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1/25/2016 12:19 pm  #1


Meal Planning for Longer Trips

My crew and I have only ever gone on short trips (max 2 nights), so we've been able to be a bit lazy in terms of meal planning and have relied a lot on fresh food. This year we're doing a 3 night-er and so I'm interested to hear what people do for meals once you've run out of ice.

I don't have a dehydrator and would prefer to avoid pre-packaged dehydrated foods (prep/cooking is part of the fun, after all), but if I'm wrong to write those off please let me know.

Thanks in advance!

 

1/25/2016 3:25 pm  #2


Re: Meal Planning for Longer Trips

Never carried ice...
dried sausage and Dirty Rice Mix.
Chicken or tuna in a pouch with a rice or noodle dinner.
Dried tortellini with fresh grated cheese garlic and olive oil with dried mushrooms.


Many others. Go down the center aisle of the grocery store and look at all the prepackaged meals. usually they call for the addition of a protein.  Some is available in pouches.

I can dehydrate in my oven. 

http://food-hacks.wonderhowto.com/how-to/dehydrate-food-without-dehydrator-0161531/

I have only used the oven.. not the other possibilities. Dehydrating veggies is a nutritional plus.  Having dehydrated ground meat ensures endless possibilities. Starches are already in dehydrated form

 

1/25/2016 5:38 pm  #3


Re: Meal Planning for Longer Trips

Depends on what kind of cook you are. I make cinnamon buns, and pizza, from scratch on site. Cook over a portable stove and have an outback oven for long trips. But 3 nights, anything pasta or rice is easy. You can find Envelopes with sauses in any grocery stores. I found some pre-packed bought meals tasted horrid, others very salty and all very expensive.  There are great recipes too be had on the net for home prepared dry meals.

 

1/25/2016 6:02 pm  #4


Re: Meal Planning for Longer Trips

Maybe tell us what you normally eat on canoe trips?

 

1/25/2016 8:50 pm  #5


Re: Meal Planning for Longer Trips

Mmmmm food. We like to eat well on camping trips and prefer to avoid the prepackaged dehydrated stuff (mostly, I'm just cheap).

We just recently got a dehydrator but have several tried and true recipes that don't call for dehydration. Some of my favs:

Pasta with a simple olive oil and herb sauce: you don't need much oil, throw some herbs (oregano, garlic, basil, hot pepper flakes, etc) right into the oil or pack separate (if you store the hot peppers in the oil, it will be SPICY). We like to add sun-dried tomatos (can get at bulk barn), sausage and shaker parmasean to the pasta for a full meal.

You can also replace the oil sauce with a creamy alfredo. You can get powdered alfredo in envelopes at the grocery store or in bulk at bulk barn. Bring some instant powdered milk, mix it all together for a creamy pasta sauce. 

Pancakes and shelf-stable bacon are easy and delicious.

French Onion Soup: Powdered onion soup mix (just add water and heat), add croutons and break up some baby bell cheese. 

Coleslaw: cabbage keeps fresh for a few days even when it's hot. Bring an vinegar and mustard based sauce (it won't be a creamy slaw). Prep the coleslaw first and let it sit in the vinegary-sauce while you make the rest of your dinner.

For your first or second night, potatoes and carrots and celery are easy to bring pre-cut. Wrap em in tin foil with some oil and spices and throw in the coals for 20 mins for a delicious dinner. 

I also find some good stuff on backpacker.com but you'll need to sift through some stuff that requires a dehydrator.
 
The biggest change we made when going from short weekend trips to longer trips was to watch portions. We always used to come back with half a food pack full. Now, we carefully portion everything out so we're not lugging extra, unnecessary food (although we always have a safety margin of food). 

 

1/26/2016 12:52 pm  #6


Re: Meal Planning for Longer Trips

Thanks, everyone. Sounds like the rice/pasta route is a good one and that using powdered sauces/spices will greatly limit how much liquid/perishables I need.

Do people bring tinned fish/meat into the interior or is that contrary to the can/bottle ban?

 

     Thread Starter
 

1/26/2016 1:03 pm  #7


Re: Meal Planning for Longer Trips

It's contrary to the regulations. But I can no longer get clams in a pouch.. I love pasta and clam sauce.

 

1/26/2016 1:20 pm  #8


Re: Meal Planning for Longer Trips

John; I've been backpacking and canoeing for decades and only bring in fresh meats for the first or second day, everything else is dried. you can pack frozen food for about 2 days without ice by sealing the meat in an airtight bag, then wrap it in several layers of wet newspaper, followed by a layer of foil, more layers of wet paper and more foil. Then put the whole mess into another air tight bag and freeze solid. keep it in a cooler until you load up at the trailhead or put in, and keep the pack in the shade as much as possible.
Problem is though you will be left with a couple of pounds of foil and soggy paper to pack back out as the soggy mess won't burn in the campfire.
Better option is to dehydrate your perishables in either the oven (ties it up for about 12 hours, and don't look at your hydro bill!) or pick up a dehydrator- you can get a decent one for less than $100. I do stews, hamburger, sauces, and veggies in mine, and at an average of $7-8  for one freeze-dried meal for 2 people, it only takes a couple of trips to get your money back in savings.

 

1/26/2016 1:56 pm  #9


Re: Meal Planning for Longer Trips

I sometimes bring steak for the first day, with a slightly less elaborate packing job than scoutergriz - just frozen steaks in a freezer back wrapped in newspaper. The newspaper seems to stay dry enough to burn. A package of hotdogs will be fine for at least a couple of days... the issue there is I don't like packing buns since they take up room and get squished, but pita (or bannock mix to cook on the fire) is a decent alternative.

Beyond that all the basics are mentioned above, and I do sometimes use store-bought freeze-dried food. We sometimes take "Kitchens of India" products, which are these packets of various sorts of curry that you dunk in hot water to heat up and then open and serve... it's not ultralight-friendly since it contains all necessary liquid, but it is non-perishable, and if you're not too worried about weight it's a good option for those who want to do zero work at dinner time and like Indian food. (There's another brand or two making equivalent stuff but I can't remember the names.)

The ultralight options can be a bit bland, but that's a motivator to catch more fish...

 

1/26/2016 4:26 pm  #10


Re: Meal Planning for Longer Trips

canned meats/fish are quite heavy to take along, but worse, you have to pack out the cans (and i dont think its alowed anyway) but by far more worrysome is the strong smell that adheres to these cans. You may find yourselves with unwanted company around (or on the trail). Not ideal. Myself, i can live without meat no problem for the duration of a trip.But,Usually i bring sausages and buns with me for the first night (or two) then its jerky and shelf stable bacon. There are a great number of different tasting jerkys. One of the ones i really like is Costco's steak jerky (beef) and their  mild flavoured pork jerky. Last year each bag was about 12.99 for what i think was 350 grams. I think. You might find it hard to find powdered egg if you were inclined to use it for eggs in the morning.  I found pancake mix easier, and they become more tasteful when some dried powdered milk is used when preparing batter. I too measure all my meals out in ziplocks,  3 daily meals bagged together with snacks (anykind of bar) and powedered drink mixes. The envelopes of powedered flavoured  coffees I find delicious (in the isle with coffee in grocery store), something else then reg coffee. Even better with baileys in it. 
If you are inclined to take premeasured flour with you, then add the yeast, sugar, powdered milk in with it, mix with water and a bit of oil and after rising , drop spoonsfulls, 3 at a time, in your pot of hot oil. (Fresh donuts!!) about 2 inches of oil in the pot should do it. 
Man, im making myself hungry.

 

1/26/2016 7:20 pm  #11


Re: Meal Planning for Longer Trips

I don't have a dehydrator so I use my oven.  My kids, teenage girls, now refuse to eat leftovers, so I just throw them in the oven on 150 and leave it for a few hours. Jerky, lasagna, chilli, stew, vegetables, eggs, whatever.

 

1/26/2016 9:15 pm  #12


Re: Meal Planning for Longer Trips

Fresh meat for the first two days. After that I get these big dry garlic and paprika sausages from The Victoria Street Market in Kitchener. Throw 2 of those babies cut up into bite size chunks with a couple of PKGs of Noodles and Sauce and it will feed the hungriest of appetites for two guys. They also sell bacon rashers and and other meats that don't need refrigerated..Eggs if they have never been refrigerated will keep for a couple of weeks I live in an area with a lot of farms that sell fresh eggs. The day before I leave I buy a dozen or two depending on the length of trip


A mans gotta do, what a man's gotta do.
 

1/27/2016 11:57 am  #13


Re: Meal Planning for Longer Trips

Tip for checking how fresh eggs are; as I'm a farmer I take the following for granted,but maybe it's is not as well known as it should be.
To check an egg for freshness, lay it in an a tall pot with water, if it lays sideways across the bottom it's real fresh ( fresh eggs have a small air chamber)
An older egg has a bit more air in the chamber, and put into the water will point slightly upwards with its broadside.
An egg 6 weeks or older ( or one that has gone bad) has a lot of air in the chamber, it will either stand on its narrow point and face upwards with its broad end, or, will float altogether.
In that case, throw it out.

 

1/27/2016 10:26 pm  #14


Re: Meal Planning for Longer Trips

tentsterforever wrote:

Tip for checking how fresh eggs are; as I'm a farmer I take the following for granted,but maybe it's is not as well known as it should be.
To check an egg for freshness, lay it in an a tall pot with water, if it lays sideways across the bottom it's real fresh ( fresh eggs have a small air chamber)
An older egg has a bit more air in the chamber, and put into the water will point slightly upwards with its broadside.
An egg 6 weeks or older ( or one that has gone bad) has a lot of air in the chamber, it will either stand on its narrow point and face upwards with its broad end, or, will float altogether.
In that case, throw it out.

Awesome thanks for that tip.
 


A mans gotta do, what a man's gotta do.
 

1/30/2016 2:34 pm  #15


Re: Meal Planning for Longer Trips

John, consider getting a dehydrator.  You're possibilities are endless, and you are saving on weight.  We've had a dehydrator for over 10 years.  Its been great preparing food for both backpacking and canoeing trips.  Just got a new book for Christmas on dehydrating and I'm keen to test some recipes at home.  I do have some tried and tested favourites (without dehydrator) and as mentioned by others they are primarily pasta or rice based.  A concoction of rice, fried potatoes and cheese is a group fav.  Throw some bacon bits, too and you've got yourself a meal.  If I used my oven to dehydrate I'd have to get a second job to pay for the hydro.

 

2/19/2016 12:16 pm  #16


Re: Meal Planning for Longer Trips

Might be a bit late to the party here.  Check Kijiji for a dehydrator, doesn't have to be anything fancy.  I've seen them on there for 25$.  I got mine at a garage sale for 10$.  I don't think it's necessary to buy a 300$ Excalibur with all the bells and whistles (although it is the Cadillac of Dehydrators). You can, as mentioned above use your oven on extreme low heat.
One of my favourite meals is spaghetti.  You turn your favourite spaghetti sauce into a leather (using the dehydrator) then just pack along your noodles and boom.  It's like you're at home!  Add some campfire bannock and you're laughing!
Another great one is Dehydrated canned beans, corn, dehydrated beef and instant potatoes.  SUPER filling, chalked full of taste and nutrition and you'll have the rest of your party thanking you for it!

Love camp-food threads!
JB

 

2/23/2016 9:32 am  #17


Re: Meal Planning for Longer Trips

I second JB's suggestion to check Kijiji. My brother bought me one for Christmas from Kijiji for >$30. I think many people buy them with just fruit leather in mind and then sell them after they've made a few batches. 

I don't even know what brand mine is but I do know it takes a lot longer than a lot of dehydration recipes call for (if the recipe says it will take 8 hours to dehydrate, mine will do it in 12). I also have to rotate the trays a few times throughout to get the air flow right. 

But! It's been awesome and I highly recommend.

On the other hand, we managed for 5+ years without one and ate very well so you can go either way. http://cdn.boardhost.com/emoticons/happy.png

 

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