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Food for the high country?

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Food for the high country?

Postby MountainMan38 » Tue Oct 12, 2010 2:03 pm

I am new to packing and preparing meals in the high country. I wanted to know what kind of foods other than dehydrated meals that are easy to prepare and light to pack. Any links or articles would be helpful. Feel free to list some of the meals you prepare while on the mountain. Thanks in advance.
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Re: Food for the high country?

Postby Arthur Digbee » Tue Oct 12, 2010 2:35 pm

One easy and cheap option is to buy prepackaged foods (like Hamburger Helper -- but I much prefer other brands). That gives you a pasta or rice base, spices, and the ability to add whatever meat or veggies you want. They're usually one-pot meals, which is convenient in the backcountry.

For fancier stuff, check out Backpacker magazine.
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Re: Food for the high country?

Postby MountainMan38 » Tue Oct 12, 2010 2:49 pm

Some really good ideas. I think I will have to keep the beer at home though, but that does sound good after a nice hard climb. LOL. Although I have been told that beer and some hard liquers do wonders to cure altitude sickness. I don't know if that is true or not. Thanks for the great food ideas, keep them coming.
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Re: Food for the high country?

Postby WingLady » Tue Oct 12, 2010 3:06 pm

Ichiban Ramen -- far more calories than Top Ramen, and it tastes a lot better (IMO)

5-minute Cous-Cous -- boil water, remove from stove, pour in cous-cous and flavor packet and let sit for 5 minutes. Bring along a little bottle of olive oil to add more calories and give it a "richer" taste
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Re: Food for the high country?

Postby NW » Tue Oct 12, 2010 3:14 pm

We use cous cous too. Really easy and fast to prepare. My husband throws a can of chicken in it too for extra flavor and protein. Fortunately for us we can find both at a store here where everything's a dollar, sometimes 2. So we can have that whole meal (the cous cous comes flavored) for $2.00. Much cheaper then some of the freeze dried options. At breakfast I'm simply a big fan of oatmeal with dried fruit and hot chocolate. I eat it at home too. And as long as I'm not going to be in any danger of running low on water I loooove instant potatoes! Sometimes I eat them for breakfast on trips when I don't feel like oatmeal.
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Re: Food for the high country?

Postby goldenhopper » Tue Oct 12, 2010 3:45 pm

What ever you figure out try to remember that condiments can make a huge dirrerence. I like to take things like; garlic butter, hot sauce (cholula!), good olive oil (in a small plastic bottle), Herbs and spices. This way is you're making soups, stews, sandwiches etc. you can mix it up with various flavors and textures.

One of my favorites meals is split pea soup (dry mix from health food store) with the hot sauce and some cubed cheese added near serving time, a crusty baguette with garlic butter on the side and halva for dessert.

Breakfast is almost always instant oatmeal with honey, powdered "whole" milk and some candied pecans added.
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Re: Food for the high country?

Postby MountainMan38 » Tue Oct 12, 2010 4:09 pm

Wow, you guys are making me hungry already. I look forward to trying all of these awsome ideas. Thank you for taking the time to post your responces and to help out a newbie. It is much appreciated.
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Re: Food for the high country?

Postby ExcitableBoy » Tue Oct 12, 2010 5:19 pm

I used to take instant potatoes and rice, instant soups, that kind of thing. I mostly take 2-3 day climbing trips these days so I can afford a small amount of extra weight so I typically shop at Trader Joes and buy pre cooked, retort type packaged food. A sample menu would look like this:
Dinner:
Trader Joe's Indian Fare meal (precooked, retort type packaging, variety of interesting flavors)
Trader Joe's pre cooked whole grain brown rice (in vacuum packed plastic)
Tortillas
Trader Joe's bowl of rice noodle soup (onion or mushroom flavor)
Hot cocoa
I put the foil packaged Indian Fare in the pot while I am melting snow for water and I let it boil a while to heat up the food
Put Indian food and rice on a tortilla and eat like a burrito.
This will feed two hungry climbers.
Lunch:
Clif Bars
Cheese
Trail mix
Sausage
Tortillas
Breakfast
Instant flavored oatmeal
Medaglio D'Oro instant espresso mixed with a packet of hot cocoa = mountain mocha
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Re: Food for the high country?

Postby Arthur Digbee » Wed Oct 13, 2010 12:03 am

The couscous postings reminded me of one of my favorite meals, eaten in (ahem) the Porkies -- couscous, porcini mushrooms, and elk sausage. All of which keeps well in the backcountry.
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Re: Food for the high country?

Postby JHH60 » Wed Oct 13, 2010 12:43 am

You can get chicken meat, tuna, or salmon in a plastic/foil package and it's lighter than canned and easier to pack out the trash. I like it with pre-packaged couscous but it also works with various other minimal cooking packaged insta-meals you can get at the grocery store. As others have mentioned, a little extra virgin olive oil improves the flavor a lot for relatively little weight, as does hot sauce and other condiments. A beautiful thing about this kind of meal is that you can buy it at places like the Bishop or Mammoth Vons at 6AM or 11 PM, when the specialty backpacking stores are closed. Hard cheeses and hard salami will last several days without refridgeration, are high in energy value for their weight, and are tasty. If you like them with bread, try them with rye crispbread (e.g., Wasa). It lasts weeks if kept dry and tastes good with cheese, salami, peanut butter, sardines, etc.
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Re: Food for the high country?

Postby MountainMan38 » Wed Oct 13, 2010 3:02 am

Cous Cous seems to be pretty popular. I have never even heard of that before but I will definately try it. It sounds really good and easy to prepare. Everyone has posted a lot of great food ideas and I am really excited about my next overnight trip now. Thank you everyone.
How do veggies keep in the winter? I was thinking about preparing a Bruschetta with the diced onions, tomatoes, basil and spicey red peppers with olive oil. Would this keep if prepared in a tupperware dish in winter?
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