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Boundary Waters Quetico Forum
   BWCA Food and Recipes
      Sitting here thinking about meal planning     

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FLDoug
member (48)member
 
01/07/2016 04:22PM
I got into dehydrating my own beef and some other foods a few years ago. My inspiration was some Cache Lake dehydrated food I picked up last minute just to check out before the day before a trip.

Ive never gone to as much trouble as they did to make those, but Ive had some really good dehydrated meals in the last few years that I made myself in my kitchen for cheap.

They are also light weight and require very little effort to cook well. Not as much trash either. I bring multiple bags of whatever components I need to make whatever meals I want, and a large bag of something dehydrated like ground beef. Or chicken.... Or whatever else.

Those Cache Lake meals were amazing. Dehydrated French Onion soup was my favorite with some of my own dehydrated seasoned ground beef. There had to have been a lot of time gone into making that in bulk to that level of quality. I don't even know how to make it as soup, let alone dehydrating soup to put in a bag and take camping.

Its cool how just a few dehydrated ingredients can be mixed and matched with each other to create a variety of different meals. Its by far the best thing I ever started doing to lighten my pack.

 
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TrekScouter
distinguished member (372)distinguished memberdistinguished memberdistinguished member
 
01/07/2016 05:51PM
If you're looking to expand your menu, I recommend The Backpack Gourmet. Lots of recipes, including soups, all designed to be reheated in one pot. The meals are calorie-dense, the portions are generous, and the food is delicious.
 
WHendrix
distinguished member (479)distinguished memberdistinguished memberdistinguished member
 
01/07/2016 06:16PM
Another book that has some good recipes and very good instructions for how to do the prep. at home and then what to do in the field is A Fork in the Trail by Laurie Ann March.
 
OldFingers57
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01/07/2016 06:36PM
I love all of the recipes from Trail cooking.com. Lots of dehydrated meals that you rehydrate by doing Freezer bag cooking (FBC) with. TrailCooking.com
 
LittoralZone
distinguished member (158)distinguished memberdistinguished memberdistinguished member
 
01/07/2016 07:52PM
The Back Country Kitchen by Teresa Marrone Another great book with lots of recipes and how-to info that got me started.
 
hooky
distinguished member(1005)distinguished memberdistinguished memberdistinguished memberdistinguished member
 
01/07/2016 08:31PM
I use this site quite a bit for recipes and meal ideas.

Backpacking Chef
 
mjmkjun
distinguished member(2654)distinguished memberdistinguished memberdistinguished memberdistinguished member
 
01/08/2016 04:30AM
I don't know if your post was intended solely towards DIY pack foods but want to mention that the folks at Trail Center Lodge on the Gunflint Trail put together some tasty stuff. Check it out for combo ideas: Camp Chow
For those who'd rather avoid fuss of DIY this is good tasting prepackaged pack foods.
 
FLDoug
member (48)member
 
01/08/2016 06:42AM
Y'all are pretty awesome... When I woke up to six posts on this thread I didn't expect to find so much good information.

Mjmkjun, my original post didn't really have an idea other than sparking conversation about food... because Ive been hungry since Monday. I'm stuck in bed on pain pills resting while I heal from a minor surgery.

While laying here Ive been researching gear (mainly my first solo canoe purchase) and planning my next BWCA trip.

ANd in my current state of extreme hunger Ive been spend more time than usual on food prep thoughts. Although that's probably the area I could do the most improving in with the least amount of financial involvement.

So I got to thinking about those Cache Lake dehydrated soups and stuff I tried last time I was up there... That was also my first real foray into dehydrating my own food as well.

I'll check out a bunch of those websites today, see what kind of knowledge they possess for me, and hopefully have some more info to post back here with later.

Ive had just enough experience with dehydrating my own food to know I don't want to buy any pre made meals in bags anymore. Ive got a small but growing menu of easy to cook and dehydrate foods that are easy to use in multiple recipes for variety in the woods.

I'd love to learn to make stuff as good as the Cache Lake French onion soup... But I can't make soup like that in a regular kitchen at home. Yet.

And this is the cheapest way to eat on the trail for me, so Id like to keep expenses down as much as possible without sacrificing food quality.

The more I learn about this, the more I'll enjoy the woods. Already love the woods so much my wife thinks I won't come home one day... Not as a joke, but as a very serious discussion she has with me before I go to the wilderness each time, regardless of where the wilderness is.
 
billconner
distinguished member(7314)distinguished memberdistinguished memberdistinguished memberdistinguished memberpower member
 
01/08/2016 07:51AM
I'm in the live to eat category. When I started, all I knew was Mountain House and Campmor, etc. Discovered Cache Lake at Canoecopia and immediately started on them for several years. I suspect Camp Chow and Hawks Vittles - which do single serves - would be above average. (That is all freeze dried I believe, not dehydrated.) Now I've migrated to grocery store and a dehydrator. Lots of dry, light, shelf stable, and tasty item in the grocery store. Bear Creek soups are as good as Cache Lake and much less expensive. Jiffy pizza dough mix is like 1/10 the cost of Cache Lake fry breads and just as simple and tasty. Pasta sides with dehydrated ground beef or foil pack chicken added are inexpensive and good. I still prefer freeze dried vegetables - better color and texture than I can dehydrate. And with JMO making cakes, cornbread, brownies, and really good biscuits is easy.
 
billconner
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01/08/2016 08:16AM
Son of a gun I just posted this in listening post and by the time I finished reading there and came to camping recipes, it was here. Talk about de ja vu.
 
01/08/2016 08:40AM
The Pantry food packing method as described in NOLS Cookery.
My preferred style, with store purchased dried ingredients and home dried meats mostly.
Made on site, I contributed sausage dried tomatoes and some tomato sauce. Pepperoni cheese crust onions and sauce contributed by trip partners.
I'll do pre-packed full meals but always go back to the pantry style.

butthead
 
hooky
distinguished member(1005)distinguished memberdistinguished memberdistinguished memberdistinguished member
 
01/08/2016 06:27PM
quote butthead: "The Pantry food packing method as described in NOLS Cookery.
My preferred style, with store purchased dried ingredients and home dried meats mostly.
Made on site, I contributed sausage dried tomatoes and some tomato sauce. Pepperoni cheese crust onions and sauce contributed by trip partners.
I'll do pre-packed full meals but always go back to the pantry style.


butthead"


I've always been just the opposite, assemble each meal at home and then eat the one I feel like eating at the time I want to eat. After butthead posted this in a thread in the solo forum, it got me thinking about why I do it that way. There have been plenty of times near the end of a trip where I've really not been in the mood to eat what I have left. This whole pantry method is very appealing. I think the best meal I've ever had was when my son and I had a weather delay getting off of Isle Royale and we had an extra hash brown/sausage breakfast and a cous cous & red sauce that we mashed up together in a couple of tortillas as we nearly out of food. Pantry style...kind of.
 
billconner
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01/08/2016 08:01PM
I never knew it had a name but ours matches pantry style. Ditto best meal towards end. Pizza crust mix, several pieces if cheese, and a foil pack of chicken, all baked in a JMO.
 
wingnut
distinguished member (440)distinguished memberdistinguished memberdistinguished member
 
01/09/2016 04:45AM
I'm curious what kind of meat is in the bottom left baggie in the pic?
 
01/09/2016 08:35AM
quote wingnut: "I'm curious what kind of meat is in the bottom left baggie in the pic?"


home pre-cooked bacon pieces

Top left down,
oil butter maple syrup Mio sausage beef bacon

Left center,
tomato powder and dried pieces mixed vegetables dried dairy products (sour cream, cheese) soups

Right center,
powdered milk bisquick potato panckacke mix macaroni

Right,
chocolate dried fruits nuts coffee

butthead
 
wingnut
distinguished member (440)distinguished memberdistinguished memberdistinguished member
 
01/09/2016 10:30AM
A good mix of food for sure. Should give you a lot of options at meal time to put something together that your hungry for instead of a fixed meal. Pantry food packing is a whole different concept that I hadn't given a thought.
 
LittoralZone
distinguished member (158)distinguished memberdistinguished memberdistinguished member
 
01/09/2016 02:16PM
Maddy The Goose Some good info here too.
 
hooky
distinguished member(1005)distinguished memberdistinguished memberdistinguished memberdistinguished member
 
01/09/2016 09:29PM
quote LittoralZone: " Maddy The Goose Some good info here too."

Shepherds pie! Why haven't I already thought that?
 
cgchase
distinguished member (215)distinguished memberdistinguished memberdistinguished member
 
01/13/2016 10:13AM
I've been making my own dehydrated backpacking meals for a while - the backpacking chef has a lot of good info and recipes but one area where I differ is that I much prefer to dehydrate complete meals vs bring along dehydrated ingredients to assemble at camp. That's just me . .but I find it easier and better tasting because the food actually cooks together . .when you mix dehydrated ingredients the flavors don't really "mingle".

There is an issue with fat but I try to keep it to a minimum. I use leanest meat I can find but I don't drain it after cooking and I've never had an issue with keeping meals for a month or 2.

I don't like to "cook" at camp. I really only bring one pot to cook in (really just re-hydrate in) and a mug that I could eat out if need be. But I still want meals that taste decent and the "meal in a pouch" method, to me, is easiest and tastes pretty close to home.

Some meals I really like are:
pasta bolognese - use lean ground beef or turkey, cook as normal but go light on any oil and omit any cheese. Stir together with cooked pasta (I use penne), spread in a thin layer on dehydrator racks and dry.

I use that same basic technique to make other dishes like turkey goulash, chili-mac, etc.

I also bring a decent amount of summer sausage, salami, snack sticks, etc. I like to eat them as snacks or mixed with instant mashed potatoes. The ortega shelf stable bacon bits are a nice add, as well.

Flour tortillas, like Mission brand, last forever and I haven't found any better bread-like item to bring.

That and I horde hot sauces and condiments all year round. It's like a hobby for me. I have a gallon ziplock filled with all kinds of shelf stable condiments left over from fast food, Chinese take-out, etc. I really get excited when I find a new condiment that I don't already have in the bag, lol.
 
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