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PostPosted: September 30th, 2017, 5:51 pm 
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Hey folks,

We are in the process of handing the reigns over to the Scouts for a camp in November to organize their own food for the weekend. That is plan and obtain. I'm looking for solid ideas to give them - basically a huge list they can pick a few things from. This is for a friday to sunday self-contained hiking trip into the backwoods.

Here are some of the things I've come up with so far:
- canned beans
- canned soup
- canned chili
- pouches of instant mashed potatoes
- cous cous
- pasta / kraft dinner (requires a lot of fuel)
- dry pancake mix that only requires water
- fresh eggs in an egg holder
- salami
- jerky
- dry soup pouches
- fresh bagels (bread that is tough to crush)
- hummus
- power bars
- those dehydrated meal-in-a-pouch from the outfitter's
- trail mix, nuts, M&Ms
- canned tuna / salmon / sardines
- instant oatmeal


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PostPosted: September 30th, 2017, 6:08 pm 
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We always do breakfast hash on our canoe trips but I don't think that is as suited for self contained hiking.

Maybe take a potato and onion and make their own. But they'd need oil and seasoning too. Or pre-cut it at home and mix it all up to fry.


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PostPosted: September 30th, 2017, 6:30 pm 
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Mr Noodles!


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PostPosted: September 30th, 2017, 6:34 pm 
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The Chef! (Chef Boy Ardee)


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PostPosted: September 30th, 2017, 7:33 pm 
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Pop tarts and Snickers bars!


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PostPosted: October 1st, 2017, 2:38 am 
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Prospector16: You failed to provide three (3) critical items of information in your request, i.e.:

1. the number, ages and physical condition & capabilities of the participants (adult leaders vs. Scouts);

2. whether all cooked meals will be prepared in one setting or by smaller groups; and,

3. how far you intend to hike on each day, i.e., Friday, Saturday, Sunday.

The above info would help me provide you with appropriate menu suggestions. While I realize budget is no doubt your primary concern, I leave you with the following thoughts . . .

1. Unless you're planning to camp at your trip launch point on Friday, forget packing canned foods where you may be able to leave behind the empty, used cans. Not only are canned goods excessively heavy to carry, there are re-sealable 'pouch' substitutes that take far less packing space and weigh much less. Further, if you subscribe to the environmentally-sensitive, "pack-in, carry-out" practice, you must pack the empty cans for the duration of your trip. Ugh!

2. Organize the food list you offer the Scouts (and the trip leaders!) by Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner & Trail Snacks.

3. Avoid breakfasts that involve time-consuming preparation and clean-up (e.g., pancakes or bacon & eggs) in preference to granola, oatmeal, hot drinks or freeze-dried prepared meals that can be prepared in the pouch. If your budget permits, consider Mountain House breakfast menus such as Scrambled Eggs or Biscuits & Gravy--well worth the extra expense considering the minimal prep time and limited clean-up.

4. Your food list does not mention 'condiments', (e.g., mustard, relish, ketchup, mayo, &c.), that can help spice up any meal. Deploy your Scouts to collect non-perishable pouches of same from local fast-food purveyors, e.g. Burger King, McDonald's, A&W, &c. Let the hounds loose!

5. Your food list does not include frozen foods that could be used on Friday night, i.e., burgers or hot-dogs with tomatoes, onions, lettuce, pickles & the condiments mentioned above or, depending on your budget, steaks or pork chops with roasted veggies (e.g., potatoes, carrots, onions, mushrooms, &c.) that can be grilled in aluminum foil over an open fire. Such first-night meal options may satisfy 'newbies' who have little, if any, previous camping experience to minimize their outdoor camping culture shock!

6. Create 'GORP' packs including beef jerky in individual Zip-lock bags for each participant as trail snacks and supplements to lunch meals. Take your Scouts on a shopping trip to the local bulk food store but be careful they don't go overboard!

7. Finally, poll each participant (both Scouts & adult leaders) for food allergies (e.g., peanuts) or religious food restrictions before you finalize the menus you offer.

Good luck with your menu planning! If you need any further advice, you have but to ask.


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PostPosted: October 1st, 2017, 7:01 am 
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OvaEasy Egg crystals, add packets of bacon bits or Jimmy Deans sausage bits, shredded cheese, dried mushrooms, onions and peppers for a great pan of scrambled eggs.

Knorr rice and pasta packets and add Tyson Chicken packets or dried chicken.

Tuna Helper with tuna packets or Hamburger Helper with dried hamburger. Add dried vegetables too.

Instant puddings using Nido instant milk for dessert.

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PostPosted: October 1st, 2017, 10:19 am 
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Ditch all that can stuff.. Or if you like it, dehydrate the canned stuff at home.. Add water at camp. If you wander the center aisle in a market you will find all sorts of dehydrated meals in a box. Just add a protein.. Ground beef dehydrated or ground pork.

The dehydration process does NOT require a dehydrator. Just an oven. And it gives the Scouts some insight into planning for their future excursions.

Hash browns are fun and there are some excellent pre dried in a box HB out there. No cook bacon. You can take some egg in a box.. the liquid kind in the supermarket next to the milk and scramble eggs.

Tortillas are our bread substitute. PBand J does mix with tortilla.


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PostPosted: October 1st, 2017, 10:42 am 
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Scouts are aged 11 to 14

Our first trip in 2 weeks is only 1km to base camp and then we are spending the weekend learning map reading skills and exploring the park.

Our second trip 4 weeks later is the same park but hike in 5km friday night, 6km saturday to the next camp, and 7km sunday back out.

In my view a couple of cans in a Scout's backpack won't be the end of the world for either trip, but part of what I want them to do is come to their own conclusions about weight. Part of this is we are going to weigh everything in and out and compare results at the end of the first trip. Then over the ensuing 4 weeks between discuss how to make the second trip even better. If some Scouts still want to carry a can of beans on the second one, that is up to them.

Thanks for all the feedback everyone - keep it coming!

Oh and yes cost is a factor - we like to keep it as low as possible.


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PostPosted: October 1st, 2017, 10:45 am 
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Oh and we'll have about 20 Scouts and 7 or 8 adults. Physical condition is average to good on all counts.

Scouts travel in "patrols" of 5 or 6 and they'll cook in patrols as well. All their gear is in patrols. Each patrol will have to be self sufficient within itself.


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PostPosted: October 2nd, 2017, 10:45 am 
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FWIW, Barilla (and others?) are offering fast cooking pasta noodles. 1 cup of noodles with one cup of water and no draining. Could make pasta a viable alternative for your group.


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PostPosted: October 2nd, 2017, 11:20 am 
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Not to nitpick or contradict, but I thought reg noodles would be a good choice for scouts(or others). They only take a few mins to cook. A bit tricky figuring out how much water to avoid draining, that's all.

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PostPosted: October 2nd, 2017, 11:37 am 
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Wotrock, the benefits of the quick cook are, as you mentioned, no draining but another benefit is much less water to heat to boiling and therefore a significant saving in fuel (and a time saving).


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PostPosted: October 2nd, 2017, 12:46 pm 
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Q? Will they be making their own penny stoves?

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PostPosted: October 2nd, 2017, 3:06 pm 
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I'm shocked and amazed that no one has mentioned KD. I did a couple of trips safety boating for a Venturer troop who planned all the meals. Without "adult guidance" I think they would have just filled up a 60 l. barrel with KD and had it for every meal.


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