Backpacking Food Guide




Cooking Instructions



Eat frequent small snacks of complex carbohydrates all day long. That way the body has a constant source of energy available. We generally recommend nibbling on trail mix all morning and afternoon, with a little more substantial food for lunch. Carbohydrates come in two main types, simple and complex. Simple carbohydrates are sugars. These cause a rush of energy that lasts an hour or so and leaves you with a jittery feeling from low blood sugar/too much insulin. Complex carbohydrates are like tiny time capsules of energy: the body needs to digest them, and when it does they release energy for long period with no waste products. Examples are breads, cereals, beans, pasta, etc.

Trail mix is a good snack food for the day-long lunch.

Bagels, or the small bagelettes, are great breads to take along for the more substantial food break around noon. Make some up at home by cutting them in half and putting jelly and/or peanut butter in it, then wrapping it in plastic wrap.

Crackers such as Triskit, Wheat Thins, and Ritz are also good. Granola bars are also a good form of complex carbohydrates.

Other foods that are good are sardines, ham spread, chicken spread, and so forth, although he will have to carry the weight of the can both in and out with you. In addition, small chunks of cheese or a package of string cheese also tastes good.

Remember, however, that meats and cheeses contain a lot of fat and the Scout should not have much of this during the day; the best hiking lunch going is a peanut butter and jelly sandwich.


Cooking Instructions

Take 2 strips of bacon, cut in half, and pre-cook at home until it's almost done (still a bit limp). Wrap in plastic wrap securely. Bacon prepared this way will keep for a few days and can be easily reheated in his frying pan.

Buy the pancake mix that only needs to add water, and put just enough for 2 or 3 pancakes in a baggie for him. For syrup, get an extra one next time you go to a fast food place in the morning, or he can mix a one-quart package of Kool-aid with only a little water. For real maple syrup, I put brown sugar in a plastic zip lock sandwitch bag. I add a couple of drops of maple flavoring. Then, at breakfast, I put a little hot water in the bag (just enough to dissolve all the sugar). Instant maple syrup! For butter, put some margarine into 1 or 2 of the little plastic salsa containers that come with Mexican take-out food.

Trail Mix:
You can buy trail mix already put together or mix your own and put in exactly what you like. Try dried fruit, nuts, seeds, M & Ms, peanuts, raisins, shredded coconut, dried banana chips, shelled sunflower seeds, carob, mixed nuts, pretzel sticks, or the little cracker-like snacks. (Go easy on the candy part - it's better to have less candy and more other stuff.)

Hamburgery patty and Mashed potatoes:
Make up the hamburger patty at home and freeze it. As you get ready to go, wrap the frozen patty in foil and seal in a small Ziploc bag. Buy instant mashed potatoes and send one serving sealed in a bag. Add a dash of powdered milk to make it creamier. Buy frozen whole-kernel corn; bring one serving along, sealed in a bag. Wrap the hamburger and corn in his spare T-shirt for insulation; it will thaw slowly during the day and be ready to cook at night. For punch, try artificially sweetened Kool-aid or Crystal Lite as they are light weight and taste good.

Chicken and Rice:
Put the rice (regular long-grain rice) in the small pot with 1 cup of water, dump in the chicken, cook for 15 minutes on low heat, covered. Mix the gravy up according to directions, dump in with chicken and rice, reheat until boiling.

Break spaghetti noodles into smaller lengths at home. At camp, boil in pot for 10 minutes or so. Pour off most of water, put sauce mix and catsup into pot with noodles. Cut hot dogs into small chunks and add to noodles and sauce. Cook over low heat, stirring, until hot dogs are hot. Clean out pot after eating out of it, put pre-measured instant pudding and powdered milk into pot, add proper amount of cold water, stir, let stand until thickened, eat.

Macaroni & Cheese w/ Tuna:
Repackage the 1/2 of macaroni in a Ziploc. Also 1/2 of cheese packet in another Ziploc bag, along with some powdered milk. Cook according to directions; add the tuna at the end, reheat, eat.

Freeze some stew at home in a small 2 by 3 by 4 in Tupperware. Put into a Ziploc in case of leaks. Put a piece of cake into another Tupperware and send along for dessert.

Curry Sauce:
1 tablespoon olive oil
1 tablespoon flour
2 teaspoons onion flakes
1 1/2 to 2 teaspoons curry
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 cup water
1/4 cup dried apples, chopped
1/4 cup raisins
1 teaspoon brown sugar

Heat the oil and flour over low heat, stirring constantly until the mixture is smooth. Add spices, water, fruit and sugar. Bring to a boil and simmer until tender. Rice, couscous or bulgur will never be the same. This is for someone looking for something innovative and different on the trail. .

Italian Tomato Sauce:
1/2 to 2 cups water
1/4 cup dried tomatoes, mushrooms, peppers or other vegetables (optional)
1/2 cup tomato powder
1 tablespoon onion flakes
1/2 tablespoon dried parsley
1/2 teaspoons dried basil or oregano
1/2 tablespoon cooking oil
1/4 teaspoon garlic powder

Bring water to a boil with dehydrated vegies. Add remaining ingredient and simmer over low heat, stirring frequently. .

Mexican Tomato Sauce:
2 tablespoons dried red a green peppers
2 tablespoons dried tomatoes
I cup hot water (more for thinner sauce)
I tablespoon oil
2 to, 3 tablespoons tomato powder
I tablespoon onion flakes
1/2 to 1 teaspoon chili powder
1/2 teaspoon cumin
1/2 teaspoon basil or oregano
1/4 teaspoon garlic powder
pinch black pepper
1 tablespoon cornmeal or flour

Rehydrate the peppers and tomatoes in the hot water. Heat the oil, seasonings, and cornmeal in a pot. Add in the veggies and water, stirring frequently for 5 to 10 minutes.. .

Peanut Butter Gravy:
1 cup water
1/2 cup peanut butter (crunchy is best)
1/4 teaspoon garlic powder
1 1/2 tablespoons soy sauce
pinch cayenne
2 tablespoons vinegar (optional)
3 tablespoons dry milk (optional)

Heat water, remove from heat, and add the remaining ingredients. Reheat carefully if the need arises; peanut butter loves to scorch your pan. Excellent on noodles of any shape or size. Add zip to vegatables, too. .

Hot Sesame Peanut Sauce:
1 cup water
1/2 cup peanut butter (crunchy is best)
3 teaspoons spicy sesame oil
1 1/2 teaspoons soy sauce or tamari
1 teaspoon onion flakes
1/2 teaspoon crushed hot red pepper
2 tablespoons vinegar (optional)

Heat water, remove from heat, and add the remaining ingredients. Reheat carefully if the need arises; peanut butter loves to scorch your pan. Excellent on noodles of any shape or size. Add canned chicken for a major meal. It is great! .

Basic White Sauce:
4 tablespoons powdered milk
1 cup cold water
3 tablespoons margarine
2 tablespoons flour

Add the powdered milk and the water and mix well. Set aside. in a pot, melt margarine over low heat. Add the flour (use 1 tablespoon flour for thin sauce, 3 tablespoons for thick sauce) and stir until the mixture is smooth. Add the reconstituted milk and stir constantly to prevent burning. Cook over low heat until the sauce is thick enough, usually about 5 minutes. Remove from heat and add salt and pepper to taste. This is great as a white sauce and even better when used to make other sauces (below). .

Cheese Sauce:
1 cup Basic White Sauce
1/2 to 1 cup cheese, cubed or grated

Make the Basic White Sauce, add your favorite cheese just before removing the pot from the heat. Stir until the cheese is melted, but be careful: Cheese burns easily. Say goodbye to that horrible boxed macaroni and cheese. .

Mustard Cheese:
1 cup Basic White Sauce
1/2 cup cheese, cubed or grated
1/4 teaspoon garlic powder
1/4 teaspoon mustard powder
(or I tablespoon prepared mustard)
dash of cayenne or Tabasco

Combine ingredients and stir until well mixed and cheese is. melted. I really like this on Raman noodles and I add a bit of ham. .

Alfredo Sauce:
1 cup Basic White Sauce
1/2 cup parmesan cheese
1/2 teaspoon dried basil or dill
1/4 teaspoon garlic
salt and pepper to taste

The perfect complement to spaghetti. Even Ramen noodles are greatly improved with this sauce. .

1 cup Basic White Sauce
1 teaspoon onion flakes
1/4 teaspoon garlic powder
1 beef bouillon cube

This sauce is great on pan biscuits for breakfast, should you happen to be a backcountry baker. Use it with dehydrated pototoes for dinner. .

Tomato Cream Sauce:
1 cup Basic White Sauce
2 tablespoons tomato base (powdered tomato)
1/2 teaspoon garlic powder
1 teaspoon dried basil

The easy option: Use 2 cups of reconstituted instant tomato soup instead of base (available in the health food section of Kroger). .

Asian Tomato Sauce:
1 cup Basic White Sauce
2 tablespoons tomato base (powdered tomato)
1/4 teaspoon ground ginger
1 tablespoon onion flakes
Soy sauce to taste

The cream-based tomato sauces are superb on Ramen noodles .


11 APR 2010 JS