When you’re out on the trail, enjoyment of nature is probably your top priority. But all that hiking can result in a hefty appetite, and sometimes it can feel just plain disheartening to reward yourself with a granola bar or a stick of jerky after a long day of tromping through the mountains. Maybe there’s a better way. Christine and Tim Conners think so, and they pass on their tips on how to eat healthy and hearty on the trail in “Lipsmackin’ Backpackin’: Lightweight Trail-tested Recipes for Backcountry Trips.”
The Conners provide lots of tasty recipes for meals on the trail. Some of these can be mostly prepared ahead of time, while others will be largely cooked on the trail itself. They get into such subjects as dehydration, using homegrown vegetables and foraging, though dried food is the primary focus. While some of the recipes in the book are ones that the Conners have come up with themselves, they incorporate recipes from a wide variety of people, so you’re getting a good cross-section of tastes.
One fun element of Lipsmackin’ Backpackin’: Lightweight Trail-tested Recipes for Backcountry Trips” is the fact that the Conners often get clever with the titles of recipes. They sprinkle humor throughout the writing, which makes for a much more enjoyable read. On the practical side of things, they provide information on nutrition, how much the ingredients for the meals will weigh and how many people will be able to partake in each meal. Again, while the Conners provide tips of their own, so do a number of other people with experience in hiking and food preparation.
One drawback to “Lipsmackin’ Backpackin’: Lightweight Trail-tested Recipes for Backcountry Trips” is the fact that it won’t be terribly useful to someone who doesn’t have a dehydrator and isn’t really interested in getting one. Though you will pick up a few useful facts, if dehydration is not one of your interests, you should look for a different book. Another downside is that many of the recipes contain excessive sodium. Hence, this book is probably not a good fit for someone with high blood pressure.
While it is not a perfect book, “Lipsmackin’ Backpackin’: Lightweight Trail-tested Recipes for Backcountry Trips” does come recommended for anyone who is eager to learn how to get a little bit creative with food choices on the trail. As long as you are open to the use of dehydration, you should be able to get some useful information out of this guide, which retails for $16 but can often be found cheaper. I’ll knock off a star for the extra sodium and for the fact that some may buy it without realizing how heavily it focuses on dried food, since the title indicates nothing about this. Still, “Lipsmackin’ Backpackin’: Lightweight Trail-tested Recipes for Backcountry Trips” gets a solid four out of five stars from me.