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Easy Backpacking meal recipe needed

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My sons crew quickly went from a having very experienced older members to having young and inexperienced campers.


This weekend with the help of some of older scouts from a troop the Crew is doing a Scout basics weekend which is covering most of the T-2-1 outdoors skills.


I have been asked to do a cooking demonstration and as part of this will be using a backpacking stove a Jet Boil

I am looking for a recipe that uses ingredients that I can purchase and use right off the shelf.


I want to do more than just ramen noodles.

I also do not want to just buy a prepackaged backpacking meal as I dont think it really teaches the youth to think about other options



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I've used several of these recipes with success. The site is canoe-oriented, so some of them might use ingredients that are a little heavy for a longer backpacking trip, but many are just right. I, too, try to avoid pre-packaged trail foods, even though I usually throw one in for an emergency or spare if something else doesn't work out.





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Personally I'm a fan of freeze-dried backpacking foods, after a full day of hiking boiling water and pouring it in a puch is about all of the culinary activity I'm in the mood for.


But I do agree about the educational aspect of it. The only problem is that with s stove like the jetboil you're a little limited in the kinds of cooking you can do. I've never used one, but from what I've seen they're pretty much set up to do one thing, boil water.


So I don't really have a recipe for you, but here's a suggestion: get a cooked chicken breast or tuna fish packaged in a foil pouch, some veggies that don't require much in the way of special handling, like onions and carrots, and some spices and seasonings, cumin, coriander, curry powder etc. Chop up the veggies (the smaller the better) and meat, mix it all together in a bowl, pour boiling water over it, cover and let it soak for maybe 5 minutes. A little dried fruit like raisins might be a good addition too.


Hope this helps.





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Here are a few of my tried and true backpacking recipes which I really enjoy, but only the 3rd is perfect for a Jetboil. If you want to do one with a Jetboil, try the breakfast, but how about the first two with a traditional stove, simple:


1) Chicken & Dumplings

2 envelopes Lipton's Cream of Chicken Cup-o-soup

1 can Swanson's Chunk Chicken Meat

pkg Mixed freeze-dried vegetables

1 cup Bisquick in a zip-lock bag

2 - 3 cups Water


Mix the soup, chicken meat and vegetables in a relatively deep pot with 2 to 3 cups water. Place on camp stove. Heat to simmering, stirring occasionally. While soup stuff is heating, add water (see Bisquick box instructions for qty.) to Bisquick and knead in the zip-lock bag. When soup stuff is hot, tear off a corner of the bag and squeeze out plops of Bisquick into the pot. Cover and cook for about 10 mintues on low heat.



2)Couscous Chicken Vegetable Casserole


1 lg can mixed chicken

C dehydrated veggies (broccoli, carrots, peas or corn)

1 tsp dried minced onion (optional)

C Stuffing mix (optional for thickening)

C Couscous

1 package Lipton cream of chicken soup mix


Add 1 C water, dehydrated veggies and liquid from chicken and bring to a boil. Add remaining ingredients and return to a low simmer for 1 -2 minutes remove from heat.


Cover and let stand 5-10 minutes.


Plus fat: Add 2 T margarine/oil



3) For a change from the typical granola or oatmeal breakfast, try Sunrise Spuds a high energy breakfast that is a staple in many backpacking cookbooks.


What you need to make one serving:

- 1 plastic sandwich bag

- 1 cup dehydrated potato flakes

- 2 tablespoons dry milk powder

- cup powdered cheese

- 1 teaspoon parsley

- 2 tablespoons of imitation/pre-cooked bacon bits

- 1 teaspoon powdered butter

- salt

- pepper

To prepare before your trip: measure 1 cup of dehydrated potato flakes into a plastic bag. Add in other ingredients.


To make while camping: Boil water. Add hot water to the mixture until desired consistency is achieved.



Recommended Substitute: Use IdahoanTM brand Yukon Gold buttery potatoes follow directions and add cheese, real bacon, butter and/or parsley as desired. Serves 2

(this particular product produces uniquely tasty potatoes and uses only water. Easy!)

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I got these out of the Washington Trails web site wta.org. These are recipes by Sarah Kirkconnell. Her blog is www.trailcooking.com. The names sounds real fancy but it is easy to do on a backbacking stove.


I know it calls for fresh picked Huckleberries, too late to get them around here now but be creative with the fruit.


Many like the freezer bag method, no pot cleaning. Just rise out the bag and put it in your carry out trash bag and your dish washing is done by throwing it in the first trash can you come to.



Curried Salmon Pilaf

In a quart freezer or storage bag put:

1 1/2 cups instant rice

1/2 of a 1.4-ounce pouch Knorr Vegetable

Soup Mix

2 tsp mild curry powder

Also pack:

1 6-ounce pouch wild salmon

1 Tbsp or 1 packet extra virgin olive oil

In camp:

Pick about 1/2 cup fresh Huckleberries, making

sure stems are plucked off. (That is about

two handfuls of berries.)

Add 1 1/2 cups water, oil and salmon to your

pot. Break up the salmon and bring to a boil.

Turn off your stove, add the rice mixture, stir

well then gently fold in the berries. Set aside for

10 minutes, in cooler weather use a pot cozy to

retain heat. Fluff up and serve with Parmesan

cheese on top if desired.

Serves two.

Freezer Bag Cooking Method:

Add the oil and salmon to the dry ingredients

in the quart freezer bag.

Add 1 1/2 cups very hot water, stirring well.

Gently fold in the berries. Seal the bag tightly

and put in a cozy for 15 minutes. Proceed as above.


Double Ginger Huckleberry Cobbler

In a storage bag:

2/3 cup baking mix (e.g. Bisquick)

1 Tbsp. sugar

1 Tbsp. diced candied ginger

1/4 tsp. dry ginger powder

In a snack bag:

1/4 cup sugar

2 Tbsp. corn starch

1/4 tsp. True Lime or Lemon powder

In camp:

Pick about 1 cup fresh huckleberries, making

sure stems are plucked off. (That is about four

handfuls of berries.)

Add 1/4 cup cool water to the baking mix

bag and knead gently till mixed.

Seal and set aside.

Add 1 cup water to your pot and stir in the

contents of the small sugar bag till dissolved.

Add the berries and bring the pot to a boil.

Lower the flame on your stove to as low as it

will go and quickly add in the prepared baking

mix by dropping in spoonfuls on the hot berry

mixture. Put on the pots lid and simmer gently

on low heat for ten to twelve minutes or until

the topping is done.

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Having used a jetboil personal model for a while along with the jetboil group model I've found that the personal model is quite difficult to actually cook food in. The device is tall and narrow, and would require constant stirring. Basically we use it to boil water and add it to the food.


We have used the group model for both the adult patrol and for family camping and love it. Because of its wider mouth and shorter height its been used for a variety of meals for two or three people. Even small steaks and fish cooked one at a time.


On most campouts the two or three adults have used both at the same, one to get water boiling and the other for meal.


Often at the end of a long day we want the food to be done quickly and with little fuss and easy cleanup. We like the jetboil products because of the lightweight and small size it takes up.


The recipes here are great, but usually my choice is quick cooking rice with precooked shrimp from the bag. Mornings are usually the Sunshine Spuds that Buffalo mentioned or a Mountain House meal for two. Mountain House has a great Scout discount by the way.


We are not lazy, just being practical. We like meals to take 55 minutes or less, from when we start to having the gear packed away. We do linger over morning coffee though.


I do not work for jetboil or mountain house and do not own stock in them. The products do cost more but the convenience is what we like.




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I have used back packing stoves since I bought a Primus back from REI (then called the Coop) in the 60s when I was a Boy Scout. I now have a MSR WhisperLite still from REI, liquid fuel, prefer it over gas canisters, dont like sleeping with my fuel to get it started in the cold and worrying how to correctly to dispose of canisters. The pot I used back then was a 3lb metal coffee can (Folgers, I think was my parents favorite).


I once bought this neat fold up non-stick fry pan. I hiked in with a frozen steak to impress the scouts with what they could cook. It thawed perfectly by dinner and I fried it up in the pan on my WhisperLite. Put it on a plate and did the mum mum it sure is good routine. Went to clean the pan; it had a bare metal circle the size of the stoves flame area. All the non-stick coating there had gone somewhere, my stomach I think. The stove was too hot. I also have had light weight plastic backpacking forks melt off their tines when using them to fry bacon or pork sausage. Right into the grease.


I took a look at the JetBoil website. They have a picture of a guy sitting in a raging river holding the stove and cooking. Not a good idea, too many times I or my hiking buddies would have stove tip over and boil water, soup or what ever all over the place. I just love ads that show products used in an unsafe manner just to make them look neat.


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Ziplock plastic bags. Quart size is a good compromise..

Dry powdered milk.





Strawberry preserves.(or orange marmalde, or...)

PLAIN Instant oatmeal (or real. Just takes longer).

Raisins, or other dry fruit.


NOTE: If not mixed together, transfer all ingredients to ZLPbags for packing and transport anyway. DO NOT carry in original packaging, prepare at home. Less weight, less stuff to pack out when empty. Pack trash into ONE ZLPBag for pack out (LNT)


Read instructions for Bisquik. Read instructions for powdered milk. Measure appropriate amounts of each into ZLPBag. Time comes to cook, add appropriate amount of water to bag and mush up. Plop spoonfull of goo into hot greased (margerine!) pan (you did soap the outside of pan, right? That prevents permanent blacking of outside.). Grease spoon, Mash goo down into biscuit shape. Fry and turn as needed. Repeat with more goo. When done, split "ho-cake" and insert strawberry preserves.


Measure appropriate oatmeal amount into ZLPBag, add appropriate amount of dry milk, strawberry preserves or dry fruit. Time to cook, add hot water to bag, mush around alot, eat from bag.


Find your grandmom's Hot Cocoa recipe (not "Quik")(Heloise published an easy one lately). Measure out cocoa, sugar, and generous portions of powdered milk into ZLPBag. Seal and mix up thoroughly. When needed, spoon appropriate amount out of bag into cup. Add Hot water, stir. OR:::: Substitute Ovaltine for Cocoa and sugar. (Sugar's already in it). Use Patrol coffee pot and make alot all at once.


If you are cold weather camping, you can break eggs, pre-cooked sausage, cheese etc. into your ubiquitous ZLPBag and seal and FREEZE IT SOLID. ((NOTE: RAW sausage, bacon, ham does not do well in this scenario. Cook it ahead of time before including in the ZLPBag)). Squeeze out as much air as possible before you freeze it. When time to cook, either peel off the bag and slide the block into your greased pan, or try boiling the bag in a pot of water. Hang the bag so it does not touch the hot sides of the pot. Try this at home first, some brands of ZLPBags are more (less?) heatable than others.


Easiest Backpack recipe... Dinty Moore stew and a Scout knife can opener. Fold can top back into handle, be careful. Heat slowly, stir to heat evenly, prevent burning. Use empty can (washed out) for other boiling duties.


Walk on...



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