I'm going on a 12 day hike with my boyfriend in a couple of months. We'll be at a mountain station that has limited supplies (e.g. meat) for sale every couple of days, but ideally I want to carry as much food as possible (buying food in the wilderness is expensive!). We'll be walking 15-20 kilometres a day. We'll be cooking food on a small gas burner (can only cook one thing at a time).

I've never hiked for more than 3 days before and I'm at a loss on how to plan to feed the both of us for that length of time. Whatever I bring needs to be low on weight/space taken up, and yet be high in energy and nutritional content. And preferably so that I can use the same ingredients for different meals. I don't want to bring something that I'm only going to use once.

I hope this is on topic here, because I would really need advice on what to eat, how to plan a menu/eating plan, how to make the food taste good with limited resources/time.

  • 2
    I think tasty is the easy part - especially when backpacking, anything substantial is going to taste pretty darn good, and if you carry a couple packets of spices with you to dump into meals, they'll probably be like manna from heaven. Variety, though, that's tougher. – Cascabel May 21 '11 at 18:08
  • While this is a very interesting question, it is not a good fit for Seasoned Advice. If there were a stackexchange site for camping/hiking it would be better suited there. We are not equipped to address a 12 day meal plan, nor do we offer advice on what to eat. – hobodave May 21 '11 at 21:46
  • Although I'd agree that if there were a hiking/camping site, it would be more appropriate, there isn't one, and this relates just as much to cooking as questions like meat dishes for college students , cooking for one, cooking for large groups or once a month cooking – Joe May 22 '11 at 19:41
  • I've voted to re-open this, as I think it still relates to cooking, but even if it does get re-opened, you might get more authoritative information from the various backpacking sites; You might try something like Trail Forums, which is for long-distance hikers (eg, people trying to hike the whole Appalachian Trail in one go). I'm guessing that there are other sites out there. (I haven't done anything other than stationary camping in some time, and that's typically only 3-4 days at a stretch) – Joe May 22 '11 at 20:13
  • and you might want to see the discussion at meta.cooking.stackexchange.com/questions/1124 – Joe May 22 '11 at 21:19

We take home-dehydrated cooked meat (beef, chicken, ground beef) along with spices, tomato leather to make tomato sauce, pasta, rice, dehyrated potato-and-sauce (eg scalloped potatoes) from the grocery store, home-dehydrated vegtables, and dried fruit. From that you can make stew, pasta-with-meat-sauce, curry-on-rice, and so on. You might also be interested in making your own english muffins since bread products squish and don't keep well: http://www.gregcons.com/canoe/muffins.htm.

Backpacking is tougher than canoeing but as long as you can be sure of plenty of water, you should be fine with dried products. We usually bring a little frozen meat for the first night, and frozen bacon for the first morning, well wrapped in newspaper, but those might be too heavy when hiking.

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