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Trail Foods - Tried And True

Discussion in 'Camping' started by Kayak Jack, Feb 15, 2017.

  1. Kayak Jack

    Kayak Jack Well-Known Member

    Man has been roaming this Earth about a hundred thousand years or so - give or take a week. Carrying foods is nothing new. I sure as heck don't know all about all the possibilities, only a few.

    Drying and dehydrating is age old practice. It takes only very dry air, or a slow, smokey fire. Actually, just ambient air blown by a fan directly onto and through the foodstuffs, will work. As does gentle heat.

    Lean meats makes good jerky. Beef, venison, elk, buffalo, chicken, turkey, some fish (non fatty ones), fruits (apples, peaches, cherries, etc.), nuts (peanuts, almonds, walnuts, pine nuts, pistachios, etc.), berries (blue berries, raspberries, strawberries, etc.), vegetables (peas, carrots, cabbage, onions, carrots, etc.), cheeses (cheddar, colby, asiago, etc.) are examples.

    Cheese can be carried unrefrigerated for a week or two, when wrapped in cheesecloth that is first dipped into white vinegar, then wrapped in a plastic bag. Any mold that does form can be scraped or cut off. Wash your hands well before handling the cheese, or you will see moldy fingerprints a few days later.

    The packages of prefried bacon works well. But, after opening, it should be resealed into a plastic bag. And wash hands well. Otherwise, the smell of sweet, smokey bacon will get wiped onto pants , camp gear, etc. All kinds of critters love bacon - flies, raccoons, bears, coyotes, etc.
  2. oldsparkey

    oldsparkey Well-Known Member

    Bacon cooked on a grill over hot coals in the early morning while a coffee pot is perking away is one of the best wake up alarms ever created. :D
  3. Kayak Jack

    Kayak Jack Well-Known Member

    Yep. If you're either staying in that camp, or don't mind a late start, coffee and bacon in the norning are great. In the morning, I eat a granola bar while paddling, and wash it down with tea from a thermos. I brewed the tea the night before. That allows me another 1/2 hour of sleep instead of doing morning KP duties. Others prefer to do it differently.
    Last edited: Sep 19, 2017 at 10:04 AM
  4. Wannabe

    Wannabe Well-Known Member

    Strange you should mention that. I ran across the instructions for making hardtack and pemmican this morning. Very interesting.
  5. Kayak Jack

    Kayak Jack Well-Known Member

    Hardtack isn't tested for doneness with either eye or toothpick - it has a Brinell hardness test. Soldiers in the Civil War were issued hardtack left over from the Revolutionary War! Pemmican is the grandfather of summer sausage. Good stuff.
  6. Wannabe

    Wannabe Well-Known Member

    Your right about that Jack. Either without a little prep work will rid you of your bad teeth. They will also sustain you for long periods of time.
  7. oldsparkey

    oldsparkey Well-Known Member

    I'm surprised that mother natures perfect food was not mention. It even comes in it's own biodegrade packaging and can be fixed all sorts of ways. It is comparable with a lot of other foods ( even those mentioned in the above quote ). It is normally enjoyed with one or more of the other food groups.

    Most folks like it cooked and hot with some of the side dishes but others prefer it cold and as a snack , usually on a picnic or some outing with the family. Campers take it with them as a morning treat and even backpackers carry the cook version in there packs to enjoy as a meal or as a snack. Some Backpackers / hikers ( really brave ones ) even carry the raw version and cook it later in camp.

    It's the humble Egg , fried >>> sunny side up, over easy or scrambled and especially Hard Boiled ( cooked ). One of the best ways is as a Egg salad sandwich on toast with a side order of Onion Rings. :D
  8. Kayak Jack

    Kayak Jack Well-Known Member

    I've read that all eggs are edible. Though, the fertilized ones can fight back as they near hatching time.
    Powdered eggs were invented during the Civil War. Another reason to get a war over with quickly.
  9. Kayak Jack

    Kayak Jack Well-Known Member

    The Three B's of Camping

    I've read that camp menus used to revolve around three B's - Beans, Bacon, and Bannock. Bacon can be carried easily now, with prefried bacon available. And, I've often thought of carrying my cast iron Dutch oven, presoak some beans, build a fire in a hole, and cook up a batch of beans. But, we are seldom in a fixed base camp long enough to do that. Bannock, or camp bread, can be done in a one night camp, with a bit of work.

    Bill Mason was a Canadian wildlife photographer of the last century. His photos grace museums across the provinces of Canada. He found that an excellent way to get good wildlife photos, was to live amongst them. He also found that an excellent way of living amongst wildlife, was to canoe out into the wild. He favored the Chestnut canoes for the job. Bill did carry cast iron. One of the things he cooked in it was bannock. Here is Bill Mason's recipe.

    3 cups white flour
    2 cups whole wheat flour
    1/2 cup bran
    1/2 cup wheat germ
    2 Tbsp baking powder (Keep separate from flour in plastic wrap. Apportion, and add to dry ingredients at baking.)
    1 tsp salt
    2/3 cup powdered milk

    I divided this mixture into 5, separate, equal parts because it makes a large batch. Pack about 1 1/4 cup of this dry mix (and separate package of baking powder) into a plastic food storage bag.

    To bake, open and add the baking powder. Mix in 2 Tbsp of shortening. Add water in small increments to make a dough, and knead this together inside the plastic bag, Add about 3/4"-1" of water to the pot, start water boiling, and set in either a BakePacker or a regular steamer basket. Set in the bag of bread dough and put on the lid. Steam bake the bread about 20 minutes.

    Or, instead, mix in about 4 Tbsp of shortening and mix up the dough. Put the dough into a greased, cast iron pan, and put onto coals (NOT flames). As dough rises and firms, tilt pan toward fire, gradually increasing the angle, and rotating pan to get heat better distributed. When pan is on edge, test with a splinter. A doughy splinter tells you it isn't done yet.
    Last edited: Sep 18, 2017 at 8:26 AM
  10. nardob

    nardob Member

    My fave is bannock because you can add almost anything you like to it.
  11. oldsparkey

    oldsparkey Well-Known Member

    The modern form of bread for long distance hiking and camping and especially in something called Backpacking are Tortillas. They pack easy , are long lasting and basically bomb proof besides being able to be used in a lot of different ways.
    A major perk is that a cast iron pot or open fire is not needed for them. Just take one out of the pack , add your favorite item/filling , roll it up and enjoy your meal. Have them wrapped around a good inch thick and foot long southern style ( spicy ) sausage. Or something as simple as a mix of peanut butter and honey.
  12. Kayak Jack

    Kayak Jack Well-Known Member

    What are your bannock additives, Bob? I love to "modify and improve" recipes.
  13. Kayak Jack

    Kayak Jack Well-Known Member

    favorite lunches of mine can be carried in a shirt pocket. Any admixture of dried fruits (dates & cherries are really good; cranberries are too), nuts, and eithe jerky or string cheese. All of those carry for long periods unrefrigerated. If fresh stuff is available, I favor apple sections sprinkled with cinnamon, or orange sections.

    All the above can be easily kept in sandwich-sized ziploc bags.

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