This is a guest post by Marina Chernyak. If you'd like a guest post on Go Backpacking, please read more here.
Figuring out what to pack is hard enough for a backpacker and then comes the food problem. You always want to make sure you have enough to survive but, you don't want to pack food items that are too heavy or hard to prepare.
Through my own hiking trips, I've found it fun to find your own food along the trail. Most often times you will come across berries, flowers, nuts, seeds, or roots that are edible. The only problem with finding food along the trail is that you have to know what you are doing! It can be very dangerous if you don't have the proper knowledge.
Just in case, I decided to let you all in on my secret top three items food items I don't go backpacking without. These items help to keep my pack light and and my wallet full.
- Ramen noodles. I know that sounds crazy but they are easy to pack! Also it does not matter if they get broken up or moved around, they “˜ll always be tasty, light to pack, manageable, and easy to prepare! To make the meal even better, pack along a few dried veggies and have yourself a Top Ramen Vegetable soup! Yummy!
- Energy Bars. As expected, these can be a quick fix when you're hungry on the trail. They also come in a variety of brands, flavors, such as Activity, Meal replacement, Protein, and Endurance. The only down fall with energy bars is that they can be quite expensive. I have found this recipe helpful when preparing for a hiking trip.
Trail Bars (makes about 12)
- 1 egg
- 1/2 cup brown sugar
- 1 tsp. vanilla or almond extract
- 1 cup granola
- 1/4 cup raisins, dried cranberries, or dried cherries
- ¼ cup other dried fruit (any will do but some may need to be cut into smaller pieces)
- 1/2 cup of your favorite nuts
- 1.69-oz. pkg. M&M's
- Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Butter or oil an 8- x 8-inch square pan.
- Combine Eggs, Sugar, and Vanilla and mix thoroughly before adding the rest of the ingredients.
- Transfer ingredients to the pan and dispense evenly over the bottom. Press down firmly to make the top as flat as possible. Bake for 25 minutes. Cool and cut into bars or squares. Wrap them up and away you go!
3. Instant Carbs. Two other items that I love to bring along on my backpacking adventures are instant potatoes and instant rice. In the original packaging they can be big and bulky so I would advise you to pour them into a zip lock bag and write the instructions on it with a permanent marker. Just like Raman noodles, but more natural, they're easy to pack along and only need water to be tasty. If you want to get creative though, try the recipes below:
Grandparent's Rice Breakfast (serves one)
- 1/3 cup dried milk
- 1 1/6 cup instant rice
- 1/4 cup raisins
- 1/8 tsp cinnamon
- 4 tsp sugar
1. Combine all ingredients in pan and bring to a boil with the amount of water indicated on rice package..
Garlic Mashed Potatoes (serves two)
- 1 1/2 cup potato flakes (Butter Flavored is my favorite)
- 1/3 cup dried milk
- 1 TBS garlic salt
- Mix all ingredients together in a plastic bag.
- Bring water to boil (amount according to package), dump in mixture in water and stir.
I hope you eat well and enjoy your many backpacking adventures this summer!
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