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Backpacker Magazine – Online Exclusive

Week-Long Backpacking Menu

Avoid the Pop-Tart rut with Backpacker's seven-day, two-person shopping and menu list.

by: Dorcas S. Miller, More Backcountry Cooking

Monday Dinner
Alpine Mac & Cheese

  • 3 tablespoons flour
  • 2 teaspoons mustard powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 cup powdered milk
  • 1 tablespoon parsley
  • 1/2 teaspoon black pepper
  • 1/3 cup sun-dried tomatoes
  • 8 ounces (2 cups) small shell pasta
  • 5 ounces Swiss cheese
  • 1/4 cup dry white wine (optional)

At home: Combine flour, mustard powder, salt, powdered milk, parsley and pepper in zip-top bag. Combine dried tomatoes and shell pasta in a separate zip-top bag. Pack cheese and wine individually. Note: Swiss cheese does not preserve well, so eat this meal early in the week.

In camp: Cut cheese into small chunks. Bring 3 1/2 cups of water to boil. Add wine to pot, then add pasta and dried tomato. Boil until pasta is slightly tender, stirring occasionally. Stir in dry ingredients, then stir in cheese. Turn off heat and stir until cheese melts. Serves 2.

Tuesday Dinner

  • 1 (6.4 ounce) box dry chili mix
  • 2 ounces sun-dried tomatoes, cut into small pieces
  • 30 ounces (2 cans) dehydrated kidney beans
  • 40 corn chips
  • 1/2 cup salsa
  • 3 ounces cheddar cheese

At home: Combine chili mix, sliced tomatoes, and kidney beans in zip-top bag. Pack chips, salsa, and cheese individually.

In camp: Add 7 1/2 cups of water to a pot. Add dry mix and bring to boil. Summer 15 minutes or until done, stirring occasionally. Add 1 ounce of cheese and corn chips to serving bowls. Serves 2.

Wednesday Dinner Shell Pasta with Pesto and Dried Tomato

  • 1 cup thinly sliced dried tomatoes
  • 1/2 cup thinly sliced dried tomatoes
  • 1 1/2 cups small shells
  • 1/3 cup toasted pine nuts
  • 1/3 cup dried pesto mix

At home: Combine dried tomatoes and mushrooms in zip-top bag. Pack shells, pine nuts, and pesto individually.

In camp: Place tomatoes in a bowl, and dehydrate with hot water for 10 minutes. Cook shells according to package directions. Drain pasta and veggies, then combine. Mix pesto on top, and garnish with pine nuts. Serves 2.

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Details for Avoiding Injury from
Oct 27, 2011

traymerTitle:Save Your Eyesight the Natural WayArticle:Our eyes are the most important of the five senses and because they are, we pay particular attention to any deviation that prevents us from seeing properly. There was a time, not too long ago, that the moment we experienced any problem with our vision, we would visit our ophthalmologist to determine the health of our eyes. If he suggested reading glasses, we followed his advice. Today, a new approach to eye care is becoming more popular, i.e., saving our eyesight utilizing natural methods so that we can avoid surgery and eyeglasses and, instead, focus on alternative and holistic approaches to better eye health. One of the most interesting facts that were discovered when researching eye health in this country is this: While studies have shown that less than 3% of children have visual defects at birth, as adults they are part of two-thirds of the population who will be prescribed eyeglasses. This raises an interesting question and one that has been and is part of an on-going debate: Do we really need to wear eyeglasses? Traditional medicine suggests we do, but those who favor a non-traditional and more holistic approach to eye health differ. Their notion is that wearing eyeglasses in effect blinds us to the real problems associated with poor eyesight, and that increased eye strain and the degeneration of eyesight is a direct cause of optical lenses. The Bates Method One of the most well-known ophthalmologists who became fascinated with eye health was a man named William Bates. He began his internship at Columbia hospital, and because he was directly involved in determining what caused eye problems in his patients, he studied the inner-workings of the eye thoroughly. He concluded that the external muscles of the eye determined good eyesight and not, as conventional wisdom suggested, the lens itself. His conclusion, after years of patient study, was that wearing eyeglasses did absolutely nothing to improve conditions under which one is better able to see, but that these lenses created additional stress on the eye muscles. He contended that eyeglasses and contact lenses caused more harm than good and did not improve vision at all. Thus, while eyeglasses are utilized to correct light that is entering the eye, the problem is not the light, but the eye. Bates had a belief system that insisted eye problems composed two main categories: Stress and mental strain. He believed that when one is under stress, the muscle in the eye is greatly affected, and that a calm state of mind can reduce the strain that is caused by the stress. Thus, he utilized a method wherein one can relax the muscle in the eye via exercise and begin to retrain one eye to focus naturally and without strain. His notion is one that makes sense. Everyone has the ability to see things clearly and should do so in a relaxed state of mind. Looking at any object in a relaxed state alleviates any strain caused to the eyes, and it is the natural way in which the eyes are meant to operate. Without the stress of focusing on things we cannot see results in the ability to see. Thus, the Bates Method of Seeing encompassed four main exercises that are used in combination with a relaxed mental state: Palming -- While many ophthalmologists are not well-versed in this method, it is nonetheless important for eye relaxation. Simply sit at a table with the head resting on the hands, ensuring the fingers are set against the forehead. The eyes are then covered wherein no light can penetrate. In addition, the hands do not touch the eyes at all. This state of relaxing the eyes for a few minutes has been quite effective in improving vision. Sunning -- Studies have shown that this method is necessary and valuable to the eyes. Go out on a sunny day, close your eyes and point your head up to the sun. Gently sway back and forth as the suns light bathes the eyes. Swinging -- As you hold your index finger in front of your eyes, rock back and forth. Bates determined that this helps to incorporate both peripheral vision and focus at the same time. Blinking -- This well-known exercise combined with breathing exercise allows for the relaxation and massaging of the eyes while lubricating them at the same time, and brings a balance within. Use these exercises to improve your eyesight today. About the author of this article: todd raymer health consultant brought to you by viva vitality proud distributors of gbg health and wellness products.Category: <A href="">UGG Womens Classic Argyle Knit boots 5879 Chocolate</A> Date:July 06, 2009 04:02:54 PM&nbsp; <A href="">UGG 5838 Jimmy Choo Metal Smooth Chocolate</A>

Johnny O
Oct 14, 2011

I hiked the pictured rocks train in the you-p last year and used this as a model. We had 3 people and since we have big appetites we doubled these volumes. Waaaaaaaaaayyyyyy toooo much food for the time specified. Bagels ended up flat and I still cant tolerate hummus after all the lunches. Alpine mac would be awesome minus the mustard. and chili was ok. The best recipie was the Beef Jerky Stroganoff. Other than that this meal plan sucks.

Alonzo Riley
Jun 22, 2011

I've done five days on granola for every meal. Just one large package of granola. I don't really care much about food.

May 14, 2011

Hey, I got a couple good ideas from this whole thing. Bacon bits, and Nutella. Two things I've never carried but both have high caloric density.

Apr 22, 2011

Clearly the folks at backpacker have never backpacked before.

Dec 07, 2010

Hmmm...I don't know what's more pathetic, the idea of chopping vegetables in trail camp and juggling more than one pot over a single burner stove, or the idiocy and illiteracy of the commentators: "Higher (sic) a Sherpa" ??? Most Sherpas are already higher than most of us will ever get...ha ha.

Eat what you like, pack what you'll eat, and pack out what you don't eat. It's all good...

Mr. Phillips and the Goodturn
Nov 25, 2010

I say: get jalapeno squeeze cheese and plenty of saltines!

May 26, 2010

I like the sudjestions, im sure i can find four meals (for my four day trip) out of the ingrediants listed... hurray bagies!

May 14, 2010

whoa! Everyone settle down. Everybody has there own ways of doing things -- these are just suggestions. If no body shared their ideas the world would be a very boring place. Lets try being nice -- why don't all of the complainers post their ideas! I'm sure they are good too!

Mar 30, 2010

I like the menu but whats to eat for day 2 ?

Mar 30, 2010

This is for a week? How many people are going? Last June three of us hiked a seventy mile section of the PCT. This list seems a little heavy for a week. As far as cheese goes it will last a loong time. mozzarella will last at least nine days in a pack. That's one reason it was invented ,to preserve milk. Remember refrigeration hasn't been around that long. As for this years long trip think I'll stick with instant potatoes, ramen , cheese, peanut butter. But don't forget your chocolate pudding , bagels and salami. This year were adding butter 200 cal/oz can't beat that kind of caloric density, most thing are between 100 cal/oz to about 120 cal/ oz.

- G -
Feb 09, 2010

I just glanced the shopping list and read the comments. I Thru-hiked the AT in '07 and I can tell you things like cheese keep a lot longer than you think, the harder the cheese the longer it lasts. During the cooler months I even carried butter MMMM... Butter. If something is starting to go just eat it. I also think this menu implies you are not alone so multiple pots may not be that big of a deal. Of course you could always just eat ramen noodles, tuna, and nutella but where is the variety in that.

Oct 04, 2009

I think I'll stick with packing lightly for myself and hoping one of my buddies dies on the trail - protein.

Sep 10, 2009

see shopping list,where's menu?

Sep 02, 2009

My biggest complaint about this menu is that there is no way .. and I mean NO way .. I am going to have a pot on me that will hold 6-7 cups of water. It's just not going to happen.

That said, looking at this menu by the individual meals there is alot of great ideas here. And the comments were SO worth reading.

Jul 31, 2009

we always pack mushrooms first too!

Jul 10, 2009

First time I've been on this site, thought I'd get a few new ideas for simple, easy trail grub. I had to stop scroling down this gem of a shopping list when I got to the 40 corn chips. The comments have me rolling, made wasting time looking at this list worth it.

Dr Ted
Jul 06, 2009

Dr Ted says: You can pack all of what's listed inside your wood-burning stove! And if it needs refridgerated, just pack those items inside your fridge!!! Easy!

Or, just pack some dry bannock, crackers, almonds, tuna cans... maybe spoil yourself with an MRE or two... what the hell do you need all this other stuff for??? This mindset is why we have an obesity epidemic!!!! IT'S CALLED ROUGHING IT!!!!

Dr Ted
Jul 06, 2009

Dr Ted says: You can pack all of what's listed inside your wood-burning stove! And if it needs refridgerated, just pack those items inside your fridge!!! Easy!

Or, just pack some dry bannock, crackers, almonds, tuna cans... maybe spoil yourself with an MRE or two... what the hell do you need all this other stuff for??? This mindset is why we have an obesity epidemic!!!! IT'S CALLED ROUGHING IT!!!!

Jul 06, 2009

Many of the recipes called for seperate pots. I only ever pack one pot when going for a week.

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