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View Full Version : Trail Meals - What Works, What Doesn't



The Weasel
09-04-2002, 14:19
Short thoughts, and if anyone cares, I'll expand on them:

BEST OVERALL TRAIL FOOD (COOKED): Yellow grits, which are NOT "yellow corn meal". In Italy, they're called "Polenta" and are a delicacy. Definite amounts of protein, and the best dry-to-water ratio of any dried carb. Rice/potatoes/pasta are 1 cup water to 1 cup ingredient = 2 cups food...for grits it is 1.5 cups water to .5 cups grits = 2 cups food. Same food value in calories. Mix with powdered cheese, gravy mixes, bacon bits, etc.

BEST OVERALL TRAIL FOOD (UNCOOKED): Foilpack tuna packed in oil. High in calories for weight, tasty (swipe some pepper packets from Ronny Mac's to flavor it), helps repack salts into your body.

BEST TASTY PREPARED PASTA/RICE BRAND: Knorr's, more expensive than Lipton Noodles or Lipton Rice, better pasta, REAL flavor (not just salt). Same weight.

BEST COOKED BREAKFAST: Real (not "instant") oatmeal with handful of home-dried (VERY easy) tropical fruit cocktail (pineapple, guava, stuff like that) thrown in during cooking.

BEST UNCOOKED BREAKFAST: Chocollate Cap'n Crunch, mashed to crumbs, mixed with dried milk, put in small ziploc, just add water, go on sugar-freakout in 5 minutes. (I nearly RAN up some hills until my sugar jones wore down!)

DUMBEST MEAL EVER (FOUR WAY TIE): (1) Anything canned. (2) Anything that takes more than 1 pot. (3) Anything that takes longer than 15 minutes. (4) So called "MREs"; hey are NOT backpacking meals, are wildly expensive, heavy and of dubious taste.

GREATEST WASTED EFFORT: Doing home dehydrating for any meals after 250 miles. After that, you just don't give a damn about what you're eating, and Lipton Noodles With Creamy Alfredo Sauce is just super swell, can I borrow some of your tabasco to burn my guts out a little, and go to sleep, please?

MOST USEFUL MEAL ADDITION: Sun dried tomatoes, chopped, from grocery section of supermarkets. Cheap, already dried, chewy (actually good in nutty trail mix, too), they provide some texture to chew on and some nice flavor if you need that. (Texture gets real important after a while, when you get tired of oatmeal and pasta and can't really tell the difference between them in the dark.)

MOST OVERDONE FOOD NEED: Protein, usually in meat form, which is heavy unless dried. Dietary needs for "normal" life are about 30 grams (that's ONE OUNCE, folks, of red meat, cooked weight, or 1/4 of a "Quarter pounder" DAILY!). On the trail, 60 grams is probably somewhat excessive. Protein isn't "stored" as converted-to-fat excess carbs are, but just excreted. So if you use more than you need, it's just wasted effort. If you dry hamburger (ask for my recipe, VERY easy for real or soy substitute), that means one ounce is enough for the DAY.

MOST UNDERDONE FOOD NEED: Vitamins. While Lipton's Noodles may be one of the four basic food groups on the trail (the others are Cheeseburgers, Beer, and Ben & Jerry's, none of which are available outside of trail towns/road crossings), they do not contain enough vitamins and minerals. Carry a supplement and take daily.

CHEAPEST WAY TO GET ADDITIONAL CALORIES (ON TRAIL): Roll into a campground, parking lot, or other places where civilians are. Look sweaty. Wave your poles a little bit. Sit down somewhere, but not on the ground. Wait for someone to ask, "Are you a thruhiker?" As you answer incredibly stupid questions ("Is it hard?" "Where is the rest of your stuff?" "Do you want to have sex with me?"), stare a little at the food they are eating. Then continue doing your Jellystone Park routine. This is called "Yogi-ing." Trust me. It works.

CHEAPEST WAY TO GET ADDITIONAL CALORIES (OFF TRAIL): ALWAYS go to ANY "AYCE" listed in the guidebooks and almost ANY "Shoney's. All-you-can-eat places will recognize you (it's even more fun with a couple of friends) as the locusts you are, seat you somewhere apart from real humans, and try to ignore the fact that you have stayed for 3 hours and are still eating. (This is NOT an exaggeration. One thruhiker I know was asked to leave the Gatlinburg Shoney's at 11 AM after arriving at 7:30, when he essentially eliminated his third serving tray of bacon (I estimate it as about 80 slices) and they were bringing in the lunch trays for real, paying (i.e. maybe a second helping of chicken) customers.)

BEST OVERALL TRAIL MEAL: Extra large pizza, with pepperoni, sausage, green peppers, mushrooms, onions, and olives, delivered to Partnership Shelter in Mt Rogers (VA) recreation area. Damn. Oink.

WORST OVERALL TRAIL MEAL: None. After a while, it all tastes the same.


OK, folks, ask/comment/argue/*****, whatever.




"Well a promise made, is a debt unpaid, and the Trail has its own stern code." -- Robert Service

SGT Rock
09-04-2002, 20:37
Well as a southerner I can say I don't like plain grits either. But if you add some tobasco and butter - mmmmmmm!

Now my votes:

BEST OVERALL TRAIL FOOD (COOKED): Lipton's Minestrone soup mix made with 1/2 the required amount of water. This rocks, especially if you have some left over yeast roles that an AYCE let you carry away in a doggy bag. BTW, yeast rolls smash easy, but still taste great after a couple of days in a zip lock!

BEST OVERALL TRAIL FOOD (UNCOOKED) 2 way tie: Re-hydrated ramen (just add 8 ounces cold water about 1 hour before eating), parmesan cheese, dried veggies, and lots of Itallian dressing. Makes no-cook Itallian pasta salad. Lots of callories and good for you if you use olive oil in the dressing. The second is instant pudding for desert, a little powdered whole milk and 1/2 box of instant pudding - mmmmm.

BEST TASTY PREPARED PASTA/RICE BRAND: I agree with Knorrs. They make other stuff too - good soups, etc.

BEST COOKED BREAKFAST: Omlets. Not easy to carry, but a couple of eggs, some sausage, and cheese cook up fine in a hikers pot!

BEST UNCOOKED BREAKFAST: I like granola and dried fruits mixed.

DUMBEST MEAL EVER: MREs and canned food.

GREATEST WASTED EFFORT: anything that cannot be cooked by just boiling water or cooking it straight for about 10 minutes or less - omlets and steaks work on day one from re-supply!

MOST USEFUL MEAL ADDITION: #1 Olive Oil! It makes everything taste better, adds 240 callories per fluid ounce, and weighs LESS than one ouncer per fluid ounce. AND it is mono-unsaturated fat - so its good for you. #2 Mashed potato flakes. I love them. Good for thickening a lot of meals. You can add meat, noodles, cheese, gravy packets, etc. Sticks to your ribs like nobody's buisness.

MOST OVERDONE FOOD NEED: I sort of diagree with weasel here. I read an excellent article from a Phd that said men need about 1 gram of protien per Kg of body weight when doing stuff like hiking. That means I need 70 grams for my 155 pound frame. But you can get protien from tasty and light sources if you read lables. I don't normally eat more than one ounce of jerky a day, but I eat dehydrated re-fried beans, cornmeal or grits (they have some too), and other sources. If you read the lables you will see you are already getting a good bit. I suspect the reason one ounce of Weasels dried hamburger (very tasety BTW) is good enough is because it isn't the sole source of protien.

MOST UNDERDONE FOOD NEED: I totally agree with vitamens. One 0.1 ounce vitamen pill can work wonders for you.

CHEAPEST WAY TO GET ADDITIONAL CALORIES (ON TRAIL): BEG! Or sift through hiker boxes.

CHEAPEST WAY TO GET ADDITIONAL CALORIES (OFF TRAIL): All you can eat, AKA AYCE! If they have yeast rolls, take some with you!

BEST OVERALL TRAIL MEAL: My best was two large pizzas and about three beers in Dahlonega, GA after comming off the trail!

WORST OVERALL TRAIL MEAL: Somthing that made you sick after eating it.

The Weasel
09-04-2002, 21:49
"I read an excellent article from a Phd that said..."

Hey Sarge! If you believe everything that a PhD says, I've got some nice "land" in some of them Loosey-anna bayous that you might want to buy from me, after the tide goes out!

Only good things about the 1gram of protein per kg of weight are (a) it keeps the beef industry healthy and (b) it's no harm, since the excess protein (expensive, too) is just excreted; unlike carbs, protein won't turn into fat. Wasted weight, though.

The Weasel

SGT Rock
09-04-2002, 21:54
LOL, I totally agree there.

I have an Aunt with a PhD who constantly tells me it doesn't mean anything except that she is very educated in one very narrow area.

But since I'm an NCO, I know EVERYTHING!

The Weasel
09-04-2002, 22:29
"I'm an NCO, I know EVERYTHING!"

And woe betide the officer who doubts it!

The Weasel

SGT Rock
09-04-2002, 22:38
Damn straight. And God help me if i ever need a lawyer! He couldn't tell me anthing.

but really, I think this is an excellent article:

PACK LIGHT, EAT RIGHTę by Dr. Brenda L. Braaten PhD, RD. (http://www.frc.mass.edu/bbraate/packlite/index.htm)

It is very detailed but divided into easily digestible sections. It sort of confirmed what I had learned over a few years living in the field. It's where I got the notion about protein.

Weeknd
09-09-2002, 17:13
I agree about reading the Brenda Braaten article. I think it is well done. I know little about nutrition so maybe I'm just easily impressed.

I would like to ask 2 questions for this thread of the forum:

1. What are your favorite/work well supermarket foods or combination of foods for meals? (Someone in the old forum mentioned that they mainly use supermarket foods that require simmering)

2. What are your favorite one pot meals? My hiking pard and I have swap out who plans and carries food and have a one pot meal requirement.

I will be interested to hear your suggestions. We usually carry canned meat, but usually are only out for 2-3 nights so packing the cans and liquid aren't as big a burden. I am planning to try Weasel's dry hamburger when the weather cools off here in Alabama.

Weekend

Peaks
09-09-2002, 18:36
Typical backpacking fare is Liptons rice and sauce or noodles and sauce or mac & cheese for dinner. Both require about 10 minutes of boiling water. Protein is usually from hard cheeses or tuna in a pouch (3 oz size). Keep it simple.

Ramen noodles is also popular.

wacocelt
09-09-2002, 18:47
My favorite hot meal while hiking...
2 packs crushed ramen
small hand full of salted peanuts
2 table spoons black bean or corn chowder soup <dehydrated>
generous 'splash' of olive oil into the water just after it begins to boil, followed by a few shakes of tabasco.
Add the soup, stir well then add the pasta.
I personally prefer my ramen dry and chewy so use less than the recommended 'soup' amount of water the package suggests.

Matter of fact, now that I mention it, I may just have to go make myself a pot o ramen now.:p

SGT Rock
09-09-2002, 18:55
Liptons Lo Mein Noodles. Very easy too cook. Very tasty. One package makes plenty.

Ramen. As a meal, as a base of a meal, works great. One packet of ramen, two cups of water, some powdered milk, powdered butter, potato flakes, and some tobasco.

Liptons makes a lot of package meals that are perfect size for one hiker. My very favorite is Liptons Minestrone soup, although the package says to make it with 4 cups of water, make it with just two for a VERY thick and tastey soup.

Liptons rice dishes work well too.

I think the key is to just walk up and down every isle and read the boxes of all the dried foods. You may be amazed what you can find like dehydrated refried beans - that and some cheese, dehydrated hamburger, tobasco, and tortillas can make a mexican feast, but make sure you leave a lot of room around you at night so as to not offend!

The Weasel
09-09-2002, 22:46
Zatarain New Orleans-style rice mixes and pasta mixes are probably the best quality, nicest pastas and flavors, with the possible exception of Knorr.

chris
09-10-2002, 14:33
Knorr Extra Hot and Spicy Soup ("Yellow Pouch"). You have to look in Asian grocery stores for this one. It has quite a bit more punch that the "Red Pouch". I can take the heat, but even watered down with twice the amount of water, it still has zing. Great for winter trips. Or July trips in the North, for that matter.

Chickenfeet
10-10-2002, 13:57
Originally posted by The Weasel

MOST OVERDONE FOOD NEED: Protein, usually in meat form, which is heavy unless dried. Dietary needs for "normal" life are about 30 grams (that's ONE OUNCE, folks, of red meat, cooked weight, or 1/4 of a "Quarter pounder" DAILY!).


This quote shows what may be a common misconception about nutrition information. Here I go at trying to fix it. It's important that everyone recognize the distinction between grams of protein and grams of protein containing food.

Yes, 30 grams is equivalent to about an ounce. So, yes, that means that a 1/4 of a "Quarter Pounder" should weigh in at about 30 grams. (actually, i don't think it does because quarter pounder refers to the uncooked weight, but anyway)

30 GRAMS OF MEAT IS ****NOT**** EQUIVALENT TO 30 GRAMS OF PROTEIN.

A WHOLE quarter pounder actually contains only 23 grams of protein.

http://www.mcdonalds.com/countries/usa/food/nutrition_facts/sandfries/index.html

So a 1/4 of a quarter pounder has less than 6.

There's a lot of information available on nutrition and probably more than just a couple different opinions on how much protein we need each day. Some people say 30 grams, some people say 1 gram/kg body weight, and I'm sure there are other guidelines as well. But whatever guideline you decide to follow, remember that grams of protein is not the same of grams of high protein food!

okay. that's all.
byebye!

Peaks
10-10-2002, 16:36
I'm convienced that good nutrition is probably overlooked by the majority of thru-hikers. Everybody talks about gear, but hardly anyone talks about nutrition.

So, strawberry, if you can give us some good guidelines, we will all the be wiser.

About the only thing I came to realize was 4000 calories per day.

Easyhiker
12-09-2002, 20:29
Just bringing this topic out of the inactive in 30 day

Colter
01-18-2003, 11:36
This was a very good discussion of trail foods. I got some great ideas here. Thanks!

SGT Rock
01-18-2003, 11:52
Updating my suggestions.

Based on the advise of others I went out and found some Spanish Extra Virgin Olive Oil. WOW, great taste. I love to dip tortillas into it.

Also, I should have mentioned tortillas in my suggestions. You can wrap just about anything in them and it tastes good. Whole wheat tortillas are the best.

Moose2001
01-18-2003, 12:05
I agree First Sergeant. Tortillas are great. They pack well, they are already "smooshed" down, and they don't seem to mold. I carry a package of both the small and the large size. The small ones are great for lunch. I fill them up with peporoni and cheese, shoot a little mustard on it and if I can find one, dice a little sweet onion on it. Yummmmm. I also found packets of mayo and relish in bulk this year. Rip open a foil pack of tuna, mix in the mayo and relish and spread it on the tortilla. Another good lunch is peanut butter and anything spread on the tortilla.

I use the large tortillas at dinner time. Lipton Rice spread inside a tortilla is a nice change. If not, a couple of tortillas with your dinner helps to fill that huge, empty hole in your stomach. Well, fill it for an hour or so.

Footslogger
01-18-2003, 13:04
Yeah, I know, they can be a bit heavy. But they're dense and nutritious and pretty indestructible. Nice thing too is that you can get them in different "flavors" to spice up an otherwise boring meal.

Kerosene
01-18-2003, 14:13
Similar to Sarge's tortillas, I've had good luck with pocket pita bread. They typically come in a large and small size, but I tend to go with the smaller version. One of my favorite lunches is to bring a small foil pack of tunafish (take a look at the lemon pepper flavor), a packet of mayo, and have a tunafish pocket pita for lunch.

PushingDaisies
01-18-2003, 20:12
I've had good luck with english muffins. It's really easy to make mini pizzas on the trail using english muffins.

smokymtnsteve
01-18-2003, 20:25
footslogger..where oh tell me where you can buy bagels near the trail??? I mean real bagels...boiled bagels!

Footslogger
01-18-2003, 21:13
You got me there Smoky. Not exaclty a bagel expert. Couldn't tell you the difference between a "real" one and an "unreal" one. Just know that a bag of 6 Lenders Bagels kept me going for severaly days in 2001.

smokymtnsteve
01-18-2003, 21:18
lenders??..those things you buy you buy frozen in a plastic bag ??..you call those bagels???..those things aren't even good bread!

Footslogger
01-18-2003, 21:25
Hey ...gimme a break there Smoky ! or better yet, give me some education on bagels. Here all this time I thought I was eating the "real thing" !!

smokymtnsteve
01-18-2003, 22:20
footslogger
GOOD BAGELs are boiled and then baked....where to buy good bagels?? ..THE BAGEL PALACE corner of lavista and clermont in Atlanta ga...and have them send them to you next day air when your in hot springs... you can also take the train into NY and pick up some decent bagels...once you have had some good boiled bagels made at a small kosher bakery nothing else can take thier place!!

Footslogger
01-18-2003, 22:31
Thanks for the info Smoky. Having lived in Atlanta for years I actually know the place you mentioned. Just never thought of doing an air-mail order on the AT.
No offense ...but I'm probably gonna stick with the Lenders. By the way, the ones I get aren't frozen

Bad Ass Turtle
01-18-2003, 22:32
My favorite meal --

At Overmountain Shelter, I cooked instant rice, rehydrated some pinto beans (these were canned pintos that we dehydrated in no time flat-- and they rehydrated so quickly), threw in some ramps dug up that day, and then salt and pepper. So tasty!

RagingHampster
01-19-2003, 05:48
Not liking Tuna Fish, Mac & Cheese, Beans, and Block Cheeses, I'm usually very limited in my protein selections while on the trail. I pack alot of peanut butter, nuts, and jerky. The former two can be used in just about a million dishes, from tortilla toppings to hot and spicy indian style sauces. To be honest, I'm still waiting for chicken's equivalent of foil packed tuna. Seeing as I eat about 2 pounds of chicken a week at home, It's one of my favorite ingredients.

BEST OVERALL TRAIL FOOD (COOKED):
Seasoned Instant Potaters.

BEST OVERALL TRAIL FOOD (UNCOOKED):
Hells Chex Mix. Make it as normal, but add cayenne pepper.

BEST TASTY PREPARED PASTA/RICE BRAND:
"Near East" Brand. Spanish Rice, Wild Rice Pilaf, Herbed Chicken Couscous. MMMMMmmmmm. Add tabasco of course.

BEST COOKED BREAKFAST:
Pancakes w/lotsa butter & real maple syrup. Add spices too.

BEST UNCOOKED BREAKFAST:
Entenmenns & Little Debbie cakes/strudel/danish/etc. Supplement with fruits & nuts.

DUMBEST MEAL EVER:
Anything which leaves you feeling hungry or unsatisfied.
Mine is Ramen supplemented meals. I think I overdosed on it.

GREATEST WASTED EFFORT:
Carrying too much. If you come out of the woods carrying food, you brought too much. Unless your 6'5 105lbs, not eating for a night won't kill you.

MOST USEFUL MEAL ADDITION:
Spices & Non-perishable fruit/veggies (onions, peppers, oranges, etc). They can make shoe-leather taste good.

MOST OVERDONE FOOD NEED:
Carbohydrates. Live a little with some veggies, meat, & fat. I look at Potatoes, Pasta, & Rice as supplements added to my other ingredients according to my level of hunger.

MOST UNDERDONE FOOD NEED:
Spices. They make food into gourmet meals. Texture & smell are important here too. Variety is indeed the spice of life.

BEST WAY TO GET ADDITIONAL CALORIES (ON TRAIL):
Burn some of your bear gut (if you have one). If not, beg like a dog at shelters. Goran Kropp (sp?) a great sweedish adventurer who recently died in a climbing accident rode is bike from sweeden to nepal, carried all his gear up everest and climbed it (essentially twice, once without oxygen), then rode the 7000 miles back home. He once said that the key is a belly. All the other adventurers freezing & hungry always asked him how he did it, he would then grab a fist full of beargut as an explanation.

BEST WAY TO GET ADDITIONAL CALORIES (OFF TRAIL):
Chicken Fingers (KFC or Friendly's) & Heinz Ketchup. Mmmmm.
Get a nice big salad, and a sunday there too. And cold Coke too!

BEST OVERALL TRAIL MEAL:
Stove-Top, Instant Spuds, Chicken, Gravy, Dried Cranberries, and Apple Pie. A Trail Thanksgiving meal. Don't forget the spices!

WORST OVERALL TRAIL MEAL:
As stated above, nothing. But often preferred on a morning over walking out of the woods with 3 pounds of grub.

Most importantly, eat what makes you feel good. If you follow someone elses menu to the 1/2 teaspoon, most likely you'll be hungry or miserable or both. Technically we all eat luxurious, as bringing a box of powerbars, pemmican, and vitamins could easily get us by. Some just like to take it to the next level :) And remember you ultra-fits, body-fat is the most efficient fuel source there is. Packs nice (for some lol), requires only body heat to use, and no prep/cook/eat time. Of course I have enough for a 2 year antarctic expedition and this is not needed hehe. Oh, and take your vitamins you babies.

PushingDaisies
01-20-2003, 14:47
Originally posted by RagingHampster
To be honest, I'm still waiting for chicken's equivalent of foil packed tuna. Seeing as I eat about 2 pounds of chicken a week at home, It's one of my favorite ingredients.




There are a few places that you can find foil packed chicken. Mountain Moma's had it this year as did most of the Walmarts with groceries. I believe the brand than was at Mt Moma's was call Sweet Sue's, but not certain.

They are out there, just more difficult to find than the tuna.

SGT Rock
01-20-2003, 14:48
I saw the foil packed chicken at the Commissary about 3 months ago. I can't remember the brand.

Footslogger
01-20-2003, 14:49
Daisies ...it exists, chicken in a foil packet that is. Just like the tuna. Was at the Super Wal-Mart the other day and saw it. They also now have salmon in those packets too

DebW
01-20-2003, 20:53
Originally posted by Moose2001
I also found packets of mayo and relish in bulk this year. Rip open a foil pack of tuna, mix in the mayo and relish and spread it on the tortilla.

Where can you find mayo packets?

SGT Rock
01-20-2003, 20:55
Some fast food joints have them. I see them a lot in convienence stores that sell sandwiches in the fridge.

Footslogger
01-20-2003, 21:01
Pretty sure Moose scored them at COSTCO

PushingDaisies
01-20-2003, 21:04
You can go some fast food places and ask them if they will sell you some packets. Most are willing to do that when you explain why you need them.

Otherwise just grab a few extra when you go to a fast food place.

Moose2001
01-21-2003, 08:56
Footslogger is correct. I found them at Costco. There are about 300 in a box (Footslogger...box is coming. Just have to get to the P.O.).

Happy
01-21-2003, 20:04
Sarge, I read your review of the Minnestrone Soup and I ran to the store to purchase some, and bought the Knorr instead of the Lipton's, because I did not write down your brand.

I used 2 cups of water instead of the 4 as to your instructions....deserves to be on every trip!!

I want to try mixing half and half with instant potatoes, instant rice, stove top stuffing and Near East couscous. Thanks for the tip!

SGT Rock
01-21-2003, 20:19
Korr is good stuff too. It's a slightly different mix, but still good. Another great one is Bear Creek. the cool thing is all three of these Ministrone soups are different but GREAT!

Bear Creek isn't as big a brand as some others, but they have some great stuff, try their tortilla soup and bean soup. They also have killer chilli, but you need canned tomato paste and fried ground beef so it doesn't work so well for hikers. I could eat that chilli all dadgum day.

Moose2001
01-21-2003, 20:34
You can also order directly from Bear Creek. I LOVE their potato soup and use it a lot in my mail drops. You can order bags or large cans. Check out their webpage.

http://www.bearcreekfoods.com/

Moose2001
01-21-2003, 20:39
As long as we're talking about where to order stuff.... If you like refried beans, check the Mexicali Rose website. Their Instant Refried beans rock. Makes a great trail dinner.

http://www.mexicalirose.com/

Happy
01-21-2003, 22:22
I recently tried the Knorr Mushroom gravey on instant rice with Knorr red bean soup mix and it was outstanding.

Also, the Knorr Tomato-Basil sauce on Ramen noodles with cheese and tobasco was very good!

Forrest Phil
01-26-2003, 11:08
I like this thread. A couple of the best and worst meals are quite funny. Two thoughts on meals come to mind. A lunch that I enyoy one or two days out of town is a whole what tortilla with sliced, fresh, just out of the skin avacado, with swiss cheese, salt and pepper. Plenty of fat, protein,carbs, and best of all, plenty of taste.

Speaking of taste, I try not to eat liptons or ramens. Finding them in a hiker box is an exception. When I do eat them I always doctor them up. To ramens I add natural peanut butter and powdered ginger. Very tasty. To liptons I used to add peperonni and sharp cheddar cheese. Now, I never leave town without fresh veggies. There are some outstanding dry products available that actually have good nutritional value. Most of the things we usually eat while hiking do not. I carry some dry staples and add them and veggies to each meal to create something different and delicious. The sundried tomatoes mentioned above have alot of flavor. I always have salt and pepper, olive oil, powdered ginger, (The candied kind tastes great when mixed into hot water), garlic, and dried hot peppers.

Some health food stores have a dried vegetarioan chili with TVP that is easy to make and tastes great. It is even better with some fresh red peppers or broccoli. Fresh spinach also works well.

Bianchi Veloce
01-29-2003, 08:45
Take your tuna pouch and add a generous amount of BBQ sauce and mix well. Man, that stuff tastes just like minced BBQ.

Lil Rebel
01-30-2003, 09:08
For the past year or so, I have been packing in the packaged "Sweet Sue Chicken". It is packaged just like the tuna. For a while they just had it in 7oz packs but now they have 7oz, 5oz, and 3oz. That is perfect to give any meal a little extra volume and taste.

I used to dislike ramens and liptons. But now I add the "Sweet Sue Chicken" and it makes it great. Could also be added to Mac and Cheese, Stuffing, Chili, or any soup.

Good stuff. I give it two thumbs up.

Btw: If you still like tuna, get the albacore. It has more calories from what I heard.

RagingHampster
01-30-2003, 15:20
Hey I need a favor. I don't have any super walmarts near where I live (the wlamarts with grocery sections), and I want to experiment with the "Sweet Sue Chicken" that comes in a foil pouch. I called walmart up, and they need a barcode number. If any of you out there have any packs of this chicken, could you post the barcode number for me, and the accompanying size (7, 5, or 3). Thanks, I'd appreciate it alot. I'm suprised none of the grocery stores around here carry it either. Then I can order a box of it for $20-$30.

Footslogger
01-30-2003, 16:34
Here ya go Hamster ...just bought 10 of the 3 oz packs last weekend. The number under the barcode is 41338 11519

Hope that helps

Happy
01-30-2003, 16:39
I just found it myself, here in Atlanta at the Kroger grocery store.
The bar code # is 41358 11519 for the 3oz foil package. Hope this helps !

Footslogger
01-30-2003, 16:42
Hey RH ...just an after thought. How many packets (and what size packets) are you getting for the $20 - $30 ? Just curious if you get a break buying it by the box

Thanks

veteran
02-06-2003, 00:34
Sweet Sue also has Ham chunks and Turkey breast in the 7 oz. foil pouch. They can be found at Walmart Super Center stores, or contact Sweet Sue Kitchens.
1-800-633-3294
The barcodes for these are:
Turkey breast-41358 50041
Ham chunks-41358 50073
Chicken breast-41358 53004

Tenderfoot
02-08-2003, 16:58
SGT Rock, do you make your own dehydrated re-fried beans.. anyhints??

SGT Rock
02-08-2003, 19:59
I do fruit and jerky, but you can get freeze dried refried beans at Wal-Mart. Mexacali Rose is the name brand.

Bad Ass Turtle
02-08-2003, 20:26
I dried canned beans (pintos) and LOVED them! With some minute rice -- very tasty. You could probably dehydrate canned refried beans pretty easily too. I tried the boxed dehydrated refried beans that Rock mentioned, but I didn't really like the taste -- I wanted the bean flavor, not so much of the spice.
And canned beans rehydrate super fast -- much faster than dried veggies.

BAT

Colter
02-08-2003, 20:58
Sra. Mexacali Rose is the Mother Therasa of refried beans. They should both be elevated to Sainthood pronto! ; )

SGT Rock
02-08-2003, 21:29
Y'all got me itching to get some refried beans, chicken foil packs, tobasco, whole wheat tortillas, and some cheese and make some killer backpacking chicken and bean burrittos. MMMMMMMM..

Dirtyoldman
02-09-2003, 05:52
Yall keep this up an Towndawg is gonna come by and start hawking titanium chef 2003 over here.

Happy
02-11-2003, 20:54
Sarge, I read your report on whole wheat tortillas and have been looking for them here in the Atlanta area, but can't find them...have seen them in the past but can't recall where?

Anyone have any suggestions?:banana

SGT Rock
02-11-2003, 21:35
I get mine at Super Wal-Mart at the end of the bread isle.

squirrel bait
08-01-2003, 13:09
First day out of town I like pancakes in the morning with heat and serve sausages. Cook a couple extra pancakes, wrap around sausage, spread peanut butter, jam. sugar or whatever, cover with syrup, wrap in something handy, lunch, snack, is ready when you are.

stickman
08-26-2003, 21:36
Hey, great post and some very useful ideas. BTW, I would like your recipe for dried hamburger. Thanks!

nightshade
10-02-2003, 17:37
Ahhhh...the military and its tobasco!

smokymtnsteve
10-02-2003, 22:56
It really not so hard to have this on the trail...just carry a non-stick fry pan and a small bottle of veg oil ...use complete pancake mix so you just add water..complete mixes can be found that are Organic whole wheat at whole foods...pick the blueberries as you go across th etopod the smokie ridge as you hike sobo in late sept and there you go ..BLUE BERRY PANCKAES ...makes a great after dinner snack to ...or for lunch!

qsilver
10-12-2003, 03:01
Not to start a huge hot sauce discussion, but I see and hear of a lot of backpackers using tabasco. The Figueroa Brothers out of Kenner, LA have an awesome line of hot sauces (a MUST try is the Habanero-garlic) as well as dried hot sauce. I buy the liquid hot sauce by the gallon and make "hot sauce leather" that i can rip off for any meal. Melindas is great because they use carrots as their base instead of vinegar. I know you love your tabasco Rock, but this stuff is worth trying..... (www.melindas.com (http://www.melindas.com) )

smokymtnsteve
10-12-2003, 10:33
Melinda's garlic Habanero is really great one of my favorites...and the hot sauce leather is a great idea...

I carry a small bottle of dried garlic and onion and then another small bottle of red pepper flakes....but i my try the melinda's garlic habanero leather..

I also grow habanero peppers in my garden..but they are mighty hot...want me to send you a few?

qsilver
10-12-2003, 19:56
Thanks for the offer smoky... 'tis the season for peppers here in Kentucky too. My co-workers have been passing bags of those suckers my way. I don't think my stomach could handle any more...:D

On another note... I was recently thinking of infusing my calorie laden olive oil with garlic or herbs to add a little flavor. Instead, I found a series of warnings from the CDC and Department of Agriculture on the subject. The skinny is that botulism occurs naturally throughout the environment - like on your garlic and herbs. Normally, the bacteria is just killed by your stomach acid since it can't produce its killer toxin in an aerobic environment. When you infuse oil with garlic; however, you have just created a PERFECT botulism terrarium. No oxygen, low acid, room temperature - all conditions that allow the bacteria to work overtime producing its killer toxin EVEN THOUGH your infused oil tastes and smells normal. Commercial producers of garlic and herb infused oils are required to either dip the garlic/herbs in an antibacterial solution or add something to make the mixture more acidic. The bottom line ::: don't infuse oils for backpacking trips, if you do at home keep them refrigerated and throw out after 10 days, don't give as gifts(what a potential nightmare), and always check labels (especially at boutiques) to ensure measures were taken to avoid botulism....

http://www.cdc.gov/ncidod/dbmd/diseaseinfo/botulism_g.htm

"Work like you don't need the money.
Love like you have never been hurt.
Dance like no one is watching."

Footslogger
10-24-2003, 15:37
Ramen noodles tend to get a pretty bad rap but on this years thru-hike I made a regular practice of carrying them for dinner. I added some Stove Top Stuffing and some 4 cheese potatoes ...and sometimes even added some honey roased cashews. The stuffing and cheese goes a long way and covered several meals. I carried the cashews as snacks anyway so they were "multi-purpose" items.

Just a thought

Cabo
10-30-2003, 00:15
Try adding some Pioneer Brand Country sausage flavor gravy mix to your Ramen noodles. It comes in a 2.75 oz pack and is pretty tasty.

I did not heed the advice and took an MRE on my last trip. It was something like Captain's Country Chicken. I had never had one before and figured that the 1200 calories would be great and it must be good (I buy swamp land too). I'll never make this mistake again as the chicken was not good. I did like the crackers and cheese as well as the M & M 's. The heated water was used to repel the ants that were more interested in the chicken than I was. The packages containing the noodles and the one containing some kind of breakfast danish went in the trash when the trip was over. At least I can say I've tried one, but will go with what I like and will try some of the stuff listed in this thread on my next trip. Did I mention the MRE cheese and crackers were good :D I figure the crackers, cheese and M & M's cost me about $2 each as the rest was a waste. I could have bought a load of tuna for that.

The Weasel
10-30-2003, 00:20
Simple message in there: MREs are not intended to be "camping food" but a meal that doesn't require a field kitchen, and hence can feed troops (or others) anywhere. Army stuff isn't necessarily backpacking stuff.

The Weasel

Cabo
10-30-2003, 00:35
I realize that...but needed an excuse to try it. My wife would have had me committed if I'd have brought one to work for lunch.

greyowl
10-30-2003, 11:34
Actually you need about 1 gm of protein per kg of body weight. The error that everyone is making is that the only source of [protein is from meat. Protein is also found in oatmeal, grits and any other grain (got to love those yeast rolls) and powder milk. The DASH Diet designed by NIH limits one to two 3 oz serving of meat a day!! On the trail I try to eat vegeterian on the trail and eat meat in town. Last section that I hiked I had vegie lasagna when I came off the trail. HMMM. I have actually though about how to prepare this item on the trail. I have tried freeze dried lasagna. Definitely worse than MRE's (Meals Rejected by Ethiopians)

Grey Owl

Skyline
11-18-2003, 00:39
Southern Staple:

Dehydrate black-eyed peas. For this purpose, frozen will do. Spice according to taste before starting the dehydrator. After dehydrated, pack into ziploc bags or vacuum-seal for longer life.

Goes great with beef ramen, is a healthy choice, makes a complete meal. On the Trail, rehydrate black-eyed peas for about 15 minutes in cold water, then boil, drop in ramen, finish cooking, add spice pack.

Eat, make Yankees drool while they eat mac-n-cheese.

cabalot
11-22-2003, 15:16
My favorite meal --

At Overmountain Shelter, I cooked instant rice, rehydrated some pinto beans (these were canned pintos that we dehydrated in no time flat-- and they rehydrated so quickly), threw in some ramps dug up that day, and then salt and pepper. So tasty!



what is a ramp?

Footslogger
11-22-2003, 15:44
A "Ramp" is a wild onion. As soon as the weather starts to warm up you can find them all along the trail. Lot's of hikers pick them as they hike by and then add them to their dinner meal.

cabalot
11-22-2003, 16:17
A "Ramp" is a wild onion. As soon as the weather starts to warm up you can find them all along the trail. Lot's of hikers pick them as they hike by and then add them to their dinner meal.

do they resemble a scallion in looks?

Footslogger
11-22-2003, 17:18
Ramps, allium tricoccum (http://memory.loc.gov/cgi-bin/query/S?ammem/cmns:@FIELD(SUBJ+@band(+ramps++allium+tricoccum++) )), are wild leeks. Thriving throughout the Appalachian range in rich, dark woodlands near mountain streams, ramps are among the first edible foods to appear in the early spring, when they pierce the gray and brown leaf mold with a spire of tightly furled, onion-scented leaves. In June the lance-shaped leaves wither and the plant sends up a stalk with an umbel of white flowers. Underground the stems swell into white bulbs connected by a mass of fibrous rootlets. These diminutive leeks reek of garlic, only stronger

Rain Man
11-22-2003, 17:20
A "Ramp" is a wild onion. As soon as the weather starts to warm up you can find them all along the trail. Lot's of hikers pick them as they hike by and then add them to their dinner meal.

Next you gonna tell 'em all about the secrets of snipe huntin' too?!!!

:D

cabalot
11-22-2003, 17:41
Next you gonna tell 'em all about the secrets of snipe huntin' too?!!!

:D


no need, i was taught how to snipe hunt many moons ago.

Peaks
11-23-2003, 19:41
If you want to find out about ramps, then read Robert Rubin's book about "one Ramp." or go the annual Ramp Festival near Damascus.

Boo Boo
12-03-2003, 13:38
I thought I'd try a pack of Sweet Sue Kitchen's chile (with no beans) for lunch, and they taste great. Not too bad for 280 calories. Just needs a pinch of salt and a drop of Tobasco and viola! I had the Chicken Marinara yesterday, and just as pleased. BTW, they both come in 10 oz portions.

-Bryan

Kerosene
12-03-2003, 15:26
Try the vacuum-packed Hormel Pepperoni Slices in individual servings on mini pocket pita bread with Gulden's brown mustard. Yummy!

LBJ
12-03-2003, 15:35
BEST TASTY PREPARED PASTA/RICE BRAND: Knorr's, more expensive than Lipton Noodles or Lipton Rice, better pasta, REAL flavor (not just salt). Same weight.

A lot of the flavor in Knorr's mixes comes from the MSG. Read the labels. This probably doesn't matter to a lot of people, to others, it does.

Nightwalker
12-03-2003, 22:11
Zatarain New Orleans-style rice mixes and pasta mixes are probably the best quality, nicest pastas and flavors, with the possible exception of Knorr.

Yes, black beans, black-eyed peas or red beans and rice from Zatarains ROCKS. I have to split them in two to fit my pot, however.

Frank

insideragp
12-31-2003, 11:32
OK, my wife and I hike 6-12 mile days car to car. We can afford a little extra weight in the day pack. Here's the question. If you could choose a food item to fall from the sky with no regard to pack weight what would you like?

Also, same thing, but add the ability to keep it cold for a day or so for somebody to find it?

Also, where would you suggest it be placed for you to find and use?

We are hiking New York State in 2004. When would New York experience the stampede of thru hikers? What are the most likely weeks? Possibly going to tackle MD and WV if we get an early start. Wife is off in the summers and my schedule is pretty flexible. When would the herd hit WV and MD?

Blue Jay
12-31-2003, 11:49
When would New York experience the stampede of thru hikers? What are the most likely weeks? Possibly going to tackle MD and WV if we get an early start. Wife is off in the summers and my schedule is pretty flexible. When would the herd hit WV and MD?

I would not worry if I were you, the "herd" has been weeded out by that far north.

insideragp
12-31-2003, 12:26
Oh, I realize the ranks are trimmed out by then, what I'm interested in is if I leave a package for thru hikers to find, when is the best time to do so in WV, MD and NY?

Blue Jay
12-31-2003, 13:29
Oh, I realize the ranks are trimmed out by then, what I'm interested in is if I leave a package for thru hikers to find, when is the best time to do so in WV, MD and NY?

This is just a guess as I've not gone through there at this time but I would say late June to early July.

Kerosene
01-01-2004, 11:10
I ran into twenty or so NOBO thru-hikers during the first week of June 2002 while walking SOBO from Taconic Parkway to NY-17, so I think June would be a good month to encounter them.

Bill Strickland
02-04-2004, 17:41
LOL, I totally agree there.

I have an Aunt with a PhD who constantly tells me it doesn't mean anything except that she is very educated in one very narrow area.

But since I'm an NCO, I know EVERYTHING!
I have a set of PHD's in my basement. I used them last time I built a fence! Jakebrake

Kozmic Zian
02-21-2004, 16:22
Yea.....Meals. I agree with Peaks. Keep it simple. Food is weight. Anything with water in it is the heaviest. Liptons ready to boil quick cooks are delicious and ready to cook. Some cook as fast as 5mins. (less fuel). Don't waiste your money on the fancy Trail Packages, those are for tourists. The Liptons are lightweight(dehydrated) and pack in 'zippers' easily. Tuna(small cans) is good. I find bagels(although heavy) don't crush and last a few days. I put cheese and sprouts on mine with a little mayo. I eat 'em as fast as I can to alleveiate the weight. I carry packaged cheese crackers, 'Lance', and other hard light foods. Enough until the next re-up in town. Just remember, you can always 'tank up', nutritionally in town, every week. Aways thinking Light............................................. .................................................. ..........KZ@

p.s. Another determining factor is food weight. When I go to the store in town, you'll see me 'tossing' the food to see what's heavy and what's not. If it's too heavy...sorry..No Tuna. I always take a bottle of Choulula with me, too.

jamescorey
02-22-2004, 02:36
This was a very good discussion of trail foods. I got some great ideas here. Thanks!I also got some some very interesting ideas. I am getting back into hiking after about a 10 year hiatus, and it amazes me as to how so little has changed. would have never thought about the very simple ways of spicing things up that you all have provided. I appreciate it and happy hiking.

Needles
02-22-2004, 04:58
Stove top stuffing, boil water, atke it off the stove, add the stuffing (plus a package of chicken) cover and let sit for 5 minutes. Tastey, quick, easy, one of the world's most perfect trail foods IMHO.

VaTechDC517
02-22-2004, 20:29
I've had trouble finding 2 things: (1) foil packed tuna and (2) powdered butter.

I'll try super-walmart as suggested by others for the tuna. I've heard that powdered butter (or something along those lines) is also available. Any idea where this is sold? If it can be found in a regular grocery store, what department/section is it found in?

beatbox
02-22-2004, 21:17
I have a dehydrator and dehydrate a lot of my hiking food. I was NOT thinking, and I dehydrated some of the fresh 5 alarm chili I had just made and took it out 2 days later on my practice hike (thru hike 04 march 15). After 3 days of oatmeal and HOT Chili I have two words for you: CAT HOLE. One thing I did find out is that a lightweight tentstake (.6oz) will do the job of a trowel for less weight.

bobgessner57
02-22-2004, 22:32
A good breakfast (especially in cold weather) is to throw some grape nuts cereal, powdered milk, honey or brown sugar, and dried fruit in a pot, add water to suit, bring to boil and devour as soon as it cools sufficiently. I like to do different fruits or mixes different days for variety. Another breakfast is instant grits and jerky; not quite bacon and eggs but quick and dirty and a change from instant oatmeal.

A good warm weather supper is pesto. We make up a packet with dried basil and parmesan, maybe some salt or whatever else seems good. Sun dried tomatoes can be added and toasted pecans give it some crunch. To prepare, boil spaghetti in pot, drain, add spice, pecans and tomatoes and olive oil to suit. Easy, scrumptious and can be made in any quantity.
Instant puddings-the cook kind in cold weather -can be mixed with rice and raisins to make a bulky dessert or breakfast food. I sometimes make a box and split it between supper and breakfast. Minute rice can be cooked right in the pudding.

A caution about ramps- the pungent odor stays with you. Kids get sent home from school because of their atrocious breath and body odor when they have eaten too many. In some mountain communities ramp eating is a badge of honor not unlike hot pepper one upmanship. Ramps are good, but use in moderation.

Peaks
02-23-2004, 09:55
I've had trouble finding 2 things: (1) foil packed tuna and (2) powdered butter.

I'll try super-walmart as suggested by others for the tuna. I've heard that powdered butter (or something along those lines) is also available. Any idea where this is sold? If it can be found in a regular grocery store, what department/section is it found in?

At your local supermarket:

Foil Packed tuna: Look next to canned tuna. Usually sold under the Starkist name.

Powdered butter: Look for "Butter Buds." Sold in a 2.5 ounce jar. Usually stocked near spices and sugars. Butter Buds are no fat. If you want fat and calories, then get Squeeze Parkay.

Bolo
09-21-2005, 12:16
http://www.minimus.biz/

Individual packets of just about anything.

Alligator
09-21-2005, 12:29
http://www.minimus.biz/

Individual packets of just about anything.Great link!

lug nut
10-11-2005, 16:26
I tried some 'butter buds'. My comments about this product can be summed up in one word -- GAG --

sarbar
10-11-2005, 21:28
I tried some 'butter buds'. My comments about this product can be summed up in one word -- GAG --Plain they are nasty, but in recipes they do work ;) (in small amounts!!) Personally I like Molly McButter instead.

Husko
11-02-2005, 21:32
I don't know what it is about instant mashed potatoes but when I'm hiking, I look forward to eating it more than anything in my food bag. I chop up cloves of garlic, mix it in with a splash of olive oil and I feel like I'm back with the family on thanksgiving :)

alalskaman
11-08-2005, 03:19
I agree with the comment about good nutrition being largely overlooked on the trail...so many live on candy and such...now, I am a complete maverick and believe wholeheartedly that fat is good...so most of my calories come from fat...pemmican and butter and oil and such. BUT i use my dehydrator, and always take along my veggies...dried broccoli, chard, kale, cauliflower and such..doing without veggies is IMO a guarantee of constipation and ill health. Bill (they call me the fat man, cause I weigh 200 pounds...all the women love me, cause I know my way around...Fats Domino, 1949)

QHShowoman
11-08-2005, 12:51
You can get the foil packed tuna at any Giant or Safeway right next to the canned tuna. I live on those things. I usually go for the "lite" water packed albecore -- either store brand or chicken of the sea, but for thru-hiking, I'd definitely go with the oil-packed variety. The powdered butter -- labeled as "Molly McButter" or "Butter Buds" usually -- can be found in the baking aisle near the spices.
I've had trouble finding 2 things: (1) foil packed tuna and (2) powdered butter.

I'll try super-walmart as suggested by others for the tuna. I've heard that powdered butter (or something along those lines) is also available. Any idea where this is sold? If it can be found in a regular grocery store, what department/section is it found in?

atraildreamer
07-08-2006, 00:51
I have an Aunt with a PhD who constantly tells me it doesn't mean anything except that she is very educated in one very narrow area.

Definition of an "expert": Someone who knows more and more about less and less until they know everything about nothing! :jump