We all need to eat. That is especially true while on the trail. Being on the trail all day requires a large amount of energy, so it’s only right that you will need to replace that energy, and the way to do it is through eating food. Sounds good, huh?
There are a few ways to prepare food to carry with you on a hike. You can do-it-all yourself and dry your own foods, and prepare them prior to the trip, or you can simply buy dried foods that simply need water, such as the instant foods (instant potatoes, Mac-n-cheese, Ramen noodles, etc…). Then there is the really simple way, buy the backpacker meals.
When I first started backpacking (just last year) I entertained the idea of a dehydrator, and bought the Mountain House Meals. These were convenient because it was a meal in a bag. Just add a few cups of water, wait a few minutes , and then dig in. The problem was the over-sized, heavy bags that I had to carry after I ate the meals out of them. They were also kind of nasty, especially if any got on the outside of the bag. However, if the bag stayed clean I could use the bag as a garbage bag, but I still put them inside another Ziploc.
I did this for a while, then found out about Freezer Bag Cooking (FBC). This was nice, in that you could prepare your own meals and simply put them inside a Ziploc. This meant less trash, and more custom choices. Also, doing this I decided to drop some extra weight by leaving the bowls at home and eating directly out of the Ziploc. Granted I could do this with the Mountain House Meals, and it would have been easier to do so with a long-handled spoon because the bags were so large.
While I have still not purchased a dehydrator, I have come to buying dried goods, and bagging my own meals in various size Ziploc bags. I have of course used Mac-n-cheese with a can of tuna, Ramen, cheesy rice and broccoli with a can of chicken, and red beans and rice. Last Thanksgiving I carried stuffing with chicken and gravy with cranberries.
There are also lots of snacks that can be carried. There are lots of different types of nutritious bars to choose from, as well as good ole’ candy bars. One of my favorites is Fruit Roll-Ups.
I have a lot of work to do in the food section, and for some reason, preparing my food rations is the least favorite part of getting read for a hike. But it is one of the most important. So, this is just a start. There is a lot that can be found just by doing a simple search on the web using Google. I have also found that a lot of peoples personal blogs have good write ups on food. So, I will do some more research on this topic, and I hope that you will do so as well.
For a good place to start, here are a few good websites:
And for a great place to buy freeze dried foods in bulk, check out Shelf Reliance.