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Backpacker Magazine – August 2009

Ultralight Done Right: Food!

Easy, lightweight recipes. Plus quick ways to stay full and happy without hauling extra weight.

by: Elisabeth Kwak-Hefferan

Quick Cut
Don't overpack food: Plan each day's menu & store it in separatebags.

Read More
Ultralight Done Right
1. Plan one-pot dehydrated meals. Pick up prepackaged, just-add-hot-water meals, or dry your own veggies, sauces, pasta, and meat. Even easier: Pack dehydrated meals in quart-size zip-top bags, add hot water, squish to rehydrate, and eat.

2. Downsize your caffeine fix.

Light: MSR's MugMate ($17, 1 oz.) with grounds.
Lighter: Instant (try MUD Gourmet Coffee,
Lightest: Clif Shot Double Espresso.

3. Don't skimp on water. Research availability ahead of time and prepare your load accordingly: In dry, desert climates, you'll need to carry plenty (think three liters) and drink often. In wetter areas, carry about one liter at a time. Aim to run out just before you reach the next refill point.

Skip the stove and fuel in favor of a hearty no-cook menu. Try these easy recipes.

1. Almond & Apricot Wraps: Spread one packet of Justin's Almond Butter ($1.20, on a whole-wheat tortilla. Add 1 teaspoon shelled sunflower seeds and six dried apricots; squeeze on one packet of honey. Wrap and eat.

2. Lemon Tuna Couscous: Combine 1/3 cup couscous, 1 teaspoon dried mint, 1 teaspoon lemon zest, 1 teaspoon dried onion, and a dash of salt and pepper in a zip-top bag. Add 2/3 cup cold water. Let stand 15 minutes or until couscous is soft. Add 1 tuna pouch and 1-ounce packet of balsamic vinaigrette dressing.

3. Pack no-cook snacks such as energy bars, cheese, gorp, sesame sticks, and pepperoni.

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Nov 09, 2009

My last trip I tried VIA, Starbucks instant coffee. It was great! Although, I pack a Jet-Boil to heat water.

Scott Orlosky (Backpack Gourmet)
Sep 12, 2009

Great ideas! I'll definitely be using some of these on my next trip. One way I've found to save weight (and fuel)is to invest in a home dehydrator. For pasta and rice dishes you can completely cook them at home (without the meat portion of the recipe) and then dehydrate them. Those types of dishes reconstitute by just letting them sit for 15 minutes in hot water without having to use all that fuel that you would normally to fully cook them from scratch on the trail. Just add the meat portion at the end, stir and voila - a tasty hot meal!

Mark Andrus
Sep 10, 2009

I have found coofee bags in the grocery store. They taste better than instant coffee.


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