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Dinner Recipe: Beans + Rice with Fritos & Cheese

By Andrew Skurka / March 4, 2015 / 77 Comments

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 Few individuals have struggled to consume the entire meal, but if you have a…

Breakfast Recipe: Cheesy Potatoes

By Andrew Skurka / March 3, 2015 / 27 Comments

Of all the breakfast recipes that I have tried out on my backpacking groups, Cheesy Potatoes is a regular favorite. On the sweet-or-savory scale, it’s decidedly savory, due to a bland potato base that is flavored with cheese, green chilies, and bacon, plus some whole milk for creaminess. Credit to Amanda for developing this recipe.…

Backpacking recipes: Ingredient information & sourcing

By Andrew Skurka / March 3, 2015 / 17 Comments

This page is intended to provide a single source of information about ingredients that I use in my backpacking breakfast and dinner meal ideas, which I will be posting over the next few months. Many of them are used in more than one recipe, so this page will prevent redundant information and allow for easy updating.…

Backcountry cooking: An argument for soups and gruels

By Andrew Skurka / February 24, 2015 / 23 Comments

At home, where I have a fully array of kitchen tools — e.g. measuring spoons and cups, multiple pots and pans, and dish rags and soap — and where there is some consideration for the “dining experience,” executing perfectly a breakfast or dinner recipe is very feasible, and in fact expected. When backpacking, however, I have far…

Metabolic efficiency test results: I’m a butter-burner!

By Andrew Skurka / January 30, 2015 / 34 Comments

In the lead-up to the The North Face 50 Mile Championships in December, I was looking for any “edge” that could help me race to my potential and to offset some of the advantages that a comparably talented runner had over me, like more ultra racing experience and a training cycle longer than 6 weeks.…

Metabolic Efficiency Testing: Explanation and motivations

By Andrew Skurka / November 30, 2014 / 13 Comments

Tomorrow I am having tested my “metabolic efficiency” by Dina Griffin of eNRG Performance in Denver. In this post I will explain the concept and its relevance for backpackers and runners. In a second post, I’ll share my results. What is Metabolic Efficiency? Our bodies rely primarily on two sources of energy: Carbohydrates Fat Carbohydrates are most quickly…

Breakdown — A week of food

By Andrew Skurka / July 27, 2014 / 29 Comments

I start a 7-day trip on Tuesday in the Wind River Range. My partners — Buzz Burrell and Peter Bakwin — are both studs and we’ll be getting after it on a traverse of the entire range that is bookended by the southernmost and northermost 13ers and that goes through the heart of the range’s most rugged terrain…

Food planning for multi-day backpacking trips and thru-hikes

By Andrew Skurka / January 31, 2012 / 38 Comments

I plan for a trip in two stages: 1. The theory. On my computer, I develop, refine, and perfect every aspect of the trip, notably my gear, supplies, route, and logistics. To do so, I rely heavily on applications like Excel, Word, National Geographic TOPO!, and Google Maps. 2. The tangible. I obtain everything that…

Food protection techniques in bear country

By Andrew Skurka / December 20, 2011 / 53 Comments

Disclaimer. Ultimately you need to make your own decisions on how to protect your food in bear country. And you are fully responsible for the outcomes of those decisions. In this article I have tried to be candid and realistic, and to cut through some of the BS, red tape, and conventional wisdom that surrounds…

Bear Canister Basics

By Andrew Skurka / December 19, 2011 / 8 Comments

Bear canisters are hard-sided plastic or carbon fiber cylinders with a removable lid that is designed to protect its contents (namely, food and other scented items) from bears. The canister’s shape, hardness, and lid seal mechanism (which require opposable fingers to open/close) make it extremely difficult, if not impossible, for bears to access the canister’s…