Eating Well on the Trail

Andrew and I really like to cook.  We enjoy doing everything from comfort food (wonderful Wisconsin mac & cheese), to difficult culinary adventures (like that time I ordered oysters on the internet and shucked them for a party).  When we’re on the trail, we like to eat well too.  I’m not a canned chicken kind of gal, but pre-packaged meals like Mountain House are very expensive for what you get and extremely salty.  Assuming one meal averages $9, times two people, times 5 nights, that’s easily $90 for dinner alone.  Here’s how we do trail food, including our 5 day menu for our trip to Isle Royale National Park.

Advance Planning

Whenever we start planning a trip, I find that it helps out a lot to determine how many meals we’re going to have.  If you’re going to go beyond pre-packaged food, you’ll need some lead time.  For our trips, I tend to start prepping 3 x the number of days in a trip in advance.  So, for Isle Royale, we had a 5 day trip, so I started food prep about two weeks in advance (5×3 days).  Why so much time?

  1. It takes time to dehydrate food (up to 24 hours a meal) if you’re doing that.
  2. Repackaging things you buy at the store can also take a lot of time.
  3. We never remember everything we need to bring the first time we go to the store, so this leaves us some wiggle room.

Breakfast

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Breakfast doesn’t need to be boring if you don’t want it to be!  I’m much happier with an interesting breakfast and a boring lunch.  For our 5 nights, we needed 5 breakfasts.  We brought: 8 packets of oatmeal (variety of flavors), dehydrated hash browns, a bag of granola, 8 tubes of Trader Joe’s instant coffee, and 8 Clif Bars.

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