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Lightweight food suggestions for 3 day mini tour

Old 04-25-16, 05:53 PM
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Lightweight food suggestions for 3 day mini tour

Hi All,
I'm interested in what commonly available lighter weight foods you take along on tours with little to no available food resupply stops along the way. I'm doing a 3 day mini tour next month & want to roll out as self-sufficient as possible, as the route is very rural, and part of a group ride for which I'm not the navigator. I am taking a trangia burner with diy pot stand & foil windscreen, along with a 1400 ml titanium cookpot with tiny-frying-pan-lid. The pot has a reflectix cozy to conserve fuel. My thoughts so far: instant coffee, oatmeal packets, ramen noodles supplemented with my own spices, hot sauce packets& tvp, protein granola bars or clif bars, and maybe small jar of pb plus some tortillas or pita. The campsite is a state park with potable water available. I'm looking for suggestions here to add things I might not have considered. Even if your suggestion is not particularly lightweight, but you remember it fondly as being an awesome trail meal, please share your wisdom. Sorry if this has already been covered. C'mon, who doesn't like to talk about food!
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Old 04-25-16, 06:45 PM
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Originally Posted by scroungetech
Hi All,
I'm interested in what commonly available lighter weight foods you take along on tours with little to no available food resupply stops along the way. I'm doing a 3 day mini tour next month & want to roll out as self-sufficient as possible, as the route is very rural, and part of a group ride for which I'm not the navigator. I am taking a trangia burner with diy pot stand & foil windscreen, along with a 1400 ml titanium cookpot with tiny-frying-pan-lid. The pot has a reflectix cozy to conserve fuel. My thoughts so far: instant coffee, oatmeal packets, ramen noodles supplemented with my own spices, hot sauce packets& tvp, protein granola bars or clif bars, and maybe small jar of pb plus some tortillas or pita. The campsite is a state park with potable water available. I'm looking for suggestions here to add things I might not have considered. Even if your suggestion is not particularly lightweight, but you remember it fondly as being an awesome trail meal, please share your wisdom. Sorry if this has already been covered. C'mon, who doesn't like to talk about food!
You've listed all the classics already except mac and cheese and trail mix. Maybe bring a pack or two of Tang or the equivalent.
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Old 04-25-16, 08:00 PM
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You going to cook for a bunch of people with that setup? And are they going to share the food carrying chores? It's about 7 miles (870" of climbing) from the market in White Haven to the campground. Unless you are willing to ride back to re-supply, that seems like a lot of food (dinners, breakfasts and lunches for two days) for a bunch of people. And I wouldn't count on taking anything perishable in the event it's a warm/hot weekend.

In any event, I would add a head of fresh garlic.
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Old 04-25-16, 08:57 PM
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Since you're able to prep the meals before the trip, I'd suggest thinking like a lightweight backpacker. Andrew Skurka has some good dinner recipes that I've used: Backpacking Breakfast & Dinner Meal Ideas
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Old 04-25-16, 09:40 PM
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i forget the brand name...been away from the us for
more'n a decade now....maybe betty crocker? or
generic clones at wally world will do.

pasta meal packets. would be a foil envelope containing
some flat pasta and cheese powder. creamy white cheese.
not really filling...you'd need two, or could stretch by adding
some more pasta and some spam. super yummy.

or depending on distance and temps, take a hunk of high-
fat cheese and make a groovy cheese sauce. add spam,
of course. everything is better with spam!
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Old 04-25-16, 09:51 PM
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Correction, not better, but wonderful!

(In not even sure if I've ever had span, it so, probably 30 40 years ago.)

There is always a can of tuna and or some powered sauce to go with pasta, a bit heavy but there are probably other protein alternatives that are lighter. Great thing with pasta, you can pretty much add anything and it's still good.
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Old 04-25-16, 11:14 PM
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I hiked Glacier Park for a couple weeks two summers when I was in high school. I don't remember dying on a diet of oatmeal for breakfast, ramen noodles for lunch, trail mix, and fresh fish (YMMV on this bit) and instant potatoes for dinner. Wasn't glamorous, but kept me energized enough to run from a moose once.

That said, its been a rare state park for me that didn't have some sort of general store in close vicinity.
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Old 04-26-16, 03:25 AM
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Originally Posted by indyfabz
You going to cook for a bunch of people with that setup? And are they going to share the food carrying chores? It's about 7 miles (870" of climbing) from the market in White Haven to the campground. Unless you are willing to ride back to re-supply, that seems like a lot of food (dinners, breakfasts and lunches for two days) for a bunch of people. And I wouldn't count on taking anything perishable in the event it's a warm/hot weekend.

In any event, I would add a head of fresh garlic.
So far the friend who thought up this trip has not provided much detail on group vs individual responsibilities. I'm not carrying food for everyone, I'll tell ya that much. I need to contact them & see what they're thinking as to all these details.
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Old 04-26-16, 03:25 AM
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Thanks everyone for the input!
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Old 04-26-16, 04:04 AM
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Originally Posted by scroungetech
So far the friend who thought up this trip has not provided much detail on group vs individual responsibilities. I'm not carrying food for everyone, I'll tell ya that much. I need to contact them & see what they're thinking as to all these details.
He/she also needs to think about food storage:

"Attention All Campers: Because of an active bear population, overnight guests are required to store all food and any scented items such as toothpaste, deodorant, and dish soap in their vehicle while away from their site. This includes when leaving the site for even a short period of time, day or night. Park staff will enforce these rules and failure to comply may result in a citation."

I would call the park to ask about bear lockers.

And since there will be a group, he/she needs to consider how many sites will be needed. There is a maximum number of people allowed per site.

BTW, if Hickory Run doesn't work out, there is a private campground in White Haven on PA 940. That would solve the food carrying issue:

LEHIGH GORGE CAMPGROUND - Home

[HR][/HR]
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Old 04-26-16, 08:38 AM
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Originally Posted by indyfabz
He/she also needs to think about food storage:

"Attention All Campers: Because of an active bear population, overnight guests are required to store all food and any scented items such as toothpaste, deodorant, and dish soap in their vehicle while away from their site. This includes when leaving the site for even a short period of time, day or night. Park staff will enforce these rules and failure to comply may result in a citation."

I would call the park to ask about bear lockers.

And since there will be a group, he/she needs to consider how many sites will be needed. There is a maximum number of people allowed per site.

BTW, if Hickory Run doesn't work out, there is a private campground in White Haven on PA 940. That would solve the food carrying issue:

LEHIGH GORGE CAMPGROUND - Home

[HR][/HR]
Yes, thanks Indyfabz. We've already got reservations, max group size of 10, probably more like 6. And I do know about the bear thing & have called them & they do have public-use food lockers in the campground. I've spent a cumulative total of 2 years of my life camping, from Scouts to Phish tour & etc. So the camping isn't new, it's just the added cycling that is the recent addition to the mix. I know I'll be just fine for personal details, I just think I'll have a better experience if the rest of the group is also enjoying themselves as well. In her defense, the trip planner has toured before, and the rest of the group all see her f2f regularly, so this conversation is already ongoing. I'm trying to not try to steer from the back & see how she does.

Last edited by scroungetech; 04-26-16 at 09:05 AM. Reason: Clarity
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Old 04-26-16, 08:59 AM
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Couple of thoughts. I like rolled oats, not instant. Try some dried apples( lightweight) and raisins with the oatmeal. I also carry some of those .5 oz shelf stable creamers. 2 for the coffee, 2 for the oatmeal. Starbucks via instant coffee is pretty good. For my short tours I always get one freeze dried meal from REI for a plan B. Lightweight, just add hot water. Got some Mountain House chill mac last year. Not light weight but great energy and shelf stable, some good quality salami or pepperoni. Stores also sell tuna and smoked salmon in foil pouches too, good source for protein.
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Old 04-26-16, 09:34 AM
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A 3 day trip is not much, you do not need to get too worried about weight. (Saying that you don't have to be too lightweight is blasphemy to some on this board, but life is too short to eat bad.) I assume 3 days means two breakfasts and two suppers, that is not much at all.

I really like pasta when camping.



You can throw some meat and veggies into a rice meal quite easily, it is fast and easy.



But if you bring any eggs, be careful how you pack them. They can break.



Bears are not the only ones to worry about.



If you are not used to cooking outdoors much, you might want to try them at home first.
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Old 04-26-16, 09:42 AM
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Hard boiled eggs will keep for a while. Beef/turkey jerky if you like salt and protein. Tuna in foil packs. I always carry a freeze dried meal as a back up (usually Mountain House beef stroganoff).
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Old 04-26-16, 10:27 AM
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Couscous, a small can of seasoned tuna (I like spicy thai chili) with green onions and small bell peppers. Tortillas take little room too, again with tuna or ha. Bring some mayo packets. Home made banana bread is dense.

If you do a lot of short tours, a dehydrator might be a good idea. For about 100$, you get one with a couple of fruit roll trays. I bought one last year to make backpacking meals but I've also dehydrated food for storage at home. I should've bought one years ago.
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Old 04-26-16, 11:04 AM
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One way to cut food weight is to carry fats instead of carbs. Fats have roughly twice the calories per unit weight as carbs (and protein). Commonly packed foods high in fat are nuts, nut butters and cheese. Tortillas are generally fattier than other breads, and pack pretty well.

An example--peanut butter has 190 cal/oz, jelly only has 100 cal/oz.

On summer tours, I don't carry a stove. I carry a stack of tortillas and a block of cheese, muesli I make from rolled oats with raisins and lots of nuts, crackers and peanut butter, a bag of nuts and a bag of raisins for snacks. Most days I stop for a cooked meal at a cafe.
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Old 04-26-16, 11:28 AM
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Ramen Noodles weigh very little ..
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Old 04-26-16, 01:40 PM
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Originally Posted by andrewclaus
One way to cut food weight is to carry fats instead of carbs. Fats have roughly twice the calories per unit weight as carbs (and protein). Commonly packed foods high in fat are nuts, nut butters and cheese. Tortillas are generally fattier than other breads, and pack pretty well.

An example--peanut butter has 190 cal/oz, jelly only has 100 cal/oz.

On summer tours, I don't carry a stove. I carry a stack of tortillas and a block of cheese, muesli I make from rolled oats with raisins and lots of nuts, crackers and peanut butter, a bag of nuts and a bag of raisins for snacks. Most days I stop for a cooked meal at a cafe.
i recommend a bag of walnuts
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Old 04-26-16, 09:52 PM
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Try kitcheree, Indian-style "urad dal" lentils & white rice. Takes about 30 minutes to cook but super-nutritious & easy. Dry lentils & rice are quite light; give a classic balance of digestible carbs & protein. Add additional protein/veg/spice as desired. Instant oatmeal & ramen noodles are lacking nutritionally with much salt, lack of fiber etc.
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Old 04-26-16, 09:58 PM
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Originally Posted by fietsbob
Ramen Noodles weigh very little ..
They'll take care of your sodium for the day (...week, and probably month...) too!

Unless you're my uncle and eat about ten of them before commenting how bland they are, and then having everyone tell you you have to open the packet and dump it into the water.
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Old 04-27-16, 10:51 PM
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Originally Posted by jefnvk
They'll take care of your sodium for the day (...week, and probably month...) too!

Unless you're my uncle and eat about ten of them before commenting how bland they are, and then having everyone tell you you have to open the packet and dump it into the water.
Heh, ramen can be eaten right out of the bag like a big rice "cake". I'm not sure why anyone with a touch of cooking skill would tote greasy salty ramen noodles vs using regular dried pasta. Morning after eating ramen for dinner I get puffy eyes & acne, one single-serving ramen is not esp high calorie anyway. A lightweight & healthier alternative to pasta is German/Scandinavian whole-rye crisp bread. I also like brown-rice (dried) cakes though they are somewhat bulky.
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Old 04-28-16, 05:40 AM
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Originally Posted by scroungetech
Yes, thanks Indyfabz. We've already got reservations, max group size of 10, probably more like 6. And I do know about the bear thing & have called them & they do have public-use food lockers in the campground. I've spent a cumulative total of 2 years of my life camping, from Scouts to Phish tour & etc. So the camping isn't new, it's just the added cycling that is the recent addition to the mix. I know I'll be just fine for personal details, I just think I'll have a better experience if the rest of the group is also enjoying themselves as well. In her defense, the trip planner has toured before, and the rest of the group all see her f2f regularly, so this conversation is already ongoing. I'm trying to not try to steer from the back & see how she does.
Sounds like a plan. Personally, other than snacks for the road, I would wait until White Haven to buy "overnight" groceries. That way, you would only have to carry them for 8 miles.

And that's good to know about food storage. One pet peeve of mine about some places is that they don't have facilities (e.g., camp sinks) for people not traveling in RVs. Many years ago I stayed at a U.S.F.S. campground just outside of W. Yellowstone. The place was popular and was run by a concession business. The place had a bear locker but no camp sink,.One of the workers told me to dump my grey water down a ground squirrel hole.
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Old 04-28-16, 07:16 AM
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Originally Posted by Erick L
Couscous, a small can of seasoned tuna (I like spicy thai chili) with green onions and small bell peppers. Tortillas take little room too, again with tuna or ha. Bring some mayo packets. Home made banana bread is dense.
Another vote for couscous here. Put it in a plastic bag and it is easy to pack into small nooks and crannies. It's quick and easy to cook, just boil water, add couscous and wait 5 mins. And it's versatile as you can add lots of savory flavorings or throw in some fruit, nuts and honey for something sweet.

My other food favorites are usually flat as they are easy to pack. So flat breads like tortillas, cheese and salami. I find teabags simpler than brewing coffee when I camp and I like fig newtons with it.
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Old 04-28-16, 07:22 AM
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Old 04-28-16, 07:53 AM
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I don't think anybody mentioned GORP (good old raisin and peanuts). I would definitely carry a good quantity (500g per person per day).

For more traditional meals, dehydrated mashed potatoes are hard to beat. Mixed with tuna (in oil) makes a decent meal. Rice is probably even better.

So, oatmeal and coffee for breakfast, GORP under way and rice + garnish (dehydrated vegetables, tuna).

Peanut butter is very efficient but eating it by the spoonful is not for me, and tortillas / pita bread travel just so-so.
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