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, harvestfoodworks.com).
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, justinsnutbutter.com) 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.