No one likes doing dishes, especially not in the backcountry. Using specific pots to cook meals means a heavier load to carry not to mention the eventual dirty dishes to tend to. While it’s nice to have a gourmet wilderness meal now and again there are a few ways to cut back on camp kitchen work and still enjoy good eats.
One particularly easy way to drop dish weight and enjoy good meals comes with a little planning.
This simple plan includes seeking out foods that come in packages that the contents can be eaten directly from or prepared in, and packing only a single pot to boil water, a pocket stove, and fuel canister. There are varieties of specific backpacking foods that are easily obtained at just about every outdoors store, but they can get expensive. Luckily for the savvy adventurer, many conventional food vendors have begun selling their products in backpacker friendly packaging. Often this packaging is purely coincidental and is intended to make products safer from elements, better portion sizes of food, and better for the environment, but this revolution in packaging is a perfect sidekick for exploring the backcountry.
Many already know about, and use, the individual foil packages of tuna, which make for great trail and camp food. Even Spam comes in individual packages now (it’s ok indulge a little, you’ll be hiking and moving through the backcountry, it wont hurt you). There are boil in the bag rice options that can be boiled while still in the bag that it is bought, and even some pasta options that can be prepared in the bag that they come as well. Oatmeal packages can be prepared by just adding hot water to the individual packages. Oatmeal packages are lined so they are actually made to withstand the preparation process. Cereal can be divided into bagged portions with powdered milk for later individual breakfast or snack options after adding water.
With a little creativity and attention to detail the clever adventurer can create custom meals to his or her taste without dropping a lot of coinage. Just look at what options are available and make sure the packaging works for what you want to do.