no imagination when it comes to food
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Steven Hanlon
(asciibaron) - F

Locale: Mid Atlantic
no imagination when it comes to food on 10/05/2011 12:41:11 MDT Print View

i have zero imagination when it comes to food. my meals are dreadful.

common breakfasts - pop tarts, oatmeal to go, dry cereal with powdered milk

common lunch - premix tuna salad and combos, clif bar, chunk of cheese and chunk of jerky

common dinner - Mt. House chili mac or spaghetti or lasagna

common snacks - snickers, sour patch kids

i think i don't go out as much because my food sucks.

Jeffs Eleven
(WoodenWizard) - F

Locale: Greater Mt Tabor
Re: no imagination when it comes to food on 10/05/2011 12:57:02 MDT Print View

Me neither! Who cares!!??!! (my wife :) )

I eat to live. Im one of those people who would eat gels or "Life Puddin'" if it were feasible. I hate pondering 'what's for breakfast? Whats for lunch? Whats for Dinner?

I dont care what! Thats what!

Meat bread cheese ya know

My menu looks like yours -tuna/ +other flavors of MH.

Nick Gatel
(ngatel) - MLife

Locale: Southern California
Re: no imagination when it comes to food on 10/05/2011 13:27:41 MDT Print View

Looks good to me. Mine is even simpler, but that doesn't restrict my trips... just makes cooking and eating less complicated. Less to worry about and more motivation to go hiking.

All breakfasts = instant oatmeal and coffee. My variety is which flavor of oatmeal.

Don't eat lunch per se, just snack on whatever I pick up at the store and is on sale. Mostly bars (Cliff, Power, Snickers) and jerky. Sometimes some kind of trail mix.

Most Dinners = Mtn House lasagna, spaghetti, or chili mac. I rotate for variety. Occasionally I take Top Ramen, but that is a lot of extra work for me.

I do repackage everything to reduce weight, to include the Mtn House.

When I was a bachelor, at home I ate bacon and eggs everyday for breakfast and a steak or hamburger for dinner, unless I went to McDonald's or Del Taco for dinner.

True story... about 10 years ago when I was dating my wife (who will not eat fast food), we were running late for an event. I asked her if we could just stop at McDonald's for something quick. She agreed. Here is the play-by-play...

Pull car up to Order Window. McDonald's Lady says, "Hi Nick, that will be $4.17.

Wife, "You don't have to order? They already know what you want?"

Me, "umm, yes. 1/4 pounder with cheese combo meal with diet Coke. Medium size. Do you want me to order something for you?"

Wife, "Anywhere else you do not have to order?"

Me, "umm, yes. Del Taco. Do you want me to order something for you?"

Wife, "And what does Del Taco give you?"

Me, "Ultimate Taco, Macho Combo Burrito, and a medium diet cola. Do you want me to order something for you?"

Wife... speechless.

I am now married and life is much more complicated with all the healthy food. Healthy food required a larger refrigerator, larger stove, an oven, a microwave, a dishwasher, double sink, garbage disposal, more trash bags, bigger trash can, utensils, pots and pans, scale, plates, bowls, knives, all kinds of cutting chopping, mixing, and draining stuff, storage containers, more cabinets, herbs and spices, and other stuff that I have no idea as to what these contraptions and concoctions do. Good news is that I do not know how to use all these modern conveniences, have no knowledge of how one would cook this stuff, and am generally not allowed to touch the kitchen stuff. But the even better news is that I no longer have to cook anything, even though I hate green colored foods, vegetables, and stinky fish I am now forced to eat.

It was much easier when I had a tiny fridge, a small BBQ, one fry pan, two plates, two forks, and two steak knives.

Love is blind.

Bob Gross
(--B.G.--) - F

Locale: Silicon Valley
Re: Re: no imagination when it comes to food on 10/05/2011 13:36:34 MDT Print View

...and you never did order anything for your wife!

--B.G.--

jeffrey armbruster
(book) - M

Locale: Northern California
no imagination when it comes to food on 10/05/2011 13:46:16 MDT Print View

My philosophy is, it's not about the food. My big treats are: dried banana chips--just incredible! don't leave home without them; and cranberries in my oatmeal, along with wheat germ. And Starbucks instant coffee.

David Noll
(dpnoll) - MLife

Locale: Maroon Bells
no imagination on 10/05/2011 15:26:08 MDT Print View

For all of you food challenged backpackers look up Mike C's groovy biotic cooking.
http://www.backpackinglight.com/cgi-bin/backpackinglight/quick_healthy_meals_with_an_ultralight_cook_kit

However, I will warn you that it is fairly healthy but does taste real good.

Craig W.
(xnomanx) - F - M
No imagination on 10/05/2011 17:54:55 MDT Print View

I was on a trip with a friend and our sons this weekend- first time I backpacked with him.

He had the standard, grocery store-bought fare: packaged soup, pop tarts, chips, candy, etc.
His rationale was: it's only a short trip, so eating junk for two days is fine.

I see it as the complete opposite.

I had a block of feta cheese, garden picked tomatoes, a half pound of olives, turkey apple sausages for the fire, one onion, fresh bread, spinach, mushrooms, bean sprouts, homemade brownies for desert....

He seemed rather shocked I had anything fresh at all, as if it never occurred to him it was possible.

I rationalize food selection, especially for short trips, entirely differently:
Why weigh anything? Why eat garbage? Why worry about calories per ounce? Why not carry real food? Why not a big, non-packaged sandwich for dinner? Why not a tupperware container full of the same thing you ate at home for dinner last night? Why not hit a taco stand and pack a big 'ol carne asada burrito? Why not fresh veggies, good cheese, a loaf of good bread? We could've carried a roast chicken in for the first night or an extra large gourmet pizza with the works.

It seems many people are stuck in a default mode of believing they have to carry a bunch of packaged, dehydrated, processed, factory food the second they step out for a trip.

We can do better!

Mike Clelland's Groovy-Biotic article is great...he shows it can be done wholesome, healthy, and lightweight.

Nick Gatel
(ngatel) - MLife

Locale: Southern California
Re: No imagination on 10/05/2011 18:06:01 MDT Print View

I will admit that Craig's assembled-on-site burrito sure looked good one night. He does actually "cook" dinner with fresh ingredients.

Jeffs Eleven
(WoodenWizard) - F

Locale: Greater Mt Tabor
Re: Re: No imagination on 10/05/2011 18:18:28 MDT Print View

Yeah for lunch the 2nd day I like an Eastside Deli sammich!

Elliott Wolin
(ewolin) - MLife

Locale: Hampton Roads, Virginia
Re: no imagination when it comes to food on 10/05/2011 18:22:08 MDT Print View

I'm going hiking with Craig as long as he takes care of the food...where do you live, Craig?

Craig W.
(xnomanx) - F - M
No imagination when it comes to food on 10/05/2011 18:37:42 MDT Print View

Don't get me wrong, I've eaten (and continue to) my share of ramen packages, crushed Pringles, Snickers bars, and the likes. But there's a time and place for it; I save the high-calorie/low-weight packaged food for long trips, physically demanding trips, or the scenarios when trying to pack 7 days of food into a small bear can.

But for a night or two of stargazing and lazying about with my children and/or some good friends....Why not do it up right?

Jake D
(JakeDatc) - F

Locale: Bristol,RI
fresh food on 10/05/2011 18:49:32 MDT Print View

Ha.. reminds me of a 6 day trip I did in the Sierras with my family. We had the normal long trip stuff.. pasta, rice, cous cous. Then a group of people came rolling into camp with 2 llamas packed with all of their stuff, fresh food etc. we said no fair!

Sarah Kirkconnell
(sarbar) - F

Locale: In the shadow of Mt. Rainier
Re: no imagination when it comes to food on 10/05/2011 20:53:22 MDT Print View

I dream of food and ideas for new recipes like nearly every night. It isn't just trail cooking for me, it is my home cooking.

Food is my hobby ;-)

Ken K
(TheFatBoy) - F

Locale: St. Louis
Another foodie on 10/05/2011 22:11:54 MDT Print View

I'm a foodie... I love food (as the user name might indicate). I'll pack light and fast if I need to, but if given my druthers, I'd pack an extra pound a day if it was food I enjoyed. I love some of the recipes I've seen on this sight.

Mark Cashmere
(tinkrtoy) - M

Locale: NEOH
+1 Foodie on 10/06/2011 05:01:28 MDT Print View

I have a few staples for my short trips, but I definitely get excited about the meal planning/fixing. We have a small chain of stores in Northeast Ohio called Marc's which is mostly a grocery store, but they kind of specialize in random items at discount prices. Just walking around the store I can put together quick meals that are tasty and easy. Plus, the packaging available these days of prepared or 'ready-to-eat' items is amazing compared to 10 years ago. Think pre-cooked bacon and small packs of Hormel mini pepperoni, not to mention the small packets of condiments (hot sauce of course).

On the flip side, I have grown content with freezer bag cooking and the lack of cleanup necessary (cleanup was one of my prior food preparation banes). That's where sites like trailcooking.com comes in - and Sarah is a large contributor here as well. Try the Sunrise Mashers with a Spam single or mini pepperonis and hot sauce for breakfast and the Pop Tarts will move to your snack bag. Pizza Ramen has become a staple of mine as well. If you want tasty and easy try Hawk Vittles for a change from MH - great stuff!

HTH - enjoy the journey...

Steven Hanlon
(asciibaron) - F

Locale: Mid Atlantic
whew.... on 10/06/2011 05:34:44 MDT Print View

i don't feel so bad now. my simple fair is good enough and easy to manage. i am going to add those flat bread slices to the mix for PB&J's since they won't get smooshed.

like Nick, i can walk into the deli and i don't need a number in the line, they will make my sandwich the minute they see me come in. a new co-worker thought that was rather strange and kind of creepy. i am a creature of habit.

Craig W.
(xnomanx) - F - M
Re: whew.... on 10/06/2011 08:26:44 MDT Print View

Despite Nick's unabashed love for fast food, the guy is lean and mean and will dust plenty of people decades younger than him.

So whatever works, right?

Sarah Kirkconnell
(sarbar) - F

Locale: In the shadow of Mt. Rainier
Re: whew.... on 10/06/2011 10:08:50 MDT Print View

Well...my barista knows what I drink every morning. The only time it changes is on hot days ;-)

Nick Gatel
(ngatel) - MLife

Locale: Southern California
Re: Re: whew.... on 10/06/2011 12:17:17 MDT Print View

While my comments were meant to be "tongue in cheek," they are factual.

Fortunately I have been blessed with good genes and have been extremely active my entire life. But fast food and the life style of most Americans live is a travesty. The majority of children I see today are overweight to some degree, and as a country we are overweight or obese. And this is what is driving our health care costs so high.

Now an occasional trip to McDonald's is not going to hurt anyone, and I do not think we need to regulate the fast food industry, but as a society we need to eat better and exercise more. As to most backpackers eating junk food, it is not going to hurt them if they eat well most of the time. I do enjoy reading some of the creative and healthy recipes members post here, and maybe I'll try them some day. For me, eating is just something I need to do to stay alive. It is not something I give much thought... although I love ice cream and potato chips. If my wife is out of town, I often forget to eat if I am involved in a project. So I would encourage people to think about their meals on and off the trail, and to experiment when hiking.

So I guess the moral of the story is to get out and exercise everyday and go hiking whenever possible. Food is just something we require to stay alive. But walking and hiking every day is living a good life.

Sarah Kirkconnell
(sarbar) - F

Locale: In the shadow of Mt. Rainier
Re: whew.... on 10/06/2011 12:37:41 MDT Print View

I don't know about everyone else....but where I live overweight children are not the norm. Sure there are some, but most are normal. But.....our school district still funds the PE program. Our SD has a huge tax base and nearly everything proposed passes. And none of our schools are near fast food (the high school is 3 miles out of town!)

Creativity in food is a learned thing, it comes naturally to few. Even in myself I have plenty of days where I have no ideas but I simply force myself to get creative. I see it as work in a way.

The problem being is that when we don't pass down that creativity to our kids we have failed them. Food isn't just for staying alive - it should be enjoyed! It is part of why life is so great. Heck, air is needed to live but wouldn't you rather breathing clean air over any old air?