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Hiking Food

Discussion in 'Ask A Question' started by AdamJames, May 10, 2018.

  1. AdamJames

    AdamJames Type 2 · Well-Known Member

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    Does anyone have any top tips for backpacking food? As a general guide, I'm thinking that ideally it should be:

    * Low carb
    * High calorie, low weight, low volume
    * Not messy
    * Able to survive warm temperatures for 2-3 days
    * Not need much, if any, cooking

    So far, I've been packing:

    Savoury:
    * Peperami (Aldi's version). I'm really going off this. Never really liked it in the first place.
    * Cheese, but not now the weather has warmed up.
    * Mini sweet peppers. Seem to last a while out of the fridge, and go well with peperami and cheese so it's nice to have them even though they aren't high calorie.

    Sweet / snacks:
    * Home made trail mix: mainly nuts, a bit of salt, some low-carb dark chocolate broken up, and sometimes a small number of raisins for sweetness.
    * Aldi's sea salt and dark chocolate peanut bars.
    * Aldi's honey roast peanuts (lowest carb I've found).

    I don't normally pack, but am considering:
    * Making my own 'pemmican' - not sure of the best ingredients to ensure it doesn't go off in hot weather. I gather it must be tallow rather than dripping for the fat, for example. Has anyone made this?
    * Taking some eggs and a bigger stove, so I can have scrambled eggs. Eggs last a while out of the fridge. Not sure I like the thought of handling raw egg while in a backpacking situation though?
    * Low carb bread like LivLife with some sort of filling which doesn't go off in the heat. Cheese sandwiches were okay when it's cold but not when it's hot.
    * Ready-made 'tuna snacks' - @archersuz has suggested Princes tuna filler - Mexican flavour. It's low calorie unfortunately but also low carb so I'll be getting some - like eggs, it should add some nice variety so worth carrying the weight.

    I haven't been doing any cooking recently - just boiling water for tea on a tiny alcohol stove. But I'm tempted to take a bigger stove for the scrambled eggs, so anything that would go well with scrambled eggs would be great.

    Any top-tips would be gratefully received, both what to take and how you prepare it. Thanks :)
     
  2. Deleted Account

    Deleted Account · Guest

    One thing I used to do when I went trekking in Australia was freeze some items if I was concerned they would go off due to the heat.
    In those days, it was usually milk but some cheese can be frozen so so it may be edible In the evening or on your second day.
     
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  3. AdamJames

    AdamJames Type 2 · Well-Known Member

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    I hadn't thought of starting some food off frozen, that's a great idea, thanks.

    What sort of cheeses would you recommend for freezing well?

    Last weekend I carried a pint of real milk in the plastic container it came in (normally I carry powdered milk), in a small cooler bag with a cooler block. It was heaven - it meant I had lots of really nice tea breaks with 'real' tea. I didn't think to freeze it beforehand. I'm thinking it would have been good to divide the milk up into smaller containers, with room for expansion, then freeze them. Then I could take one at a time out to thaw before use.

    I did begrudge the weight of the cooler bag and ice block however. But now I'm thinking, if I cram the cooler bag with frozen milk and cheese, then I might get away with a much smaller ice block and it will stay cold enough for long enough. It's also making me wonder about frozen cooked meat, but I guess that's getting a bit risky for hot weather?
     
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  4. Deleted Account

    Deleted Account · Guest

    To be honest, I have only frozen soft cheeses like Camembert and Brie and my Mum is obsessed about freezing Barkham Blue because it is not always available.
    I have no idea if you can freeze hard cheeses like cheddar.
     
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  5. Deleted Account

    Deleted Account · Guest

    Another thing worth considering is the value of fresh milk at a remote campsite.
    I once swapped a cup of tea made with real, fresh milk for a glass of Port.
    I would far rather carry a frozen pint of milk in a plastic bottle than a glass bottle of Port. But happy to drink both :)
     
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  6. Brunneria

    Brunneria Other · Guru
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    Normal tins would be too heavy and bulky, but you can get corned beef and spam in small tins (check out the macros - they are perfect for keto!) and they come with their own tin openers and are portion controlled.

    You can also get small ring pull tins of tuna that come with chilli or lemon. Mr B carries them in his work pack for boosting his lunch salads.

    When I was camping I used to take a small stove and a small wok, and I cooked everything from a Full English to a curry to a stir fry... am not suggesting that you go Michelin star, but I really like @helensaramay ’s idea of defrosting en route.

    If you took a small frying pan and set off with 3 sausages and 3 rashers of bacon frozen together in a lump, they would be thawed by the time you wanted to cook, and they would cook in their own fat.

    You could do similar with chunks of frozen chicken (thighs with skin on to provide the fat), curry powder and those peppers you mentioned. Heck, powdered coconut milk (just add water) would be a delish extra.

    You mentioned scrambling some eggs, but i think they might be a bit fragile for transporting.
    Hard boiled eggs though...
     
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  7. lovinglife

    lovinglife Type 2 · Well-Known Member

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    A pint of milk frozen will also act like a cool block kept next to your other food so no need for the extra weight of a block. - it's worth noting if you freeze full fat it will separate so maybe on this occasion even though it has more carbs skinny milk might be better if you are going to freeze it in the bottle.

    Pork scratchings, have a look on the shelves for some ambient pouches, some of them can be low carbs, peanut butter great for your low carb bread or dipping low carb veggies in.

    Love the sound of your own trail mix sounds delicious
     
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  8. lovinglife

    lovinglife Type 2 · Well-Known Member

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    If you want scramble eggs, mix them then freeze them before you go, less handling and less chance of mess, would need to be eaten fairly soon after defrosting
     
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  9. AdamJames

    AdamJames Type 2 · Well-Known Member

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    I'm not keen on things like Camembert and Brie, but it's been a long time since I tried them - I'm having to change my taste in so many things that I'd be prepared to give them a go. I've just Googled freezing cheddar though, and that seems to be a goer too!

    That's a great trick if you can pull it off! :) A lot of my camping hasn't been in campsites recently, it's been wild camping in very remote places, but I still bump into people occasionally. I can imagine the bartering value of tea made with real milk goes through the roof in really remote places!
     
  10. lovinglife

    lovinglife Type 2 · Well-Known Member

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    The zero noodles thingies are ambient if you like them, you can warm them in a pan with a couple of tablespoons of water, then you can add your tuna or make up a little curry based sauce to stir in before you go
     
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  11. archersuz

    archersuz Type 2 · Well-Known Member

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  12. AdamJames

    AdamJames Type 2 · Well-Known Member

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    So you'd risk the raw / cooked meat thing, starting off frozen? That's really tempting. I figure if I'm going to carry a bigger stove for eggs, I might as well make the most of it and eat like a king! I wonder if cooking the sausages and bacon beforehand then freezing them would make it a bit safer, albeit not quite as nice when re-heated? It would save some fuel if they only needed to be re-heated though.

    I can't believe I didn't think of the small tins of SPAM complete with openers. That's a perfect long-life accompaniment to scrambled eggs. Thank you!

    Re carrying eggs, I never have, yet, but when I bought a second-hand stove from eBay a while back, the seller threw in, for free, a container for 2 eggs which I really want to try! A bit like these: https://www.amazon.co.uk/dp/B0752HTYX8/ref=asc_df_B0752HTYX852394624/

    I wasn't aware they existed until then!
     
  13. lovinglife

    lovinglife Type 2 · Well-Known Member

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    • Agree Agree x 1
  14. AdamJames

    AdamJames Type 2 · Well-Known Member

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    Pork scratchings = great one, another one I can't believe I didn't think of. Fits the low weight, high calorie, stays safe in heat bill perfectly. I don't like typical pork scratchings but I do like the very light and airy things which are essentially the same.

    Good thought on using the frozen milk AS the ice block. I think it's a pity that I wouldn't be able to start using it till it's thawed though if it's in one big bottle. Also apparently the water, protein, fat etc all freezes at different times and separates. I still expect using the frozen milk as the ice-block is a goer - just if I decant it into several small containers first and remove one at a time, leaving the rest to act as cooler blocks until needed!
     
  15. AdamJames

    AdamJames Type 2 · Well-Known Member

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    A lot of these tips are making me think it IS worth carrying the weight of a cooler bag, the more things I freeze and cram into it! I hardly ever carry a cooler bag and chilled or frozen stuff so this could be a learning curve of logistics!
     
  16. lovinglife

    lovinglife Type 2 · Well-Known Member

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    And it gets lighter every time you eat lol
     
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  17. AdamJames

    AdamJames Type 2 · Well-Known Member

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    I'd forgotten all about those sort of pre-made camping meals! Thank you.

    I've avoided those in the past due to the expense, but I'm going to give them a good checking out. Even just one very nice recipe per 3 day trip would be worth the cost if it's simple and non-messy. I'm also willing to go a bit higher in carbs if I eat it just before a big ascent!
     
  18. lovinglife

    lovinglife Type 2 · Well-Known Member

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    Avocado, can be eaten with a spoon
     
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  19. Scott-C

    Scott-C Type 1 · Well-Known Member

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    Used to do a fair bit of cycle touring. Those tiny little tins of mackerel by Princes take up hardly any space, each is about 100g.

    Bit of an acquired taste but they've got some funky flavours.

    Some have sugar in the sauce recipe taking them up to about 6 to 8g per 100, but others like the hot chili oil one don't, advertised as 0 carb, 27 g fat per 100g.

    I found them pretty good for filling a gap during low intensity stuff like slow paced touring cycling.

    https://www.princes.co.uk/our-produ...duct-mackerel-fillets-in-hot-chilli-dressing/
     
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  20. AdamJames

    AdamJames Type 2 · Well-Known Member

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    I love that aspect at times. Last weekend, by the end of the trip, my rucksack was over 5kg lighter than at the start! Mainly because it was so hot that I carried 4 litres of water - I couldn't find my water filter or chlorine tablets when I packed in a rush, so took more water than usual.
     
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