Best non-mushy staples?
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Chris Arnold
(ChristopherActual) - F

Locale: Oregon, USA
Best non-mushy staples? on 03/08/2011 12:05:18 MST Print View

So I'm getting into backpacking. At the moment my girlfriend and I are just doing day hikes and car camping so our food choices aren't much different then at home really. One camping trip we made duck meat(can't use the br34st word for some reason) with duck fat fried potatoes. :D Anyway, if we're going to start backpacking we need food that's both light and easy. The problem is I hate...HATE...mushy foods. So things like oatmeal and instant taters are out. Are there any light, easy and cheap staples that you guys like to take? I'm sure I can do mountain houses and the like but they get expensive if you do them for every meal.

Oh, I should mention that my stove is a trangia mini if that helps.

Dicentra OPW
(dicentra) - F

Locale: PNW
Lots of options!! on 03/08/2011 12:11:43 MST Print View

Cheese and Crackers
Pasta? (don't over cook it)
Salami, pepperoni, meats in foil pouches
those scalloped potato mixes work well
spinach lasts up to 4 days on the trail
celery and carrots with hummus or other sort of dip
radishes, daikon, apples and oranges pack well

Need more?

Chris Arnold
(ChristopherActual) - F

Locale: Oregon, USA
Cannot be blank on 03/08/2011 12:56:01 MST Print View

How long do things like salami, pepperoni, cheese and hummus last unrefrigerated? I could do all sorts of meals with those and maybe some pitas or tortillas.

Philip Delvoie
(PhilipD) - MLife

Locale: Ontario, Canada
Best non-mushy staples on 03/08/2011 13:15:14 MST Print View

Chris,

There are some great dehydrated hummus mixes out there...Mary Jane's has a black bean hummus that you just add water as an example and if you are handy with a dehydrator I am sure you could make some up relatively easily with a bit of experimentation.

For the meat side of things...a trip to almost any butcher would net you some dry/cured meats that do not require refridgeration. One of my favorites is called Landjaeger. High in calories and great taste. Another possibility is the shelf stable pre cooked bacon that is sold in a number of grocery stores. Does not need refridgeration until opened. Great to add to pasta/noodles or to make sandwiches on pitas or soft tortillas with the hummus mix. Again high calories and easy to cary. The bacon is available in either strips or crumbles.

In general if you do a bit of searching on the site there are a number of threads underway about food in general.

Sarah Kirkconnell
(sarbar) - F

Locale: In the shadow of Mt. Rainier
Re: Best non-mushy staples? on 03/08/2011 13:45:56 MST Print View

I have yet to meet a freeze-dried meal that wasn't mushy. So going the Mountain House route isn't any better than doing it yourself!
Having said that...if you want to buy commercial meals do the ones by Packitgourmet - they don't mush out in most cases.

Now though...oatmeal prepared right can be quite good, as can polenta or corn meal mush. You have to think out texture - fresh vegetables if you like crunch (many do carry but are not light though), chopped nuts, etc.

Now though...with the stove choice you will be more limited - just realize that by going UL you are cutting corners - you cannot have everything. And often that means simpler food - though after a long day you may find you are not as picky as you thought before ;-)

Laurie Ann March
(Laurie_Ann) - F

Locale: Ontario, Canada
non-mushy on 03/09/2011 07:04:57 MST Print View

One of our favorites is roasted red pepper hummus on Ryvita (rye crispbreads). The crunch of the Ryvita offsets the mush of the hummus quite nicely.

If you aren't ULing it on food there are more options but if you want to go the UL way then you will encounter many soft foods.

Rob Wolfenden
(wolverine) - F

Locale: North East
foil packets on 03/09/2011 11:27:50 MST Print View

You can get chicken, tuna and salmon in foil packets. Not bad tasting and lightweight because of the packaging. You can get all kinds of creative depending on your tastebuds. Here's one of my favorite recipies I came up with: spread some red curry humus on a pita with sundried tomatoes and chicken.