Food plan for 8 day backpack

Here is a list of the evening meals we took on a recent 8 day backpack in the Sawtooths.  These meals are for 2 adults, and they were very tasty.  These taste better than freeze dried meals, are cheaper, and are less bulky.

Pasta with Pesto Sauce and Salmon Bits, from Prosecutor’s Cookbook

At Home: 

Package in a quart ziplock freezer bag:

2-3 ounce foil pouches salmon

6 oz. (bundle of 10” pasta the diameter of a quarter) dry Angel Hair Spaghetti (broken after measuring to fit in your pot)

2 packages Knorr’s Pesto Sauce Powder

¼ cup (4 tsp) olive oil in a small plastic bottle

Put in a small snack sized ziplock bag or small coin envelope:

½ teaspoon garlic power

¼ teaspoon red pepper

½ teaspoon oregano

On the Trail: 

Add 3 cups water to small one quart pot and bring to boil.  Add spaghetti and oil, then cook 3 minutes.   Add the rest of the ingredients, boil for one or two minutes, and serve.

SALMON PASTAfrom Prosecutor’s Cookbook
At Home:

Package in a snack sized ziplock bag:

2 teaspoons granulated garlic

½ teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes

2 tablespoons dried shallots

4 tablespoons dried tomato bits

1 envelope or bullion cube of Herb-Ox Instant Chicken broth

Also bring: 7ounces offoil pouched salmon

Package 7 oz. angel hair pasta

Put in a small plastic bottle, 1 ½ ounces of capers

Place in a snack sized ziplock bag, ¼ cup parmesan cheese

Bring 2 ounces of olive oil in a small plastic bottle.

On the Trail:
Put the first snack sized ziplock bag of dried tomato and spices mixture into 18 ounces of water and reconstitute for 20 minutes.  Bring to boil, and add the angel hair past and boil for 4 to 5 minutes more, adding the olive oil and salmon near the end.



ISLE ROYALE SALMON, from Prosecutor’s Cookbook

While backpacking Isle Royale in Lake Superior this summer, I chatted with a fishing boat captain's wife who was telling me how this was her 20th summer fishing with her husband at Isle Royale on Lake Superior. I asked her what she eats, and she said lots of fish, and that she knows more ways to cook fish than anyone. When I asked her what her favorite fish recipe was, she described "Isle Royale Salmon". My heart began to race. Everything was available at the store, inexpensive, extremely light weight, quick to prepare on the trail.  In short, a perfect backpacking meal.  This recipe won first place in the Titanium Chef 2002 backpacking cooking contest.

At Home:
Package in a quart or half gallon ziplock bagthe following:

7 ounces of foil pouched salmon, (or smoked salmon)

In your first pint zip lock bag put:
1 package of Knorr Vegetable Soup, Dip & Recipe Mix

1 ounce dried sliced potato taken from a scalloped potato box
1/2 cup dehydrated onions
1 teaspoon chicken bullion
1/4 teaspoon ground thyme
1/4 teaspoon fresh ground white pepper
1/2 teaspoon salt (omit if using smoked salmon)

In a second pint zip lock bag put:
1 cup powdered milk
2 tablespoons flour
3/4 cup dehydrated mashed potatoes

Fill a third snack sized ziplock bag with small croutons.

On the Trail:

Bring 6 cups of water to a low boil.  Flake the fish and add to the boiling water with the first Ziplock bag ofpototo, onion, soup and spice mixture and cook at a low boil for another 10 minutes.  Turn off heat, and slowly add contents of second ziplock bag of powdered milkflour/potato mixture, stirring constantly.  When the flour is mixed in without lumps, turn on stove to a low simmer, and heat for 2 minutes.  Serve with small croutons.

CHICKEN TIKKA MASALA, from Prosecutor’s Cookbook


 This recipe is the recentrage of Great Britain restaurants and has its origin in India.  Served with a gravy like chicken mixture over rice, this is a tasty way to eat chicken.


At Home:

Package in a snack freezer ziplock bag:

2 tbs. chopped dehydrated onions

¼ cup dried tomato bits

2 tbs. dried diced mushrooms

2 tsp. powdered milk

2 tsp. garam masala powder

1/8 tsp. dried lemon powder

½ tsp. ground white pepper

1 tsp. salt

½ tsp. ground cumin

½ tsp. coriander

½ tsp. turmeric

½ tsp. ginger powder

½ tsp. garlic

Package in a second snack sized ziplock bag:

1 cup instant rice.

½ cup dry unsalted shelled whole cashew nuts

Also bring:

1 seven ounce pouch package of Tyson’s Chicken

1 ounce canola oil

1nan or a pita

Package all of the above in a quart ziplock bag.

On the Trail:

Add 1 cup water to your first snack bag of onions, tomatoes and spices and set aside to rehydrate.  Bring 1 cup of water to boil, add rice, and set aside for 5 minutes. Put your frypan on the stove, add canola oil, add chicken,, and simmer several minutes, then add therehydrated onions, tomatoes and spices from your first bag and simmer for several more minutes until the liquid is reduces to a gravy.  Pour chicken mixture over rice and serve. Eat with a nan or pita bread.


THAI CURRIED CHICKEN, from Prosecutor’s Cookbook


 The following recipe won Best Spicy Dish in the 2004 Titanium Chef Backpacking Cooking Contest.  Lightweight, simple, with ingredients that will keep on the trail, this dish can be made as hot as you want it.


At Home:

Package in a pint freezer ziplock bag:

¼ cup dehydrated carrots

¼ cup dehydrated chopped onions

¼ cup dehydrated corn

3 tablespoons dehydrated green peppers

3 tablespoons dehydrated sweet red peppers

1/3 cup rice

Package in a second ziplock snack sized bag:

1 60 gram package of Chao Brand Coconut Cream Powder

1 teaspoon curry powder for mild, 1 tablespoon for hot.

¼ teaspoon dried vinegar

1 teaspoon chicken bullion powder

½ teaspoon salt

Also bring:

1 seven ounce pouch package of Tyson’s Chicken

1 ounce olive oil

On the Trail:

Rehydrate contents of pint ziplock bag of vegetables in 4 cups water in a one liter pot and wait one hour.  Boil rice, rehydrated vegetables and olive oil for 15 minutes. Add second ziplock bag of spices and chicken during the last two minutes.



CRANBERRY CHICKEN AND RICE, from Prosecutor’s Cookbook

At Home:

Package in a quart ziplock bag:

Contents of a Knorr’sVegetable Recipe Mix

2 cups freeze dried chicken

2 teaspoons chicken bullion

½ teaspoon salt

2 teaspoons dried parsley

1 tablespoon dried minced onion

½ cup dried cranberries (craisins)

Package in a quart ziplock bag

3 cups instant rice

Package in a snack sized ziplock bag:

2 tablespoons of slivered almonds

On the Trail:

Except for the substitution of freeze dried chicken, this recipe is essentially one of my wife’s favorites taken from the cookbook Freezer Bag Cooking by Sarah Svien. Bring 6 cups of water to a boil, and add the first bag containing the freeze dried chicken.  Simmer for 20 minutes, adding the bag of instant rice during the last 5 minutes.  Add slivered almonds for the topping and serve.


Pizza Pan Biscuits, recipe from Sarah (Sarbar)

Serves 2, Prep time 15 minutes



  • 1 c baking mix
  • 1 T Italian herb blend
  • 1?2 t diced dried garlic
  • 1?2 t ground black pepper
  • 2 T olive oil (or 2 packets)
  • 2 oz string cheese
  • 1 pkt shelf stable pepperoni slices (see notes)
  • 1?2 c water


Pack the dry ingredients in a sandwich bag, seal tightly. Pack the oil, cheese and meat with it.

Cube up the cheese on a paper towel and separate the pepperoni slices. Add cool water to the bag and knead carefully till you have a dough. Add in the cheese and meat and knead till combined.

Depending on pan size you will want to do 1 or 2 batches. A pot set for 2L can handle the whole batch, if not split in half. If doing half batches, cut the oil in half.

In a non stick fry pan lid or wide/shallow pot heat half the oil on a medium flame. Add in the dough and pat out with the bag or a spatula/spoon. Cook till golden brown on the bottom, about 5 minutes. Adjust the flame as needed. If doing a large batch, drizzle the rest of the oil on top, then flip. To make it easier, you can use your spatula or spoon to cut sections before flipping. Cook for another 5 or so minutes or until golden brown and smelling super.


Bring single serving packets of shelf stable pizza sauce to dip in - find with the pre-baked pizza crusts. For the pepperoni, find often with deli meats, it does not need to be refrigerated till opened. Most brands have 2 separate inner packets. You will need one of them for this recipe.  For the cheese use whatever you like, from Mozzarella string cheese, to CoJack, cheddar, etc. 2 ounces is 2 sticks of prewrapped that carry well.  This is one recipe we could have eaten twice this quantity.