I enjoy doing quite extended treks in the backcountry that rely on us (mostly 2-4 people) being independent from any kind of civilization for up to two weeks.
For me the foremost problem in these kinds of treks is the weight of the food: I've been on treks where we easily started out with 15kg of food per person, which is obviously a big strain for everyone carrying it.
I have already spent quite a lot of thought and time optimizing our trail food to reduce weight:
- We only bring food with very high calories-to-weight ratio.
- We bring food that require as little fuel to prepare as possible (reduces overall fuel weight needed).
- All the food is repackaged into the most light-weight packaging possible.
Example: Instant Pasta, Couscous, Chocolate, Peanuts (best calorie-to-weight ratio out there), dehydrated instant soups and sauces for pasta, porridge, powdered milk, energy bars...
So... we're set on carbohydrates, sugar and fat, but I'm guessing what we're still struggling with is protein intake: many protein-rich foods are either fairly heavy (dried meat, hard cheese) or spoil quickly. The few I know that are both light weight and durable (like beans and lentils) take forever to cook, meaning that we'd have to bring a lot of extra fuel.
- Do you have a suggestion on how we could improve our protein-intake on extended hikes?
- What kinds of protein-rich trail food with low weight exists out there? (bonus points if it is tasty)
P.S. We use light-weight trangia camping stoves, as they are quite efficient and their fuel can be bought almost anywhere. I'd rather not rely on open fires as this will limit our treks to routes that go through territory where open fires are allowed and where there is plenty of firewood.
P.P.S. Somebody is bound to bring this up, so I'll just say here: fishing/hunting is not an option for me. Both require a lot of time (and often permits/licenses) and are simply not reliable enough: I can't stake the meals of our group on getting a lucky catch.