Long Distance Backpacking - what's for lunch?

Have a favorite trail recipe or technique you'd like to share? Please do! We also like reviews of various trail food products out there. The Backcountry Food Topix forum is the place to discuss all things related to food and nourishment while in the Sierra wilderness (as well as favorite trail head eateries).
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Lumbergh21
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Re: Long Distance Backpacking - what's for lunch?

Post by Lumbergh21 » Fri Mar 29, 2019 4:06 pm

Salami and cheese in a tortilla, peanut butter in a tortilla, tuna in a ... yep, tortilla, or just eat salami and cheese without the tortilla and I've been known to spoon pb right out of the jar too. For me, anyway, cheddar will be good for up to 6 days (that's the longest it has lasted before it was all gone). As far as looking fresh, I don't. I do my best by soaking in a creek or lake for at least 10 minutes every day, splashing water all over myself, dunking my head, etc. and rinsing out one set of clothes daily (I carry 2 pairs of shorts/light pants, 2 shirts, and 2 pairs of socks). The soaking in the cold water is also to help with joint swelling. I've got osteoarthritis and the cold seems to help.








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Re: Long Distance Backpacking - what's for lunch?

Post by Wandering Daisy » Fri Mar 29, 2019 8:24 pm

Since the post was about "long distance" backpacking, I thought that meant 10+days. In that case, tuna packets gives few calories for the weight. Four tuna packets weigh the same as my fishing gear, and I can catch a lot more calories! Fitting 10 days food in a bear can requires low volume to also be considered. Compact shaped nuts, seeds, dried fruit work well for me. Although tasty, salami just does not digest well for me- too greasy. I do better with jerky (I like the softer type). I will take crackers or bread or a sandwich the first day, but not for the long term. I also take Café-Rio candies, but use them more for dinner desert. The individually packed cheese sticks have never gone bad for me, even after two weeks. I have never tried tortillas; I like them but worry about spoilage.

And speaking of LONG distance, you always hear that PCT hikers eat a ton of junk food and candy. I really do not see how they can do that.

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Re: Long Distance Backpacking - what's for lunch?

Post by bobby49 » Fri Mar 29, 2019 9:47 pm

Wandering Daisy wrote:
Fri Mar 29, 2019 8:24 pm
And speaking of LONG distance, you always hear that PCT hikers eat a ton of junk food and candy. I really do not see how they can do that.
Last summer I was out along one segment of the JMT, and there were lots of backpackers along there. Many were ducking out to MTR or VVR for cooked food, resupply food, or the currency of the trail which happens to be the Milky Way bar. Then they would reappear back on the trail with Cheetos crumbs around the mouth.

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Re: Long Distance Backpacking - what's for lunch?

Post by gary c. » Sat Mar 30, 2019 10:41 am

Wondering daisy is right to worry about tortillas and spoiling. Until a couple of years ago I had come to depend on them a lot as part of my meals. While they may be heavy they do lay flat in the bear can and don't take up much space. My wife and I would each carry a package in our cans. On just the third day of a trip one of the packages that had never been opened turned completely green and had to be tossed. We managed to stretch the other package that had the same exp date for the entire week.

I still carry tortillas because I enjoy them so much. I just make a point of planning meals can still be enjoyed even without them.
"On this proud and beautiful mountain we have lived hours of fraternal, warm and exalting nobility. Here for a few days we have ceased to be slaves and have really been men. It is hard to return to servitude."
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Re: Long Distance Backpacking - what's for lunch?

Post by rlown » Sat Mar 30, 2019 10:45 am

hmmm. my tortillas seem to be fine even after 10 days. No green.

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Re: Long Distance Backpacking - what's for lunch?

Post by gary c. » Sat Mar 30, 2019 11:21 am

rlown wrote:
Sat Mar 30, 2019 10:45 am
hmmm. my tortillas seem to be fine even after 10 days. No green.
Mine too except for that one time. There was nothing wrong with them that could be seen when I packed them and a far out expiration date. I still use them a lot I just don't plan the majority of my meals around them like I used to.
"On this proud and beautiful mountain we have lived hours of fraternal, warm and exalting nobility. Here for a few days we have ceased to be slaves and have really been men. It is hard to return to servitude."
-- Lionel Terray

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Re: Long Distance Backpacking - what's for lunch?

Post by longri » Sat Mar 30, 2019 12:42 pm

It depends on the tortillas. Some brands have little or no preservatives and mold quite easily. Others are well preserved.

The ones I buy never mold. I've had them in caches for weeks. I found a previously open package in my backpack last year that had been forgotten for months. The tortillas were still fine.

I like the soft taco size for backpacking in the Sierra because they are the same diameter as a bear canister. Tortillas are bit heavy with water weight, something like 3 Cal/g. But worth it in my opinion.

So far, in my life, I have yet to find a food that isn't improved by putting it in a tortilla.

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Re: Long Distance Backpacking - what's for lunch?

Post by freestone » Sat Mar 30, 2019 2:28 pm

longri wrote:
Sat Mar 30, 2019 12:42 pm

So far, in my life, I have yet to find a food that isn't improved by putting it in a tortilla.
So very true. Not a day goes by that I don’t do a burrito.

For flour tortillas, I cut them down to the diameter that fits my Trangia mini lid and also in a zip bag then put the trimmings in another baggie to nibble on at lunch. No one mentioned corn tortilla chips, those are a favorite lunch food for me too, salty, oily, and good in almost any kind of backpacking dinner. I crunch them down in the baggie to pack them in tight. Even when they are crumbs, they can be an excellent food... simple ingredients that’s high in calories.
Fram...

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longri
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Re: Long Distance Backpacking - what's for lunch?

Post by longri » Sat Mar 30, 2019 3:25 pm

freestone wrote:
Sat Mar 30, 2019 2:28 pm
No one mentioned corn tortilla chips, those are a favorite lunch food for me too, salty, oily, and good in almost any kind of backpacking dinner. I crunch them down in the baggie to pack them in tight. Even when they are crumbs, they can be an excellent food... simple ingredients that’s high in calories.

I would think that no one mentioned them because part of their charm is the shape and accompanying texture. Tortilla chips are one reason why I hate bear canisters. I just can't justify bringing a bag of chips on anything other than the shortest trips. A dehydrated salsa works pretty well, or a fresh avocado if the trip is short enough.

But the crunched up version definitely has merit. I don't why I never thought of that. At home I sometimes crunch up corn chips and add them to certain dishes, like chili. They'd be good even as a greasy finger snack like you do.

Thanks for the suggestion. I'll be danged, a new idea!

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Re: Long Distance Backpacking - what's for lunch?

Post by longri » Sat Mar 30, 2019 5:33 pm

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