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Guide For Begining Outdoor Traveler's

Food for New Hikers

.  Other than freeze-dried eggs, nearly all of the food items listed
are available at local supermarkets.

 These meals have a little protein, a little fat, and a lot of complex
carbohydrates, which is what the body needs for sustained energy on a
hiking weekend.
 repackage everything
from large boxes or bottles into small baggies or Ziploc bags.  
all the ingredients for a single meal into a single larger baggie or
Ziploc.  Then put all the bags into a small trash bag, or plastic grocery
bag, and tie shut.  This way, all food is together for a single meal and
not lost throughout the backpack.


1. Instant oatmeal      2. Bagel with jelly
   Tang                    Tang
   Hot cocoa               Hot cocoa
   Dried Fruit             Dried Fruit

Bagels are the preferred bread for hikers.  They taste good, don't crush,
and won't dry out appreciably.

3.  Bacon (2 slices)                  4. 2 Breakfast bars or Pop-Tarts
   Freeze-dried scrambled egg            Tang
   Bagel (pre-buttered)                  Hot cocoa
   Dried fruit                           Dried fruit
   Hot cocoa

Take 2 strips of bacon, cut in half, and pre-cook at home until it's almost
done (still a bit limp).  Wrap in plastic wrap securely.  Bacon prepared
this way will keep for a few days and can be easily reheated in his frying

5. Pancakes             6. Dry cereal (pre-sugared variety)
   Bacon                   Powdered milk
   Syrup/butter            Hot cocoa
   Hot cocoa               Dried fruit

Buy the pancake mix that only needs to add water (Krusteze is good), and
put just enough for 2 or 3 pancakes in a baggie for him.  For syrup, get an
extra one next time you go to a fast food place in the morning, or he can
mix a one-quart package of Kool-aid with only a little water.  For butter,
put some margarine into 1 or 2 of the little plastic salsa containers that
come with Mexican take-out food.

Lunches:  The best time to eat lunch when backpacking is from about one
hour after breakfast until about one hour before dinner, continuously.  In
other words, frequent small snacks of complex carbohydrates all day long.
That way the body has a constant source of energy available and the Scout
is less likely to get too tired.  We generally recommend nibbling on trail
mix all morning and afternoon, with a little more substantial food for
lunch.  Carbohydrates come in two main types, simple and complex.  Simple
carbohydrates are sugars.  These cause a rush of energy that lasts an hour
or so and leaves you with a jittery feeling from low blood sugar/too much
insulin.  Your system yo-yos back and forth and you don't really have the
sustained energy you need.  Complex carbohydrates are like tiny time
capsules of energy:  the body needs to digest them, and when it does they
release energy for long period with no waste products.  Examples are
breads, cereals, beans, pasta, etc.  So, what kinds of complex
carbohydrates should a Scout take hiking?  All kinds!

Trail mix is a good snack food for the day-long lunch.  You can buy trail
mix already put together at the Price Club (inexpensive) or nearly all
supermarkets.  You can also mix your own and put in exactly what your Scout
likes.  Most trail mixes consist of dried fruit, nuts, seeds, etc.  A
recipe that most Scouts like is one part of M&Ms, two parts peanuts, and
one part raisins.  You can also throw in a little shredded coconut and some
dried banana chips, if he'll eat them.  Other good things include shelled
sunflower seeds, carob, mixed nuts, pretzel sticks, or the little Japanese
cracker-like snacks.  (Go easy on the candy part - it's better to have less
candy and more other stuff.)  As to how much he will need, for each day of
hiking the most he will need is a double handful (less than a cup, if you
have to measure it).  By comparison, one pound of trail mix will last for a
week in the high Sierras.  Whatever you get for him, make sure your Scout
likes it by having him try it at home first.

Bagels, or the small bagelettes, are great breads to take along for the
more substantial food break around noon.  Make some up at home by cutting
them in half and putting jelly and/or peanut butter in it, then wrapping it
in plastic wrap.  Crackers such as Triskit, Wheat Thins, and Ritz are also
good.  Granola bars are also a good form of complex  carbohydrates.

You should stay away from fats entirely during the day while hiking, as the
body takes a fair amount of time to digest fats and convert them to energy.
Some fat in the evening meal is good for the hiker, as the body can make
use of it while asleep, but it is not good for you while working hard.
Jerky, salami sticks, beef sticks, dry salami, etc. are good meats to take
along, but only in small amounts for lunches.  Other foods that are good
are sardines, ham spread, chicken spread, and so forth, although he will
have to carry the weight of the can around with him.  In addition, small
chunks of cheese or a package of string cheese also tastes good.  Remember,
however, that meats and cheeses contain a lot of fat and the Scout should
not have much of this during the day; the best hiking lunch going is a
peanut butter and jelly sandwich.

Dinners:  This is the second most important meal for a hiker's physical
needs (breakfast is first), but the most important for his mental
well-being.  By the time dinner rolls around, the Scout will be tired, his
feet will hurt, he'll be sunburned and mosquito-bitten, he'll itch, his
patience will be nonexistent, and he'll be very hungry.  This means the
meals need to be simple and quick to fix and appealing to his palate
(something he will eat) as well as containing the right foods for the body.
The evening meal is when he should eat the majority of the day's supply of
protein and fats.  Since fats take more time to digest than carbohydrates,
his body will be using the fats and proteins to repair itself while he's
asleep.  The ingredients and possible dinners listed below are always
changing but will give you an idea what's available.  All it takes is a
little imagination and you have a first class meal.  When you must
repackage things that need directions, cut out the directions from the box,
put into the baggie with the food, and then seal with a twister; rewrite
the directions in simple language on a piece of paper, portioned according
to the amount he will prepare, and include with the food.  Try to include
soup with each dinner; this is to help get more water back into his system
to prevent dehydration, and also gives him something quick to eat while the
rest of the meal is cooking.  Listed below are some ideas for new hikers.
If your Scout really wants some more vegetables, or you insist he have
them, send along carrot and celery sticks; most kids will eat them.
Deserts can be just about anything.  Instant puddings mixed with dry milk
are always good.  Other alternatives are anything made by Hostess, such as
Ding Dongs, Twinkies, Fruit Pies.  Also good are home made cookies or

1.  Chicken Noodle Cup-a-Soup   2. Vegetable Cup-a-Soup
   Hamburger patty                 Chicken Top Ramen
   Mashed potatoes                 Bagel
   Corn                            Small can chicken
   Punch                           Punch
   Hostess Fruit Pie               Hostess Ding-Dongs

1.  Make up the hamburger patty at home and freeze it.  As he gets ready to
go on Friday afternoon, wrap the frozen patty in foil, shiny side in, and
seal in a small Ziploc bag.  Buy instant mashed potatoes and send one
serving sealed in a bag.  Add a dash of powdered milk to make it creamier.
Buy frozen whole-kernel corn; send one serving along, sealed in a bag.
Wrap the hamburger and corn in his spare T-shirt for insulation; it will
thaw slowly during the day Saturday and be ready to cook at night.  For
punch, we recommend artificially sweetened Kool-aid or Crystal Lite as they
are light weight and taste good.  He won't need the sugar in the evening
from the other kind.  Fry the hamburger until done enough.  The junk food
dessert is because he's a kid!  2.  Dump the chicken into the Top Ramen
while it is cooking.

3.  Chicken Noodle Cup-a-Soup   4. Chicken Broth Cup-a-Soup
   Small can chicken               Two hot dogs
   1/2 Cup White Rice              1 Tablespoon Spaghetti Sauce Mix
   1/2 package Chicken Gravy Mix   Spaghetti Noodles
   Punch                           4 packages McDonald's Catsup
   Twinkies                        Punch
                                   Instant Pudding with powdered milk

3.  Put the rice (regular long-grain rice) in the small pot with 1 cup of
water, dump in the chicken, cook for 15 minutes on low heat, covered.  Mix
the gravy up according to directions, dump in with chicken and rice, reheat
until boiling.  4.  Break spaghetti noodles into smaller lengths at home.
Boil in pot for 10 minutes or so.  Pour off most of water, put sauce mix
and catsup into pot with noodles.  Cut hot dogs into small chunks and add
to noodles and sauce.  Cook over low heat, stirring, until hot dogs are
hot.  Clean out pot after eating out of it, put pre-measured instant
pudding and powdered milk into pot, add proper amount of cold water, stir,
let stand until thickened, eat.

5.  Chicken Broth Cup-a-Soup                6. Chicken Noodle Cup-a-Soup
   1/2 package Kraft Macaroni & Cheese         Stew
   Small can tuna                              Bagel
   Corn                                        Punch
   Punch                                       Cake
   Home made chocolate chip cookies

5.  Repackage the 1/2 of macaroni in a Ziploc.  Also 1/2 of cheese packet
in another Ziploc bag, along with some powdered milk.  Cook according to
directions; add the tuna at the end, reheat, eat.  6.  Freeze some stew at
home in a small 2 by 3 by 4 in Tupperware.  Put into a Ziploc in case of
leaks.  Put a piece of cake into another Tupperware and send along for

Gourmet Suggestions:  Below are listed some ideas for menus that have been
prepared by  the High Adventure Gourmets of Troop 885.

        Fettucini Alfredo with White Clam Sauce and fresh Broccoli with
Hollandaise Sauce
        Mexican Tacos with Spanish Rice and Refried Beans
        Corned beef, cabbage, and new potatoes (St. Patrick's day)
        Beef Stroganoff with Green Beans and Corn Bread
        Roast Beef, Mashed Potatoes, Peas, Gravy
        Roast Turkey, Mashed Potatoes, Stuffing, Broccoli with Hollandaise Sauce
        Beef Burgundy, Braised Noodles, Steamed Carrots

Listed below are pre-packaged, canned and dry foods from the local
supermarket that are great for preparing delicious meals on the trail.
Many of the meats and seafoods  can be found in very small cans.  The fresh
or frozen vegetables are great for variety, but do tend to be somewhat
heavy for a younger Scout.  Take a tour through the supermarket and make up
your own list with what your son likes.

Supermarket Backpacker Foods

Pasta/Rice                               Soups
   Kraft noodles and Cheese                 Lipton Cup-a-Soups
      Fettucini Alfredo
      Cheddar Broccoli                   Vegetables
   Lipton's Noodles and Sauce               Frozen Corn
      Butter Noodles                        Frozen Peas
      Sour Cream and Chives                 Frozen Green Beans
      Cream Garlic                          Fresh Broccoli
      Stroganoff                         Breads
      Parmesan                              Bagels
   Macaroni & Cheese                        Marie Calender Corn Bread Mix
   Rice a Roni                              French Rolls
   Lipton's Flavored Rices                  Bisquick biscuits
      Cheddar & Broccoli                 Canned Meats
      Chicken                               Chicken
   Long-grained white Rice                  Mexican Chicken
   Wild Rice                                Tuna
Sauces                                      Corned Beef
   Brown Gravy                              Shrimp
   Chicken Gravy                            Clams
   Mushroom Gravy
   Hollandaise                           Other
   Taco                                     Instant Mashed Potatoes
   Teriyaki, etc.                           Dehydrated Hash Browns
                                            Stove Top Stuffing
Desserts                                    Dry Salami
   Anything by Hostess                      Smoked bacon or ham
   Fresh Fruit
   Small Pies
Misc. Items that could be invaluable in the outdoors these Items could easely be carried in a small fanny pack

1.  Matches or Lighter

2.  Parka, Poncho, or Space Blanket

3.  First Aid Kit (Band-Aids, Moleskin, Chapstick
                Sun Screen, Insect Repellent,
                Prescription Medicines, Aspirin or
                Tylenol, Safety Pin)

4.  Scout Knife

5.  Compass and Map

6.  Whistle

7.  Mirror

8.  Water Bottle

9.  Hat

10.  Toilet Paper

11.  Trail Mix or Other Food

12.  Handkerchief or Neckerchief

13.  Sunglasses

14.  50 Ft. Nylon Cord

15.  Calm Attitude

16.  Common Sense

17.  Scout Handbook  or Survival Handbook

18.  A Buddy


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