So tomorrow myself, my boyfriend and our doggy are leaving for a week long adventure to Joshua Tree National Park. I grew up in Palm Desert, California (Right by Palm Springs,) So I spent a lot of time in Joshua Tree growing up. My mother lives in one of Joshua Trees neighboring cities, so we are going to kill two birds with one stone, and visit my mother and go on a camping adventure. David has never been to Joshua Tree, or even California for that matter. Anyway, because we love to be frugal, and eat as healthy as possible, we decided we were going to bring all of our food instead of going out to eat. Sure, not everything I am bringing is the most healthy thing you can find at the grocery store, but I think we do a decent job. As much as I love Mountain House as a company, I did not want to eat mountain house for a week. Not only is that expensive, but its really calorically dense and has a ton of sodium. Lots of sodium is good for long backpacking trips, which is one of the things that makes Mountain House so great for backpacking, but I can not justify it for our day trips.
I went to two different stores to shop for everything I bought: Sprouts, and a store called Emergency Essentials. I had never been into the Emergency Essentials store before this trip, but because I have not yet purchased a dehydrator (which is probably one of my next purchases) I thought I would see if they had some dehydrated food to bring. Boy did they! I have also found the best foods to bring are bagged food that you just either need to heat up or add water to. This is because it is lightweight and typically smaller. So without further adu, here is an itemized list of things I am bringing for a week of Camping!
- Gluten Free Pancakes: These are wonderful because you just add water to make them. You don’t need to fuss with milk or eggs, which can be really hard to keep fresh on a camping trip. Also, I am fairly certain David and I both have slight gluten intolerances, so we try to eat it as little as possible.
- Small Bottle of Maple Syrup: Not ideal to pack around, but we aren’t going hardcore this time.
- Two Boxes of Annie’s Pasta: We aren’t super crazy about pasta, but Annie’s is delicious after a hard day of hiking.
- Harvest Snap Crisps: They are delicious, light, and easy to snack on.
- Psst Brand Spanish Rice: Uhm, this already seasoned bag of rice was $.50?! Of course I had to get a bag. We have had some of the other flavors before too, and they are really decent for the price. Its perfect for backpacking because you don’t even need to season it.
- Brown Rice: I don’t have much to say about this, but again, rice is great because you just add water, and it adds a little more substance to a meal.
- Veggie Chips: These things are delicious! I love that they are just straight dehydrated veggies, still in their original shape and seasoned. Such a great snack that is packed with vitamins, and a great way to get in veggies and not have to worry about it spoiling!
- Almond Breeze Milk: These small containers are so ideal for backpacking if you want milk, because you don’t have to refrigerate until opening, and it’s such a perfect amount.
- Elbow Pasta: Similar to the rice, its just another way to add a bit more substance. Plus, I got some sauce at the emergency essentials store.
- Carton of Eggs: Ugh, Okay I admit it, we are Glamping. This was one item I was hesitant to buy, because eggs are scary, but I have a durable case for eggs that I put them in that absorbs shocks a bit. I would never bring them backpacking, but hey, we have the space this time.
- Energy Bars: This things are so phenomenal. They are so dense with awesome ingredients. One of these, an apple and coffee will be a wonderful breakfast!
- Mixed Nuts: Mixed nuts are my favorite thing to snack on while hiking. They’re super easy to keep in your backpack, mess free, and give you lots of energy to keep hiking.
- Granola: This is great to nibble on for breakfast, and it makes a wonderful cereal.
- Potatoes: You best believe we are hobo cooking these babies for dinner / breakfast.
- Olive Oil + Seasoning: I have had this little bottle of olive oil for so long. I have a larger version of it, so I refill it and take it camping with me pretty often! I realize I didnt actually include it in the picture, but I am bringing chipotle seasoning, and some rosemary. Chipotle flavoring makes everything taste awesome, and rosemary is my favorite herb.
- Coffee: I am such a coffee loving fool. I wish I could tell you the last day I didn’t have any coffee, but truthfully- it was years ago! I have a ridiculously handy collapsable rubber pour-over coffee tool, which I always bring with me to make coffee. It was really cheap at REI, and takes up almost no room in my backpack. I came home today though and David surprised and bought a camping percolator. Ugh, I am dreaming of this coffee already. Something about camping makes a cup-o-joe just out of this world.
- Wasabi Peas: I am absolutely addicted to these things. They are one of mine and David’s favorite camp snacks. If you have ever camped with either one of us I can almost guarantee you have passed these around the fire with us. If you like wasabi, then I guarantee you’ll love these. They give me the same satisfaction as chips, but aren’t totally horrible for you.
- Tortillas: We are thinking we are going to mix some rice in with one of our packets of Santa Fe Style Rice and Beans, and make tacos for lunch or dinner one day.
- Tea: I actually ended up condensing these two teas, and a peppermint tea to just one box. I love a hot cup of tea before bed- especially when it is chilly.
- Granola Bars: I really wish I could have tried to make granola bars this time around. Its truly at the top of my list of things I’m going to start making for camping and backpacking, because i’d love to control the nutrition content and not pay a fortune. For now though, these will do.
- Oatmeal: The ultimate Camping Breakfast.
- Dried Mangos: Delicious, inexpensive and easy to pack around. These are a great addition to any lunch or breakfast.
- Apples: To be honest, I can almost guarantee we will have to buy more apples at some point, we love apples.
- Honey Crystals: I have never actually tried these, but I am really excited to jazz up my morning oatmeal, and tea with them! I am pretty sure that this bag is going to last me my whole life too.
- Powdered Peanut butter: I have always been a little timid of powdered Peanut butter, but I have read good things, and thought I would give it a shot. I feel like with the proper use, this can easily be a wonderful backpacking addition.
- Banana/Blueberry bits: These are just essentially freeze dried bananas and blueberries and greek yogurt. These are wonderful plain, or added to oatmeal.
- Diced Pears: Super yummy just as is, or added again, to oatmeal. (Can you tell I love fancy oatmeal?! I also don’t buy sugary packs of oatmeal, only plain, I just prefer it that way.)
- Creamy Spinach Fettuccine: This is going to be a great easy meal that just needs to be heated up. It honestly doesn’t even need to be heated up, everything is pre-cooked, we just have heating elements… so I don’t want to eat cold fettuccine Alfredo unless absolutely necessary.
- Chocolate Peanutbutter Spread: I know, I know, I already have powdered peanut butter, but this packet was only $.75!These packets are so small, and I feel like would be super handy to add a little more substance to an apple or banana on a hike. I also packed no other chocolate, and I love chocolate.
- Cheese Spread with Bacon: I have never tried this, but I feel like it is going to be fun to see how this tastes on some elbow noodles, and at a whopping $.75 again, I think it is worth a shot to see if it tastes good!
I truly can not figure out why it took me so dang long to go to the emergency essentials store for backpacking food! It is magnificently cheaper than mountain house, and I feel like the packaging is ideal for space saving. The true test will be how they taste though. It may taste like dog food, I am up for an adventure though.