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Old 05-23-2020, 11:16 AM   #1
forest dweller
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Got any great backpacking dinner recipes you'd like to share?

Got any great backpacking dinner recipes you'd like to share?

Particularly for week long trip...

I just can't eat those just add boiling water meals!

Criteria - nutritious, delicious and ingredients will keep an not weigh 100 pounds!

For a few days I'm the knucklehead carrying my favorite jar of sauce..or 2! But I LLOOVVEE my dinner! But I can't do this for a week of dinners, I'll break a strap or a part of my body trying to carry it!

Might as well mention lunch ideas while you're at it, if you would like!
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Old 05-23-2020, 11:46 AM   #2
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Tomato paste plus water and spices can make some passable sauces without weighing a ton.

If I'm trying to be "backwoods fancy," one of my go-tos is tortellini- the dried varieties are aren't going to break your bag or fill your food bag to capacity (unless you're looking at like 4-5 nights), and they are still super easy to cook.

One dessert idea: I have a friend who will use instant muffin mix to make large muffins on backpacking trips. He uses a silicone mold for the muffin. He places the mold and cake batter on a raised platform in a pot with about an inch of water, then covers the bot with the lid and sets it on his stove. The stove boils the water, and the steam cooks the muffin.
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Old 05-23-2020, 12:06 PM   #3
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Similar to DS's recipe, I have made cake by using two pots, one nesting fairly close inside the other. Put a few stones and an inch of water in the large one, put cake mix in the small one inside the larger. Simmer tightly covered for about 45 minutes. Cooks well, but obviously does not brown.

A long time ago I began dehydrating my own meals. Much of what you consume for dinner at home, especially casseroles (no large pieces of anything within) can be dehydrated and rehydrated with good results. It takes about 20 minutes to rehydrate most items with hot water and an insulating bag. If that is too much for you, just browse any large supermarket in the prepackaged meal section. Look for short cook times. Be creative with what you can add to the basic bland stuff.
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Old 05-24-2020, 12:15 PM   #4
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I love the idea of dehydrating spaghetti sauce IF it will knock the weight down considerably AND taste basically the same and have more or less the same nutrition...tortellini and a good quality sauce appeals to me enough to eat that at least half the nights I'm out there.

It can get heavy but the sell small jars of pesto too...that with some tiny cans of peas and some of that canned chicken with spaghetti...no it's not the lightest thing to carry but it's quite edible.

Those rice packets that come ready to eat too are a little on the heavy side but are also quite edible.

Last edited by forest dweller; 05-24-2020 at 12:25 PM..
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Old 05-24-2020, 12:24 PM   #5
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For an instant lift a pot of curry powder works wonders, not the whole pot of course, unless you are a real toughie!
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Old 05-24-2020, 12:24 PM   #6
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This looks great. Anybody have experience with one? What are your favorite things to dehydrate? How do yo know when it's done removing water, especially perishable things in which you MUST get all the water out to keep from spoiling?

https://www.amazon.com/NESCO-FD-75A-...f_rd_i=1090752
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Old 05-24-2020, 12:38 PM   #7
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I've used the Nesco 1000 watt model for more than 20 years. I'm on my second one, as the first one died after about 12 years.

I've told this story here before, but I'll repeat it anyway. For the first ever Yukon 1000 mile canoe race in 2009, the rules required 20kg (44pounds!) of food per paddler to be carried on board from race start (not including the water weight to make dehydrated stuff edible). I was racing in a voyageur canoe with a total of 7 paddlers. I home dehydrated all of our main meals (breakfast and dinner) for the entire race for everyone in the canoe. Do the math. Thankfully that requirement was dropped in following years. It turns out the officials were looking at a possible 2 week trip for slower canoes, plus a 3rd week of emergency rations, which would have been just about right. We finished in 6 days, and I came home with 3/4 of the dehydrated food left over. No one went hungry and no one lost weight.

There are other dehydrators out there (Excalibur is highly rated also). Avoid any without a thermostatic heater and and fan as junk.

For your spaghetti, you can cook the pasta at home and add sauce before dehydrating. It makes preparation at camp much easier and it weighs about 1/4-1/3 of carrying the components uncooked.
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Old 05-24-2020, 01:09 PM   #8
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Thank Wldrns.

I'm wondering if I can do a similar thing if I get to fly to Calgary to backpack in Banff or Jasper again this summer. Customs is OK with travelling with food like that?
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Old 05-24-2020, 01:54 PM   #9
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The. Canada Border Services Agency. web site should guide you, some things are obvious others less so. I have seen people getting their wrists slapped for brining in an apple they were given as part of an in flight meal. I think most things are common sense. When I come down the the US I rarely bring any food items apart from may be tea and curry powder!

https://www.cbsa-asfc.gc.ca/fpa-apa/menu-eng.html
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Old 05-24-2020, 02:54 PM   #10
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https://andrewskurka.com/backpacking...fritos-cheese/

That is my new fav. You can switch it up by altering what you spice it with. I usually do 1.5 of his recommended weights to make it a higher calorie dinner. The one downside is you might not be able to get the dried beans in smaller quantities; I picked up the 8 pack he links to. $25 isn't that much money, but is for sure the most I've ever spent on beans at one time!

Another of my go to dinners would be one of those Knorr pasta/rice sides and a can of chicken and some cubes of cheddar. Nothing fancy but it is inexpensive and the ingredients are going to be available in practically any supermarket. I recently learned that walmart now carries 2.5 oz pouches of chicken. I haven't tried then yet but that is probably the direction I will go in the future since it will be lighter.
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