Backcountry Food

DrNed

The mountains are calling and I must go
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Mar 31, 2013
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When it comes to backcountry food I've chosen ease over, nutrition, flavor & creativity.

The standard menu is 3 flavored oatmeals & 1 hot chocolate for breakfast, 2 cliff bars for lunch & a Moutainhouse dinner. + .3lbs / day of Twizzlers for a sweets. Oh yeah, and I also pack enough gatorade powder to have a gallon every other day. Throw in a what ever fish is caught.I just finished this book The Great American Camping Cookbook and thought I should try adding to my menu.What do you do for backcountry food? When you're packing all your food for a week you have to made trade offs. What trade offs have you found to be worth it / not worth it?

I await your wisdom . . .
 

Nick

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I've tried a lot of different things over the years. I try to keep it all pretty stupid simple nowadays. Lately I've been doing a pack of instant potatoes mixed with a packet of salmon for my dinners. Everything else is just dried fruit, nuts, jerky, nut butter, occasionally cheese, etc for the most part. I try to go with really calorie dense stuff because I tend not to eat enough when I'm backpacking. Trader Joe's opening a branch in Salt Lake has been my salvation for getting all that stuff cheap and not loaded with added sugars and junk. 80% of what I eat on the trail probably comes from that place now.
 

IntrepidXJ

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Oatmeal, instant potatoes and mountain house are where I'm at, too. I keep things simple...plus I'm a picky eater to begin with, which doesn't help...
 

gnwatts

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Mary Jane's Farm Curried Lentil Bisque is to die for. I like all of their stuff, pricey but very good IMO, and organic.
But overall I agree with Nick, I usually take jerky, nuts and granola, keeping it simple.
 

Nick

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@Jammer - probably a year or so ago. It's downtown on 400 South near 700 east. I love that place. Too bad no cheap wine though. I've heard good things... :(
 

DrNed

The mountains are calling and I must go
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Apparently we all went to the same backcountry culinary school. I am going to try eggs, hard cheeses, tuna in a pouch and even some fresh foods like apples, celery & carrots as they seem to do well for a week without refrigeration.

I'll check out the Trader Joe's next time in SLC
 

isleroyaleguy

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Jan 23, 2014
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Apparently we all went to the same backcountry culinary school. I am going to try eggs, hard cheeses, tuna in a pouch and even some fresh foods like apples, celery & carrots as they seem to do well for a week without refrigeration.

I'll check out the Trader Joe's next time in SLC

We go entirely with our homemade dehydrated meals. We can make the stuff we like and control the portion size. And there are great cookbooks geared towards backpacking. We also make our own breakfast cereal/gorp. Our garbage is almost nothing compared to Mt House or other freeze dried stuff. Not to mention the cost. Leftovers tonight can be dehydrated, vacuum sealed and will be dinner or lunch on the trail this summer.
IRG
 

JackBurns

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Anyone else have to worry about Gluten Free foods?
One of my boys has Celiac Dz which makes most store bought freeze dried foods off limits.
 

Nick

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Anyone else have to worry about Gluten Free foods?
One of my boys has Celiac Dz which makes most store bought freeze dried foods off limits.

I'm not sure if you clicked that link above, but I do. I don't have celiac but gluten messes me up in ways that are very inconvenient when backpacking. :oops: The DIY meals area a good option, same with something simple like the instant mashed packets with some salmon or tuna for added nutrition and protein.
 

Scott Chandler

Wildness is a necessity- John Muir
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This summer doing trail maintenance with the forest service my go to were zaterans bean and rice mixes. One packet could comfortably be extended for two meal (and that is with heavy trail work hunger.) Some meat (usually summer sausage), Cheese and tortillas made excellent additions. Early meals in a ten day hitch would include more adventurous fair: fresh veges, hot dogs, pasta (mac n cheese) and the like. We honestly ate quite well (food may have been the heaviest thing in my backpack.) That said, my breakfasts and lunches were pitiful: nature valley and Clif Builder Bars.
 

JackBurns

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I'm not sure if you clicked that link above, but I do. I don't have celiac but gluten messes me up in ways that are very inconvenient when backpacking. :oops: The DIY meals area a good option, same with something simple like the instant mashed packets with some salmon or tuna for added nutrition and protein.

When we hiked salt creek we ate good but the weight was tremendous.
One meal we did four days in was tacos.
Corn tortillas, hard cheddar cheese, and Carne Asada steak tortilla stuffers from old el paso. Gluten free and the boys ate the hell out of them.
 

Howells Outdoors

Adventure is my middle name...actually it's Keith.
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I get a few Pasta Sides or Rice Sides. I think that is what those are called. They are great and easy to make. Add in some cut up summer sausage or precooked bacon....FANTASTIC!!!
 

steve

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Dec 11, 2013
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I need some ideas of how to repackage my mountainhouse meals. The bags take up a lot of room, and they're a pain to pack out. Does anyone have any recommendations?

I suppose I could put them in a ziplock, then eat them in my cook pot. Are there any bags out there that can handle boiling water without leaching BPA into my food? The convenience of eating out of a bag and zipping it up when it's done is really nice.
 
Last edited:

DrNed

The mountains are calling and I must go
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I suppose I could put them in a ziplock, then eat them in my cook pot. Are there any bags out there that can handle boiling water without leaching BPA into my food? The convenience of eating out of a bag and zipping it up when it's done is really nice.

I buy Mountainhouse in #10 cans and then but them in Zip Lock freezer bags and they EASILY handle boiling water. People that DIY dehydrated meals do the same. It does save significant space.
 

Nick

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You could always switch to the MH 'pro packs'. A tiny bit less food but they suck out all the air so they aren't so bulky. I don't know what else you could use that isn't going to give you plastic cancer. Maybe just suck it up and use your pot? If you've got your pup along, that's a quick and easy way to get the pot cleaned!
 

SPAC3MAN

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Feb 13, 2014
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I have no idea why, but I have a thing for bread when I'm out in the cut... and soup! I saran-wrap fresh french bread, and it will always keep until its gone... and it doesn't matter if it gets squashed in my bear can/food bag. Dehydrated soup, almost always. Hard cheese, like a Parmisan/Regianno keeps well, just smells REAL good to all the denizens of the forest. Soft tortillas compact well, and are pretty calorie dense.
 

Jammer

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I need some ideas of how to repackage my mountainhouse meals. The bags take up a lot of room, and they're a pain to pack out. Does anyone have any recommendations?

I re-pack in ziplocks, but then roll-up and take the original bag with me after trimming off the excessive top and sharp corners. I do this because I enjoy the convenience of eating from the original bag. Other bags get too hot and don't hold their shape and I don't want to clean my pot every meal. Sometimes I will re-use a bag for multiple meals, but usually I prefer dealing with the extra trash than having to thoroughly clean the bag after a meal at the end of a long day.

- Jamal
 

Yvonne

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I started to re-pack in ziplocks. It sucks that I now need to clean my dishes after each meal, but I prefer it over carrying the bulky original bags.
They should produce some really cool heat resistant ziplock bags for backpackers, I would buy them without hesitation.
 
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