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UL 100+ calorie dense foods for the Trail

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    • UL 100+ calorie dense foods for the Trail

      If you have something that you like feel free to add!


      Instant Mashed Potatoes
      115 calories per ounce (with olive oil & SPAM)

      Instant Mashed Potatoes are great because they are very easy to make. You don’t even have to cook them if you don’t want (just add water to rehydrate).

      Some brands offer different flavors which include cheese, spices, sour cream and more. My favorite is Idahoan Loaded Baked Potatoes.

      A single package of Loaded Baked mashed potatoes prepared with 1 ounce olive oil and 3 ounces of SPAM provides about 930 calories, and weighs just 8 ounces.

      Added bonus is real home dried bacon bits!
      Why question the intentions of a road-crossing chicken?
    • Wraps (Tortillas)
      100 calories per ounce (w/ tuna, mayo, mustard, relish, olive oil)

      Regular bread is not very good for backpacking because it is so easily
      squished. Bagels are a better option, but they take up a lot of volume
      in your pack. One bread product that is perfect for ultralight
      backpacking is the tortilla.

      Tortillas
      are flat, lightweight and easy to pack. By themselves they don’t
      provide too many calories, but you can fill them with whatever you like
      (peanut butter, jelly, honey, tuna, cheese, sausage and more) to create a
      delicious wrap.

      Chicken can be a Tyson pack with a Burger King Zesty pack liberally mixed in!


      Turkey - Cranberry - apple.
      Pepper Turkey - apple - bacon
      Buffalo Chicken or Chicken Ceasar swap out the lettuce and use Spinich leaves
      Chef Salad with a hard boiled egg or two.
      Chicken Mango...

      Here is a great video of Backpacking and making traditional on the trail

      Why question the intentions of a road-crossing chicken?

      The post was edited 1 time, last by Wise Old Owl ().

    • Liptons (Knorr) Pasta/Rice Sides
      110 calories per ounce (with olive oil and tuna)

      Liptons Sides
      are another inexpensive, easy-to-prepare meal that most long distance
      hikers wouldn’t do without. Originally intended as a side dish, Liptons
      rice and pasta sides make an excellent main course for a hungry hiker.
      Ignore the instructions, which call for too much water, simmering and
      additional ingredients. All you really need to prepare Lipton’s sides
      is 1.5 cups of water, a stove and a pot cozy.

      Liptons Sides come in a variety of flavors so they already taste great, but can be made more hearty by adding olive oil, tuna, sausage, etc.

      Marie Callender's has sides & jumped into this mix.
      Why question the intentions of a road-crossing chicken?
    • Breakfast Pastries
      120 calories per ounce

      are popular among ultralight backpackers because they can be eaten in
      your sleeping bag in the morning with no cooking or preparation. And
      they provide a sugar-filled blast of calories to help rocket you up the
      trail first thing in the morning.

      Some popular choices include: Pop Tarts, Fruit Pies, Honey Buns, bear claws,
      and other snack cakes. My personal favorites are the large cinnamon
      rolls and danishes sold in gas stations and convenience stores. They are
      big enough for a hungry hiker and can pack upward of 600 calories, in
      just 5 ounces.

      Other ideas include locally made Entenmenns Danish, Super Cinnamon Swirl, 1/2 a bun (3 Oz = 330 calories)
      Personal Favorite > Krusteaz Raspberry Bars

      Prepacked for the trail & great for kids
      Little Bites Banana Muffins
      Little Bites Blueberry Muffins
      Little Bites Brownies
      Little Bites Chocolate Chip Muffins
      Little Bites Créme Filled Chocolate Cupcakes
      Little Bites Créme Filled Golden Cupcakes
      Little Bites Crumb Cakes
      Little Bites Snickerdoodle
      Why question the intentions of a road-crossing chicken?

      The post was edited 1 time, last by Wise Old Owl ().

    • 1. G.O.R.P.
      130 calories per ounce

      GORP (also called trail mix) stands for “Good Ole Raisons And Peanuts”. But the ingredients don’t always have to be that boring. And it is - its frequently left at shelters or dumped. So I prefer bars with rice crispys.

      Nuts, seeds, dried fruit, chocolate, candies, crackers and cereals
      can be combined to make this staple backpacking snack that packs a
      huge amount of carbohydrates and calories.

      One cup of GORP (depending on ingredients) can provide as many as 700 calories.

      I add dried Apricots and Apples to mine.


      Why question the intentions of a road-crossing chicken?

      The post was edited 1 time, last by Wise Old Owl ().

    • Olive Oil
      230 calories per ounce

      Olive Oil is not a food, but it is a popular food additive among hikers because of it’s high calories and rich taste.

      On the long trails backpackers can be seen adding olive oil to
      everything but their drinking water, in an effort to get more precious
      calories and stem the weight loss which occurs from burning 6,000+
      calories per day.

      An ounce of olive oil contains 230 calories and works great as a
      butter substitute in hiking foods like: Mac & Cheese, Mashed
      Potatoes, Oatmeal, Rice and Pasta.

      Butter is shelf stable and can melt in the pack - I still pack some but it goes inside a mylar sleeve behind the bladder away from my back and have not had a mess yet... packs from the diner work well too.
      Why question the intentions of a road-crossing chicken?
    • TrafficJam wrote:

      I haven't had good luck with the Lipton Sides using FBC, they never seem to cook enough for me. Any tips?


      Sometimes I pre-soak mine by adding a little cold water and hour or so before stopping for dinner and then adding the hot water. Sometimes it works good, sometimes I end up with mush- especially if its noodles or macaroni.
      "Dazed and Confused"
      Recycle, re-use, re-purpose
      Plant a tree
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    • Mac & Cheese
      105 calories per ounce (with olive oil & summer sausage)

      is a staple food for poor college students and hikers alike. At just 99
      cents (or less) per box you can’t beat it for a cheap, filling trail
      dinner.

      The cooking instructions call for a lot of water, butter, milk and
      simmering. But that’s not necessary. All you need to cook trail mac is 2
      cups of boiling water and a pot cozy.

      By itself it’s kind of bland, but when you add olive oil, Parmesan
      cheese, summer sausage, SPAM or tuna, plus hot sauce and seasoning, mac
      and cheese becomes a trail delicacy.

      One box of macaroni and cheese, prepared with 1 ounce of olive oil
      and 2 ounces of summer sausage provides a whopping 1,100 calories, and
      weighs just 10.5 ounces.

      Other alternatives include a Hamburger helper - use Nido for the milk & dried Gravel for the burger or just leave it out.
      Why question the intentions of a road-crossing chicken?

      The post was edited 1 time, last by Wise Old Owl ().

    • Unlike the other UL 100+ calories foods, Tuna
      does not have a high caloric density. 3 ounces of tuna has only 90
      calories. But it provides something else that is sometimes in short
      supply on the trail: Protein. (Caveat I prefer Salmon as its less dry)

      Protein is not as important as carbohydrates for energy, but it is
      important for cell rejuvenation and muscle maintenance (and it tastes
      good).

      Other types of meat which are good for backpacking are: foil pack
      salmon, chicken breast, and SPAM, as well as cured meats like: salami,
      pepperoni and summer sausage, Landjaeger
      Why question the intentions of a road-crossing chicken?
    • Snickers Bar
      140 calories per ounce

      There are plenty of overpriced, “energy bars” on the market.
      Most of them taste like cardboard and do not provide much
      better nutrition than the good old fashioned Snickers Bar (a hiker favorite).

      These bars of nuts, nougat and chocolate are so ubiquitous on long trails like the Appalachian Trail and Pacific Crest Trail that you would think they were handing them out at the trailheads.

      A single King Size Snickers
      weighs less than 4 ounces and packs 510 calories. In my experience they
      provide just as much energy as the pricey “healthfood bars”… if not
      more.

      Careful as nobody want to share, so if you bring them - have a few extra for the shelters.

      Energy Bars

      90 cal per ounce

      lots of my hiker friends love them. Some of the more
      popular energy bars are: Clif Bars, Power Bars and Granola Bars.
      Unlike Snickers Bars and other candy bars (which are also popular
      backpacking snacks), energy bars are made with less sugar, more whole
      grains and healthier ingredients.

      In my experience they are more healthy than candy bars, keep well and are shelf stable.


      Why question the intentions of a road-crossing chicken?

      The post was edited 1 time, last by Wise Old Owl ().

    • Oatmeal
      110 calories per ounce (with dried fruit, powdered milk & sugar)

      is a staple ultralight backpacking breakfast. It is lightweight (two
      packets weighs only 2.5 ounces), easy to prepare (just add boiling
      water) and can be spiced up with dried fruits, nuts, honey, sugar, and
      other flavors.

      Other dried cereals (like grits, polenta, cream of wheat and granola) are also good for variety.
      Why question the intentions of a road-crossing chicken?
    • Couscous
      112 calories per ounce (with olive oil)

      is an African pasta dish that makes a delicious, convenient backpacking dinner.

      Like mashed potatoes, couscous does not require much cooking time.
      Just add boiling water and let it sit for a few minutes in your pot cozy until it “fluffs up”.

      Try Near East brand because it comes in several different flavors (like Parmesan, cheese and broccoli and herb chicken).

      Prepare with olive oil and foil-pack tuna or chicken for extra calories and taste.

      Not a favorite of mine... the wife likes it.
      Why question the intentions of a road-crossing chicken?
    • Home-Made Dehydrated Food
      You can make your own dehydrated backpacking foods. All you need is some time to experiment and a food dehydrator.

      This requires sticking to the supplied book instructions at first - as you get more successful, you move up to jerkys and burger - I suggest one with a timer or an external hardware timer. This way you don't need to watch it as most dryers are done in 2-4-6 hours. Most people try this and say its like cardboard - as you concentrate the flavors you lose vital fresh smells that key in the brain that identify the foods, keeping the dried product aromatic is key to success.

      Dried Fruits provide higher quality nutrition. Dried fruit is packed
      full of vitamins, minerals and natural sugars and carbs.
      The most popular dried fruit is raisins, but you can also
      pack banana chips, dried apricots, apples, blueberries and other dried
      fruits for quick energy on your hikes.

      Pre-packaged dried fruit is available at most grocery stores and it’s pricey. I have found some less pricy in bulk and endcap display. If you want to try making your own backpacking foods here are a few books to get you started: One Pan Wonders, Lip Smackin’ Backpackin’ and Freezer Bag Cooking.

      Do not make Dried Tomato inside the house there is a reason its "sun dried"
      Why question the intentions of a road-crossing chicken?
    • And a take off from Genghis Khan... My recipe - I was working on a treat for Rugby - and I pop them too.

      Meatballs (prepared ahead)
      1 medium onion and 2 tablespoons of butter
      1 pound ground beef
      1/3 ratio of Seasoned bread crumbs.
      1 tablespoon Worcestershire.
      Dash of seasoned salt

      Pan fry 1 chopped onion in butter while grabbing ingredients

      Incorporate ingredients with cooked onion.
      Make small meatballs no bigger than a dime in a pan with a fitted lid cook on low and render out the fat slowly keep the lid on as the bread crumbs will retain moisture and fat. For 15 minutes lift the balls with a spoon and flip occationally - pour off the fat and go about another fifteen minutes - get a plate and paper towel let them cool on the paper. Season to taste. Pop in a sturdy Glad container. Probably lasts a week - but they never make it as they get eaten so fast.



      Why question the intentions of a road-crossing chicken?

      The post was edited 2 times, last by Wise Old Owl ().

    • WiseOldOwl wrote:

      Unlike the other UL 100+ calories foods, Tuna
      does not have a high caloric density. 3 ounces of tuna has only 90
      calories. But it provides something else that is sometimes in short
      supply on the trail: Protein. (Caveat I prefer Salmon as its less dry)

      Protein is not as important as carbohydrates for energy, but it is
      important for cell rejuvenation and muscle maintenance (and it tastes
      good).

      Other types of meat which are good for backpacking are: foil pack
      salmon, chicken breast, and SPAM, as well as cured meats like: salami,
      pepperoni and summer sausage, Landjaeger


      Damn WOO, I do LUV me sum Landjaeger :thumbsup: ... It has been a hiking "staple" for me since I discovered it in '09 in Maine... Eating a lot more "Deer" sticks now, too... Calories Im not sure of, but Dietz and Watson(who you know make KILLER Landjaeger) are the ones processing the Deer into sticks, so Im thinkin' it's up there in calories... Added bonus, I eat them wrapped in Flour Tortillas...
      1 Fish, 2 Fish, Red Fish, Blue Fish...
    • WiseOldOwl wrote:

      Liptons (Knorr) Pasta/Rice Sides
      110 calories per ounce (with olive oil and tuna)

      Liptons Sides
      are another inexpensive, easy-to-prepare meal that most long distance
      hikers wouldn’t do without. Originally intended as a side dish, Liptons
      rice and pasta sides make an excellent main course for a hungry hiker.
      Ignore the instructions, which call for too much water, simmering and
      additional ingredients. All you really need to prepare Lipton’s sides
      is 1.5 cups of water, a stove and a pot cozy.

      Liptons Sides come in a variety of flavors so they already taste great, but can be made more hearty by adding olive oil, tuna, sausage, etc.

      Marie Callender's has sides & jumped into this mix.


      Their new Asian Sides are insanely good and VERY receptive to "whatever" you add... Haven't seen the Marie Callender sides in month's WOO... We live in the same neck of the woods, where ru finding them??? Luv the fact they are cook in the bag, WITH a line you add the water to...
      1 Fish, 2 Fish, Red Fish, Blue Fish...
    • WiseOldOwl wrote:

      Unlike the other UL 100+ calories foods, Tuna
      does not have a high caloric density. 3 ounces of tuna has only 90
      calories. But it provides something else that is sometimes in short
      supply on the trail: Protein. (Caveat I prefer Salmon as its less dry)

      Protein is not as important as carbohydrates for energy, but it is
      important for cell rejuvenation and muscle maintenance (and it tastes
      good).

      Other types of meat which are good for backpacking are: foil pack
      salmon, chicken breast, and SPAM, as well as cured meats like: salami,
      pepperoni and summer sausage, Landjaeger


      Add mayonnaise to that tuna to get 100 calories per ounce.
      Sometimes you will never know the value of a moment until it becomes a memory.
      Dr. Seuss Cof123
    • jimmyjam wrote:

      TrafficJam wrote:

      I haven't had good luck with the Lipton Sides using FBC, they never seem to cook enough for me. Any tips?


      Sometimes I pre-soak mine by adding a little cold water and hour or so before stopping for dinner and then adding the hot water. Sometimes it works good, sometimes I end up with mush- especially if its noodles or macaroni.

      I do something similar. I boil half the water I'm going to use, add to the Lipton Sides and put in cozy for 20 min. Then boil water again, add, put in cozy for another 20 min. Boil times on the Jetboil are within seconds of each other if you boil all the water at once or in two boilings. In other words it takes about 1 min to boil a cup and 2 min to boil two cups. I never use the suggested amount water and with the Lipton Sides I'm always close to 40-45 min soaking time before I eat. To some that may seem a little on the extreme side but all you got is time and Lipton Sides are a helluva lot cheaper that say a Mountain House meal or similar. They taste pretty damn good too.
      Changes Daily→ ♪♫♪♫♪♫♪♫ ♪♫♪♫♪♫ ← Don't blame me. It's That Lonesome Guitar.
    • hikerboy wrote:

      rafe wrote:

      mayo + tuna = double puke


      i eat tuna or salmon packets with mayo, tartar sauce or thousand island dressing.pinch of cajun spice.

      Same here. Great with a mayo and relish packet. I really like those ready to eats they got now too. Lemon and pepper is a good one. Like the no mixing deal.
      Changes Daily→ ♪♫♪♫♪♫♪♫ ♪♫♪♫♪♫ ← Don't blame me. It's That Lonesome Guitar.
    • Lipton sides have been a staple of hikers since time immemorial, but they need something. Anything. In other words they're just the start of a meal, not the whole thing. So what do you mix in? That's the question. Bits of tuna, or sausage or other non-perishable meat... (what else?) With Liptons Rice sides, I often add hunks of cheese.

      Same deal with oatmeal -- by itself it's pretty bland and gets old in a hurry, but you can mix in all sorts of goodies -- M&Ms, granola, nuts, sugar, peanut butter, etc. Not from recent experience, though; I no longer do hot breakfast while hiking, it's too much of a time sink.
    • hikerboy wrote:

      in addition to tuna and salmon, i bring precooked microwaveable bacon, summer sausage, spam singles.nido dried milk adds calories and fat as well.


      Sorry I was hitting buttons that I should not have...UNINTENTIONAL Soak regular bacon add a dash of real liquid smoke and drench into a BBQ sauce of your liking. Then dry overnight (forget the timer) Pre sprayed trays with canola or olive or butter will prevent sticking. 160° overnight will kill most pathogens and suck the oil out.


      IT's all good.
      Why question the intentions of a road-crossing chicken?
    • WiseOldOwl wrote:

      hikerboy wrote:

      in addition to tuna and salmon, i bring precooked microwaveable bacon, summer sausage, spam singles.nido dried milk adds calories and fat as well.


      Sorry I was hitting buttons that I should not have...UNINTENTIONAL Soak regular bacon add a dash of real liquid smoke and drench into a BBQ sauce of your liking. Then dry overnight (forget the timer) Pre sprayed trays with canola or olive or butter will prevent sticking. 160° overnight will kill most pathogens and suck the oil out.


      IT's all good.


      i'm lazy.
      its all good
    • I have never understood the fascination with Lipton/Knorr pasta or rice sides. They're absolutely disgusting. Mmmmm yeah lets buy food that is so cheaply and poorly manufactured that they have to cut the rice with tiny little pieces of pasta.
      Of course I talk to myself... sometimes I need expert advice.
    • Ramen? You are kidding right? What is the journey here? Knorr is 2 servings per packet & 30% or 280 calories (375 carbs) from 2.15 ounces. Cooks in 6 minutes. Ramen same size package 1.5 oz per serving 190 half the carbs (190) sodium is 33% Both work and will get you there. Knorr delivers.
      Why question the intentions of a road-crossing chicken?