Jun 3, 2009 at 11:12 pm #1236795
Raphi SchusterBPL Member
What food do you guys use on weeklong 100 miler trips?
Im thinking that rice and beans would be fine everynight (except for such blandness) and oatmeal in the morning. It all stays packaged together, so its minimal garbage and is easy to bearbag.Jun 3, 2009 at 11:17 pm #1505727
Mark McLauchlinBPL Member
@markmclauchlinLocale: Western Australia
I have a dehydrator and make meals such as Chilli Concarne, baked beans, rice with veg, basically anything you eat at home can be modified to suit. I have found its just he fatty foods that dont dehydrate well,Jun 3, 2009 at 11:18 pm #1505728
Steven EvansBPL Member
Im thinking that rice and beans would be fine everynight
Why not mix it up a bit? Lots of freeze dried options out there.Jun 3, 2009 at 11:30 pm #1505730
Raphi SchusterBPL Member
Thanks guys. Mostly what you have mentioned, however, is rice or beans with a supplement. I'll bring some supplements along to add variety (and vegetables) to my meals.Jun 3, 2009 at 11:51 pm #1505733
Steven EvansBPL Member
I'm a simple guy so I just grab what's on the shelf…some curries, spaghetti, mac and cheese, thai noodles, even the bacon and eggs isn't bad. However, if you are really looking into options, you can go scroll down a bit and check out the "food" section, you'll see there are quite a few backcountry chefs amongst us. :)
There are even a few members who have published books on their recipes and you would be surprised what they can offer. Definitely worth checking out at the least.
Enjoy your trip!Jun 5, 2009 at 12:23 pm #1506185
Tom KirchnerBPL Member
@ouzelLocale: Pacific Northwest/Sierra
"Im thinking that rice and beans would be fine everynight (except for such blandness) and oatmeal in the morning. It all stays packaged together, so its minimal garbage and is easy to bearbag."
How about varying it with dehydrated pea soup and mashed potatoes? Add in some olive oil and dry cheese for extra flavor and calories. A little 70% cacao chocolate for dessert and you're travelling in style. :)Jun 9, 2009 at 8:37 am #1506935
Mashed potatoes, definitely. Have you considered Angel Hair pasta and Coscus? Both will cook in warm water, saving fuel, are lightweight, and can be very tasty with a little sauce. Add some olive oil, and the calories go up too.Jun 9, 2009 at 9:28 am #1506958
David PostonBPL Member
@dgpostonLocale: NYC metro
It's called Freezer Bag Cooking.
Buy that book that Sarah Kirkonell (sp?) wrote and then go to packitgourmet.com to order supplies.Jun 9, 2009 at 10:26 am #1506967
David, thank you :-) (Yeah, I had a hard to spell maiden name, then got an even bigger married name! Kirkconnell is it.)
Check out the food section here! A number of us have posted lots of ideas, help and what works/doesn't.
An example of meals might be this photo from this morning – I am done with 10 days of dinners for my friends who are thru hiking the PCT this year. These meals are some of the most UL meals I have done. But also very high in protein and filling. I will be posting more on the blog when I get the new recipes entered in.Jun 9, 2009 at 12:48 pm #1507006
@jlsnyderLocale: Columbia Basin
I have dehydrated stuff like taco soup, spaghetti, stir fry with reasonable success. It tasted good, and was easy.
For my oatmeal, I usually add some dehydrated milk and chopped almonds for extra calories/protein/flavor.Jun 9, 2009 at 1:07 pm #1507012
David PostonBPL Member
@dgpostonLocale: NYC metro
I notice you are using regular ziploc freezer bags (quart size?). I find that the ones from Packit Gourmet stand up nicely and are "boil safe." Do you use these?Jun 9, 2009 at 3:21 pm #1507043
Yes, I love the ones that PIG carries. For T&T's thru-hike though they asked for standard bags – less weight/space. For myself though – I use the standup bags ;-)Jun 17, 2009 at 3:08 pm #1508879
I am in NO way a cook of any type. But just a few weeks ago i found that instant mashed potatoes with one of the instant gravy mixes at the grocery store sure tated great in the cold evening. Not sure of the nutrition value is what has me worried though. But next time i will be adding in some of that TVP material to add some potein. I used the mushroom gravy if anyone was curious.
I used the low sugar instant oatmeal last year and i might try it again as the cuscus was difficult to gag down for breakfast. And now i think i might even add some dehydrated strawbearies to my breakfast as well.Jun 17, 2009 at 4:01 pm #1508896
Jamie ShorttBPL Member
@jshorttLocale: North Carolina
Gregg, I'd also recommend Sarah's book. After reading it and buying a food dehydrator I have not used a freeze dried meal since. I do a lot of experimenting, but there are a lot of ways to mix it up without adding weight.
* Rice + Dehydrated Red Beans + Dehydrated Hamburger + spices
* Rice + Just Veggies Mix + Dehydrated Chicken + Spices
* Ramen + Dehydrated Spaghetti Sauce + Dehydrated Onions/Peppers/Mushrooms + Dehydrated Hamburger
* plus tons from the book
Another website the is real good is
JamieJun 17, 2009 at 5:09 pm #1508907
Laurence BeckBPL Member
@becklaLocale: Southern California
Mountain House Pro-packs are easy to use and are easy to pack in a bear cannister. They come in a lot of varieties as well plus they taste pretty good.Jun 17, 2009 at 5:58 pm #1508915
@eaglembLocale: AZ, the Great Southwest!
any commentary on why there seems to be so much sodium in commercially prepared dehydrated foods? Is it for preservation for long periods, taste, a combination or something else? Seems like every pack I look at has 75 – 125% of RDA Sodium.
MikeJun 17, 2009 at 6:28 pm #1508920
James D BuchBPL Member
I'm not Sarah. However, you should open your eyes to ALL PREPARED FOOD, not just backpacking food.
If it is in a can, you can bet it is pretty salty.
If it is "flavored", you can bet it is pretty salty or high in Sodium.
For example, plain unflavored instant mashed potatoes have maybe 20 mg sodium. Buy some flavored instant mashed potatoes and the socium content soars to 400 to almost 800 mg per serving.
Unflavored instant rice has very low sodium, but if you get a Knorr flavored rice dish the sodium per serving jumps to 860 mg or 40% of RDA. The package contains 2.5 servings, and the typical backpacker will eat the whole thing or nearly 100% RDA.
Pasta unflavored is low sodium, but the Knorr flavored pasta in my hand has 820 mg sodium and that is nearly 40% RDA, and the backpacker who eats all 2.5 servings in a bag gets about 100% RDA right there.
If you get plain frozen vegetables with no flavoring, there is usually little sodium, but if you get that fake cheese sause or Asian seasoning, there is a giant jump to several hundred mg of sodium per serving.
Green beans in a can are horribly high in sodium. I don't have a can of that stuff for that reason, nor any cans of vegetables for similar reasons.
"On Food and Cooking" by Harold McGee discusses this at length. There are several reasons for putting sodium in prepared foods – mostly for the benefit of the manufacturer or to make it tasty or texturally or visually appealing for the consumer.Jun 17, 2009 at 9:30 pm #1508958
Mike, I have long felt that they use heavy sodium to cover up a lack of taste – of using bland food.
I cringe every time I watch Food Network and they say "Lets season it" and all they do is dump in tons of salt and a little pepper. That is SOOO not "seasoning"!
Thing is, there are brands out there with reasonable amounts – Mary Janes for example is decent.
Yet, the scary thing is that a 2 person MH meal is nearly always a one person meal – and some of those meals can contain 3,000 or more mg of sodium in the bag. That is just scary!
Personally I despise the fact that companies put SO much sodium in food, be it freeze dried or just stuff from the stores. It has been shown numerous times by our Gov't that you can remove up to 25% of the sodium in commercial food before the average consumer notices. But even then….a meal out in a restaurant can be horrifying..an entree with 2500 mg of sodium? Normal these days. We live in a county that requires chains with a certain number of venues to provide stats. Eek. Go eat at Applebee's and after reading the stats you will be eating a plain salad with no dressing. LOL! Some dinners have 4,000 mg of sodium.
Salt does preserve food….but in most cases it covers up lesser quality food :-(
This is why I make most of my meals at home for trips – I can control everything that goes in.
PS: Even freeze dried meat has sodium….it does help with preservation there. And taste. But then, when I went low sodium I was shocked at just how sodium naturally occurs in meat!Jun 17, 2009 at 11:25 pm #1508968
@tippetLocale: San Diego
Sarah what was the manly-sounding name we came up with for your cozies? Anyway looking forward to trying out my custom unit next trip.Jun 18, 2009 at 8:01 am #1509016
The Man Food Bag :-DJun 19, 2009 at 1:29 am #1509247
@tippetLocale: San Diego
hmm. How about "growl pouch" or "snarl sack"? "Man-bag" sounds kinda gee hey whyJun 19, 2009 at 1:35 am #1509248
There's a lot of salt in blood.Jun 19, 2009 at 7:02 am #1509272
@derekoakLocale: North of England
For us A part of every trip with many days between resupply is for me to make a batch of high calorie flapjack. It is an amalgam of several recipes including one of Sarah's. We have maximized the olive oil and Brazil nuts and ground almonds. and reduced the dried fruit. Put in both eggs and Soya flour to bind the flapjack. We add grated ginger root,vanilla extract and a bit of molasses. To help it keep and to help it stay together we coat it in chocolate. I calculate the flapjack is 6 Calories per gram which is more than chocolate alone. A 100 gram square mid morning keeps you going a long time.
Concerning the other point of this thread I add absolutely no salt. I have moderately high blood pressure and I try to keep below 3 grams of salt per day. That takes some doing!Jun 19, 2009 at 7:55 am #1509288
I realized I didn't comment on the full issue of sodium. Some will ask 'Don't you need more when hiking? Or doing any sport?' And in nearly every case you get plenty from daily eating – especially if you eat an American diet.
More important is that you eat a balanced diet, full color. So yes, eat fruit, berries, vegetables, greens, etc. If you DO eat salt bomb meals, consider this: instead of eating the whole bag o' MH, split it in two servings. Then add 1/4 cup freeze-dried vegetables to each servings. In most cases the meals are sadly lacking on that! "Hiker" food can lack fiber as well due to this. Bulk up your meals with veggies or add in more carbs if needed. Most of the commercial meals have too much sauce anyways! That way you get filled up but save on a lot of sodium. The veggies also provide potassium, which helps your body control sodium.
Now though….if you are doing an extreme sport, by all means you NEED to talk to a sports Doctor or nutritionist and make sure you are getting what your body needs. An example would be 100 mile runs – that IS going to strip your body, especially so in hot weather. But for the average hiker doing 5 to 20 miles a day, just eat a balanced diet and take electrolytes drinks with you. In many ways your body will let you know what it needs. Every time you stop for water make sure you have a nibble of food with it – this will keep your body feeling better.
An example I do is lightly salted kettle style potato chips – just a tiny bit of salt so I drink more water, lots of potassium and energy to keep going.
~This is what works for me of course, it may not be right for you!Jun 19, 2009 at 8:24 am #1509295
W I S N E R !BPL Member
I've always done well on long trip eating Clif and balance bars throughout the majority of the day with only a hot meal at night.
It simplifies packing and makes rationing daily calories simple.
Sure, it gets boring…but I'm typically not going on long trips for the culinary experience.
As for nutrition, salt, etc., I think that many folks get overly concerned about this stuff.
Unless you're out there really pushing the miles and pace and breathing hard, backpacking is just walking with hills- it's hardly ultramarathon running or an "extreme" sport. I think it's a bit obsessive/unnecessary to count protein to fat to carbo grams and ratios and get overly wrapped up in nutritional values…If you're just walking moderate days eat a variety of what you like and you'll be fine.
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