Finding a good meal can be tricky on the trail. If you’re venturing out on a day hike, you most likely won’t need to be cooking anything since you can easily return home in time for dinner. On a multi-day hike, however, you may find yourself wanting to have some hot food or drinks. But all’s not lost; if you find yourself unsure of what to bring for sustenance during a hiking trip, consider a few of the below options!
There are a few different methods of cooking food on a multi-day hike. They include:
- You can take raw ingredients with you and prepare hot meals on the trail. This option takes time, fuel, pre-decided ingredients, and extra supplies. Remember, you probably won’t be able to take perishables with you unless you carry a cooler!
- You can pack pre-made dehydrated meals and re-hydrate them at your convenience. This entails adding boiling water to a dry meal; it’s a no-muss, no-fuss to guarantee a hot meal in the wilderness!
- You can rely on cold meals. These dishes require no extra preparation or tools beyond what you need to carry their ingredients. Sandwiches, trail mixes, and dried fruit are good examples – though anything you can eat without heating will fall into this category! Fair warning: these meals can get a little bland on multi-day hikes.
Most people prefer to rehydrate their meals. Preparing complete meals from scratch can be tedious and time-consuming, and eating cold peanut butter and jelly sandwiches can get to be boring if you’re on the trail for for days on end. Rehydrating is the happy medium! You will need some basic gear, including: a stove, fuel, a lighter, spoons, and a lidded pot.
So how exactly do you prepare a rehydrated meal?
Set up your fire, then set your pot on the stove. Then, fill the pot with water and bring it to a gentle boil. Depending on your stove, this process may take anywhere from 3 to 8 minutes to get your water boiling. Next, you’ll want to add your dehydrated meal to the water. Give it a good stir and let it sit for about 10 minutes until the food is fully rehydrated.
Alternatively, you can rehydrate your meal via “freezer cooking.” To do this, bring your pot to a boil and and pour the piping water directly into your bag of food. Let the meal rehydrate for 10 minutes and eat it straight out of the bag! As a bonus, you could consider acquiring a food cozy. These insulated containers will keep the water in your food instead of evaporating into the air.
While it may seem tricky at first, preparing food at a campsite can be quick, easy, and filling. Enjoy your time on the trail, and happy cooking!