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Trail Food recipes

Posts: 418
Location: Eugene, OR
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Anyone have recipes for tasty, nutritious, and durable foods for camping (especially backpacking?) I recently came upon a recipe for "Bayou Bread" in a Boy Scouting cookbook. I made it, with a few minor tweaks, and it turned out quite tasty. Here is my version:


3 cups old fashioned oatmeal
4 cups whole wheat flour
2 tsp baking powder
½ cup powdered milk
1 tbsp salt
1 cup light brown sugar
1 tsp cinnamon
½ tsp nutmeg
2 cups dried, diced (or small) fruit
2 cups nuts, chopped
½ cup butter
1 cup honey
½ cup molasses
Water as needed
¼ tsp vanilla extract (optional)
¼ tsp almond extract (optional)

1) Combine oatmeal, flour, baking powder, powdered milk, salt, brown sugar, cinnamon, nutmeg, fruit, and nuts in a very large bowl.
2) In a separate bowl, mix butter, honey, molasses, and water.
3) Combine ingredients. Fold well, adding water as needed to get thick but spreadable dough.
4) Spread dough to the edges of a lightly greased 17¼ by 11 ½-inch cookie sheet.
5) Bake at 300 degrees for 60-70 minutes. Score into 2 by 2 inch squares.

Posts: 69
Location: Missoula
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As a treat when I went camping as a kid my mom would always bring instant pudding and powdered milk.
Posts: 155
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Not as great as a recipe, but I really recommend the dried soups from the good food store. They're light, very high protein and very low fat. The lentil one is especially good. Bring some sharp cheese with you, and it makes a nice meal.
Posts: 7
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I have an old book called Simple Foods For The Pack. Use it for regular home cooking too. Tasty stuff.
Posts: 2103
Location: Oakland, CA
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For backpacking, it can actually be important to have a high fat content: More calories in a given pack weight/space, lower amount of human waste generated, and typically less packaging needed to prevent spoilage.

I've read that traditional-recipe pemmican is the best trail food. Equal parts dehydrated, lean meat, and rendered fat, thoroughly blended. No fruit etc. in the mix, or its shelf life goes down from years (reportedly decades, if grass fed) to weeks.

I've also heard good things about moose goo.

I like a trail mix made mostly of nuts, with chocolate chips, dry sweetened cranberries, and flake coconut helping to round out the flavor and nutritional profile.

Alegrias are excellent in many respects, if a little bulky: 7 parts popped amaranth seeds to 1 part honey, mixed thoroughly and pressed into bars. Press a few peanuts, raisins, etc. into the top if desired.

Traditional sourdough bread has a good shelf life; making a loaf with things like olives and sunflower seeds blended in might help boost the calorie content. California miners used to keep a pouch of sourdough starter tucked away in their clothing (hence the football mascot, "Sourdough Sam"), which seems like a sensible practice. A large batch of pancakes each day could provide two or three meals.

Seeds for sprouting might be a good thing to take along, especially for very long trips. They can manufacture nutrients, especially vitamin C, that do not keep well.

Posts: 148
Location: South Central Idaho
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Old Mexico Trail Mix

Peanut butter loosened with pancake syrup .. add old fashioned Quaker Oats to make solid .. roll into balls and coat with flour to keep them from being sticky.

We would leave camp early before sun up and not get back until about 2:00PM. These stay with you.
Posts: 79
Location: More D'Ebre, Tarragona, Spain Mediterranean zone
hugelkultur forest garden solar
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A South African variation on pemmican, called Droewors, is to mince/grind raw venison/beef, mix with fat, salt, pepper, some nutmeg & coriander and loosely stuff into sausage casings/intestines. Flatten slightly and hang to dry (I use my clothes drying rack over a fan in my larder cupboard) Takes between 3-7 days depending on the thickness of your intestines. Thin sheep(like for chipolata sausage) works best for me. I suppose for the taste of pemmican you could add dried fruits and nuts but to be honest, it's yummy as is!
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