Food

Think you know which foods give you the most calories per ounce? So did I. Turns out I was wrong. Sort of. I’m talking about nuts, which provide an exceptional number of calories per ounce. As I’ve written about before, pecans and macadamia nuts contain the most energy per ounce (200 calories), followed by Brazil…

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Coffee is good. Brain-splitting headaches are bad. If you’re a backpacking caffeine addict like me—or you simply enjoy the occasional backcountry brew—you’ll need the tools to produce a cup or three of this headache-staving, performance-enhancing, deliciously stimulating beverage. Here are your options, rated for weight, quality of brew, and convenience. Instant opportunities  It’s hard to beat…

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Coffee is good. Brain-splitting headaches are bad. If you’re a backpacking caffeine addict like me—or you simply enjoy the occasional backcountry brew—you’ll need the tools to produce a cup or three of this headache-staving, performance-enhancing, deliciously stimulating beverage. Here are your backcountry coffee options, rated for weight, quality of brew, and convenience. Instant opportunities It’s…

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Photograph by Jerry and Marcy Monkman. A few simple tricks can eliminate many small inconveniences of winter hiking. Designate specific jacket pockets for your hat and gloves so you can easily keep track of them. Keep an energy bar in a pocket close to your body to avoid breaking your teeth on a frozen, rock-hard…

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It’s hard to sleep well when you’re cold. A few simple techniques can make all the difference. You need fuel to keep your furnace burning all night. In case you wake up chilled, have a quick energy, high-calorie snack at the ready for a middle-of-the-night refuel.  Use a thick, full-length sleeping pad; what works in…

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Two companies now offer energy bars that feature a chirpy and unusual ingredient: crickets. Two small start-ups—Utah-based Chapul and Brooklyn-based Exo—both seek to capitalize on the health and environmental benefits of cricket power. Specifically, crickets (and insects in general) are an exceptionally rich source of protein. Per the Exo web site, dried crickets are 69…

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Two years ago I highlighted Pat’s Backcountry Beverages, which at the time was developing the Holy Grail for backcountry beer enthusiasts. Now you can hold it in your hand. Two versions of beer concentrate are now available: 1919 Pale Rail, an amber brew featuring “a delicate blend of aromatic malts and Cascade hops” that “delivers…

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Three large black walnut trees stand in a perfect line, parallel to the side of a home in Wenham, Mass. An old rope swing dangles from a lofty branch. The owner says her kids sometimes bounce on the swing to dislodge walnuts from high above. Hundreds of the nuts litter the lawn. Russ Cohen kicks…

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Astronauts select specially formulated foods that meet their nutritional needs and hold up to the rigors of space travel. Their food is nutritionally balanced and easy to store, consume, and digest. Energy bars also come in specialized formulas, giving hikers—and other athletes—access to their own version of space food. Energy bars are portable, easily digestible,…

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Russ Cohen has been foraging in the Northeast for four decades. Shagbark hickory nuts, Cohen’s favorite foraged food, can be used in numerous cookie and pie recipes. Here’s his recipe for a wafer cookie. Ingredients 1 cup dark brown sugar (or maple sugar) 6 tablespoons flour 1/4 teaspoon baking powder 1/4 teaspoon salt 2 eggs,…

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