Backpacking Food

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Sep 8, 2016
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I was wondering what other backpack hunters bring in terms of food. Not sure if its the contrarian in me or not, but I don't like Mountain House or any other commercially made dehydrated dinners. Part of the fun for me is making my own meals using dehydrated stuff I make myself (pasta, veggies) or buy on Amazon (butter, chicken, sausage).

Here is my list for a 7 day hunt: Interested if anyone has a favorite lunch or dinner they always bring. Thanks!

Food List for 7 days
Breakfast:

Promeal Bar x7 (not an early morning breakfast person or coffee drinker)
Lunch:
Day 1: jerky, salami, fritos, cheese, bagel w/PB and bacon
Day 2: bagel w/PB and bacon, Jerky, trail mix, Fritos, cheese
Day 3: Bananas & chex mix, salami, Fritos, jerky, trail mix
Day 4: Jerky, Bagel w/PB and bacon, cheese
Day 5: Chex Mix with chocolate, jerky, Fritos, cheese
Day 6: Jerky, fritos, chex mix with chocolate, cheese
Day 7: trail mix, salami, jerky, cheese
Dinner:
Day 1: Dehydrated pasta/butter and Velveeta cheese
Day 2: Idaho mashed potatoes with dehydrated chicken/butter/bacon/mushrooms and gravy packet
Day 3: Stuffing with dehydrated sausage and vegetables and gravy packet
Day 4: Idaho mashed potatoes/butter/bacon bits/vegetables
Day 5: Dehydrated pasta/chicken/butter/vegetables
Day 6: Ramen with chicken/vegetables
Day 7: Dehydrated rice with curry and chicken (rarely pack a dinner for the 7th night)
Late Night/Miscell.
Drink powders for hydrating and energy
Candy bars for late night snack if not in bear country
 

Muskeez

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There are many old threads on camp food. Your list looks good to me! Many people count calories and such. call me lazy but I just like a variety of snacks, jerky, crackers, cheese, chocolates, grains, nuts, then a Mt house type meal. I always pack more than I need and have enough to stay an extra day or 2 if necessary and end up packing food out. I guess if I figured it all more carefully I would have less weight to carry in, and have exact calorie counts for each day, but I like to just eat what my body tells me to then force myself to eat a little more. I drink a ton of water in the mountains, vs. very little the rest of the year.
I saw this company on a TV show about boundary water canoeing a while back. I plan to give them a try next;
 

MinnesotaHunter

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That is pretty awesome. It looks like you eat way better than I do.

I like smoked salmon packets for lunch. Also, I found some bars that have peanut butter filling, and they were pretty awesome.

I pretty much just suck it up with Mountain house, Backpackers Pantry, or Alpine Aire meals. I have been trying to minimize carby stuff for breakfast and lunch, with more protein/fat based snacks, stick with me alot longer. Nuun tabs are pretty good for electrolytes in your water v. some of the powders with alot of sugar or just flavor.
 

pre6422hornet

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I really like a tortilla smothered with peanut butter, drizzled with honey, then two strips of cooked bacon. You can roll them up tight, slip them into a small snack zip-lock and head out. They stay all week great and taste pretty damn good too. That is usually my mountain lunch with some gorp/jerky. Dinner is always a Mountain House. Sometimes I supplement the MH with some instant Idaho potatoes. Breakfast is a MH as well.

And for those days when nothing goes well and I am really down in the dumps.... Swedish Fish. God I love those things and they are a great morale booster!

I stay away from all the commercialized "power" products ( bars, gels, etc..) All they do is give me a stomach ache. Snicker bars give a huge amount of calories per weight and taste a whole lot better!!!!

And while waiting for water to boil I drink some Wilderness Athlete Hydrate and Recover since being a flatlander (700 Feet above sea) I usually get a headache at night from altitude, but since discovering the Hydrate and Recover... headache free.
 

JLS

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I have done the self dehydrated meals. Sometimes they are great, others not so much. One thing I dislike is how long they take to rehydrate if it’s late and I’m in a hurry.
 

Bozone

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I have done the self dehydrated meals. Sometimes they are great, others not so much. One thing I dislike is how long they take to rehydrate if it’s late and I’m in a hurry.
I have not tested out making my own dehydrated meals yet, but one thing that can help with the hydration process is while you are boiling water, pour a few ounces in your food beforehand, mix it up well, and finish boiling the necessary amount of water (for MH meals, that is usually 16 ounces; I will pour some in, boil the remaining amount) and then "cook" as usual -- it will shave off a few minutes due to the water helping re-hydrate the food a bit.
 

cahunter805

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That’s a pretty good meal plan there!
Peak refuel meals is what I will be trying this season mainly for dinner. They are pretty darn tasty and quality ingredients.
A breakfast that I’m also going to try is mixing breakfast skillet with MH biscuits and gravy and making a breakfast burrito with it. Can’t wait to try that on the mountain.
Probars are a great choice. Cliff bar nut filled bars are a nice snack also and honey stinger waffles with peanut butter.
 

WyoDoug

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I am retired military, so I buy MREs or similar prepared sealed meals that don't necessarily require a ton of preparation or cooking. For snacks I always have jerky and hard candy. I don't like carrying a lot of weight in my pack so I keep it light with just the stuff I need to survive, water, game bags, carcass cleaning stuff and the standard emergency stuff people carry. If I am going to be out long I might have some clothing but other than that I don't like to carry too much as far as food goes.

One thing I learned the hard way, is avoid carrying soda or beverages other than water on long hikes. They are generally diuretic and not really healthy anyways. I have had heat stroke once, and heat exhaustion several times so I have to hydrate quite frequently and all I carry nowdays with the pack is water.
 

Scrappy

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I make my own oatmeal packets of oats cinnamon brown sugar and walnuts. Put them in a freezer bag, add hot water and bam a delicious meal. Well last year I killed my bull at about 8am so while giving him a little time before taking up the blood trail I decided to have a celebration breakfast. I took my oatmeal and added it to a mountain house blueberries with granola. You want to talk about delicious and so filling. It will now be my mid morning meal.
 

WyoDoug

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I usually got oatmeal too. That's my breakfast. I also am usually carrying jerky that I made, hopefully this year it will be antelope.
 

JLS

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I make my own oatmeal packets of oats cinnamon brown sugar and walnuts. Put them in a freezer bag, add hot water and bam a delicious meal. Well last year I killed my bull at about 8am so while giving him a little time before taking up the blood trail I decided to have a celebration breakfast. I took my oatmeal and added it to a mountain house blueberries with granola. You want to talk about delicious and so filling. It will now be my mid morning meal.
Throw a TBSP of butter in with it.
 

Pelican

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For breakfast I eat Nutella and peanut butter on tortillas. I make them at home, roll them up and wrap in plastic wrap. I also make a drink mix of one packet of carnation instant breakfast, 1/4 cup of Nido and instant coffee in a snack size ziplock. In the morning I just rip of the corner of the bag and dump it into a water bottle and shack it up. Lunch and snacks are nuts and bars. Dinner is mtn house or Idaho potatoes.
 

ElkFever2

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Great menu!

A few other thoughts: I always bring a small jar of peanut butter to supplement all meals and it's gone by the end of the week. Angel hair pasta is easier than dehydrated pasta and cooks up the same because of the high surface to volume ratio. Drink powder also works great to mask treated water taste. Would suggest diversifying fruit: like adding dehydrated pineapple, apricots, or cranberries.
 

Retap45

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I like to pack tortillas, they go good with MH breakfast meals I just make them into burritos. Also pack tuna packets and do the same thing there. Gatorade power/recovery bars.
 

fez

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Aug 9, 2013
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For breakfast this past year I would go with a meal replacement shake as I was getting ready to leave. That would last me through prime time in the morning I also pack tortillas and make breakfast burritos around 11 Snag some small hot sauce packets from the local store and it’s better. Eating a late breakfast usually pushes lunch back till mid afternoon. Sometimes this is a good time to eat your dinner if the hunting is slow. That way when your getting back to camp late and tired you Just grab a little something and your good through the night.

For those cooking the Idaho potatoes. Are you using an old mtn house package to cook in? Or using the packet they come in?
 

pre6422hornet

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For those cooking the Idaho potatoes. Are you using an old mtn house package to cook in? Or using the packet they come in?
I just boil a little extra water and after pouring into the MH, I add the idaho's to my pot and eat right from that. Then I just wash it out in a creek. I have also poured a little Idahos into a Lasagna MH for a little extra sustenance and that was good too.
 

Ajax2744

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If interested listen to the recent gritty Bowman podcast with Ryan lampers. They talk about making your own dehydrated meals at home for really cheap and simple that actually taste good.
 
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