|NATIONAL PARKS QUICKLINKS|
Backpacker Magazine – February 2001
With simple planning, you can turn your bare-bones backcountry meals into satisfying, energy-boosting successes.
"Six months after our 100-Mile Wilderness trip, we still had extra food that we had no desire to eat on the trail or at home," says Jamie. Thanks to their fire-drill packing habits and belief that freeze-dried is too expensive, Jamie and Joe would grab what they thought to be the cheapest, easiest fare: instant noodles, oatmeal, cans of Chef Boyardee, MREs (meals ready to eat), and other minimalist food that shortchanged their gourmet appetites.
Dorcas S. Miller, frequent Backpacker contributor and author of Backcountry Cooking: From Pack To Plate In 10 Minutes.
"Jamie and Joe eat just to survive," says Miller. "If they put in a little time before the trip, they can have at-home meals with little fuss in the backcountry." While eating well requires more shopping, repackaging, and measuring at home, the rewards-stoking your engine to go the extra miles, and actually enjoying your food-more than pay off on the trail.
"This is so much better than what we ate before," says Joe. At lunch and for snacks, they now linger over bags of dehydrated bananas, pears, and apples. At night, the couple marvels at their easy-to-prepare and flavorful cashew-ginger chicken with rice, and chili dinners. "Dorcas's advice about treating yourself to good food is key; it's made a big difference in our trips and our enjoyment," says Joe.
Learn more solutions to common backpacking problems: finding the time, planning a trip, and packing right. See our related article, You Can Teach Old Dogs New Tricks