Save fuel when cooking

4:12 p.m. on July 5, 2013 (EDT)
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I have posted this before. When cooking pasta, its not nessessary to simmer it for any amount of time. As soon as the water comes to a boil and you add the pasta (any kind) turn off the heat, and cover the pot. Insulate if you want with a tshirt,etc. Let sit 10-20 minutes and the pasta will be fully cooked. You may have to stir it a couple times while it sits.

Boiling water holds its temp for a long time reducing by about 30 degree every 30 minutes if covered and insulated. 

You can also soak pasta in cold water a hour or more before you plan to heat it and it will absorb the water without being hot. I use a water bottle filled 1/4-1/2 full with pasta and filled with water and let it soak in the afternoon or whenever before a meal. The pasta should not be more than 1/2 filled in the bottle or else it will possibly explode the bottle when it expands.

Also you can make instant rice or beans by pre-cooking before a hike, drying the rice/beans thoroughly then when needed add to hot water and saok till soft again. Make refried beans by grinding the 1/2 the dried beans a little and the other half into powder, then in camp add a little hot water at a time mixing until the two become Refrito's! 

You can also make delicious homemade pasta at home. Its basically like pie dough, sliced then dried and then boiled in camp.

Store dried cooked rice,beans and pasta's in Ziploc's or baggie to keep dry. Moisture will allow them to mildew.

Also make dumplings by making soft dough balls and dropping them into pot of stew or soup, cover and the steam from the soup will cook the dumplings adding carbohydrates to the meal.

7:28 p.m. on July 5, 2013 (EDT)
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All good tips, Gary. Thank you especially for mentioning the fresh pasta, this had never occurred to me, and it would indeed save time and fuel. I am thinking that if it was in a ziploc with all the air out, it might even keep fresh for a few days without being dried, then it's practically instant-cook. And since I like to carry cold smoked salmon, I'd only need a dehydrated cream sauce mix and some foraged greens or beach peas. Decadence in 3 minutes!

9:20 p.m. on July 5, 2013 (EDT)
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sage advice from a veteran chef. I particularly like refries.

10:39 p.m. on July 5, 2013 (EDT)
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Over 40 years experience in the modern indoor and outdoor kitchen has helped me be a better cook outdoors.

I still remember cooking on campfire rocks in Boy Scout survival courses. We had no metal tools,pans or heat devices. Just flat rocks,sticks and our primative yet knowledgeable young brains. Its amazing what you can do with so little if you have no other choice but to give up and go home, like the first winter camping trips in NY Boy Scout camps. I usually gave in and went home before midnight. By the time I was 24 in 1980 had 3 years backpacking experience under my belt, I made it a point to and spent 150 days in the high Sierra winter camping, melting ice and snow for water, finding dry wood in a otherwise wet forest of snow and becoming the hiker I am today.

And thanks to Trailspace I can pass on this knowledge to the newest hikers out there! 

Thanks Trailspace!

11:19 p.m. on July 6, 2013 (EDT)
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I love the sideways photo Gary, and the advise on pre-soaking food too!

Thinking about our early days is fun isn't it ?

7:00 a.m. on July 7, 2013 (EDT)
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Don't know why my photo came up that way, its normal on my PC/camera card.

Yes, after 37 years adventure traveling I have plenty of experience to remember about. 60 bike tours and hundreds of backpacking trips some lasting many months. I have been all over the USA from the Bering Sea to the midsountheast, New Hampshire to Southern California.

Life has been a grand wonder.

8:18 a.m. on July 9, 2013 (EDT)
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You just made me hungry!

12:07 p.m. on July 9, 2013 (EDT)
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Make sure to get some Taco Bell salsa packs,and one or two single serve cheese sticks to make akiller burrito. Recently, i had leftover dehydrated hamburger i threw in as i rehydrated the beans. It was great to go "hollywood" on the trail. That was a tasty, filling dinner!

Another favorite i have is to take angel hair pasta, cook it up and add alfredo sauce, then dehydrate it. I add chicken to it on the trail. I haven't bought the commercially dehydrated chicken to use in it yet though.

I also like to take ova easy powdered eggs. And mix up a batch,then take packaged precooked bacon to put into a wrap. Throw some salsa packets and single serve cheese, and you have a gourmet, lightweight meal!

Just remember to turn the heat down some-- do things like start soaking the food on the trail or start warming and let it sit at camp.

My friend and I used one small fuel for two meals a day cooking like this for seven days on Mt. Rainier. Good food and fuel conservation can go together.

7:19 p.m. on July 9, 2013 (EDT)
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I'm getting hungrier!

June 21, 2018
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