Delicious Backpacking Meals: Trail Pancakes! Yum!

Imagine a crisp morning with only 10 or 12 miles to hike that day and the idea of a sumptuous breakfast of pancakes enters your mind. You’ve got the time. You’ve got the morning to yourself. And you’ve got to have pancakes.

I spent Sunday morning testing recipes for trail pancakes–no fresh milk, no fresh eggs. I tried five recipes that ranged from just pancakes1adding water to the mix (ok, but boring) to adding dried eggs, dried milk, olive oil and the surprise ingredient–mayo. Mayo, after all, is just eggs and oil whisked together, perfect for pancakes. And it comes  in little packs that you can, um, appropriate from local restaurants. I picked up a few at Panera. Other places have them too. Ditto with small packets of syrup. Ok it isn’t real Vermont syrup, but it was the best I could do. I was going for maximum calories and some added protein, so I used Peak dried whole milk (not the dried non-fat stuff. It makes a world of difference in flavor and calories) and and dried whole eggs.

The recipe below makes one pancake as that’s all you can make on the little skillet atop your cookpot. I’m assuming you’ll want six pancakes (maybe more?) so multiply the recipe by  six, place the dry ingredients in a Ziploc  and ship some to yourself. photo (3)

You’ll be glad you did.

For each pancake:

  • 1 teaspoon dried whole egg crystals
  • 1 tablespoon dried whole milk
  • 3 tablespoons good-quality pancake mix.
  1. Mix these three ingredients well in a Ziploc.
  2. When ready to cook, add: 1 packet of mayo or 1/2 tablespoon of olive oil and about 3 tablespoons of water, or to the thickness you like.
  3. Mix together in the Ziploc.
  4. Put some oil in the bottom of your skillet or these will burn.  You could also mix some butter powder and water and use that to grease the skillet, and it adds nice flavor.
  5. Pour enough mix into the hot skillet to cover  the bottom about 1/4 inch thick.  Cook until bubbles appear on the top of the pancake, flip with your spoon or fork, and cook until done.  
  6. Serve with butter if you have any, or reconstituted butter, syrup or

You can also hydrate some dried fruit and roll the fruit inside your pancake for extra flavor. Or peanut butter.  Another variation: Scramble some egg crystals first, set aside, then roll the scrambled eggs inside your pancakes.

My daughter Sarah, who starts thru-hiking March 15, is so spoiled by the flavor of REAL maple syrup that she’s carrying a small container of granulated maple sugar on hike. Gotta love that girl.

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