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September 2014 Trail Bytes: Cooking for Two & 6-Day Backpacking Menu
September 30, 2014

Dominique and I are heading out next week to Virginia for a six day backpacking trip on the Appalachian Trail in Shenandoah National Park. I’m almost done cooking and drying the food for the trip.

I cooked and dried some complete meals including Chili, Ratatouille, Root Bark Stew and Risotto. The other meals will be assembled from the individual foods that I have dehydrated.

I precooked the rice and potato bark in the usual way; using chicken or beef broth depending on what meat I pair it with.

As for vegetables, I tried a new cooking method and broiled the yellow squash, onions and sweet peppers for ten minutes before drying. That seems to have lent a nice roasted flavor to them.

Pots: I will cook the main meals in a 1300 ml Evernew pot and we will use the fry pan lid as a plate for Dominique’s portion. I will also carry my 900 ml Evernew pot which we will use for coffee and desserts. It only weighs a few ounces and nests inside the larger pot. Dominique agreed that we could drink from the same pot of coffee rather than carry two cups.

Stoves: My tea light alcohol stove is not sufficient to cook a double meal, so I will cook the main meal with an Optimus Crux Stove using canister fuel. I will still pack a small amount of alcohol fuel to preheat the water during the soak phase and also to heat water for coffee. I’ll round out the fuel supply with three tea light candles to warm fruit and chocolate sauce for desserts.

All of the recipes used for this trip are in my book, Recipes for Adventure.

I doubled the large portions.

Here’s the menu:

6-Day Backpacking Menu

Day 1

Lunch: Tuna Mac & Cheese

Dinner: Chili

Dessert: Rice Pudding

Day 2

Breakfast: Oatmeal with Apples & Cinnamon

Lunch: Mashed Potatoes with Beef & Mixed Vegetables

Dinner: Ratatouille

Dessert: Trail Angel Cake (Strawberry Chocolate)

Day 3

Breakfast: Scrambled Eggs/Polenta with Beef & Tomato

Lunch: World Peas Bark Stew with Chicken

Dinner: Root Bark Stew

Dessert: Fruit Cocktail

Day 4

Breakfast: Oatmeal with Bananas & Nuts

Lunch: Spinach & Bean Raminara

Dinner: Curry Chicken & Rice

Dessert: Peach Cobbler

Day 5

Breakfast: Yellow Grits with Squash & Tomato

Lunch: Risotto

Dinner: Mashed Potatoes with Chicken & Mixed Vegetables

Dessert: Trail Angel Cake (Mango & Banana)

Day 6

Breakfast: Sweet Potato Bark Porridge

Lunch: Unstuffed Peppers

The photo above shows the food I have dried for the trip so far. The fruit will be used for snacks and desserts. I still have to dry a batch of scrambled eggs & polenta, some world peas bark, cake and bread for desserts. I'm going to precook and dry the pasta for one meal so that it cooks easier on the trail considering the large portion for two people.

Next month I’ll have a full report about how the trip went.

Happy Trails,

Chef Glenn & Dominique

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