Saturday, August 29, 2009

A Moveable Feast

By the time you read this, we should be deep into the Sierras on a long-planned 41-mile hike. One of my favorite parts of planning these trips is working out the logistics of the food. It's not that the food is more important than the other aspects: the location, the quiet of the lakes, the wildlife we see - it's just that the food is what's most in my control and what comes with the most constraints.

For backpacking, you definitely want to make sure you have enough to keep you feeling fueled and comfortable. But it can't be too heavy, for obvious reasons, or too bulky. Even with these constraints, I've found that many of our regular home recipes can be adapted for the trail.

For this trip, which is 5 days and 4 nights, we'd set a weight budget of 20 pounds: 1 pound per person per day. Here's what we have packed up:

  • Potato Pancakes (twice because I really like them..)
  • Strawberry coffee cake
  • Cheddar biscuits & bacon
  • (and one other breakfast that doesn't count since we'll eat it at the car before starting off)


  • BLTs - yes with real L and T (twice because I really really like them)
  • Salame and cheese sandwiches (twice because we have a lot of salame..)
  • Hummus & tabouleh
  • Sukiyaki
  • Couscous with chicken, lemon and olives
  • Pizza with salame, tomatoes, fennel, mushrooms, peppers and onions
  • Tamale pie
Snacks & misc:
  • Gatorade - 5 quarts' worth
  • Trail mix - 2 1/2 pounds
  • Jelly bellys
  • Salty snacks: sourdough cheese crackers & also punjabi mix
  • Fruit leather
  • Torrone - gotta have treats
  • Chocolate covered fruit - and more treats
  • 2 airplane bottles of bourbon - and even more treats!
  • 10 Clif Bars/Luna Bars
  • Mayo, mustard, ketchup packets
  • Instant ginger drink

    All that weighs in at 12 pounds before adding in the bread and olives. I'm pretty proud of being able to put in that much variety, treats and snacks in so little weight. Of course that's not going to be what I think when I have to carry it...
Throughout the year we keep our eyes out for products that might support backpacking. I especially like the various international markets close to home for dried mixes and surprises: hummus mix, tabouleh mix, the ginger drink, tiny pastas that cook quickly. The best finds from a regular store are shelf-stable bacon (4-6 servings in under 3 oz!) and potato pancake mix.

I am so looking forward to this trip - it's our longest to date. Going 4 days/3 nights is one thing, 5 days/4 nights is quite another. Will share some of our experiences when we're back!

1 comment:

  1. Good going there.nice of luck with ur hike