Fast food for backpacking

6:29 a.m. on October 24, 2009 (EDT)
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When I go back packing in the summer I can bring the food that takes longer to make.

But when I go hunting/ backpaking I have almost no time to eat. I am looking for good ideas for fast food to eat that I don't have to heat or add water to. Just open and munch. I used meal replacement bars and trail mix this last trip.


3:48 p.m. on October 24, 2009 (EDT)
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In todays world of microwaves and other modes of cooking there are many products of foods that make cooking in the outdoors easier too. I use many brands of things that are relatively cheap from the store and easy to cook outdoors. Many like to use products from places like mtn house which are expemsive freezedried foods, but there are the regular items by Lipton and Knorr that are just as good. Plus if you have a kitchen in your home you can produce many of your own easy to cook in the outdoors items.

I like rice, but instead of buying instant rice, i cook the rice myself then dry it and package it in Ziploc bags. All it needs is to be soaked or heated to a boil and its ready to use and eat. Also the same goes with beans, cook them at home then dry them and rehydrate them later in camp or bring them to a boil and they are ready to be used.

Or make your own recipes for stew and soups then either dry these or package the dry items by amounts used and reconstitute in the cook pot on a backpacking trip.

Much money can be saved by making your meals at home then repackaging them for use on trips. Get a food dehydrator or use an regular oven at home and experiment with drying times or make a outdoor dehydrator with screening to keep insects away from the food as it dehydrates.

3:04 a.m. on October 25, 2009 (EDT)
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High calorie, tasty, quick meals I like are using the carb-balance Mission tortilla wraps, with bite size sausages and stick cheese. You can add mayo packets if you want the extra calories. These wraps are great on the front end of a longer hike, or if it's going to be cold. Pretty light for the calorie to weight ratio.

Read the other food posts. People have posted some really good, inexpensive ideas.

Good luck!

8:51 p.m. on October 25, 2009 (EDT)
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Nothings more convenient than an MRE. Hot or cold.

4:52 p.m. on October 27, 2009 (EDT)
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Many types of cheese will keep for backpacking trips. Throw that on a tortilla with some shelf stable humus (World Market carrys it in indivual packages, much like sour cream comes in from fast food places) and you have a tasty meal. Also, indiviual packages of Nutella or peanut butter on a tortilla.

1:06 a.m. on January 24, 2010 (EST)
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Precooked rice is available which will eliminate cooking and fuel weight. Trader Joe's sells precooked "wild" rice. You're supermarket should have some precooked rice as well. For carbohydrates which should be your primary energy source, rolled oats are the best. It is advisable to consume carbohydrates prior to hiking and at lunch break. Consume protein and fat if preferred after hiking. Otherwise, your blood will be tied-up for food digestion versus your performance. The oils of corn, olive, peanut and safflower contain the highest energy concentration of calories per weight of all foods except lard. You don't need to heat them, but you might think twice about dining on oils based on your pallet. Max you're calories and minimize the weight and volume of your food if practical. Salami and jerky will last - no cooking there. Cheese was previously mentioned. Protein is only needed for muscle repair. Do research for a quality protein which will require a smaller amount to consume and thus lower weight and volume.

Nature Valley and other energy bars manufacturers make rolled oat bars with various add-ins such as honey, maple syrup, fruit, chocloate, etc. My disappointment with them is that they rarely exceed 180 calories per individual contents if my recollection is correct.

3:59 a.m. on January 24, 2010 (EST)
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Oatmeal! Not thats sugar package stuff for me either! 3-4 minute quick cook Quaker Oats, coconut, slivered almonds, dried cranberries or raisons and a touch of Good Old Canadian Maple Syrup! :)

7:14 a.m. on January 24, 2010 (EST)
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Sunkist Tuna Lunches. You'll never look back...

1:08 p.m. on January 24, 2010 (EST)
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You can also premake meals at home then put it cold into Ziploc bags and eat it cold on your hike. Like canned meals that were precooked before they were canned. And with aluminum foil if you are snowmobiling or driving theres a way to heat the food on the engine, but don't ask me how, I have never had a motor vehicle.

Anyway I am eating last nights meal cold now for lunch, it will still be better than a dry meal of GORP.

6:31 p.m. on January 24, 2010 (EST)
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Invest in a food dehydrator (Open Country/Nesco builds the best for the the cheapest) and make your own dried fruits, sauces and jerky. No preservatives, gain control of the sodium and the nitrates/whatever and eat that food you're hauling around confident in its nutritional value. MSG, what's that? Nothing like being in control of what you can be in control of in my opinion. Let 'em keep their plastic-lined foil "meals". Prep your own food.

Yep, light food is dry food and the best food is the kind you make for yourself. Once you get the hang of it you'll wonder why you didn't do it years ago. Very cool also, with the speed and efficiency of the Open Country/Nesco machines, you'll get 'er dun in just a matter of a few hours, not days.

Yeah, I do think that drying stuff is way smarter than any of the other alternatives. Plus, if you think the opportunity all the way through, you'll end up with sufficient emergency rations available for those times when the weather or other manifestation of The Almighty decides to remind you of your inescapable mortality by turning off the 'lectric and shutting down all the stores and leaving you in the dark alone with your Petzl headlight, 3/4 ounce knife, cuban fiber sarcophagus and SPOT Messenger. Who you gonna' call? You sure they're gonna' show up?

Self-reliance is fundamental to wilderness travel, or even sitting on the couch watching Oprah (mainly because you can't avoid your responsibilities no matter what. And who does that, really, watch Oprah I mean? You gotta' have a mind made of mush to spend your life listening to such drivel.).

Yeah, when you consider all the stuff that can and will happen while you're breathin', well, it'll take your breath away.

Struggling to return to the point of all this, in the case of ground-pounding I think it all starts with the preparation for the journey, which means for me (and likely for many of you) that the hike actually begins at the kitchen table cutting up real food for the dehydrator. Think of it as kinda' like frontier living but with all the modern conveniences. What could be better than that? One could even call it romantic. Certainly fun is involved. And even some arrogance. It's a perfect balance.

And who wants to intentionally contribute to the production of single-use foil packets anyway? Not me and not many of you, at least not if it can be prevented/avoided with just a little bit of effort and a whole lot of satisfaction thrown into the work. Yeah, yeah, I know. Recyclable. Wonderful. Why waste the energy recycling what should have never been made in the first place?

Buy a dehydrator. $50-$70, about the same price as that ridiculous titanium mug we all just gotta' have (and yes, I do have one, though the Heineken beer can gets a lot more use).



10:22 p.m. on January 24, 2010 (EST)
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Hi Drake,

Can you put a Big Mac in a dehydrator? (joking)

Now that would be fast food on the trail!

I de-hydrate too, you know,always thinking.

12:37 a.m. on January 25, 2010 (EST)
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Freeze dried meals like mountain house are pretty quick and easy, but somewhat expensive. Trailmix has a pretty good calorie to weight ratio. A 4 layer pbj sandwich with lots of peanut butter can have over 1000 calories and needs no preparation.

3:37 p.m. on January 27, 2010 (EST)
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I'd call it romantic.. I have as much fun in the kitchen preparing food with my girlfriend as I do on the trail with her. I mean, when you pack in quality food that you prepare yourself.. well you see there is no substitution.

(Pre-Dehydrator) Backpacking foods were utterly confusing to say the least.

(Post-Dehydrator) Backpacking foods are the best part of my backpacking experience, other than that whole wilderness thing... hah

Once I made a loaf of bread Backpacking, Twas awesome.

8:00 p.m. on February 1, 2010 (EST)
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Tyson has a packet of pre-cooked chicken in the tuna isle. It's tasty on a tortilla with some cheese and salsa packet from taco bell. Lots of carbs and protein and really easy to throw together!

April 26, 2018
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