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Thread: What would your meal plan look like for 2 night backpack trip

  1. #1
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    What would your meal plan look like for 2 night backpack trip

    Wife and I have done some backpacking but not a whole lot, longest trip was 2 nights 3 days. Our grocery list consisted mostly of the dehydrated food from EMS or REI I was wondering what others take along that spice up the culinary experience a bit. How would you plan your meals for 2 or 3 nights out. What spices, herbs, cheeses, meals would you bring along. What would you do for breakfast, lunch, munchies etc.

  2. #2
    Senior Member Rainman's Avatar
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    I usually don't do much for lunches, Bagels with cream cheese travel well, as well as PB&J on a pita, or cheese and crackers. For breakfast I just do instant hot oatmeal. Dinners are where I spend more thought: rice and beans (minute rice and instant refried beans) sometimes stuffed in green peppers (on the first night usually), Lipton rice package and a package of tuna or chicken, Mac and Cheese, instant mashed potatoes with brown gravy and beef jerky are all on my menu at some point. I always bring along hot chocolate and tea bags for a hot beverage which tastes good once camp is set up, or first thing in the AM. If you stroll through the local grocery you will probably find many other options as well.
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    Senior Member RollingRock's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Rainman View Post
    I usually don't do much for lunches, Bagels with cream cheese travel well, as well as PB&J on a pita, or cheese and crackers. For breakfast I just do instant hot oatmeal. Dinners are where I spend more thought: rice and beans (minute rice and instant refried beans) sometimes stuffed in green peppers (on the first night usually), Lipton rice package and a package of tuna or chicken, Mac and Cheese, instant mashed potatoes with brown gravy and beef jerky are all on my menu at some point. I always bring along hot chocolate and tea bags for a hot beverage which tastes good once camp is set up, or first thing in the AM. If you stroll through the local grocery you will probably find many other options as well.
    Gee...when I read your response I thought it was me writing! Glad to know we are both on the same page!
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    Senior Member TEO's Avatar
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    You live in Peabody or thereabouts? Go to Karl's. I CANNOT EMPHASIZE THIS ENOUGH. http://www.karlssausage.com/ Pick up two links per day per person of Landjäger (a small smoked sausage). Also pick up some Smoked Bratwurst and some Debreciner (also a smoked sausage) for dinner or a part of lunch (one link per person per meal). I've never cooked the Smoked Bratwurst, but always cooked the Dreciner, because the latter is only lightly smoked. Go ahead & pick up some Rittersport chocolate bars while you're there, too.

    The nice thing about freeze-dried backpacking meals is that you cook them in the pouch, which will then double as a small trash bag, and means that you don't have to wash your cooking pot. For spicing these up, try bringing Huy Fong Sriracha repackaged in a small container.

    For lunch, I've taken to using whole-wheat tortilla wraps, which means no leavened bread to crush. Fill the wrap with whatever you like: sliced salami, Herbs de Provence, & the Cabot cheese of your choice; PB&J; or, and this is what I've been doing the last couple of years, peanut butter, Nutella, and Cabot Seriously Sharp Cheddar.

    For a snack: MMGORP (I mix up whatever the closest packaging to a pound is for each of the following: dark chocolate, M&Ms, raisins, & honey-roasted peanuts, and then take two to four big handfuls per day.)

    For breakfast I've always used instant oatmeal, but should probably switch to regular oatmeal, as there's a lot of crap in the instant stuff. Bring along a small container of Vermont Maple Syrup. (Accept no substitutes and beware of the imposters selling Canadian maple syrup, but pretending to be from Vermont, eh?)

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    Karls is right down the street from me, only been in there once, forgotten what I got but remember thinking it was excellent.

  6. #6
    Senior Member sierra's Avatar
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    I do not like dehydrated dinners. 2 meals I like. 1. 1 pack flavored noodles, 1 pack chicken gravy, 1 can mixed vegi's, 1 can cooked chicken, all in one pot. 2. Rice with 1 packet of salmon thrown in or little shrimp ( in can ).. Other foods, Beef jerky, block of cheese, salami, nuts, cliff bars, gel pacs, dried pineapples, coffee, believe it or not I have a perculator.

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    Senior Member natron's Avatar
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    typically i eat snacks during the day, dehydrated fruit, cheez its, beef jerky, trail mix, protein bars. cook at camp for dinner and breakfast. dinner; instant mash potatoes, stuffing, ramen. breakfast oatmeal with dried fruit. some of my backpack trips I add brookies to the diet.

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    Brookies? Meaning brook trout? Now that I'd love, fresh from the river mmmmm.............

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    Quote Originally Posted by sierra View Post
    ........ believe it or not I have a perculator.

    Now that's awesome! what a difference that would make in the morning to have a nice perc'd cup if joe. Is it made for hiking with or did you just find something that is small and works? You just got me thinking about this and I bet a small french press would work nicely. Jetboil the water and wah lah.............
    Last edited by Quint; 08-19-2014 at 01:36 PM.

  10. #10
    Member Chachie's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Quint View Post
    Our grocery list consisted mostly of the dehydrated food from EMS or REI I was wondering what others take along that spice up the culinary experience a bit.
    My first backpacking trip (4 day Pemi Loop-ish, yikes!) I had a similar menu. Now, I can't even look at a bag of Mountain House without feeling a bit green in the gills.

    Previous posters have had some really great ideas. I think its important to consider your various carvings and figure out smart ways to satisfy them.

    Here are the 10 cravings known to man (this man) in no particular order:

    Cheesey, Salty, Sweetie, Chocolatey, Fruity, Chewy, Crunchy, Savory, Meaty, and Carby (bread-like):


    Some food stuffs can satisfy multiple cravings and that's the key to avoid over packing your food bag. Beef jerky is good for chewy, savory, salty, and meat. Pita chips: Salty, crunchy, and carbs. Chocolate covered dried cranberries: sweet, fruit, chocolate, chewy. Etc.

    Unsatisfied cravings can lead all kinds of problems on the trail such as: Grump-face, Failure to Strive, The Quits, and the dreaded Pizza-Rush.

    Don't forget to eat your vegetables.
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  11. #11
    Senior Member Stan's Avatar
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    There is no reason not to enjoy a wholesome, hearty and tasty meal at camp.

    Chicken Cous Cous -

    repackage the cous cous adding dried cranberries to your taste
    pack a snack bag with your favorite herbs and a couple cloves of fresh garlic which you will slice thinly at camp
    a can of chicken and a can opener (size depending on your number and appetite)
    a small container of olive oil (enough to cover the bottom of your skillet 1/8-1/4 inch)

    at camp, heat the skillet and when warm add the olive oil and sliced garlic
    at about the time the aroma of garlic drifts over to nearby envious campers, add the chicken
    as the chicken starts to heat up slowly add water until you get enough to cook the cous cous
    stir this concoction until the chicken is well heated and the cous cous cooked to your satisfaction

    serve with red wine and sour dough bread

    Tips:

    1. A good appetizer while you're waiting is to slice some of that bread about 1/4-1/2 inch and top with olive oil, sliced tomatoes (yep, they can survive a day in a plastic container in your pack), cheese (which also travels well) and basil.
    2. Read the directions on the cous cous package to help in determining proportions but after doing this a couple times you'll never need to measure again. Try it at home first; if you're a lousy cook at home you're not going to improve at camp though you'll probably be so hungry it won't matter.
    3. You'll find that you can vary this recipe by varying the starch and matching it to a canned compatible meat (e.g. pasta and chopped clams/clam sauce, rice and whatever). The key, in my mind, is starting with the garlic and oil. I'll bet there is a variation of this recipe using macaroni and cheese along with the precooked bacon that I find travels well ... I've used it for the following breakfast.

  12. #12
    Senior Member Scubahhh's Avatar
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    Here's a great site with loads of FBC recipes- the only way to go at least for inner, IMHO.
    http://www.trailcooking.com/recipe-home/
    Add life to your years!

  13. #13
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    +1 for Scubahh's link! Excellent recipes for dinners. My son and I spent two weeks hiking the AT in Maine this month and we did the FBC for dinners and never had the same dinner twice. Freezer bag cooking (FBC) is much cheaper, too, especially for two hungry hikers than Mountain House or similar. You might be able to make some up with meals you already have at home, such as the couscous already suggested or instant rice or ramen noodles (ditch the flavor packet and just use the noodles).

    As far as breakfasts, lunch, snacks, we did do some FBC for breakfast if we wanted a hot breakfast, but lunch and snacks ended up being about the same stuff. We just tried to make sure there was variety in taste, like Chachie mentioned. Not everything was sweet (granola, trail mix, bars, candy), so we added things like chips, crackers, salted nuts, beef jerky, cheese, etc. For a two day trip, unless the temps are really hot, most cheese travels amazingly well. It doesn't usually last beyond two days for us anyway. Tortillas are great for any meal/snack, you can put just about anything in them and make something tasty. You can buy single peanut butter packets now, JIF, I think. They're great since you don't have to bring the whole jar for just a few days or figure out how to repackage the sticky product. Oh, and precooked bacon! I forgot about that. You can do a lot of yummy things with that.
    Last edited by Summerset; 08-20-2014 at 06:54 AM. Reason: Forgot some stuff.
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  14. #14
    Senior Member NorthShore's Avatar
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    I've always been partial to cous cous spiced up in a variety of ways. The basic recipe is to heat a pouch of salmon in some olive oil with a little seasoning, add water and bring to a boil, add the cous cous, remove from heat and stir. Wait few minutes and eat it. This also uses very little fuel.

    I usually jazz it up. I've brought fresh veggies which get sautéed in the olive oil before the salmon goes in to heat. Variations include bringing a pepper, Portobello mushroom, even an onion, chorizo sausage, sundried tomatoes. I've often brought fresh veggies for overnighters, but you could substitute dried veggies for the fresh. I liken the gussied up version to a backpackers paella and on rare occasion I've left out the cous cous at the end and it makes a nice soup/stew. A pouch of chicken with some sausage makes a nice combo too.

    I do not like to carry cans (with rare exceptions for a can containing barley, hops, etc.)

  15. #15
    Senior Member sierra's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Quint View Post
    Now that's awesome! what a difference that would make in the morning to have a nice perc'd cup if joe. Is it made for hiking with or did you just find something that is small and works? You just got me thinking about this and I bet a small french press would work nicely. Jetboil the water and wah lah.............
    It was made for hiking, although more suited for a basecamp. I love coffee, I don't eat in the morning just coffee, so I go the extra mile brewing it and my companions love it. It's made of light steel and although a little bulky, its my favorite piece of overnight gear. I've also used a French press, they are not bad either. I pack honey for a sweetener.

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