Tuesday, August 19, 2008

trail food

Preparing and planning for food on a backpacking trip can be a daunting task, requiring more thought about your diet than you maybe believed possible. Especially since it is after all, vacation. When the initial task of menu planning is complete, you still have a few major obstacles. First, you have to want to carry it. Second, you have to overcome the preservation aspects of no refrigeration and minimal packaging. Third, if you are anywhere near the bear superhighway, space is at a premium, as it has to fit in the can. For me, this adds up to making at least one old standby I've loved my entire life. Maybe you know the one. It's that salty, beefy, last forever at ambient temps, source of partially dehydrated protein: jerky.

This years batch came out good. The rump roast was double David'd; raised and sliced just perfect. (Thanks dudes!)
Of course, I couldn't stop there. I ran an experiment with a pound of tuna and a full chicken breast that I treated in the same manner. It failed to make the picture because I smoked it the next day (sorry) but was bomb enough for mention. The process goes as such:
Marinate overnight in a brine/soy sauce combo that is jazzed up with fresh fruit, onions and garlic.
Smoke with some peach wood for a few hours. 'Bout 225 is nice.
Put on the dehydrator for a few more hours. Few like anywhere between 2-6 hours depending on, well, everything.
Cool back to ambient room temps, weigh out, bag up for the trip, and write who's is who's.

Remember: the process is not complete until you bring it somewhere. Here perhaps:

Next up, I'll give you a trip report including but not limited to the effects on hiking distances caused by folks in so-cal's real need for somewhat renewable electricity and perceived need for a green lawn, a so called second recess, a few mythical golden minnows, a pizza at lake Italy, hard cider at 9000+ feet, and crap all over a botanical wonderland.

And yes, really. Just you wait.


K and S said...

reminds me of Bill Bryson's book on the Appalachians...enjoy!

Mimi said...

I love it when you go backpacking. You became my hero when you made pizza in the woods.

Monkey Wrangler said...

Kat: Too kind! Thanks. (Yep, that book was frickin' hilarious!)

Mimi: I'm working on what my hero insignia would be. I imagine something bubbling and alive pasted to the middle of my chest with a buff colored gore-tex cape. Captain Starter in the above tree-line adventures!
Did I just write that? Anyway.............

dicentragirl said...

Wow. Yum!! Is that a smoker?