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Gruntacious
2008-07-26, 16:38
How do you eat well and pack light? I have a 4 day camping trip coming up. I love to eat while I'm camping. In the past I've stocked up on Mountain House Meals and Ramen, but I'm looking for something new.

Does anyone have any good ideas on great meals that are easy to share and not hard to carry?

How do you carry your food? Just seal it up in a plastic bag?

What do you do if you want to bring meat? Pack it up in a bag and eat it the first night before it goes bad? Dehydrate it?

I realize I'm answering my own questions here. I'm just brainstorming. I'm a cook by profession but I can't carry a kitchen with me ya know?

Any good ideas about packing food will do here.

Thanks

General
2008-07-26, 21:17
lipton and knorr noodles. all different kinds of flavors. get some of that tuna, chicken, or bacon in the packets that you don't have to refrigerate and add that as well. store all your food in a large zip-loc or a water resistant stuff sack. the mountain house, and other dehydrated stuff is good, and you don't have to clean up dishes, cause, with most of them, you just add the water to the packet, but they can be expensive. i've found the lipton noodles at the grocery store for like 4 for a dollar. add some parmesan chease, which keeps for a long time. nutra-grain bars for breakfast, and some sort of burito for lunch.

saimyoji
2008-07-26, 21:23
4 days: freeze any meat you want. keep it wrapped in reflectix? (bubble pack/mylar) and then wrapped in your clothes. should last the whole trip.

Amigi
2008-07-26, 22:04
http://hikinghq.net/forum/forumdisplay.php?f=6

GGS
2008-07-28, 01:02
For meat, try summer sausage. It doesn't need to be refrigerated.

Nearly Normal
2008-07-28, 02:13
I just used some Enertia meals. I thought they were very good.
Try Anti gravity gear site or enertia.

Greentick
2008-07-28, 02:45
Freezer bag cooking. I like being able to customize the meals. Much tastier than the prepacked stuff.

KLeth
2008-07-28, 06:04
Dry salami keeps well and so does old fashion dry bacon.
We have made hamburger rocks/gravel for trips, which is dried minced meat, just google to see details.
Various dried soups are good, these can be filled with (home) dried vegetables, noodles or macaronies (See freezerbag).
Bannocks with various spices, herbs and or (dried) fruits are also suitable as accessory, lunch or breakfast.
Oatmeal made on water or milk from powder.
Logan-bread (baked at home) as a snack.
Waffels- or pancake-mix.
Powdered desserts.

Only imagination sets the (weight) limit :albertein

Kanga
2008-07-28, 12:05
bear creek dehydrated soups can be found in resealable bags, plus pasta salad mixes can be made with the single pack of mayo you get at golden pantry. grits in the morning with easy squeeze butter and bacon bits.
general's got it with the tuna/chicken pouches put in lipton noodles. good stuff.

JAK
2008-07-28, 16:26
How do you eat well and pack light? I have a 4 day camping trip coming up. I love to eat while I'm camping. In the past I've stocked up on Mountain House Meals and Ramen, but I'm looking for something new. Does anyone have any good ideas on great meals that are easy to share and not hard to carry? How do you carry your food? Just seal it up in a plastic bag? What do you do if you want to bring meat? Pack it up in a bag and eat it the first night before it goes bad? Dehydrate it? I realize I'm answering my own questions here. I'm just brainstorming. I'm a cook by profession but I can't carry a kitchen with me ya know? Any good ideas about packing food will do here. ThanksI like oatmeal porridge in the morning and lentil soup at the end of the day. There is a fine balance though. I like stuff that is filling, but if I am doing alot of hiking I need to get may calories too, so I have some simple carbs also like currants and honey. I buy the stuff bulk and pack it bulk, in 500g and 250g increments. I pack stuff in thin plastic bags with twist ties and then throw it all in a small stuff sack. The exception is honey which stays in the tube I pack it in, and skim milk powder which might need to be a little more secure as it can get messy. Now I am on the heavy side so I go easy on the fat so as to burn body fat, up to a pound a day while hiking full 8-10 hour days. That is why I like stuff to be filling, especially at the end of the day. Anyway, here is what I might pack for 4 full days, which is about 6 pounds of food for me...

Oats = 500g
Currants = 500g
Almonds = 250g
Lentils = 250g
Dried Veggie Soup Mix = 250g
Jerky = 250g
Skim Milk Powder = 500g
Honey = 500ml ~ 500g
Tea = doesn't count

The soup is very filling and rehydrating at the end of the day but you have to be prepared to get up and go to the bathroom alot, which I don't mind because it get me up to look at the moon and stars and listen for critters. The 500g of oats is a lot to work through on a 4 day trip, especially with currants and almonds to add, but I make it really thick, and then pretty much hike right through lunch except for tea with milk and honey along the way. If you are a cook you could probably do alot more with soups and stuff.

Turk
2008-07-30, 01:09
dehydrating and vacuum sealing is definitely the way to go if you want to
be the camp cook guru.

I took the advice I found here early last year and decided to clean up my hiking and paddling nutrition habits. Picked up a pretty basic dehydrator and a vacuum sealer by garage sale hunting over a few weekends. They were surprisingly easy to find. It was surprising to see how often people are getting rid of them. I don't think I paid more 20 bucks.

getting liquid trays for the dehydrator lets you do so many cool things. those I had to get on-line and cost me more than both garage sale items combined.


Some of my favourite experiments so far. (The credit for these actually goes to other members here, whom I cannot name specifically at this time. But they were experimental for me, and the results were way above expected) -

1. make a 12 egg omelet and dehydrate it. You end up with large 'egg flakes' - but it rehydrates back into something resembling scrambled eggs, better than any other method or store brand meal pack I have ever tried. Whoever first came up with that idea, that was sheer genius.

2. fully cook hamburger patties, and then dehydrate. Same logic as the super omelete applies. I took someones advice and used a really expensive very lean hamburger, and had fantastic results. none of the clumping congealed grease pellet issues others have reported with lesser grade meat. This opened up a huge range of meal ideas from meat sauces to trail soft tacos.


As for packing and transportation - I pack for 2 primary concerns. Bears and waterproofing. I use a lightweight compression dry bag dedicated as my food bag, never used to carry any other gear. That is then lined with a Glad force-flex garbage bag, to complete bomb proof my food against the worst whitewater paddling incidents that could occur. I then further separate my food into freezer bags composed of 2 meals, snacks etc, for each day I will be out. That way I have lots of options for dealing with my food. I can super compress the food bag and keep my days alloted ration bag handy some other place more easily accessible. Also packing that way has really let me observe how much of what I am actually eating, and over the last year has really made an impact on how much food I am carrying.

dixicritter
2008-07-30, 13:39
I'm going to be the first smartass.... I pack my food in Rock's pack. :D

oops56
2008-07-30, 14:08
Just like a women got to have it there way. Rock give her the stove pot etc that's the women job right. Oh yes they make the beds also the hammocks

SGT Rock
2008-07-30, 17:19
It's worth it for me to carry it.

KLeth
2008-07-31, 02:04
In general we one day worth rations in a large freezerbag.
The bag then serves as container for measured ammounts of food in other smaller freezerbags, ziplocks or original containment e.g. 300g of macaronies, 120g of hamburger gravel, Pack of 75g smoked almonds, 150g pack of nuts and raisins, 4 envelopes of soup, 6 envelopes of instant coffee ect.
We do not let one day of rations for two persons, exceed 1000g.

The bags are closed with rubberbands which are great for firestarting. We try to keep down the ammount wrapping to reduce the garbage we have to haul around.

Every evening we take out the next pack of rations and pack snacks ect. into pockets, breakfast ready at hand and the other meals easily accessible.

Normally I cook, dig latrines, haul water, carry the bulk and my wife sets up tent and pack out. She is also the one packing again while I clean up camp area and cook breakfast.

Gruntacious
2008-08-01, 13:50
Great ideas here. Thank you! Unfortunately, I wasn't able to procure a dehydrator before the trip (which I will be leaving for in about 30 min!!!).

Its funny, the more I thought about it, the more I realized I was chasing my tail. On one hand, I want to eat well and hearty (i.e. steak and potatoes). On the other hand, I don't want to carry alot of bulky foods (i.e. steak and potatoes). Ironic huh?

However, I totally reorganized the way I pack by using the things I learned from Sgt. Rock and everyone else here. I haven't weighed everything out yet, but I must have cut my pack weight in half (alot of holding things in my hand and thinking, "This probably weighs about an ounce"). This means I have alot more room to carry food.

Anyway, I have to cut this short. I'm heading out! I'll be back on Monday with pics to post.

Wise Old Owl
2008-08-16, 09:56
When you get back stop by Walmart as they have a good starter food dryer.

OK THE ORIGINAL QUESTION.

In one large group trip it is helpful to know we broke dinner into two 4 pound bags. they were labled and wrapped tight into a plastic glad bundle then wrapped in a standard brown paper bag. Excess paper is removed and sealed with duct tape and wrapped in a heavy plastic again and given a number. These tightly wrapped round bundles were light & easy to work with in the field.

This method worked in the field when someone's canoe swamped the food stayed dry.

Take a look at the freeze dried meals, heavy outer foil layer, inner bag that is wrapped up is an additional layer of protection. Anything to keep the food from becoming a pancake batter mess.

texas hiker
2009-04-22, 10:35
I usually bring along a couple of military MREs or Eversafe meals. Beside those, I have a food bag that I keep some noodles and snacks in.