Recipes from the trail

So, what are you eating out there? This is the question more people ask me than how my hike is going. People have high expectations from me as a ex chef however cooking isn’t something I enjoy doing anymore. Eating is something I enjoy very much however and I’ve created some simple recipes that can be ready within 5- 10 minutes to answer that question.

Hiking every day for 5 months is hard. Trying to eat enough calories to support that everyday is even harder. Trying to carry high calorie food in a low weight form again, is harder still.

I often say sugar will get me to Canada, but I’m also trying to get nutrition to fuel me so when I’m not eating sugar I’m usually making a simple 3 ingredient meal.

The last stretch of trail I carried 7 days of food from Bishop to Mammoth. I’d underestimated the terrain and altitude so it took me just over 7 days instead so I had to ration pretty carefully and break into my emergency meal.

Attempting this thru hike has definitely changed my relationship with food and my body. Instead of always worrying about my weight and calories, I am now using food to fuel my body on this incredible thing it’s doing. How can I hate my body when it has already taken me over 900 miles on the Pacific Crest Trail? I have become stronger physically and mentally. The hiker hunger overwhelms me at times and I’ve been asking friends who have done long hikes for recommendations. I’m now taking a multi vitamin and adding olive oil to literally everything that I can.

Here is what a typical resupply before the hiker hunger really kicked in looks like:

Fitting 7 days of food with hiker hunger into a bear canister is very difficult.

And so it comes to eating the foods I’d been curious about. I’d read an awful lot about idahoan mashed potatoes and all about peanut butter tortillas, but I’d never really thought I’d be able to survive on them. Again, my body surprised me.

Usually every resupply there’s something I buy a lot of. It’s usually followed by never wanting to eat that food again. Once it was honey buns, another time Builders Protein Chocolate Mint bars. At the moment it’s minute rice and Kraft singles.

So here it is, recipes from Scorpion Queen. By far I do not make the best or the most nutritious meals on trail and I am not pretending to.

I recommend adding generous splashes of olive oil to these to increase the calorie and fat content. I also have a small pot of salt and pepper mixed together which I add to most things.

Trail Carbonara

Chicken stock makes this creamy
  • 1 cup angel hair pasta
  • 1/4 cup bacon bits
  • 1/4 cup dried parmesean
  • 1/4 cube chicken stock

Boil 1 cup water with the chicken stock. Add angel hair pasta and put in pot cosy for 5-7 minutes. Add Parmesan and bacon bits to serve.

Curry Rice with Cheese

  • 1 1/2 cup minute rice
  • 2 Japanese curry cubes
  • 3 slices Kraft Singles

Boil equal amount of water to rice. Add rice and curry cubes. Put in pot cosy and leave 10 minutes. Serve by adding a Kraft Single whenever needed.

Thanksgiving in a Toaks

  • 1/3 pack turkey stuffing mix
  • 1/2 pack Idahoan’s (I like baby reds)
  • 2 sporkfulls of brown gravy powder

Boil 2 cups water and mix in all ingredients stirring well. Put it pot cosy for 3 minutes.

Mac & Cheese Wraps

Basically an Italian meal
  • 1 pack extra creamy Kraft Mac and cheese
  • 2 sporkfulls brown gravy powder
  • 2 Tortilla wraps (or however many you can spare)

Make Mac and cheese as per usual. Add brown gravy for extra savoury flavour. Serve in tortilla wraps and relish in the joy of carb on carb.

Snickers Oatmeal

  • 1 cup quick cook oats
  • 1 huge spork of peanut butter
  • 1 mini snickers bar
  • 1 sugar sachet taken from a hotel/ gas station/ hiker box
  • 1-1 1/2 cup boiling water

Boil water and mix in oats, peanut butter and broken up snickers bar. Add sugar sachet for an extra energy boost up the mountain.

Postal’s Trail Mix

My friend Postal made the most incredible calorie dense looking trail mix so I had to give this a mention.

  • 3 sleeve Oreo’s crushed
  • 1 share size pack of M & Ms
  • 1 big bag salted roasted Almonds

Mix all together. Put into ziplock bags and eat quickly so the weight goes down.

What are other people eating?

I’d be so interested for some recipes that other people have been making on long distance trails. I’m always hungry and always looking for what to buy on my resupply for the next section.

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Comments 3

  • Laurie Freeman : Jul 3rd

    Thanks for the recipes! My fave go to on the AT was :
    Chili Ramen -use 1/2 the spice pack. Add a generous spoon of chunky peanut butter. Thicken with 4-cheese mashed potatoes.

    I’ll be trying some of your concoctions to sure!
    Hike on,
    Lady Dundee

  • Naomi : Jul 3rd

    Do you have, or enjoy, food from your dehydrator?

  • Naomi : Jul 3rd

    Do you dehydrate your own chow?


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