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beginners - food

Now that you know about a lot of your equipment, why not concentrate on something a little more appetizing. There are basically two ways to go on your food: prepackaged or plain groceries. The prepackaged food is an easy way to plan meals. They usually have a whole meal in just one envelope. All of these are usually dehydrated and freeze-dried food. Now don't start turning up your nose when you hear dehydrated, some are actually very good. The turn off on prepackaged food is price, you will usually pay more for these instead of just using groceries.

Grocery shopping for a camping trip isn't as hard as it seems. Pastas are always a great thing to take. You can spice them up differently every night with canned meat, spaghetti sauce, cheese, veggies, etc. But you can also come up with other good non-pasta menus like fried rice and burritos. Three important things to remember when shopping are: 1) keep the weight down, 2) keep the bulk of the food small, 3) make sure what you get will not spoil while on trail. Most things won't spoil, big blocks of cheese can last a week or two on trail. If your recipes need milk, make sure you get powdered milk; it tastes good with granola for breakfast. Some other easy prepared meals are the stroganoff and hamburger helper meals. Everything is in the box except the meat, but they taste just fine without it.

You can't forget desert on your trips; it is one good way to get ease a sugar urge. Instant puddings are always easy to make. Just substitute water for the milk and keep mixing until you get the thickness you like. No bake cheese cakes are another great thing, but this time you need to use powder milk to make it taste right. If you aren't very creative then go for the good ole standby, smores: graham crackers, chocolate and marshmallows.

The main idea in trail cooking is have an open mind. Just because it looks bad doesn't mean it tastes bad. And to cure all bad meals, remember to bring a well stocked spice kit which includes an all purpose spice like Mrs. Dash. One thing to keep in mind when spicing is to increase your salt intake. By sweating all day, your body loses a lot of salt. Some symptoms of lack of salt are muscles cramps, dizziness and headaches.



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