A wise man just asked about my cuisine in th backcountry…

Jon Carbaugh

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The best thing we make in the backcountry hands down is penne pasta, with marinara sauce and diced up summer sausage! It is the bomb!! You can only keep the marinara sauce good for probably the first 2 days out of the fridge, so plan on making it early on, first night if you're worried about it. Use a tupperware to put the marinara sauce in right before hitting the trail. Make sure it is good and tight too, would be a big mess if it got out. I use a really light screw on lid kind I found at Target . I take a big summer sausage and use it in many ways until it's gone. Put it in some ramen soup for diner, also awesome, and cut it up with cheese and crackers for lunch.
I do like mountain house, but generally on short trips, but they are really low in calories and you need lot's of calories to keep energy levels up when hiking all day. Granola with a good dehydrated whole milk like Nido with blueberries is high in calories and is awesome for breakfast.
Cheers!
 

andyjaggy

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Dec 2, 2013
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I love to cook at home, I have tried to translate that to the backcountry, and failed miserably. My meals were always heavy, and cooking was the last thing I wanted to do in the backcountry. In the end I have settled on freeze dried meals for dinners. There are a handful of Mountain House meals I enjoy, but I have also just discovered Peak Refuel meals and their chicken coconut curry was the best freeze dried meal I have had yet.

For snacks and lunches I find Trader Joes has some really great options, go peruse their store and see what looks good to you. One of my top lunches is a tuna packet with a package or two of Trader Joe's manzanillo olive packets thrown in. Maybe mix a small mayo packet in and spread it on a tortillas.

I have also learned through the years that I need a lot of variety of food. I used to only bring 4 or 5 different snacks, but lots of each individual one. I would get so sick of what I brought by the end of a trip that I would just stop eating. I now bring about 10-15 different types of snacks, but less individual amounts of each.

Breakfast is the meal that continues to elude me for a good solution. Often I don't feel like eating in the morning, and I can only have instant oatmeal so many times before I just will go hungry before eating it again. I also can't stand the taste of dehydrated milk, so that limits other breakfast options.
 

Ugly

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I also do not eat breakfast much, besides maybe a Lara bar or breakfast bar.

I do not get out on too many trips longer than 3 days lately... so when weight is not an option it depends on the season. I'm not joking that I have had everything from a ribeye, to scallops in ponzu, to sesame crusted tuna in winter to things like cold sesame peanut noodles with smoked mushrooms and jerk chicken in summer.

But those are exceptions, because in winter sometimes sitting around a stove when it is already dark at 6pm is a good way to pass the time if you can keep your feet and hands warm (down booties).

For overnighters most recently, especially when it is buggy and we are eating on the trail then I have been trying all sorts of sandwiches for the first night. I get packets of mayo or mustard and toast the bread or rolls, since I hate soggy bread, but I have also bought food truck or other places sandwiches (banh mi or firehouse subs) and brought them

But what I think you are really getting at...
I have a few go to's to share:

-Peak Refuel's sweet pork and rice, bring a little cheese, one of those guacamole cups you can get at the big box stores, and a packet of cholula and wrap it in a tortilla

-"Fake" Pho, get one of the pho ramen packets from an Asian market, a packet of hoisin sauce, packet of sriracha or hot sauce, a couple leaves of basil, a handful of bean sprouts and a few slices of roast beef or even pastrami. Just boil the water and add it all to a ziploc bag, and you are at one of the best fine-dining Vietnamese restaurants ever. Also works with good tonkatsu ramen packets and a few slices of ham
Most cured meat will not spoil the first day or two if kept cool, so I keep anything that needs to stay cool buried in my food bag in my cozy that is just a pouch of that silver insulation wrap duct taped together. I use the pouch in the winter as a seat on the snow- or a sled.

-I like the couscous as well, handful of pistachios, cashews, dried fruit, salami or pepperoni and a hot sauce packet or a sprinkling of Tajin

-My kids on the other hand love tuna and crackers for lunch, so a couple packets of tuna and some wheat thins or triscuits and they are set.

My stomach does not like the dehydrated meals, so those are usually suffered through on longer trips. I also do many overnight or two night trips without a stove, and something like the couscous will even rehydrate with cold water, or even left in the sun in a ziplock. (or my friend bought one of those "crotch pots" from GG, he has used that, but I refrain.:oops: )
 

Titans

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This morning new supplies arrived. "Food for the Sole" is our favorite cuisine. And no, we are not Vegan, but you cannot beat the taste of these meals, outstanding. https://www.foodforthesole.co/collections/shop-all-meals

1628552763739.jpeg
 

Rockskipper

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Mountain House is for when you're actually starving, though their ads don't say so. If they fed it to you in a restaurant, you'd send it back, but if you've just hiked 20 miles on an empty stomach, it tastes pretty good, though I can only eat the rice and chicken one. My dogs LOVE the beef stew, though.
 

scatman

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Eh.... what? "Coming soon, the Crotch Pot recipe club" :roflmao:. @scatman should get involved in this topic, but he's probably out backpacking now!

You got it! I just got back from six days in Yellowstone. This Crotch Pot Recipe Club does sound intriguing though.
 

Janice

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randakag

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Greetings from Connecticut!

I am surprised that this thread isn't much longer. Or more up to date. Since we all gotta eat...

For a week in the backcountry, food planning is almost as complex and necessary as route planning. Our mantra has always been: food is fuel, weight, nutrients and volume. And since we're on the go and don't want to clean the stove/pot all the time, we limit ourselves to boiling water only. That doesn't limit the cuisine. Provided you prepare. We always bring a small "spice rack" of salt, pepper, chili powder, oregano, and garlic powder. And we top off hot meals with two secret weapons: ground up blue corn chips & parmesan. Here's the typical menu for a day.

Breakfast = oatmeal + dried fruit, coffee or tea, handful of raw almonds
Trail snacks = 1 cup gorp, trail bar, ricola
Lunch = wrap with PBJ or tuna/salmon pack with mayo/mustard packs
Post hike = a hot cup of bouillon (ht to Greg Fensterman of TrekAlaska for that) + smoked nuts,
Dinner = freeze dried meal + instant mashed potatoes, dried fruit or chocolate for dessert.

If it's going to be hot (or hotter) we bring electrolytes like NUUN to throw in our water bottles.

6 nights and 7 days of that will fit in a bear canister, and it will weigh about 15 lbs.

I'm putting together the menu now for a 7 day High Uintas trek from China Meadows to the Highline TH. Any suggestions???
 

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Bob

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You must eat a lot .... 7 days at 15 lbs . +2 lbs a day. I usually pack 1.25 lbs a day of food/ snacks.
 

randakag

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Good observation. We eat less than that. For 7 days I usually have an extra day's worth of food in case of emergency. Also, the chocolate, dried fruit and nuts weigh more (are more dense). But they're worth it.

Are you counting the bear can?
 

Bob

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Eh.... what? "Coming soon, the Crotch Pot recipe club" :roflmao:. @scatman should get involved in this topic, but he's probably out backpacking now!
Yeah ... Fill that up, put it on ..... Then cinch your pack belt tight and see what comes out....... No thanks, stupid idea.
 

Bob

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Good observation. We eat less than that. For 7 days I usually have an extra day's worth of food in case of emergency. Also, the chocolate, dried fruit and nuts weigh more (are more dense). But they're worth it.

Are you counting the bear can?
Ditch the can ... Get a ursak.... I refuse a bear can
 

randakag

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You're right. I won't need the bear can in the Uintas. I have an Ursak. That plus the odor free bags work well. I use the bear can for places like The Bob, where the risk of facing the wrong kind of hungry bear is higher.
 

randakag

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Peak Refuel makes some good freeze dried meals!
Thanks! I've never seen so many 4+ star reviews for freeze dried. We'll pick some up. REI is sold out of most, but Amazon seems to have them in stock.
 
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