[pct-l] Eating while backpacking...

Scott Diamond scott.diamond.mail at gmail.com
Tue Nov 3 19:44:09 CST 2015

Thanks for the suggestions Jeffrey.  I'm sorting out my food plans for
2016. I'm actually OK with the vast selection of freeze dried food for
dinner and I think I have enough options for breakfast but I'm really
struggling with enough variety for lunch/day snacking. I have fear of
packing the food in boxes and after 4 weeks on the trail getting sick of my
meal plan. I'm brainstorming on everything I can think of for lunch. You
got any good suggestions for that?


On Mon, Nov 2, 2015 at 6:20 PM, Jeffrey Olson <philos56 at live.com> wrote:

> I contributed this in 2004.  I thought it worth sharing again..
> My favorite dinners are a compilation of cheap, healthy components.  There
> are four basic levels.
> The first level is the base; pasta, instant rice, cous cous, polenta
> (grits)
> or potato flakes, my favorite.  3 oz for the first couple weeks, 4-6 oz for
> the rest of the hike.
> The second level is a dehydrated soup; split pea, black bean (with extra
> salt) or my favorite, curried lentil.  2 -3 oz is enough.
> The third level is the "binder."  I never knew about binders until I got
> disgusted with prepackaged freeze dried food - mostly price.  The binder is
> the ingredient that ties everything else together.  Rice and black bean
> soup
> mix gets old real fast.
> The bind I favor is parmesian cheese - Kraft or some other generic version.
> The stuff lasts forever and has good fat content.  For the first two weeks
> -
> 2oz, and 3 oz for the rest of the hike.  You can carry oil or margarine,
> fake and tubbed, but I've found that good old Kraft Parmesian makes me
> smack
> my lips as I wolf down dinner.  Depending on the meal I include an ounce of
> 4% dehydrated  milk as another binder.
> The fourth level is where you get creative, and can use the dehydrator.
> Anything goes.  An oddity I like is to include dehydrated blueberries, an
> ounce or two, in a dinner once in a while.  Vegetables, etc.   Whatever the
> imagination can concoct.  If you use potato flakes, include fake margarine
> and about three ounces per person of soy baco bits.  That's a lot of baco
> bits, believe me...  They are salty and absolutely wonderful.  Potato
> flakes
> makes the greatest volume per weight, but there are some issues with the
> hypoglycemic spike some people might have to consider.
> I package dinners at home in the same manner.  Use a quart freezer bag and
> in it put all the ingredients.  Secure with a small strip of duct tape.
> You'll put
> in two to three cups of boiling water, let ist, and eat. Some meals fill
> the
> freezer bag.  Most don't
> You can vary your dinners so you don't have the same dinner but twice a
> month.  I found I preferred more curried lentil dinners and fewer black
> beans.  I really liked potato dinners once a week.  They make a LOT of food
> for the weight, and taste so, so, good with the margarine and baco bits.
> I'm a little suspect about the potato dinner's nutrition, hence they are a
> treat - once a week.
> This stuff is all bought in bulk.  The idea of shopping as you go has its
> fans, but I don't like leaving the trail, and I know what I will eat on the
> trail.  Mac and cheese it ain't...  My package disappeared from the Big
> Lake
> Religious camp and I had to hitch into Sisters for a resupply at the store
> at the edge of town.  $50 for five days (1995 dollars).  I figured that I
> was spending
> about $4 a day if I ate nothing but bulk food.  My folks live in the bay
> area and shipping the food was not that expensive.  I so appreciated my
> next
> food drop at Timberline Lodge...  The store bought stuff just wasn't the
> same.  Where were the baggies?
> When I added the mealpack bars, or power bars, or any of the "someone else
> does the work" foods, the cost easily doubled.  That said, I'm a convert to
> the 4oz bars you can buy for less than a buck at http://mealpack.com/.
> You
> get 440 calories for less than a buck!!!  You have to buy a minimum of 50
> bars, but that's not a big deal.
> Jeffrey Olson
> Laramie, WY
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