While dehydrated foods should comprise some of your fare in the back country, you can eat whole foods on the trail. Depending on your goals for your back country trip, food is an enjoyable part of the experience. This being said, making whole meals with fresh food is and can be ENJOYABLE!
Honestly, all you need is a little preparation time and a creative spirit. There are 2 ways to plan and prepare your meals.  One strategy is a meal by meal basis. This method works well for shorter trips. For longer expeditions, a great way to plan your meals is through ration planning. Mostly I would recommend having a mix of both as you get better at planning.

How to get yummy whole foods and meals into the back country?

There are many books and resources written about this topic. I can’t share everything here. One things that has helped me is carrying a frying pan and being selective about the pots and pans I choose. Using a frying pan in the backcountry has been HUGE for the success of my meals. You can also bake with them! Check out www.frybake.com. Also the stove you choose is important. The jet boils, and canister style stoves limit your ability to cook. I personally choose a MSR Whisperlite. Also a great cookbook, NOLS Cookery written by Claudia Pearson,  is a must read. This book will inspire you and help you understand that eating WELL in the backcountry is possible.

Lay out a menu on a piece of paper . Things to remember: How many people, how many stoves, how many pots per stove, how many days, and how many meals per day. Once you have a layout, get creative with meals. You are looking for meals that taste great and are fresh, quick to make, and weigh as little as possible. Meals that are high in fat and protein are the best!
Energy –  Fats – burn long and slow, help to sustain your energy and keep you warm at night! Don’t forget the chocolate!
Proteins – the building blocks for your body. Necessary to sustain you. Also harder to break down but give you lasting energy.
Carbs – good sources of energy that burn quickly. These are used best in between your meals to sustain you for your next boost of fats and proteins.
Sugars – short quick burst of energy to help you get that tent up in the rain!
How to get yummy whole foods and meals into the back country?
There are many books and resources written about this topic. I can’t share everything here, but in future articles I will highlight some of them. One thing that has helped me is a frying pan and the pots and pans I choose. Using a frying pan in the backcountry has been HUGE for the success of my meals. You can also bake with them!  Also the stove you choose is important. The jet boil and canister style stoves limit your ability to cook. I personally choose a MSR Whisperlite.
Here is what inspired the writing. I got this recipe from a friend of a friend, Bev McIrvin.

Lefse
4 cups mashed or riced potatoes-dry and cooled (You want them very fine and dried out)
3/4 cup melted butter
1/2 cup evaporated milk
2 1/2 cup flour-work it in then knead the dough

Work the dough until it is fairly dry, not sticky.
On a rolling surface (I use a tupperware one or a cloth covered board) roll out about a fistful of dough until it’s very thin. Use lots of flour to keep from sticking. Place on a hot 350-400? flat skillet ( I use teflon) Turn over in about 30 seconds to the other side. Then remove and place on a cloth or paper to cool. The tool used to turn and move the lefse is a thin small wooden stick that slides under the dough. I use a couple of wooden skewers. To freeze I place them between wax paper and put about 8 into ziplock bags.They will keep for several months. You can put PB or PB&J, butter and sugar/cinamon, or whatever you like in them. Good Luck!    -Bev”
Hope this article and recipe inspires you to EAT WELL in the backcountry!

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