Resupply in remote areas

Discussion in 'Kitchen' started by Stuart, Sep 27, 2019.

  1. Stuart

    Stuart Ultralighter

    I'm interested in people's strategies for resupplying on longer walks, especially through more remote areas, and let's throw in a vegetarian diet as well! Oh and a a preference for a small meths burner as a stove.

    Last year I walked part of the GR1 in Aragon, northern Spain and carried way too much food as I was concerned about my ability to find decent food en route. As it turned out, I was right. My pack was too heavy to be comfortable but I would have really struggled to resupply in the tiny villages I passed through.

    Shops were really limited and the usable food, eg couscous, (and meths: only 2l bottles!) often only came in large packages that would have created a very heavy load.

    So, how do you approach this, and let's assume, that posting food packages ahead is not feasible?
  2. Clare

    Clare Thru Hiker

    It's a crime but I take what I think I need until the next likely food shop and throw the rest away. I still end up carrying too much usually, but I'm not prepared to carry 1 kilo of cous cous and a full packet of coffee etc. A couple of japanese noodle soups are there for back up in case the plan goes wrong.

    One vaguely sensible thing I do is carry a smallish bottle for olive oïl and I ask restaurants/campsites etc to fill it up for me, so I never have to carry much and I never have to buy a whole bottle and have to chuck most of it. They don't mind because the bottle is so small or they don't mind anyway.

    I also have no standards about what I'll eat. So stale bread is enlivened by the olive oïl and garlic, I buy good cheese, Dr Ben's digusting rice, whatever I can find.

    But that's the Pyrénées, never really more than 4 days from a food shop. I wonder what someone like @RichardH does in the Caucaus.
    Last edited: Sep 27, 2019
    Enzo likes this.
  3. tom

    tom Thru Hiker

    Poste restante parcels for hard to find resupplies works well but its best to research the post office destination carefully to make sure the chosen branch still exist at that address. Its not a bad idea to only post parcels in country you hike in to avoid extortionate international mail charges. Also, some countries only keep parcels for a limited time (check that national postal carrier website).
    In Spain and Italy, meth is best bought in pharmacies anyway (in 250ml bottles) and even small French shops commonly stock meth.
  4. edh

    edh Thru Hiker

    I hitch to a town.
    Although seldom needed as I'm prepared (but not exactly happy) to carry food for a week or so.
  5. DuneElliot

    DuneElliot Section Hiker

    Hitching is the only way...it's what PCT and CDT hikers have to do
  6. Stuart

    Stuart Ultralighter

    And when you've hitched your way to a small town, what are you typically buying that works with your average lightweight backpacker cooking gear?
  7. Clare

    Clare Thru Hiker

    Farfalle pasta, cooks easiest. Tomatoes garlic (sausage - but not for you obviously) cheese, biscuits for breakfast, dr bens rice, packet soup -preferably Chinese. I cook up the sauce, decant it then boil the pasta. Tomatoe sauce in a tube might be okay too but I haven’t sunk that low yet. Maybe next time.
    rikdon likes this.
  8. el manana

    el manana Thru Hiker

    I think I know his Uncle...
    Clare and WilliamC like this.
  9. Clare

    Clare Thru Hiker

    Might need a doctor afterwards.
    el manana likes this.
  10. Cranston

    Cranston Thru Hiker

    Sounds like you may be talking dehydrater? Dry as many vegies/pulses/legumes chopped as you want? Stock powder, curry powder, zatar, spice mixes are endless etc. and weigh very little. Bean curd for protein perhaps as well. Could easily carry lightish. Rich olive oil would be heaviest but needed. Drying is the most common method here for longer carries. Good filling scroggin (is kilojoule dense) also works for me but is quite light. Almonds (I find especially filling)and dates. Scroggin at mid morn and arvo. Get to the other end of your walk (or chance upon a food source) and gorge yourself silly.
    Last edited: Sep 30, 2019
  11. Stuart

    Stuart Ultralighter

    It was carrying 10 days' worth of home dehydrated food that nearly killed me in Spain.

    I was hoping that someone had really clever tricks to eke out great meals from the meagre offerings of small shops. But packet soup on pasta? Biscuits for breakfast?? This is a step too far!! I do like the idea of asking for olive oil though.

    Feels worth it to carry large supplies of dried greens which weigh practically nothing, same for spices and flavourings, to add to shop-bought basics.

    I've heard that bean curd/tofu doesn't dry well and certainly the dried stuff I've bought in the UK in Chinese supermarkets has a weird (to me) spongy chewy texture.
  12. edh

    edh Thru Hiker

    Well, if you find the Holy Grail let us know :D
    Cranston likes this.
  13. Bopdude

    Bopdude Section Hiker

    My Holy Grail is Idahoan Mash :) Ok so on this occasion I cheated with some beef strips, a stock jelly thing and some gravy granules ;)

    Attached Files:

  14. PhilHo

    PhilHo Thru Hiker

    Or a Ramen Bomb (noodles and Idahoan Mash) with picante chorizo and chedar cheese!!!
    Bopdude likes this.
  15. dovidola

    dovidola Thru Hiker

    It's good stuff that Idohan mash isn't it. Smashes Smash out of the park. I'd never heard of it until I read of it here. Yet another example (if any were needed) of how this site keeps on giving!
    Bopdude likes this.
  16. Clare

    Clare Thru Hiker

    Ahem. I did not say packet soup on pasta, please. It was « or » not « on ». Let’s keep things real. I would certainly never do such a thing.

    I do make real proper sauces with actual tomatoes so am not a total monster. I carry practically a herb drawer, but only really use the thyme and chilli flakes. I think dried onions would be useful. And greens as you say. From Tom i got the idea to take dried Japanese seaweed which I added to locally purchased Japanese noodle soup for extra pizazz (or iodine).

    But finally, I eat badly but as a result my pack probably weighs less than yours. That’s the deal. Ships Biscuits for breakfast.
    edh and Cranston like this.
  17. Cranston

    Cranston Thru Hiker

    Spongy tofu, yum. With some dried vegies and some curry/mexican spices/ powder. Bingo, bango.....
  18. Diddi

    Diddi Thru Hiker

    Be interesting to see what you carried and what it weighed food wise
    Last edited: Oct 3, 2019
  19. Whiteburn

    Whiteburn Thru Hiker

    The simplest resupply strategy is to be an unfussy omnivore; anything less is making a rod for your own back.
    Nothing wrong with pasta cooked in a packet soup + some form of protean & fat; may not be gourmet but you'll survive & really appreciate the good meal at the next trail head. Worse meal I've experienced was veg soup + couscous + salted peanuts :vomit: but I survived.
    One piece of advice to the aspiring multi week trekkers is the practise 'head shopping' in a rural store, suddenly all that stuff the city hypermarket has to buy isn't on the shelf...…….suck it up & learn to improvise...…….anchovy sandwich for breakfast anyone?
    cathyjc, Clare, PhilHo and 2 others like this.
  20. Enzo

    Enzo Thru Hiker

    I vote for CRISPR -ing some chloroplasts into our DNA. For increased photosynthetic efficiency perhaps some of chisslers pants would help?
    Bmblbzzz and PhilHo like this.
  21. Taz38

    Taz38 Thru Hiker

    Moroccan style couscous for breakfast...I ate it coz I had nothing else left...yuk.

    I'm a shameless omnivore as well on trips, eat while you can what you can. But I do try to keep it healthy when possible.

    I'm quite happy eating a muesli mix for breakfast (hot with coffee-mate) and cold for lunch, unless I happen to be near a pub/cafe/shop. Prefer something hot in the evening, invariably a dehydrated meal. Chocolate is munched between meals.
    Cranston likes this.
  22. Balagan

    Balagan Thru Hiker

    Mesfouf: sweet savoury couscous with rehydrated raisins and plenty of butter/olive oil. Yummy! Well, the light fluffy version that is steamed at home for ages rather than the backpacking sludge. ;) It's not a breakfast dish but it would make a pretty good one.

    i108496-mesfouf.jpg
    Taz38 likes this.
  23. Stuart

    Stuart Ultralighter

    Thank heavens for that!

    Not sure what it weighed but it was too much to be comfortable for the first 3-4 days. I was carrying about 10 days worth of almost exclusively home dehydrated meals. Pasta, rice etc was cooked and dehydrated. I took several porridge variants and eggs with "hash browns" for breakfast. Noodles, pasta, rice, couscous, various sauces, vegan curries and stews. Lots of dried leafy green veg and a few extra spices, parmesan etc. Some dried fruit. Herbal tea bags. Plus a couple of packet noodle meals that I gave away. I even ditched some of the food on Day 1!

    I agree with the omnivore idea. I'm virtually vegan at home but ended up eating quite a few tins of sardines at the end of the trip.

    It's how to resupply with things that suit the typical backpacker cooking setup while still keeping you going that more interests me. Staying veggie/vegan is the ideal but I can be somewhat flexible.
  24. Cranston

    Cranston Thru Hiker

    Some of the 'worst meals' on here sound pretty good to me. :thumbsup: Happy to eat any of them. Anchovies on bread for brekky. Bliss. What about a sachet of tuna with a big handful of (hey @fluffkitten) BBQ Shapes in there every second night? One of my favourites.
    fluffkitten likes this.
  25. dovidola

    dovidola Thru Hiker

    The only outdoor grub I ever tried that was so foul I couldn't eat it was one of those branded (I forget which) dehydrated backpacking meals. It called itself 'macaroni cheese' and tasted like nothing on earth, coating the mouth with a chemical claggy putrescence. I threw it down the mountain, preferring to go hungry. Since that encounter, I've made up all my own stuff. Way to go.
    Diddi likes this.

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