This weekend, we’re going up to Rocky Mountain National Park in the hopes that we can find a20 miles of backcountry trails to explore for the next three days. Apparently the sites fill up quickly and cannot be booked in advance unless you are on a first-name basis with the rangers. We have no idea where in the park we’ll end up, but I am very excited at the prospect of seeing an adorable, fluffy pika.
There are several reasons while I love backcountry camping; it’s about a spiritual as my secular brain can get and also, I love the FOOD. Eating is simply a better experience when your butt is wedged into a rock and you’ve been hiking for the past 10 hours. It makes you understand, finally, the frantic food searching done by all living things in their attempt for survival.
Most of these items are pretty standard: Clif bars, tortillas, peanut butter, canned/pouched fish, dried fruit, walnuts nuts, oatmeal, boxed quinoa, a few pieces of fresh fruit, chocolate, instant coffee, and sugar-free drink mix. We splurged on a few dehydrated meals including Chocoloate Chip pancakes (a Secret Santa gift from last school year!), Vegetarian Lasagna, and dehydrated lentils and peas from a large vegetable kit we purchased last year. It’s always best to bring just a little more food than you really need.
I would also like to give mad props to our backpacking staple:
Imagine that you are chilled the bone, having hiked 10 miles uphill in side-ways shooting rain. You arrive at camp and lament the fact that your dehydrated dinner is a paltry 350 calories. Then, without warning, your campmate busts out a pot of CHEESY POTATOES. The clouds part and rainbows appear between two snow-crested peaks.
That is exactly what it’s like to eat these potatoes.
Unfortunately, the ingredients and sodium content do not make these ideal for everyday eating. We try to stick to minimally processed food as much as possible, but that’s very challenging and expensive in the backcountry.
Here’s to hoping that we’ll find some open sites in which to enjoy our grub!