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    Senior Member permanentjaun's Avatar
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    Touring without a Stove - Suggestions for foods?

    Hello,

    Still doing more research for my tour in a couple months. I would like to tour without a stove. It is weight I feel I can do without since I can bring my own nutrition to last me a couple days till I get into a town at least.

    I've run into a little snag though. What foods can I bring that are nutritious and don't need to be cooked? I thought rice would be my staple, but recently found that eating a lot of it uncooked can cause serious health issues if consumed for lengthy periods of time.

    Really, I do not care about taste. For this trip I am much more concerned with nutrition rather than taste. I don't want to eat something that's not going to fuel me correctly. I'd rather rough it then waste bike space bringing something unnecessary. Besides, I'll probably be stopping every once in a while at a towns diner to rest and replenish.

    Grains are the most important part of a diet so I would imagine that something like cheerios would be the best option to bring. Rice is obviously more space efficient, but since I can't simply add water and eat that I guess im SOL. Is bringing cheerios in one of my panniers the best option for food that doesn't need to be cooked and is excellent in nutrition? I'll probably still bring a box of power bars to snack on till I hit a town for lunch or dinner.

    Are there foods I'm not thinking of that would be better suited for this situation? Show me the most tasteless nutritious foods you've got. I'm game. Matt

  2. #2
    Senior Member permanentjaun's Avatar
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    I should also ask.

    Is eating uncooked rice bad for you? I based this off of a response at http://answers.yahoo.com/question/in...5063414AAe1DDQ

    I haven't found much of a definite 'professional' opinion on the matter. Could it be a good staple diet, but also mix it with fruits/veggies and other forms of food I could get from town to town?

    I'm looking for a staple food to bring to get me going and surviving. Key word on surviving, because if it is important in helping me survive it can't be half bad in keeping me on the bike right? Matt

  3. #3
    Long Distance Cyclist Machka's Avatar
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    First, I couldn't imagine eating uncooked rice!! My teeth would fall apart!

    Second, what's wrong with sandwiches? Buy a loaf of bread, or a package of bagals or buns. You can squash them to make them fit in your panniers better and they'll still be fine. (That's how I ate bread for 3 months!) Then get stuff like little tins of tuna or chicken to make sandwiches. For the first day, you can get deli meat for the sandwiches, but I would use it up the first day so it doesn't go off. Processed cheese will last several days. And you can top your sandwiches up with some lettuce or cucumbers or tomatoes.

    For breakfast, you can get granola (musli) cereal with fruit and almonds and all sorts of good things, and you can pick up some milk, or powdered milk along the way.

    Some people I know buy tins of brown beans and eat them raw ... personally I'm not so fond of that idea, but they'd be quite nutritious.

    You can get trail mix with nuts and raisins and things for some variety ... and crackers ... and cookies ... and granola bars ... and cereal bars.

    Go to your local grocery store and browse!

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    peanut butter sandwiches don't require cooking. bread takes up a lot of room though. I take lots of nuts (especially cashews) hiking becaue they have a high fat content. I also take balance bars, rasins, chese crackers, snickers, tuna in foil pouches, summer sausage, pringles chips etc. Basically, food without a lot of water (except fot the tuna in foil). I love the last bit of cherios in the box (you know the real fine dust). for backpacking I take a hammer aholt of some to get rid of the bulk and is it similar to the powder (not quite as good for some reason) and carry powdered milk.

    Coy Boy

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    My first question would be how long is the tour and why would you do this? None of my business, but the seafood (tuna shrimp etc) in a pouch will last for a long time, not take too much weight or space and provide a change from bland. Peanut butter and honey sandwiches last a long time. you can add sliced banana and makes em good. Larabar is a great nutition bar, but i haven't found them recently. Try three bean salad in tightly sealed bags (no leaks). you can suck it down on the road a small bag at a time. Machka seems to have her self together. I heartily agree with the browse function as well as the trail mix. Cheerios seems like little nutrition for lots of space. I've been known to be wrong though.

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    Senior Member permanentjaun's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Bill Abbey
    My first question would be how long is the tour and why would you do this? None of my business, but the seafood (tuna shrimp etc) in a pouch will last for a long time, not take too much weight or space and provide a change from bland. Peanut butter and honey sandwiches last a long time. you can add sliced banana and makes em good. Larabar is a great nutition bar, but i haven't found them recently. Try three bean salad in tightly sealed bags (no leaks). you can suck it down on the road a small bag at a time. Machka seems to have her self together. I heartily agree with the browse function as well as the trail mix. Cheerios seems like little nutrition for lots of space. I've been known to be wrong though.

    It's a cross country tour so about 2 months. I was thinking it'd be better to stay away from canned foods simply because of the weight and that I would have to eat it's contents since it will spoil in a short time. That's why I also didn't consider bread. Although, peanut butter and bread is very delicious and would be a good food to fuel me easily. I wouldn't mind eating that every day and often so I could probably eat through the bread before it spoiled on me. I'll have to try it with honey too.

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    Senior Member permanentjaun's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by coyboy
    peanut butter sandwiches don't require cooking. bread takes up a lot of room though. I take lots of nuts (especially cashews) hiking becaue they have a high fat content. I also take balance bars, rasins, chese crackers, snickers, tuna in foil pouches, summer sausage, pringles chips etc. Basically, food without a lot of water (except fot the tuna in foil). I love the last bit of cherios in the box (you know the real fine dust). for backpacking I take a hammer aholt of some to get rid of the bulk and is it similar to the powder (not quite as good for some reason) and carry powdered milk.

    Coy Boy

    Peanut butter and bread seems to be a popular answer. Thanks for the cashews suggestion though. I completely forgot about nuts, but its more obvious now with the peanut butter suggestions. Cashews would be a great cheap snack food to keep me going. They wouldn't spoil. They're easily found at grocery stores, and are highly nutritious. Sounds like a good pick so far. I'm really trying to go for the bare basics to carry and any luxury foods I'll eat at restaurants.

    Is there any benefit that carrying snicks, pringles, summer sausage would give more than peanut butter sandwiches and cashews besides more variety?

  8. #8
    Long Distance Cyclist Machka's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by permanentjaun
    It's a cross country tour so about 2 months. I was thinking it'd be better to stay away from canned foods simply because of the weight and that I would have to eat it's contents since it will spoil in a short time. That's why I also didn't consider bread. Although, peanut butter and bread is very delicious and would be a good food to fuel me easily. I wouldn't mind eating that every day and often so I could probably eat through the bread before it spoiled on me. I'll have to try it with honey too.
    Bread will keep for about a week, and there are a lot of bread options out there. You can get small loaves of bread, buns of every shape and size and flavor, bagals, pita, crackers ....
    You can squash the fluffier breads and buns down if you need to carry them. They'll taste the same, they'll just be a different texture.

    You can also pick up cakes and muffins and things. It was approaching Christmas on my 3-month tour, so I ate a lot of fruit cake. Fruit cake keeps for a good week or more!

    Canned food will keep forever as long as the can isn't opened. Much longer than your 2 month tour! Tuna comes in two different sized cans - a larger one which would make 2-3 sandwiches, and a small one that'll make 1 sandwich. The small tins are often flavored ... lemon and pepper, dill, etc. etc. The small ones don't weigh much. You could carry 5 of them and hardly notice the weight. I've never seen the tuna pouches but they might be quite light too.

    I hate cooking in general (nevermind on a tour) ... but I like some variety in my meals. So what I'll do sometimes is just start at one end of the grocery store and walk up and down the aisles. I look at everything and debate about how much effort it would take to make ... the less effort the better! Sometimes the grocery stores come out with new products which can be interesting (like the small tins of flavored tuna). I would recommend taking a good look at what is available!

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    Senior Member permanentjaun's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Machka
    First, I couldn't imagine eating uncooked rice!! My teeth would fall apart!

    Second, what's wrong with sandwiches? Buy a loaf of bread, or a package of bagals or buns. You can squash them to make them fit in your panniers better and they'll still be fine. (That's how I ate bread for 3 months!) Then get stuff like little tins of tuna or chicken to make sandwiches. For the first day, you can get deli meat for the sandwiches, but I would use it up the first day so it doesn't go off. Processed cheese will last several days. And you can top your sandwiches up with some lettuce or cucumbers or tomatoes.

    For breakfast, you can get granola (musli) cereal with fruit and almonds and all sorts of good things, and you can pick up some milk, or powdered milk along the way.

    Some people I know buy tins of brown beans and eat them raw ... personally I'm not so fond of that idea, but they'd be quite nutritious.

    You can get trail mix with nuts and raisins and things for some variety ... and crackers ... and cookies ... and granola bars ... and cereal bars.

    Go to your local grocery store and browse!
    I was afraid of sandwiches because I'm not sure how quickly I'd be eating. There was also the space factor. Like I said, I want the bare minimum to keep going. Maybe I'll spoil myself every couple of days with some canned food.

    Trail mix/cashews and peanut butter honey sandwiches sounds like the best combo thus far for nutrition, cost, availability, weight, and space saving.

    With such high fat content foods like cashews and such, are power bars necessary?

  10. #10
    Senior Member permanentjaun's Avatar
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    Thanks for the great suggestions Machka.

    I'll admit that I think I'll be able to stomach eating peanut butter sandwiches more than I could eating tuna or other canned seafood. Something to consider

  11. #11
    Long Distance Cyclist Machka's Avatar
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    I don't know how often you've eaten power bars over the past few months, but let me tell you ... it is a rare person who can stand the things for more than a few weeks.

    I rarely eat any sort of energy bar anymore ... I go with granola bars, cereal bars, breakfast bars, dried fruit bars, cookies, pastries ... stuff like that.

  12. #12
    Banned. Bekologist's Avatar
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    juuan, you will eat a panniers worth of food every couple of days. you will NOT be able to resist. your caloric needs will be huge. don't worry about the food spoiling, unless you want to carry milk or steak tartar. and then there's dry milk for that problem.

    do you cook much at home, and how old are you? I'm curious because i see a lot of confusion on your part regarding foodstuffs, etc...

  13. #13
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    Quote Originally Posted by Machka
    I don't know how often you've eaten power bars over the past few months, but let me tell you ... it is a rare person who can stand the things for more than a few weeks.

    I rarely eat any sort of energy bar anymore ... I go with granola bars, cereal bars, breakfast bars, dried fruit bars, cookies, pastries ... stuff like that.
    +1

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    Senior Member permanentjaun's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Bekologist
    juuan, you will eat a panniers worth of food every couple of days. you will NOT be able to resist. your caloric needs will be huge. don't worry about the food spoiling, unless you want to carry milk or steak tartar. and then there's dry milk for that problem.

    do you cook much at home, and how old are you? I'm curious because i see a lot of confusion on your part regarding foodstuffs, etc...

    22 - Recent college grad. I stuck to the dining halls on campus rather than trying to cook. Hehe. I make some killer pancakes though, even without butter or things like berries or chocolate chips.

    Anyways, I know I'll need to eat A LOT of food while touring. I know I won't be able to resist. I was just thinking that if you eat in town almost as much as eating what you bring might lead to some food spoiling. My tour will begin in may in Arizona as well. The heat is going to be cooking my food even if I don't want it to.

  15. #15
    Long Distance Cyclist Machka's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by permanentjaun
    22 - Recent college grad. I stuck to the dining halls on campus rather than trying to cook. Hehe. I make some killer pancakes though, even without butter or things like berries or chocolate chips.
    Ah, that explains a lot!!

    See ... here's how it works. You cycle into a town and go to the local grocery store. I usually did this before setting up camp, but if you want to set up camp and then go to the local grocery store that's your choice. At the grocery store:

    1) I would buy enough food for supper that night ... and that food could definitely be perishable. That's when you go for deli meat, yogurt, cheese, muffins, etc.
    2) I would also buy enough for breakfast in the morning ... usually granola cereal because it's got a lot of calories and some substance to it, and milk. Your milk will last overnight - just get a small carton.
    3) And I would buy enough for the next day ... things like the tins of tuna, or in your case peanut butter, bread, buns, pita, English muffins, or whatever, granola bars, cereal bars, cookies, etc. etc.

    That was a daily routine.

    If I knew it would be a couple days between grocery stores, I'd stock up on enough things that wouldn't perish within 24 hours to get me through.

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    VWVagabonds.com Losligato's Avatar
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    1 Package Whole wheat tortillas
    1 Handful instant refried bean mix (add water)
    Any available vegetables finely chopped

    Wrap up in cling wrap or foil and eat while pedaling.
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    In Summer, when touring by myself, I don't mind NOT having a stove. Fruits and vegetables are in season and I do wonders with those... and some nuts. But I didn't like it too much when it's cold and in areas with horrible vegetables (ex.: Newfoundland).
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    Regarding bread, there's the (originally Swedish) crispbread. It's lightweight and non-perishable, has fibers, carbs and minerals. It's my choice of bread for longer paddle tours for example, where one may have to go for days without re-supply.

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    Senior Member staehpj1's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by permanentjaun
    I would like to tour without a stove. It is weight I feel I can do without
    Lots of good answers already. Breads and foil packed tuna (take serving sized foil packs of mayo from a fast food restaurant) are nice as is peanut butter and jelly or honey.

    Going stoveless is fine, but if weight or cost are the sole reasons you may want to reconsider. Cost or weight are just not that big of a factor if you use a Pepsi can stove or even some commercial stoves (Trangia for one). The Pepsi can stove is essentially free and weighs about 1/3 ounce. The fuel is cheap but obviously weighs more than the stove. Even if you don't want to really cook, the ability to boil water allows you to add stuff like ramen noodles, instant rice, instant potatoes, soft-boiled eggs, and instant oatmeal to your diet. The hot water is also nice when cleaning up.

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Beverage-can_stove

  20. #20
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    The fear of cans is justified but now there are resealable pouches. Those are fantastic if you are worried about weight and spoilage.

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    If you are dead set on having a bread, haul tortillas with you. They will last forever (well not really but I have had them go over 2 weeks on a long haul backpacking trip. The foil pouches are a godsend too. But as most people have pointed out you will be hitting towns on a fairly regular basis and can replenish as necessary. I usually carry a very small MSR stove to boil water with for a hot drink on a cold day. Nothing brings cheer like a hot cup of tea or cider after riding in a 50*f cold rain all day.

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    Senior Member eric von zipper's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Machka
    I don't know how often you've eaten power bars over the past few months, but let me tell you ... it is a rare person who can stand the things for more than a few weeks.

    I rarely eat any sort of energy bar anymore ... I go with granola bars, cereal bars, breakfast bars, dried fruit bars, cookies, pastries ... stuff like that.
    I'm a big fan of Payday candy bars as a sub for energy/power bars.
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    Senior Member staehpj1's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Losligato
    1 Package Whole wheat tortillas
    1 Handful instant refried bean mix (add water)
    Any available vegetables finely chopped

    Wrap up in cling wrap or foil and eat while pedaling.
    Instant refried bean mix! I didn't know such a thing existed. I will definitely check that out.

  24. #24
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    Peanut butter, tortillas, granola, peanut butter, honey (double wrapped!), summer sausage, peanut butter, foil-packaged tuna (not canned), cheese, crackers, peanut butter, occasional candy bar, trail mix, mixed nuts, peanut butter, bagels, beans, fruits & veggies, peanut butter, bananas, granola, and always some peanut butter.
    Safe, efficient, and comfortable transportation.

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    I can't imagine going on a tour without a stove. You can make your own from just a small cat food can and run it with alcohol. It weighs almost nothing and the fuel weight is nowhere near that of water. Just check out this link of homemade gear and make your own stove and other neat stuff as well.
    http://www.backpacking.net/makegear.html

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