Jun 12, 2013 at 2:26 pm #1304137
I'm looking for suggested tried and true meals for a group of Scouts for a 6 day backpacking trip. Things that are easy to prepare (boil water, mix ingredients in bag or pan) and easy clean would be great. Bonus would be meal planning menu for breakfast/lunch/dinner/snacks.
Does your troop do separate bags for each Scout, large bag for multiple Scouts, use pots and spoon into Scouts dish, or other?
Thanks in advance!
-mitchellJun 13, 2013 at 7:20 am #1996189
Our troop uses one bag/cozy to cook either 2 or 4 serving batches of food, and then serves into individual bowls. Our bowls are insulated (reflectix) noodle bowls (like a margarine container) with lids, so it's easy to keep one's food warm, easy to lick-out/clean and reduces waste to the one cook-bag.Jun 13, 2013 at 11:49 am #1996283
We break our crew into "Food Groups" of 4 scouts and let them plan, purchase and cook their own meals. They choose the usual. MH or top ramen dinners (each group has MH preferences). Oatmeal and/or pop tarts for breakfast. Lunch is brought individually in the form of trail food.
For MH, one boy serves himself and the other eats from the bag. We encourage long spoons for this purpose. With Ramen the boys eat it in any form, including dry for lunch. We have a favorite "pad tai" recipe http://sticksblog.com/2012/05/06/meal-time-fastpack-pad-thai-w-spiced-olive-oil/ that we mix in advance, crumble noodles and repackage with a vacuum seal to minimize volume. Obviously, you need to check peanut allergies. We reheat on the trail using freezer bag method to avoid clean up.
This may sound like simple advice and it is. Simple and smaller groups allow the boys to take responsibility and be successful.
We practice with 3-4 shorter outings leading up to our long term. Our boys make lots of mistakes. Last weekend they left a water filter in the car and ate day 2 breakfast (pop tarts) on day 1 in addition to day 1 breakfast(MH scrambled eggs) because they didn't want eggs.
FYI, we are backpacking 10 days trans Sierra this summer. Based on past experience, our biggest planning issue is increasing calories on the longer trips relative to our weekend outings. For our longer trips, my next step is to provide the boys with a food planning spreadsheet that they complete and return to me for review. This keeps responsibility in their hands, but avoids mistakes that would be hard to recover from.Jun 14, 2013 at 4:34 am #1996527
Check out http://www.trailcooking.com/ for a bunch of recipes. Most are easy to do and the actual recipe pages allow changing the yield.Jun 14, 2013 at 1:27 pm #1996689
Here's a simple and yummy recipe: Instant stuffing mix, chicken, dried cranberries. See
http://www.backpacker.com/january-2010-reader-recipe-backcountry-thanksgiving/skills/13679Jun 14, 2013 at 2:31 pm #1996703
…Jul 24, 2013 at 12:48 pm #2009094
Our troop has just started backpacking a little so they've relied on me both trips to feed them so we have only done freezer bag cooking (FBC). By far, the 2 favorites are:
Ramen Pot Pie – Crush the ramen in its package and dump into quart freezer bag. Add 1.5 to 2 cups water (doesn't have to be hot if you don't want but will need to sit longer – the amount depends on how hungry they are). Once "cooked" in a cozy add flavor packet (I normally use chicken flavor) and a portion of meat (usually half a can chicken or half pouch of tuna/salmon). Then add instant mashed potatoes to use the excess water until it's the desired consistency. The Cheddar & Chipotle flavor is by far the favorite. A package per pair of Scouts is enough unless you used 2 cups of water perhaps. This was just described as "dinner from heaven". Some Scouts have requested it be made for dinner at home even. Nothing to clean but sterilizing spoons for next meal.
Tuna Surprise – 11 oz package of tuna, 8 oz bottle of ranch dressing, bag of sunflower kernals or peanuts, bag of dried cranberries or raisins, package of 8 tortillas. Cut open tuna package along one long side. Pour in generous amount of dressing and mix it up. Pour in nuts and fruit and mix again. Spoon onto tortillas, wrap and eat! Sounds and looks gross perhaps but even those who don't like some of the individual ingredients really like this no-cook lunch. Clean up is one spoon and the knife you used to open tuna.Jul 27, 2013 at 11:25 am #2009990
John L CollinsParticipant
@wvcubdadLocale: Not too far off the Tuscarora Trail
Definitely love the freezer bag cooking method and have demonstrated it for our Troop on several trips. The boys thought It looked neat and have started using it. Each patrol has a copy of he book and the link to Sarah's website.
Mike – I will have to try your recipes, they sound really good and I am a huge fan of tuna.
JohnAug 5, 2013 at 10:25 am #2012559
On my early solo trips, I mostly modified recipes from Sarah's site. I thought most turned out really well as did many other Scouters. For simplicity, however, I've changed to mostly using either Knorr/Lipton Rice Sides or ramen as the base for my dinners. It's so much faster to prep though not as healthy as doing it all from scratch. In our area it costs me around $10/person to buy the food for a 2-night trip of 8-10 people, which is what we typically spend for food on our normal weekend campouts.Aug 5, 2013 at 12:07 pm #2012595
If you're like a lot of backpackers, you reach a point where instant oatmeal for breakfast has got to go. I've added cheesy grits with bacon bits to my menus. Below is a recipe or you can just add hot water and some bacon bits to a packet of instant, cheese-flavored grits (I skip the crackers in favor of the cheese flavored grits). I think some Tabasco would also work well with this…
Cheesy Bacon Grits
1/2 cup instant grits, or 2 packets
1/2 cup or more crumbled Goldfish crackers
Handful of Hormel Real Bacon bits
A little bit of Nido instant milk powder (optional)
Add 2 cups boiling water and wait a couple minutes.
My scouts tried this recipe for "brownies" this weekend. We skipped the nuts.. The boys also recommended adding some mini-marshmallows and/or peanut butter to this fudge-like dessert.
1 1/4 cups crushed cookies (1 pkt graham crackers)
1⁄4 c diced toasted pecans
2 T powdered sugar
3⁄4 c chocolate chips
3 T dry milk
Crush the graham crackers into crumbs, pack in a sandwich bag with the pecans and sugar. Put the chocolate chips and milk in a quart freezer bag.
Add 1/4 cup water to the chocolate bag. Bring a small pot of water to a gentle simmer (warm). Turn off the heat. Dip the tightly sealed chocolate bag to melt the chocolate. When melted, add the graham cracker crumb bag to the chocolate bag and knead to mix thoroughly. Eat warm with long handled spoons or let it cool and break into chunks.Aug 7, 2013 at 2:01 pm #2013342
@daveheissLocale: Pacific Northwest
Ahhh, oatmeal. How can you go wrong with oatmeal? It’s light, easy to make, comes in lots of different flavors, and there’s no trash because when you’re done you can burn up the little pouch it comes in. It’s so close to the perfect food that a few years ago when our scout troop was planning their 50-miler, the team leader and the other scouts agreed to have oatmeal for all 6 breakfasts. By my reckoning that worked out to be 7 scouts, times 2-3 oatmeal pouches per person, times 6 breakfasts, plus an extra box purchased on the way out of town just to be safe. When we hit the trail their packs were literally bursting with oatmeal, but as the mornings rolled by the enthusiasm for oatmeal faded fast.
The boys tried all kinds of tricks to keep it interesting: they’d mix different flavors together, they’d make it with just a tiny bit of water so it was more like oatmeal dough, they tried making it with Tang or lemonade instead of water, but no matter what they did, it was still oatmeal. By the last morning, just to get it down faster, I saw a few scouts simply rip open the packages, pour the dry oatmeal mix in their mouths, and then take a long chug from their canteens.
Good times… especially because I brought my own meals on that trip!Sep 8, 2013 at 7:06 pm #2023133
Our troop does a lot of backpacking, from overnights to week long trips. On trips I lead I have the scouts buy their own food. Invariably they have MH meals for dinner, maybe with cocoa for a drink. They often have a mh dessert. For breakfast they have 2 packs of oatmeal each. They pour the water right into the package. They also buy their own lunches, and I give them a list of possible trail foods. We have cold lunches. I tell them to bring lunch foods like jerky, nuts, crackers, kool aid, payday bars, cheese, and I give the amounts of those things I bring.
Each scout has their own utensils. They cook in groups of 4 or fewer per stove, with the scouts typically sharing a mh package. We let them figure out how to split it up.
For breakfast I have a bagel toasted in butter, with Canadian bacon and cheese, plus coffee. Lunches as described above, with Gouda cheese and triscuits crackers. For dinner I have a pasta, rice, or cous cous dish made on a caldera cone.Nov 13, 2013 at 8:46 pm #2044341
the meals I cook for me and my partner are mostly pasta dishes, rice, couscous, or pizza. This link has some of the better ones.
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