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Backpacking Recipes


Updated July 1, 2009

Carole's and Ken's Ketchikan Couscous

By Carole and Ken Harbison

At home, combine in a ziplock bag:
1/3 cup Fantastic Foods whole wheat couscous
2 Tbsp. nonfat dried milk
2 Tbsp. chopped dried dates
1/2 Tbsp. brown sugar
1/16 tsp. salt
1/8 tsp. cinnamon
2 Tbsp. chopped walnuts or pecans

On the Trail:
Heat 2/3 cup water to boiling. Stir in the mix of dry ingredients and cook for 2 minutes. Cover and remove from heat. Allow to stand until the liquid is absorbed and the couscous is tender, about 5 minutes.
Makes 1 serving
460 calories
24% calories from fat
11 g fiber

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Mel's Cabbage Salad

by Ron Mercel (recipe from the ADK Loj)

1 head cabbage, shredded or cut small
1 bunch scallions, cut into 1/2 inch pieces (use both green and white parts)
1/2 cup almonds, sliced or slivered
2 T sesame seeds
1 package ramen noodles

1/3 cup vegetable or olive oil
1/3 cup vinegar
1/3 cup sugar
2 t black pepper Seasoning pack from ramen noodles (chicken or oriental flavor)

Toast almonds in a skillet or oven -- keep careful watch to avoid burning.
Toast sesame seeds the same way.
Mix the cabbage, scallions, almonds and sesame seeds together in a large bowl.
Mix the dressing ingredients together.
Bash the uncooked ramen noodles into small pieces.
Five minutes before serving, add the ramen noodles and dressing to the cabbage mixture.

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Raspberry White Chocolate Pie

by Cathy Quinn

1 cup heavy cream
2 Tbs. superfine sugar
1/2 tsp. vanilla
2 Tbs. raspberry liqueur
4 oz white chocolate
2 cups raspberries
One 8-inch chocolate crust

Beat together 1 cup heavy cream, 2 Tbs. superfine sugar, 1/2 tsp. vanilla, and 2 Tbs. raspberry liqueur until soft peaks form. Fold in 4 oz. melted white chocolate; then fold in 2 cups raspberries. Pour into an 8 in. chocolate crust; chill one hour.

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Gail's Baked Beans

By Gail Soucy

2 cans of butter beans, partially drained (other beans can be used)
3/4 cup brown sugar
1/2 cup ketchup
1 t mustard
1 small onion, chopped and sauteed in a little oil
cooked bacon (optional)

Bake at 350 degrees for approx. 1 hour.

(This bean dish was a hit at the May potluck dinner.)

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Chocolate Raspberry Delight

by Ken Harbison

1 - 3.5 oz pkg Cook and Serve Chocolate Pudding mix
2/3 cup nonfat dry milk
1 ounce Just Raspberries (1 cup)(available at Lori's Natural Foods, etc.)
2 cups water added on the trail

At home:
Each item can be carried separately or the pudding and the milk can be combined in a quart-sized freezer bag, with the raspberries carried separately.

On the trail:
Stir dry milk and pudding mix into two cups water in a pot. Heat until the mixture comes to a full boil, stirring CONSTANTLY. It is helpful to have a heat disperser to minimize scorching.
Divide the raspberries between zipper-lock bags or other serving containers. Pour the cooked pudding over the raspberries.
Serve warm or cold. If not eaten immediately, cover to prevent a crust from forming.

Makes 2-3 servings. 7 oz and 720 calories total

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Simple Sweet and Sour (backpack recipe)

By Ken Harbison

1 cup instant rice
1 carrot
1/2 cup candied pineapple tidbits
5-7 oz. chicken or shrimp (can or 7-oz pouch)
4 oz. prepared Sweet & Sour sauce (Blue Dragon pouch, or repackage from a jar)

Boil instant rice with an equal volume of water for 1 minute then allow to stand.
Meanwhile, slice the carrot thinly. Cover with water and boil 6 minutes. Then add the pineapple, and drain off most of the water. Add remaining ingredients and heat to boiling with stirring. Serve over rice.

Makes 2 servings
about 600 calories per serving

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Deluxe Sweet and Sour (backpack recipe)

By Ken Harbison

1 cup instant rice
1 carrot
1/2 pkg dry sweet & sour sauce mix plus specified ingredients
1 small onion, sliced
1/2 green pepper, sliced or 2 Tbsp freeze-dried sweet peppers
1 sun-dried tomato, chopped (opt)
1/2 cup candied pineapple tidbits
4 slices sweet pickle, quartered
5-7 oz. chicken or shrimp (can or 7-oz pouch)
2 oz. chow mein noodles (opt)

Boil instant rice with an equal volume of water for 1 minute then allow to stand.
Meanwhile, slice the carrot thinly. Add dried vegetables and the liquids specified on the sauce packet. Bring to a boil and simmer covered for 6 minutes. Add the remaining ingredients, except noodles. Heat to boiling with stirring and simmer until thickened (about 1 minute). Serve over rice, and top with noodles, if desired.

Note: If the sauce mix calls for vinegar, one may substitute water plus 1/4 tsp citric acid

Makes 2 servings

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Grasshopper Dessert (backpack recipe)

By Ken Harbison

1 pkg. instant pistachio pudding mix
2/3 cup instant dry milk
13 oz. cold water
1-liter Nalgene bottle
12 chocolate Oreo cookies
2-6 tsp. crème de menthe and/or crème de cacao (carry in a small plastic bottle)

Measure 13 oz of cold water into a Nalgene bottle. Add dry milk and shake. Add the pudding mix and shake vigorously for two minutes.
Pour individual servings into zipper-lock sandwich bags or other containers. Allow to stand 5 to 30 minutes in as cool a location as practical. Wash the bottle promptly.
To serve, break cookies into quarters and place on or in the pudding. Top with the liqueur.

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Backpacker's Spaghetti

By Ken Harbison

26-oz bottle of spaghetti sauce.
12-14 oz thin spaghetti
4 Tbsp Parmesan cheese

Optional ingredients
1/2-1 cup granular TVP
1/2-1 cup dehydrated hamburger
1/2 oz dried mushrooms
1/4 tsp garlic powder
1 oz olive oil

makes 4 generous servings
500+ calories per serving

To dry spaghetti sauce in an oven: Place food wrap on a 11" x 17" cookie sheet or equivalent. Spread the sauce uniformly, not over 1/4" thick, and place in a 140° F oven. When the top is dry, place fresh wrap over the top, invert, discard the first wrap, then continue heating until uniformly dry. If using a dehydrator instead, protect fruit-leather trays with food wrap; do not block the ventilation holes.
Cut the dried sauce into small pieces with kitchen shears.

On the Trail: Put the dried sauce in 18-20 oz of water; add any optional dried ingredients with an equivalent volume of water. Heat to boiling with stirring. Keep warm for 10-15 minutes, stirring regularly. Meanwhile, in a separate pot, cook the spaghetti until done (6-8 min. for thin spaghetti). Drain and serve with sauce; top with cheese.

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Backpacker's Coleslaw

by Ken Harbison

1 cup white wine
1 cup vinegar
2 tsp. lemon juice
1 tsp. celery seed or caraway seed
1 tsp. ground mustard (or 2 tsp. prepared)
1 tsp. salt
2 cups sugar
1 medium cabbage, cored
2 large carrots
1 green pepper, cored
1 large sweet onion
optional vinegar

Preparation: Heat liquids, condiments, and sugar just to boiling, stirring to dissolve the sugar. Shred the vegetables and cover with the syrup. Refrigerate at least 8 hours, stirring at least once. Drain and load into a dehydrator (use a drip tray). Dry at 130 degrees, breaking up any lumps. Package 1/3 cup (compacted) per serving in zipper-seal bags. Store refrigerated.

On the trail: Add an equal volume of cold water to each bag. Add 1/2 tsp. vinegar per serving (e.g. fast food packet) if desired. Allow to rehydrate for at least 30 minutes.

12-20 servings
Scale as desired

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Almond Bars

by Sherry Bennett

1/2 cup butter
1/2 cup brown sugar
1/2 cup quick cooking oats
1/2 cup whole wheat flour, unsifted
1/2 cup all purpose flour, unsifted
1/4 cup wheat germ
2 tsp grated orange rind
2 eggs
1 cup whole blanched almonds
1/4 cup raisins
1/4 cup flaked coconut
1/2 cup semi-sweet chocolate bits

Cream butter with 1/2 cup brown sugar until soft; beat in oats, flours, wheat germ and orange rind. Pat into 9-inch square pan to form the base. Then mix 3 eggs, almonds, raisins, coconut, chocolate bits and 1/4 cup brown sugar. Pour over base and spread out evenly. Bake at 350 for 35 minutes or until almonds are golden brown. Cool and cut into bars. Wrap in aluminum foil.

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Bars of Iron

by Sherry Bennett

1/3 cup butter
1 cup dark raisins
1/2 cup golden raisins
1/2 cup sugar
1/2 cup molasses
1 cup of whole wheat flour
1 egg
1/4 cup dry milk
1/4 cup toasted wheat germ
1 1/2 tsp. baking powder
1/2 tsp baking soda
1 cup sliced almonds
1/2 cup liquid milk
1 cup quick cooking oats
1/2 tsp salt
1/2 tsp ginger

Chop raisins. Cream butter, sugar, and molasses together. Combine whole wheat flour, dry milk, wheat germ, baking powder, soda, salt, and ginger and mix lightly. Blend into creamed mixture alternately with liquid milk. Stir in oats, raisins, and half of the almonds. Turn into greased baking pan (9x12) and spread evenly. Sprinkle with remaining almonds. Bake at 350 about 30 minutes until cookies test done. Cool in pan. Cut into bars.

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Indian Lemon Chicken and Couscous

by Margaret Reek

1 tsp. salt
1/2 tsp. turmeric
1/2 tsp. ground fenugreek
1/2 tsp. mustard seeds
1/2 tsp. cayenne pepper
1/8 tsp. ground fennel seed
1/4 tsp. garlic powder
1/4 tsp. ginger powder
1/4 tsp. lemon zest (or 1 tbs. lemon juice)

Combine the spices above and package in a small plastic bag.

1 chicken bouillon cube
Chicken (7 oz. pouch of chicken breast chunks, or 6 oz. can of chicken, or 1 package freeze-dried chicken, rehydrated)
1 c. plain couscous

Put 1 1/2 cups of water into a pan with the bouillon cube and spices, and bring to a boil. Stir. Add the chicken and couscous. Stir, then cover and let sit for 5 minutes.

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Shepherd's Pie

by Ken Harbison

This dish has many versions. The recipes here are designed for backpacking, where time, weight and lack of refrigeration are concerns.

The meat version uses sliced dried beef, which is now available in a sterile plastic packet. It is washed before use to reduce salt.

Many vegetables can be used. The "Just Veggies" mix contains carrots, corn, peppers, peas, and tomatoes; the 'hot' version also has cayenne. Other possibilities are more tomatoes, green beans, instant black beans, lentils, etc.
Flavorings can include the traditional Worcestershire sauce, soy sauce, nutmeg, cayenne, black pepper, thyme, garlic, or 'hot' mixtures, such as chili, Caribbean blends, curry, or garum marsala.

Shepherd's Pie (Backpack version)
4 moderate servings
Provides about 450 calories and 15g total fat per serving

1 pkt (or 1 1/3 cup) instant mashed potatoes
¼ tsp garlic powder (or use garlic potatoes)
¼ cup dry milk
2 tbsp oil or margarine
2 cup boiling water (or as directed)
4.5-oz packet sliced dried beef (not jerky)
4 oz Just Veggies or freeze-dried vegetables
1 to 3 oz cut dried tomatoes (Tomato Toss)
1 tsp dried onion flakes
1 package brown gravy mix
½ tsp Worcestershire sauce or other spices:
(Just "hot" Veggies, spicy gravy, pepper, etc.)
1½ cup water
2 oz sliced or shredded cheddar cheese

Combine first four ingredients in a plastic bag or pot. Stir in boiling water and insulate.
Cut or mince beef and soak in excess hot water for 15 seconds, then drain well to remove salt. Add vegetables, spices, gravy mix, and water. Heat to boiling with stirring, then simmer 1-3 minutes until the gravy thickens. Fluff the potatoes and place on the filling. Top with cheese.

Shepherdless Pie (Vegetarian backpack recipe)
4 moderate servings
Provides about 300-400 calories and 10-14 g total fat per serving

3 to 5 oz granular TVP (beef or unflavored)
4+ oz quick-cook vegetables: Just Veggies, peas,
tomatoes, carrots, corn, lentils, black beans...
1 tsp dried onion flakes
1 package brown gravy mix (or mushroom)
Flavorings: Soy sauce mix and pepper, nutmeg,
cayenne, garlic, garam masala, or other spices.
1½ cup hot water
1 pkt (or 1 1/3 cup) instant mashed potatoes
¼ tsp garlic powder (or use garlic potatoes)
¼ cup dry milk or soy milk powder (optional)
2 tbsp oil or margarine
2 cup boiling water (or as directed)
2 oz sliced or shredded cheddar cheese (optional)

Soak TVP, vegetables, gravy mix, and spices in 1½ cup water, as directed for the TVP.
Meanwhile, combine garlic, potatoes, milk, and oil in a plastic bag or pot. Stir in boiling water and insulate.
When the TVP is swollen, heat to boiling with stirring. Simmer 1-3 minutes until the gravy thickens.
Fluff the potatoes and place on the filling. Top with cheese if desired.

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Layered Black Bean Chili Dip

By Karola Jones

Recipe courtesy of Emeril Lagasse, 2001
1 cup black bean chili, recipe follows
1 tablespoon minced jalapeno, or to taste (optional)
1 cup chopped seeded ripe tomato
1 cup grated cheddar
1 cup sour cream
1 cup shredded lettuce
1/2 cup finely chopped green onions
1 ripe avocado, peeled, seed removed, and diced
2 tablespoons minced fresh cilantro
Tortilla Chips, for dipping
In a 9-inch pie dish, spread the black bean chili. Layer the remaining ingredients in the order given, spreading each one to the edge of the dish. Serve with the tortilla chips.

Black Bean Chili:
1 cup dried black beans
2 tablespoons vegetable oil
1 cup chopped yellow onions
2 teaspoons chopped garlic
1 jalapeno, stemmed, seeded and chopped
1 bay leaf
1 tablespoon chili powder
1 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon ground cumin
4 cups hot water
Cover beans with water and bring to boil. Remove from heat and let soak 1 hr. Drain the beans in a colander. Sauté onions, garlic, in oil until transparent. Add beans, jalapeno, bay leaf, chili powder, cumin, salt and 4 cups of hot water. Simmer until beans are tender (60-90 min). Only one cup of this Black Bean Chili is needed for the dip recipe. It freezes well.
Yield: 4 servings

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(AKA Better Than Sex)

Submitted by Melissa Cohen

1 package brownie mix
2 cups milk
2 small boxes instant chocolate pudding mix
1 large Cool Whip (16 oz)
2 half pints whipping cream
6 SKOR candy bars, frozen

Make brownies according to package directions and cool completely. Mix pudding with pint of whipping cream and 2 cups of milk. Beat until thick. Crush or pound SKOR candy bars.

Bottom layer:
In a large bowl (straight sides) place cubed brownies on the bottom. Spread top of brownies with 1/2 of pudding. Sprinkle with 1/2 of candy and spread 1/2 of Cool Whip over top.

Top Layer:
Repeat layer, only place the remainder of Cool Whip over the pudding and sprinkle the remainder of crushed candy bars over the Cool Whip. Chill for an hour or overnight (if you can wait)!
This dessert is quick, easy, and...need I say more? Glad it was enjoyed by all at the potluck.

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Apple Bourbon Cake

Submitted by Margaret Reeks

This cakes always gets rave reviews! The rich flavor of bourbon blends beautifully with apples, walnuts and spices. This cake freezes well so you can make several when your favorite apples are in season.

Preparation time: 20 minutes plus 45-60 minutes for baking.

4 cups coarsely chopped, peeled apples (you can leave them unpeeled, too)
1 cup bourbon
2 cups sugar
1/2 cup vegetable oil
2 eggs
2 cups flour
2 teaspoons baking soda
2 teaspoons cinnamon
1 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon grated nutmeg
1/4 teaspoon ground cloves
1 cup coarsely chopped walnuts

Put apples in a large bowl and pour bourbon over the apples. Cover tightly and periodically tip upside down to mix the apples and bourbon. (If preparing apples in a food processor, quarter, core and peel apples, cut each quarter in half and add to processor bowl fitted with the steel blade. Do 2 or 3 apples at a time, cover and chop with short on-off pulses. (Do not over-process or the apples will shred and give off too much juice.)

Beat the sugar, oil and eggs together with a wire whisk or rotary egg beater. Sift together the flour, soda, cinnamon, salt, nutmeg and cloves. Stir into the egg mixture. Add nuts and the apples with bourbon. Stir until well mixed. Turn batter into a greased 9 x 13 inch baking pan. Bake at 350° for 45 minutes to one hour, or until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean. Serve warm or cold with bourbon-flavored whipped cream or cream cheese, if desired. Makes one sheet cake.
Originally created by Joyce Rosencrans in 1982 for The Cincinnati Post

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Sweet Wenatchee Rice Dish

From Lipsmackin' Backpackin' by Tim and Christine Conners, contributed by Lou Ann Fellows

One Serving:
¼ cup raisins
¼ cup powdered milk
½ chopped, dried apples
½ cup chopped walnuts
¼ tsp salt
1 cup rice
½ tsp allspice
2 tablespoons margarine
1½ cup water

At Home: Mix together raisins, apples, salt, allspice, powdered milk, walnuts and rice and store in a 1 gallon resealable plastic bag. Pack margarine separately.

At Camp: Bring water to a boil. Add rice mix and margarine. Simmer for 10 or 15 minutes until rice is done. Let stand for 5 minutes.

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Thai Stir Fry

Submitted by Joan Frazier

one 5 1/3 ounce package Thai Kitchen Pad Thai noodles
1 cup water
3 T oil
¼ cup nuts (peanuts or slivered almonds)
½ cup fresh bean sprouts
3-ounce pouch tuna
chunk of tofu, diced (suggestion: use firm, smoked, barbequed tofu)
1 egg
Bring the water to a boil and simmer the noodles for 3 minutes. Drain. Stir fry the noodles in the 3 T oil for 2 minutes. Add the nuts, bean sprouts, tuna and tofu and stir fry for 3-5 minutes. Add the seasoning pack from the noodles and the egg. Mix well and cook an additional 2-3 minutes. Bon Appetit!

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Trail Bars

Submitted by Frank Cabrom

These are good for lunch, snacks or dessert. They survive pack compression reasonably well, keep at least a week in the backcountry, stay soft in cold weather and are low in fat (unless you make substitutions).

4 cups oatmeal
1 cup wheat flour
1/2 cup soy flour (wheat flour may be substituted)
1 cup packed brown sugar
1 cup granulated sugar
1 cup Butter Buds - liquid (butter flavoring)
1/2 cup Egg Beaters (eggs may be substituted)
1/3 cup apple juice (oil may be substituted)
2 tsp. vanilla
2 tsp. cinnamon
1 tsp. baking soda
1 tsp. baking powder
1/4 tsp. nutmeg
2 cups diced apples
1/2 cup raisins
1 cup walnuts

Beat the brown sugar, granulated sugar and Butter Buds in a large bowl until well blended. Then beat in the apple juice, vanilla and Egg Beaters. Mix the flour, baking soda, baking powder, nutmeg and cinnamon separately and add to the other blended ingredients. Mix until well blended and then stir in the oats, apples, walnuts and raisins. Lightly grease a 15 x 11 x 1 inch pan and spread in the batter. Cook at 350 degrees for 30-35 minutes until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean. Allow to cool and then cut into approximately 3 x 4 inch bars. Wrap bars individually in plastic food wrap and store in the fridge or freezer until boonie time.

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Indian Curry Fruited Rice Mix

Submitted by Mike Dinkel

This dry seasoning and rice mix is supplemented with canned chicken, or shrimp, dried peas, lentils etc. to form a back country dinner entree.

Prepare at home:

3 cups long grain white rice or instant depending on preference
3 tablespoons dried minced onion
3 tablespoons curry powder, more if you like
1 teaspoon favorite dried hot pepper optional
4 1/2 tablespoons chicken bouillon
1 1/2 teaspoons salt or to taste
1 cup chopped dried apples
1/2 cup golden raisins
1/3 cup chopped dried mango
1/2 cup toasted slivered almonds

Mix all ingredients in a large bowl. This is now the basis for a back country dinner entree. Use about 1 to 1 1/2 cups of mix plus the peas or chicken for two people depending on appetites etc.

Yield: 5 1/2 cups mix

Store unused portions in ziplocs or an air tight container.

At your campsite:

Add three to four cups of water depending on additional dried ingredients. Bring to boil, reduce heat, and simmer until tender. Cooking time is mainly dependent on type of rice used and the lentils. If using lentils, cooking time can be reduced if they are placed in a kettle with water when you first stop to set up camp. This hydration should reduce cooking time.

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Tasty, Easy And Filling Pilaf Dish

Submitted by Andrea Billin


1 box Near East brand "Wheat Pilaf" mix
1 c. grated carrots
1/3 c. dried currants (golden raisins if you're slumming it)
1/4 c. slivered almonds (toasted is very nice)
2 c. water for rehydrating box mix


Boil 2 c. water in pot. Dump box ingredients into boiling water. (It is helpful to open the spice packet beforehand and discard the packaging.) Turn down heat to simmer. After 10 minutes, add carrots and currants to pot if you haven't eaten them by now. Simmer for 5 minutes stirring occasionally. Add almonds to pot and stir (if they're not eaten). The pilaf may be done by now or may require a few more minutes cooking time.

This will serve 2-3 people.

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Southwest Paella

Submitted by Jeff Helfer


3 tbs. virgin olive oil
1 small white onion, chopped into large pieces
6 cloves of garlic, finely chopped
2 large jalapenos, sliced into rings
1 oz. sun-dried tomatoes
¾ cup roasted red peppers, cut into large pieces
½ cup of oil cured olives
2 oz. dried peas
6 oz. white albacore tuna
6 oz. whole clams or shrimp
4 oz. dried spicy sausage (e.g. pepperoni) cut into ¼ inch thick slices
6 oz. box Chefs Original Smoky Cowboy Beans & Rice (or equivalent)
Salt and pepper

Before leaving home:

Prepare vegetables as indicated and place into individual plastic bags. Place bags into a single larger bag and refrigerate. Drain tuna and clams/shrimp and pack into individual bags with olive oil. Freeze. Keep on ice until you reach the trailhead. When ready to leave, double bag and wrap into an insulating material (e.g. camp towel or sweater).

At camp:

Add two tbs. of olive oil to your skillet. Add chopped onions, garlic and jalapenos. Cook over low heat for 15 to 20 minutes, until onions are fully cooked and soft. Add two cups of water and rice-and-seasoning mixture. Cover and cook over low heat for approximately ten minutes. Add the peas, peppers, sausage rounds and clams or shrimp. Cook five minutes longer, covered. Top with tuna, add the last tbs. of olive oil and season to taste.


The rice is rich in carbohydrates to keep you going during your hike out the following morning. The deliciously spicy vegetables and meats taste every bit as good as they look. Be prepared to share!

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Prepare Ahead & Pack-It-In Pesto

Submitted by Vicki Flynn

2 cups coarsely chopped fresh basil
½ cup chopped parsley
1½ teaspoons kosher salt
1½ teaspoons freshly ground pepper
2 large cloves garlic, chopped
¾ cup olive oil
½ cup walnuts
¼ cup pine nuts
½ cup freshly grated Romano or Parmesan cheese
Makes about 1 ½ cups or enough for 6 servings.


  1. Place all ingredients except cheese and pine nuts in blender or food processor. Blend until smooth, about 5 minutes.
  2. Transfer the basil mixture into a bowl and stir in the cheese.
  3. Toast the pine nuts in a fry pan until golden brown. Stir often and watch carefully as they will burn easily.

NOTE: Pesto may be kept refrigerated in a tightly covered jar for several months. It can also be frozen, but then it is best to stir in the cheese upon defrosting. Individual servings may be easily frozen by pouring mixture into ice cube trays and freezing. Defrost tray slightly to remove each pesto cube.


  1. Place pesto in waterproof container for the trip.
  2. Cook and drain pasta.
  3. Stir in approx. 2 teaspoons of pesto per serving of pasta.
  4. Sprinkle on roasted pine nuts and more cheese if desired.

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Raspberry Crumble

Some people like to do the minimum meal preparation after a long hard day on the trail or on the water.

Deb Fedele, our Trails Committee co-chairperson, is one of them. Here's one of her favorites.


  • One package of Mountain House Raspberry Crumble Freeze-dried Dessert
  • Water


  1. Feign ignorance of the operation of your camp stove and ask boyfriend or husband to start stove and boil some water. The directions on the package will say how much water is needed.
  2. Pour yourself a glass of wine and relax.
  3. When water is boiling, have boyfriend/husband open package and mix water with ingredients according to package directions.
  4. Wait appropriate amount of time and enjoy your dessert.

Deb Fedele as told to Bill Crowe

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Turkey Dinner for One: Big Appetite

Submitted by Howard Stoner


1/2 stick of butter
3 large cloves of garlic
1/2 small onion
1/2 cup stuffing mix
1/3 cup instant potatoes
1/4 cup cooked turkey
some frozen sugar peas
11/2 cups water (approx.)
3 tbsp. cranberry topping (carry in a small plastic tube)

Preparation at home:

  1. Sauté the garlic and onion in the butter.
  2. Add the stuffing mix and stir well.
  3. Cool and put the mixture in a Ziploc bag.
  4. Add the potatoes, turkey, peas, and seal the bag.
  5. Keep frozen as long as possible..

Preparation at camp:

Pour contents of bag into pan and add hot water. Heat through and serve hot with cranberry topping.

Yum! Yum!

Make sure you always check out a new recipe at home before taking it out on the trail. Remember, a recipe is only a guideline. Use your own creativity!

Howard is an ADK member who lives in Troy and belongs to the Schenectady Chapter. This was a very popular meal this winter on several Rochester Winter Mountaineering Society trips.

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Tuna Noodle Stroganoff Au Gratin Almondine

(for four hearty backpackers)

Submitted by Jack Freeman


8 oz. noodles
7 oz. can of tuna
1 pkg. French's Stroganoff Sauce Mix
1 pkg. Lipton's Mushroom Cup-a-Soup
6 oz. sharp cheddar cheese sliced into thin hunks
1/4 cup pre-toasted chopped or slivered almonds


  1. Boil noodles in about 6 cups of water. Simmer until just tender. Do not drain.
  2. Add can of tuna undrained. The broth and oils add flavor and calories. Stir well and break up the chunks of tuna.
  3. Add the Sauce mix and the Cup-a-Soup packet.
  4. Add the cheese. Stir until cheese has just melted into the mixture.
  5. Remove pot from stove and add the almonds .

Enjoy as countless hikers have over many years.

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Prize Winning GORP Recipes

At the 2000 Outdoor Expo, GVC-ADK held a gorp contest with three categories: Best-Tasting, Healthiest, and Most Unusual. The three winning recipes follow.

Healthiest Gorp

Submitted by Nancy Deans

Add equal amounts of:

golden raisins or apricots
sesame sticks
sunflower seeds
soy nuts

I vary and sometimes do not add the chocolate, depending on mood and how healthy I feel I need to be.

Best-Tasting Gorp

Submitted by Larry Reister

Equal parts of:

Peanuts ( and maybe a few walnuts )
Peanut butter chips

This is NOT a gorp for a hot summer day, as the peanut butter chips tend to melt easily in a warm pack. Another problem I have with this gorp is that there is a tendency for me to start eating it before I need to. It keeps calling me from inside my pack.

Most Unusual Gorp

Submitted by the "Geriatric Trio" (AKA Tom Cornell, Dave Francis and Sandra Lomker)

Wilderness Camping Magazine Vol.1, No.1, circa 1972

28 oz. semi-sweet chocolate bits or candy
12 oz. butter scotch bits or candy
(Total of 40 oz. bits or candy, any combination)
1/2 cup honey
1/2 cup chopped dates
1/2 cup seedless yellow raisins
1 cup chopped dried apricots
1/2 cup shredded coconut
1/2 cup chopped cashews
1/2 cup chopped walnuts
1/2 cup wheat germ
1/2 cup uncooked oatmeal
1/2 cup Muesli

Melt chips in the top of a double boiler or microwave. Add honey. Pour over rest of dried ingredients in a large bowl. Mix well. Pour (spoon) mixture into greased pans and cool. Cut or break into 2 oz. chunks.

Wrap tightly in sealed plastic bags. Store in refrigerator or for longer periods in freezer.

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Trail Snacks

Submitted by Sherry Bennett

Here are two trail snacks to be made ahead at home.

Peanut Butter Balls

  • Combine: ½ cup peanut butter and ½ cup honey
  • Gradually stir in: 1 cup dry milk and 1 cup uncooked oatmeal
  • Shape into balls.
  • Roll in toasted wheat germ and lay out to "dry" for several hours.
  • Wrap individually in wax paper or plastic wrap.

Cheese Coins

Thoroughly combine:

  • ½ cup softened butter
  • 2 cups grated sharp cheddar
  • ½ tsp. Worcestershire sauce
  • 2-3 tsp. sesame seeds

Add: 1 cup flour, a little at a time. Knead.

Form into long roll 1 inch in diameter. Cut into ¼ inch slices. Bake at 350 for 12 to 15 minutes.

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Dutch Oven Camp Cooking

Submitted by Sherry Bennett

Nothing can compare to the aroma of food cooking in a camp dutch oven at the end of the day. What is a "camp dutch oven"? It is a cast iron pot with three legs and a recessed flat top. The legs allow for air flow underneath as the coals cook. You can cook anything in a dutch oven that you can bake or cook on a stove at home.

Start with a properly seasoned oven. To season a new oven, first wash it thoroughly with hot soap and water. This is the LAST time you will ever use soap on it again. Dry it and rub it with Crisco all around the inside and underneath the lid. Now put it in a preheated 375 oven face down. The lid, of course, is separated from the oven while the seasoning process occurs. After one hour, turn off the oven but allow the dutch oven to stay there till it is cool enough to handle.

Store it with the lid lifted - for air circulation - with a thin coat of oil on the inside and underneath the lid.

To clean a dutch oven, wipe with a paper towel and use a tuffy pad with hot water, NOT soap. Before each use, rub with a thin coat of oil.

If you try any of my recipes and say, "But this is not as good as Sherry's", there is a reason! The more a well-cared-for dutch oven is used, the more it absorbs flavors, so that an older dutch oven that has been used many times really will produce more flavorful food.

NEVER place a dutch oven face down over a fire to clean it as I once saw a "not too bright" scoutmaster do. This destroys the flavoring qualities that you gain from a well-used, well-cared-for oven.

A 10" pot will probably feed 3 or 4 hungry campers. Place about 6 or 7 hot coals underneath and cover the lid with hot coals. Most foods cook/bake in an hour, although some recipes may vary. Don't "peek" until at least an hour. Of course, if you use a larger oven, you need to increase the number of hot coals underneath and on top.

I use briquettes (as opposed to lump charcoal) for the hot coals because, well, I have always used them! And yes, I do carry the charcoal briquettes in with me. I put them in a plastic trash bag with a twist tie. I also carry an almost empty container of charcoal lighter fluid (not a full one for weight considerations) Always carry about half as much more charcoal than you think you need. You can use hot coals from a campfire but, of course, charcoal is easier and more dependable.

If anyone has any questions or wants to talk dutch oven cooking, contact me at my e-mail:

Here are some of my favorite recipes. Many of you who have been on canoe trips with me will remember these.

Dutch Oven Pot Roast

It is hard to imagine something this simple can be so delicious.

For trips to the Adirondacks, I start with a well-frozen roast, wrapped in foil, then in newspaper. By the end of the day when I have paddled to my campsite, the meat is still cold enough to be safe, but thawed enough to cook. It's okay if it is still somewhat frozen when you are ready to cook. First, light the coals and while they are getting ready, place the roast in the dutch oven, along with cut-up carrots, onions, potatoes and a little salt and pepper. That's it! Don't add water, it cooks in its own juices. In less than an hour, you will begin to smell the wonderful aroma. In about an hour, you're ready to eat!

Pineapple Upside Down Cake

Line oven with foil. Melt butter in foil. Sprinkle brown sugar over butter. Place pineapple slices over butter and sugar. Prepare a cake mix according to package directions. Pour over pineapple. Bake until cake turns brown, about 30 minutes. You should have about 6 or 7 hot coals underneath the oven and the top of oven covered with hot coals.

Ham and Sweet Potatoes

¼ cup butter
¾ cup brown sugar
4 slices ham
4 sliced sweet potatoes

Combine butter and brown sugar in hot oven till well mixed. Place thick ham slices in the mixture. Place peeled, sliced sweet potatoes - about ½" thick - over ham. Bake for about 30 to 40 minutes till potatoes are soft.

Sweet & Sour Ham

Sliced ham
Dijon mustard
Whole cloves
Sliced bell peppers
Pineapple rings
Bottled sweet and sour sauce (in the Chinese section of the store)

Place into oven in order given. Bake about 30 minutes with approximately 6 or 7 briquettes underneath the pot and the lid covered with briquettes.

Beef and Biscuits

1 lb ground beef
1 15 ½ oz. can Manwich
handful of grated cheese
2 cups Bisquick mixed with ½ cup water

Brown beef in heated dutch oven. Stir in Manwich. Cover and bring to a simmer.

Sprinkle with the cheese. Combine Bisquick and water and form into biscuits - lay on top. Cover and bake till biscuits turn brown.

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Cashew Rice Curry

Submitted by Ken Harbison

The basic vegetarian recipe provides complete protein and is low in saturated fat. Dairy or meat may be added if desired.

The suggested serving size provides more than 600 calories, which is twice the 300 calories typical of a 'serving' of a freeze-dried backpack dinner.

Freeze-dried vegetables can be obtained locally at Tops Friendly Markets and Lori's Natural Foods, under the trade names Just Peas, Just Vegetables, etc.

See for information, recipes, and mail orders.

Freeze-dried vegetables may also be obtained from Campmor ( and other suppliers.

Cashew Rice Curry (Backpack version) 2 generous servings. Basic recipe provides 600+ calories, 17 g total fat, 3 g saturated fat per serving.

1/3 cup raisins or chopped dried fruit
1 1/2 oz freeze-dried peas or carrots
or 1 cup fresh peas or shredded carrots
1 - 3 tsp. curry powder
2 cubes vegetable or chicken bouillon
2 cup water (plus 1/4 cup if using freeze-dried)
1 1/2 cup instant rice
1/2 cup roasted cashew nuts, in pieces
1/3 cup dry milk (optional)
3 oz canned chicken (optional)
3 oz (3/4 cup) shredded Cheddar or Jack cheese (optional, adds 170 cal. and 14 g fat).

Combine the ingredients through the water. Cover, bring to a boil and cook for 1 minute. If using dried fruit or fresh vegetables, cook for 5 minutes more. Add instant rice, return to a boil, and cook covered for 1 minute. Blend in the cashew nuts and optional ingredients. Turn off the heat and allow to stand covered for 4 minutes.

Cashew Rice Curry (Camping version) 2 generous servings. Basic recipe provides 600+ calories, 17 g total fat, 3 g saturated fat per serving

1/3 cup raisins or chopped dried fruit
8.5 oz canned peas or other vegetables
or 1 cup frozen peas or shredded carrots
1 - 3 tsp. curry powder
2 cubes vegetable or chicken bouillon
2 cup water (plus 1/4 cup if using freeze-dried)
1 1/2 cup instant rice
1/2 cup roasted cashew nuts, in pieces
1/2 cup yogurt (optional; reduce water by 1/4 cup)
or 1/3 cup dry milk (optional)
5 oz canned chicken (optional)
3 oz (3/4 cup) shredded Cheddar or Jack cheese (optional, adds 170 cal. and 14 g fat).

When using canned food, replace part of the water with can liquids. Combine the ingredients through the water. Cover, bring to a boil and cook for 1 minute. If using dried fruit or fresh vegetables, cook for 5 minutes more. Add rice and yogurt, return to a boil, and cook covered for 1 minute. Blend in the cashew nuts and optional ingredients. Turn off the heat and allow to stand covered for 4 minutes.

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Mexican Rice and Vegetables

Submitted by Ken Harbison

Here is a nutritious and flavorful recipe from dry ingredients that can be used as a vegetarian main dish or as a side dish.

Normally beans require 25-60 minutes of cooking, which is impractical for trail meals. However, Fantastic Foods has instant Black Beans that require only 5 minutes to prepare. They are widely available; see for local sources.

Justvegetables is a mixture of dried carrots, corn, peas, peppers, and tomatoes. For local sources, see

Mexican Rice and Vegetables 2 generous servings, 500+ calories and 2+ g. fat per serving

1 1/2 oz Justvegetables
1/3 cup sun-dried tomatoes, minced
1-3 tsp. Chili powder
1 cube bouillon or 1/2 tsp. salt
2 1/2 cup water
1 1/2 cup instant white rice
      or 1 1/4 cup instant brown rice
1/2 cup Fantastic Black beans
4 oz Cheddar or Jalapeno cheese (optional, adds 230 cal and 18 g fat).

If practical, presoak the vegetables. Combine the vegetables, seasonings, and water, bring to a boil, and cook covered for 3 minutes. Add instant rice and beans, cover, and return to a boil. Top with cheese if desired. Turn off the heat and allow to stand covered for 5 min.

If using instant brown rice, add rice with the vegetables and cook for a total of 10 minutes.

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A Better Oatmeal

by Ken Harbison

Are you tired of the same old instant oatmeal for breakfast on the trail? Oatmeal makes a great hot breakfast, but one eventually tires of the same few flavors. Perk it up with added ingredients and have a delicious, nutritious, and different breakfast every morning.

The commercial packets are convenient, but you can prepare better on your own, and inexpensively, from instant oats and your own choice of additional fruits, nuts, and other ingredients. Note: some of the commercial so-called fruit oatmeals actually contain dyed apple chunks with artificial flavorings.

The key ingredient is instant or quick oatmeal, which is available in boxes or in bulk. If you prefer oatmeal 'gluey' like from the packets, put up to one-third of the oatmeal through a blender or coffee mill.

Fruits: Dried fruits go very well with oatmeal and add essential vitamins and potassium. Good choices are apples, apricots, banana chips, craisins (dried cranberries, especially nice), dates, pears, peaches, or raisins. Cut or chop larger fruits into raisin-size pieces. Various mixtures of chopped dried fruits are also available.

Justfruit Munchies is a flavorful mixture of seven dried fruits, which are also available. See for information and sources. Many are available locally at Lori's Natural Foods and Tops Friendly Markets.

Home-dried fruits, especially sliced strawberries, are good additions.

Most dried fruits are improved by swelling in hot water for several minutes. Strawberries, however, should not be over-rehydrated, since they can turn to mush and the flavor will be diluted.

Nuts: Roasted nuts, especially cashew nuts, add flavor, crunch, and lots of calories from unsaturated fats.

Grains: Granola or Muesli is a good topping for oatmeal. Some other choices are wheat germ, wheat bran, or sesame seeds. Also, breakfast bars may be broken up to provide both grains and fruit.

Dairy: Dry milk is often added at 1/3 of the amount of oatmeal to provide additional protein and calcium. Less conveniently, dry milk may be reconstituted and poured over the top. Non-dairy creamer is a possibility for those who cannot tolerate milk, or who want a creamier flavor. Dry soy milk is also an option.

Sweeteners: Light brown sugar is often used in oatmeal mixes. Honey provides a nice alternative. Honey contains only 20% water, so it is not necessary to use dehydrated honey; it can be carried separately in a screw-cap tube. Shaved maple sugar gives a different flavor. Jams can also be used.

GORP: Steal some of the fruits and nuts from your trail mix and have them with your oatmeal.

Other: Salt or, better, Salt substitute enhances flavors. Cinnamon or nutmeg may be added in moderation.

Preparation hint: If you prepare the oatmeal in a 1-qt zippered bag, just invert the zipper and use it as a bowl. When you've finished eating, restore the zipper and close. There's no messy pan, no dish to clean up, and now you have a garbage bag

Oatmeal Mix per serving; make several at a time

At home, combine ingredients and package individual servings in 1-qt zippered bags

  • 1/2 cup instant or quick oatmeal
  • 1/6 cup (3 Tbsp) cup dry milk (optional)
  • 1 tsp white or brown sugar or maple sugar (or honey, carried separately)
  • 1/8 tsp salt, or better salt substitute
  • dash of cinnamon or nutmeg (optional)
  • 1/8-1/4 cup dried fruit: Justfruit Munchies, etc.

Choose among these and package separately:

  • 3 Tbsp nuts (cashew, etc.) broken into pieces
  • 1-4 Tbsp granola, wheat germ, or sesame seeds
  • 1 Tbsp dried strawberries
  • 1 packet non-dairy creamer

On the trail,

  • Add 1 cup of boiling water to a bag of the oatmeal mixture, stir, and seal. Allow to stand 5 minutes, preferably in a pan of hot water.
  • Open the bag, stir in or top with the remaining ingredients.
  • Invert the zipper of the bag and use as a bowl.