Monday, March 30, 2009

"Just Add Water" Camping Meals

As I mentioned in my introduction to backcountry camping, I prefer "just-add-water" camp meals. These give you easy prep, easy clean-up, and ultimately more time to get the chores over and get on with the fun stuff. To me the essence of the "just-add-water" meal is that it the only things that get dirty are your bowl and spoon - the pot stays clean. This way all you have to do is lick your bowl and spoon clean and you are all finished!

In case you'd like to try this as well, here are my favorite "just add water" items

  • Instant mashed potatoes. I often pre-mix in dried gravy mix, dried cheese mix (oh yeah, we're going seriously processed), dried onions, and spices. This pairs great with a can of peas (if weight isn't an issue), campfire roasted smokies, or summer sausage.
  • Couscous. Pre-season your couscous (chicken bouillon does wonders). I like to mix it with a mini can of flavored tuna.
  • Cup o' Soup. Chicken noodle is my fav. These tiny packets take up almost no space and sure make a welcomed first course or hot addition to a cold meal. Just don't make the same mistake that Mountain Man did and mix it with your hot chocolate. I can vouch that chicken noodle hot chocolate is gross. I can also vouch that since we were camping (ie super hungry and had no where to dispose of leftovers) we drank it anyway.
  • Instant Oatmeal. I mix 50% pre-packaged type (think Quaker Oats) with 50% plain quick oats because I find the packaged stuff pretty sugary. I also always hit the bulk isle to find yummy add ins - macadamia nuts and coconut, almonds and dried apples, chocolate chips...whatever strikes your fancy.
  • Ramen noodles. For me it's not quite filling enough, but many love to camp with Ramen. You can always fill this meal out with some pre-cut fresh veggies.
  • Kraft Dinner Cups - good old KD in it's own little cup. You can ditch the cup and repackage in a Ziploc if it is too bulky. If you take yours with ketchup snag a to-go packet from a fast food joint.
Another upside of all these meals is that they are as cheap as they come. A big packet of instant mashed potatoes serves two and only costs about a dollar. (Take that freeze dried camping meals!) The downside is that we're going all out on processed food. I find it pretty hard to get away from processed food while camping light.

These are some of my favorite no-fuss-no-muss-nothing-but-hot-water-so-I-can-get-on-with-it meal ideas. How about you? What is your favorite easy peasy hot meal in the backcountry?

1 comment:

  1. I remember my favorite being Kraft macaroni and cheese. Also any kind of "gorp." I make my own now with all kinds of nuts and dried fruit and chocolate chips. Yum.

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