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Wilderness Delights

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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Wilderness Delights

Postby pork50 » Mon May 09, 2011 7:07 am

I'm going backpacking for my first time ever this year in the Emigrant, so what are some of the tasty foods you buy from rei or another store?
"Going to the mountains is going home."
— John Muir



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Re: Wilderness Delights

Postby tightline » Mon May 09, 2011 8:52 am

you should probably check out the food topix forum....all the info you need.
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Re: Wilderness Delights

Postby sparky » Wed May 11, 2011 2:14 pm

To answer your question directly, REI sells several brands of freeze dried or dehydrated foods. They are all pretty much equal. Don't expect anything better than you would get at your average hometown buffet, which is to say they are not that great.....but livable.

I can enjoy the "mountain house" stroganoff, cheesy mac, kung pow, potato/onion/beef, chicken and rice, sweet and sour pork...most others I have tried are OK (like the italian dishes) and some are just plain wrong (like the breakfasts)

I have found I can live quite comfortably for long periods of time on my particular menu and that is all that counts.

I prefer to eat 3 fairly light meals, then gorge myself throughout the day on snacks. Longer trips are tougher to plan out, because food is heavy!

Breakfast--instant oatmeal/cream of wheat, power bars, instant pankcakes, coffee, cereal with powdered milk

Lunch--centered around ritz crackers with cheese, salami, pepporoni, peanut butter, single serving packets of tuna or chicken salad. I bring 1/2 sleeve of ritz crackers per lunch. I like to do a no cook lunch.

Dinner--I go with a couple prepackaged freeze dried meals like "mountain house" brand, but I will also do instant mashed potatos, shells n' cheese, soups....browse your grocery store, or places like Trader Joes and World Market for anything "instant". There is all kinds of stuff avaliable now that just needs hot water. Found some teriaki bowls the other day that looked good.

Snacks: Nuts, dried fruits, pretzles, candy, chocolate, any snack your heart desires. They are usually light and packed with calories.

The lightest approach would be all freeze dried, but bleahhh :snipe:

Beware anything rich. You do not want to eat super rich foods (at least I don't) for days on end. While I love salami, I do not love to eat it daily....it is just too rich. So when choosing foods, remember a little variety.

I ALWAYS throw in some extra oatmeal packets and extra ramen noodles. They are cheap/light enough that I don't mind carrying them around. Delays happen. Sometimes I am extra hungry. I have eaten my spare rations on a few occasions.

I always repackage foods into ziplock bags. You can drop some weight and bulk quite easily there, and that always equals more food to squeeze in for the trip. I am a skinny guy because I burn fuel like nobody's business, so I need all I can get. You will thank yourself for the snickers bars and almonds you shoved into every nook and crannie.
There is a million ways to be human, all are worthwhile.

True happiness is the absence of striving for happiness.
-Chuang Tzu.
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Re: Wilderness Delights

Postby RoguePhotonic » Wed May 11, 2011 5:18 pm

Make sure that if you buy that freeze dried stuff that you hydrate it long enough. Many of the brands don't list the fact that their instructions are set for 5000 feet and that the cook time doubles for every 5000 feet! I don't much like the stuff myself. One of my favorite dinner meals is to cook a Pasta Sides meal and add some meat to it with some hot sauce.

Or try cooking ramen noodle and then mix a pack of instant Idahoan mashed potatoes into it so you no longer have soup but a thick pasta / potato mix. Bring some tortillas and cheese and make burritos. Mmm!
Last edited by RoguePhotonic on Wed May 11, 2011 10:46 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Wilderness Delights

Postby Carne_DelMuerto » Wed May 11, 2011 8:12 pm

Dehydrated refritos--available in bulk at some health food stores. I absolutely love a bean burrito or 7 after a long day on the trail.
Wonder is rock and water and the life that lives in-between.
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Re: Wilderness Delights

Postby bluefintu » Wed May 11, 2011 11:35 pm

Hi pork50,
Bacon,(pre-cooked) fresh egg beaters or the freeze dry stuff,don't buy that mixed stuff with bell peppers, nasty. Also bacon goes good with fish.Trader Joes hash browns or the Idahoans potatoes. Spanish rice(Korhs?) Miso soup,beef jerky,etc... For this year, jello.(cook in pot and put in the snow.) I could go on and on, but I don't know how long your trip is.
Don
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Re: Wilderness Delights

Postby fishmonger » Tue May 17, 2011 1:43 pm

Carne_DelMuerto wrote:Dehydrated refritos--available in bulk at some health food stores. I absolutely love a bean burrito or 7 after a long day on the trail.


found them online - even dehydrated salsa

http://www.mexgrocer.com/brand-mi-viejita.html

I see a very Mexican menu coming up on my next trip
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Re: Wilderness Delights

Postby AlmostThere » Tue May 17, 2011 2:23 pm

The only things at REI that are fit for consumption are the Harmony House backpacker kits (real dehydrated veggies) and some of the trail bars.

Mountain House - :rolleyes: :thumbsdown:

Real food rocks. The bulk section at Winco, Trader Joes, and stuff you find at your average grocery store - less expensive, more flavor, better nutrition. That and a bunch of recipes from the likes of trailcooking.com or One Pan Wonders website will get you anywhere you need to go. Or if you are a real foodie pick up a copy of Fork in the Trail, or order a bunch of stuff from Packit Gourmet.

Dehydrating food I make at home always turns out better than (uuuuuuuugh) some freeze dried mess that was supposed to be food.
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Re: Wilderness Delights

Postby alvin tostig » Thu Jul 07, 2011 12:06 pm

I find anything freeze-dried to be over-priced and over-seasoned (w/salt). Boxed potato or rice meals from the grocery store works for me. We break apart the boxes, cut out the instructions, and transfer the contents into ziplock bags which helps when dealing with bear cans.

On my next trip I'm going to make a Sausage and Brook Trout Jambalaya (Zatarain's).
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Re: Wilderness Delights

Postby rlown » Thu Jul 07, 2011 12:11 pm

alvin tostig wrote:On my next trip I'm going to make a Sausage and Brook Trout Jambalaya (Zatarain's).


Um.. damn! that is the perfect mix! If you can find the foil packed shrimp, you've got the perfect meal!!!
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Re: Wilderness Delights

Postby Flux » Thu Jul 07, 2011 1:45 pm

Went to an asian foods store and bought powdered coconut creme and Panang Curry paste in a pouch. Still toying with how to make Trout Panang Curry as far as prepping the fish. I may just cut them up lengthwise and just remove the spine and bones from each piece after simmering. Put this over instant rice and it should be pretty darn good. The coconut powder is very high calorie per oz, the rice is probably just OK.

Update: Decided to grab a steak for the first nights meal and do the Panang. Turned out pretty nice and the instant rice was a breeze and decent. Good high calorie meal. Would probably do well with freeze dried beef and veggies.

a bit of olive oil in the pan, sauteing the meat with the Curry paste
Image

With the coconut milk added and simmering it down, the packets used. It called for 1.5 cups of water and I probably should have just used 1 and simmered less:

Image
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Re: Wilderness Delights

Postby DriveFly44 » Thu Jul 21, 2011 12:09 pm

Dang Flux that looks great!! I'm going to try something like that.
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