What’s In That Food Bag?

It’s What’s for Dinner…

The great thing about winter camping: its like you’re walking around in a big refrigerator so you can bring stuff that would ordinarily go bad. Unfortunately, it means frozen foods only! I didn’t have to study thermodynamics to understand that it takes a whole hell of a lot of BTUs to thaw out a solid block of dinner. A combination of quick cooking dry ingredients with frozen, pre-cooked vegetables and meats in boil bags creates tasty and fuel stingy hot meals.

Timur’s Food Bag

This list is meant for a five day, four night expedition in the White Mountain of northern New England. (2003) Temperatures expected to be 10 degrees F during the day and well below zero at night. This means lots of hot drinkables and as many hot meals as possible. It also means cooking has to be uncomplicated because of low coordination levels due to gloved hands and general camp mayhem.

I.C.s (instantly consumables)

  • Trail Mix – peanut M&Ms, raisins, almonds, diced dried apricots
  • 3 Powerbars
  • 3 Clif Bars
  • 2 Fig Newtons
  • 2 lg.Chunky choco bars
  • Fire Balls

BREAKFAST – 4 total

  • Instant oatmeal – 2 packets a day
  • Dried Fruit (raisins, apricots)
  • Coffee – instant mixed with cream power and sugar

LUNCH – 4 total

  • 4 pre-constructed sandwiches – mini pita bread, ham, cheese, Vincentolis’ relish mix (I call it “sandwich lubricant”) Each is sealed in its own bag for easy pocket thawing.
  • supplemental ICs

DINNER – 4 total

  • Shrimp (in boilable bag w/ sauce) and pasta
  • Chicken (precooked in boilable bag) and noodles
  • Hamburger (in boilable bag w/ veg) and pasta
  • Chicken (precooked in boilable bag) and noodles
    (These sealed packets weight 5 to 8 ounces and are made
    at home with olive oil, garlic, onion, pepper and seasoning.
    Just dump heated packet on the noodle/rice for a complete meal.)

HOT DRINKS – in small Nalgene containers.

  • Hot chocolate powder
  • Spiced cider powder
    Need something to put the booze in.
  • booze

McAnus’ Food Bag

This list reflects the Food for a 4 to 7 day trip in the White Mountains of New Hampshire in January. Expected temperatures may be down to -30 degrees Fahrenheit with moderate snow coverage. Small day hikes from a base camp location.

  • Tea Bags
  • Instant Coffee
  • Sugar
  • Cider Mix
  • Hot Chocolate
  • Little Bottle of Psyllium

Camp food has a tendency to move slowly and “concretely” through my pipes. Psyllium is a soluble fiber which, taken 1 tablespoon in a glass of water, well, lets just say that what would have been a chimney brick instead becomes a two-foot fast movin’ rope. Ahhh!

  • Grapenuts, Instant Coffee, powdered milk, sugar

Axiom: “Food tastes better in the woods.” Fair warning: this concoction of GrapeNuts, Folger’s Instant Coffee, Sugar and powdered milk, which can be cooked from inside your sleeping bag, and which warms the soul and lights the caffeine furnace on a cold winter morning, will nevertheless clog your kitchen drain because you will wretch and hurl down the drain, if you should be so foolish as to eat it in the bucolic comfort of your kitchen.

  • Oatmeal, Powdered Milk, Sugar mix
  • Lipton Pasta and Sauce dinners
  • Olive Oil
  • Cooked Sausages

Jones Farm brand. These are finger sausages. Quick and easy to heat up. Just meat and spices –no nitrates / nitrites.

  • Chocolate Bars
  • Smoked Cheese

Smoked cheese survives temperature changes of the pack better than other types –it doesn’t “sweat”. Cut it into chunks, however –when it gets real cold it can be tough to render.

  • Pita Bread and/or Pilot Biscuts
  • Pop Tarts
  • Powerbars (or similar)
  • booze

backwoods dinner

Vincentoli’s Food Bag

This is for a 5 Day / 4 Night winter expedition.


  • 4X 8 oz. OJ in original wax paper packaging
  • 8X Quaker Oat PB/CC granola bar
  • 4X PB/CC Power Bar
  • 250 mL HC powder

  • 4X Pita Bread Sandwich in sandwich zip (pre-made, pocket thaw)
  • 2X Power Bar
  • 2X Cliff Bar
  • 4X Slim Jims

  • 2X Hamburger Helper Beef Stroganoff (noodles in ziploc, powder in 125 mL nalg, sour cream in 125 nalg.)
  • 0.75X Hamburger Helper Lasagne (noodles in ziploc, powder in 60 mL nalg bottle)
  • 2X 250 mL cooked hamburger mix: 1 lb. 80/20% hamburger cooked and drained, 1 med onion, 1green pepper, 2 mushrooms simmer-fried in olive oil 30 min. 3 cloves fine chopped garlic simmer in olive oil 5 min max, do not burn! Mix and pack in Nalg. The 20% left over after stuffing the two 250 mL Nalgs can be packed in a 125 mL Nalg if it’s looking like a 6D/5N is on the itineary.
  • 10X Pepperidge Farms Milano cookies in 400 mL Rubbermaid box.
  • 750 ML GJ (booze)


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