The Quickie

 

A vista along the Panther Mountain Trail in the Catskills

A vista along the Panther Mountain Trail in the Catskills

Graham somewhere on the  cliffs of the Trapps, Shawnagunk Range, NY

Graham somewhere on the cliffs of the Trapps, Shawnagunk Range, NY

So we’ll admit it, where the Two Hungry Hikers hail from, Northern New Jersey, is not the first area you think of when you think outdoor adventure.  Boulder,  Moab, Salt Lake City – sure.  Seattle, Washington; shoot, the entire Pacific Northwest, even… but Morristown NJ? No.

Its been wonderful to discover, that given our proximity to New York City, we are still surprisingly  close to true wilderness experiences.  In an hour we can be in the Poconos of Pennsylvania or grab a section of the famed Appalachian Trail where it passes through the Delaware Water Gap.  In two or three hours, we’re rock climbing the world class cliffs of the Shawnagunks, or hiking deep into Catskill Mountains.  Four or five hours?  Take your pick! The high peaks of the Adirondacks in upstate New York or try Vermont’s Green Mountains and the Long Trail, or even legendary bouldering at Coopers Rock in West Virginia.

Lucky for us there are so many options close at hand. Not so lucky, we have never ending busy schedules just like any other working schlubs. Thus, we have become adapt at “The Quickie” or the ability to plan, pack and execute a trip at a moments notice.  After all its amazing what 48 hours in the outdoors can do for your peace of mind.  For us, daily commutes and the never ending “to-do” lists make the ability to quickly shrug off the confines of the working world and get outside Essential.

"Sunset Kitchen" on Giant Ledge.

“Sunset Kitchen” on Giant Ledge.

This summer we had the opportunity to flex our “Quickie” muscles when we discovered we had no plans for the long 4th of July weekend.  So with the Panther Mountain Trail in the Catskills beckoning us with promises of great vistas, better camp sites on Giant Ledge and  with the anticipation of a great overnight – we quickly leapt into action.

The sleeping bag department in the Gear Room.

The sleeping bag department in the Gear Room.

First stop the Gear Room.  As we gather our tent and bags we imagine ourselves in that “pre-kickin’ butt” montage sequence from every action movie you’ve ever seen.  The one where the hero is pulling on bandalaros of bullets, sheathing a huge knife, and locking, loading, and holstering every weapon imaginable, all while tying a bandana around their head.  That’s pretty much how it is when we hit our Gear Room, with it’s rows of back packs arrayed by size across from a pile of sleeping bags, ranging from 0 degree up to 36.  Stoves, fuel, guide books, maps, water filtration, cook kits… all found quickly in the gear room and stashed in our packs.

Stocking up on some Pantry items for an upcoming trip.

Stocking up on some Pantry items for an upcoming trip.

However, the real reason we can up and go with packs on our backs at a moments notice isn’t the mountains of gear but it’s the contents of our Pantry.  The time that would have been spent in the supermarket and then repackaging at home is eliminated by keeping a solid basic Pantry; a selection of dehydrated and freeze dried items for dinners, packets of condiments filched from the bagel shop, granola bars in the cabinets… If you want to get out quick simply keep a small selection of these pack friendly items in your pantry and you too can experience the joy of The Quickie!

 

 

 

 

 

 

Dehydrated and Freeze Dried Foods-  Many of our recipe ideas are inspired by staring long enough at the ingredients in our Back Packers Kit by Harmony House.  Lately we’ve begun to supplement with some freeze dried items from an on line company called PackIt Gourmet, a site well worth the visit for the aspiring trail side gourmand.  Between the two sources, we are only limited by our imaginations.

Dehydrated and Freeze Dried Foods- Many of our recipe ideas are inspired by staring long enough at the ingredients in our Back Packers Kit by Harmony House. Lately we’ve begun to supplement with some freeze dried items from an on line company called PackItGourmet, a site well worth the visit for the aspiring trail side gourmand. Between the two sources, we are only limited by our imaginations.

Prepared Meals and Foods from the Super Market- While we would probably not prepare alfredo sauce from a pouch for consumption at home, it can be a great jumping off point for a classic camp site creation.  (chicken & mushroom alfredo pasta by a fire? Been there!) Cheryl’s Miso Noodle Bowl gets a jump start from packaged powdered miso broth and everyday udon noodles.  Everything has been pre-measured for you, allowing you more trail time success and less test time in the kitchen.

Prepared Meals and Foods from the Super Market- While we would probably not prepare alfredo sauce from a pouch for consumption at home, it can be a great jumping off point for a classic camp site creation. (chicken & mushroom alfredo pasta by a fire? Been there!) Cheryl’s Miso Noodle Bowl gets a jump start from packaged powdered miso broth and everyday udon noodles. Everything has been pre-measured for you, allowing you more trail time success and less test time in the kitchen.

Proteins in a Pouch - Again items gotten from the grocery store as you do your weekly shopping. Tuna - versatile for lunch and dinner. Dehydrated milk can be added to homemade granola or your alfredo mix. Salmon makes an excellent pasta dish when you have ready access to water for clean up… Graham’s been sneaking that corned beef pouch in our packs in hopes that Cheryl may loose her mind one day and consent to a corned beef and hash breakfast…

Proteins in a Pouch- Again items gotten from the grocery store as you do your weekly shopping. Tuna – versatile for lunch and dinner. Dehydrated milk can be added to homemade granola or your alfredo mix. Salmon makes an excellent pasta dish when you have ready access to water for clean up… Graham’s been sneaking that corned beef pouch in our packs in hopes that Cheryl may loose her mind one day and consent to a corned beef and hash breakfast…

Snack pack! Granola bars, cookie packs & trail mix are your constant companion throughout the day. We always have them on hand for Grahams lunch at work but lately we’ve been stocking up when our favorite items go on sale… Lets face it- you could spend a fortune on snacks… A sneakily delicious treat is the Rice Krispy bar - unbelievably light and so super sweet that it makes a great apres lunch treat!

Snack pack! Granola bars, cookie packs & trail mix are your constant companion throughout the day. We always have them on hand for Grahams lunch at work but lately we’ve been stocking up when our favorite items go on sale… Lets face it- you could spend a fortune on snacks… A sneakily delicious treat is the Rice Krispy bar – unbelievably light and so super sweet that it makes a great apres lunch treat!

Flava Flav!!! Your homes’ spice cabinet can be the never ending source of yummy add ons. We’ve saved tiny little jars and pouches so we can add a touch of extra virgin oil or a sprinkle of smoked paprika or a fun flavored salt… and that little touch of “something special” is often just the thing those dried meals and packaged foods need!

Flava Flav!!! Your homes’ spice cabinet can be the never ending source of yummy add ons. We’ve saved tiny little jars and pouches so we can add a touch of extra virgin oil or a sprinkle of smoked paprika or a fun flavored salt… and that little touch of “something special” is often just the thing those dried meals and packaged foods need!

Condiments and Squeeze Packs - Ever peeked at the condiments available at your local bagel shop? Grocery store sandwich counter? Favorite burrito joint? Chances are there is an array of flavor at your fingertips! BBQ sauce, salad dressings, mayo, mustard, salt and pepper!!! Many times Graham has been seen sneaking a packet or two of something into Cheryl’s purse… However, for those not interested in a life of condiment crime PackitGourmet has pouches of everything from Jam to Extra Virgin Olive oil… We get our favorite hot sauce & powdered lime from them and even tried their powdered honey this past summer - love that website!

Condiments and Squeeze Packs- Ever peeked at the condiments available at your local bagel shop? Grocery store sandwich counter? Favorite burrito joint? Chances are there is an array of flavor at your fingertips! BBQ sauce, salad dressings, mayo, mustard, salt and pepper!!! Many times Graham has been seen sneaking a packet or two of something into Cheryl’s purse… However, for those not interested in a life of condiment crime PackitGourmet has pouches of everything from Jam to Extra Virgin Olive oil… We get our favorite hot sauce & powdered lime from them and even tried their powdered honey this past summer – love that website!

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