Backcountry Snacks

Todd has now begun his backpacking trip in the Grand Canyon. This will be his 3rd time.  Without me.  In the 9 years I’ve known him.  I’ve never been to the Grand Canyon.  Can you tell I’m a little bitter.. or jealous.. or both?

In his defense, this time I was actually invited!  So maybe I’m just jealous.

With New Zealand in the fall, I don’t have enough vacation time to take another 5 days off.  I hate it that I am sooo restricted by the amount of vacation my work thinks is enough.  One of my dreams is to be able to work from anywhere.  That way, I could spend months in New Zealand if I wanted!

Anyways, Todd is backpacking & I will try and get as much studying in as possible!  My test is less than a month away! It’s cramming time.  If you were wondering, I am taking the Civil PE CA specific Surveying test on April 9th.  I passed the other 3 portions of this test in the fall but I did not pass this part. Hopefully this will be the last time I have to study Surveying!

A couple years ago, we went backpacking in Yosemite for 5 nights and it was amazing.  I spent a good month planning & making our meals for this trip.  Instead of buying the pre-made dehydrated foods, I decided to make my own!  It was fun.. but a lot of work!  I dehydrated fruit, veggies, cooked pasta, couscous, beans, meat and even hummus!  I assembled all our meals in ziplocs that were ready for us to add boiling water to.  The only problem we had was that anything sharp in the bag would poke holes in the ziplocs & the hot water would leak out.  Next time I would need a special heavy duty bag that you cannot puncture.  It was a great learning experience!  I wish I had a blog back then so I can remember the recipes!

Todd will be eating Mountain House meals for dinner this trip which is no fun for me!  I needed wanted to be involved in this food planning process somehow so I told him I’d make snacks & bars!

First recipe I tried was Anne’s Granola Bars.  I actually ate one for a snack today.  They are pretty good I’d say!

Mix dry ingredients..

Then add the wet..

Combine the two..

And mix your little heart out! It’s not easy.. but keep going.. you can do it!  I’ll consider this my arm workout for the day.. wait, I don’t ever do arm workouts.. I should get on that.

Press into a parchment lined baking dish & put in refrigerator.  They will harden nicely in the fridge.  I let them defrost a little before actually cutting them as they were too hard to cut!

So good!

The next recipe I tried was the Fitnessista’s protein balls.  So simple to make & a great mid-hike snack.

She did mention putting chocolate in hers and I found that the chocolate chunks would not stick to the ball.  Maybe cocoa powder would be a great substitute!

The last thing I have been thinking about a lot are Cherry Vanilla Almond ‘Larabars’.  I don’t know where this flavor idea came from but I’m stuck on it.  First thing I needed to do was find vanilla bean paste.  That is not an easy task!

I finally found it at Whole Foods.  I try to stay away from Whole Foods for the most part (because it’s a little pricey) but this was a necessity (in my mind).

Whole foods has electronic price markers on all of their shelves! I don’t know if I’m just slow and this has been there awhile but I thought it was genius! Now they no longer need to manually change the price tag everytime a price changes.. once it’s updated in the computer system, it’s correct on the shelves as well! Why didn’t I think of this?

The other ingredients needed were dates, almonds & dried cherries.

I would not use these cherries next time.  I may wait until they are in season & dry my own.  Or maybe even use frozen ones?  These didn’t have a distinct cherry flavor.

Mix all ingredients.. I don’t remember my exact proportions to give you a recipe.  I know I used more almonds than cherries & dates & I used too much vanilla!  I think I was a little excited about it.. and the flavor came out even more once the flavors were able to ‘gel’ together.  I will play with this again when I can get some better cherries and then maybe share the recipe.

I added cocoa powder to half the batch to make Chocolate Cherry Vanilla Almond.. wow.. that’s a mouthful!

So fun, easy & messy!

Now it was time to assemble Todd’s food for the trip.  I gladly helped with this part as he was running around the house trying to pack last minute!

His breakfast will be a bar of some sort.  He has a variety.  Some Emergen-C & a couple gels for when he needs them.

Lunch is tuna or sardines on pre-portioned baggies of crackers.  If you buy those bags of tuna they are the perfect amount for one day & they are ok on weight too.  Little packets of mayo, mustard & relish to make tuna salad.

These are snack bags, one for each day.  In them is trail mix, dried fruit, beef jerky, and a protein ball.  You can carry this baggie in an easily accessible pocket & grab it whenever you are bored & need something to chew on or you need some extra energy!  They worked out great in Yosemite.

Dinners are Mountain House.  Costco had a 10 pack for sale for $39.99.  That is a great deal!

He called me this morning before they began their journey & there is lots of snow on the ground!  Makes me a little nervous but I know they’ve done this before so I’m sure they will be fine.

Can’t wait till it’s my turn again!  Can’t wait for New Zealand!  Still needs lots of suggestions.. we need to start booking stuff asap!

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3 Comments

Filed under Adventures, Recipes, Snacks

3 responses to “Backcountry Snacks

  1. Its amazing how much planning goes into all of that.

  2. I totally wish I could work from anywhere too!!! That is so awesome you are going to New Zealand though, how long are you going for?
    I hear you on the PE thing. My husband is an engineer too and he had to take the Surveying part 3 times before passing. I guess in other states it’s not even required which had him even more fired up over it all. Good luck to you on it! I’m sure you’ll do great!

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