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#108413 - 12/28/08 08:51 PM Winter camping food choices
thecook Offline


Registered: 10/03/08
Posts: 541
Loc: Minnesota
I debated putting this under hiking with kids or food but thought it would get the most play here. What do you all take for food when winter camping in the 0F to 20F range? I'm taking my kids out next week and am still trying to figure out what to take that: 1) they will eat 2) will still have a chance of being warm when they eat it and 3) will give them enough energy to stay warm. I should mention that my son has a milk allergy and my daughter is a mostly vegetarian.
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#108428 - 12/29/08 01:56 AM Re: Winter camping food choices [Re: thecook]
Brotherbob12 Offline
member

Registered: 04/05/04
Posts: 71
Loc: Sweden
I usually eat oatmeal in the morning, and a bag of freeze dried food (there are veg alternatives) and sandwishes for lunch and dinner. Fruit soup from dried fruit and tea or hot chocolate at night. Always keep chocolate and candy at hand. Sweet soup and chocholate are great if the kids are picky but everything tastes better out there, even for kids. If you bring a thermos per person you don't have to use the stove for lunch. Remember to drink fluids even when not thirsty. Dehydration happens easily and will lower body temp, especially in younger persons. Have a great trip!

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#108429 - 12/29/08 03:02 AM Re: Winter camping food choices [Re: Brotherbob12]
TomD Offline
Moderator

Registered: 10/30/03
Posts: 4963
Loc: Marina del Rey,CA
BrotherBob is on the right track. The big challenge is calories-the more the better. I am bad about eating enough in winter, so am conscious about what I eat. Lots of carbs-mac & cheese would be good. Stews of some kind, vegetarian chili, freeze dried rice,dried meats for the meat eaters.

Look at Sarbar's website. She has been kind enough to post a bunch of recipes, including vegetarian meals on it. www.freezerbagcooking.com
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#108443 - 12/29/08 11:53 AM Re: Winter camping food choices [Re: thecook]
ringtail Offline
member

Registered: 08/22/02
Posts: 2296
Loc: Colorado Rockies
My food system is built around the ZipLoc 2 cup screw on top containers with ccf pad cozies.

Mary Jane Farms individual serving meals are great. My favoite is Kettle Chili with about 1.5 oz. of turkey pepperoni and olive oil added.

Idahoan Brand mashed potatos are also good. The two cup ZipLoc will hold half a bag. Add soy based Bacos, cheese and olive oil for extra flavor. Also make gravy in an extra container with the grocery store packets. Maybe add some just veggies.

I try to limit the amount of ingredients that need to be protected from freezing-- but I put and some ingredients in an inside pocket before cooking.
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#108465 - 12/29/08 08:01 PM Re: Winter camping food choices [Re: ringtail]
thecook Offline


Registered: 10/03/08
Posts: 541
Loc: Minnesota
Thanks for all the suggestions and please keep them coming! You all have great ideas. My basic problem is that my kids eat too well at home. Almost every meal is home cooked, from scratch, with fresh ingredients. After that, the move to eating meals made from dried or freeze dried ingredients is a hard one. I suppose I don't set a very good example either grin (see signature) I make real steamed rice, pancakes, bake biscuits, and generally manage to keep up with my by line during warmer months but haven't found a way to make that work when the temperature never rises above 20F (sometimes never about 0F-this is after all Minnesota blush)
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If I wouldn't eat it at home, why would I want to eat it on the trail?

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#108469 - 12/29/08 09:36 PM Re: Winter camping food choices [Re: thecook]
lori Offline
member

Registered: 01/22/08
Posts: 2801
Why not put some of those meals in the dehydrator?

You could read A Fork in the Trail for inspiration and tips on what ingredients work well in dehydrators and some that don't. I dehydrated home made chili. Takes a while to rehydrate but comes back from the process pretty well. I wouldn't have expected to be able to dehydrate some of the recipes in the book and will probably make some of them for dinner at home - some good eating in there.
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#108479 - 12/29/08 11:53 PM Re: Winter camping food choices [Re: thecook]
Jimshaw Offline
member

Registered: 10/22/03
Posts: 3938
Loc: Bend, Oregon
Taking food that your body is accustomed to, can help avoid 3 days of indigestion after the trip. If the quality of the food matters to you, then by all means take quality food. Gourmet camping trips beat freeze dried or zip lock cooking yuck...

One of the very best winter meals we ever ate - my buddy and I and our wives ordered Chinese food the night before our camping trip and ordered two extra items to take camping - one was steamed short ribs - I have a steamer that fits my titanium pan, and mushroom beef.

Otherwise I cook spaghetti a lot in the winter.
Jim
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These are my own opinions based on wisdom earned through many wrong decisions. Your mileage may vary.

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#108509 - 12/30/08 07:06 PM Re: Winter camping food choices [Re: Jimshaw]
thecook Offline


Registered: 10/03/08
Posts: 541
Loc: Minnesota
Jim,

Are you talking about cooking pasta or rehydrating it? I've avoided cooking pasta for winter camping because of the issue of draining it and getting wet hands or feet. If you are cooking it, how do you drain the pasta?
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If I wouldn't eat it at home, why would I want to eat it on the trail?

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#108515 - 12/30/08 10:38 PM Re: Winter camping food choices [Re: thecook]
lori Offline
member

Registered: 01/22/08
Posts: 2801
I cook and dehydrate pasta. It rehydrates without needing actual cooking that way. A trick from the Freezer Bag Cooking website.
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#108583 - 12/31/08 09:12 PM Re: Winter camping food choices [Re: Jimshaw]
Jimshaw Offline
member

Registered: 10/22/03
Posts: 3938
Loc: Bend, Oregon
When traveling with a partner in the winter, I carry a dual burner expedition version of the Coleman Xtreme stove. It makes it easy to have hot pasta and sauce at the same time. It means I can melt water and cook breakfast at the same time also. After the pasta is cooked I hold the lid slightly ajar on the pan, tilt the pan and pour the water onto the ground being careful not to pour it on myself. The sauce is water based, it doesn't matter if a bit of water is left in the pan. Generally in the Winter you would then mix the two ingrediants in one pan and then dish out half and eat half right out of the pan. Its common to carry one pan per person, reserving the larger for water melting and the smaller for cooking. You would use the larger water pan to cook the pasta, then clean it immediately afterward with snow, then some hot water to get off the starch, then you can use it for water again. Of course the pasta pan is first cleaned with snow, then hot water. Fuel intensive yes, but then winter camping pleasures mostly revolve around heat, so lots of fuel makes for a better trip, and tastier.

In the winter you need real food and lots of calories. You spend a lot of time in camp and snow is abundant. Why not do fuel and water intensive cooking to produce a superior meal? Let me say that home made Hungarian Goulash over real egg noodles is truly fine. I either carry angel hair pasta or egg noodles. I also carry a titanium skillet and often cook sausage in the morning. One of our favorite morning wake ups was a cup of hot home made chicken broth.

As I alluded to earlier, you can also put a folding steamer into a pot and warm most anything.
Jim
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These are my own opinions based on wisdom earned through many wrong decisions. Your mileage may vary.

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#108628 - 01/01/09 09:40 PM Re: Winter camping food choices [Re: Jimshaw]
thecook Offline


Registered: 10/03/08
Posts: 541
Loc: Minnesota
Thanks thanks I have never had much luck using the pan lid as a strainer, whether at home or on the trail. I'm just to mutch of a Klutz when it comes to pouring out of a pan and always dump the water on me or drop all the food on the ground frown I also take lots of fuel winter camping and make lots of food, usually heating up frozen, precooked, homemade meals or even frying up a steak eek Thats not quite so practical with my kids as I have to drag most of the gear behind me on a sled and tend to run out of room for everything. Thus, I'm trying to keep the food smaller in space and lighter in weight than usual.


Edited by thecook (01/01/09 09:41 PM)
Edit Reason: should have proofed before I posted!
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If I wouldn't eat it at home, why would I want to eat it on the trail?

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#108629 - 01/01/09 10:01 PM Re: Winter camping food choices [Re: thecook]
phat Offline
Moderator

Registered: 06/24/07
Posts: 4107
Loc: Alberta, Canada

My advice - take whatever your kids like to eat, and lots
of it. If they like chocolate and snacks be sure to take plenty of that too.. If you're taking kids out don't take too "different" a menu. You need to eat lots and hearty in the cold.

What *I* take in winter doesn't matter. Take lots of stuff
your kids will like to eat in quantity.

Suggestions:

Kraft Dinner
Chocolate chocolate and more chocolate
Hot Chocolate
Shortbread or other High Fat High sugar cookies
M & M's
Pop Tarts

(BTW, I like treating myself to all those various
junky things in quantity in winter wink



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#108721 - 01/03/09 06:22 PM Re: Winter camping food choices [Re: phat]
thecook Offline


Registered: 10/03/08
Posts: 541
Loc: Minnesota
Thanks to all for the swuggestions thanks Take a look at camping with kids for a quick trip report.
_________________________
If I wouldn't eat it at home, why would I want to eat it on the trail?

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#109097 - 01/10/09 01:54 PM Re: Winter camping food choices [Re: thecook]
JAK Offline
member

Registered: 03/19/04
Posts: 2569
I love food. frown

A big chunk of cheese is good with black coffee.
Gouda, Havarti, stuff with caraway seeds, whatever.

Gotta lose weight, but I love food. frown

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#109098 - 01/10/09 01:59 PM Re: Winter camping food choices [Re: JAK]
JAK Offline
member

Registered: 03/19/04
Posts: 2569
I always bring a big tub of honey, in the plastic dispenser I buy it in. Good with lots of things, including snow, and it can just go back up on the shelf when you return. Chocolates, I'm afraid, would never make it back to the shelf. They would be lucky to make it to the trailhead.

Speaking of which. Bacon. I like a bacon and eggs breakfast at a truckstop before the trailhead. I am going to bring a pound of bacon with me on a trip this winter also, and maybe do something with the leftover bacon fat, like biscuits, or just drink it straight up. lol

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#110184 - 01/27/09 06:06 PM Re: Winter camping food choices [Re: thecook]
Becks Offline
member

Registered: 01/27/09
Posts: 18
Loc: Switzerland
I would have considered cheese fondue and some bread, but with a milk allergy itīs not the best idea.

You can buy such stuff in every supermarket (ready to heat and eat - cheese with white wine and so spice), it takes less than 5 min until itīs hot and the typical 1 person package (400G, around 14 oz) contains enough energy for a night in the snow.

smile

Becks


Edited by Becks (01/27/09 06:07 PM)

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#110203 - 01/27/09 07:49 PM Re: Winter camping food choices [Re: Becks]
phat Offline
Moderator

Registered: 06/24/07
Posts: 4107
Loc: Alberta, Canada

Yes, but how can you have kasefondue without wine? - and then it gets heavy, and I get stupid smile
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Any fool can be uncomfortable...
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Winter list.
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#110245 - 01/28/09 05:44 AM Re: Winter camping food choices [Re: phat]
Becks Offline
member

Registered: 01/27/09
Posts: 18
Loc: Switzerland
Oh,
that's no problem at all. If I only do a short walk (e.g. up on a mountain, sleep there, make another excursion on the next day and then travel back to my car), it's not a real problem to carry an additional bottle of wine.

Alex

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#110259 - 01/28/09 10:55 AM Re: Winter camping food choices [Re: Becks]
midnightsun03 Offline
member

Registered: 08/06/03
Posts: 2936
Loc: Alaska
An additional bottle of wine? Sounds like my kind of excursion, LOL.
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#110271 - 01/28/09 01:09 PM Re: Winter camping food choices [Re: midnightsun03]
Becks Offline
member

Registered: 01/27/09
Posts: 18
Loc: Switzerland
Ah,
I should add: beside the normal bottle (containing water).

And an explanation with pictures:


During summer, on the way up to our sleeping place (on the photo is a colleague of me). With ropes, 2 iceaxes, screws and all the other stuff some additional weight doesnīt matter any more, especially if the way up to the sleeping place only take 3-4 hours.


Sleeping place, in the background on the left the target for the next day. Anything not needed (sleeping bag, stove, the empty bottle) is left behind and picked up later after returning from the top.

Bringing up a wine and drinking while watching the sun go down is worth carrying the extra weight.

Alex


Edited by Becks (01/28/09 01:32 PM)

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#110275 - 01/28/09 01:29 PM Re: Winter camping food choices [Re: Becks]
thecook Offline


Registered: 10/03/08
Posts: 541
Loc: Minnesota
Doesn't this tie into another thread about decanting wine and how well that works confused Those target 1/2 of a bottle wine boxes works great. I must admit, however, that I am partial to stronger spirits than wine when on the trail.
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If I wouldn't eat it at home, why would I want to eat it on the trail?

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#110288 - 01/28/09 04:32 PM Re: Winter camping food choices [Re: Becks]
midnightsun03 Offline
member

Registered: 08/06/03
Posts: 2936
Loc: Alaska
Oh my, I am absolutely drooling now. What kind of elevation do you guys start from, and what are your elevations in these photos? Swiss Alps I presume? How easy is access to your hiking areas? Is it always that sunny there in the summer? Vinyards nearby? (trying to keep on theme...)

MNS
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#110466 - 01/31/09 03:19 PM Re: Winter camping food choices [Re: midnightsun03]
Becks Offline
member

Registered: 01/27/09
Posts: 18
Loc: Switzerland
HAHA smile

Ok, the pics were taken in France near Chamonix, on the way up to aiguille de Chamonix (3600m, 11.8k feet). the sleeping place is located at around 2200m (7200 feet) and the way up from the car to the sleeping place takes around 4 hours (at least this is measured the same way in Europe and USA).

If you ever have been able to sit in front of a hut or your tent, looking at the sun going down, and enjoying a wine together with your meal, then you are willing to carry the additional amount of weight. I also take a gheavy tripod with me in case there is a chance that I can make good photos.



6 hours to reach this small one, but I had a good tripod and wine.



And here is the reason why.


Alex


Edited by Becks (01/31/09 04:10 PM)

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#110488 - 01/31/09 08:18 PM Re: Winter camping food choices [Re: Jimshaw]
sabre11004 Offline
member

Registered: 05/05/07
Posts: 513
Loc: Tennessee
Jimshaw, what does your pack weigh in at with the double burner stove and those nice pots and pans. I know that your pack will always weigh more in the winter as mine does but I was just wondering...sabre11004...

The first step that you take will be one of those that get you there!!!!!!
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#110517 - 02/01/09 01:58 PM Re: Winter camping food choices [Re: sabre11004]
Jimshaw Offline
member

Registered: 10/22/03
Posts: 3938
Loc: Bend, Oregon
Sabre

If I am traveling with another person in winter, I often carry the dual burner Coleman X stove. I beieve it weighs 21 oz. My largest 2 titanium pans and the MSR heat exchanger weigh 20 oz. So the pans and stove come to 20 oz per person plus fuel. This gives us unlimited fast access to hot water, easy cooking with hot coffee and breakfast cooking at the same time. I could leave out the heat exchanger and carry a 14 oz single burner Xstreme stove, but we would only save half a pound each and in the winter that half a pound can mean the difference between lots of hot drinks and pasta with hot sauce on it, vs hot pasta cold sauce or the other way around.

The cook gear is a winter essential. If it means my winter pack weighs 25 pounds instead of 24, thats ok. I could also travel MUCH lighter if I didn't take my 4.5 pounds Bibler Eldorado tent, but my decadent camping style - nice tent - good food - warm feet would suffer.

Jim
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These are my own opinions based on wisdom earned through many wrong decisions. Your mileage may vary.

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