Search This Blog

Thursday, May 24, 2012

Food advice for backpacking

A woman asked this question to my husband (who is an avid backpacker and camper):  

Where does your family normally buy the Mountain House meals for hiking?  If I do buy them from Emergency Essentials how long do their orders typically take to get here?  I want to make sure they arrive before the boys go on their 50-miler.

Answer from my husband:
 I've never been a big fan of Mountain House.  It is pretty good food, but I prefer lower cost foods from the grocery store.  Not only is it less expensive, but I like the way that it tastes better.  And, I've had fewer problems re-hydrating the food.  MH tends to leave crunchy bits in the corners...
  You might look at Emergency Essential's web site to see what their delivery times are.  But if you ask for faster delivery, you lose the savings and might as well buy locally.
  I think WalMart carries some.  But, REI is going to have a larger selection.

If you want to explore the grocery store style, here are some things we like:
  Instant Oatmeal, 2 packets per person per breakfast.
  Hot Chocolate or Instant Spiced Apple Cider
I just boil water and pour it into my cups.
Then, if there is enough hot water left, I use that to wash the cups.
I really don't do much else for breakfast. I just change the flavors to break the monotony.
  We have taken Pop Tarts, too.  They taste good, but they are...
  - very high in calories without filling you up
  - quite heavy.
  This can be the hardest meal to think of.  I want food that allows me to eat when I'm hungry, and I won't have to stop and heat anything.
I tend to bring:
  Bagels & Cream Cheese
These pack well and don't get too squished,
and are very filling.
 Cream Cheese 
Get the Cream Cheese in the little tub.
They have a bunch of different flavors.
I've never had a problem when I carry it 
deep in my pack away from the sun 
and the heat of my back.
  Trail mix
I make my own with:
  Cracklin' Oat Bran
  Nuts (what ever variety you like)
Make sure the nuts are SALTED.
You need to replace the salt.
  Granola Bars
  Just add boiling water and let it sit for 5 minutes.
There are a variety of flavors to choose from. My favorites are Parmesan or Pine Nut.
Uncle Ben's (or your favorite brand) Flavored Rice
These come in 5 and 25 minute cook times. Make sure you get the 5 minute time to save on fuel.
Ramen noodles.
  I like these better than the Cup O' Noodles because you don't have to carry the empty foam cup after.
Lipton Noodles
  These come in quite a few flavors and have pretty short cook times.
Mashed Potatoes
  Not Plain.
There are many flavored varieties like  
Herb & Garlic,  Loaded Baked Potato, etc.
NOTE: This can leave you wanting something to chew, too.
So, you might want to pair it with Beef Jerky, Summer Sausage, etc.
I always re-package all of the food in freezer bags.  I clip the name & directions from the box or bag
and drop them in with the food then throw away the boxes.
That way I know how much water to add & cook times and which flavor I'm going to eat.
This reduces the weight of all the packaging and if you have left overs, you can put them in the ziplocks. That reduces the smell of the trash bag you carry out.
This is more than you asked for, but I thought you might like to have some options.

(Note from Amy:  I thought his backpacking food choices would also work well for 72 hour kits, or for eating during a disaster when you have to cook without electricity.)

No comments:

Post a Comment