Thursday, April 7, 2011

Leaving my kitchen behind

I had another backpacking breakthrough-- I went completely stoveless.  And it worked out great!  I didn't miss the 12 extra ounces in my pack when I was squatting down to get a closer view of wildflowers.  I didn't spend one moment wishing I'd had a stove to fuss with in the wind, or wait for what always seems like f-o-r-e-v-e-r for the water to boil.

Making my meals was simple-  I'd add cold water to any dried food a few hours before I wanted to eat.  On the trail, I pulled out my re-hydrated food and started eating right away.  I relaxed at viewpoints full-bellied and content. What freedom! 

My pot, stove, & fuel weigh 12 ounces.

Simple Standing Indian Stove-less Menu

Quick and easy burritos
    At home, put instant re-fried beans (available in the bulk section of the local food co-op) in a small freezer bag.  Add water to rehydrate and let sit a few hours.  At beautiful wildflower meadow, spread beans on a tortilla, top with shredded string cheese, and add a few slices of bell pepper, cilantro, and a packet of salsa.

Lunch couldn't be easier.

Sushi on the trail
    At home, cook sushi rice according to package instructions.  For each cup of cooked rice, mix together 2 Tbs. rice wine vinegar, 1 Tbs. sugar, and 1/2 tsp salt and heat in microwave until sugar dissolves.  Pour over rice and mix well.  Add sesame seeds (optional).  Spread on dehydrator trays and dehydrate overnight.  Put into freezer bag.  On the trail, add cold water to cover and let sit at least three hours.  I tore up "crispy toasted seaweed" and added it to the rice along with tuna (best with oil-packed) and mixed it all together in the bag.  But if you want to get fancy, you can make little rolls if you have a flat surface (like I did on a recent dayhike) and even add avocado if you want to splurge. 

The sushi rice is done dehydrating when it is totally crispy.

Sushi rice with spicy tofu-jerky (Note: this was taken on a previous dayhike)

Snacks to get you up the mountains
While backpacking, I "eat like a hobbit" (i.e. have first breakfast, second breakfast, lunch, tea-time snack, pre-dinner snack, dinner, and dessert).   I eat snacks every two or two and a half hours.  This gives my body sustained energy and keeps my tummy happy.  I bring an assortment of home-dehydrated fruit such as strawberries, bananas, apples, kiwi, and mandarin oranges.  To add protein, I dip dried bananas in peanut butter, and pair fruit with string cheese, which keeps for days unrefrigerated.

Finger-sandwich of dried apples, string cheese, and tofu-jerky.
Slice fruit thinly and pat dry.  Leave on dehydrator overnight.

Awesome oatmeal
    At home, put into your plastic bag any or all of the following: oats, wheat bran, flax seeds (just a little bit), unsweetened coconut, dried cranberries, dried milk (Nido is best), slivered almonds, cinnamon and cardamom.  Before bed, add water, seal tightly, and hang in bear bag.  In the morning it will be ready, the oats nicely softened and flavors melded together.


  1. I like this post alot. You have some great ideas and recipes. Thanks!

  2. Inspiring as always! I'm going to have to explore dehydration AND hammocks!

  3. Interesting that you posted this, I have been toying with the same idea. Especially since I don't really have much of an appetite the first couple of days.
    I dehydrated some kiwi a couple of weeks ago...delish!!!!!!!!!!!!

  4. I too leave my stove/kitchen behind, but only during warmer months, next week will probably be the last hike I carry a stove until late fall. Even next week I'm only carrying a 3gram GramCracker stove with 3 Esbit tabs for baking muffins, all other meals will be eaten cold.

  5. MUFFINS!!! WOW!!! I'd love to see how you do that sometime. Always wanted to try it. :)

  6. Great ideas. Getting ready to start my AT section hike with weeklong hike in GA with my family in April, and I'm finding your blog very inspiring and informative. Must try a hammock. Thank you.

  7. LaughingLG- Thanks so much! Enjoy your AT hike. April is a beautiful time to be in Georgia!