Author Topic: Cooking on the Road  (Read 3898 times)

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Offline John Nelson

Re: Cooking on the Road
« Reply #15 on: November 07, 2021, 08:10:38 pm »
There is enough good food you can find at regular grocery stores that will pack just fine that is nutritious without resorting to Cheetos and the like crap.

On the TransAm, I think I got all the way from Yorktown to Missouri before I came across a "regular grocery store" on the route.

Offline Westinghouse

Re: Cooking on the Road
« Reply #16 on: November 08, 2021, 04:34:22 am »
There is enough good food you can find at regular grocery stores that will pack just fine that is nutritious without resorting to Cheetos and the like crap.  All those foil packed food that says they're for microwaving you can cook the pouches in boiling water or eat it right out the pouch without cooking it.  There are loads of videos on YouTube that show you how, and the stuff is a lot cheaper than prepacked camping specific meals.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=YKjfpztwLGw

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Ga7Qv_Mnn1Y


Such fare as displayed in the videos may be necessary for long distance hikers. If I had to eat that for any time, I simply would not go hiking. It is not really good for you. It may do in a pinch, but for long term nutrition it is not advisable. The people I mentioned in the videos who ate junk food made clear it was just about all there was in the stores they went into. Very small stores in very small towns have very little that is nutritional. I ought to know. I pedaled a loaded bicycle many times across the USA, north, south, east and west. Getting caught in the convenience store trap even for a day or two can sap your energy and your feeling of well being.

Those are just two of the many on YouTube.

Offline Westinghouse

Re: Cooking on the Road
« Reply #17 on: November 08, 2021, 05:10:18 am »
There is enough good food you can find at regular grocery stores that will pack just fine that is nutritious without resorting to Cheetos and the like crap.

On the TransAm, I think I got all the way from Yorktown to Missouri before I came across a "regular grocery store" on the route.

That is exactly what I mean. I found myself in the same quandary. Good, wholesome, nutritious food is second in importance only to water. The need for proper nutrition is multiplied many times over on a long bicycling tour. On this forum, "long bicycle tour" does not mean a twenty mile day on the weekends. It means fifty, sixty-five, seventy, ninety, sometimes one-hundred and twenty miles a day for weeks and months. You need fresh fruits and vegetables, whole grains, whole cereals, live vitamins, real organic minerals, live enzymes. Boiling instant slop out of a foil package is for survival. A cycling route that offers plenty of readily available nutritional food is more valuable than one that offers great scenery but health harming junk food. Cycling across a continent, you should not have to rely on emergency survival food at all. If you care about your health, you must eat the best food there is.

Offline froze

Re: Cooking on the Road
« Reply #18 on: November 08, 2021, 09:32:24 pm »
There is enough good food you can find at regular grocery stores that will pack just fine that is nutritious without resorting to Cheetos and the like crap.  All those foil packed food that says they're for microwaving you can cook the pouches in boiling water or eat it right out the pouch without cooking it.  There are loads of videos on YouTube that show you how, and the stuff is a lot cheaper than prepacked camping specific meals.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=YKjfpztwLGw

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Ga7Qv_Mnn1Y


Such fare as displayed in the videos may be necessary for long distance hikers. If I had to eat that for any time, I simply would not go hiking. It is not really good for you. It may do in a pinch, but for long term nutrition it is not advisable. The people I mentioned in the videos who ate junk food made clear it was just about all there was in the stores they went into. Very small stores in very small towns have very little that is nutritional. I ought to know. I pedaled a loaded bicycle many times across the USA, north, south, east and west. Getting caught in the convenience store trap even for a day or two can sap your energy and your feeling of well being.

Those are just two of the many on YouTube.

I know people who hiked the Appalachian trail the FULL distance eating that type of stuff, and now you're going to tell me it can't be done? 

https://thetrek.co/appalachian-trail/bon-appetit/

Keep in mind that when people hike or bike long distances there are towns near them all the time, usually withing 4-to-5-days walk, so they're not living on that food for 6 months straight every day, besides they have to eventually get to a store to restock, so once in town they eat fresh food.  You made it sound like I was implying that a person can live like that for months on end eating that stuff.  All I was showing was what to eat without buying expensive premade camping food.

Offline Westinghouse

Re: Cooking on the Road
« Reply #19 on: November 10, 2021, 03:20:49 pm »
Nobody should have boiled, foil-packet food on a transcontinental bicycling tour. Long distance hikers must use it because it is light and easily prepared. Cycling cross-country there should be many stores that sell real food. The cyclist should have access to nutritious real food all the time. If the cyclist is on a route that cuts him or her off from proper nutrition repeatedly, they should reconsider their route. Hiker fare is okay in a pinch. It is not good for long term use. In the long run it will bite you in your vital parts.

People eat whatever they want. They are dying by the millions from diseases caused by poor diets and lifestyle. Others are living long healthy lives caused by good proper diets and lifestyle. The long distance cyclist needs fully nutritional food for optimal health and performance.

Offline froze

Re: Cooking on the Road
« Reply #20 on: November 10, 2021, 10:22:48 pm »
Nobody should have boiled, foil-packet food on a transcontinental bicycling tour. Long distance hikers must use it because it is light and easily prepared. Cycling cross-country there should be many stores that sell real food. The cyclist should have access to nutritious real food all the time. If the cyclist is on a route that cuts him or her off from proper nutrition repeatedly, they should reconsider their route. Hiker fare is okay in a pinch. It is not good for long term use. In the long run it will bite you in your vital parts.

People eat whatever they want. They are dying by the millions from diseases caused by poor diets and lifestyle. Others are living long healthy lives caused by good proper diets and lifestyle. The long distance cyclist needs fully nutritional food for optimal health and performance.

I'm sorry but I have to politely disagree, I've known long distance cyclists that have ate just like that, and had to because one of them were in third world countries and couldn't get the American ideal of nutritional food, and I known others who have done long distance cycling in the US and survived just fine on that stuff.

I'm not going to debate this any more with you.

Offline HikeBikeCook

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Re: Cooking on the Road
« Reply #21 on: November 11, 2021, 03:13:14 am »
Having hiked the AT end to end and traveled by bike both travelers tend to "live off the land" - meaning you now buy what you can find without making the search for food greater than the journey itself. When the first folks started hiking the AT, America was a much friendlier place and more of an agricultural society- I am not talking AgriBiz but rural family farms. A hiker could knock on someone's door and buy a few eggs, ask to sleep in a barn, etc. Water was clean and abundant -- we used to carry a folding cup and drink from streams in ignorant bliss. We also had a local IGA in our little town in Northwest CT (actually 3 Mom & Pop stores in 29 square miles) but the big grocery stores were 15 miles or more away. The local stores stocked everything, but you paid a price. They really were the first "convenience stores". I could stop at these stores on a bicycle and buy anything I needed, meat, cheese, fresh produce. Sometimes you had to go next door to the meat market and they would cut or grind you a personalized size piece of meat. About the only prepackaged food was cans of Chef Boyardee stuff, Spam, Vienna Sausages, Sardines, etc.

Things have changed in the last 50 years. In an effort to preserve and protect the AT it was moved from the valleys to the mountain ridges since it was more remote and cheaper to buy the corridor land. It also made hiking and resupply more difficult. For biking the same thing happened in a way with the introduction of the interstate system and the massive spread of the automobile. We were a family of 5 in rural America with one car, which my Dad typically drove to work. If my mother needed the car she had to get up and drive my father to and from work. Shopping was done on Thursday night and stores and banks stayed open late, since this was also typically pay day. Now everyone has a car, small town stores are disappearing, replaced first by the box store chains and now Amazon. Wendell Berry wrote a book predicting this in 1977 and it sadly has proved true The Unsettling of America: Culture & Agriculture. https://www.amazon.com/Unsettling-America-Culture-Agriculture/dp/0871568772

My point is that most of the Mom & Pop stores are gone, replaced gas stations that now sell milk, eggs if you are lucky, and prepackaged food. Even the "fresh" sandwiches were made yesterday and trucked in from somewhere else. When hiking, if you stayed at a hiker hostel, the host would typically make a grocery store run, free or for a profit, but you used that as an opportunity to get some fresh food. When planning a bike trip I try to get to a "real" grocery store every other day and I keep note of the Super WalMarts on the route for rest days, so you can get fresh food and gear in one stop. I will always "buy local" when I can, but buying food at a chain owned gas station to me is no different than shopping at Walmart or Amazon.

Everyone's dietary needs are different - I have learned to listen to my body. Hikers chow down on ice cream because they typically carry no dairy. Burgers, because it is cheap fresh meat. I tend to eat what I crave and limit my candy intake to 1 Snickers bar a day.  :D
Surly Disc Trucker, Lightspeed Classic, Scott Scale, Klein Mantra Comp. First touring bike Peugeot U08 - 1966

Offline staehpj1

Re: Cooking on the Road
« Reply #22 on: November 11, 2021, 08:01:11 am »
I eat what I can get without going out of my way.  Staying on route that means I don't get fresh veggies nearly as often as I'd like.  I figure it is just a hazard of the road and I do what I can.  I don't think a less than ideal diet for a few months at a time here and there when I am on tour is what will kill me or drastically shorten my life.  I figure getting some fresh veggies when I can is my best effort and good enough for when on tour.

BTW, I am not a fan of freeze dried meals and generally refuse to use them, but do like freeze dried peas and a few other freeze dried veggies that can be bought in big cans and repacked into smaller heat sealed packs.  They are light and reasonably nutritious.  While my preference is to buy food daily, I have been know to carry some of those at times.

Offline John Nelson

Re: Cooking on the Road
« Reply #23 on: November 11, 2021, 09:32:32 pm »
I don't generally eat freeze-dried meals, but I usually carry one. Occasionally you find yourself in camp with no other food, no food sources nearby, it's already dark, and you thought you were going to pass a store or restaurant in the last 20 miles of the day but you didn't. In those cases, that freeze-dried meal is heaven.

Offline staehpj1

Re: Cooking on the Road
« Reply #24 on: November 12, 2021, 08:15:32 am »
I don't generally eat freeze-dried meals, but I usually carry one. Occasionally you find yourself in camp with no other food, no food sources nearby, it's already dark, and you thought you were going to pass a store or restaurant in the last 20 miles of the day but you didn't. In those cases, that freeze-dried meal is heaven.
I carry something for those times but not a freeze dried meal.  I am more likely to get by on some ramen noodles likely doctored up with some additional ingredients, hot sauce at the very least, but maybe some hard cheese or foil packed tuna, salmon, or chicken.  If there are freeze dried peas, I'd also throw them in.  I have gotten by an evening on instant oatmeal or a sleeve of fig newtons on the rare ocassion when that was all I had and still didn't wish for a freeze dried meal.

I have had some European freeze dried meals that were actually tastey.  They were in a hiker box in the Sierras, left by european hikers.  I don't recall the brand, but the labels were in french.  If I knew where to buy those I might carry one for emergencies and might use them when backpacking.  For all I knw there may be some decent meals available in the US, but I tried quite a few that were horrible and at the price am unwilling to continue to spend any more money trying them.  My experience with the US brands has been bad enough that I am generally not inclined to even take them when backpacking and they are free from a hiker box unless I am low on food and nothing else is available.

Offline Pat Lamb

Re: Cooking on the Road
« Reply #25 on: November 12, 2021, 11:24:23 am »
I don't generally eat freeze-dried meals, but I usually carry one. Occasionally you find yourself in camp with no other food, no food sources nearby, it's already dark, and you thought you were going to pass a store or restaurant in the last 20 miles of the day but you didn't. In those cases, that freeze-dried meal is heaven.

Same here -- except I'd stop at "welcome" rather than "heaven."  :)  Freeze-dried meals are more of an emergency ration that'll get you through another night than planned nutrition.

Offline HikeBikeCook

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Re: Cooking on the Road
« Reply #26 on: November 12, 2021, 11:29:30 am »
Always a pack or two of Ramen in my pack. Sometimes a small summer sausage. Can also get heat and eat rice and grains with kale at WalMart in a foil pack that would be a good back up meal. I have a freeze dried meal in the pantry that came as a sample and have not tried it. The last freeze dried meal I cooked on the trail was bad enough that I dug a hole and buried it. :)
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Offline John Nelson

Re: Cooking on the Road
« Reply #27 on: November 12, 2021, 11:41:26 am »
The last freeze dried meal I cooked on the trail was bad enough that I dug a hole and buried it.

You clearly weren’t hungry enough.

Offline HikeBikeCook

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Re: Cooking on the Road
« Reply #28 on: November 12, 2021, 11:45:45 am »
To be fair that was 20 years ago, but it left an impression. :P
Surly Disc Trucker, Lightspeed Classic, Scott Scale, Klein Mantra Comp. First touring bike Peugeot U08 - 1966

Offline staehpj1

Re: Cooking on the Road
« Reply #29 on: November 12, 2021, 11:54:55 am »
To be fair that was 20 years ago, but it left an impression. :P
Yeah, I haven't bought any in decades either.  They were bad enough to leave a lasting impression.  They are pretty expensive so I have only bought them when I was taking them on a backpacking trip and then they were so bad that I regretted it.  Having been burned a few times I am disinclined to spend money to try US brands again.  If I am hiking and see them in the hikers box I guess I should try one.  The problem with that is that the ones in there are likely to be the ones someone didn't like.