Tag Archives: 2016

Vegetarian Backpacking Meals

Vegetarian Backpacking Meals 2017As a long time backpacking guide and vegetarian myself, I’ve found ways to eat well on the trail while working with clients who may (or may not) also be veggies. It’s actually a bit of a pain to try to bring meat on the trail, other than ultra-salty jerky and wrapped sausage sticks.

For that reason, most vegetarians will find themselves eating better meals than the majority with these few vegetarian backpacking meals:

(All of my meals are based around Freezer Bag Cooking so if you’re not familiar with this method I suggest you start by reading Sarah Kirkconnel’s brand new 2016 edition FBC book.)

 

Crunchy Beans and Rice

Possibly my all time favorite for deliciousness and simplicity. I can’t tell you how many times I’ve had an entire shelter ask me, “What is that amazing smell?” This is an easy vegetarian meal for the trail that you’ll come back to over and over again.

If you enjoy Tex-Mex or anything resembling tasty burritos and spicy rice this is the meal for you:

What you’ll need

Pre-Trail Preparation

  1. Grab that gallon Ziploc bag and toss in your cup of minute rice, taco seasoning, and dehydrated refried beans.
  2. Crush up your Fritos and toss them in a small snack sized Ziploc bag.
  3. Put the snack bag of Fritos inside the gallon bag with your other ingredients.

On-Trail preparation

  1. Pull the snack bag of Fritos out of the gallon Ziploc.
  2. Boil enough water for the beans and rice (2 cups of water if you followed my portions).
  3. Once the water is boiling, shut off the stove and pour the water into the gallon Ziploc bag.
  4. Seal bag and let it sit until the water has been fully absorbed by rice and beans. Set up camp while this happens.
  5. Stir up meal, sprinkle crushed Fritos over it, and enjoy! Eat straight from the bag for no-mess cleanup.

Creamy CousCous

Another amazing recipe that will leave you hiking through your day just to get to camp for your dinner! Completely vegetarian backpacking meal and amazingly tasty.

This one is hearty and filling so leave plenty of time to veg out (ha, no pun intended) around camp after you eat up.

What you’ll need

Pre-Trail Preparation

  1. Add couscous, milk powder, and walnuts together in the gallon Ziploc bag.
  2. Put your olive oil in a leak proof container (I bought a pack of 8oz water bottles and drank them all – replace with olive oil).
  3. Consider adding a little extra seasoning (dry buttermilk ranch seasoning) if you want before leaving home.

On-trail Preparation

  1. Boil enough water for the couscous according to the box you used of pre-mixed couscous.
  2. Add boiling water to freezer bag.
  3. Seal freezer bag, let sit while you set up camp.
  4. Stir in olive oil before eating and mix thoroughly.
  5. ENJOY!

Conclusion

Best Vegetarian Backpacking MealsIf you enjoyed these simple vegetarian backpacking meals, please consider picking up your ingredients using the links above. The small Amazon kickback helps me keep this site running so I can keep bringing the best backpacking information available to you!

If you want more great freezer bag cooking meals for backpacking just let me know in the comment section. I love freezer bag cooking backpacking meals and it’s so much fun to share the simplicity with new hikers.

Check out my list of the most calorie dense foods if you’re looking for foods that really pack a punch on the trail.

Best Men’s Patagonia Ski Gear 2017

Let me preface by saying that, as a reader of my blog, you know I don’t bullshit around here. If I’m calling something the “best” then it’s a piece of gear I use, trust, and rely on. As a full time ski instructor at Deer Valley Resort, I spend more than 100 days on skis every year and my cold weather gear either keeps up with me or gets donated to the second hand store.

This isn’t another Amazon affiliate review from Joe Schmoe’s website – this is the real deal. Real advice from a backpacking guide and ski instructor you can count on to cut to the chase. So let’s get to it:

Patagonia Men’s R1 Fleece Pullover

Made from polyester, this excellent winter insulation layer is perfect for several reasons.

Patagonia's R1 Pullover

Patagonia’s R1 Pullover

First, Patagonia was one of the earliest makers of “waffle” pattern polyester insulation layers in this fashion. The inner fabric of the R1 fleece line is made of raised square grids which significantly improve the insulative value of the garment.

Second, Patagonia’s style fits my slender, longer frame quite well so it’s great for any of you “athletic” fit people out there.

After years of owning and using the R1 pullover, I have yet to see any wear or degrading of materials. I’ve taken this thing on so many trips I can’t even count and I’m not sure if it’s 4 or 7 years old at this point… I do know it’s still kicking strong and I doubt I’ll need to replace it any time soon.

To top this all off, they offer it in several variations and, while I own the R1 Pullover, if I could go back and buy the “right one” I would have gone with the R1 Fleece Hoody.

Patagonia Men’s Nano Puff Jacket

This one is offered in two different flavors – synthetic or down (the down version is called a Down Sweater).

In case you’re not already aware of the difference here are the major points:

DOWN

  • More Expensive
  • Most compressible
  • Higher insulation value
  • Loses almost all insulation value when wet

SYNTHETIC

  • Less expensive
  • Slightly less compressible
  • Slightly lower insulation value
  • Loses less insulation value when wet

For mid-winter skiing there’s nothing wrong with down… I just opted for synthetic at the time because I wanted to save money and have more flexibility in using it for backpacking in the cold rainy off seasons.

Nano Puff Jacket

Nano Puff Jacket

I LOVE the Patagonia Nano Puff Jacket for its absurd warmth. The jacket is comfy, highly durable, and warmer than it should be. This jacket lets absolutely no wind through (due to nylon outer and inner shells). Paired with a moderate helping of synthetic insulation this jacket will keep you roasting!

If money weren’t an obstacle and I could snag another jacket, I would grab the Patagonia Men’s Down Sweater Jacket and give it a try. Though I must say, the Patagonia Men’s Nano Puff Hoody would be great for the added hood option.

Final Notes

If I had unlimited cash, I would most definitely try many other Patagonia ski apparel products. Even with access to great industry deals, I have to choose when and where to buy their often pricey gear.

At the right price, and after carefully considering what apparel I need, however, Patagonia gear has never let me down.

Maybe some day I’ll get the chance to test some of their other awesome looking goodies!

I usually use the R1 and Nano Puff with a hard shell jacket (I own several from various brands) as my full layering system for mid winter personal skiing and have never had a problem with this set up. It’s versatile, usually way too warm, and highly adaptable.