Best backcountry meal options

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oldschool
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Re: Best backcountry meal options

Post by oldschool »

I don't use prepackaged dehydrated meals...too salty, too expensive.

I mix instant oats, protein powder, powdered milk and brown sugar for breakfast. Bars, almond butter, and peanut M&M's for snacks, and instant rice and beans for dinner. Ramen and tuna in olive oil for dinner too. I buy these items in bulk and weigh and measure. The breakfast and dinner food goes in freezer ziplok bags (they can handle boiling water) Pour hot water into bag, let sit for 10ish minutes. No clean up. Put used bags in other used bags and pack out.

I used this method on a 300 mile hike last year. 3000 calories per day, 1.7 lbs of food per day, just add water. Boil water in 2 minutes...no big deal. My stove system weighs 1 lbs (burner and pot)....not including a fuel canister. Easy clean up, light weight for the calories, and easy to make and pack out. Eat right out of the bag...long handled titanium spoon.

Mike
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climbingcue
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Re: Best backcountry meal options

Post by climbingcue »

Great ideas in this post, thank you all for sharing...
Consecutive months with at least one 14er, 41 months and counting...
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stephakett
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Re: Best backcountry meal options

Post by stephakett »

i love the convenience of the dried backpacking meals. my biggest complaint is that the packaging is too bulky, so i split them in two and portion into baggies. i use a Sea to Summit X-Seal & Go Container to heat them up with water from my jetboil. i know there are more economical ways to go about feeding yourself, but i'm also the weirdo that buys a backpacking meal or nature snack with almost every gear purchase, so the funds kind of hide themselves in my ongoing purchases and it's not as sticker-shocky as outright dropping $30-40 on food for 3 days. when the occasion calls for it, i also like meal replacement shakes because i normally lose my appetite at altitude and its much easier for me to knock back a shake at 4am than force down some oatmeal.
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drewharrellrtr
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Re: Best backcountry meal options

Post by drewharrellrtr »

Kind of surprised at some of these posts, because I love the mountain house meals. To each their own!
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Somewhat of a Prick
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Re: Best backcountry meal options

Post by Somewhat of a Prick »

+1 for mountain house, I love the breakfast skillet
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SnowAlien
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Re: Best backcountry meal options

Post by SnowAlien »

Another vote for instant potatoes (1 packet=2 meals), tuna packets (like spicy ones), add mayo, craisins
Instant ramen noodles for lunch
Instant oatmeal with energy waffles for breakfast either with hot chocolate, coffee or instant apple cider. Dehydrated fruit weighs nothing but expensive
Meat/cheese sticks for snacks on a hike
I could live on this stuff for 10 days in a row!
I use Jetboil and buy all the food at CityMarket
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mtree
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Re: Best backcountry meal options

Post by mtree »

I've gone stoveless as well. For 3 days you have lots of great options. Think Greek or Middle Eastern. Some tasty food I've used that travels well:

Spicy, fried chicken strips
Hard boiled eggs
Falafel on pita with tahini
Tortilla wraps (without cheese) with ham, pepperoni, or even turkey. Add some crispy sliced peppers, Romaine, arugula, or chopped carrots and a sprinkle of sunflower seeds.
Pre-cooked grilled sausage sandwich on a toasted roll with spicy mustard and pico de gallo
Grilled kifta pita sandwich with hummus
Indian-style halibut salad in a pita. Surprisingly good breakfast! Keep salad and pita separate until eating.
Jumbo smoked pork chop with some kettle chips! I really brought this on a trip. It was deeeelish!!! My hiking partner was dying with envy as he slurped his bag of rice and beans.

Of course, there's also the packaged stuff like PopTarts, various "bars", jerky, peanut butter, and other treats.

For stoveless newbies I have a few recommendations.

Keep wet and dry foods separate until its time to assemble.
Eat foods with shortest shelf life FIRST.
Mix and match same items wherever possible. In other words, same bag of veggies can be used with multiple meals.
Avoid murky foods and wilted veggies.
Spices and sauces are your friends. I've never regretted bringing too much Tabasco sauce!
Avoid everything dairy.
Be wary of daytime temps. It could affect shelf life or taste/texture.
Contrary to what you may think, pre-cooked beans DO NOT travel well. They will ferment if kept warm. Ewwww!
Have plenty of trail mix as an emergency backup!

Bon appetite!
- I didn't say it was your fault. I said I was blaming you.
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4thPlaceAtFieldDay
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Re: Best backcountry meal options

Post by 4thPlaceAtFieldDay »

I like the ease and convenience of the packaged meals, and most of them aren't really that expensive like many people are making them sound. Most meals are <$10, and when you find them on-sale they are $6-$8. I usually stock up when there is a sale. I also do boxed mac & cheese and ramen as well since those are really easy to make in a Jetboil. Poptarts or energy bars is a typical breakfast for me because I don't like taking the time when it's super early in the morning; I'd rather spend that time sleeping.
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SkaredShtles
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Re: Best backcountry meal options

Post by SkaredShtles »

Preferred breakfast: bulk granola (from Sprouts), some add'l dried fruit, powdered milk, hot water
Preferred lunch: cured Italian sausage, hard cheese, pita/tortillas
Preferred dinners: dried Indian and/or Thai sauce packets, cous-cous (instant rice also OK), and dried chicken (or the bagged-type chicken if I'm feeling ostentatious)

Also - ALWAYS take some treat for dessert.
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Dakota
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Re: Best backcountry meal options

Post by Dakota »

If I have prepared meals, I do like Packit Gourmet.

https://www.packitgourmet.com

Also, Trader Joe's Instant coffee packets which are too sweet for me at home but for some reason taste amazing while camping.
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Cide
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Re: Best backcountry meal options

Post by Cide »

Lemmiwinks wrote: Thu Jun 13, 2019 10:39 am I like the ease and convenience of the packaged meals, and most of them aren't really that expensive like many people are making them sound. Most meals are <$10, and when you find them on-sale they are $6-$8. I usually stock up when there is a sale. I also do boxed mac & cheese and ramen as well since those are really easy to make in a Jetboil. Poptarts or energy bars is a typical breakfast for me because I don't like taking the time when it's super early in the morning; I'd rather spend that time sleeping.
I concur. 6-8$ for three to four different manufacturers options all day, everyday at sierra trading post. It’s convenient and at 6-7 ounces for a 660 calorie meal....it’s
right there w/ any other option.
"Salients in the Void"
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drewharrellrtr
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Re: Best backcountry meal options

Post by drewharrellrtr »

My morning "go to" is usually a cliff bar. I find those provide a lot of energy. I won't go hiking without one
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