If you love backpacking, and love good food, but rarely enjoy them both at the same time (like me), then you’ll benefit from reading “The Hungry Spork: A Long Distance Hiker’s Guide to Meal Planning.”
Combining aspects of a cookbook, a gear review and a personal narrative, the new book by outdoors writer Inga Aksamit brims with suggestions for making backpacking meals more healthy and enjoyable.
If you’re tired of oatmeal, gorp and ramen, how do eggs and sausage, barbequed chicken and mashed potatoes or Moroccan couscous with lamb sound?
All of these meals and many more can spice up your outdoors diet if you plan ahead, writes Aksamit, who suggests the use of a dehydrator to help prepare food weeks or months ahead of the actual trip.
Included are other tips and strategies for producing nutritious and tasty meals and more than a dozen original recipes, reviewed by other backpackers who tried them and provided feedback which the author included in the book.
Aksamit produced the strategies and recipes herself through years of personal backpacking experience, directed by her desire to make outdoors meals appealing, easy to prepare and also healthy. To avoid migraines, Aksamit modified her diet to avoid substances like MSG, nitrates and nitrites.
As much as I like backpacking, my reputation as a field cook leaves something to be desired. In fact, my best trail companions often volunteer to cook so that I won’t. So I’m looking forward to trying some of Aksamit’s ideas on my next Pacific Crest Trail segment.
“I offer a strategy for making your own meals so you control the ingredients,” Aksamit writes. “My focus is on healthy, nourishing foods that can sustain a long hike, provide variety and be prepared quickly at camp.”
The book is available in print and digital form at Amazon.