/ Backpacking Breakfasts
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...
I used to do muesli and powdered milk, but have gone right off it recently. These days I just pack a bit of extra trail mix/dried fruit/oat cakes and eat them with a drop of water.
Home made Flapjacks are always damn fine food whatever time of day.
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.
fried potato cakes - delicious! jam donuts are good too.
Malt loaf, tasty, full of carbs, doesn't matter if it gets squashed and you can just tear lumps off.
Wayfarer boil in the bag breakfast, as long as you can stomach it. Stove on for coffee, heat brekker at the same time, have drink and hot breakfast with minimum of fuss.
Some good ideas here, thanks!
I have a disproportionate weakness for jam doughnuts, though, so if I took those they probably wouldn't last the first day...
Hot dogs. Franks into the boiling water for a couple of minutes and then use the water for your coffee.
I'd be inclined to use the water for Bovril. Actually sounds tasty.
Does the coffee taste meaty?
Bok! nice coffee that with its greasy oil slick on top. Yummy.
Mind not as bad as someone I used to climb with. I discovered during bad weather he would piss in his pot. I was horrified to realise I had in the past had brews from his fecking piss pot.
Beware : I found out later he is not alone.
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.
If you don't want to cook, then scotch eggs are good. If you are happy to cook, then take powdered egg and milk powder and make scrambled eggs. Super lightweight and great calories to start the day
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.
I like pumpernickel as a long life bread option. Very different taste, so make sure you like it, but great if you're craving a bit more starch/fibre rather than all high energy snacks.
Granola or museli in a pour and store bag with Nido. Just add water. Or hot water if you want a hot breakfast :-)
For me, either Smash with plenty of butter and black pepper, or ready brek with golden syrup already in the bag with it.
The butter can live in the bag of smash if it's hot.
>then take powdered egg and milk powder and make scrambled eggs
Where are you getting the powdered egg? I see the My Protein stuff but never need that much.
You go backpacking with a fridge?
This is 10 eggs worth, so for a 4 to 6 day trip, the OP and gf could easily get through the whole packet. Failing that though, if you want it for yourself and not using it all, just put the amount you want to take in a zip lock bag and seal the rest of it up to use next time.
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.
A good friend has the habit of boiling eggs for breakfast and then making tea with the water. Then on the car journey home he develops a slow puncture.
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.
OK, I'm in. Just ordered 6x400g so it better be good.
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.
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.
A ha ha ha ha ha. No.
The rate of rancidity isn't a problem on trips. It's a problem in long-term in storage in a cupboard. Hence the suggestion to store the opened tin in the fridge.
Pittas are good, yes. As are tortillas. Both compact and relatively robust (they're 'pre-squashed'...).
Loads of recipes here:
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.
I always have pots of porridge very light ,just had water and I take a tube of condensed milk for the sweetness to add to it ..
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...
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.
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
+1 for buttered malt loaf
I add powdered milk to oats so simple before leaving to that I can just splash some hot water in and away you go.
Oat cakes and nutella is good, as is brioche. I've not tried the egg/milk powder trick but will do on my next trip because I get sick of almost everything being sweet.
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.
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.
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).
Oat-so-simple has got powdered milk in it...
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.
Also +1 to all the suggestions of Malt Loaf :o)
Sorry; my post sounded more antagonistic than I intended; it was meant, like yours, to be a constructive suggestion.
Your point about fishy tainting was well made, too. You're obviously more adventurous in your breakfasts than me; I think the smoked mussels would probably have me chucking up, let alone the oil...
I really liked them to begin. By month 3 I was giving the tins away when I reached hostels.
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.
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...
Just to add to the breakfast (or anytime snack) suggestions:
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!
Just remembered - Dr.Karg crispbreads (from Waitrose, dunno who else sells them). The tomato/mozarella ones are essentially pizza for hikers :-). For that sort of food they're fairly crushproof.
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