September 04, 2005
We didn't have a lid for the pot, nor did we have time to soak the barley before we ate it that night. It was damn nearly dark when we camped.
But over the years, I learned some really good stuff to take backpacking. Here's what I recommend:
*Salt cured country ham. You can toast that stuff on a stick over a fire and it's good to eat all by itself. It makes excellent seasoning in anything you want to cook. And it requires NO refrigeration.
*Lipton "Cup-O-Soup" with some rice and country ham. Pour the Cup-O-Soup mix into the water when you're making the rice and throw some country ham in the mixture. That's a meal fit for a king in the woods. And it's all very light to carry.
*Little Debbie "Star Crunches." Just DAMN! That's the best snack food in the world when you're walking a trail all day.
*Snicker's candy bars. Yes. They are good on the trail.
*Bring a steak. Freeze it solid as a rock and stick it in the top of your backpack. It'll thaw out on the first day of hiking and be ready to cook that night. Hang it on a forked stick over the fire, cook the sumbitch, and then eat it while holding it with your bare hands. Nothing EVER tasted better.
*MREs. They came along late in my backpacking career, but some of 'em ain't half-bad. They are light to tote and the ones with chicken or ham in them taste pretty good. I tried a "beef stroganov" once that tasted like dog shit, but the others weren't bad. Plus, some of them come in self-heating bags. You don't even need a fire for a hot meal.
*Some freeze-dried food. Cop 3 always used to experiment with something he bought from Wilderness Outfitters when we went hiking. Some of it was horrible, but some of it was good. Kinda like MREs. All you have to do with that stuff is pour hot water into a bag and let it soak for a while. Presto! You've got food. Cop 3 bought a bag of dehydrated strawberrys once and they came out tasting as good as the real thing.
*Trail Mix. ALWAYS carry a bag of that stuff with you. The nuts, raisins and assorted protein in there is good for you. Tastes pretty good, too.
*Whiskey. Carry TWO canteens. One full of water and one full of bourbon. Drink the water when you're thirsty and sip the bourbon around the campfire at night.
That's MY humble advice about backpacking.
Those damn MRE's are too damn heavy for me, but they're wonderful for keeping in my VW camper bus, for fishing trips and meals hunting. Gotta love 'em as long as I don't have to carry 'em.
Backpacking foods are dirt cheap if you take a look at what's available on supermarket shelves. Noodle and rice side dishes that cook in 7 minutes or less, with some sausage or tuna (now packed in foil envelopes) mixed in, Ramen noodles that are ready to eat in six or eight minutes from lighting the stove.
Mashed potatoes that already have milk and butter in 2 serving packets and need only 1/4 cup of hot water for prep. Add 2 packets of brown gravy mix with a tin of roast beef mixed in makes a dinner for 2 teen age boys for about $2.50 total. The same amount of food in freeze dried "camping" packages from REI or some other mountaineering outlet will cost over $10.00 per individual serving. A little time spent with a notebook while surfing supermarket aisles will get you good, filling, enjoyable meals on the trail for less than $5.00 a day per person.
Aside from cost, which is extortionate, the Mountain House, Backpacker's Pantry, and other freeze dried meals are figured in serving portions fit more for sedentiary 95 year old ladies weighing 85lbs. than teenage boys who/ve been hiking up and down mountains all day. From hard experience I know how miserable a kid can get when he's hiking and camping and NOT getting enough to eat at suppertime. Hell, Im 61, and I get miserable when I don't have enough to eat.
What's with the sweaty "teenage boys" remark. You seem to repeat yourself with that inspid gay remark.
2far, let me see if I got this right. IN your mind the term sweaty teenage boys is a homosexual expression. Since Rob mentions it, he must be gay?
Or maybe the problem is you. Did your hands get clammy reading it? Did sweat form on your brow? Did a quiver go through your body? Hmmm. The only image I got from reading it was of a couple kids who were hot, tired, and yes sweaty, but also quite hungry also. Nowhere in his post was there anything to be construed as homoerotic.
What you need is QUEER AWAY... guaranteed to get rid of homoerotic thoughts. Made with pure cod liver oil. Take two spoonfuls at onset of queer thoughts and those thoughts will disappear intsantly. Take as needed throughout the day.
Quit pitching a tent at harmless non-sexual phrases, and then whine to the author because of what it does to you. In other words don't go blaming other people for your problems.
Finally, a gay backpacking post!
Hey, is "backpacking" code for something else?
I question the wisdom of taking country ham on the trail. After a few slices, I'd be squatting behind every tree.
A CANTEEN of whiskey?!? Damn, how many people did you camp with?
Mark, you flaming pussy, I usually took a quart of bourbon on a four-day backpacking trip.
That usually worked out about just right.
I'm glad I never hiked with you. Tampax get heavy when you have a bleeding pussy on board.
When you've got 50 miles ro hike before you get out of the woods, a quart of whiskey is plenty.
If you're trying to be funny, you missed by a country mile.
If you're serious, you really ought to try life for an hour or so without fantasizing about "Sweaty Teen Age Boys."
Sick Fuck? So if you ever went camping and woke up with a dry mouth and a sore ass. Would you still offer up some granola???
Insipid <- that's you old man.
Great post! I have taken up backpacking in recent years. I still have trouble deciding how to pack for meals.
"Star Crunches" mmmmm, love those Rob, gonna go get some after work. Thanks for the memories.