Backpacking Recipes & Food

Discussion in 'Backpacking' started by MJGEGB, Jun 4, 2018.

  1. MJGEGB

    MJGEGB Guide

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    I've been doing more and more backpacking trips over the past couple of years and looking to do more in the future. I've been working on some meals that work well for backpacking trips some of which are a mix of backpacking and bushcraft and some that are more about putting in miles. I looked at the recipe thread in the cooking forum but a lot of the meals didn't seem suited to traveling well. I searched in this forum and found this thread, but figured a general thread for everyones favorite meals and food when backpacking would be good.

    Rice Tortillas
    • Knorr rice sides, I like the Mexican or Spanish ones (half a bag for a single person is plenty)
    • Tortillas (whatever you prefer)
    • Meat: Chicken or Jalapeno Tuna are my go to both are precooked and come in pouches
    • Optional: Cheese, Peppers, hot peppers
    Cook up the rice, you can cook it in the pot, or cut out some of the water and let it soak. I like to mix the meet into the rice while its hot and close to or done cooking. This way it's all warm and the flavors mix well. Scoup some on a tortilla and add other toppings if available and it's ready to eat.

    Eggs and Bacon/Sausage in a pot or on a plate
    • Water bottle with eggs already out of the shell. A little funel works great for this. Squeeze the extra air from the bottle after adding the eggs.
    • Frozen bacon or sausage
    • Reflectix pouch: you can make one from any piece of reflective bobble wrap. I've gotten a couple from Amazon Prime Now orders.
    Cook the meat first and leave at least some of the oil in the pan or on the plate. Then cook the egs using the oil to help keep them from sticking. My last trip I cooked 6 sausage patties and 6 eggs on a 7" titanium plate on top of an alcohol stove. This is only a viable option for the first morning. I wouldn't go beyond that.

    Nutella Wraps
    • Tortilla
    • Nutella
    • Rasins
    • Optional: nuts or gorp
    Spread Nutella on two wraps. Sprinkle on rasins and anything else desired. Roll both up and place in a zipZip sandwich bag. Makes for a tasty quick and dirty trailable lunch.

    Tuna Mac (old faithful)

    • Mac and cheese (Kroger has a white box in their organic section that is light, compact, and tasty if you don't like the powder cheese like me)
    • Tuna packet: the Jalapeno flavored tuna is my personal favorite
    This is a go to for me due to it's simplicity. If you haven't tried it don't knock it until you do. Some folks are funny about mixing the tuna with anything, but this combination works very well in my experience.

    Coffee

    Starbucks Via instant coffee has been a go to since a forum member introduced me to it a couple years ago. I like their Blonde and their Columbian blends. I'm currently testing out a much cheaper alternative.

    So what are some of your favorite backpacking meals, recipes, and foods?
     
    Last edited: Jun 4, 2018
  2. UAHiker

    UAHiker Supporter Supporter

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    great thread!

    i'm going to be taking some left over home made spaghetti sauce full of vegetables and meat to dehydrate for future trips. i just try to dehydrate leftovers to save cost or
     
  3. DuctTape

    DuctTape Scout

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    Check out the Bear Creek soups as a goid base for backpacking meals. We add dried beef, mushrooms, veggies, etc... to bulk them up.

    Alessi brand soups, and rice mixes are great too.
     
  4. MJGEGB

    MJGEGB Guide

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    I need to put my wife's dehydrator to work. So far I've taken ideas from through hikers who need to be able to resupply at any given town along the way. Knorr, Idahoian, Tuna packs, and Raman are staples along the AT where I tend to hike. No reason aside from laziness not to make up some fancier meals for some trips. Might try dehydrating taco meat for trail side soft tacos or something like that in the future.

    I'll have to try those, some of them look really good. Any tips for splitting them out serving wise? For example the Knorr sides I find half is more than plenty for me with some meat mixed in. I've been told that you reduce the water by half a cup for coozy cooking (boil water and let the food sit and soak in the hot water) to save on fuel. Seems like for the soup you'd just need to cover the ingredients and maybe a bit more water wise. I plan to give this sort of cooking a try in the near future to cut down on fuel usage.
     
  5. DuctTape

    DuctTape Scout

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    I am not a fan of the boil and soak in coozie method. Most of these, including the knorr, are expecting to simmer at a low boil for a number of minutes. Adding in extra meat and dried veggies makes it even more necessary.

    Anywzy, to your question. I just split the bag if needed. Be sure to really shake it up to even disperse the seasonings and stuff.
     
  6. xrayit

    xrayit Supporter Supporter

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    Two pretty good backpacking recipe books that I am using this backpacking season.

    IMG_3362.jpg
     
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  7. zelph

    zelph Supporter Supporter

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    I purchase Mountain House products in #10 cans and then fill ziploc bags with portions that fit my needs.
     
  8. hidden_lion

    hidden_lion Supporter Supporter

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    don't forget Jerky. its pre-seasoned and rehydrates well for soup. add to Ramen noodles or minute rice. If you like more exotic flavors you can pick up indian dishes in pouches you can boil to heat up, a large variety of flavors available in the foreign food section of most grocery stores. they are very good.
     
  9. Muleman77

    Muleman77 Hobbyist Hobbyist

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    The Idahoan instant potatoes are another good thing to get familiar with.

    Any brand I guess, but those seem the tastiest in my opinion.

    Pretty good as a side, but there's kind of a shepherds pie/pot pie thing I like to make with cheddar flavored, dehydrated veggies, gravy mix, and canned beef.

    Make the gravy, add the veggies and beef, let em cook a minute and get soft. You want it to end up pretty thick.

    Make the potatoes in the packet, put them right on top in the pot, take it off the heat and let it sit a few, and eat up!
     
  10. MJGEGB

    MJGEGB Guide

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    I've got a trip coming up this weekend, maybe the next depending on how things go. I might try a new dinner recipe that I got from Darwin on the Trail

    Pesto Couscous with Chicken
    • Knorr Pesto package
    • 1 Cup of Couscous
    • 3oz Chicken in water package
    I might add a pack of jalapeno tunna depending on my mood as well.

    If I go that route I'll try to post my thoughts and a picture if I remember.

    Anyone have thoughts on a trailable lunch for warm weather? I sort of want to avoid nuts and other sources of oil and fat on the trail to help keep my body temp down.
     
  11. MJGEGB

    MJGEGB Guide

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    Well the pesto couscous with chicken turned out really well outside of scorching the crap out of the bottom bit. I need to work on the portions a bit as I made way too much but I'll definitely do this one again.

    [​IMG]Pesto Couscous with Chicken by MJGEGB, on Flickr

    Bacon and Eggs

    This was a last minute idea, I plan to try it again but with egg crystals which a dehydrated eggs.

    • Three eggs scrambled
    • Little olive oil
    • One uncured bacon Epic bar sliced up
    [​IMG]Bacon and Eggs by MJGEGB, on Flickr
     
  12. Vpetrell

    Vpetrell Scout

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    I use a few easy items for when we’re out backpacking

    We dry lots of stuff for camping and they make quick work in the pot.

    Typically we always have dried out fior us

    -peppers
    Onion
    Green beans
    Tomatoes

    Apples
    Bananas
    Berries
    Kiwi
    Mango
    Pears
    Papaya
    Melon-occasionally
    Grapes

    And whatever else we feel like. Haven’t done too much jerky yet. Still trying to get a good recipe


    For breakfast, oat meal packets and dried fruit. Instant coffee

    Lunch we use tortilla wraps, avacado and tuna
    packets. We get condiment packets for meals as well.

    Snacks- trail mix packs, cereal bars, nut mixes, peanut butter and jelly squeeze packets...


    - I sell food for a living and the place I work for allows me to get almost 75% of the items I take. Myself and whoever I go with are fortunate for that. Great news for car camping as well


    Dinner we use dr McDougal soups that are dehydrated already and only about 2$ a piece. I like the black beans and rice, or the black beans and lime. Both high protein content....I think about 9-10 grams and weigh less than 3 oz a piece once out of the cup. A lot of other flavors as well on top of these ones.

    I always put jerky in mine along with whatever dried veggies I have available.

    Sometimes I’ll bring instant rice as well. Depending on how far I go. And the weight I’m willing to carry in food, but I love trail eating so sometimes I bring extra

    This is pretty much standard depending on length of trip and what I feel in the mode for.


    VP
     
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  13. UAHiker

    UAHiker Supporter Supporter

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    how's the book by chef glenn? i subscribe to his emails but haven't gotten the book yet... been tempted though...
     
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  14. nealglen37

    nealglen37 Tinder Gatherer

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    I will throw my two cents in here. All that food looks great. If I were hiking from from a base camp I would gladly fix many of those things listed. However, If I were hiking from one place to another I would not take food I had to cook. I would take a bag of flour tortillas, packaged pepperoni or other ready to eat meats in packages. I would also take dried fruit and nuts. it seems like if hiking from one point to another the added weight of the stove, fuel, and extra time to clean the pots is not worth it. I will pop a caffeine tablet to ward off the lack of coffee/caffeine headache. Just my two cents.
     
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  15. UAHiker

    UAHiker Supporter Supporter

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    That's also know as cold cooking or stoveless. People do it, comes down to personal preference of if you want a hot meal at the end of the day or not
     
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  16. MJGEGB

    MJGEGB Guide

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    That's generally how I go about dealing with lunch since I'm eating lunch on the trail. My base weight is light enough that the weight of my cook kit isn't a huge issue. I believe I'll now be in the Ultralight group after my new quilt arrives, certainly once I upgrade my pad. As for the clean up part, that's what has me interested in freezer bag cooking. My first attempt didn't go so well probably because I was at work, and using water cooler water rather than boiling water. I won't have a microwave to save the day in the woods.

    Me and my wife are firm believers that only communist can go without coffee (we kid of course).

    A good trick for cleaning out your pot at camp when needed though is to make a simple pot scraper from a stick using your knife. Came in handy on my last trip where I realized that my stove was a bit more powerful than required by my pot.
     
  17. ra2bach

    ra2bach Bushmaster

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    I'm going to be following this one... :dblthumb:
     
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  18. nealglen37

    nealglen37 Tinder Gatherer

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    Oh, I left one nugget of info out. When I do use my pots and pans, I have found that wiping them out while still warm, then rinsing with water, is quicker and uses less water.
     
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  19. ra2bach

    ra2bach Bushmaster

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    I scrape out leftover food with a flattened stick or bark and then wiping with some grass. if I have fuel, I put a little water back in the pot and bring it to a boil, dry it with a bandana and put it away.

    I don't spend a lot of time sanitizing my cooking stuff as most everything I cook in them starts with boiling water...
     
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  20. MJGEGB

    MJGEGB Guide

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    Exactly, which is why I don't mind rinsing them with water directly from a stream as well. I tend to hang mine outside of my bear bag so it can air dry overnight and forgo drying it out. There generally isn't much water left afterwards anyway.

    Another point that has been made by those who no cook is that they generally don't save any if much weight. The half pound or so for your cook kit and fuel ends up coming out in the wash by carrying heavier food that already has water weight in it. Unless you are at a dry camp weight will work out about the same. The biggest advantage is time and effort. There is less crap to do, take carry of and clean. That is unless you are cold soaking in which case you still have a container to clean up. I'm completely open to no cook meal ideas as I tend to do a mix on my trips. I find no cook to be perfect for lunch like I said. I refer to this as trailable food. Perfect for a quick breather on the side of the trail, or preferably a vista or scenic view.
     
  21. ra2bach

    ra2bach Bushmaster

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    yeah, I don't spend a lot of time with my cook stuff but I do make sure it is dry before I pack it up. waterborne organisms don't survive once the surface is dry so wiping with a towel or bandana and then hold it over the fire till it hot enough to evaporate anything the bandana didn't get is good for me.

    however, other bacteria can survive in food particles that remain. that's why I boil my pots out if I can - even if not completely clean, they're most likely sanitized...
     
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  22. petey091

    petey091 Scout

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    These are my favorites. To increase the calories for these meals you can add a packet of tuna fish if you want.

    Beans and Rice

    2 oz of instant refried beans
    1.5 oz instant rice
    1 oz of powdered chedder cheese
    1 oz fritos
    tacos seasoning to taste

    Bring 12 oz of water to boil and stir in the above. Let sit for several minutes to let the rice and beans rehydrate.

    Cheesy Potatoes

    2 oz instant potatoes
    1/2 oz powdered chedder cheese
    1 oz real bacon bits
    3/4 oz nido milk
    1/3 oz dried green chiles

    Bring 10 or 12 oz of water to boil and stir in the above
     
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  23. hidden_lion

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    if you end up soaked in the rain or get cool overnight, hot food makes a huge difference, but each person is different in that regard. I like to eat well and the minuscule weight of my alcohol stove, fuel and pot are well worth the reward. that said, tortillas and ready to eat meat w/cheese are great staples that can be enhanced by cookery or eaten as they are
     
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  24. JOttum

    JOttum North Woodsman Supporter

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    I have taken Zatarain's brand rice sides and split them in half. To that I added 1/2 lb of dehydrated hamburger to each half. When ready you just add water and cook as usual, great flavor if you ask me, plus variety can be had by changing the meat added. Maybe try some dehydrated Andouille or spicy Italian sausage?

    Another good option is to take an equal mix of parboiled rice and broken up vermicelli noodles, this is the basic base of the Knorr rice sides. To this you can add what ever herb or spice mixes you like. Toss in some dehydrated veggies, meat, or mushrooms and there you go.
     
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  25. Big ian

    Big ian Tracker

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  26. Timex

    Timex Guide

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    I have cut down on my cooking. Fire restrictions and carrying extra water for cleaning limit what I can carry. While a gourmet dish on the trail is awesome, it requires extra fuel if fires are not permitted. Simple meals make for an early start.
     
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  27. LeafOnTheWind

    LeafOnTheWind Tracker

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    Idahoan mashed potato packets are amazing. Just boil some water with jerky scraps and/or dried veg in it for a few minutes, then pour it into the potato flakes. Add garlic oil or butter. Bam. "Food".

    Also, Cafe Bustelo happens to be my instant coffee packet of choice. They have a less-burnt flavor than all the Starbucks via packets I've tried.
     
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  28. Keithturkjr

    Keithturkjr Scout

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    Day one backpacking feast.
    You need 10 in frying pan and a good size nesting cup
    2 potatoes
    1 onion
    1 lb tube of frozen sausage (I like jimmy dean hot sausage)
    3 cheddar cheese sticks (optional)

    Sausage will just finish thawing around dinner time.

    Brown the sausage and dump in the nesting cup
    Then cut the raw onion and toss in the nesting cup with the sausage
    Cut the potatoes, then 3/4 cook the potatoes in the sausage grease
    then combine sausage onion potatoes and cook until the onions are clear. This also where you would add cheese chunks. Its also a good time to wipe out the nesting cup and make a hot drink.

    Its pretty easy to make this correctly as long as you cut the potatoes small enough and stir the food frequently in the pan.
    sometimes if I don't do cheese Ill pour a little sugar or honey or maple syrup on it.
    Can serve 2, or you can eat it all and it will be a huge meal.
     
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  29. Not Sure

    Not Sure Supporter Supporter

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    A trick I learned from Thru-Hikers about clean up.
    Rinse Bowl or Pot with water and drink the remains.
    This conserves Water and Food.
    When humping food and water for days, every bit helps.
    It also leaves the Camp less contaminated for the next hiker, think Bears ect..........
    Apologies if I am off topic.
     
    Last edited: Sep 24, 2018
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  30. castle22

    castle22 Scout

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    Sloppy Joe Potatoes! One of my favorite backpacking meals.

    Dehydrate ground beef - it’s easy, you can find a recipe by a quick google search.
    Dehydrate half a can of sloppy joe sauce (you can do it in the same manner as spaghetti sauce or fruit leather)
    We usually do 1/2lb of ground beef and 1/2 can of sloppy joe sauce - it’s enough for a meal for two people. Put them in a quart zip lock freezer bag when you’re done.

    I do the dehydration in the oven but if you have a dehydrator so much the better. You’ll also need a bag of dehydrated mashed potatoes - I like idohan Buttery flavor.

    Once you’re in camp boil water and add to the beef and sloppy joe mixture til it’s the right consistency. Slice the bag of mashed potatoes lengthwise and add the boiling water. Spoon in the sloppy joe sauce and eat. Looks kinda gross but tastes great and is pretty calorie dense.

    9A7330F3-E131-44D7-BBD9-7D7A91270F26.jpeg
     
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  31. KFF

    KFF Scout

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    We have mug size soups, various flavours, mix with 200ml of boiled water.
    Last night I was too tired to cook, but had been prepping shrooms to be frozen.
    Anyway, this is what I did.

    300ml of water, boil
    Add soup mix, I have creamy chicken flavour.
    Add 100ml of minute pasta (or noodels or rice or couscous)
    Add shrooms (or meat/chicken/tuna/fish)
    Let cook till pasta is ready.
    Spice to taste.

    Either I was really hungry or it was ok to eat. Will make again to decide.
     
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  32. Keithturkjr

    Keithturkjr Scout

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    Hamburger rocks are the bomb in the woods. They can really expand your culinary horizons on the trail. Take a long time to re hydrate but its red meat though.
     

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