Food

Hold a fresh apple in one hand and a dehydrated version in the other, and you won’t need long to decide which you’d rather carry in your pack. Dehydrating your own food is a lightweight, inexpensive, and easy way to prepare a varied menu, from snacks to full meals, for your next backpacking trip. You…

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If Willy Wonka were a hiker, imagine what kind of backcountry food he might dream up. Self-contained meals in edible packages? Dissolvable, single-serve coffee balls? Those fantastical-sounding products soon could be a reality. Several companies are developing packaging that eliminates waste—a possible boon for backpackers seeking lightweight, eco-conscious products. “Sustainable design that is both smart…

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Based in Kittery, Maine, Good To-Go produces one of the best-tasting dehydrated meals I’ve yet tried. And unlike the gazillion-ingredient sodium bombs that have long dominated the ‘meal-in-a-bag’ backpacking market, Good To-Go focuses instead on simple ingredients (you can pronounce and recognize all of them) and uses far less salt. To prepare the meals, you…

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Let’s face it. For kids, the success of a camping trip rarely hinges on what waterfalls you see, what birds you hear, or how great the hike was. Kids likely will remember two things: the weather and the food. You can’t control the weather, but you can make food a highlight of every excursion, whether…

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Yuck. One bad ingredient can ruin the mix. Something happens to high-calorie trail snacks when you mix them all together. More often than not, the result is far less appetizing than the sum of its flavors. “Trail mix” is a description given to a broad collection of hiking snack mixtures. They typically include some combination…

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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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