Best backcountry meal options

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Best backcountry meal options

Post by daway8 » Wed Jun 12, 2019 8:10 pm

If you were to spend say 3 full days solo in the backcountry what sort of meals would you pack in that would minimize weight while still keeping you satisfied and charged up enough to tackle multiple 14ers? Are those ‘just add hot water’ meals you find in the pouches at REI worth it? If not, what are good alternatives that won’t break your back or leave your stomach growling?
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Re: Best backcountry meal options

Post by cottonmountaineering » Wed Jun 12, 2019 8:14 pm

those things are expensive and give me gas, ramen mac n cheese and instant rice etc
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Re: Best backcountry meal options

Post by wombat » Wed Jun 12, 2019 8:48 pm

Save your money for beer!

Ramen - standard 3 oz packet
Mac-N-Cheese - two of the microwaveable cups moved to a baggie make a meal
Instant Mashed Potatos - the three ounce “idahoan” ones

Bacon bits (salad dressing aisle) to add

Tuna Packet (in oil for extra calories) and Tortilla for lunch
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Re: Best backcountry meal options

Post by Conor » Wed Jun 12, 2019 8:58 pm

3 days. I get a costco pizza and freeze it. Grab a subway to eat part way on the first day. Skip the stove.
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Re: Best backcountry meal options

Post by JTOlson26 » Wed Jun 12, 2019 9:01 pm

Instant rice packs with your choice of seasoning! Grab some canned chicken, put some olive oil in a small travel bottle (lots of calories!) and enjoy!
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Re: Best backcountry meal options

Post by Cide » Wed Jun 12, 2019 9:09 pm

There is variety to the hot water bag meals at Sierra Trading Post and they are 1/3 to 1/2 the price of REI for the same thing.
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Re: Best backcountry meal options

Post by rdp32 » Wed Jun 12, 2019 9:15 pm

This recipe is awesome and only has a few ingredients: ... os-cheese/

It's much tastier AND cheaper AND lighter AND smaller AND more calories (which is a good thing) than those freeze-dried meals from REI. It takes about 5 minutes to whip together the ingredients before a trip.
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Re: Best backcountry meal options

Post by Trotter » Wed Jun 12, 2019 10:22 pm

the mountain house things are good, get the "propack" versions to save bulk. They are vaccumn sealed, so they don't puff up at 11k.

Also google Freezer bag meals. You can make your own meals really cheap.

And to skip stoves or fire, individually packaged servings of tuna or spam, plus tortillas.
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Re: Best backcountry meal options

Post by cdonnelly0626 » Wed Jun 12, 2019 10:28 pm

wombat wrote:
Wed Jun 12, 2019 8:48 pm

Instant Mashed Potatos - the three ounce “idahoan” ones
Another vote for instant mashed potatoes! These were my favorite food on a recent long backpacking trip. You can pre-add whatever salt/seasoning and they are ridiculously lightweight and simple to make, even if weather sucks and you just mix with cold water in a real pinch. I added PB2 peanut powder for protein but yea that's getting a bit weird.
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Re: Best backcountry meal options

Post by peter303 » Thu Jun 13, 2019 2:45 am

Instant rice is a lightweight filling base too, like pasta and potatoes. I prefer the Trader Joe precooked rice brand. On one medium length trip I take all three bases and rotate the meals for variety.

A base plus a main and veggie can be done yourself for a quarter of the price of a fancy dehydrated meal packet. Its really a question of proportions: even the fancy dehydrated packets are likely to cost much less than the gasoline to drive on the trip and be a small total cost of a total trip. That is to say you save more using a fuel efficient sedan vehicle or car pooling, than driving a high clearance SUZ- $50 in gasoline versus $100.

Likewise making my own gorp from peanuts, raisins and cooking chocolate bulk grocery items is a quarter of the price of buying prepared gorps or energy bars, i.e. $2 a pound versus $10+ a pound. A pound of gorp per day will provide half of my energy and be rather tasty too.
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Re: Best backcountry meal options

Post by pvnisher » Thu Jun 13, 2019 6:46 am

Add some dried apricots to the mix to keep you regular. Not too many though... They can hit you hard...

I like instant pasta and tuna packs. Sleeve of Oreo s, pop tart and breakfast shake powder.
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Re: Best backcountry meal options

Post by dwoodward13 » Thu Jun 13, 2019 7:14 am

I used to use those Mountain House meals for a while, then switch to homemade versions along with ramen, box mac and cheese, ect like others have mentioned.

Two years ago I just decided to stop messing with bringing the stove, spending time to boil water, cleaning up ect. and just moved totally stove-less. Things like PB & honey on tortillas, Pop Tarts for breakfast, blocks of cheese and cured meats, crackers, extra bars of your liking, ect. It's just so much easier to only spend 5 minutes making dinner after a long day and not having to put any thought into it. Not to mention the weight and space savings of not bringing a stove and fuel. There are quite a few blogs out there of people who go stove-less for the entire PCT/CDT/AT that you can get ideas from for more 'traditional' meals without the stove as well.

Obviously this isn't for everyone :lol:
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