food for longer trips

Discussion in 'Meals and Menu Planning' started by kayakwriter, Jun 3, 2016.

  1. kayakwriter

    kayakwriter Paddler

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  2. JohnAbercrombie

    JohnAbercrombie Paddler

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    Thanks, Philip.
    Nice summary!

    After a couple of trials, I've struck the Knorr Sidekicks off my list - they are too salty (and I generally like salt) for me and I also found the pasta took forever to cook.
    One pasta that is worth a try is Orzo: rice-sized pasta.
    Idahoan Instant mashed potatoes ( I can eat a bag if I am hungry) are good.
    Some of the ready-to-eat in a bag Indian foods are OK if you like Indian food. Try them at home first.
    Do you not use any 'complete meal' canned foods (chunky soup, canned stew,etc..)? That's my go-to choice if I'm tired and wet.
    Canned stuff was a no-no when backpacking, but there water was usually available. If I'm carrying water on a kayak trip, the argument changes.
     
  3. Astoriadave

    Astoriadave Paddler

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    I like the larger size of corn tortillas for lunch rollups, easy quesadillas as appetizer or the main event at dinner, and especially burritos. The latter require canned goods: refried beans [also available dried, and very good], sliced olives, mild or wild chiles, salsa; prepared foods: shredded cheese; and some freshies: sliced cabbage, shredded carrots, and onions, or any other vegie with some crunch. Burritos are hearty and satisfy palates adjusted for heat range, etc. Really too much trouble for one, but good for 4 or more. The vegies survive 10 days or so on cold water.
     
  4. LAM

    LAM Paddler

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    I just picked up that book a few weeks ago. The Quinoa Bars on page 46 are really good. I have made about 4 batches but they keep getting eaten up! There are a lot of good recipes and great ideas on how/what to prepare ahead and what to do to finish up at camp for a healthy meal.

    Just got the dehydrator out tonight in preparation for an 8 night South Brooks, Bunsbys, Kyouquot trip in 2 weeks. Spaghetti Sauce and Chili are my go to dehydrated meals. And dehydrated apples for a snack.

    I too find the Knorr Sidekicks too salty as well as some of the Lipton Noodles and Sauces. I take a bag or two as Emergency Food. Luckily, we have never needed to open the bags!

    Lila
     
  5. JohnAbercrombie

    JohnAbercrombie Paddler

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    Years ago I had a (Brit) climbing friend who carried dog cookies in the bottom of his sac as emergency bivvy food. He said he used to carry 'good stuff' like candy bars but he always ate it early, so it was never there as a reserve. The dog cookies took away the temptation!
     
  6. nootka

    nootka Paddler

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    And dehydrated apples for a snack
    I really like home dehydrated bananas (cut lengthwise into thirds, then each piece into quarters)
     
  7. kayakwriter

    kayakwriter Paddler

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    And thank you John.

    I don't use a lot of canned food - baked beans and canned hash mostly. While it's true you are carrying water anyway, you aren't typically carrying all your water for a multi week trip at once - you're usually rewatering every few days. So dried food can save you weight over canned stuff. Plus I find there's greater variety to be had with the dried stuff, both FD and home-dried.
     
  8. Pawistik

    Pawistik Paddler

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    About a year ago I picked up some freeze-dried chicken and a variety of other ingredients from Thrive Life (there have been posts here about it in the past, and I get mine here: https://canada.thrivelife.com/tednshannonthrive) and I've been very happy with it - I will be incorporating it into meals the way I'd use the home-dried ingredients. This is a bit different than the freeze-dried prepared meal packages that Philip refers to, but essentially I'm making up my own meal packages using both home-dried and purchased freeze-dried ingredients.

    I'll be using some of the recipes from Laurie Ann March's A Fork in the Trail that Philip linked to. That's one of my favourite recipe books (I do have a couple that I really like; another is Cooking The One Burner Way which includes some very simple easy stuff, whereas Fork is a little more gourmet - both books complement each other). My meal planning includes a mixture of ready to go dehydrated stuff (chili, stew), and meals that need a bit more preparation in the field. The latter come largely from the recipe books, the former come largely from making an extra-large family meal and drying a portion of that night's supper for use on our trip.

    Home-dehydrated bananas are fantastic! So much better than the banana chips that you normally buy. For apples, we have found apple chips in large bags at costco. They are crisp and much tastier than the usual leathery dehydrated apples. Although they are extremely light, they are bulky and will crumble - like a bag of chips. I plan to bring some, then use the remaining crumbled apple bits in a dessert (e.g. apple crisp) or mixed into pancakes, bannock, etc. Maybe I'll just smash them up a bit to begin with, or vacuum seal them and see how broken up they come out at the other end.

    Thanks for the article kayakwriter!

    Cheers,
    Bryan
     
  9. kayakwriter

    kayakwriter Paddler

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    And thanks for the additional suggestions Byran. Like you, I enjoy using dried add-ons to improve the taste/texture of home-dried or commercial meals.

    Dried bananas go great on pancakes, and make a nice addition to this dinner:
    http://www.backpackerspantry.com/produc ... -rice.html
    which is often served with fresh bananas when made at home.
    (That's one of my favourite FD dinners BTY, even though I'm not a vegetarian. Hearty peasant food for the end of a long day. It's what I'm preparing in the second photo down in my blog posting.)

    You can also home-dry chutneys into fruit leather, then rehydrate them slowly in simmering water to serve with FD or home-dried curries. Dried apple slices also make a nice side for curries and a good addition to oatmeal when the morning is misty and damp and you're hesitant to swap a warm sleeping bag for a cold cockpit.
     
  10. designer

    designer Paddler

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    I respect your desire for "pleasantries" but maybe it would help to keep in mind, people fast for 5 to 7 days on purpose. It was always puzzling to me, during three day weekend meditation retreats, how people started obsessing over not having enough protein (meals were mostly rice, soup, vegetables) when the event duration was usually 2.5 days or less. Guess the mind will come up with whatever content it thinks will catch hold. My point is, when clearly seeing something as desirable rather than required, it can take some stress off the issue.

    I tell my friends that if I'm lost in the woods for two weeks, as long as I have water, I'll probably be healthier when I come out.

    Back to kayaking - I use those soy or almond milk cartons that don't need refrigeration off the shelf. They say to refrigerate once opened but I've found, if not placed in direct heat/sunlight they will last for several days before becoming "funky". Although the the price per volume nearly doubles, you can buy smaller container sizes and only open them the day of use.

    Lunch is my weakest meal - usually some brand of energy bar - so the last couple of trips I tried cream cheese and bagels. The bagels were fine and the single tub of cream cheese lasted five days. However - I've found that during such kayaking/hiking adventures, my taste buds get more sensitive and the "flavors" are too flavorful. So next time I'll skip the large tub of strawberry cream cheese and just go for plain in individual servings. The fact that the individual servings won't be opened until use will extend their non-refrigerated life.

    I pre-make bags of oatmeal with seeds/nuts/dried fruit at home, one for each breakfast. I have "just add water" Starbucks coffee and/or hot chocolate. For dinner I can't eat a whole bag of dried mash potatoes (serving size says "serves 4") so pre-trip I split the original bag content into two bags and I add a bag of the topping where you put the pouch in boiling water for 5 minutes. Adding freeze dried vegetables, like green peas, gives some flavor variation. I used to buy boxed wine but a while back, for promotion at a health fair, a local hospital was giving away 16 oz. soft liquid pouches (not hard shelled water bottle). Instead of paying a premium for the boxed wine ("premium" for boxed wine?) I can buy a regular bottle and use my own soft containers.

    So pretty much, the only cooking is boiling water. It's not a preference per say - just a weak skill set. I have seen some packaged eggs (re-sealable bag) at REI and I may try those out next trip - to add to the mash potato ... glop. Hey, it's all fuel, all calories. And there is wine and chocolates to erase the memory of it.

    I'm very hesitant to store food in the boat. I've seen little scratches on the rubber hatch covers of people's boats when they keep food in there.

    Keeping the food submerged in a dry bag sounds like it would work. It doesn't need to be on the bottom. if you have enough air so the bag will float, you just have to anchor the line and have the submerged bag suspended like a ballon in air.
     
  11. kayakwriter

    kayakwriter Paddler

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    I take your point. North Americans on average eat way more protein than we need. Personally, my cravings for carbs and fats go way up when I'm paddling, especially in cold weather.

    Sounds as if, like me, you carry an emergency calorie supply wrapped around your midriff at all times. While I'd survive a couple of weeks without food, I doubt I'd thrive. Years back, on my first extended solo kayak trip, I left lunch and snacks off the menu to save room in the boat (due to my inexperience, I packed stuff I didn't need and omitted things I now never leave home without).
    I was younger and tougher then, so fasting from breakfast to supper while putting in a full day on the water was doable, though I found myself plodding and pushing towards day's end. Halfway through that trip, the guide of a kayak tour group that was leaving on a boat made me a present of a big bag of gorp. The difference a few handfuls of peanuts, raisins and M&Ms made to each day was amazing; my drive no longer plummeted like the post-Brexit pound in the afternoons. Since then, while I may not have a formal lunch, I make sure I have snacks for every day. They increase not only my energy, but also my enjoyment. I think there's also a strong case to be made that they also increase my safety, since I'm not weak or muddle-headed from hunger while coping with whatever challenges the route and weather throw at me.

    That might work if you have a steep cliff to lower the drybag off. And a good anchor to ensure it doesn't get swept away by current, waves and driftwood logs. On a long beach with a shallow slope, I think it could be a real challenge to get it in deep enough water that low tide wouldn't serve it up to foraging bears and raccoons. Unless you wanted to paddle out to place it and retrieve it each time...
     
  12. nootka

    nootka Paddler

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    I tried this on a lake with an active bear population, but I let the drybag float. I dropped it off via kayak, but had a rope to pull it in. The act of pulling anchor and drybag to shore resulted in water getting into the drybag (after all, they are only water resistant).
    On the ocean, to keep the contents dry, the bag would have to stay on the surface, hence you would need enough rope to account for high tide. Which means lots of slack rope at low tide. Which means paddling out to drop off and fetch, and no unplanned late night snacks.
     
  13. waterjay

    waterjay New Member

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    Nice list. We have this neighbor who gave us a souvenir of packed dehydrated mangoes from the Philippines. It's the best snack I brought on a trip.