Most Out of The Box (Figuratively) Backcountry Meals

YId7oTNMost people would consider an out of the box meal; well exactly that! Straight out of the box, just add water and you’re on your way! Unfortunately, while this is great for saving weight and packing in calories, it does kind of feel a bit shameful when you are surrounded by the natural beauty of the outdoors. Packing out folded up boxes of freeze-dried rice and veggies and plastic wrappers from astronaut ice cream is so last year! Why not embrace your natural surroundings and eat righteously? If you’re out for six days, why not eat like a king for at least a few of them?

3860413_origIt’s not always easy to pack in fresh food, and we all know it spoils…but here are a few tips and tricks, as well as some great recipe ideas for your next backcountry trip. Try thinking outside the box and incorporating some of these into your routine!

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Tips & Tricks:

1.) Want to carry in some fresh herbs/veggies? Wrap up the portion you would like in a moist paper towel, and place inside of a ziplock freezer bag. You can combine multiple herbs/veggies into the same bag if you are not worried about the melding of flavors. Works great with that cilantro that will spice up your burrito or the green onions that will compliment your stir fry!

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2.) How about meat? Obviously, meat is a touchy subject in the backcountry, but as long as you can prevent against fluctuating temperatures, you can safely carry and consume certain meats on a backpacking trip. Cured and smoked meats will last longer than non cured meats especially when vacuum sealed. To prevent the meat from hanging out at room temperature, freeze all meat before leaving on your trip and place frozen sealed bags in an insulatory bag that can be stashed deep in your food bag. Your best bet is to consume your meat on the first or second day, however if the meat is still hard from freezing and is fully sealed, you can get away with longer. Fully cured meats with low moisture will last the longest, ie: summer sausage and salmon jerky, great in an omelet!

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3.) Stocks: Want to make something with complex flavor, but with minimal effort? Make a chicken or vegetable stock at home, freeze it and bring it with you on a trip! Stock will keep in a sealed Nalgene container, and when pre frozen can be carried for up to 4 days. Bring some Arborio rice and make some Risotto to go with your rib eye you’ve hiked in 30- Miles!

Egg_colours4.) Eggs: Farm laid eggs do not require refrigeration; actually, no egg really requires refrigeration, and in most other countries, they are left out. As long as you can keep the inside of your food bag at room temperature (between 68-74 degrees), you can enjoy eggs, throughout the duration of your trip!

 

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Outside The Box Recipe Ideas:

1.) Brussel Sprouts & Pancetta- Simple as it sounds, and ridiculously delicious! Cut up the pancetta into small chunks, and line a cast iron skillet with the chunks. Butt, and de leaf the outer layer of sprouts, then cover bacon in pan. Set on rolling embers and saute until brussels and bacon are both evenly browned and sprouts are soft! Awesome¬†hors d’oeuvre when camping!

037 fried rice2.) Fried Rice Simple. All you need is rice, pre-cut peas and carrots and onions, better cut fresh not frozen, a few eggs, soy sauce, and fish sauce. Small Nalgene containers go a long way in the backcountry when you can carry sauces. Prepare rice as normal. Fry vegetables in oiled pan, then add eggs, scrambled, until cooked. Place rice in pan once egg is crumbly, add fish and soy sauce to taste, and stir contents at high heat until browned.

KEEP IN MIND! These recipes and trips are intended to be used predominantly for 1st night meals/ 2nd morning breakfasts and would not be approved by organizations like the FDA…Be smart and if there’s any doubt, throw it out, especially when dealing with meat. This is why it is recommended to eat only shortly after having fully defrosted. Be sure to always finish your plate, and pack out your trash. Enjoy these tricks for OutdoorEnd!

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