10 days of delicious lightweight food

Life’s too short to have shitty food. Here’s a run down of how Joane and I have kept food delicious despite having to shoulder 10 days of it.

Tips

In general go for high energy (calorie) to weight ratio. You don’t need vitamins and minerals from healthy food unless your trip is more than a month. Anyway, if you get scurvy you can claim to be a gnarled old

explorer.

olive love

Olive oil has 885 cal/100 grams > Peanuts 570 cal/100g > Rice/Pasta 370 cal/100g

Oils and fats are the best. Olive oil tastes delicious and keeps well so we chuck it on EVERYTHING. It has more than twice the energy of pasta for its weight. Beluga whale oil is a bit more calorific, but we couldn’t find any. (Please comment below if you can source me some.)

To save weight try to make very saucy oily meals with less starches. For breakfast, add more fatty milk powder and have less oats. For lunch, have more cheese and less biscuit.

Measure rations with spoons and plates that you’ll take so you know how much to eat each day. I write on the bags. e.g. one heaped blue spoon per day.

Couscous can be made fine with cold water – just soak it for much longer. If you’re running short on gas, leave this until the end of the trip. Ramen and angel hair pasta are the same but a bit gross when soaked.

Don’t overcook your noodles/rice/pasta. Really, don’t.

Menu for 10 days

all meals are for two people, nothing requires cooking for extended periods.

total weight 13.5 kg

 

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Breakfast

Instant coffee x 10

Le Muesli Absolu de Droit Divin x 8

 

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250g muesli – 50/50 oats and dried nuts. roast in the oven on low grill/broil stiring constantly. add ¼ of the weight in dried fruits. Attenzione! the muesli will lose a bit of weight in the oven!

4 massive tablespoons of whole fat milk powder. never ever ever get no fat milk powder like the supermarkets in Canada sell.

1 cup of wild blueberries (hopefully)

Scrambled eggs x 2

 

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3 eggs from powder

3 slices of pumpernickel

Lunches

Crackers  much much higher energy than any kind of bread

Peanut butter 500g

Cheese 1200g – splash out and buy some delicious cheese. hard cheese wears well. cheddar will go greasy when hot. we have cheddar, emmental and parmesan.

Powdered hummus

 

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Snacks 

Muesli / Granola bars x 7 – I dig One Square Meals.

Banana square x 6

Snickers x 4

Trail mix 430g – almonds dry roasted, hazelnuts dry roasted, m&ms, apricots, raisins

Chocolate 200g

Marzipan 100g

Starter

Instant soup x 10

get a mix of flavours. my favourites have less maltodexterin (thickener) and more flavour. Some of the instant miso soups are amazing. Always add a bit of olive oil.

Dinner

Tunisian Couscous x 2

Couscous 200g

Morrocan spices 2 tsp

roasted cashew nuts 65g

Garlic flakes 1 tsp

Olive oil 50mL

Tomato powder 1 heaped tablespoon

Dried apricots 90g

Dried mushrooms 20g – asian supermarkets sell these cheap. we have shitake

Salt and pepper

put mushrooms to soak in cold water as soon as you get to camp, otherwise heat some up to speed up the process. fry the spices and garlic in oil, set aside while you boil water for the couscous, mix everything. 

Red Thai curry x 2

 

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Minute rice 200g

Red curry paste (50g) – bring mild. or extra pairs of underwear.

Powdered coconut milk sachet makes 1.5 cup (50g)

Textured soy protein chunks 70g

Freeze dried peas or other vege 80g

Onion flakes 1 tsp

Olive oil 50mL

put soy chunks to soak in cold water as soon as you get to camp, otherwise heat some up to speed up the process. cook rice and set aside. mix coconut milk in a bowl. fry curry paste in some oil then add the coconut milk and drained soy chunks to the oil and cook until the oil floats.

Pad Thai x 2

 

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Flat rice noodles

Pad thai paste – contains tamarind, citrus flavours, umami flavours (fish/soy sauce). experiment to know quantity

Peanut butter

Egg x 2 (from powder)

Dried garlic flakes

Freeze dried peas or other vege 80g

Onion flakes

Chopped peanuts

cook egg, set aside and cut into strips. cook noodles, set aside. fry paste and garlic in oil then chuck everything together and stir fry for a bit.

Pasta Disaster x 3

 

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Capellini / Angel hair pasta 250g – 882.5 cal – these cook in 2 minutes

Block of parmesan 150g – 646.5 cal

Tomato powder 1 heaped tbsp

Garlic flakes 1 tsp

Onion flakes 1 tsp

Sundried tomatoes 1 heaped tbsp

Shitake mushrooms 40g  – 140 cal

Herb de provence 1 heaped tsp – dried thyme, savory, oregano, rosemary, marjoram

Olive oil 50g – 440 cal

put mushrooms to soak in cold water as soon as you get to camp, otherwise heat some up to speed up the process. cook then drain pasta. hiff everything together.

Weighs about 450g and has 2150 calories – for two people.

Grin and bear it x 1

Kimchi ramen packets x 3

Anything left over that might improve it – peanuts, mushrooms, egg, chocolate

Save for the last night as its super light and compact.

Dessert

Chocolate 200g

Instant mousse x 7 – vanilla and chocolate flavoured, grate some chocolate on top or add…

Wild blueberries ~ 4kg at LEAST

fashion the blueberries into an impromptu rice pudding dessert

as a kid we would have instant cheesecakes. phenomenal. I haven’t found them for over 10 years. has anyone seen this available?

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– Arran Whiteford

13 thoughts on “10 days of delicious lightweight food

    1. Haha yeh absolutely! Nah, we just multiply the olive oil by 6 and keep the rest the same.
      Yeah I haven’t quite finished, will add the total weight for sure though!

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  1. HI there, I may be missing something or thinking too hard, but for the breakfast Muesli, when you say ” roast in the oven on low grill/broil stiring constantly. add ¼ of the weight in dried fruits”, do you mean at home before you start your trip? I mean, I can’t imagine you have an oven.. And you don’t say anything about adding water, so it seems like it is just a dry thing with milk powder. Can you say how much water per serving? And you mention Hummus powder, but not how to use it for lunch. Do you sprinkle it on the crackers? And for the dinners, you say to fry the garlic (or other spices in olive oil) but you never show pictures of the cooking, just the finished product. Do you backpack with a frying pan? These all sound so wonderful, but because I am so inexperienced, I am afraid I would totally screw this up. I hope you can help me out and help me eat well on my first trip.. Also, since I am going solo, I just cut everything in half, and mean my weight should only be 6.75 kg? sweet!

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    1. Haha, good questions!
      – The dry muesli is prepared in the oven at home. Roast the nuts/oats/seeds all together, then after they have cooled add the dried fruit.
      The way I do it: Carry whole fat milk powder separate to the muesli, and in the morning mix about a heaped tablespoon of milk powder with the muesli and mix it up, then add some water while still mixing – add as much water as you want, less if you like it creamy (about 2/3-1 cup), a bit more if you like it more like more milky.
      Other people will mix the milk up separately to pour on top of the dry muesli, following the instructions on the powdered milk. Personal preference.
      – Hummus powder we mix with water to form hummus, following the instructions on the package. Then we spread the rehydrated hummus onto crackers.
      – We fry ingredients in the bottom of a camp pot, not in a frying pan. If you do it quickly and with a lot of oil and care it’s fine. A good new nonstick pot will always help for frying, especially for eggs but never stays nonstick for long. Often when we can’t be bothered we just throw the spices into a meal unfried, its fine but they will have more flavour if fried!
      Another option is combining spices/garlic with the oil while packing for the trip, that way the flavours infuse into the oil well. I do this all the time on overnighters as the oil will only be used with one set of spices. We use little nalgene containers a lot.
      You can always practice at home using camp equipment to work out what stuff you like to use to cook. I find that a good long sturdy spoon is essential, and its nice to have somewhere to put pasta while you cook the sauce.
      Ask away if anything doesnt make sense still!

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      1. Thank you so much.. now to try and cook some of this at home for practice!! I appreciate you getting back to me so quickly

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