Hey guys, help me out on what type of non parishable food to bring for a 10 day trip. I need something that will give us lots of energy since we gonna average 7-8 portages daily. This will be my longest trip up there and have no idea of what to bring. Usually we bring a small insulated cooler pack with frozen meat or parishable foods that will last us for 3 days and non parishable food like instant noodle, jerkeys, mix snacks...stuff like that in a dry pack.
I rarely bring any fresh food for anything other than the 1st day. There are an awful lot of dehydrated foods in the supermarket these days, light weight and keep forever- I take scalloped potatoes, oatmeal, soup starter mixes( NOT cup of soup, although for 2 people those might be ok), pancakes. Instant refried beans are good, and tortillas keep a long time with out any refrigeration. So does cheese- it gets a little squishy, but it's fine for at least 10 days. Some of the summer sausages don't have to be refrigerated until opened, they make a nice break from jerky. Peanut butter is calorie rich, and some crackers pack well without crushing too bad. I also rely on baked goods- lots and lots of "just add water" stuff out there- cornbread, biscuits, brownies, coffee cakes, etc. Still want more ideas? Email me and I can give you some sample menus.
This is an important topic. Many people pack way too much food, and I've made that error in years past - then I went the other direction and underpacked and had to cut rations and the length of the trip.
Check out the recipes on this and other boards - watch how many people the meal will serve - decide what sounds good and go shopping. There are few compelling reasons to use the prepackaged 'camping' meals, if you have even reasonable cooking skills.
I'd suggest you try out the recipes at home first to see what you will actually like.... I failed to do this once and wound up discovering that I really don't like certain brands of freeze dried eggs, burned them up and went hungry.
Plot out your menu with great precision, I package the meals in plastic bags and ID each with a slip of paper. The menu for the ten day trip is taped inside the lid of the box and I track it pretty carefully.
A perfectly planned trip has you leaving with only a package of dried tomatoes and a pack of oatmeal. :-)
If I'm tandem canoeing we pack a cold pack and bring in 5-7 days of steaks, eggs, hash browns, veggies, bacon - we eat well. If I'm soloing I exist on raman noodles, oatmeal and power bars.
Very much a personal decision.
"You're not serious about wearing sandals on this portage.... are you?"
I get all my food right from the grocery store.
On a ten day trip you would have to pack light. I would leave the cooler at home and go with Pasta Roni, Rice a Roni, Mac-n-cheese and what ever other boxed dinners look good. You can get the foil packed crab, shrimp and chicken that added to the pasta will make it more of a meal.
If you have a dehydrator one of my favorites is spaghetti. Just dehydrate some lean cooked hamburger. Then take your sauce and pour it on the fruit leather tray. The dried sauce will look just like a
fruit leather. When you are ready for dinner just tear up the sauce leather add water and the hamburger let it simmer for a while and you won't be able to tell the difference from the fresh stuff.
One of the favorites at my last trip was peanut butter on a soft tortilla shell. the shells are light and are pretty much indestructible if they get to warm & packed down they may mush together a bit but other wise works good. I buy the peanut butter in the smaller bottles and will bring multiple as the bottles once empty work good for putting trash that you are going haul out in.
I also used empty peanut butter jars to put nuts and trail mix in.
Last Sept. I tried all dried ingredients. Made some excellent stroganoff, beef and turkey, scratch from individual ingredients [www.wildernessdining.com] meat, mushrooms, celery, onions, sour cream [powered, tastes great added to biscuits, soups, etc.]and noodles. A little mixed veggies added to cup a soup makes a meal! Beavers and Paul finished of a pot of shrimp/crab [foil packed] salad I made on Lake 4 last Sept. should have made more! Now is the time to experiment and find out what works for you.
Happy camp cookin'.
"Decades, tempered by tedium and existential dread" quote from William Brumfield
Yep, Butthead's crab pasta salad was mmmm...mmmm...goood!
I will be packing a variation of that this year, Suddenly Salad Pasta. Boil the pasta, add a little oil, some foil packed mayo, foil packed crab, and let it sit and cool while you finish setting up camp. Fine dinning in the BW!
Take a lot of higher fat foods, nuts, peanut butter, cheese, sausages, etc. For me anyway, fat is the calorie that keeps me energized. Add some in some way to every meal. Most of these also are no cooler types.
Portion size is real important, so practice at home with any unknown recipes, or all of it, to get the right amount. Too little or too much is not good. Take the cooler for the first couple of days, eat the heavy stuff first, good eats come out of that thing!
I prefer any backpacker meals that don't require to be prepaired in a pot. I.e.- pour two cups of water in a bag and stir. I hate doing to dishes in the woods. Eat from bag, and toss when done. Light weight and tons of calories.
We do use quite a lot of food from the grocery store, but we take freeze dried entrees and vegetables for our evening meal also. We get some desserts of the freeze-dried or dehydrated nature as well.
I order some of my food from Packit-Gourmet (online) and recommend looking at their offerings. I make a very good marinara-type spaghetti sauce from their tomato powder, freeze sweet onion pieces, freeze dried mushroom slices, and hot water, to which I add Italian spices and garlic salt to taste. They also sell the small packets of Parmesan cheese, so I have a few of those in the pack. I buy one of our favorite desserts from Packit-Gourmet also; it is a strawberry cheesecake. And I find their individual packets of peanut butter (also almond butter and cashew butter for a variety in tastes) and jelly convenient for lunches. We use crackers for our lunches. We like the Bretons that come in a long, narrow box. They seem to travel well in a large Zip-lock bag on the top of the food pack.
As others have said, nuts, cheese, and summer sausage and other high-fat, high calorie foods keep you energetic on hard days. Also, because we have been watching our sodium but needed to add carbs to meals sometimes, we have "diluted" the two-serving freeze-dried entrees by adding extra pasta or noodles or rice to the dishes. For example, if I am doing a freeze-dried meal that is based upon rice, I would take a pack of the Success rice (cooks quickly) or some Minute Rice and cook it up in a pan first, then add the freeze-dried entree to the pan of rice with the water for the meal included, and cook it all a few minutes together. Most of the freeze-dried entrees are better if you actually cook them on the stove or the fire for just a few minutes.
Krusteaz Honey Wheat pancake mix is higher in fiber and nutrients than the white flour kind, is just-add-water, and is very tasty. If you happen to be traveling during blueberry season, adding a few fresh blueberries makes them even better. We always take real northern Minnesota maple syrup for the pancakes. Heavy? Yes. But worth it, in my opinion. :-)
The pre-cooked bacon works really well. We don't take the box, just the inner bag with the bacon. After it is open, I use it all in two days. Of course there are only two of us. A larger group would have no problem eating up a package or two in one meal.