Getting the most out of trail food

After months of eating the same foods (ramen noodles, tuna wraps, and every type of preserved meat), you might need to wake up your taste buds. Thru-hikers carry the same foods more or less but keep your eyes open for a few rare ingredients for a specialty meal. Occasionally, while doing our dollar tree routine in different towns, we would stumble upon a hiker’s delight. Lightweight. Cheap. Anything but pasta.

Here are a few of our favorite trail meals. Made with minimal effort of course.

1. Discovered at a small market in Hot Springs, NC.

  • Ready-made chili in a pouch
  • Jalapeño flavored cheese packet
  • Flour tortilla wrap

This simple meal was hot, filling, and noodle-free! For the next 1900 miles, we would reminisce about how satisfying this meal was, and we never came across this chili in a pouch again.

2. Sent as trail magic, purchase location at a Walmart.

  • Hormel Beef crumbles packet
  • Dried shiitake mushrooms
  • Gravy packet
  • Noodles

Add mushrooms and water in your pot, bring to a boil. Cook noodles, strain most of the water when done. Mix gravy packet and beef crumbles in the pot. Now you my friend, can enjoy yourself a nice hearty beef stroganoff in the woods.

3. Ingredients found at Dollar General.

  • 1/2 Peanut Butter Jar
  • 1/2 Stick of butter
  • M&M’s
  • Snickers
  • Tortilla and/or Bagel

After a couple days of plain peanut butter, spice up the remainder of your jar for this calorie enhancing meal. Mix the ingredients in the PB jar then either slather them on a bagel/ tortilla or just eat plain out of the jar. It’s great for rainy days when you don’t want to stop for lunch.

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