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Old 10-14-2017, 03:28 PM   #1
forest dweller
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Backpackers breakfasts, lunches, dinners and snack ideas!

Backpackers breakfasts, lunches, dinners and snack ideas!

I can't stomach the "just add boiling water" meals bought in places like EMS and REI.

Can you fine ladies and gentlemen list some of your favorite foods to bring / meals to make for when you are out in the backcountry, particularly longer than 3 days where it might start getting trickier / heavier for various reasons?

I'd just like everyone to get ideas from each other, great ideas that people may not have considered.

Especially interested in healthy and filling and desirable foods you actually want to eat!
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Old 10-14-2017, 04:09 PM   #2
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barilla tortellini makes a great base for dinners, even just a bit of olive oil, garlic and parmesan cheese is fantastic to add. But you can go nuts adding whatever.

For more commercial (not mountain house) Bear Creek Soups make a good base. I add dried ground beef and/or dried vegetables/pasta/rice to them. Most commercial stuff off the shelves in grocery stores is easy to take backpacking. Much cheaper than MH too.

I make granola at home for breakfast. Add NIDO whole milk powder and it is quite fillling and long lasting.

lunch and snacks are the same for me. usually cheese, sausage, dried fruit, nuts.
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Old 10-14-2017, 06:04 PM   #3
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Tuna pouches. Easy to pack in and out and have a great boost of protein for any dish, pasta especially. You can get chicken ones but I find them kind of disgusting, the tuna is just like canned tuna and doesn't need refrigeration.

I really like what Duct Tape said, pasta + OO + parm cheese + salt + pepper. Super easy to make and delicious. I used to use packaged Kraft shells and cheese, but this is much better IMO. Adding tuna is good too.

Dried fruits. Apples, banana chips, etc. Kind of expensive but tasty. If you have a dehydrator make your own.

Tortillas. Easy to pack and full of carbs. Slice up some peppers and onions to add (they keep a few days) and some cheese to make trail quesadillas. These work with for pbj too. Pitas or Naan as well.

Speaking of naan. Prepackaged chana masala is delicious and you can find types you just boil the pouch in water.

Last edited by montcalm; 10-14-2017 at 06:15 PM..
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Old 10-14-2017, 07:08 PM   #4
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Tuna is a great one for people that like fish, I'm not a fan.

I've seen small cans of cooked chicken, they're not bad. Be better if you could find organic ones because Hormel cooked and canned chicken is pretty nasty.
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Old 10-14-2017, 07:12 PM   #5
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You can find organic or at least preservative free jerky's but a few ounces is a lot of money.
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Old 10-14-2017, 10:03 PM   #6
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when it come to jerky, making your own is quite easy. youtube it.
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Old 10-15-2017, 08:40 AM   #7
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when it come to jerky, making your own is quite easy. Youtube it.
+1
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Old 10-15-2017, 09:53 AM   #8
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I make a mixture of eggs, ham, extra sharp cheddar cheese and grits. A touch of sugar and a splash of salt, it's very tasty and supplies long lasting energy. If you're not into grits, you could substitute couscous, pastina or even rice.
I cook up a few batches at a time, then spread it thin on a baking sheet to dry in the oven.
6 or 8 hours at 170 F (my ovens lowest temp) and it's done. Portion it out however you wish in heavy zip lock bags. I have refrigerator stored the dried mixture for over a year and it still tastes just a good rehydrated as when it was freshly made. I have also stored it in a cabinet for over 3 months and it was also still good.

When I'm wilderness camping, I like my meals to be nutritious, tasty, simple, quick and easy to clean up. The eggs, ham, cheese and grits satisfies all those criteria for me...

Really, you can dehydrate nearly any of your favorite meals at home for scrumptious wilderness meals. All you need is an oven and some time.
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Old 10-15-2017, 12:44 PM   #9
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I know the freeze-dried isn't tops on your list, but I enjoy the Mt. House Biscuits & Gravy for breakfast. It's quite good.

When doing a short trip, I'll often take some hard-boiled eggs along in one of these plastic egg carriers. They're all cooked, ready to go.

Lunch is often granola bars or cold cereal with powdered milk. Graham crackers make a different type of cold cereal.

Dinner, if not going FD, is a can of chicken with Knoor/Lipton dinners with some home-dried veggies thrown in.

Are MREs still around? They were "real" food, not FD, and you just had to heat the bag in boiling water for a few minutes, kinda heavy, tho.
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Old 10-15-2017, 08:20 PM   #10
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This guy sells some good meals. They take a while to re-hydrate but they are good. I personally had no problem with Mountain House until they cut their portions in half. I need calories after backpacking, not some dainty hors d'oeuvres.

Dehydrated meals, jerky, and nuts are what I pack to keep things light.

https://hawkvittles.com/order.html
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Old 10-15-2017, 09:08 PM   #11
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Breakfast:

In warm weather, I frequently eat Belvita Breakfast Cookies. They're basically glorified sugar, but they do also have some fiber. They usually keep me going through lunch pretty well. I also usually try to eat at least piece of fruit for breakfast. Bananas are good for the first breakfast and maybe the second breakfast out, for longer trips I'll also bring apples and/or oranges.

In colder weather, I eat oatmeal and some combination of butter, dehydrated re-fried beans, dehydrated chili, dehydrated black beans, etc.

Lunch:

Typically I'll eat cheese and tuna in a tortilla with hot sauce. Sometimes I'll bring cherry tomatoes to garnish the wrap with. I usually also bring some sort of salty cracker (Goldfish is my go to) for added electrolytes. Cheese will last 4-5 days (even in summer) if you avoid touching it with your skin (this transfers bacteria to the cheese that makes it go bad faster). Sharper cheeses also seem to better hold up in summer heat .

I've also had peanut butter and jelly in a wrap. Hummus, cheese, and crackers is another lunch that I'll bring from time to time.

Dinner:

My go to is Knorr Pasta and Rice Sides. There's a ton of different options available so I never really get sick of them, and they are also pretty cheap (you can often find them for a buck each). They're also tasty and easy to cook (although they do require a little bit of simmering). I typically bring dehydrated vegetables to add some texture, fiber, and taste. I'll also use texturized vegetable protein to add more protein. Some of the sides call for milk. I've found that they are usually just fine without it but I will carry powdered milk occasionally to make them a bit more creamy.

Tortellini with a powdered cheese sauce is good if I want to get fancy. I've also done variations on rice and beans but if it's not instant it can take 15-20 minutes of simmering to cook.
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Old 10-17-2017, 11:52 AM   #12
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Anybody want to help me perfect this recipe:

Pasta
Pesto Sauce
Hidden Valley canned chicken
Sundried or Grape Tomatoes
???????
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Old 10-17-2017, 12:08 PM   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by forest dweller View Post
Backpackers breakfasts, lunches, dinners and snack ideas!

I can't stomach the "just add boiling water" meals bought in places like EMS and REI.

Can you fine ladies and gentlemen list some of your favorite foods to bring / meals to make for when you are out in the backcountry, particularly longer than 3 days where it might start getting trickier / heavier for various reasons?

I'd just like everyone to get ideas from each other, great ideas that people may not have considered.

Especially interested in healthy and filling and desirable foods you actually want to eat!
your backpacking,
means your hiking, usually with a load burning lots of calories
no need to try to replicate your daily healthy meals while camping,
hiking/camping i stick to basics,
oatmeal breakfasts, hard fruits like apples,
coffee with powdered milk
for meats i use jerky i make myself and rehydrate it or eat it as is
i also sometimes have pemmican, as it lasts a long time, but not as tasty as jerky
great to add to various soups and meals,
i dehydrate veggies and peppers, also dehydrate sauce(tomato paste seasoned is best for that)
pasta is a staple most days, also use polenta
breads use tortillas and bring flour premixed with baking soda/salt to make flat breads on the fire
i also bring along dollar store dry meals for quick meals,
prefer $1 knorr meals over $5 mountain house meals
the $1 knorr meals have a pretty long expiration date as is 1-2 years usually
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Old 10-17-2017, 02:22 PM   #14
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I'm a very picky eater and I can usually only stomach backpacking food if I take some chances on things staying good and go heavier than I'd like to be. One of my dinners is Buitoni Tortellini with a decent sauce. I actually carry a jar of sauce for one night's dinner! It's ridiculous heavy but I eat it the first night and I enjoy my dinner. I WOULD like to learn how to dehydrate sauce down very little water content on a cookie sheet or something and then put the water content back in it in the backcountry when I go to prepare it...if the nutrients and flavor remain almost the same.
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Old 10-17-2017, 02:26 PM   #15
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But I have a hard time eating many of the Mountain House type foods. I like natural foods in their normal state that taste good!

I mentioned a meal I had an idea for but it got buried by another post.

How could I make this better:

Pasta
Pesto Sauce
Canned Chicken
Sundried or grape tomatoes?
Peas?
What else could I add to this and make it into a dinner?
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Old 10-17-2017, 02:44 PM   #16
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Quote:
Originally Posted by forest dweller View Post
But I have a hard time eating many of the Mountain House type foods. I like natural foods in their normal state that taste good!

I mentioned a meal I had an idea for but it got buried by another post.

How could I make this better:

Pasta
Pesto Sauce
Canned Chicken
Sundried or grape tomatoes?
Peas?
What else could I add to this and make it into a dinner?
I've done this meal for dinner before with just tortellini (half the package is a big enough serving for me), pesto sauce, and canned chicken.

Just cook up the tortellini adding the chicken right at the end to warm it up, discard most of the extra water but not all, add the pesto sauce (and a little bit of olive oil if you want) and stir together. Quick, light, easy, and tasty
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Old 10-17-2017, 09:26 PM   #17
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----. I WOULD like to learn how to dehydrate sauce down very little water content on a cookie sheet or something and then put the water content back in it in the backcountry when I go to prepare it...if the nutrients and flavor remain almost the same.
Nearly any meal you can make at home can be dried at home. Some stuff dries and rehydrates better than others. It costs very little to experiment at home. I particularly enjoy leftovers, and often dry them just to see how it goes. But be forewarned, much of the rehydratd meals DO NOT look appealing, in fact, some look horrible. But the original taste remains, and even seems enhanced, when out in the woods.
I often bring a dried mexican lasagna or some dried goulash. Whatever your favorite dishes are can likely be home dried.
Give it a shot, at worst you'll lose some leftovers and burn a little gas...

Oh, and one of my absolute favorite snacks is home dried bananas. The flavors are intense, nothing at all like commercially dried bananas (which are dried plantains!)
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Old 10-18-2017, 11:41 AM   #18
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Love your avatar stripperguy!

And thanks for the tips!
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Old 10-19-2017, 09:27 AM   #19
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If you have not already done research on home dehydration, you should. Start with the freezer bag cooking sites and move on from there. Lots of great options and your food is exactly the way you like it.

My backpacking meals are often just what is left over from my dinners so it is cheap and spiced the way I like it.

If you don't have a dehydrator grab one with a fan at minimum and temp controls. I would not spend more than about $75 on your first one. I use a $30 model they sold at Wally World and it works great.
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