Has anyone got any top suggestions for what to have for breakfast on a multi-day hike?
I've seen a few people who recommend just piling straight into you trail mix / other snacks from the point when you get up, but I quite like to get a bit of carb in me to start the day. As light as possible is good, but we'd rather not have to start cooking stuff in the morning (and hence carrying extra gas etc). Plus my girlfriend really hates porridge. And we're looking at four to six days of walking, so nothing that's going to go off.
So not asking for too much then! Any pro-tips or genius ideas? Cereal bars seem like a decent shout at the moment, or maybe something home made and flapjack like...
Butteries and pancakes on my last trip. Sometimes I take brioches or pan au chocolate - you can get them individually wrapped in bags of 6 or 8. I like the butteries though - they're nice and salty, and after a couple of days they go stale and crunchy (in a good way). Easy to get bored of sweet stuff when backpacking with endless cereal bars and chocolate etc.
I nearly always make porridge in combination with a pain au chocolat or brioche, or malt loaf, or cereal bar. If porridge was off the menu, I'd be tempted to replace it with granola and powdered milk - although I find that powdered milk tastes particularly rank unless it's in a hot drink.
It is as unpleasant as it sounds. It was brainwave I had when I was about 14/15. I tried it for a couple of weekends out and could never get past the rank meat farts and the greasy tea or coffee.
These days I prefer oatmeal and coffee in a separate mug.
If it's calories you're after, don't buy powdered skimmed milk like 'Marvel'.
Nestle Nido is full cream milk powder in a 400g tin ( about 3l of reconstituted 'milk') for about £3.80.
503kcal/100g. 2 years shelf life if unopened but it'll go rancid quicker than Mravel due to the fat content. Not bad tasting, you can make it double strength so it's like having cream with whatever.
Nido is a revelation as far as powdered milk goes. It actually tastes like milk when reconstituted (which it does pretty easily), and, as you point out, has a good whack of calories. Hard to find in the supermarkets, but every 'ethnic shop' near me stocks it, in tins from 440g to 2.3kg...
Shame the OP's GF doesn't like porridge, because cinnamon & raisin porridge with Nido is one of my staples. Pre-packed in ziplock bags; add boiling water and leave in a cosy. Hot chocolate is the same. I think this breakfast comes in at about 600kcal.
Rancidity can be delayed by storing in the fridge; just take care to scoop it out quickly so it doesn't develop condensation and get damp.
> If it's calories you're after, don't buy powdered skimmed milk like 'Marvel'.
Most of powdered milk's bad reputation is because folk do not know the best way to reconstitute it.
The old boxes/tins used to recommend the following (adjusted for campers);
Fill a container (nalgene bottle/flask) one third full with milk powder, add another third of water (ideally not too hot or cold), put top on and shake, top up to full with water. If hot milk required, heat gently after this mixing routine.
Works quite well , nicer to my palate than UHT, but I prefer fresh semi skimmed.
> Shame the OP's GF doesn't like porridge, because cinnamon & raisin porridge with Nido is one of my staples. Pre-packed in ziplock bags; add boiling water and leave in a cosy. Hot chocolate is the same. I think this breakfast comes in at about 600kcal.
Yes, I agree. I got through a 400g tin every 3-5 days over a 4 month walk. Porridge with Nido and brown sugar every day for breakfast, I never tired of it.
I sometimes make a pot of noodle soup. Not ideal for breakfast in the traditional sense but they are loaded with calories. I find a coffee and biscuit bars after makes a meal that keeps me going till lunch. Fast and easy too.
Pick up some freeze dried fruit or fruit powders from http://www.healthysupplies.co.uk/ and mix them in with your muesli. I like freeze dried apple chunks, cinnamon and milk powder with supermarket value muesli.
The pain au chcolat or brioche idea is a winner as well
In reply to Ramblin dave: I havent back packed for a few years now, I used to like a packet of Golden Wonder rice, I always liked the strong beef flavours best. I added more water so I had a kind of soup for breakfast. I used to carry pitta breads as well, so maybe some pitta bread and soup. You could always make a simple bannock bread for breakfast
I like to have Hunter's Sausage for a breakfast. It's Russian / Polish dry and smoked sausages. They come in different state. Some are absolutely dry and can stay backpack for months. But even fresh still wet ones can survive few weeks thanks for smoking. It's a good idea to warm them up with a gas burner or even matches for a minute. Improves the taste dramatically.
All Eastern European stores are selling those. £10 per kg.
For a proper breakfast I combine 3 - 4 sausages with bread. Pita is the best for backpacking. And it's very cheap. If I have any veggies I add them as well.
It makes ~600 cal meal. Just enough for the start of the day.
Many other smoked products are good for hikes. Most of smoked product will stay fresh for at least a week without refrigeration. Taste is far better than the dry ones. German smoked cheese, smoked fish, Czech smoked ham, Spanish sausages. And the best is smoked pig's ears.
I really liked the rice pudding. Quick cook rice, milk powder, coconut flakes also add creaminess. Carry some plain, shelled pistachios and dried cranberries in a sperate small bag and add them just before you eat.
The cheesey grits recipe was rank (and you may have difficulty finding grits in the UK - and we foind that polenta or cornmeal does not work for this recipe).
The freezer bag method of cooking did me well on a 6 day (5 night) hike in Ontario.
Wow, thanks everyone. Some good ideas here. Although I'm now thinking about oatcakes and chocolate spread.
I've got into geeking out over calorie values and fat and carbohydrate levels and suchlike now - I'm finding it strangely fascinating. Possibly because it's so diametrically opposed to the usual use of nutritional information...
> I've got into geeking out over calorie values and fat and carbohydrate levels and suchlike now
That's fine if you're only considering dried foods. but when it comes to tins, such as the alloy pull ring ones with oily fish in them, much of the stated calorific value is from the oil that the fish are in, which can be significant.
You can maybe drink it once or twice, but if it's a regular part of your menu on a long trip, the dry boak may become familiar, as I found out.
I'd say most people can afford to loose weight if it's only a couple of weeks trip, so apart from the first few days craving for what your body's used to, seriously playing the calorie game is only for long trips.
If you go to South Africa they sell sachets of porridge called 'oat-so-easy' (or oat-so-simple, it's the opposite of however the UK version is named). Unlike the UK version they use water rather than milk, and you can eat them cold if you give them 15-20 minutes to absorb the water.
My GF and I did 10 days in Norway the year before last - brekky was the UK Oat-so sachets with dried milk, lunch was ryvita and peanut butter and a muesli bar, tea was double portions of mug shots as they only require boiling water and not boiling themselves. Additional bits and bobs (dried fruit, chocolate, soreen, custard, salami) were also consumed.
> I'd say most people can afford to loose weight if it's only a couple of weeks trip, so apart from the first few days craving for what your body's used to, seriously playing the calorie game is only for long trips.
True (and to be honest, working out how many calories you actually need seems to be an imprecise science so figuring out what to take is always going to be a crapshoot). But how many opportunities do you get to spoon chocolate spread into your gob and feel like you're actually doing the Right Thing?
I'm probably not going to be taking tins of fish in any case, partly because my girlfriend is a veggie as well as a porridge refusenik. Biltong, on the other hand...
It's true it's a good way of loosing a bit of the fat. But on other hand then you are hungry:
1. It demotivates.
2. Perception suffers.
3. Judgment is driver by hunger.
4. High chance of injury.
Oil is amazing for nutrition on the track. Usually I add it to everything except water :D
But oil from fish cans is not the best bet. It's low quality sunflower oil. A small bottle of extra virgin olive oil will make your stomach much happier.
Unlike the UK version they use water rather than milk, and you can eat them cold if you give them 15-20 minutes to absorb the water
Is Oat-so-simple supposed to be made with milk? I've always just used water. So much for reading the instructions.
But I've actually not noticed any difference between OSS and normal oats from a 1kg supermarket bag, so apart from the convenience of pre-measured portion sizes, it's much cheaper just to buy a big sack of oats and take what you need each trip.
Though the oat-so-simple bags are quite good for popping used toilet paper in, with that waxy lining
> but when it comes to tins, such as the alloy pull ring ones with oily fish in them, much of the stated calorific value is from the oil that the fish are in, which can be significant. You can maybe drink it once or twice
Then don't drink it; pour it into something that will soak it up, and benefit from the flavour, texture and calories it adds to boring carbohydrates such as instant mash, cous-cous, etc.
The only reason you'd need to drink the oil is if you ate the fish standalone, and, frankly, I wouldn't dream of doing that; it would always be to add a bit of protein to a meal, since tinned fish is, for all the calories in the oil, a fairly heavy way of carrying calories.
> Then don't drink it; pour it into something that will soak it up, and benefit from the flavour, texture and calories it adds to boring carbohydrates such as instant mash, cous-cous, etc.
There's never just one strategy that suits all.
Perhaps I wanted smoked mussels at breakfast and didn't want to pour fish oil into my porridge. Perhaps I preferred a starter with an entirely different flavour. Perhaps I didn't want to have the one pot I was using tainted with fish when I had my cup of tea to follow. Perhaps, e.g. in the midge season, I didn't want to leave the tent to wash fishy utensils, etc, etc.
The only time I did find left over oil handy was to fry Black grouse breasts from some moorkill I encountered.
> The only reason you'd need to drink the oil is if you ate the fish standalone, and, frankly, I wouldn't dream of doing that; it would always be to add a bit of protein to a meal, since tinned fish is, for all the calories in the oil, a fairly heavy way of carrying calories.
I'm glad you wouldn't dream of doing that.
As you will know, in the real, pragmatic world, there is a trade off between palatability/ calories per gramme/wanting variety/packability/ use by date/...
I'm glad that what works for you works for you.
I was merely trying to pass on some observations gained by my experience of
using small (lightweight, alloy)cans of fishy stuff in oil. I pointed out that what you may find edible may not come close to the labelled value ( not all tins clearly state the drained calorific value).
I'm not a fan of the muesli with powdered milk as so many here seem to like.
One of my regular breakfasts is to make a very light black tea and pour just enough into my muesli to soak in and make it a bit mushy. I use standard tea bags, but just dunk them briefly in to the water. Works particularly well with muesli that has dehydrated strawberries in it for some reason.
> Your point about fishy tainting was well made, too.
Yeah, I'd have assumed that if I was carrying tinned fish (which I probably won't be anyway...) it'd be to dump in couscous or instant mash, but I hadn't thought about the smelly pot.
FWIW we're looking at carrying food for five or six days. The basic rations are probably going to be couscous and instant mash flavoured with powdered soup and parmesan or chorizo or pine nuts for dinner, and nuts, raisins, chocolate and dried bananas as trail food, with some biltong if I can get hold of any. Plus maybe a few delicacies like instant semolina and nutella or similar.
In reply to Ramblin dave: Going slightly off-topic in my own thread here, how much Smash can a normal person get through in an evening meal after a hill day? I remember getting a perfect sized bothy dinner for two hungry walkers out of it in Scotland this winter, but i can't remember whether that was from a single 176g pack or two of them...
This stuff is delicious! Like eating a great big, heavy, almond bun. No idea where to get it in this country but theres an ingredients list on the website to have a go at making your own if you are culinary skilled. Otherwise, stock up next time you're around Zermatt!