No-cook/Stoveless/soaking method for PCT Thru.

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Home Forums General Forums Food, Hydration, and Nutrition No-cook/Stoveless/soaking method for PCT Thru.

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    R Banks
    BPL Member


    Locale: everywhere i guess

    Hey guys,

    I am doing a PCT thru hike starting this April, and unfortunately stoves may be out of the question this year. Woodstoves are banned, Alcohol probably will be banned, and shipping esbit or gas canisters is a pain, and if they don't arrive on time (or at all) then I will be screwed.

    I have been reading on the no cook method, and I love the simplicity. However there doesn't seem to be that much information on it, as far as recipes go. I'm looking for simple meals that don't taste super awful and can be made with a quick visit to the grocery store, or can be bought along the way.

    Any ideas?

    David Thomas
    BPL Member


    Locale: North Woods. Far North.

    Tabouli is no-cook option you can enhance with dried parsley and dried onions for cheap, especially in bulk. Wild onions can be found in meadows (check for that distinct onion smell!!!).

    I've done crackers (Triskets, wheat thins) and a hard cheese and/or salami. Restack the crackers for space savings. Protect them in a pot but accept that the last 20% will be crumbs eaten with a spoon.

    Grape nuts (the little nuggets, not the flakes) plus milk powder. And/or raisins and brown sugar.

    No-cook oatmeal, dried fruit and nuts is called an "oatmeal cookie". A couple of those are breakfast and can be eaten as you hike (fastest way to warm up in the morning). Trader Joe's has some tasty ones (dry and long lasting) or bake your own (often moister).

    The longest I've done no-cook is ten days and I love the simplicity, speed and lightweight. But, Man! dinners look an awful lot like lunch! You could mix it up by mailing stove and canister to the start of the shorter sections and then mailing them ahead in a drift box to the next shorter section. Weight-saving is most important on long stretches.

    Edited for iPad induced typos.

    Paul Magnanti
    BPL Member


    Locale: Colorado Plateau

    I'll be lazy and just reference an article I wrote. :)

    It has some recipe ideas towards the bottom.

    Dave T


    I used isobutance canisters the whole way on the PCT, and it was easy. Usually easy to buy them, along with a few sent and/or hiker boxed. If it rains as much on you as it did on me all through Oregon and Washington, you might find that a hot meal cooked in your vestibule and eaten in your sleeping bag (i.e. finally warm and dry) is the most joyous moment of the day. During the long summer days in California, no-cook would be fine, but don't underestimate the value of a nice warm meal at the end of a long day, even if it's not after yet another day in the rain!

    I used a Brunton Optimus Crux stove.

    Laurie Ann March


    Locale: Ontario, Canada

    There are tons of options if you have access to a food dehydrator. I make all kinds of things like hummus, lentil salad, and the like which is lightweight and no-cook… simply rehydrate with cold water. If you could arrange to mail a few parcels to post offices along the way this may be an alternative.

    R Banks
    BPL Member


    Locale: everywhere i guess

    Keep the reccomendations coming. Do you guys have any specific recipes? I guess I'm an uncultered american because a lot of these foods seem new to me!


    Nick Gatel
    BPL Member


    Locale: Southern California

    Good to see you back. Great avatar too.

    Charlie Murphy
    BPL Member


    Locale: MAryland

    These work well. Make sure you get the re-fried ones and not the whole beans.

    Santa Fe Bean Co., Instant Fat Free Black Refried Beans, 7.25-Ounce Pack.

    Makes a few meals. Just bring some tortilla and Parmesan cheese. No heat needed….but way better when hot.

    Sarah Kirkconnell
    BPL Member


    Locale: Homesteading On An Island In The PNW


    Nearly all of the recipes under "Lunch" on my site are no-cook. You might have to scan down to Lunches :)


    Laurie Ann March


    Locale: Ontario, Canada

    Thanks Nick…

    The photo was taken at an ultra trail running event (I was doing a mere 12.5K)… it was called Run for the Toad and the proceeds went to a local conservation organization.

    Laurie Ann March


    Locale: Ontario, Canada

    Richard… will you be able to dry some foods and carry them with you for your thru? If so, I can post links to some recipes. There are lots of no-cook ideas you can do with grocery store finds too.

    R Banks
    BPL Member


    Locale: everywhere i guess

    Yes! I have a dehydrator, I'm just trying to find some good recipes.

    Kevin Buggie
    BPL Member


    Locale: NW New Mexico

    Interested in the simplicity of no cook, here's a 30 min. recipe (inspired by pmags) for couscous I like:

    Start at Safeway.


    In a quart freezer bag I put:
    1/2 cup of NearEast couscous mix,
    2 Tbsp sunflower seed,
    1 Tbsp sliced almond,
    1 box raisins 28g
    2 Tbsp chopped dried tomato 14g
    1 Tbsp freeze-dried red onion
    1 tsp FD parsley
    1 tsp FD garlic
    1 tsp FD chives
    1/2 tsp hot madras curry powder
    30ml olive oil

    1 cup cold water


    The packaged weight (198 grams)


    765 cal., 40g fat, 860 mg sodium, 70g carb, 15 g protein.


    Its really tasty and filling after a 30 minute soak. If not, instant dark chocolate pudding with dry goat milk powder for dessert


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