Ultralight Backpacking Trail Foods

Backpacking companions Wild Bill, the Duke and I share meal prep duties. If we’re out for a typical three night trip, each of us brings a dinner. I usually bring a half pound of linguini, broken so it fits into a sandwich bag, a four-ounce plastic bottle with garlic, red pepper flakes and olive oil mixed together and a foil packet of hickory smoked tuna or vacuum-packed smoked salmon. Either choice is amazingly good at home or the trail. This week, my wife Gerry, who works at the local library, bought home the latest edition of “,” an Sierra Club Outdoor Adventure Guide which features more than 200 all-natural trail-tested recipes. This is the third edition (2005) of a guide first created in 1976. The author really has it down what to mix at home and what to do on the trail. They offer sample menus for two and three day trips and lots of interesting recipes. Check it out — at the library or follow my link to Amazon where you buy buy it for around $10.

Be light. Be safe. Be one with the pack.

miniTISSUE: Ultra Ultralight Backpacking Towels

minitissue.jpgMy regular readers know I’m a gearhound. And I’m always looking for the latest and greatest ultralight backpacking “thing” to include in my pack.

My latest find is the MiniTissue. Comes eight in a pack for $1 (1 ounce total weight). Individually wrapped like peppermint candies, you splash them with water making them instantly rehydrate, creating a very sturdy 8 by 9 inch face/hand towel. The company website sells them 96 to a box of 12 packages for $13.95, but I purchased mine at a kitchen store.

They contain no preservatives, alcohol or anti-bacteria solution and are environmentally friendly, 100% biodegradable and self decomposing. Individual compressed tissues don’t even register on my postal scale.

Be light. Be safe. Be one with the pack.

Rattlesnakes – Everywhere You Want to Be

I was just reading about Tom Mangan of Two-Heel Drive’s too-close-for-comfort brush with a rattlesnake. Take his tips to heart. Just today, I was working on a story for a hospital publication about snake bites and spoke to the mom of an 18-month-old who was bitten in September by a “baby rattler.” It took 17 vials of antivenom at $2,000 / vial and much therapy and intensive care in Bay Area emergency rooms and hospitals before he came through all in one piece. Best advice: take precautions and don’t try to kill a snake — that’s when most people get bitten.

Be light. Be safe. Be one with the pack.