Hut Trip Lunches

When I go out on a hut trip, I do not want to bring any food down with me - and I want to minimize my waste I bring down as well.  The best thing is for me to eat all the food I brought, and use as much of it for energy.  That means that what I bring up has got to be something I want to eat not only today, but has got to be able to taste good two or four days later, after the grunge of hut living has settled in.  Also, one of the biggest weight factors you will be making is in your lunches.  While my groups do communal dinners and breakfasts, we do individual lunches and snacks.  That means that you are in direct control of your own weight and waste factor.  

At the core of my hut lunches is to drop breads - all breads, even tortillas.  While tortillas may make it a day, they do terrible over the long run.  Inevitably, all breads will eventually  get squished, torn and ruined, and you'll be hauling down spent bread. Also, don't think about being creative and making sandwiches in advance - all that mustard and mayo gets infused into your squished bread turning it into a paste you have to scrape off of your meat and cheese.  Also, make sure you actually account for what you'd eat - just because they sell a giant salami doesn't mean you have to bring it all up.

All of your food needs to be able to be stored in most likely a wooden box exposed to the outdoors - which means it needs to handle fluctuating temperatures, from freezing at night to fully thawed in the warm hut.  There aren't many things that can make it in those conditions for more than a day.  You are also sharing this space with your other hut members, so space is a premium. 

The culmination of my mistakes has converted me to what I like to call the "european" diet for my lunches on hut trips.  This consists of more nibbling on several different items that are always stored indivudually until I am ready to combine them.  A must have prerequisite is that my lunch items are all OVERLOADED with flavors.  They have to be simple to eat, easy on the stomach, and something that, when I see it, I want to eat it, even if my lack of appetite says differently.  For me, these items include some combination of:

1> Braunschweiger (liverworst)
2> Jerky
3> Oranges/Apples
4> Crackers
5> Assorted Cheeses
6> Cured Meats
7> Candy
8> Power Bars
9> Soups
10> smoked fish

If possible, I try to have lunch back at the hut rather than packing a lunch for out on a hike.  I like to make a platter of my tasty nibbles.  The nice part about this is that, if I am not hungry, or lose my appetite, it's easy for me to reseal my items and know that they will not be ruined after repeat use.  I also put together enough items so that each lunch can be unique.

Don't get trapped with the two common food issues:

1>  you will not account for the smaller appetite at higher altitudes.
2>  the fear of "What will I do if I run out of food?"

You don't want to solve your food problems with more food.  Instead, think about the environment your food will be in, and find those tasty items that will work. For my lunches, I'll shop at specialty food stores, fish markets, delis, and cheese shops instead of the super market.  If I am splurging, I'll throw in a couple cans of Colorado Brew to wash it all down.

Read more about Breakfast, Lunch and Dinner Ideas on Hut Trip Food Ideas