Testing Knorr Pasta Sides for Hiking Meals

 

 

This March, I will be going on a 60 mile hike. I like to eat Mountain House dinners when I go on hikes. I think they taste awesome especially after a long day of hiking up and down hills and being exhausted. I think they are better than Coleman or BackPacker dinners. Working on my menu for a five day hike, I knew that I was not going to be able to afford to have a Mountain House meal each breakfast and supper so I had to do some research on what works best.

I came across Eric the Black’s website chocked full of good information. I ran across one post where he mentioned Knorr Pasta Side dishes. I looked more into them and thought it may be a good idea to try them. My wife went shopping and bought me a couple of the meals. I knew I needed to be sure they were gonna work before I went out on the trail so I decided to test one of them in my cook-set.

The pack says to use 2 cups of water. I’ve always felt that was too much for any freeze dried meal I’ve had. Eric says to use 1 3/4 cups of water. I still feel like it was a little much. I think 1 1/2 cups might be just right. I went with Eric’s recommendation of 1 3/4 cups of water.
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I used the Knorr Alfredo Broccoli. You can see in the picture that it looks like strips of dried pasta. It smelled rather nice in the bag. Don’t be fooled to think that there’s not much in the bag. It’s not like Lays potato chips where most of the bag is fluff. Sure the bag is full of space but when rehydrated the pasta makes a nice sized meal.

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I boiled the water then turned the stove off and poured the pasta into  pot. If you’re an ultralight hiker, try not to criticize my painfully heavy cook-set. I use a Coleman stove and fuel tank. I also use a Coleman pot set. One day, maybe my wallet can afford the lighter side of life. 😉photo4

 

I let the pasta sit for ten minutes while I went to my office to work and let it sit there and do it’s thing. I stirred it once about five minutes in. As you can see, it didn’t soak all the water so it was a little soupy. This is why I feel a cup and a half would be sufficient. All the pasta strips rehydrated just fine.

 

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I added some tuna to the pasta for protein. The one mistake I made (but had no choice really) was I added spicy tuna to an Italian seasoned pasta. It’s all I had. I must admit, it wasn’t bad. To a hungry hiker who’s ready to sit and enjoy a meal regardless of what it is, this meal would make one heck of a dinner at the end of a long day of hiking. I highly recommend it. It’s far cheaper. The pasta costed me a dollar. The tuna was a dollar and some change. Compared to the Mountain House dinners ranging from $5-$8, this meal comes in at a bargain. It feels a tad heavier but not enough for me to make a fuss. Maybe to an ultralight hiker it would weigh too much but I’ll deal with the weight to save me some money.

 

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Finding God In the Creative Process

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When I wrote Faith Debugged, a moving creative idea showed me the parallel of God’s armor and the safety equipment I used in pest control. I was taken back when I realized that some of the actions or tools I used could very well be paralleled with God and His word. In the same way, as I compile evidence of God in the world of backpacking and hiking, I can begin to see through the creative process where God has intertwined himself through every facet.

When one begins to learn the outdoor adventures of slapping a 30 pound pack on your back and grab a walking stick and begin to walk in the woods to experience all of creation, he/she needs to learn of the ten essentials in order to be successful at surviving such endeavors. They are:

1. Navigation

2. Sun protection

3. Insulation

4. Illumination

5. First-aid supplies

6. Fire

7. Repair kit and tools

8. Nutrition

9. Hydration

10. Emergency shelter

These Ten Essentials easily stand parallel to the Ten Commandments in God’s word. Also, when we consider the Ten Essentials, we narrow them down to the Three Fundamentals:

  1. Sleep System
  2. Cook Kit
  3. Shelter

Biblically we can narrow the Ten Commandments to Three Fundamentals:

  1. God
  2. Others
  3. You

When I learned that both backpacking and my faith had Ten Essentials and Three Fundamentals I was blown away. God is truly amazing when He reveals Himself to us… In EVERYTHING!

Choosing a Cook Pot

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Last year I bought this Coleman cook set. I carried it on every trip but I believe I can leave a pot or two at home to lighten my pack. Just which ones. The bigger 24 oz. pot I have never used. I can get away with boiling my water in the 16 oz. pot and then boiling more for coffee or cocoa to drink.

The smaller pan I use for a top when boiling water and warming up jerky on the fire. But the bigger pan I can fry eggs in. I’m thinking the smaller pot and smaller pan simply for weight and I can make do with eggs in the smaller pan if needed. My friend says I can get by with the smaller cook pot alone.

What do you think? Right now money is no option because I have none so I have to make do with these pots.