View Full Version : What was the BEST trail meal you ever made?

12-06-2003, 00:30
In response to Kerosene's Worst Poll, what was the BEST on the trail meal you ever had/made?
Same rules: not freeze dried, unless you altered it dramaticly. And probably "trail angel meals" shouldn't count.

Mine was on the last night of this year's section hike. I had 3 cheese Rotini (Lipton I think) 2 packs of cheese flavored grits and a pack of starkist Tuna & about 1 Oz Olive oil. I made a "tuna casserole" by mixing it all together. It turned out to be (Nearly so) the best meal I have ever had, on or off the trail. Dessert was a Reeces fast break candy bar. All washed down with orange flavored Gatorade. :clap


12-06-2003, 00:46
My best trail meal was 2 rainbow trout I had caught that day with stove top stuffing(chiken flavor lol) and baked beans. Desert was butterscotch pudding complete with skeeter topping! Streamweaver

12-08-2003, 11:09
did up a lipton noodle side (alfredo i think) added a foil pouch of cooked chicken, whenit was done thickened with 3 or 4 tablespoons of instant potato buds. taste was very much like grammy's pot pie. kid's have even started requesting it at home. I like it best with a lot of black pepper.

12-08-2003, 11:32
On a winter hike near Mt Rogers I brought along heavy cream and fresh parmesan to make an actual alfredo sauce. Added some fresh brocolli and cauliflower to make an outstanding fettucine primavera alfredo. Was too stuffed for desert, but I used the extra heavy cream to make chocolate pudding in the morning. No problem staying fueled that weekend.

snuffy smith
12-08-2003, 13:07
I get miniture bagles and make a sandwich with pepperoni and cup of ramon soup.It cant get much quicker easier or tastier than that.

12-08-2003, 13:09
Lipton Cajun Rice with these additions: a diced up Jalapeno, some pepperjack cheese, and a few slices of pepperoni. Spicy and greasy. MMMM!!!
Also, as an addition to about any noodle dish I chop up a clove of garlic and saute it in some squeeze butter or olive oil. Then dump the water in and cook like normal.

12-08-2003, 15:13
I used to carry either a Zuchinni or a squash with me. Nothing beats tuna, zuchinni, and either a Lipton or Idahoan Fully Baked mashed potatoes!

12-08-2003, 15:23
I took a half pound of very lean ground sirloin and browned it in a skillet using A1 steak sauce as a marinade. I poured off what little fat there was and then dried it in my dehydrator. I added that to a Lipton Beef Stroganoff meal and the rest was history ...

12-08-2003, 18:09
fresh wild blueberry pancakes with honey...Hot Tea..

or maybe fresh picked blackberries with dumplings..

and I like my organic rainbow spiral noddles with curried lentils, carrot and onion.

Rain Man
12-08-2003, 18:47
Best trail meal I've had so far has to be campfire pizza. Hot (good on cool evenings) and spicy (compared to many bland instant dishes).

Put a 7" pizza crust (you can buy them in packages at your local grocery store) in a fry pan (for me, my pot "lid" is a fry pan). Before putting in a crust, put in a couple of tablespoons of water (to create steam to melt the cheese).

Spread some pizza sauce on the crust (you can buy this in clear plastic packets along with the crusts), then put some pre-sliced pepperoni on top (also can buy with the crusts). Finally, sprinkle shreaded cheese on top.

Cover the pan and put on the fire. The water steams, melts the cheese, and then evaporates. I like my crust just a bit crispy ... in fact, ours were a tad burned and that tasted just right to us.

Hot and TASTY!!!

12-08-2003, 18:55
Best trail meal I've had so far has to be campfire pizza. Hot (good on cool evenings) and spicy (compared to many bland instant dishes).

Put a 7" pizza crust (you can buy them in packages at your local grocery store) in a fry pan (for me, my pot "lid" is a fry pan). Before putting in a crust, put in a couple of tablespoons of water (to create steam to melt the cheese).

Spread some pizza sauce on the crust (you can buy this in clear plastic packets along with the crusts), then put some pre-sliced pepperoni on top (also can buy with the crusts). Finally, sprinkle shreaded cheese on top.

Cover the pan and put on the fire. The water steams, melts the cheese, and then evaporates. I like my crust just a bit crispy ... in fact, ours were a tad burned and that tasted just right to us.

Hot and TASTY!!!

What????!!!??? NO Wasabi Peas???!!!????

09-01-2004, 23:23
The best fancy trail meal I accidently made on the trail was using the Pesto Pizza mix and my brand new, at the time, Ultralite Outback Oven outfit. I couldn't get the pizza to fit in the pan, so I folded the edges up and over the top. It seemed like a calzone.

Next time, I tried packaged Jiffy Pizza dough mix and a small frozen tub of Pesto sauce I carried. I added a small amount of bits of crumbled feta cheese. This became my favorite pizza of all time, at home or on the trail.

It is best, using a yeasty-flavored pizza dough that bubbles during baking, then, makes a crust. The entire effect is a dry-topping pizza: very good. I make this from scratch, now. I purchase a strong-flavored fancy packaged yeast.

I want to try some of the meal ideas here.


SGT Rock
09-02-2004, 06:32
Rare steak with bell pepers and fresh bagget. A little burbon to drink with it.

hiker dude
09-02-2004, 06:57
But I refuse to play, is that OK? Cause you know Freeze dried food is the tastiest. So why play games?,,,, its also 20X lighter,,,,20X easyer to prepare,,,, saves fuel and just as cheap in #10 bulk cans?????????????:) Be prepared.

My point is; You do your thing, I'll do mine.

09-02-2004, 09:50
Best? Grilled fresh trout, grits and coffee for breakfast.

Dances with Mice
09-02-2004, 10:37
My suppers are normally boil a bag of something, add a pouch of something else, and an extra pinch of this or that.

On my last trip I liked two particular combinations enough to note in my journal that I wouldn't mind serving either at home.

One is Idahoan brand 'Loaded Baked' flavored mashed potatoes made with powdered milk, olive oil, and a foil pouch of chicken. This was also eaten after a LONG, tiring day and part of the appeal may have been the simplicity - boil water, stir in stuff, let it sit a few minutes, then eat from the pot. Wash the pot by adding more water and heating a little to make potato soup. In camp, I mean, maybe not at home.

The second was really tasty - just Lipton "Asian Side" Sweet and Sour Noodles with a foil pouch of Lemon-Pepper flavor Tuna and a couple healthy dashes of Tobasco. I've made this for lunch a few times, it's really good.

I saw in the store last night that Lipton has introduced a lot more new flavors, "Fiesta Sides" or something. Looks interesting but I'm on the Sunnova Beach (S. Beach) Diet. Low carbs and all that.

09-02-2004, 12:05
I made rice noodles with a spicy thai peanut sauce(curry, peanut butter, sesame seeds, oil, water). Of course now that I have the jetboil i am limited to boiling stuff. No more tuna quesadillas.

Rain Man
09-02-2004, 13:40
Best? Grilled fresh trout, grits and coffee for breakfast.

TDale, may I please hike with you?!!!!!!!!!!
Rain Man


09-02-2004, 13:51
Next time I'm going to the Conasauga I'll let you know.

09-02-2004, 14:33
and I like my organic rainbow spiral noddles with curried lentils, carrot and onion.
You must shop at Whole Foods there in Atlanta. Nothing like that here in Huntspatch.

09-02-2004, 15:00
Best meal I ever made was when I made myself stop at the Long Trail Inn in Vermont for Guinness stew. :cool:

09-02-2004, 17:57
I was hiking through the GSMNP and had turned in for the night at Silers Bald shelter. Some hikers came in late to the shelter and whipped up a batch of chicken burritos. They offered me the left overs and I jumped outta my bag faster than a cheetah. I ate three burritos before my eyes blinked. Man, that was some good eatin !

09-02-2004, 18:08
Well ...this doesn't speak very well for my taste in foods but last year I took a packet of ramen, a foil pack of chicken and some stove top stuffing mix and the rest is history. No claims for originality but on a cold night in Maine it was easy, warmed my innards and was down right tasty.

AT 2003

Rift Zone
09-02-2004, 19:20
Trout Potato Stew:

one recently living trout
enough mash potato mix for nice texture
sundried tomatoes
chunk o cheddar
dab of sesame oil
pinches of enhanced Italian seasoning.

That beat out the fried trout / rice dish I ate above 10,000 feet on my way up Mt. Shasta. Trout in base camp... I got to know everyone real quick. :jump

09-27-2004, 23:06
You must shop at Whole Foods there in Atlanta. Nothing like that here in Huntspatch.

sometimes I shop at WHOLE FOODS..do most of my shopping at Sevananada
food Co-op.

new addition to my best trail meal...pancakes with wild cranberry compote, and french-pressed organic peruvian coffee.

Jack Straw
09-30-2004, 23:28
ribeye steak with a baked potatoe, only problem was keeping the steak refrigerated until it was cooked, i rigged up a "cooler" made out of 2 ziplock bags and some ice

10-01-2004, 09:14
something I learned long ago: pre-make foods (chili, steaks, etc) and freeze them in a ziplock. That way when hiking, it actually thaws out and especially on warmer days by the time the cooksite is ready so is the food! Re-heat and serve.

Jack Straw
10-01-2004, 13:32
^ great idea, thanks.

Jack Tarlin
10-01-2004, 14:27
Trail Thanksgiving, or the best trail meal I know:

(This works best your first night outta town, when you're willing to carry some extra stuff. Also, you can split up the cost and weight amongst two or three folks)

*Turkey (Large can of breast meat)
*Stuffing Mix
*Mashed Potatoes
*Gravy (From powder mix)
*Green peas
*Cranberries (Jellied Ocean Spray and not that awful whole berry stuff!)
*Butter. Lotsa butter.
*Apple of Pecan Pie

The idea is that with 2 or 3 folks participating, you can get several stoves going at once, and you've got all the pots you need.

The veggies and gravy are fairly self-explanatory. For the main course:

1.Get large can of turkey breast or several small cans
2.Heat up water in sufficient quantity to make big pot of stuffing
3.Add a little powdered milk so you're effectively heating the turkey in
milk and not water
4.Throw in whatever you've got for spices, I suggest Salt, pepper, garlic
powder, onion powder at the least
5.Add stuffing mix to pot, and cook according to stuffing box directions. If
you've got a real onion, chop up some and throw that in
6. Add a shot of butter or margarine if you've got it.
7. Throw in a cap of Jim Beam if you've got it.
8. While turkey/stuffing mix is finishing up, get your vegetables going on your
other stoves. If you run out of pots, you can use the turkey can as a mini
pot to make your gravy in.
9. Have a smoke and a shot while everything is finishing. Enjoy the stares,
glares, and horrified glances from folks stuck eating Ramen, lentils, Kitten a
la King, or other assorted hiker glop
10. Assuming you've used a big can of turkey, a whole can or box of corn and
peas, lots of spuds, and a whole box of stuffing mix, this'll make dinner
for a whole lotta people
11.Bring an extra can of cranberry sauce; for some reason, there's never

In any case, this was our "First Day Outta Town" meal a lot of times. With 3 stoves going, prep time for everything is about fifteen minutes. All you need after is some southbounder to fetch water, do the washing up, and pack out the cans. Bon appetit!

10-01-2004, 15:02
dehydrated favorite toppings.
put in OVEN bag.
bought knorrs(?) tom/spagh sauce packet
foccacia (or the like; not as heavy as you think)
at camp: threw everything -except bread- in oven bag. added boiling water. tie up and mix by fondling. meanwhile, warm bread (fire, stove, sit on it)-easy if wrapped in foil.
pour over bread or use as dip. have yet to wash it down with beer (difficult to dehydrate)...

mama combat
10-01-2004, 17:46
I dehydrated a mixture of pumpkin pie filling, mashed bananas, crushed pinneapple and pecans. Combined with dehydrated applesauce. Created a layered roll up that was so good I had to force myself to pack it in my sons food support box.

11-26-2004, 02:02
The best trail meal for me?

Anything with cous cous, people never seem to know about it, but it cooks quick, and will take on or complement the taste of everything. Try it in the morning with your hot coco, i poor some in my cup as i am setting things down, drink the top hot coco, and get a bunch of hot coco flavored cous cous for breakfast (can do this with other drinks too, i've also done it with plain oatmeal) Or just mix it with enough water to cook it, and put in some tofu, good, quick, nutriate rich fuel to start your day.

But the best way to eat cous cous.... buy (cooked) or cook some meat in town and freeze it. I usually use beef and chicken, season any way you would like. Freeze before taking on the trail (so it stays good durring the day). Bring along some veggies, i usually use carrots and brocoli. Put the coucous in your cup, then the meat, then the vegies. Add boiling water and wait long enough for the cous cous to finish cooking (just 2-5 mins) Mix, and eat.

cous cous has to be one of the ultimate awesome backpacking foods...

ed bell
08-30-2006, 17:17
I was browsing through the cooking threads and decided to bring this thread back. I've gotta say that my best meal was a large ribeye marinated in a ziplock and pan fried. Side of potatoes and gravy. Think we had some veggies too, but I can't remember what. I LOVE backpacking in the cooler weather, because the food options increase a lot if the temp stays under the 60 deg range. Since I take my skillet (pretty light considering) on most of my backpacking trips, I like to get a bit elaborate on meals from time to time. I mean hey, who doesn't love some bacon, eggs and cheese grits every once and again?:)

the goat
08-30-2006, 19:10
i packed a massive steak & some pork chops out of big island (i think?) w/ potatoes and onions, a roll of tin foil & a six-pack of tall boys. built a huge fire in the woods on the other side of the james river. after eating & polishing off my last tall boy (it was easily 10pm), i saw flashlights coming at me through the woods. as i grabbed for my knife, 5 volunteer firemen appeared around my fire.
apparently b/c of the drought of '01 fires were banned & some drivers on the road (on the north side of the river) called them freaking out at the sight of the blaze.
they were great guys though and we all had a good laugh.

max patch
08-30-2006, 19:36
My wife and I had Thanksgiving dinner in the Blood Mtn Shelter probably 20 years ago. Turkey and dressing, mashed potatoes and gravy, cranberries, pumpkin pie. Bushmills afterwards. Carried up one of those "sawdust" logs and had a fire in the fireplace.

08-30-2006, 19:41
Smoked Trout I got at that new trout farm/hostel in Hiawasee, aged in my pack for several days, served cold for an appetizer.

For the main course, two nests of angel hair pasta with fresh cut little onions and some seasoning that came with the trout, blended carefully with a little more of the smoked trout into the pasta for flavor topped with a drizzle of olive oil and a generous pinch of pine nuts.

That trout was incredible and was still nice and cool in my pack after two days (March), incredibly delicious and I shared a few pieces of trout with several hikers at the shelter, didn't get a complaint! ;-)

08-30-2006, 19:53
Make 1 pkg Idahoan buttery potatoes. Put to the side in your plate.
Rehydrate dried 3 oz hamburger, 1 oz each dried carrots, dried corn, and dried peas. Drain. Make Lawry's brown gravy (1/2 packet) with cold water and stir with hamburger mix. Heat until gravy is thick. Pour over potatoes. YUM!!!! (Serves 3):banana

Just Jeff
08-30-2006, 20:00
Man, some of you guys go all out!

My best meal was a rabbit during survival training. At first we boiled them b/c it keeps the nutrients, but that got old pretty quick. On day 4 or so I just laid the hind legs directly on the coal bed. Flipped it over in a few minutes. Yum.

Far surpassed the liver cabbage soup we had at the partisan camps!

But I don't usually get fancy out in the woods. For me the best meal is the simplest thing that fills my belly and still tastes ok.

08-30-2006, 20:07
On our first backpacking trip, in 1993, I brought one of those shake-up pancake mixes, some dried strawberries, and a tiny nalgene bottle of real maple syrup. I had a small non-stick frying pan and a little spatula, too. Okay, so we were carrying WAY too much stuff, but breakfast was really good!

08-30-2006, 20:26
Excellent thread to be resurrected....

I love to cook - and on the trail I love to cook for friends. Probably the best meal I have ever cooked was on a trip over New Years in 1996. It was my first trip on the AT in winter conditions (which made carrying the ice cream easier). We had:

Sauteed Filet Mignon with rosemary
Asparagus with lemon pepper and olive oil (cooked on parchment paper)
Garlic mashed potatoes (OK - these were instant potatoes but the garlic was fresh) with butter and cream cheese
and for desert - Banannas Foster over Bryers French Vanilla ice cream

I am getting hungry just talking about this :D

08-30-2006, 21:54
Live Lobsta in the ski lift tower on top of Sugarloaf! complete with wine, baked potato and candles. Beats cous cous every time!

08-30-2006, 22:03
Just north of Muir Pass, freshly caught Golden Trout fried in butter peas and rice----2nd place ---Baqqettes and butter just for you LW

the goat
08-30-2006, 22:06
all the talk of trout reminds me of the close second, when a man fishing with his daughter gave me and a friend 2 very large rainbows when crossing the nolichucky river....great dinner.

08-30-2006, 22:09
Wish I'd thought of this myself, but a good friend mailed me this:

box of Zatarin's Gumbo mix
1 small can of oysters
small ziploc full of dried ocra, onions and herbs
minute rice

bon' ton roule'

Just Jeff
08-30-2006, 22:38
..and on the trail I love to cook for friends...

Wanna go hiking, friend? :D

08-30-2006, 23:04
Wanna go hiking, friend? :D

Lets go! Just be warned, if I'm packing the kitchen then the others have to help with my gear! :D:D

Just Jeff
08-31-2006, 10:49
Fair enough. 'Cept I'm in California at the moment!

ed bell
09-01-2006, 16:16
One year I went on along weekend on the day after Thanksgiving. I had leftovers stored in those Gladware throwaway containers. 1st night in camp I combined turkey, stuffing, mashed potatoes and homemade gravey in my large cookpot. Reheated and fed for of us. Just remembered that special meal.:sun

09-01-2006, 19:06
It was a box of generic macaroni and cheese prepared in the dark just outside Baxter State Park.

09-01-2006, 19:15
When I worked with GMC, a Brattleboro Section member prepared lobster and fresh salad for the Long Trail Patrol. Needless to say, we liked working with the Brattleboro Section!:)