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Dinner Recipe: Polenta + Peppers

By Andrew Skurka / November 22, 2019 /

This Italian-themed dinner recipe is very filling, making it ideal for long days and late in a trip, when appetites are big. It’s unique and flavorful. Meal stats Recommended serving weight: 5.6 oz Total calories: 595 Caloric density: 105 cal/oz Like instant potatoes, polenta absorbs a significant amount of water, at a 4:1 volume ratio.…

Breakfast Recipe: Cheesy Potatoes

By Andrew Skurka / November 20, 2019 /

This breakfast recipe has been a staple on our guided trips since 2015, when Amanda set out to create a savory dish to help balance sweet options like oatmeal or Quickstart Cereal. The ingredients and ratios have been tweaked multiple times based on feedback, and I believe we now have a real winner. Among 100+…

Breakfast Recipe: Quickstart Cereal

By Andrew Skurka / November 18, 2019 /

To get out of camp as early as possible, the most ideal breakfast item is an individually wrapped bar (or several): granola bars, energy bars, protein bars, breakfast bars, etc. They require no prep and can be eaten on-the-go. But there are downsides to this approach. First, they’re not very satisfying. Second, they probably constitute…

Dinner Recipe: Beans + Rice with Fritos & Cheese

By Andrew Skurka / November 18, 2019 /

This meal is my favorite. It goes on every single backpacking trip. I never get tired of it. Clients love this recipe. Need more convincing to try it? Key Stats Recommended meal weight: 5.7 oz Total calories: 668 Calories per ounce: 117 It’s rare that someone struggles to finish this meal. But if you have a…

Current food storage regulations for Rocky Mountain National Park

By Andrew Skurka / October 15, 2019 /

For the 2019 season, Rocky Mountain National Park made a significant revision to its wilderness food storage regulations, giving backpackers a new option that is lighter and more user-friendly than the hard-sided canisters that have been required since 2014. To date, the park has not consistently or widely communicated this policy change on its website…

Backpacking breakfast & dinner recipes

By Andrew Skurka / August 21, 2019 / Comments Off on Backpacking breakfast & dinner recipes

These are my best ideas for backpacking breakfasts and dinners. The recipes have been extensively field-tested by me and by hundreds of clients on my guided backpacking trips. Some meals were immediately winners, but often I tinkered with the ratios and secondary ingredients to get them just right. When creating these meals, I strived to…

Breakfast Recipe: Southwest Egg Burrito

By Andrew Skurka / August 13, 2019 /

Occasionally I appreciate a blueberry pancake or a bowl of Captain Crunch. But my standard breakfast at home entails eggs, cheese, toast or a tortilla, with some hot sauce or salsa. When I delegated the meal preparation this year to David, a local ultra runner who has worked at Boulder’s best restaurants (currently, at Flagstaff…

Not bear- or idiot-proof: Documented canister failures

By Andrew Skurka / April 7, 2018 /

At least most of the time, hard-sided canisters like the BearVault BV500 successfully protect food from bears and “mini-bears” in the backcountry. But it turns out that they’re not 100 percent bear- or idiot-proof. Recently, I received a spreadsheet that documented 199 food-related bear incidents with backpackers in Yosemite National Park between July 2012 and…

Buyers guide: Bear canisters || Comparison of volume per weight & cost

By Andrew Skurka / March 29, 2018 /

During the day, properly protecting food is as simple as not leaving it (or a backpack full of it) unattended. The conversation about overnight food protection is longer and more nuanced. Multiple techniques can be used; regulations vary by location; and misinformation and poor practices are abundant. In this post I will focus on one specific food…

Coffee-flavored Fritos: Tips to prevent food smell contamination

By Andrew Skurka / November 11, 2016 /

“Would you like some?” Steve asked, holding out a loaf of yummy homemade cookie dough. My belly was already full from dinner, but I broke off a piece anyway, knowing that ahead was a long November night in the sleeping bag. After taking a few chews, I remarked, “It would be better without the taco seasoning…