This article was written by Maureen Hanzel when she and four other folks affiliated with Shedd Aquarium joined the North American Odyssey, canoeing on the Yukon River this summer.

Trail mix, with rice and beans every night is not necessarily the case while camping: with a few simple tricks one can create some tasty treats.IMG_3424

  1. Dehydration is your friend.

  2. Make sure to pack fresh fruits and vegetables.

  3. Find proteins that will last.

  4. Remember your spice kit.

  5. Use this as an opportunity to experiment.

Dehydration is definitely your friend on the trail. Nowadays there are a wide variety of delicious dehydrated products like; tomato sauce, garlic mashed potatoes, hummus, vegetables and fruits. Just because it looks different from what it may look like in your kitchen at home adding some hot water will transform it into a meal.

Packing fresh durable vegetables and fruits can add a lot to a simple meal. The combination of bell pepper and onion into some pasta with dehydrated red sauce can make all the difference. When shopping for vegetables look for heartier vegetables that are less prone to molding. Good examples are; broccoli, bell peppers, beets, oranges, apples and garlic.IMG_3419

When you're out on the trail it is important to keep protein intake up to balance the energy you are putting out. Two great items that are a must are cheese and sausages. Cheese keeps well on the trail, especially heartier Parmesan and cheddar.

Meals on the trail can become bland, but if someone carries a spice kit along it can add that extra punch. It could include bullion, salt, pepper, other favorite seasonings, oil and garlic.

Finally, be inventive. This is a time to explore new surroundings and try new things like; peanut butter, M&Ms and pretzels on a bagel or mustard, cheese, pepperoni and chips on a tortilla.

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