my son and they are quite tasty. I use a Gravity Gear cozy instead of a hat, but I still have an issue with getting food out of the bottom of the bag without getting some on my hands from the sides. Maybe I need a longer spoon.Jan 24, 2006 at 6:46 am #1349182
Mike, thank you for your kind words about Travel Light-Eat Heavy! I’m glad the format and information works so well for you and your son.
On dredging the food up from the bottom, a longer handle is one solution. “Iced tea” spoons come with many ice cream store’s floats, sundaes and the like. I also have some plastic bar spoons I picked up in a grocery store that work even better because the spoon part is tilted sligtly toward an “L” shape. None of them are all that sturdy though.
However, another reason I use a cozie hat is so I can still use my indestructable lexan spoon with part of the handle cut off. With your bag in a cozie hat, you just squeeze the bottom and the food rises to meet your spoon (kind of like toothpaste). Try one at home and see how you like it, even if it’s knit instead of fleece. They work exceptionally well and I have not yet heard a credible down side to usinig them.Apr 14, 2006 at 7:23 pm #1354866
I bought your book on Amazon. I did not know you were posting here.
I’ll be trying out some of your recipes next weekend. So far I like the book.
I still have not cooked anything in a freezer bag. Has anybody had one of these fail?Apr 15, 2006 at 6:35 am #1354879
Greg, as Bill makes the point in the book, you don’t have to use the heavier weight freezer bags. I have used the recommended storage weight bags. They work fine with the boil and soak method. Storage bags are a little thinner so they are negligbly lighter. But they are also less expensive at my grocery store.Apr 16, 2006 at 10:04 pm #1354960
I have used many, many freezer bags – and have not had one fail-but I am careful also. Simple things to rember…nothing but spoons. Don’t touch your bag with a hot pot of water, don’t pour the water while holding the bag freestyle-rest the bag on something-having your bag in a cozy is a good idea.
If you want more ideas see my site on technique:
(I have been running my site for about 1 1/2 years now :-)
There are options one can use if they are unsure of using bags-such as insulated mugs, Gladware, etc.
SarahAug 3, 2006 at 9:02 pm #1360419
@pglevanikLocale: Sothern California
Tried the website – looks like it’s out of commission?? Is the book still available…Amazon says it ships in 4-6 weeks. Holy Cow!Jun 29, 2007 at 4:40 pm #1393943
@brianleLocale: Pacific NW
I ordered this from amazon.com some time ago, they finally sent me an email saying it wasn't available and suggested I try some online used book sellers.
On the amazon.com website for the item is this text:
"Availability: Currently unavailable. We don't know when or if this title will be in stock again."
So is there, in fact, anywhere I can get this? My local library system doesn't have a copy. I put in an interlibrary loan form and that eventually came back saying that apparantly no library has a copy to loan.
Brian LewisJun 29, 2007 at 7:56 pm #1393969
Brian, I saw that about a month or so ago. His book was the one connected to my book on my Amazon page (the "if you like this book, get these two together" offer). It just disappeared one day, and hasn't come back. The only thing I can think of, is that publisher quit printing it? I have tried to find his contact info as well, and cannot find anything. It is as if he disappeared off the internet.
His book is missed, there are not many newer trail cookbooks for sale (most of the trail cookbooks for sale are 5-20 years old!), and few aim at going light. Our books had a lot in common, and I'd like to see his book back in print!Jun 30, 2007 at 11:47 am #1394013
@brianleLocale: Pacific NW
Thanks, Sarah. That's very gracious of you to say about a competitor!
I have your book, and have gone through it multiple times; it's a little like getting the right shoes, though, everyone is unique. I personally don't like a lot of cheese or veggies, so have to load up on the veggies I'm comfortable eating. I want things dead simple, and will likely try to figure out N unique meal types for my PCT attempt, where N won't be a terribly large number, and will likely include some Mountain House meals mailed ahead — the rest needing to come from what I can buy in trail towns.
So I reckon that the more ideas I can look at, the better. Of course, I could just drink olive oil for every meal, and call that a "mediteranean diet" !
Brian LewisJun 30, 2007 at 6:02 pm #1394042
I can say that I have changed how I eat since I brought my book out-something that shows on the website and in my blog :-)
i burnt myself out on rice and cheese badly ;-)
Now I live on pasta quite a bit, and do more dehydrating of vegetables (lots of mushrooms!)
I can say I am happy eating pasta, veggies, some cheese, herbs and olive oil with a biscuit of my Fauxbaker these days :-)
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