Backpacker’s food – Oatmeal

Instagram and Tumblr are full of awesome inspirational camping/trekking hipster photos; so many awesome images of mountains, lakes, fields, manly men in beards and flannel, and adventurous women standing triumphant in their backpacks overlooking  some wondrous sunset. It’s easy to forget that amping is actually hard work.

While I spent much of yesterday morning in utter awe of how much better modern camping gear is than what I used back in Scouts, Cynthia (who camped less and had better equipment, thus fewer low points to compare to) was reminded that it isn’t all sunsets and hipster film filters. Setting up and tearing down your tent every evening and following morning is work. You wash your plates in the pot you cooked your dinner in, and you can’t put it off until tomorrow. If you’ve only got a little pocket rocket to cook on, then you need to heat your coffee before you can even start to cook breakfast – and you better hope you have a level surface to put that thing on.

This is where having all your meals pre-prepared, each waiting in it’s own zip-lock bag just waiting to be boiled is a god send. And with that, here’s a breakfast that will fill you up and give you the energy to pack everything up and get on with your epic hike*.

Camping Oatmeal

  • 1 cup large flake oatmeal
  • 1/4 cup dried apricot bits
  • 1 1/2 TBSP brown sugar
  • 1 TBSP skim milk powder
  • 1 TSP cinamon
  • 1 TSP ground cardamon
  • 1/2 TSP salt
  • pinch of cayenne pepper

Serves 2 hungry campers

Place all ingredients in a zip-lock bag, pack it in your bear barrel, and forget about it until breakfast time. Once you’ve heated up your coffee (you are having coffee, right?) dump the contents of your zip-lock bag into your pot, add roughly 2 1/2 cups of water (it really doesn’t need to be exact, roughly twice as much water as dry stuff is good enough), heat, stirring often (while you sip your coffee and enjoy the quiet morning only disturbed by loon calls**). When it starts to boil, turn down the heat to a simmer, and keep stirring until it reaches the consistency you want. Serve, enjoy, clean-up.

*Or completely miss where the trail head was supposed to be and just go straight home, because we suck like that.

**Or the sights and sounds of three high energy dogs wrestling, that works too.

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