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Lunches/ Trail Snacks

Lunch, usually eaten in the middle of the day--and in the middle of one's strenuous activities--provides a dead-time break. It's extremely hard to eat while on the trail, skiing, or on-beley. Strenuous jolting, what many outdoor activities do to your body and your stomach, make digestion hard; you must stop and take time to eat... but how much time? I've found two types of lunches: 1) the condensed meal, eat lunch all at once, in a long period of time, after hopefully reaching your goal, like on top of a mountain. Good food and a great view always compliment one another. 2) The grazing method, spread food intake over the entire day, in little snacks(often called GORP--Good Old Raisins and Peanuts--although, as the following recipes show, that is not what is *necessarily* in GORP),when you take quick breaks. Has the advantage that you keep on moving, you don't cramp up after a long break, and you don't waste time. Maybe one doesn't get to enjoy one's food as much as the condensed version; still you must decide.

Included in this section are snack/GORP suggestion and main lunch-meal ideas. Combining the two offers great variety and versatility too. Visiting any grocery store's BULK FOOD section can provide countless goodies to throw into your GORP. For more lunchtime recipe ideas perfect for the car camper, click here.

My favorite recipes:

GORP- It's just not a backpacking trip without it! GORP can have just about any dry snack tossed in. I have two "flavors" of GORP: sweet and salty. I have two kinds since sometimes I'm in the mood for sweet, sometimes not. They're even good mixed when I'm being indecisive. :-)

I typically use a mix of chocolate, crushed cookies, nuts, and coconut. I use chocolate chips or crushed chocolate bars, mixed with Keebler chocolate chip cookies (crushed) and filberts(hazelnuts) with some shredded coconut. GORP is by nature highly variable, and I rarely mix the same thing twice.

Again highly variable, but a few things seem to always go in...Cheese crackers (Better Cheddars), with salted peanuts and pretzels(and those little sesame sticks when I can find the little buggers!) This is good with/for lunch. The sweet stuff is better for munching while hiking. By far the best meal I ever had while hiking was some home brew spaghetti I fixed for a hungry herd of seven. I had packed in some fresh vegetables (white onion and celery) and I sauteed these in some margarine before adding them to the sauce. Lots of powdered onion and garlic went in as well. The sauce was a normal dry mix (add the powder to tomato paste and water and simmer.) We had this with cheddar cheese, Parmesan cheese, and of course, spaghetti. This won't work on a long trip since the veggies and the cheese would spoil after a few days. We had this on our third day and everything was still OK. I hope you can use this!

Steve Bonds

Pita Bread works well too. I haven't seen my favorite lunch posted yet; Peanut Butter on Bread/Bagel/whatever eaten with a handful of Granola. It's quick to eat on the trail and the only cleanup is to lick the knife clean. I just love those plastic Peanut Butter jars! My favorite Granola usually consists of 1/2 fruit Granola(apple-blueberry-almond-date) and 1/2 Confetti Mix (Peanuts, raisins, sunflower seeds, soybeans, coconut and M&Ms)

From: msc@ttrdc.UUCP (Michael Cross)

Lunch - Peanut Butter is a staple, but for variety we started carrying a stick of pepperoni & block of cheese. Both kept pretty well, even in hot weather.

Mike Engber

For lunch my favorites are tabouleh-stuffed pitas and rice cakes with peanut butter spread (1/2 molasses + 1/2 peanut butter +powdered milk + a little margarine to make it spreadable).

Eduardo Santiago

I've recently discovered a sausage called landsjager (apparently, it's of Swiss origin, so that j should be pronounced y). It's got incredible keeping power -- I bought some last spring, and it looked so bad that I forgot about it all summer, until I was packing a lunch for a day's volunteer work on an archeological dig late last fall. The sausage still looked good, so I packed it, an apple, and a pile of cookies into my windbreaker pocket, balanced with a water bottle in the other pocket, and set out for a day of digging among the fallen leaves.

The landsjager turned out to be as near the perfect thing to round out a trail lunch as I've ever found. It's bone dry (like beefjerky), flavorful, and surprisingly easy to chew, considering how it looks. The dig, incidentally, was an exploratory dig, and we found quite a bit of evidence of archaic or early woodland habitation (but unfortunately, nothing good enough to date the site).

I bought my landsjager from a meat market that got it from somewhere in Wisconsin, so I have no general advice on where to get it.

From: jones@pyrite.cs.uiowa.edu (Douglas W. Jones)

Lunch on the trail: HELP!!!
>Any non-cooking (who wants to drag out a stove?) items? Or, maybe something prepared ahead of time.

Meat, bread and cheese. Bagels again, any of the dark heavy breads. Packaged or canned meat. Mustard, mayo or any of the deli type spice packets work well. The small cans of meat (6 oz?) work well split between two.

Barry Needham

Make a bunch of granola. It's light, needs no preparation so you can munch it dry on the trail, keeps well, tastes good and is healthy. (of course you will need something to wash it down with)You can also eat it with milk if you like that sort of cereal. Bean salad is good too for many of the same reasons.

FROM: cscnj!pat@rutgers.edu

Other favorites to carry are carrots - they last a long time, garlic, onions, (hey my polypro stops grizzly bears after a few days, so what's a bit of breath enhancer between fiends?), and tart apples are a great way to start the day. They seem to keep their crispness best when winter camping. Store bought tortellinis aren't too bad either.

Any flat bread is great to pack. My favorite is Pita bread. Also, if you have never tried making bread in camp, you are missing at least half of the food fun. It takes no trouble at all to make biscuits. Very little trouble to make rolls of some sort. Virtually painless to make real bread. Honey packs very nicely and with bread makes a great treat any time.
Several of you have mentioned taking canned meats or canned something else along. I don't like to take cans. Even after crushing them down, I always feel it is a pain to have to bring them back out. I also have seen too much litter strewn throughout wilderness areas to think that everyone packs out what they pack in. I don't what to even accidentally add to the wilderness litter. I don't pack in anything that can't burn. Although necessary, I hate the foil lined packets of stuff. Most people throw them in the camp fire which leaves the unburnt foil part behind. I always burn them separately and pack the foil out. I always pack out other garbage that I find.
Editor's Note:
Burning paper-foil products may be more trouble than it is worth. Aside from the noxious fumes/poisons produced from oxidizing paper and aluminum and the devastation that unnecessary fires create in the wilderness, the substantial weight loss--of the paper burned--is hardly worth the fire's effort or expense. You still have to carry out the heavy item, the aluminum, so why not just save the burning hassle??
Travis Marlatte ihlpa!travis

Here are a few kinds of backpacking food that people haven't mentioned:

It keeps well for at least a week (even in the summer) if you keep it on the inside of your pack away from the sun. Use it wherever you might think of using powdered milk. It's good in instant pudding, in curry (made with freeze-dried chicken, apples, raisins, your own spices and minute rice), with granola, etc.
This can be a good breakfast with added dried fruit and honey for a little flavor. To cook it just let it sit covered for 5 minutes after you add boiling water to it.
made from a mix. Just add cold water and let it sit for half an hour.
Asiago (or dry jack) cheese and Thuringer sausage
both travel very well. This kind of cheese doesn't get runny in the heat.
Packages of (already-cooked) dinner rolls
good for sandwiches.
Fresh garlic
okay, I guess this isn't a dish on its own, but it's worth taking. It really adds something to a lot of main dishes. Just smash the unpeeled clove with the side of your knife or a rock and it'll be easy to peel and chop.
Clarified Butter
if you want to cook something with butter instead of oil, clarify it and it will keep for a long time. To do this, melt the butter and pour into your container only the clear part.
Vicki O'Day

I started by taking smoked oysters on long hard caving trips.

from amirza@bronze.ucs.indiana.edu (Anmar Caves)

FROM jones@pyrite.cs.uiowa.edu (Douglas W. Jones)
Caviar, good cheese and crackers makes a great snack! I prefer Wheat Thins for this, and I go for a cheese that travels well, something like Gouda or Emmentaller, if you can get it.

Kippered herring in garlic sauce is also pretty good.

Landsjager (a Swiss sausage that's about as indestructible as beefjerky), is also a good bet.

The serious point of this is that, in addition to GORP, beef jerky and other fairly generic trail snacks, there are some "near gourmet" items that do fairly well on the trail (so long as you pack out the tins and jars that such things tend to come in).

Subject: At last! Dehydrated beer
Taken verbatim from today's San Jose Mercury-News: CONSUMER CORNER

Packaged Beer Lightens The Load PRODUCT: South Hills dehydrated beer.

DESCRIPTION: A beer-flavored, non-alcoholic, carbonated, dry beverage made with maltodextrine, natural and artificial beer and malt flavors, dried beer, and corn syrup solids. It's packaged in5-ounce (150g) packet that must be mixed with 8 fluid ounces (250ml) of cold water for drinking.

PRO: It has a refreshing taste, though a bit sweet, and is best when mixed with extremely cold water. Its taste is remarkably similar to beers produced by micro-breweries. It's a quick source of liquid carbohydrates, and it's easy and light to pack and mix.

CON: The instructions say to wait for the head to subside after mixing, but that takes better than 5 minutes... In very cold water the mix clumps up unless you add water slowly and stir constantly.

COMMENTS: Although it doesn't compare to a fine lager, it suffices quite nicely when your taste buds crave a cold one in the backcountry and you don't fancy carrying a six-pack. The manufacturer mentions one can add clear grain alcohol or vodka to achieve an alcoholic beer.

SUGGESTED RETAIL: $5.95 for 6 packets.

FROM John Reece

Pizza Pockets

English Muffins (cut in half) Tomato sauce (or spaghetti sauce) Mozzerella cheese Pizza toppings (pepperoni, peppers, mushrooms, etc.). I use the round little pie/sandwich irons to make these. Put 1/2 of english muffin in both sides, cover both sides with sauce, cheese, and other ingredients. Close the iron carefully and put directly on the coals, turning occasionally. Cook for ~15 min.


Added idea to the cheese/peperoni lunch thing

I aggree that peperoni and cheese makes a great trail snack. Last year when a group of us hiked through Zion National park we bought soft tortillas. They travelled well and made great sandwiches.

Tim Whelan

| Table Of Contents | Introduction | Breakfasts | Lunch/Trail Snacks | Dinners | Deserts | Meat Dishes | Assorted | Assorted Vegitarian | Further Reading | Index | Recipe Submission Form |