Best Trail Tips and Tricks for easy tasty grub!

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azfatboy
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Best Trail Tips and Tricks for easy tasty grub!

Post by azfatboy » Mar 04 2013 11:27 am

I see a lot of threads in here for favorite restaurants or for folks personal recipe's. And although I have a couple restaurants and recipes that I will share too, I was also looking for a thread where we could share all our best tips for eating EASY--something in between the obvious (throw a pack of ramen into boiling water) and the complex (double-chocolate dutch oven crumble with caramel glaze). In short, somewhere to discuss our favorite "ready-to-eat" backpacking options, including both store bought and home made. It does not matter if you invented it yourself, or if you think "well, EVERYONE knows that trick, right?", just throw it out there!

This would include the freeze-dried options from Mountain Home, Backpacker's Pantry, etc.--especially to discuss favorites, or which ones to SKIP, or simple variations that make them better. For example, use a pouch of canned chicken or bring a small baggie of sliced bell peppers to stretch the "Chicken Fajitas" MH meal. (this might not even be a good one, I just made it up ;) )

Anyway, I haven't been doing this for very long, and these are not all my ideas, and I am sure that most of you already know 'em, but here are some of my current tips:

OMELETS

Prepare an omelet just like you would at home, including cheese, veggies, ham, etc. Pour into a freezer baggie. Secure in a larger baggie, along with a freezer pack or some other frozen item, stuff in your pack. Then, on your first morning, slip the baggie into a pot of simmering water. You can use a plastic spoon to mush it around, or just lift it out and squish it with your hands a couple times. Continue cooking to desired consistency, and enjoy a fresh fluffy omelet!

Other variations: Going to try and freeze the baggies with the egg. Also, going to take a package of FROZEN franks in lieu of the freezer pack, which will also double as the first night's DINNER! :D
Last edited by azfatboy on Mar 15 2013 2:28 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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azfatboy
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Re: Best Trail Tips and Tricks for easy tasty grub!

Post by azfatboy » Mar 04 2013 11:37 am

INDIAN FOOD

We just barely tried this on our last trip, and it was flat out AMAZING! If you like Indian Food, you will probably love this!

We tried the TASTY BITE ready-to-eat entrees, specifically the BOMBAY POTATOES and the CHANNA MASALA. Both were delicious. Admittedly, everything tastes better after a long day hiking, but I honestly think they tasted pretty good.

We also brought a pack of the small fajita-size flour tortillas as an easy naan-substiture (naan is the bread cooked in tandoori ovens that you get in indian restaurants). We made a small fire, and toasted the tortillas on a rock that we placed near the fire, or just held the tortilla on a pronged stick over the flames until it was toasty brown.

We plan on trying some other varieties including JAIPUR VEGETABLES, VEGETABLE KORMA, and MUSHROOM TAKATAK, and I will update once we try them.

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azfatboy
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Re: Best Trail Tips and Tricks for easy tasty grub!

Post by azfatboy » Mar 04 2013 11:46 am

CHICKEN SALAD WRAP

For us, a vaccuum-pack of tuna/salmon/chicken is an automatic part of everyone's backpacking kit. Initially, they were intended as an emergency food source that would simply stay in the packs, all the time. And this recipe was our attempt to make the meat into a meal.

To make this, you need something like the fajita-size flour tortilla that I used above.

You also will need to have a few of those condiment packets from convenience stores. You know all those packets of ketchup, mustard, mayo, etc that you grab for your hot dog at the Circle K, then throw away the ones you didn't use? Well, just keep a few, put them in a baggie, and voila! You have everything you need. I use mustard, a little mayo, salt and pepper, and if I feel feisty (I usually do), a few packets of Taco Bell FIRE SAUCE! Dump into the pouch, mix it up, scoop into the tortilla, and enjoy!

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azfatboy
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Re: Best Trail Tips and Tricks for easy tasty grub!

Post by azfatboy » Mar 15 2013 2:02 pm

HOT BREAKFAST CEREAL with DRIED FRUIT

I am sure the standard instant oatmeal packets are a staple for many backpackers, and they still are for us. But we have recently starting bagging our own. We are really partial to the Bob's Red Mill line. Yes, they cost a little more, but the quality and taste and noticeably superior--and the list of ingredients is actually decipherable... They make a couple "instant" breakfast cereal options including oat bran and steel-cut oats. I like how I can mix different grains together, and decide my own portions. I just throw some into a baggy and I'm set.

One of out favorite additions is to throw some dried fruit into the cereal. My wife is pickier, but I like everything: bananas, cranberries, blueberries, pineapple, strawberries, and apples all find a welcome home in my bowl. It really turns the oatmeal into a luxurious tasting treat! A small baggie of dried fruit has become a standard part of our load-out, so being able to use some to spruce up breakfast really turns it into a "dual-use" food item!

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Re: Best Trail Tips and Tricks for easy tasty grub!

Post by kingsnake » Mar 15 2013 2:08 pm

Gummo just grabs a lizard ... :D
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joebartels
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Re: Best Trail Tips and Tricks for easy tasty grub!

Post by joebartels » Mar 15 2013 2:23 pm

azfatboy wrote:You know all those packets of...
Circle K salsa & verde salsa packets are bombdiggity!
only 87% salt by volume too... ssshhh
Hike Arizona it ROCKS!

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Re: Best Trail Tips and Tricks for easy tasty grub!

Post by azbackpackr » Mar 15 2013 6:34 pm

I hate instant oatmeal. If I want hot cereal I do hot granola. I mix powdered milk in it before the trip. I just put some in a bowl and pour hot water on it. I prefer the Food Club (Bashas') brand or health food store brands of granola, NO raisins, just plain with almonds and NO cinnamon in it. Nothing worse than discovering that granola is laced with cinnamon not mentioned in the packaging.

I am not a fussy cook. I bring the usual Mountain house stuff for dinners, or sometimes instant soups, but NOT Ramen--we had too much of that when I volunteered in Boy Scouts. And I NEVER bring mac n cheese--gag me with a stick! Blech!!!!!

I bring bagels, cream cheese, sometimes. Sometimes I bring rice cakes instead. Cheese and crackers. Trail mix, jerky, soups, raisins, dry fruit. Easy stuff. I liked instant miso soup I used to get at the Chinese market in Flagstaff, but it closed.

I have been with people who do fancy cooking. Seems like a pain in the neck to me. And please don't ask me to bring some of the ingredients for your gourmet whatever.
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Re: Best Trail Tips and Tricks for easy tasty grub!

Post by kingsnake » Mar 15 2013 6:43 pm

Life does not get any better than Kraft Macaroni & Cheese. Except maybe with hot dogs. And ketchup.
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Re: Best Trail Tips and Tricks for easy tasty grub!

Post by beterarcher » Mar 15 2013 7:06 pm

@kingsnake
or a can of tuna
Understand, when you eat meat, that something did die. You have an obligation to value it - not just the sirloin but also all those wonderful tough little bits.
Anthony Bourdain

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Re: Best Trail Tips and Tricks for easy tasty grub!

Post by allanalxndr » Mar 15 2013 10:38 pm

Breakfast Burritos:
At Home dehydrate or purchase freeze dried onions, bell peppers.
Grab some tortillas, OvaEggs Powdered Egg mix, salsa packets, just add water hashbrowns( in the carton), and the dehydrated whatever you want to add.
The powdered eggs cook up just like real eggs or frozen egg mixture(i use to pack it into a water bottle and freeze). Very light weight, eat like a king, and pretty easy over all.

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Re: Best Trail Tips and Tricks for easy tasty grub!

Post by cactuscat » Mar 15 2013 11:03 pm

I just used pro deal to buy a crapload of Backpackers Pantry food for my upcoming trips ... breakfasts, dinners, and desserts - well over a hundred dollar's worth retail, all for less than fifty bucks including delivery. Can't wait to sample them. I have tried the pad thai and the chocolate cheesecake before, and they were pretty tastey even when I wasn't backpacking.
Where is the "dislike" button?

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Re: Best Trail Tips and Tricks for easy tasty grub!

Post by Bradshaws » Mar 16 2013 4:22 pm

joe bartels wrote:
azfatboy wrote:You know all those packets of...
Circle K salsa & verde salsa packets are bombdiggity!
only 87% salt by volume too... ssshhh
I use packets from all kinds of restaurants when I'm backpacking. My new favorite is the Chili sauce from Panda Express it is AWESOME!!
“ you know what I think?... It doesn’t matter what I think”

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azfatboy
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Re: Best Trail Tips and Tricks for easy tasty grub!

Post by azfatboy » Apr 04 2013 10:38 pm

cactuscat wrote:I just used pro deal to buy a crapload of Backpackers Pantry food for my upcoming trips ... breakfasts, dinners, and desserts - well over a hundred dollar's worth retail, all for less than fifty bucks including delivery. Can't wait to sample them. I have tried the pad thai and the chocolate cheesecake before, and they were pretty tastey even when I wasn't backpacking.
I think I bought a very similar variety pack of the Backpacker's Pantry from STP last year. I thought they were almost as good as Mountain Home, but they more than made up for it with awesome variety. My favorite memory, hard for me to believe, is their granola. I don't like milk, and only use it for cereal. And I really really despise the taste of powdered milk. But for whatever reason, that BP granola (which was just granola with powdered milk, so you just add water and eat) was so delicious that it completely changed my perspective. We now have powdered milk in the pantry, and I am making my own granola breakfast for my next trip. I sure hope I like it as well the next time.

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Re: Best Trail Tips and Tricks for easy tasty grub!

Post by azbackpackr » Apr 05 2013 3:43 pm

azfatboy wrote:
cactuscat wrote:I just used pro deal to buy a crapload of Backpackers Pantry food for my upcoming trips ... breakfasts, dinners, and desserts - well over a hundred dollar's worth retail, all for less than fifty bucks including delivery. Can't wait to sample them. I have tried the pad thai and the chocolate cheesecake before, and they were pretty tastey even when I wasn't backpacking.
I think I bought a very similar variety pack of the Backpacker's Pantry from STP last year. I thought they were almost as good as Mountain Home, but they more than made up for it with awesome variety. My favorite memory, hard for me to believe, is their granola. I don't like milk, and only use it for cereal. And I really really despise the taste of powdered milk. But for whatever reason, that BP granola (which was just granola with powdered milk, so you just add water and eat) was so delicious that it completely changed my perspective. We now have powdered milk in the pantry, and I am making my own granola breakfast for my next trip. I sure hope I like it as well the next time.
On a cold morning try adding hot water to the granola mix, instead of cold. You might be pleasantly surprised.
For a recent overnighter I bought a Subway cold turkey sandwich with all the stuff I like added onto it. I had them wrap the halves separately. That was lunch and dinner for the hike.
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Re: Best Trail Tips and Tricks for easy tasty grub!

Post by garyc57 » Apr 06 2013 5:29 am

Is it just me, or what? When I'm hiking, I'm not hungry. When I stop for a break, I almost have to force myself to eat something. I try to stay away from "sugary" stuff, because I worry about the sugar crash afterwards. My last hike, I ate about half a cup of roasted salted shelled sunflower kernels. But an hour or two later, I was dragging. No energy at all.

What do you suggest to eat for snacks for both a quick and a long-term energy boost?

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Re: Best Trail Tips and Tricks for easy tasty grub!

Post by SgtLumpy » Apr 06 2013 11:47 am

I guess I'm like Gary. I don't like to eat on a hike or while any kind of camping. If it's overnight I'll take nuts, raisins, seaweed, stuff like that. I'd love to have coffee in the morning when on overnight trips but I've never found a good way to make it, no mater how high or low tech the brew method. I carry some kind of gorp brownie in case I end up stuck somewhere for a really long time. But I've never eaten it, at least not till I got home the following day and had a pot of coffee to go with it.

I definitely can't deal with eating things like pasta, chicken stew, that kind of stuff, while on the trail.


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Re: Best Trail Tips and Tricks for easy tasty grub!

Post by trekkin_gecko » Jul 29 2013 4:36 pm

available at costco
bacon jerky is delicious
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joebartels
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Re: Best Trail Tips and Tricks for easy tasty grub!

Post by joebartels » Jul 29 2013 4:56 pm

:sk:

jj craved some bacon jerky he saw in a Circle K out in Timbuktu by Trails West a year or so ago.
A week or so later I saw it at Walmart and gave it a try. It was horrible, down right disgusting actually.

Some like bacon undercooked and soggy fatty but I'm a crispy bacon type of guy.
The Trails West reminded me of undercooked bacon only worse.

Precooked bacon is cheaper and way better IMO
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Re: Best Trail Tips and Tricks for easy tasty grub!

Post by rwstorm » Jul 29 2013 4:58 pm

@joe bartels
very crispy bacon is the only way to go.
Onward into oblivion!

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Re: Best Trail Tips and Tricks for easy tasty grub!

Post by chumley » Jul 29 2013 5:16 pm

joe bartels wrote:Precooked bacon is cheaper and way better IMO
x2

But precooked bacon is NOT crispy. Good thing I like my bacon served ... any way possible. :y:
Profound observer

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