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Backpacker Magazine – August 2005

Instant Weekend Menu

Cooking tips and recipes for easy backcountry meals

by: The Backpacker Editors

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Leave serendipity to your next dinner downtown; in the backcountry, you need a plan. Mapping out your menu is the best way to determine how much food you need. Follow these steps to simplify your next weekend escape.

Step 1: PLAN

» Write down the meals you'll eat each day (see example below), including drinks, snacks, dessert, and any special cooking tools (so you don't forget them). Use this as your packing list.

» Choose a staple for dinners (rice, pasta, or quinoa) and breakfast (granola, oatmeal, pancakes) and build the rest of the meal around it. Even simpler: Pick one grain (such as rice) for every meal.

» For lunches, use a grab bag of crackers, cheese, nuts, and dried fruit.

» Pull out the recipes on your meal plan and make a shopping list of all the ingredients and products you need. Quantities depend on group size.

Step 2: PACK

» Repackage foods in zipper-lock bags. >> Mix and bag dry ingredients at home.

» Group ingredients and foods for a meal in a larger zipper-lock; add any directions you'll need in camp (photocopied, written, or torn off packages).

» Stuff supplies into one sack. Keep lunch and snacks within reach. Tip: Use plastic roll-up tubes to carry nut butters, honey, and jam.

» Add one no-cook meal or several energy bars per person for emergencies.


Dinner: Garlic Mac & Cheese*; hot chocolate; cookies


Breakfast: Corn Pancakes*; orange; coffee
Lunch: Rice crackers (or tortillas or bagels); cheese, nuts, and dried fruit; apple
Snack: Energy bar
Dinner: Noodles with Spicy Peanut Sauce*; herb tea; Sesame Almond Fudge*


Breakfast: Oatmeal with walnuts and dates; coffee
Lunch: Rice crackers with peanut butter; leftover dried fruit, sesame almond fudge
Snack: Chocolate-covered almonds

Adapted from Sierra Club's Simple Foods for the Pack, Third Edition, $15

Read on for recipes...

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