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tallfran

Any Backpackers Out There?

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Hi Everyone,

I'm new here; not officially diagnosed yet, but fairly certain I'm celiac.

My passion is long-distance hiking. I did much of the southern part of the Appalachian Trail in 2006, but was having a lot of health issues that in retrospect are probably related to celiac.

I'm really concerned about what I will take to eat on my next long hike. It will have to be light in weight and non-gluten. That eliminates just about everything I was eating on my 2006 hike! <_<

Most days my diet was a couple of packets of instant oatmeal and a cup of hot chocolate with a spoonful of instant coffee added, and a power bar of some sort. Lunch was snacks, powerbars, candy, trail mix. Dinner was either a Mountain House entree or a Liptons Side with tuna, clams, or chicken added.

Even the rice Lipton's sides have macaroni product in them, making them unsuitable. Most of the Mountain House entrees are either pasta based, or have wheat-containing teriyaki sauce (I don't like those anyway!)

Any suggestions? Is my primary option to dehydrate everything ahead of time and make my own meals (a LOT of work). Or, am I, God forbid, going to have to give up backpacking completely.

I welcome your input. Thanks.

Fran

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Hello Fran!

I haven't backpacked in years, but still do some camping. I don't know that I"ll ever backpack again - partly because I'm out of shape (the old lungs! ugh!) and....partly becuase it's such a hassle with gluten-free eating.

I do think you'll have to rule out all of the standard dehydrated camping meals, and become quite clever. I don't know how long your longest sojourn is, so don't know how long things will keep.....

I would look into grains and a light cookstove. Quinoa (extremely high-protein, you will need to pre-cook it most likely), instant brown rice (add banana, sliced almonds, dried cranberries or whatever - a good breakfast), dried fruits, nuts, nut butters, Lara bars.......

I did find this on Amazon -

http://www.amazon .com/s?initialSearch=1&am...0free%20oatmeal

I would take Columbus meats (I get them at Trader Joe's) - pastrami, turkey, etc. and - if the weather's not too hot, they should keep for a day or two (well, I"m not too concerned about refrigeration of those things and eat them when they 've been out all day whilst camping - never had a problem) and make yourself some delicious gluten-free bread (there is a thread here started by Lorka called "the best gluten-free bread I've ever had," and, it truly is.

Add some fruits, some celery....(wait, do they take up too much volume and weight? :unsure: I'm a car-camper these days for Pete's sake!!)

oh heck, it's been so many years for me....I"ll have to ponder this some more.

There are many helpful people on this forum, glad you found us. One member, Tiffany (tarnalberry) has done lots of backpacking, I think she could help you out.

Happy Trails!

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Hi,

I've used the following on long trips, hope this helps:

Breakfast--Instant grits or a quick rice hot cereal by Lundgrens, with dried fruit and nuts. Or for the first morning or two corn tortillas keep ok in cool weather, then put instant eggs and veggies in them.

Lunch--Lara Bars, rice crackers (I repackage them for the pack) with protein of choice, dried fruit bars, almonds, almonds with raisins, I think it is Clif Bars that also makes a gluten free fruit and nut bar.

Supper--Thai Kitchen packaged meals. There are several brands that produce instant gluten free soup (though I'm drawing a blank right now). Annie's makes a gluten-free mac and cheese. We have the cookbook Simple Foods for the Pack (an old Sierra Club book, I think??)--many of the recipes in there are gluten free or can be changed to be gluten free. We have used quinoa in place of bulgur in both a dried/backpacking tabouli recipe and a fresh one at home. For the dried/backpacking tabouli we use dried parsley flakes and diced sundried tomatoes, and other dried spices. Sorry I'm a vegetarian so no recommendation on the meats. Oh, and Lundgrens makes some instant rice pilafs and some boxed risotto mixes too. We also mix our own instant potatoes au gratin for trips too--purchased dried potato slices and gluten-free cheese powder.

Hope all goes well and you have many more miles!

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on my last backpacking trip, I took quinoa flakes with freeze dried mango cream of rice with flax meal with freeze dried strawberries for breakfasts. there were nuts, clif nectar bars, think organic bars, alpsnack bars, and dried fruit for lunch/snacks. and there was precooked, dried bean flakes and corn chowder, both with freeze dried vegetables and spices, and then precooked quinoa with dried broccoli and garlic. oh, and chocolate. :)

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I haven't done any long backpacking trips gluten-free, but I have been packed for 5 days at a go and where I've had to pack light because of having mountaineering gear in my pack.

I'd second the instant grits or cream of rice for breakfast. Cream of rice is good too with some hot chocolate mix stirred in or dried fruit. For lunch, I usually do corn tortillas with some cheese now that I can eat dairy, or some jerkey or if it's a no grizzly area some foil pack tuna or chicken. Justtomatoes.com has lots of freeze-dried veggies and pretty much everything is nothing added. Dinners is rice with beans or tuna. The rice noodles are good too as mentioned.

Also, alpineaire has some entrees that are glutenfree for nights when you get into camp late/tired and don't feel like spending time on dinner.

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I know this one!

There's a place called Harmony House that makes cheap, wonderful, portable dried veggies/beans/fruit for backpacking. It is EXCELLENT, affordable and versatile. Best of all for us, the packages are single-ingredient whole foods. They come in resealable heavy-duty plastic pouches; I've got 14 grams of dried spinach flakes here and it's about the size of an envelope. The broccoli pouch is slightly heavier but a handful is plenty so these are definitely NOT single-serving pkgs.

Harmony House has a website you can order from; I got carrots, beans, corn, broccoli, spinach, strawberries and a few other items (memory lapse, sorry) for my backpackers. They just toss them in the JetBoil pot with everything else and they cook up perfectly. I've been known to steal their stuff when I'm in a cooking bind myself!

joanna

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Supper--Thai Kitchen packaged meals. There are several brands that produce instant gluten free soup (though I'm drawing a blank right now).

I was going to suggest these as a Lipton's substitute, too! They are delicious and hardly weight anything. It's called Thai Kitchen Instant Rice Noodle Soup. They've got about 190 calories each.

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My biggest problem is how many calories I need when backpacking. If I hike around 8-10 hours, I need about 4000 calories per day which means about 1500 at dinner. That's a lot of rice noodles! I try to compensate somewhat by bringing lots of peanut butter and chocolate but I still lose weight over the trip.

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Yeah, if you can, I think eating peanut butter is a safe bet. On backpacking trips I have to eat much more to pack on the calories. The links that everyone else put up are very helpful too.

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As I learned on my trip up mt. st. helens a couple weeks ago, homemade chili dehydrates VERY well. Put it in a freezer bag, add boiling water when you make dinner, and boom - dinner (in its own trashbag). Tasty, filling, nutritious, and easy cleanup. Not to mention lightweight. (Takes about a day and a half to two days to dehydrate. Still a lot cheaper making your own than buying it. ;) One ~$8 pot of organic turkey chili made 4 good size servings.

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