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  1. #1
    Karen
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    Default raw food on the trail

    I eat a lot of raw foods at home (fresh fruits and veggies, nuts and seeds, smoothies, etc). I just got back from a section hike on the AT in Maine and just did Mountain house dehydrated meals for dinner, packaged oatmeal and hot chocolate for breakfast and gorp and bars for lunch. Did not have a BM the whole time I was gone. Next time I'd like to make my meals a little healthier. Does anyone incorporate foods from a raw diet on the trail? I'm a big fan of greens, but salads don't keep on the trail. Help!

  2. #2
    Registered User Panzer1's Avatar
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    First off it depends on weather it is cold weather or hot weather. During cold weather you can bring a lot of frest food including meats. But even in the summer you can at least bring fresh fruit.

    Some raw foods will require too much fuel to cook to be practical on a long hike. Or it may require too many pots and pans to cook to be practical. Or may take too much time to cook.

    But still I always like to have at least some fresh food when I hike.

    Panzer

  3. #3

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    Simple solution: stick more to your at home diet!! Instead of eating MH meals why not make your own? Incorporate beans, nuts and seeds into them. And you will find you stay regular!
    (Beans and lentils can be easily cooked and dried at home for instant on the trail. You can also buy them precooked/dried)
    Trail Cooking/FBC, Recipes, Gear and Beyond:
    Trail Cooking

  4. #4

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    Google Doug Walsh.
    He's done the CDT and PCT on strictly raw food.
    Don't let your fears stand in the way of your dreams

  5. #5
    Formerly thickredhair Gaiter's Avatar
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    dry your own food, and also depending on what and how hot it is, you can take raw food with you, i like to always hike out of town w/ an apple or two but they are a lot lighter if dried
    (also check out www.justtomatoes.com has bulk dried items)
    Gaiter
    homepage.mac.com/thickredhair
    web.mac.com/thickredhair/AT_Fall_07

  6. #6

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    Quote Originally Posted by Gaiter View Post
    dry your own food, and also depending on what and how hot it is, you can take raw food with you, i like to always hike out of town w/ an apple or two but they are a lot lighter if dried
    (also check out www.justtomatoes.com has bulk dried items)
    I second that. I never eat packaged meals, such as MH... I eat bulk rice and mix in numerous veggies/jerky, to make a stew. I also dehydrate fruit to mix with oatmeal.

  7. #7
    Registered User sixhusbands's Avatar
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    I use the green bags ( found in WalMart or grocery stores) to keep the fruits and veggies fresher at home. I just tried these on a week long hike in the Whites and All of the fruits , meats, cheese and veggies made it. The only trick is to eat the fruits that bruise easily first. We took cherries, bananas, apples, peaches and grapes plus carrots, potatoes, snap peas, broccoli, onions and zuchini from our garden. These all did well and we had eggs for the first three days, cheese all week , but the home made bread started to mold on day four! We did take some canned chicken , jerky and tuna. Our food bag weighed in at 16 pounds , but it was worth it to have the fresh foods! Try the green bags...

  8. #8
    Karen
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    Thanks... I do use the green bags at home, I didn't think to take them on the trail. I did use my dehydrator to make some practice meals at home, but I thought they tasted awful compared with MH meals, and then with further research I discovered that dehydrated and freeze dried are two totally different processes and freeze dried (which is MH) is really much tastier because it keeps the food intact, removing the water, whereas dehydrated actually shrinks the cells and changes the food texture and taste (to me at least). The other thing I'm dealing with is that the 40 pounds I carried was way too much I think for my 49 year old body, going up and down the Maine AT mountains. Next summer when I do another section, I want to try and lighten my load a bit. I will work on dehydrating fruit- I love dried fruits. Does anyone have any suggestions about greens and veggies? I guess I can dry them. I did eat beans in my MH meals, so I would have thought that I would have had a BM in my four days??? What is the ratio of nutrients that we should be eating when we are out on the trail % of fat, carbs and proteins? Should I aim for mostly carbs?

    Thanks fiddlehead, I'll google Doug Walsh when I finish here. Sorry to ramble. The food question is my biggest thought coming off my trip, everything else went pretty smoothly.

  9. #9
    Registered User sweetpeastu's Avatar
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    umm since you like MH and find that it is a relatively lightweight option, you could always carry a supplement with you if you're worried about being irregular....

  10. #10

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    This is not something I have done, but I have heard of people growing sprouts while backpacking - possible source of greens for you. The seeds would be lightweight (especially alfalfa), and you certainly couldn't get any fresher.

  11. #11
    Cooking in the Backcountry LaurieAnn's Avatar
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    We grow sprouts on the trail all the time. It's pretty easy and light.

    Here is my 32 oz Nalgene with brocolli sprouts on Day 3 of growth...


  12. #12
    Cooking in the Backcountry LaurieAnn's Avatar
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    Oh and if you want to know how to do it - I also do it at home on the counter in a Mason Jar... you can see the instructions and progress here...

    Day 1

    http://craveable.wordpress.com/2008/...hello-everyone

    Day 3

    http://craveable.wordpress.com/2008/...-on-my-sprouts

    Day 4

    http://craveable.wordpress.com/2008/...y-of-sprouting

    and my "at camp" instructions for sprouting can be found on page 7 of this pdf

    http://www.wildernesscooking.com/fork/lunches.pdf

    under the title "Water Bottle Sprout Garden"

  13. #13
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    What do you eat with the sprouts or do you just eat them by themselves?

  14. #14

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    Quote Originally Posted by kmusser View Post
    ... I did use my dehydrator to make some practice meals at home, but I thought they tasted awful compared with MH meals, and then with further research I discovered that dehydrated and freeze dried are two totally different processes and freeze dried (which is MH) is really much tastier because it keeps the food intact, removing the water, whereas dehydrated actually shrinks the cells and changes the food texture and taste (to me at least)...
    How did you eat the dehydrated food? Some dehydrated food is kind of bland tasting if not rehydrated, such as broccoli, potatoes, carrots...and many more. Some exceptions are Jerky and tomatoes. Some talk about how hard it is to rehydrate, but I've never had a problem; I just throw the stuff in with the water that I'm boiling for my rice(or whatever). Also most foods are more flavorful because of the reduced water present naturally, especially tomatoes.

    I've never heard about the dehydration process shrinking cells and not sure if that would really make a difference. Dehydration simply removes most water from the food, you actually don't want to remove all of it or then you'll be destroying the nutrient value by overdrying.

    It is true that the freeze-dried process does remove much more water, but that's a completely different process and not one that is easily repeated without industrial machinery.

  15. #15
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    Quote Originally Posted by kmusser View Post
    I eat a lot of raw foods at home (fresh fruits and veggies, nuts and seeds, smoothies, etc). I just got back from a section hike on the AT in Maine and just did Mountain house dehydrated meals for dinner, packaged oatmeal and hot chocolate for breakfast and gorp and bars for lunch. Did not have a BM the whole time I was gone. Next time I'd like to make my meals a little healthier. Does anyone incorporate foods from a raw diet on the trail? I'm a big fan of greens, but salads don't keep on the trail. Help!
    Somewhere I have a link about a guy that did the whole CDT- could be the Pct- eating raw. He grew his own sprouts atop his pack along the way! I'm sure you could Goggle it (ok , I'm not sure at all) but it is possible. I'm a BIG raw fan but don't have the dedication.

  16. #16
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    Quote Originally Posted by fiddlehead View Post
    Google Doug Walsh.
    He's done the CDT and PCT on strictly raw food.
    THats the guy! thanks FH!

  17. #17
    Cooking in the Backcountry LaurieAnn's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by summermike View Post
    What do you eat with the sprouts or do you just eat them by themselves?
    I'm not a raw foods expert by any means but on our last trip we traveled with a lady on a raw food diet. I grew sprouts like I usually do and we shared (broccoli this time). Mine went in a wrap with smoked salmon and a bit of salad dressing. Sometimes I put them on top of potato soup. Roula put hers in her bowl with some cheese and some sort of dressing and then she garnished the sprouts with nuts, seeds, raisins, currants and wolf berries (goji). It looked really yummy.

  18. #18
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    I'm incorporating raw foods into my trail diet to a greater extent all the time. There are raw foods that don't need to be cooked(that's partly why they are called raw foods). Go to Whole Foods, healthfood co-op, or similar store near you(there are many more choices if you are hiking on the west coast, especially in northern CA and OR) and seek out options in the raw food section. I carry raw food products(no cooking) by Lydia's Organics, Livin Spoonful, Love Force, and one of my favorites, and realtively easy to find, nutritional bars from Raw Revolution. The products made by these companies are not only raw, but many selections offer high calories per ounce which adds up to less weight being carried. However, some of them are not exactly cheap by many hiker's trail food budgets. Doug Walsh did the PCT on a raw food diet. He has lots of great low cost ideas. Happy healthy trail eating!

  19. #19
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    I also always carry a raw food trail mix consisting of nuts(cashews, pine nuts, almonds, macadamias, walnuts, pistachios, etc), coconut, seeds(pumpkin, sunflower, hemp, sesame, flax, chia, somba, etc.), and dried fruits. Again, not only raw, but super high in highly nutritious calories per ounce.

  20. #20
    Getting out as much as I can..which is never enough. :) Mags's Avatar
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    Try this link:
    http://www.rawhike.com/rawfoodbackpack.shtml

    Like a vegan diet, it can be done. You just need the mental dedication for the logistics and to avoid 'temptation'.

    Good luck!
    Paul "Mags" Magnanti
    http://pmags.com
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    Facebook: pmagsblog

    The true harvest of my life is intangible...a little stardust caught,a portion of the rainbow I have clutched -Thoreau

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