By Lisa “Deepdive” Holmes and Sanjana “Spice Girl” Sachdeva
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Preparing your own meals allows you to control the quality of ingredients, eliminating the additives and preservatives found in most commercial meals. It also allows you to customize the flavor and dietary needs of meals to your own preference. We prefer to use organic ingredients and take advantage of home gardens to dehydrate surplus vegetables. It’s all up to you!
Most of the recipes in this cookbook require the use of a dehydrator, although many ingredients can be purchased instead. The recipes also make use of some specialized ingredients (such as butter powder, milk powder, and cheese powder) that need to be purchased since it’s not feasible to make your own. We provide a list of our favorite resources for these items.
The recipes in this cookbook are based on packaging dried foods for cooking with little to no prep done at camp. This saves time and allows for using minimal kitchen gear on trips. There’s no need for a cutting board, cooking utensils, or additional cookware… just a backpacking stove and spoon (or spork). Backpacking is hard enough and we want meals that are easy to prepare once we are at camp.
The majority of recipes in this cookbook are best prepared in a pot on a backpacking stove. While most commercial backpacking meals are prepared by adding boiling water to the bag, cooking in a pot allows you to refine the cooking process for better results. Preparing meals this way helps to ensure that everything is thoroughly cooked, doesn’t have too much liquid, and is still hot when you eat it. In addition, you aren’t left with a messy and smelly plastic bag in your camp trash. We would rather spend a small amount of time doing cleanup in order to get an overall better meal experience.
Not every meal needs to be cooked in order to be full of flavor. In this cookbook, we offer five cold soak recipes that work great for lunches. Just add cold water and let them soak while you hike.
We’re both graphic designers based in Portland, Oregon, who met while doing volunteer work for a local design association. We’ve been going on outdoor adventures together for over ten years, and when we got started backpacking, we didn’t like the commercial food choices that were available. We’re both picky eaters who prefer fresh, local and organic foods whenever possible, so we decided to start making our own backpacking meals. Over the years, our friends sampled our food on trips and encouraged us to develop this cookbook. Between the two of us, we offer a mix of comfort foods and spicier meal options.
Lisa “Deepdive” Holmes is a graphic designer, hiking book author and blogger. When she’s not designing websites and marketing materials for clients, she’s “diving deep” into the details of planning backpacking trips all over the beautiful Pacific Northwest. Learn more about her hiking books and follow her adventures at iheartpacificnorthwest.com.
Sanjana “Spice Girl” Sachdeva is a graphic designer and photographer. When she’s not hiking or backpacking, she utilizes spices from around the world to create meals using seasonal ingredients. Her passion for photography takes her to beautiful places in the Pacific Northwest, where she creates images that convey peace and harmony. Learn more about her photography at sanjana-sachdeva.com.