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Allison
Feckless Swooner



Joined: 17 Dec 2001
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Feckless Swooner
PostWed Mar 10, 2010 1:01 pm 
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I don't like to carry a lot of weight on my back, but I DO like to eat well in the backcountry. I can be found wearing all the clothes I brought, walking around in a pair of flip-flops at camp, but please don't take away my tasty food.

If you are like me, and like to eat well in the backcountry, but are careful about weight, what do you use?

(I just ordered my new MSR Windpro stove today--a 3 oz weight compromise over the old trusty Pocket Rocket to better my backcountry cooking environment. Pretty stoked, the old PR is 11 seasons to the wind and the pot stays are warped to hell.)
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Dante
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PostWed Mar 10, 2010 1:08 pm 
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I wouldn't say I eat "well" when backpacking, but I don't like freeze dried, and only eat it when I go with Backpacker Joe.  I usually bring  things that only require boiling or simmering for a reasonably short time (instant rice, dehydrated soups--black bean is a favorite--pasta, etc.)  I also like dense, squash resistant breads (I love the seeded rye from Tall Grass Bakery--it's great with a little red onion and some extra sharp cheddar).  My meal planning is typically done ad hoc and at the last minute keeping my equipment constraints in mind.

I once hiked with a guy who made Ceasar Salad the first night.  He put the greens in a plastic bag and then blew it up and tied it off to keep the greens from getting crushed in his pack.  Greens taste extra good backpacking, even if it's only the first night.
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Ski
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PostWed Mar 10, 2010 1:50 pm 
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The closest I've ever come to eating "freeze dried" was in the early 1960s when the best thing available was Knorr dehydrated chicken noodle soup, and even as kids we thought it was yucky.
Following family tradition, I pack a couple New York strips for the first night in, double-wrapping them in heavy foil and freezing them before packing. After carrying them 6 or 8 miles, they're fairly thawed out.
The last few years I've chosen to forego hauling a grille and a steel plate ( you can't eat steak off a paper plate with a plastic fork anyway ), and avoid building a fire that stinks up all my gear and the whole river valley, and usually have this for dinner:

1 cup dried tortellini
1/2 cup sun-dried tomatoes
1/4 cup pine nuts
1/3 cup grated parmesan cheese
2 tablespoons olive oil
smoked salmon ( I was using the 5 oz. can from TJ's - they discontinued it and I've been experimenting with different brands and the newer foil packets )
salt pepper oregano thyme basil

pre-soak the tomatoes to soften ( I do this with boiling water in a bowl )
boil the pasta until tender. drain.
add the tomatoes, pine nuts, olive oil, salt, pepper, herbs, and mix well.
fold in the salmon carefully so it doesn't turn to mush, then fold in the parmesan.

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breakfast is oatmeal with dried Monukka raisins, dried cranberries, dried pineapple/cherry/apricot/peach/apple/, almonds, walnuts, filberts, cinnamon, nutmeg, clove, cardamom, minced candied dried ginger, brown sugar.
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lunch/snack is fresh apples/oranges/apricots/grapes, hummus, sausage ( from the Russian deli - hard stuff keeps better ), the dried fruit-nut mix that I use in the oatmeal, tabouli ( with fresh roma tomatoes, of course! )
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I've mixed up this concoction several times, but it's pretty heavy for the amount of carbs and protein you get out of it:
3/4 cup basmati rice
1/4 cup dried red lentils
1/4 cup dried raw cashews
1/4 cup dried red bell pepper
1/4 cup raisins
1 teaspoon tumeric
salt pepper

bring 2 cups water to boil. gently stir in all ingredients. reduce heat to low, cover, and simmer 20 minutes. remove from heat and let stand covered 5 minutes. remove lid and stir gently. cover and let stand another 5 minutes. serve.
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the only "dried" product I've found even close to being edible is a dried lentil soup mix from the Oly Food Co-Op. you just mix it 1:1 with boiling water and you've got a thin runny lentil gruel that isn't too bad if you pre-soak and add about a half cup of dried vegetables ( Oly Food Co-Op ) and a handful of almonds. that's what I usually hauled up to fire lookouts for dinner because it required less water and fuel than the two above.
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life is too short to eat crap in the backcountry.
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if you think what I've listed above sounds a bit heavy-
we used to haul in canned baby new potatoes, canned "Dak" bacon from Denmark, eggs, Krusteaz pancake mix, maple syrup for the pancakes, and a 2-pound box of Alber's yellow corn meal to cook all that fish we were supposed to catch.
-
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dicentra
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Plant Geek
PostWed Mar 10, 2010 2:10 pm 
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I eat out of baggies AND I eat well.  lol.gif

Sometimes I'll eat right out of my pan. Depends on the trip. I do NOT bring a bowl, unless it is a group trip where I plan on sharing (muwahahah... guinnea pigs!) food with my fellow hikers. Then I bring the Fozzils.
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Allison
Feckless Swooner



Joined: 17 Dec 2001
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Location: putting on my Nikes before the comet comes
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Feckless Swooner
PostWed Mar 10, 2010 2:13 pm 
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Post voluntarily removed. Tone was too strong, apologies.
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Ski
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PostWed Mar 10, 2010 2:17 pm 
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dicentra wrote:
I do NOT bring a bowl

yeah but... my enameled steel bowl is absolutely unbreakable, even dropped from a height of 6 feet onto a gravel bar. it also serves well as an emergency entrenching tool.
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dicentra
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Plant Geek
PostWed Mar 10, 2010 2:19 pm 
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AllisonW wrote:
Must you and your friend dominate EVERY conversation? I know you have a lot of good ideas and all, but so do others. up.gif smile.gif

Uhhh... you asked a question. I merely responded. Whatever.  doh.gif
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sarbar
Living The Dream



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Living The Dream
PostWed Mar 10, 2010 2:29 pm 
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Well Allison, since you asked?

No, not always. Sure Freezer Bag Cooking (FBC) is my "thing" and what I specialize in but simply put? No, I don't eat out of bags all the time. There is a time and place for every style. 15 to 20 mile days don't equate to cutting veggies and simmering in camp, where though an easy trip to the coast can equate bringing the trail wok and making Lo Mein.....

There isn't one holy grail out there.

I do though try to keep it simple overall in what is needed for gear - one pot, one spoon, one stove. And to keep fuel consumption down.

--------------
https://trailcooking.com/ Eat well on the trail.
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sarbar
Living The Dream



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Living The Dream
PostWed Mar 10, 2010 2:31 pm 
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BTW, I very much like my Windpro. It has been a good stove when simmering and baking is needed. I don't carry it all the time, since my other canister stoves are smaller - but when needed it is an all star performer.

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https://trailcooking.com/ Eat well on the trail.
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Quark
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Niece of Alvy Moore
PostWed Mar 10, 2010 2:39 pm 
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Ski wrote:
my enameled steel bowl is absolutely unbreakable, even dropped from a height of 6 feet onto a gravel bar. it also serves well as an emergency entrenching tool.

There are at least 2 good stories in this seemingly plain statement.

--------------
"...Other than that, the post was more or less accurate."

Bernardo, NW Hikers' Bureau Chief of Reporting
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Ski
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PostWed Mar 10, 2010 2:52 pm 
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more than two, actually.

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Backcountry
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PostWed Mar 10, 2010 2:53 pm 
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I try to plan to have my first substantial meal as something fresh I carried in.  From there...

FBC cooking can be "fresh" using some hardy fresh ingredients.  I usually find missing crunchy/snappy stuff in prepared meals to make them seem fresh.  So I try to seek out some fresh veggies that either make good garnish or provide lots of good flavor in a small package.  Peppers, jalapenos, ginger, radishes, daikon- seem to work for me.  Brightly colored may trick my mind too.  Too often brown food takes uhhh brown.  So some garnish that adds flavor (cilantro) can trick ya into thinking its better than it is.

I also sometimes think about not carrying as much snack type food- so by the end of the day at camp I am so stinking hungry Id eat the foot beds from my boots....
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Slugman
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Slower than ever
PostWed Mar 10, 2010 6:22 pm 
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Backcountry wrote:
I try to plan to have my first substantial meal as something fresh I carried in.


I also sometimes think about not carrying as much snack type food- so by the end of the day at camp I am so stinking hungry Id eat the foot beds from my boots....

When I went to Williams lake and Dutch Miller Gap with 2DRX, I surprised him by bringing California roll for lunch, and barbecued spare ribs for dinner, the first day. The ribs were great, but that was the last time I brought meat with bones.  doh.gif

For dinners I usually just use a Mountain House pro-pak dinner after the first day. Easy, and palatable to me. I try to remember that food is fuel. I do, however, make good use of snacks to get some "joy of eating". Trader Joe's turkey jerky is awesome, as well as the beef and the buffalo. Sea salt Hawaiian style potato chips, little wax-coated cheeses, peanut butter sandwich crackers, chocolate bars, I use this stuff to make up for the bland dinner entree.

--------------
"There is a pleasure in the pathless woods, There is a rapture on the lonely shore. There is society where none intrudes, By the deep sea, and music in its roar: I love not man the less, but nature more..."  Childe Harold
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Allison
Feckless Swooner



Joined: 17 Dec 2001
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Location: putting on my Nikes before the comet comes
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Feckless Swooner
PostWed Mar 10, 2010 6:29 pm 
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Not looking for any proselytizing on the virtues of FBC, actually I am completely oversaturated on that--hoped this thread could be the anti-that.
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Backpacker Joe
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NWH Joe-Bob
PostWed Mar 10, 2010 6:44 pm 
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I say good luck to you Alley. The two (weight concerns and good eating) dont normally go together well. Ive always taken the attitude that I eat well enough on a daily basis that I dont care if I eat freeze dried while hiking.  I bring some good bread and a one person freeze dried meal and Im happy.  Food doesnt occupy my time while in the out of doors.  Unless Im on my way back to the car. I always seem to dream of bad food at that time...LOL

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"If destruction be our lot we must ourselves be its author and finisher. As a nation of freemen we must live through all time or die by suicide."

Abraham Lincoln
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