Ahhh, oatmeal. How can you go wrong with oatmeal? It’s light, easy to make, comes in lots of different flavors, and there’s no trash because when you’re done you can burn up the little pouch it comes in. It’s so close to the perfect food that a few years ago when our scout troop was planning their 50-miler, the team leader and the other scouts agreed to have oatmeal for all 6 breakfasts. By my reckoning that worked out to be 7 scouts, times 2-3 oatmeal pouches per person, times 6 breakfasts, plus an extra box purchased on the way out of town just to be safe. When we hit the trail their packs were literally bursting with oatmeal, but as the mornings rolled by the enthusiasm for oatmeal faded fast.
The boys tried all kinds of tricks to keep it interesting: they’d mix different flavors together, they’d make it with just a tiny bit of water so it was more like oatmeal dough, they tried making it with Tang or lemonade instead of water, but no matter what they did, it was still oatmeal. By the last morning, just to get it down faster, I saw a few scouts simply rip open the packages, pour the dry oatmeal mix in their mouths, and then take a long chug from their canteens.
Good times... especially because I brought my own meals on that trip!