Re posted from Lori of the Delaware Dames

The following is a handout from the TRAILSIDE FOOD WITH GROCERY STORE GOODIES.


Many years ago, your backpacking menu was probably limited to prepackaged backpacking foods, perhaps military “meals ready to eat”, and even canned goods.
But these days, with consumers demanding quick, easy to prepare meals at home, there are many backpacking menu options right on your local grocery store shelves.

Below are some easy recipes for the trail to get your grocery store backpacking menu kickstarted.

Southwest Soft Tacos
1 packet Uncle Ben’s Whole Grain Ready Rice Santa Fe
7-ounce chicken pouch
4 whole wheat tortillas
Tabasco to taste

Empty rice and chicken into pot. Stir, cover, heat over low flame. Add water if necessary. Add Tabasco. Fill tortillas. Serves 2.

Catskills Chicken Riggies
8 ounces rigatoni
½ tsp garlic powder
½ tsp dehydrated onion
½ cup sun-dried tomatoes, chopped
1 7-ounce pouch chicken
½ cup Parmesan cheese
½ cup water

Saute tomatoes and spices in olive oil and water until thick. Add chicken and half the Parmesan. Serve over cooked and drained pasta and top with remaining cheese. Serves 2.

Rib-sticking Noodle Soup
1 Lipton’s Chicken Soup Mix
6 cups water
1 7-ounce pouch chicken
8 ounces macaroni
1 stalk celery or equivalent amount of other trail-sturdy veg such as carrot or onion.

Bring wataer to a boil. Whisk in soup mix with a fork. Add chicken, macaroni, and chopped celery. Return pot to a boil, then simmer for 1ominutes or until pasta is al dente. Serves 2

Creekside Lentils
1 cup lentils
1packet instant tomato soup
1 tablespoon chili powder
1 tablespoon dried onion
1 teaspoon oregano
1 teaspoon garlic powder
Trail-sturdy cheese such as Baby Bel, Parmesan, or Laughing Cow

Add all ingredients except cheese to 4 cups of water and bring to a boil. Simmer for 15 minutes (until lentils are soft). Top with cheese to taste. Serves 2.

Rockytop Tortellini
8 ounces Barilla dry tortellini
½ envelope McCormick’s marinara sauce mix
½ envelope McCormick’s pesto sauce mix
2 ounces sliced pepperoni
Olive oil

Cook pasta according to package directions and drain, leaving 1 cup water in the pot with the pasta. Stir in both sauce pouches and add 3 tablespoons olive oil. Stir and add pepperoni. Serves 2

Shenandoah Surprise
½ of a 21-ounce box brownie mix (transfer to a Ziploc bag)
¼-cup powdered milk
2 cups boiling water Graham crackers
1 apple

Combine brownie mix with powdered milk in a pot. Slowly add boiling water and stir until the mix reaches the consistency of pudding. Serve fondue-style, dipping graham crackers, sliced applies, or a spoon! Serves 4.

Easy Chicken Salad in a Pita
1 7-ounce pouch chicken
½ cup raisins
¼ cup walnuts
2 mayo packets
2 whole wheat pitas

Mix together chicken, raisins, walnuts, and mayonnaise in a zip-top bag. Spoon salad inside pita. Serves 2.

Backpacking Food-Tips for Beginners

Several folks have asked about easy backpacking food ideas.   Figuring out how to eat on the trail has been one of the most challenging things for me, but has ended up making the biggest difference for how much energy I have on the trail.  I hope these tips can help you out.

Here are a few of my principles and thoughts on backpacking food:

-The most important thing is to bring food that you know makes your tummy happy.  Sometimes you may not have much of an appetite, but you need to eat anyway to get energy, so it helps to bring foods that you find appealing.

-Figure out what works best for YOU. There are many approaches to backpacking food.  Find one that works for you, depending on what type of person you are.   Do you like to cook and experiment? Do you want to spend more time relaxing and not worry about it?  Some people need to eat a lot on the trail (like me), while others like to refuel after they get off the trail.  Some people like powerbars. Some like packaged dehydrated meals.  Don’t worry about what other people do– they may eat more or less than you, or eat at completely different times.  Stay in tune with your body, and pay attention to your energy levels.  Everyone is different, do what works for you.

-Think about food as your fuel. Choose foods that give long-lasting energy (with lots of complex carbs, healthy fats, and protein). You will burn a ton of calories out backpacking, and while many of us want to loose weight, you still need to eat or you’ll “boink” (which is crash and have no energy and feel terrible).

Eating right out of the bag saves on cleanup

-Choose foods that are easy to prepare.  While I love to cook at home, on the trail I prefer food that I can eat instantly and that require no cleanup, things I can eat right out of a bag. If I cook (which I rarely do anymore), I boil water and add it to a bag of food– I don’t like to cook anything other than water in my pot so I don’t have a pot to clean up afterward.

-Eat like a hobbit on the trail!  This will help you maintain constant energy and prevents stomach upset.  When you backpack, you are asking your body to work hard for long periods of time, so it may have more trouble digesting large meals. So when you backpack, have a bunch of small meals and snacks.  I eat every two hours when I’m backpacking.  I think of it as breakfast, second breakfast, tea time snack, lunch, afternoon snack, pre-dinner snack, dinner, and dessert.

-Weather changes your metabolism.  Many people get really hungry when it’s cold.  Feeling queasy or have a headache on a hot day?  It could be because you are dehydrated and/or not getting enough electrolytes. In the heat, salty foods, electrolyte replacements, or fruit help replace what your body looses in sweat.

Tortillas, cheese, instant black beans, and peppers make a fast and easy lunch.

Here are some websites to get you started:

One Pan Wonders  – lots of great recipes.

Trail Cooking and the Outdoors– more easy recipes

Food in the backcountry  -another viewpoint on how to eat in the outdoors

Freezer bag cooking information

Going stoveless

Posted  by 

What is that Growling?

What is that Growling? (10 Essentials #2)

PB150132  Have you ever been so hungry that you could eat a bear? An empty stomach is not only miserable but can really affect your performance on a hike.  That is why the next item on our list of  the Essential Dame Necessities is:


It is simple……throw some Power Bars in your day pack.  Or some Luna Bars, CliffBars, or any other sports bars.  The name brand doesn’t matter as long as they provide an easy form of nutrition.  I am a big believer in sports bars because they last a long time in your pack and don’t melt in the heat.  In the cold, however, they could put your fillings in jeopardy!  

Again, though… doesn’t matter so much what you carry as long as you carry something.

Have you ever heard of ‘bonking’?  Wikipedia defines bonking as, “hitting the wall”, and adds that “the “bonk” describes the condition that takes place when an athlete suddenly loses energy and becomes fatigued”.   For years I heard the term bandied around in professional sports and in regards to running marathons.  In all honesty, I did not think that it was a term that would ever apply to me.  I never considered myself to be an athlete by any stretch of the imagination.  And I also thought that since I carry so much extra weight, I had plenty of inner fuel to get me from point A to point B.  Boy was I wrong.

On my very first backpacking trip, I was so nervous and intimidated by the other women that were there, that I did not take care of myself at all.  I knew that I had bitten off much more than I could chew, (10 miles of giant climbs on the AT with a heavy pack and no experience?!), and I was so exhausted that not only did I not take many breaks, but when I did take a rest, I did not eat any snacks.  On top of that, I was so exhausted at meal times that I barely choked anything down.

By the evening of the second day, I could barely pick up my feet.  Three of us were night hiking, (because I was too slow to get to the shelter before the sun went downJ) and I truly hit a wall.  My friend LiteShoe took one look at me and poured a packet of Emergen-C down my throat.  After a few minutes, I felt well enough to keep going, but I learned an important lesson.   It wasn’t until later that I realized that my body had truly run out of fuel.  It didn’t matter that I was overweight, or that I didn’t think of myself as an athlete.

What I was doing was hard.  And it takes fuel to keep your body going.

With that having been said, I have since bonked several more times, but now I know what is going on with my body.  It happens if I am just not paying attention, and it happens all the time to women on our longer Trail Dames hikes.  They are all like me…..taken by surprise at the idea that we should be treating our bodies like athletes.  J Through trial and error, this is what we are all learning…..

1. Everyone is different.  Some people need to munch constantly when they are hiking, while others need to eat something every three hours.

2. Some people respond well to fresh fruit while others need nuts.

3. If we do run out of fuel and energy, it comes back pretty quickly once we eat something.

So if you are hiking along and all the sudden just don’t have any energy, you have bonked.  Having trouble picking up your feet?  Bonk.  And my personal favorite, walk three steps…stop….walk three steps…stop?  Big bonk.  J

Carry extra snacks and food and you will be fine in no time.  And remember, what you are doing is a sport and you are an athlete.

Have you ever bonked? Click the comment link below and tell me what you do to avoid it happening again.

Anna aka Mud Butt