View Full Version : What's the worst trail meal you've ever made?

12-03-2003, 22:39
Bad freeze-dried meals don't count, unless you somehow really screwed up the preparation.

Whenever I think about what hasn't worked on the trail, I always remember breakfast at Harmony Hill Lean-to in Maryland (it used to be the shelter north of Annapolis Rocks). In June 1979, my future wife and I had been on the Trail from Duncannon for a week or so and I was trying to cheer her up on a rainy morning, so I pulled out some pancake mix I had bought back in Chambersburg. For some reason, I do all the "cooking" outside the house, but she does the majority of it at home. Anyway, we hadn't brought a frying pan, and I soon realized that I didn't have a spatula, but I decided that a good-sized pot and a few spoons would do the job.

I tried to keep that old Optimus 8R on simmer, but I ended up burning the mix and couldn't adequately flip the pancake to cook the other side. What a mess, and what a smell! I ended up putting the pot out in the rain to soak while I went back to good 'ole oatmeal.

12-04-2003, 01:03
Corn meal mush!!! With out a doubt the worst thing Ive ever eaten in the sticks!!! And Ive eaten bugs,worms and plants on several occasions. My brother and I were on a hiking/fishing trip and on the morning of the last day we decided to try Corn meal mush because we were about green from eating oatmeal!!! No amount of sugar,syrup or powdered milk could make the stuff taste edible!! LOL man we swore that stuff off for good and havnt touched it since!! Some people say they love the stuff ,they can have it. Streamweaver

12-04-2003, 05:55
with drawn

12-04-2003, 09:00
Breakfast on my last trip.

I like Pop Tarts brand pastries. Well, on the trail anyway, but that is another story. So, I bought several boxes of Quaker "tostables" for this trip. I didn't taste them till the second morning of the trip, "Oh my god" were they awful. I thought It was just me that day. But 5 days later in Hotsprings, & 5 days after that in Erwin when I opened my mail drops, they still tasted nasty to me. I took a bite in Erwin, and had to spit it out. I left them in the hikers box both times.

I ended up eating candy bars for breakfast for the 14 days of my trip.

Lesson learned, try everything before you pack it, or at least before buying a large amount of whatever.


12-04-2003, 12:00
Ah, now that brings back a memory... Our very first meal on our thruhike. We did the approach trail, and were staying at Springer Shelter. My wife's (then GF) father is this health nut, and he was really worried that we were going to poison ourselves eating mac and cheese, and all that "super-processed chemical food." So he gave us this freeze-dried potato soup thing. Well, it turns out, I think it was just the BASE for a soup. It had potatos, powdered milk and a few dried veggies in it. NO spices, no salt, no nothing. Tasted like cardboard. And it make a FULL 2 liters of food. My wife and I choked down as much as we could, and had to pack out the rest. Well, anyway, it's that night that was funny, because we both had the worst gas EVER! I mean, every 2-5 minutes we were farting, and super loud (and the pain was unbearable!). We were up on the loft, and my brother, wild child, and Skeletor (Misha back then) and a few others were down below. Well, of course I couldn't tell everyone the next morning that it wasn't just me, but my wife was a major contributor. Wild child really tried to get the trail name "Putter" to stick, but I fought it every inch of the way. It wasn't my fault!

The second worst was another meal from good old dad-in-law (do I ever learn?) that was freeze dried scrambled eggs. Oh man, hard to cook over a whisper-burn. We made that for lunch on day, but couldn't stomach it at all. Burnt scrambled eggs are just NO good!

Gravity Man

The Solemates
12-04-2003, 13:54
When I was little my dad used to make me eat Vienna Sausages for dinner. On one trip, after a couple of days of this, I puked em all up. Consequently, I have never, and will never, eat them again.

max patch
12-04-2003, 14:06
One morning when making coffee I somehow poured white gas into my pot instead of water. My mistake became very obvious shortly thereafter.

12-04-2003, 15:45
poured white gas into my pot instead of water
An almost terminal example of someone who isn't awake until they have their morning cuppa!

12-05-2003, 01:46
One morning when making coffee I somehow poured white gas into my pot instead of water. My mistake became very obvious shortly thereafter.

I'm sorry, but my response was to ROTFLMAO.
My wife is mad at you, I woke her up :bse

Thanks, I needed that.

I hope I don't repeat that mistake, my (very clear, looks like water) alcohol is in a regular looking water bottle, yes it has a warning label on it, but as I aint a morning person,,,,,,,,,,, :eek:


12-05-2003, 15:29
Worst Trail Meal that I didn't make: On my first hiking trip with a girl guide group whoever was cooking put way too much pasta in the pot with too little water. It just turned into a starchy-gluey mess. I don't know what it tasted like because I just went to bed.

Worst Meal that I made: Instant pudding without milk powder. Tasted awful.

Two Speed
12-05-2003, 18:11
I'm big on dumplings and soup, so I tried to figure out how to make them for myself on the trail. Perfect winter trail meal as far as I'm concerend. I always do new recipes at home first, so that I don't screw up a perfectly good meal on the trail.

Well, after a little fooling around, I figured out how to make a passable dumpling at home on the stove in the kitchen, then worked out the details on my trail stove. Next trip, I'm good to go, right? :banana

Pack up for five days, get out in the woods good, and on the second night, I decide to treat myself to some soup and dumplings. Get the pot boiling, add the soup mix, mix up the dough, turn down the flame real low and spoon in the dumplings. Simmer for ten to twelve minutes and I'm ready to eat. :D

When I took the lid off the pot, I found baby blue dumplings swimming around in this grayish slop. I'd clean forgotten that starch and iodine turn blue. Guess who was "going chemical" that trip? :datz Didn't affect the taste, but there is something about baby blue dumplings in a gray soup that just didn't appeal.

Moral: when making dumplings, use a water filter.