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Non-cook touring/camping food?

Old 09-25-15, 01:48 PM
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El Gato27
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Non-cook touring/camping food?

Planning an overnight trip to a near-by state park as a starter trip. Planning to leave mid-afternoon, spend ~3 hours on the road, camp overnight and head back the next day. Trying to keep it as simple as possible. To that end I was thinking of leaving the stove at home. I have a short list of non-cook foods below and can surely manage with that for an overnight trip, but was just wondering what other options are available.

Summer sausage, peanut butter sandwiches, cereal with nuts or dried fruit, tuna in prepackaged pouches, granola bars, sliced bread like Hudson Bay bread, cheese whiz, trail mix.

I have seen a few articles where people mention that they do not cook food and instead eat cold food while camping; however, most of those articles assume you have a method of keeping food cold (ice chest).

Thanks.
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Old 09-25-15, 01:54 PM
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Check out this thread: Instant Foods, Cooking-free?
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Old 09-25-15, 02:21 PM
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How far from the park is a store? Or better yet a store with a deli and/or restaurant? I think it better to eat then camp, or buy at store just before camping. That way you can buy stuff that would otherwise spoil, and you don't have to carry the weight of several days food. Plus then some cold beer can be acquired. I also carry an "emergency meal" of freeze dried backpack food in case.
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Old 09-25-15, 02:26 PM
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Bagels or English muffins don't squeeze as much as bread slices, so some people prefer them.

Fruit is good; bananas are usually OK for half a day if they're not too ripe, oranges, apples, and pears travel well and are satisfying.

Cheese is fine (at least up to 90F) without refrigeration for a day or two. Kraft's zip-lock packaging keeps it neat.

Pop-tarts can be eaten cold, although they might crumble they're still edible if you can wash them down.
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Old 09-25-15, 02:44 PM
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I take it you are not a coffee drinker? Fruit or dried fruit. For an overnight, you could bring almost anything, even cold pizza. Don't forget the cork screw.

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Old 09-25-15, 02:47 PM
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A bag of nuts and a bag of raisins is always handy in my pack or pockets. Some foods that are usually cooked but can be eaten uncooked are instant mashed potatoes (add cold water and let sit five minutes), ramen noodles (eat like a big, cheap 200 calorie *******), couscous. Tortillas are a good bread to pack and are available almost every where. They last up to a week in my pack. Leave the Cheese Whiz at home and bring real cheese. Hard cheese lasts longer, days in temperate weather. Carry peanut butter on hotter days. Fig Newtons are good cookies. Salty crackers like Wheat Thins taste good with cheese or PB. With the weight savings of not carrying a cook kit, I can justify carrying more fresh fruit and veg.

I went stoveless on my last cross-USA tour, 4500 miles, and have hiked a few of the long trails in the US (AT, PCT, CDT) without a stove. Stoveless keeps things very simple and my traveling got better when I tried it. Good luck on your tour.

Edit: The asterisks above blanked out the work c*r*a*c*k*e*r. Weird.
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Old 09-25-15, 02:51 PM
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There's a Jack in the Box and convenience store about 6 miles away. The park store sells ice, drinks and candy (and souvenirs). Don't necessarily need food for this trip, just thinking down the road, on longer trips. Thanks again.
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Old 09-25-15, 02:52 PM
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Food for thought. Some foodie pioneers are experimenting cooking some things with fresh squeezed lemon juice to break down the meat in a way similar to cooking without cooking but chemical reaction type stuff. Something about science food experiments. Was either on Bourdain or the guy who eats gross stuff on travel channel. Could revolutionize camp cooking.
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Old 09-25-15, 03:24 PM
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Some folks have no luck with their on-board provisions....
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Old 09-25-15, 04:36 PM
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One great thing about eating on a bike tour is that on most tours you never need to carry more than a days worth of food. So it doesn't weigh you down too much or need to keep very long.

The foods you mentioned are a good start. Regular bread will keep for a few days, tortillas will keep for a month, crackers with keep for decades. If you like milk, either to drink or on your cereal, Nido powdered whole milk is great, also there are ultralong shelf life cartons of milk. If you buy regular milk it will still be fine to drink a few hours later. Avocados, carrots, and other veggies keep for a while. Shredded cabbage keeps pretty long as a lettuce substitute in wraps. Freeze dried hummus is pretty good and you just add water. Hard cheeses look nasty if kept in the heat but remain edible.

Another option is to just pick up a subway sub or a sandwich from a grocery store, deli, or diner earlier in the day.
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Old 09-25-15, 07:17 PM
  #11  
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Originally Posted by TheLibrarian View Post
Food for thought. Some foodie pioneers are experimenting cooking some things with fresh squeezed lemon juice to break down the meat in a way similar to cooking without cooking but chemical reaction type stuff. Something about science food experiments. Was either on Bourdain or the guy who eats gross stuff on travel channel. Could revolutionize camp cooking.
Using lemon juice or vinegar to "cook" fish has been a long-accepted culinary practice. I've not tried it myself yet, but I can imagine that with the right fish and herbs it would be nice. However, the point here really is that for camping by bicycle, there is a need to either keep meat from spoiling between purchase and eating, or using cryovac sealed products which still need to be eaten entirely after opening.

I still think the humble salad sandwich is way underrated as a rounded meal. If you can call into a grocery store/supermarket along the way and pick up some of the stuff, such as sealed-pack ham slices, small packs of cheese, a small lettuce, a tomato or two, and maybe even some sort of spread, plus a loaf of decent bread, and even catering blocks of margarine or butter, you can have a great spread that evening, and with some sort of sweet spread, the leftovers for breakfast.

It's also a good idea to carry salt and pepper if you like seasoning. Maybe even some chilli powder if you are into that sort of flavouring. Cheese seems to be one of my staples in my touring activities.

C-rackers can last well if you pack them so they don't get crushed; anything that is canned is going to be at the top of the survival heap; stuff that needs to be kept coolish between store and campsite late in the afternoon can be packed into the middle of a pannier wrapped in clothing; and think about some of the prepacked meals that at home would only need heating -- they are already precooked and if you can come at eating them cold, then you're home and hosed.
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Old 09-25-15, 08:01 PM
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Originally Posted by Rowan View Post
Using lemon juice or vinegar to "cook" fish has been a long-accepted culinary practice.
Ceviche is very popular in Latin America. It is essentially cubes of raw fish (or other seafoods) "cooked" in lemon juice. It is very good.
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Old 09-25-15, 09:35 PM
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Nobody mentioned vienna sausage and Dinty Moores beef stew. Bring a can opener for the can of whatever that doesn't have a pop top. A sub sandwich with mustard dressing will be safe to eat for several hours, even in the summer. Same for pizza.

It's easy to feed yourself all the way across the country with no cooking at all. OTOH, how are you going to manage that hot cup of pre-pedal coffee without a burner?
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Old 09-25-15, 10:10 PM
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So two meals? I'd cook up a bunch of basmati rice and put it in a big ziplock. Bring 2-4 packs of Tasty Bite Indian food. Tastes great cold, to me. Some of the spicy ones might be too much for breakfast for some people.
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Old 09-25-15, 10:54 PM
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Wow!
you really struck a nerve.

most people here have lived without warm food for weeks on end.

there is a town every 30 miles (or so).

it is the least of your worries.

worry about something else.
have fun!!!!
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Old 09-25-15, 11:10 PM
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With lots of altitude gain and long days alpine climbing I used to carry a hard salami with a large brick of the hardest cheese I could find. A bunch of Canadian Crackers - Stoned Wheat and lots of water. I would snack on it all day long so at the end of the day a quick meal of the same along with some GORP kept me fueled. I always enjoyed a cup of hot tea - Sweet Touch Nee or one of the British blends like Tetley or PG Tipps with some creamer (you used to be able to get the individual serving of half and half that did not require refrigeration and some sugar cubes. Other than the tea there was really no cooking required. Add some bananas, apples, oranges or other easily carried fruit and you are good to go. I would often opt for dried fruit because it was easy to carry and did not weigh as much. Also love dried candied ginger - good for the digestion. A nice glass of chardonnay at the end of the day was also a welcome treat. Hate carrying bottled wine though.

Also used to try Long Range Patrol Rations (US Army), but seldom C Rations. The new Meals Ready to Eat are pretty good also.
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Old 09-25-15, 11:26 PM
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When I am camping in bear country I try to keep smelly foods to a minimum. Even though you can hang it in a tree, the scent still attracts animals. My personal favorite is canned beans (I know, I know). Good, slow release energy, filling, and you can eat them cold out of the can so no washing up. "There are levels of survival we are prepared to accept".
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Old 09-26-15, 06:14 AM
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Originally Posted by El Gato27 View Post
Planning an overnight trip to a near-by state park as a starter trip. Planning to leave mid-afternoon, spend ~3 hours on the road, camp overnight and head back the next day. Trying to keep it as simple as possible. To that end I was thinking of leaving the stove at home. I have a short list of non-cook foods below and can surely manage with that for an overnight trip, but was just wondering what other options are available.

Summer sausage, peanut butter sandwiches, cereal with nuts or dried fruit, tuna in prepackaged pouches, granola bars, sliced bread like Hudson Bay bread, cheese whiz, trail mix.

I have seen a few articles where people mention that they do not cook food and instead eat cold food while camping; however, most of those articles assume you have a method of keeping food cold (ice chest).

Thanks.
Sounds good to me. I almost always carry a stove, if for nothing else than to boil water. I am a coffee/tea drinker and I ain't gonna move in the morning without a cuppa joe. YMMV. I had a week long tour where it was hot, other than coffee in the morning everything else was eaten out of the can or raw, didn't want to hassle of cooking. One thing I do when touring and on longer rides is look for the produce stands. Plenty of good stuff that can be eaten as is.

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Old 09-26-15, 07:30 AM
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Originally Posted by LesterOfPuppets View Post
So two meals? I'd cook up a bunch of basmati rice and put it in a big ziplock.
Warning. Cooked rice can contain live spores of Bacillus Cereus which can multiply in warm condition , causing horrible food poisoning. Chef's best practice is to cool down rice ASAP and refrigerate <5C.
Japanese sushi was developed as a way of preserving rice using acid vinegar which inhibits bacteria.
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Old 09-26-15, 07:40 AM
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No cook foods:
Tins of fish in sauce.
Rye bread.
Chorizo or preserved sausage.
Museli and yogourt
Sachets of salt, pepper, sauce.

You may still want some food prep utensils: Plate, cup, fork/spoon/spork, flexy plastic cutting board .
I have used a few stacked disposable plastic cups and a plastic teaspoon for ultralight carry.
Cerviche sounds good if you can find fish, but you can't carry it for too long. Check recipies for timing, they usually warn against over-stewing in lemon juice.
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Old 09-26-15, 03:11 PM
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Originally Posted by wahoonc View Post
Sounds good to me. I almost always carry a stove, if for nothing else than to boil water. I am a coffee/tea drinker and I ain't gonna move in the morning without a cuppa joe.
I am that way at home, but less so on tour. I usually get going with a granola bar and some water, but do stop for breakfast at a diner pretty often if there is one available. If not I snack on whatever I happen to have available. So on some tours I only get my coffee when/if I stop at diners. I have experimented with cold Via with Nido and sugar while backpacking, but have not used it on a bike tour.

I too usually carry a stove. I don't usually find cooking to be much bother and the weight of my cooking setup is minimal. My various cooking/eating choices vary, but at least one setup is 7 ounces, so I don't usually leave it home for weight reasons. I usually only go cook-less for breakfast and lunch, most often cooking something at dinner time.
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Old 09-26-15, 03:23 PM
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Originally Posted by MichaelW View Post
Warning. Cooked rice can contain live spores of Bacillus Cereus which can multiply in warm condition , causing horrible food poisoning. Chef's best practice is to cool down rice ASAP and refrigerate <5C.
Japanese sushi was developed as a way of preserving rice using acid vinegar which inhibits bacteria.
Interesting. I've eaten day old rice a few times, haven't got sick. Guess I should pack it with some Blue Ice.
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