I've been repackaging food for a very long time now (even do it at supermarkets now... Japan has special bins in the supermarkets for throwing away packaging), and I cut every superfluous edge and tab from any packaging that remains. I also have Sarah Kirkconnell's "Freezer Bag Cooking" book and have long followed a lot of the methods she uses. I put all dry food into medium sized ziploc bags to make it as easy as possible to just boil up the water before the meal and simply pour it into the bags, from which I then eat. So it's not the packaging.
I don't have a dehydrator and while Japan has a lot of commercial dried foods I either don't know enough about making traditional Japanese meals to make it pain free to set up a menu or I just can't continue eating the traditional fare for long in the hills (there's only so much ramen I can stomach, even though I love it). If I try to follow a lot of the meals here on BPL or from other American sources, though, a great many of the ingredients are simply not available, or I'm unfamiliar with them. I just have to compensate and try to fill in the gaps.
Since I am a diabetic I always make extra sure now that my food source is okay. Because I don't get out to the mountains as often as I want to and should, often I have a hard time gauging my dietary needs, since once I am out there the energy needs change so much. So I always bring extra, just in case. While going light is important to me, it's just too dangerous to skimp on food.
I'm going hiking for three days in the Tanigawa Range north of Tokyo. It's very steep and treeless terrain, with a good chance of heavy rains and very cold temperatures, so I will be consuming quite a lot of calories. Normally at home I don't eat a lot... keeping most of my daily calories to around 1900 kcal. (I am 48, 180 cm, 75 kg... that's 48, 5'10", and I don't know the weight...). But that's just not enough for the hills. I tend to walk somewhat long days, from about 5:00 am till about 5:00 pm., eating dinner around 6:00.
Here is a quick summary of my meal plan for the next three days:
• 1st Day:
- Breakfast: at home, (will wake at 4:00 to catch the train)
- Snack: apple-pear
- Lunch: store bought ready made meal in train station, usually rice with chicken and stir fried vegetables
- Snack: apple-pear (will have started on the trail by then)
- Dinner: beans marsala (wet, in a package), freeze-dried rice (pour water into the pouch and afterwards the marsala and eat directly out of the pouch), mushroom potage, tea
• 2nd Day
- Breakfast: ramen noodles; dried, brown rice o-mochi (a hard rice dough that gives energy and brings up the glycemic index of the ramen... Takahashi Naoko, the Olympic Marathon champion, swears by it); dried vegetables (corn, soy beans, peas); dehydrated egg drop soup; powder coffee
- Snack: chocolate bar
- Snack: cheese sticks with crackers
- Lunch: (cooked) curry (wet, in a package); parboiled rice in a pouch (pour curry into pouch, eat from pouch), tea
- Snack: Powerbar, coconut
- Snack: ramen chips (like potato chips)
- Dinner: Parboiled rice; raisins; cashew nuts; dried cheese risotto mix; asparagus soup mix; tea
- Breakfast: granola cereal mix, dried powder milk, kinako and bean powder mix (kinako is made from soy beans and has a lot of protein and good calories), dried mango flakes; powder coffee
- Snack: salami bits
- Snack: chocolate bar
- Lunch: (cooked) chicken thai yellow curry (wet, in a package); parboiled rice in pouch; dried tom yam kun soup; tea
- Snack: leftover cashew nuts from night before
From here I am back down the mountain and on a train heading home.
Any thoughts? Thanks!