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  1. #1
    Registered User GolfHiker's Avatar
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    Default More discussion about Cold Soaking/ Stoveless meals

    I just read Gambitís excellent thread about going stoveless, and wanted to dig a bit deeper for my own personal situation. Iíve never NOT carried a stove, so going cold would be a big change. As I do my own analysis, I feel I understand the cold weather/ warm weather difference. The nutritional value, the cooking fiddle factor ( meaning stoveless is generally simpler), and the small but real weight savings. I always go cold in the morning, whether itís granola or a protein shake or bars or combination of all. If I can get past the morning coffee ( itís generally not even good coffee), and I never fire up the stove for lunch, it really means youíd use your stove for only a few trail dinners between town meals. So, by process of elimination, I should be able to cold soak a few dinners and achieve all the above. ( Iím trying my best to convince myself to do this!).

    That said, Iím really asking for guidance in exactly what constitutes a good rotation of dinners. I donít have a dehydrator, and Iím not vegetarian, but somewhere between Spam packets & couscous should be something I can handle. I appreciate any help with my menu choices. Thanks.
    "How can something this hard be so much fun".

  2. #2
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    For cold-soaking, I’m a fan of dehydrated, refried pinto beans. Mix in some Fritos, I can eat it for dinner over and over again.

  3. #3
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    Quote Originally Posted by Slugg View Post
    For cold-soaking, I’m a fan of dehydrated, refried pinto beans. Mix in some Fritos, I can eat it for dinner over and over again.
    Although I've never gone stoveless, I'll second the refried beans recommendations. I've always used Santa Fe brand refried beans which are available on amazon. I've never seen dehydrated refried beans in stores, always ordered on amazon.

  4. #4

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    Just because you are going stoveless doesn't mean you have to eat a cold dinner.

    https://www.gossamergear.com/product...nt=30497157388

    ďThe man who goes alone can start today; but he who travels with another must wait until that other is ready...Ē~Henry David Thoreau

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  5. #5

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    I've gone stoveless for weeks at a time. But I don't cold soak that much. When leaving town, I grab a couple of sandwhiches, burritos and/or hamburgers (no sour cream or mayo on them) for my first couple of non-breakfast meals as even cold they will taste better than most backpacking food (stove or not). No issues going 3 days in hot weather as they usually have plenty of preservatives in them. After those run out, I mainly make meals with things that don't need to add water to. You can use summer sausage, pepporoni slices, or meat sticks with a block of cheese, either alone or on a bread product (tortillas or pita for example) for a meal. I've gone several days doing that for both lunch and dinner in all sort of weather. Tuna with mayo packets on a tortilla is good, etc.

    I usually only use cold soaking in hot weather. The warm weather just makes them more appetizing since they can get warm in the sun, as such, I prefer letting it soak up some heat during the warmer part of the day, so normally use it for a late lunch or early dinner. Stay with a stove in cold weather as using <50F water in mash potatoes, while fully rehdyrated, just doesn't taste that good.

    Ive found cold soaking works great on things that don't really need any heat to rehydrate such as mash potatoes or cous cous. Rice based meals can end up a bit crunchy but acceptable. Not really had any success with noodle based stuff as it always remains doughy and not that appetizing, though I've only tried it with Korr sides and not any mountain house stuff.

    I actually own that Gossamer Gear warmer, though I've never actually tried to use it. One day.

  6. #6

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    Quote Originally Posted by Miner View Post
    I actually own that Gossamer Gear warmer, though I've never actually tried to use it. One day.
    Met a lady on the Cohos a few years ago who was using it to rehydrate her refried beans as she hiked. She said it worked pretty well for her.
    ďThe man who goes alone can start today; but he who travels with another must wait until that other is ready...Ē~Henry David Thoreau

    http://lesstraveledby.net
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  7. #7

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    Quote Originally Posted by LoneStranger View Post
    Just because you are going stoveless doesn't mean you have to eat a cold dinner.

    https://www.gossamergear.com/product...nt=30497157388

    Quote Originally Posted by Miner View Post
    I actually own that Gossamer Gear warmer, though I've never actually tried to use it. One day.
    Quote Originally Posted by LoneStranger View Post
    Met a lady on the Cohos a few years ago who was using it to rehydrate her refried beans as she hiked. She said it worked pretty well for her.


    Today I learned that the crotch pot was a real product. All these years I thought it was nothing but an April Fool's joke on their website!

  8. #8
    Garlic
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    I've been stoveless since 2004, and what made it successful for me was forgetting about the concept of "dinner." I just eat something at every break, at least every two hours. I seldom eat more than a handful of nuts before I hang up my food where I camp. Maybe an extra tortilla. That way there are fewer food odors where you camp.
    "Throw a loaf of bread and a pound of tea in an old sack and jump over the back fence." John Muir on expedition planning

  9. #9
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    Thanks all... I’m heading out for a few days in about 3 weeks, and I’m determined to make it a stoveless hike. Will it be different, yes. Will it require a change in mindset, yes. Can I make it work and enjoy myself, absolutely yes! I won’t be rehydrating any beans in my pants, and I won’t subsist on Spam or tuna, but y’all have given me some ideas, which I’m determined to try.

    Thanks.
    "How can something this hard be so much fun".

  10. #10

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    Can I make it work and enjoy myself, absolutely yes!
    The power of "Positive Thinking" Nice!

  11. #11

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    Quote Originally Posted by garlic08 View Post
    I've been stoveless since 2004, and what made it successful for me was forgetting about the concept of "dinner." I just eat something at every break, at least every two hours. I seldom eat more than a handful of nuts before I hang up my food where I camp. Maybe an extra tortilla. That way there are fewer food odors where you camp.
    That is a really good post and important one.

    Your gut can only process a limited number of calories per hour. Lots and lots of small meals per day or nibbling all day or drinking maltodextrin in your water is far more effective maintaining glycogen and glucose levels than "meals". At some mileage figure, it is impossible to replace all of the calories burned. Why waste any opportunity to replace them.

  12. #12

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    I am a cold-soaker. I find cold-soaking to be convenient - finish one meal and fill jar with the next snack or meal and tuck it into my pack for whenever I want it. I can hike a long day and my dinner is ready to eat either before or when I get to camp, so its one less thing I need to do at the end of the day when I am tired. I stealth camp a lot, so I also like the fact that I am creating fewer aromas from my campsite than if I had a hot dinner.

    My 'coffee' is basically a chocolate milk (whey protein, cocoa, sweetener) plus instant coffee. I have this first thing in the morning, usually with some type of protein bar.
    I happily eat cold-soaked oatmeal every day, with whey protein, freeze-dried blueberries, chia seed, cinnamon - usually a couple hours into the day.
    Often a protein shake (powder, cocoa, chia) as one of my small meal/snacks in the afternoon.

    Dinners include kale powder and freeze-dried broccoli, and dehydrated refried beans (mentioned above) with either rice, or pasta (couscous or ramen noodles). For RICE use the Poha thick flattened rice (available in Indian/Asian markets). It works just as well as the pastas for cold-soaking (not crunchy). I sometimes add dried hummus as it adds some nutrition and can help to thicken some meals.

    Freeze-dried fruits and vegetables work great with cold-soaking. They are not particularly cheap, but I get ~30 servings from a #10 can (e.g. blueberries, broccoli). I don't dehydrate any of my own food, but I do prepare my own individual meals using good ingredients. My goal is to try to keep my diet similar to what I eat normally, but increasing daily caloric intake (more small meals).

    I am not a vegetarian, but I add eggs & meat to my diet with bars and/or jerky, which I usually eat as one of my many snacks/small meals during the day. I avoid adding these or anything oily/smelly to my cold-soak jar because it makes it harder to clean. Only stuff that generally rinses easily and doesn't leave behind strong aromas so that in between the opportunities to give the jar a real cleaning I can clean with just a few fresh-water rinses.

    As mentioned above, lots of nutritious snacks that I mix-up for variety.

    For me, preparing my own food helps a lot to control the weight of the food I am carrying, which means I can carry more days and have to resupply less frequently. So for trips of 7-8 days or less (or where I can have a resupply box waiting at the one-week point) I prefer to prep my food ahead of time. It would definitely be more difficult for me if I had to resupply along the way from stores due to both limited availability of ingredients and controlling the weight.

  13. #13

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    This sounds like another one of those weight saving threads where you end up carrying more weight to make up for the bad or no performance of the item you skimped on to save weight.
    Dont carry a few oz of stove and fuel.... do carry a lb jar or bag full of extra water so you can soak as you hike...

  14. #14

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    Quote Originally Posted by Dropdeadfred View Post
    This sounds like another one of those weight saving threads where you end up carrying more weight to make up for the bad or no performance of the item you skimped on to save weight.
    Dont carry a few oz of stove and fuel.... do carry a lb jar or bag full of extra water so you can soak as you hike...
    And?

    Even if you don't save weight, it does reduce things you carry and simplifies a trip. To some, that's appealing.
    I don't generally cold soak ahead of time, but I'll set things up when getting to camp so it's soaking while I prep and dinner's ready whenever I get around to it later. It's also convenient for setting up overnight oats - no extra carried weight, just a nice ready to go breakfast when you wake up.

  15. #15

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    Quote Originally Posted by CalebJ View Post

    Today I learned that the crotch pot was a real product. All these years I thought it was nothing but an April Fool's joke on their website!
    check out the reviews, noone is using it as such... Doesnt seem very practical to walk with.. Id probably try between back and ruck first if I thought cold soaking while walking was a worthwhile endeavor.

  16. #16

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    Quote Originally Posted by Dropdeadfred View Post
    check out the reviews, noone is using it as such... Doesnt seem very practical to walk with.. Id probably try between back and ruck first if I thought cold soaking while walking was a worthwhile endeavor.
    Agreed on all points. I just didn't know it was even a valid page to order from.

  17. #17
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    Quote Originally Posted by Big_Old_Dog View Post
    That is a really good post and important one.

    Your gut can only process a limited number of calories per hour. Lots and lots of small meals per day or nibbling all day or drinking maltodextrin in your water is far more effective maintaining glycogen and glucose levels than "meals". At some mileage figure, it is impossible to replace all of the calories burned. Why waste any opportunity to replace them.
    It took me years to get into this mindset. I like to keep a few pieces of jerky in my pocket to nosh on in between breaks. I tend to stop every so often to catch my breath, take in the sights, and re center myself so grabbing a quick snack became part of that equation. Now, when the sun is getting low in the sky, I no longer worry about finding a campsite so I can make a meal, cleaning up after the meal, and getting into my bag before the nocturnal critters start cruising. This means carrying lots of nuts and jerky and dried fruit but that's fine with me as I like those things. I usually get at least a pound of deluxe mixed nuts, a pound or so of jerky (usually more than one flavor or type), and a couple packs of various dried fruits (dried mango is my favorite). I'll add little special snacks to that equation when I resupply like crackers or chips but my main source is fruit, nuts, and jerky. It's a bit more expensive but it's a lot easier planning my meals now and I don't really have a need for a stove (though I do bring it occasionally because a hot bowl of oatmeal on a rainy day can really bring the spirits around.
    "I am learning nothing in this trivial world of [humans]. I must break away and get out into the mountains to learn the news." --John Muir

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