Snow-camping food
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R Y
(rhyang) - F
Snow-camping food on 11/15/2011 15:56:11 MST Print View

On winter trips where all water has to be melted from snow I've been mostly using tasty-bites, boil-in-bag rice, and/or couscous. But now that I have a dehydrator I've been thinking of making pasta..

My usual method during the summer is to boil the pasta, then drain it. I'm leery of doing this during the winter because it tends to waste water (which again has to be melted from snow).

I think I can manage the dehydration part, but am curious about which rehydration methods work well during the winter for pasta. Do most people just add boiling water to the ziplock ? I'm particularly thinking of things like macaroni (Annie's organic for example), wheat rotini, corn/quinoa shells and such.

btw Does tortellini dehydrate well at all ? Thanks for any info !

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

Locale: Silicon Valley
Re: Snow-camping food on 11/15/2011 16:23:04 MST Print View

If I am doing a solo trip, I will often keep cooking very simple, like just pouring boiling water over something like instant rice or instant quinoa.

If it is a group trip, then often we will cook something simple, like pasta. Often we boil it in slightly less water so as to waste less. When the hot water is poured out, we will aim it for someplace that needs to be thawed out.

--B.G.--

Elliott Wolin
(ewolin) - MLife

Locale: Hampton Roads, Virginia
RE: Snow-camping food on 11/15/2011 16:48:03 MST Print View

Avoid multi-pot meals.

In the Adirondacks one winter we foolishly brought a two-pot meal and only one stove (Optimus 111B, this was in the early 1970's). Temperatures were around -10F or -15F. Heat one pot, switch to defrost the other, switch again to defrost the first, repeat more times than you'd think necessary. I think we developed a new thermometry technique based on how long it takes for a skim of ice to form on a previously boiling liquid.

Sarah Kirkconnell
(sarbar) - F

Locale: In the shadow of Mt. Rainier
Re: Snow-camping food on 11/15/2011 19:42:26 MST Print View

When you pre-cook and dry pasta at home and dry it you only need to soak it to eat it once again. And yes, you can do this in a quart freezer bag - but do make sure in winter that you properly insulate it! A cozy is essential.
On the water - by the time you take your pot of water off the stove and pour it in the bag it is below boiling. Nearly all FBC style foods only need 180* or so water, not 212* and rehydrate just fine.

Also, when you do cook the pasta at home cut the time by a couple minutes, it stays firmer when rehydrated.

As for tortellini? If you buy the small ones in the bags (say Trader Joe's) you can actually just soak them FBC style and eat them that way.

Eric Blumensaadt
(Danepacker) - MLife

Locale: Mojave Desert
Baking in winter on 11/21/2011 13:53:03 MST Print View

I love to bake desserts in winter using my Backpacker's Pantry oven, a true baking oven, not a steamer.

Bisquick filled with jelly or a brown sugar, chopped nuts and margarine mix makes a great dessert and there are cake and muffin mixes that do not require raw eggs. Any milk required can easily be mixed from powdered milk and necessary oils come from liquid or melted stick margarine.

I keep liquid margarine in a small squeeze bottle inside a Ziploc snack bag in my parka inner pocket to keep it liquid in winter. Oils and fats are much more important in a winter diet.

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

Locale: Silicon Valley
Re: Baking in winter on 11/21/2011 13:59:22 MST Print View

The advantage for baking in winter is that you can crowd around the oven and not let the heat go to waste.

--B.G.--

Chad Lorenz
(ChadL) - MLife

Locale: Teton Valley, Wydaho
snow-camping food on 11/21/2011 14:03:48 MST Print View

When draining pasta water in the winter, I never let it go to waste: a baby nalgene gets filled up with the leftover water, throw in a teabag or some cocoa powder and have a hot drink. I usually slip it inside my puffy for some core-warming effect, as well as to let it cool to a reasonable drinking temperature.

R Y
(rhyang) - F
Re: snow-camping food on 11/27/2011 23:47:08 MST Print View

Thanks all for the ideas. Made some cook-free mac & cheese this weekend (not in the snow though), have to tune the rehydration water amount / time a bit, but it worked decently.

Re-using pasta cooking water is a good idea too, though rehydration in a cozy or some such would probably be more fuel-efficient.

Roger Caffin
(rcaffin) - BPL Staff - MLife

Locale: Wollemi & Kosciusko NPs, Europe
Re: Snow-camping food on 11/28/2011 02:08:26 MST Print View

Cook rice and pasta with adequate water, then add a apacket of instant soup. Remove from heat immediately or you will burn the bottom. Stir for a few momenst, then place lid on pot and let sit for the 2-3 minutes required for the instant soup.

Of course, if you are using tomato soup and just happen to have a few sun-dried tomatoes lying around ...
If you are using mushroom soup and have some dried mushrooms somewhere ...
imagination!

But never discard any boiling water!

Cheers

Laurie Ann March
(Laurie_Ann) - F

Locale: Ontario, Canada
snow camping food on 12/01/2011 08:21:13 MST Print View

okay... this isn't really a "food" persay and it isn't exactly super light but it's fun to do in the snow. Maple syrup candy...

Winter Maple Candy

I can post the how-to if you like.

Sarah Kirkconnell
(sarbar) - F

Locale: In the shadow of Mt. Rainier
Maple Syrup Candy on 12/01/2011 10:42:55 MST Print View

I believe it was the Little House on the Prairie books that taught me that recipe when I was little ;-) Lol......Yeah, I loved those books.

Mary D
(hikinggranny) - MLife

Locale: Gateway to Columbia River Gorge
Snow-camping food on 12/01/2011 11:02:41 MST Print View

It's called "sugar on snow" in Vermont, where I once lived for 2 years. It is properly eaten with pickles. The sourness of the pickles offsets the sweetness of the syrup so you can eat more of the latter! It's a wonderful way to celebrate the first signs of spring, when the thermometer finally gets above freezing after months below. 34*F and everyone is outside in shirt sleeves!

Sarah Kirkconnell
(sarbar) - F

Locale: In the shadow of Mt. Rainier
Re: Snow-camping food on 12/01/2011 12:20:27 MST Print View

With pickles? Ooh...sounds awesome! :-D

Laurie Ann March
(Laurie_Ann) - F

Locale: Ontario, Canada
Little House on 12/01/2011 19:40:07 MST Print View

You are right Sarah. It was actually Little House in the Big Woods and they used molasses. When we were reading the book in grade school, my teacher made this for us using maple syrup. It was pretty cool because we actually went into a sugar bush on Mr. Weadick's (a local farmer) property with traditional First Nations snowshoes. We helped with the sugaring and then made the maple candy as they had in the book.

I added it to my own book with credit to Laura Ingalls Wilder and my elementary school teacher for the inspiration. A version of my recipe also appeared in one of the Lipsmackin' books.

Edited by Laurie_Ann on 12/01/2011 19:40:49 MST.

Sarah Kirkconnell
(sarbar) - F

Locale: In the shadow of Mt. Rainier
Re: Little House on 12/01/2011 20:33:53 MST Print View

Lol..somehow that both of us grew up reading those books isn't exactly shocking ;-)

Laurie Ann March
(Laurie_Ann) - F

Locale: Ontario, Canada
don't laugh too hard on 12/02/2011 06:48:42 MST Print View

Don't laugh too hard but I actually ordered the full set off eBay plus one called Pioneer Girl (which is a biographical kids book about Wilder) when we started the adoption process (at the beginning we were thinking that we wanted a girl). Anyway, I re-read Little House in the Big Woods and there is a certain part of me (the backpacker side) that would have adored the hard life of the pioneers.

Back to winter camping food. We always lean to the soup, stew and chili type of fare. I prefer to not have to deal with pasta so I use quinoa and lentils and the like on snowshoe trips. Sigh... I miss winter camping. Two more years and I'll be back out there in full force.