Popular Science consults NOLS Rocky Mountain Rations Manager Claudia Pearson on how to prepare the best homemade, just-add-water meals for the backcountry. Making your own meal-in-a-bag is cheap, cuts down on waste, and offers an easy, nutritious option for refueling after a long hike.
“The freezer bag advantage: This preparation is cheap and easy, and it also saves waste, weight, and water. What you carry into the wild, you have to carry back out. But no one likes toting a pack stuffed so full of garbage that you can’t find your eating utensils. Most of that waste comes from the packaging around your trail food. So remove those boxes, tins, and plastic wrap and place all of your ingredients in one compact zip-top freezer bag before you leave home...
‘Eat regularly, eat a variety, and eat often,’ says Claudia Pearson, Rocky Mountain Rations Manager at the National Outdoor Leadership School (NOLS). ‘Those are the rules of food on the trail.’
Every meal you eat in the backcountry should contain three main components: fat, complex carbohydrates, and protein. Fat tops up your energy reserves, carbs offer a quick boost, and protein helps repair stress to your aching muscles. Salt and sugar play a part too, but at dinnertime, it’s all about refueling for muscle recovery and restocking your energy stores for tomorrow.”
Read the full story.