Oatmeal: Instant, Trail Mix, Turbocharged
Granola, Kitchen Sink Granola
Quinoa Hot Cereal
Wraps: Pretty in Pink, PB Crunch, Berry Berry
Eggs: Breakfast Burrito, Monte Cristo, Bacon and Egg Omelette, Veggie Frittate
Pepperoni and Cheese Quesadilla
Savoury Muffins with Bacon and Sun-Dried Tomatoes
Purple Cow Smoothie
Oatmeal offers a lightweight, thick, tasty powerhouse cereal that will stick to your ribs for hours. Just add boiling water and stir but instant, prepackaged oatmeal has a lot of sugar. Oats first hit the breakfast scene in about 1000 B.C. in central Europe. They’ve been the quick and gut-filling choice for farmers, warriors, climbers and anyone else with a big day ahead ever since. is not only quick and simple to make, but it’s also tasty—and super-charged to help you tackle huge objectives. Add the fact that it’s easy on sensitive stomachs, inexpensive, and a great base to customize to your personal taste, and you’ve got an unbeatable morning meal. Make it at home or on a camp stove, and the complex carbs and fiber will give your muscles long-lasting energy and keep you full until lunch, all while warming your body from the inside out.
Sadly, oatmeal also has a tendency to go down like glue. Plain oatmeal is horrible, a gastronomic crime right up there with serving spaghetti without sauce. Look at oatmeal as a platform on which to do culinary experiments with whatever is hanging around your house or camp pantry.
1. Instant oatmeal. Make your own: instant oatmeal, powdered milk, nuts, dried fruit, and a pinch of brown sugar and pack in ziplock.
a. Variation #1: Oatmeal and Blueberries. ¼ cup of dried blueberries, ¼ cup of crushed walnuts, 4 packets of instant oatmeal or just under 1 cup of oatmeal (2 packets serve 1). You can also substitute dried cranberries, strawberries, chocolate chips, or add other nuts.
b. Variation #2. Trail Mix Oatmeal: For added protein and flavour, sprinkle in some of the dried nuts and berries left over from your trail mix. Have a sweet tooth? Add a scoop of peanut butter and a few chocolate chips for a melt-in-your mouth peanut butter cup flavour. Stir in a toasted marshmellow for a seriously sweet late night treat around the fire.
c. Variation #3. Turbocharged Oatmeal Serves 1
Ingredients: 2 pkt Oatmeal, 1 tbsp Dried cranberries, 1 tbsp Golden raisins, 1 tbsp Pine nuts, 1⁄3 cup Powdered milk, 2 scoops Muscle Milk® “chocolate caramel pecan” flavored drink or similar
At home: combine all ingredients into a quart sized freezer bag.
On the trail: if you are using the freezer bag cooking method: Add 1 cup near boiling water and stir well. Add more water as needed. If you are cooking with one mug: Add 1 cup boiling water and stir well. Add more water as needed.
2. Old-Fashioned Rolled Oats.
Ingredients: 1 cup old-fashioned rolled oats, 1 cup water, 1 to 2 cups milk (dairy, soy, almond) depending on desired thickness, 1 banana chopped, 1/4 cup raisins, 1 tbsp brown sugar, 1 tbsp molasses, dash of salt
Directions: In a medium saucepan, bring water and salt to a low boil. Add oats and cook about five minutes, stirring frequently.
Add milk and brown sugar, then return the mixture to a low boil. Add molasses, banana, and raisins, continuing to stir until oatmeal reaches desired thickness. Remove from heat. Let it sit for 10 to 15 minutes if you have the time.
Finish by adding other desired toppings and a splash of milk.
Nutrition Facts (per serving, half total amount): Energy: 490 cal • Fat: 6g • Carbs: 102g • Protein: 19g • Fiber: 10g • Sodium 181mg
a. Variation #!: Add dried mango and dried bananas (whole, soft kind that are simply dried bananas, while banana chips usually have added sugar) and oil, with powdered soy milk (a great way to add texture and thickness to the oatmeal if you don’t do dairy) and cinnamon (slows digestion after meals, so seasoning a high-carb food like oatmeal with cinnamon can lengthen the time that your body draws energy from breakfast).
b. Variation #2. Add soy-based protein powder, dates, and dried blueberries. Mix everything in a bowl before you go out, and then package into pre-built meals. In the Himalaya, you can use tsampa instead, which is roasted barley flour (high in complex carbs, fiber, protein, and certain vitamins and minerals; it also has a moist texture and nutty flavour. Sometimes real nuts or protein sources are a luxury when weight counts, so replacing those with packable protein powder that offers the nutrients without the weight is a great idea. Dried fruit is also lightweight and adds sweetness when you can’t fit a bottle of maple syrup or agave.
c. Variation #3. Whatever you do—add fat: real butter, nuts, or nut butter. Coconut shavings are awesome, too. Staves off hunger.
d. Variation #4. For big-mountain, high-altitude oatmeal, add a hefty pad of butter and some good dark chocolate. It makes a gooey, chocolatey, high-calorie, high-fat mess that keeps you warm and climbing hard. Added fat is good for climbers. Some other sources of good fats: avocados, nuts, seeds, eggs, and even olive oil if you prefer a savoury flavour.
e. Variation $5. Add dried apricots, a little maple syrup, pecans or cashews, a bit of salt, and boom! Now you have food instead of glue.
f. Variation #6. Overnight Oatmeal. A no-cook breakfast for alpine starts.
If you’re heading out early, throw everything in a jar the night before, leave it in your fridge, and in the morning, you’ll have fresh-made oats ready for you—no stove required. If you prefer hot oatmeal, add a splash of water in the morning (to keep it from drying out) and put your meal in the microwave or on the stove for a few minutes. Oats soak up whatever liquid you leave them in, so you can use any kind of milk or yogurt. The difference for overnight oats is that using only milk, rather than part milk, part water yields better results. Use equal parts oats and milk, but add or subtract based on the thickness you prefer. Don’t forget to jazz it up with your personal additions (chocolate chips, chia seeds, cinnamon, bananas, etc.).
a. Traditional Granola
The following are suggestions. Individualize according to personal preferences.
10c Old Fashioned rolled oats
1 c rolled or flaked rye, wheat or barley
1-2 c wheat bran (great as bowel stimulant)
½ – 1 c ground flax
½ c Quinoa (uncooked) for crunch
½ c each nuts: pecans, almonds, cashews, hazelnuts, walnuts, mixed nuts
½ c each raw seeds: pumpkin seeds, sunflower, millet, sesame seeds
1 c coconut big flakes
1-2 tsp salt
1 tsp vanilla
Spices: cinnamon, ginger, nutmeg, or cardamom, Even savory herbs like rosemary
MIX well and add
1 c oil – canola (neutral flavor), olive oil (more bitter), or melted coconut oil
Egg white (whisk in small bowl until foamy) – for a lighter, healthier granola, helps bind the ingredients and makes it crispy.
1 c honey (heat in a microwave first to make it easy to mix in) or maple syrup, agave or brown rice syrup
BAKE oven at 300° until right texture. I use a large soup pot that can go in the oven, stir every half hour till done, (most people cook on a cookie sheet at 300 for 45 minutes. To chunk it up, don’t stir while baking, when cooled break it into chunks) then after baking and cooled down, ADD
Dried fruit 1 c: dried apricots, goji berries, dried figs, apples, pineapple, mango, raisins, currants, cranberries, cherries, blueberries (chop larger pieces up). I personally like cranberries and currants
Citrus zest: lemon, lime or grapefruit
Chocolate: ¼ c cocoa powder or 1 c chocolate chips (adds sweetness)
PARFAIT: Crumble granola on top of plain Greek yoghurt or homemade chia seed pudding and fresh fruit
b. Granola with Cinnamon and Chia Seeds Serves 4
2 cups rolled oats
1 tsp ground cinnamon
2 tbsp honey
2 tbsp canola oil
2 tbsp chia seeds
1 cup dried apples, chopped
8 tbsp full cream milk powder
At home: Preheat oven to 160C/320F. Combine oats, cinnamon, honey and oil in a bowl; stir until thoroughly coated.
Place granola mixture on a baking sheet; roast for 30-40 minutes or until golden brown. Remove from the oven and leave to cool.
Toss dried apples and chia seeds into granola.
Mix well and divide into 4 equal portions.
Add 2 tablespoons of powdered milk to each portion and pack them into plastic, zip-top bags.
Bring 1/2 cup water to a boil. Pour hot water into granola; stir to combine. – Easy – 5 min – 435kcal
c. Kitchen Sink Granola – Serves 2
Originally called “granola mush,” this breakfast was a close second.
2 tbsp butter
¼ cup peanut butter (or any other type of nut butter)
1/3 cup chocolate chips
1 ½ cup granola
1 tsp cinnamon
1 tsp vanilla extract (optional)
Directions. In a fry pan, melt butter, peanut butter and chocolate chips, and stir until smooth. Stir constantly so that the mixture doesn’t burn. Sprinkle in granola, cinnamon and vanilla. Continue stirring over the flame until fully incorporated and the granola is slightly toasted. Serve as is or cooled in yogurt.
3. QUINOA HOT CEREA Serves 1
3 tbsp dehydrated cooked quinoa
3 tbsp whole milk powder
1 tbsp your favorite chocolate muesli
1 tbsp dehydrated banana chips, crushed
At home: Mix dehydrated quinoa and milk powder in a plastic, zip-top bag. Pack muesli and banana chips separately.
In camp: Pour quinoa and milk mixture into the pot; add 1 cup water. Place pot over medium heat and bring to a boil. Cook about 5 minutes, stirring. Remove from heat. To serve, toss quinoa with chocolate muesli and banana chips.
4. CHEESIE BISCUITS Makes 4 biscuits
1 cup flour
1 1/2 tsp of baking powder
1/2 tsp salt
2 1/2 tbsp + 1 tbsp vegetable oil or melted butter
1 tsp garlic powder
1/3 cup + extra for topping grated cheddar cheese
At home: Combine flour, baking powder, salt, and garlic powder.
At camp: Mix in oil or butter. Fold in cheese. The dough should be sticky, but shapeable. Divide dough into four to five biscuits. Heat the remaining 1 tbsp of vegetable oil or butter in a skillet. Drop the balls of dough into the heated skillet and sprinkle each with a little cheese. Cook each side for 3-5 minutes, or until the bottoms are golden brown and the cheese is completely melted.
a. PRETTIE IN PINK Serves 1
1 large flour tortilla
1 single serving container strawberry cream cheese
1/4 cup freeze dried strawberries (bananas would be good too – or both!)
At home: wrap the tortilla in foil. Place the strawberries in zip lock bag.
In camp: spread the tortilla with the cream cheese. Top with the strawberries. Roll and eat.
b. PB CRUNCH WRAP Serves 1
If you want to get really fancy, use one of the flavored nut-butters that are available in single serving packets. I’ve seen chocolate, coconut, chocolate-coconut, cinnamon, cinnamon-raisin, vanilla-espresso, and a variety of different nut butters; almond, hazlenut cashew. The combinations seem unending.
1 large flour tortilla
¼ cup granola with dried fruit (your favorite kind)
2 tablespoons peanut butter
2 tablespoons jam, jelly or honey
Spread the peanut butter on half of the tortilla. Spread the jam on the other half. Sprinkle with the granola. Roll and eat.
c. BERRY BERRY WRAP Serves 1
1 large flour tortilla
1 packet shelf stable cream cheese
1 tablespoon dried blueberries
1 tablespoon dried cranberries
At home: wrap the tortilla in foil. Combine the blueberries and cranberries in a zip locking plastic bag. Put the cream cheese in the bag.
In camp: spread the cream cheese on the tortilla. Top with the berries. Roll and eat.
The eggs we get from the grocery store aren’t always fresh and it is best to get your eggs directly from a farm.. It is important that you don’t wash the eggs because once you do, you’ll have to refrigerate them. Egg shells are porous so use a thin coating of Vaseline on the shells or wrap the uncracked eggs in vegetable oil soaked paper towel. Package fresh eggs in a hard-sided container to prevent breakage. If an egg cracks, you will need to throw it out so pack a few extras.
Powdered Scrambled Egg Mix
If we are planning to have an egg dish later than the first or second day, I prefer to err on the side of caution and use a powdered or crystallized scrambled egg product like Ova-Easy Egg Mix, Adventure Egg Anywhere Scrambles, and the scrambled egg mix from Walton Feed. Don’t use whole powdered egg because that is a product designed for baking and you’ll find the flavor less than desirable.
a. Breakfast Burrito
3-4 ounces Gouda (cheese)
½ cup Powder Eggs or Egg Beaters (if used on 2nd day-Pre-freeze ahead of time at home and store in cooler during drive)
4-6 ounces of salsa
At home: Slice the Gouda, into 6 slices and place in a zip lock, add salsa to zip lock, and egg beaters or powdered eggs to another zip lock. Before packing freeze the egg beaters if not using powdered eggs.
In camp: Mix powered eggs with water according to instructions. Add eggs to pan and stir over low heat as they start to cook add the sliced Gouda and cover to melt cheese. Cooking time will depend on your pan and amount of eggs so keep a constant watch. Once cooked dish up onto a tortilla with salsa.
b. Monte Cristo Makes 2 servings
Basically a French toast sandwich with a savory twist, a Monte Cristo makes a hearty breakfast or a delicious brunch.
1/4 cup milk
Salt and pepper to taste
6 very thin slices Black Forest ham
2 slices Swiss cheese
1 tomato (optional)
4 1/2 inch thick slices French bread
1 tablespoon butter
At Home: Wrap the bread slices in plastic wrap. Pack the bread and seasonings with the dry goods you are taking. Place the remaining ingredients in a cooler just before you leave.
At Camp: Beat 2 eggs in a small pot with 1/4 cup milk, and add salt and pepper as desired. Put 3 slices of ham, a slice of Swiss cheese, and a tomato slice between 2 pieces of bread. Repeat with the other 2 pieces of bread, and set the sandwiches aside. Preheat a frying pan over medium heat, and add 1/2 tablespoon of butter.
Dip one of the sandwiches briefly in the egg mixture, being sure both sides are coated. Fry the coated sandwich, turning once, until both sides are golden.
c. Bacon and Egg Omelette.
At home: Pre-cook and prepare any items you would like in your omelet. I prefer bacon, tomatoes, and shredded cheese, but mushrooms, diced onions, and broccoli all taste scrumptious too. Chop up the omelet add-ins into small pieces as this ensures they cook faster and saves prep time on the trail. Put them in a Ziploc bag.
In a separate Ziploc bag, pour three or four eggs (egg beaters or egg whites also work nicely). Make sure you squeeze out all of the air, then seal the Ziploc bag. Double-bag the eggs to make sure nothing leaks in your pack or bear canister.
In Camp: Boil three cups of water. While you are waiting for the water to boil, open up the Ziploc bag with the eggs and dump in your bacon, tomatoes, cheese, or whatever else you like in your eggs. Seal the Ziploc bag of eggs, be sure that all of the air is squeezed out of the bag. Stir it all together by squishing the eggs around inside the bag with your fingers.
Once the water is boiling, plop the Ziploc bag into the boiling water, being careful to make sure the bag is not touching any bare metal. Cook time will vary depending on your altitude, but I find that my typical cook time is about 10 minutes. To keep cleanup simple you can eat the eggs straight out of the Ziploc bag (and you can use the boiling water to make your morning coffee or tea). If you are feeling extra gourmet, add a garnish of avocado and your favourite hot sauce. After you are done eating, squeeze and seal the Ziploc bag, lick your spoon clean, and your clean up is done!
Use caution when storing these items in your pack. I prefer to store the double-bagged items in a bear canister because they cannot get accidentally popped inside my pack If you would rather not carry a bear canister, they fit nicely inside a one-liter pot with a lid. Make sure you keep the food away from the sides or the top of your pack so the sun cannot heat them up, which will speed up the spoiling process. These recipes utilize perishable food so they will only work for short trips, or if you are traveling in cold weather, maybe a few days longer.
d. Veggie Frittata Makes 2 servings
This vegetable and egg dish is delicious served with bannock or flatbread.
1/4 cup frozen chopped spinach, well drained
1/2 cup roasted red peppers, chopped
1/4 cup frozen mixed vegetables
2 servings powdered scrambled egg mix (the equivalent of 4 scrambled eggs)
Water as directed on the powdered egg package
1/4 cup grated Swiss cheese, plus 2 tablespoons for topping
Butter or vegetable oil
Salt and pepper to taste
At Home: Dehydrate the vegetables for 7 to 9 hours and place in a Ziploc. Put the scrambled egg mix in a small freezer Ziploc with a note about how much water to add to reconstitute. Wrap the Swiss cheese in plastic wrap. Add the package of powdered scrambled egg mix and cheese to the bag containing the spinach. Add the butter or oil to what you will take on your trip.
At Camp: Combine equal parts of boiling water and dried mixed vegetables to reconstitute. Let sit for about 15 minutes. In a separate container, mix scrambled egg powder with the water as indicated on the note you enclosed and beat well with a fork. Put a little butter or oil in the bottom of a pot or frying pan. Add ¼ cup of Swiss cheese to the egg mixture and pour into the preheated pan. Drain the vegetables if necessary. Top the egg mixture with the rehydrated vegetables and cook on medium to low heat until the egg mixture is cooked. Add salt and pepper. Remove the frittata from the pan, cut it into two servings, and sprinkle each with 1 tablespoon of grated Swiss cheese.
7. ICKA BRUNCH Serves 2
1 small carton of Hungry Jack Original Hashbrown Potatoes
½-1 cup water
4 eggs – can pack real eggs in a plastic egg holder made by Coghlan’s
½ large yellow onion
1 clove garlic
3-4 ounces medium cheddar cheese
¼-½ summer sausage
¼ stick butter
Garlic salt, cayenne, red pepper flakes
Directions: Chop yellow onion and garlic. Cube some cheddar cheese and summer sausage. Butter your fry pan generously on both the bottom and sides of the pan and heat. Add the dehydrated hashbrowns to the pan and spread them evenly across the bottom. Toast before you hydrate them. Add in the water little by little, mixing after each time you pour until they have reached your desired texture (taste to see).
Push the hasbrowns to the sides of the pan, creating an open circle in the middle. Add a pat of butter and crack your eggs one at a time (use 1-2 eggs per person). Scramble the eggs. After about a minute, combine the eggs with the hashbrowns to continue cooking. Add the onions and mix. Push the mixture to the sides. Add summer sausage to the middle to fry slightly before combining it with the rest. Add the garlic and cheese and cook until the cheese is melted and the rest of the mixture is cooked to your desired crispiness. Add salt, pepper, garlic salt, and hot sauce as you like!
Cook Time: 15 min
8. BAGELS WITH BACON CHIVES CREAM CHEESE Serves 1
1 bagel, any flavor
1 tablespoon shelf stable bacon bits
1 teaspoon dried chives
1 teaspoon sun dried tomatoes, chopped
2-3 ounces cream cheese
At home: cream together the bacon, chives, tomatoes and cream cheese. Pack in a lidded container. Wrap the bagel in foil or plastic wrap.In camp: slice the bagel in half. Spread with the cream cheese mix and eat.
9. PEPPERONI AND CHEESE QUESADILLA Serves 1
2 tbsp tomato sauce
1 tsp olive oil
1 medium-size wheat flour tortilla
1 handful (about 50g/1.76oz) grated cheddar cheese
6–8 slices shelf-stable pepperoni
In camp: Heat the olive oil in a frying pan. Put tortilla in and reduce heat to medium. Fry on one side, then turn and smear with tomato sauce. Sprinkle with cheese. Cook until cheese is melted, then top with pepperoni. Fold tortilla in half, remove from pan, and cut into wedges.
10. SAVORY MUFFINS WITH BACON AND SUN-DRIED TOMATOES Serves 3
1 cup dry muffin mix
6 pcs sun-dried tomatoes, chopped
¼ tsp oregano
¼ tsp marjoram
1 tbsp vegetable oil
3 slices shelf-stable bacon or ham
6 silicon or paper muffin cups
At home: Mix all dry ingredients in a plastic, zip-top bag. Pack the bacon separately. Put oil into a leak-proof bottle.
In camp: Pour vegetable oil and 1/4 cup water into the bag with dry baking mixture. Add diced bacon. Season to taste with salt and pepper. Close the bag and knead until smooth. Cut off a corner of the bag and squeeze batter into the muffin cups. Bake in a backpacking dutch oven for 12-15 minutes. – Easy – 20 min – 292kcal
11. PURPLE COW SMOOTHIE Serves 1
1 packet vanilla instant breakfast
¼ cup powdered milk
3 tablespoons instant grape flavored drink mix (Kool Aid)
At home: combine all of the ingredients in a zip locking plastic bag
In camp: add about 1 cup of cold water to a screw top container. Add the smoothie mix and shake until thoroughly combined.