You can purchase trail mix in the store. It tastes better if you purchase ingredients, and mix it yourself. You also get to decide exactly what to include in your mix. Ingredients to consider include: Peanuts, other nuts, M&M’s, gummis, rasins, other dried fruits (banana, apricot, cranberries, prunes, apples, pineapple, . . .) dry cereals (chex, quaker oatmeal squares, pretzels, )
The goal is to provide a snack which will provide energy right away, and several hours later. That means you want a variety of fats (nuts), complex carbohydrates (cereals), simple carbohydrates (sugar).
This is a recipe for what the BSA Sommers Canoe Base calls Hudson Bay Bread. It can be prepared ahead of your trip, and used as a mid day snack, or lunch. At the bakery, it is baked in a convection oven, so it is difficult to get exactly the same effect in a conventional oven. This recipe comes very close. Be sure to use rolled oats, not instant oats, and more importantly, be sure to grind them up. A blender works fine for about a cup at a time, and a food processor works even better. Bay Bread is compact and easy to pack, and a excellent lunchtime meal on canoe trips when you are burning thousands of calories each day. When you see the ingredients, you will see why it does NOT make a very good “light snack” at home.
1 1/2 lbs. (3 cups) butter or margarine – soft
4 cups sugar
2/3 cup corn syrup (light Karo)
2/3 cup honey
2 tsp. maple flavoring (Mapleine)
Cream together the above ingredients. Gradually add:
1 1/2 cups sliced almonds (optional)
19 cups finely ground rolled oats (see above)
Press into cake pan or large sheet pan about 1/4 to 1/2 inch thick. Bake at 325 degrees for about 20 minutes. Do not overcook, as it will get crispy and brittle. Take out of oven and use spatula to press down (keeps it from crumbling). Cut into exactly 3 1/2 inch squares. Package in plastic bags with as many as there are crew members (one each for lunch). If you measured correctly, they should just fit into 1/2 gallon paper milk cartons. They will be protected, easy to pack, and easy to find when you want to grab a quick lunch. Slather with massive quantities of peanut butter and jelly, and wash it down with some bug juice, and you will know you ate lunch!
Here are Chuck Rose’s 2 versions of Hudson Bay Bread.
|Ely version||Bissett version|
|2 cups brown sugar
1/3 cup molasses
1/3 cup honey
1 tsp. mapleine
2 cups butter or margarine
9 1/2 cups quick oats
1 cup chopped nuts
|2 cups white sugar
1/3 cup Light Karo syrup
1/3 cup honey
1 tsp. vanilla
2 cups butter or margarine
9 1/2 cups quick oats
1 cup chopped nuts (nuts optional)
Cream all ingredients except oats/nuts. Then add oats/nuts and mix well. Spread into 2 greased cookie sheets about 1/2 inch thick. Bake at 360 degrees for about 8 minutes. The mixture puffs up while baking. Roll it down with a rolling pin and bake again until golden brown (about 8 more minutes). Roll down again or it will crumble. Don’t over bake. Cut while warm, leave in pans to cool.
Chuck prefers the vanilla version.
You can purchase instant oatmeal in plastic lined pouches. All you do is add hot water, let sit 1-2 minutes. You can pour the hot water into the pouch to save on cleanup.
You can also purchase plain oatmeal, cook it in boiling water, and add flavor to your taste. Flavors to consider include: margarine / butter, brown sugar, rasins, other dried fruits, cinnamon, nutmeg, cloves.
Similar to Oatmeal, you can purchase instant in pouches, or buy it in bulk, and cook in water. Flavors to consider include: margarine / butter, brown sugar, rasins, other dried fruits, cinnamon, nutmeg, cloves; or cheese, pepper, etc.
Approx 4 lbs diced chicken meat (or Beef), packed in Ziploc bag, and frozen
2 large green (bell) peppers
1 small onion
1 packet of taco seasoning
16-20 large flour tortilla’s
Dice the peppers, and chop up the onion. Select a pot large enough to hold all ingredients. Put 1-2 Tbsp oil in pot, and peppers and onions. Sautee on medium heat for a few minutes. Add meat, and slowly defrost, and cook meat. Add small amounts of water or oil as needed to keep things from sticking or burning. Once meat is cooked, add the taco seasoning, and stir well. Allow to simmer a few minutes. Serve on tortilla, fold up and eat !
ADDITION: You can buy spiced rice, ready to cook. All you do is boil enough water in a pot, add the rice, and simmer 15-20 minutes. This makes a nice addition to the Fajitas, and is easy to pack in.
Approx 2 lbs summer sausage
16 oz spaghetti noodles
2 packets powdered spaghetti sauce mix
Select a pot large enough to hold all ingredients. Add just enough water to cover the spaghetti noodles, and bring to a boil. Cook till noodles are soft. Pour off excess water, but leave some at the bottom. Add the tomato powder mix. Cut summer sausage into small pieces (meatball sized), and add to the spaghetti. Add water if needed to get some sauce. Allow to simmer 5 minutes or so. The spaghetti sauce mix, and summer sausage usually has enough spices that no additional spices are needed.
2 packages of Chicken Raman Noodles
¾ – 1 lb of chicken (vacuum packed works well)
Bring 4 cups of water to a boil and add the raman noodles. Once noodles are soft, add 1 raman seasoning packet, and add the meat (chopped smaller if needed).
Variation: use Beef Raman Noodles, and summer sausage (or vacuum packed beef)
Pre packaged bean stew with seasoning. (Typical choices include Lentils, 15 bean soup, etc . . . )
Vacuum packaged chicken
Prepare beans per instructions. When it is time to simmer, add the chicken (cut into small pieces if needed).
Instant Macaroni and Cheese (select something which doesn’t need anything besides water added)
Small can of spam
Prepare the Macaroni and Cheese per instructions. Cut up the spam into small pieces and add to the mixture.
1 package of Instant pudding mix (flavor or your choice)
Powdered Instant Milk (enough to make 2 cups of milk)
Combine pudding and instant milk mix in a bowl or pot. Add 2 cups of water. Stir mixture thoroughly. Set aside until pudding has set. (30 – 60 minutes in cool weather).
(serves 4 normal adults or 2 scout servings)
Select a brownie mix which only requires water.
Or substitute ingredients with powered equivalents (eggs, milk, etc . . .)
Mix up the batter, and put into dutch oven. Cook slowly till done (usually 30 – 60 minutes)
You can purchase instant cobbler mixes in a grocery store (only requires water).
– or –
1 can fruit pie filling (apple, or cherry, or peach, or blueberry . . .)
½ box of cake mix (yellow cake mix is best)
Spread pie filling on the bottom of the dutch oven. Pour cake mix over pie filling. Bake slowly in dutch oven till golden brown (typically 40-60 minutes)
Bringing a dutch oven along on a backpacking trip is impractical (too big and heavy). You can make due with a medium frying pan as follows.
1. make approx a dozen ½ “ aluminum foil balls, and put in bottom of frying pan.
2. Line the bottom of the frying pan with aluminum foil (touching foil balls, not bottom of pan).
3. Put ingredients in frying pan, and cover with another sheet of aluminum foil.
4. Fold over ½ of the top so it is easy to ‘open’ the oven and check on progress.
You can put the frying pan on a single burner backpacking stove. Medium heat is usually good for baking desserts.
You can create many of your own meals by adapting foods / substitutes for the foods you enjoy at home.
One Pot Meals
One pot meals are great for backpacking. They are simple to make, have minimal cleanup, and can be adjusted to anyone’s preferences. There are four basic elements to creating the meal:
1. Complex Carbohydrate
You need to select some complex carbohydrate which can be prepared by boiling water. Typical choices include Rice, Noodles (spaghetti, macaroni, . . .) dried potatoes. Another choice is dried beans; these are often available pre packaged with spices, ready to cook.
You need to select some meat to add protein to your meal. Today, you can find beef, chicken, tuna, in vacuum packages. These are perfect. Summer Sausage (or any smoked sausage which can be stored at room temperature) is another alternative. These often have a lot of spices already included. Look around your supermarket, and you’ll be surprised what you can find
You can bring fresh or frozen vegetables along for the first day or two (if weight / bulk aren’t a problem). You can find dehydrated vegetables in a grocery store if you look hard enough, or you can get these at a camping store.
4. Gravy / Sauce
Most meals will taste better with some sort of gravy / sauce. You can find powdered gravy’s / sauces in any grocery store. You can also bring along chicken or beef bullion to add flavor to the broth.
When you find a combination you think you will like, but you aren’t 100% sure, experiment at home before hitting the trail (your friends will appreciate eating tried and tested meals).
NOTE: The Summer Sausage Spaghetti recipe in this book was created following the above process. IT WORKS, don’t be afraid to experiment and have some fun !
When you go backpacking, it is a good idea to re-pack the foods you plan to take. There are several reasons for this.
1. You want to get rid of all extra packaging. Throw away the box, and keep the instructions.
2. You want to take the precise amount of food needed. If you need 10 oz of noodles, and they come in a 16 oz package, repackage 10 oz. of noodles.
3. You want all of the ingredients for a particular meal to be together, so you’re not hunting around for loose items, and you don’t use tomorrow’s pasta by mistake.
Once all of the food has been repacked to be as small as possible, put all of the food for a particular meal into one Ziploc bag (1 gallon or 2 gallon sizes work best). Label the bag so you know which meal it is (eg D3 is Dinner for day 3).
You can bring some fresh foods. You will need to plan to use them the first day or two. For example you can bring fresh meat or cheese, frozen in a Ziploc bag, and wrapped in a paper bag. This will keep cold 12 -24 hours depending on how warm it is outside (and how well you shield it from direct sunlight).
Fresh fruit and vegetables will stay fresh for 2 days on the trail (apples, oranges, carrots, onion…)