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5 ways to save money on hiking foods

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Dehydrated meals ready for hikers may be simple and tasty, but they are not cheap. While it's nice to add water and savor a hot chicken korma for a week of hiking, you can stay well fed on the trail without the help of take-away meals. Here, some experienced backpackers share their best packaging, cooking and preparation tips to keep the budget to a minimum, but the calories and flavor are high, with minimal effort and ingenuity.

Cook like at home

For a decade, former Outward Bound mountain guide and instructor, Josh Whitmore, spent more than 300 nights a year in a sleeping bag. He swears by cheap supplies that you can store in your pantry and use at home. Many of his meals in the backcountry start with quick-cooking rice, and he adds ingredients like dehydrated beans and cubes of sweet potato, olive oil, pesto powder and tuna, salmon or charqui to complement the meal (with a little curry flavor paste, too). Whitmore recommends one thing: a light stove to boil water in the backcountry. He uses a Jetboil.

Start simple

walker Will Barnes fed his journey on the Appalachian Trail with packages of 50 cents ramen mixed with powdered peanut butter and sriracha, which he said had the taste of a "Thai noodle dish with peanuts and peanuts "after five hours of hiking. It is calorically dense at an incredibly low cost: a bundle of ramen plus add-ons provide about 520 calories for less than $ 1 per serving. You can also do a lot with a base of dried organic potato puree, which contains about 100 calories per ounce for 23 cents. Hiker and cyclist Anne Racioppi adds a wide variety of spices, sauces and toppings to change the taste and add calories. If you're feeling lazy, keep it simple with a few drops of hot sauce. The simplest and cheapest breakfast trail – oatmeal – is already a staple. Add powdered peanut butter, nuts and other light and affordable protein and fat to your oats for a fraction of the cost of a dehydrated meal ready for camping.

Eat like a kid

The long hours on the trail lead to a serious calorie deficit. Fortunately, a host of foods that might not be ideal for a balanced meal in the real world are very satisfying along the trail and can replace expensive and performing foods. For example, a pack of Clif Bloks costs $ 2.80 for 200 calories of simple carbohydrates. Haribo Gummi bears cost $ 2 for 800 calories (with less packaging). Take advantage of your intense energy to snack on classic snacks: Racioppi loves pepperoni slices, Pop-Tarts, Snickers and traditional trail mixes. Seth Haskell, hiker and cyclist in love with nature, swears by the tortillas filled with peanut butter and Nutella. You can make them even lighter and more economical by exchanging peanut butter for a powdered option.

Make your own dehydrated foods

You can not only produce dried fruit with less sugar, dried vegetables and meat with less salt, but a dehydrator will also be profitable after your first hike: Amazon's highest rated option is only $ 50. Bikepacker Paul McCarthy likes to dehydrate vegetables, stressing that while calorie intake is a priority on long trips, your body still needs a varied diet. Your taste buds will thank you after a few days of hearty meals. Save more money (and limit waste) by purchasing a set of reusable silicone bags that can withstand boiling water.

Add to eat and to fishing

If you can forage safely, you can add fruits and vegetables (as well as essential vitamins, minerals and fiber) to your meals on the go. "Keep an open storage space for the hidden treats found along the way, and watch for mushrooms, fruits and vegetables," says Jeff Potter, a Michigan-based outdoor enthusiast. "I find them more common and tastier than I would have thought earlier." There is a surprising number of foraging courses in the United States; therefore, do a search to find one in your city if you are interested. learn more. Use caution when learning to identify plants. Potter also recommends tasting the mushrooms, fruits or vegetables you plan to search before you leave, as you may have an undiagnosed allergy.

Potter also suggests trying to fish for your dinner. "It is not necessary to bring a pole, just a line winding and hooks. Use a young tree to reach a small hole and get a great meal, "he says. He gets his bait rolling on nearby logs and catching worms. Make sure you have the necessary permissions to fish in the hiking areas and bring enough calories so that your trip ends, even if the fishing does not give you good results.

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