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[pct-l] Lightweight Backpacking -- Food

After years of experiment a guy named Jerry turned me on to dehydrating food
yourself. What I do is dehydrate very lean ground beef or tuna , then make
hamburger/tuna helper. I tested this on my Hi-Sierra Trail Hike two weeks
ago. 2/3 pound of ground beef and 2/3 of a hamburger helper noodle was
perfect for two. [1/3 would be perfect for one and way cheaper than
dehydrated freeze dried stuff]We simply rehydrated the meat with hot water
plus 2-3 ounces of oil for 15 miniutes then added and cooked the pasta for
15 miniutes, adding the sauce during the last 5 miniutes. Using a Snow Peak
Stove the fuel use was minimal. The result was indistinguishable from the
stuff cooked at home. Yes I know, Hamburger Helper ain't exactly gormet food
but it blows away anything else in this weight class. I carry one pound of
food per person, per day. Lunch is tortillas and peanut butter.

Have a good hike.


-----Original Message-----
From: Thomas Griffin [mailto:griffin@u.washington.edu]
Sent: Saturday, September 07, 2002 8:23 PM
To: pct-l@mailman.backcountry.net
Subject: [pct-l] Lightweight Backpacking--I'm a Believer

After reading many messages favoring lightweight backpacking on this list
for five years, I finally took the plunge and had a "total makeover." The
Vasque Sundowners were replaced by New Balance 805s... The old frame
backpack was replaced by a Go Lite Gust backpack... The old REI half dome
was replaced by a Clip Flashlight... The old Peak One stove was replaced
by an MSR Pocket Rocket... I won't go on, you get the idea.

Could an old guy approaching the half-century mark adapt to this new way of
hiking? I was skeptical but now I am a believer. On my recent Goat Rocks
PCT hike my feet never felt better (the Superfeet insoles helped, I'm
sure). I didn't bother with camp shoes and I didn't need them. The Gust
pack was surprisingly comfortable. The system worked: I found that by
shedding the pounds I could go farther and faster.

I still need to work on the food angle. I like "real food" too much to
just live on dehydrated meals or Powerbars and granola. But the weight of
the food certainly added to the overall pack weight. For five days this
was still manageable, but I can see how a longer hike of 7 or 10 days
would require totally rethinking trail food. Are there ways of eating well
yet staying light? (No, I'm not ready for corn pasta.)

One last point, this list has been great with its advice over the years
regarding lightweight backpacking. Thanks to everyone who has contributed
to the discussions. They really made a difference for this older hiker.

Tom Griffin
Seattle, Wash.
PCT Section Hike--Harts Pass to Canada

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