190: COLD + HUNGRY: The Stoveless Cooking Episode

Show Notes: Episode 190

Today on the First 40 Miles, what you may have thought of as an essential piece of backpacking gear isn’t as indispensable as you think.  Today, we’re going stoveless, and we’ll share some delicious ways to ditch the stove for your next trip.  Then we’ll taste test a whole food, energy bar that has some sneaky vegetables added.  And we’ll share a thru hiker’s go to container for soaking their meals.


  • As we prepare for summer trips, I keep looking for ways to lighten my pack.
  • And besides doing an complete gear overhaul and purchasing all new, ultralight equipment, there are other clever ways to cut pounds—while actually saving money.
  • Top 5 Benefits of Stoveless Cooking (episode 44)
  • Healthier options, faster, cheaper, simple

Top 5 Easy Go-To Stoveless Meals


  • Muesli is a DIY breakfast cereal, also known as Overnight Oats
  • Made a batch of this for our last backpacking trip, and just put it in a zip top sandwich bag, poured in some water, waited a few minutes, then ate it.
  • Rolled oats (instant or old-fashioned—it doesn’t matter), chia, coconut milk or cow milk powder like NIDO, chopped dried fruits, nuts, seeds
  • Filling, full of fiber, tastes great cold

Tortilla Wraps

  • Peanut butter
  • Salami, cheese, and mustard
  • Tuna packet with or without mayo
  • Powdered bean dips like hummus or refried beans are full of fiber
  • We even have those foil tuna packets that come with mayo and flavoring added.
  • You can also substitute the tortillas for crackers for some crunch and variety

Soaked Grain

  • Not all grains work—they have to be pre-cooked grains, like bulgar, or instant rice.
  • Can be made in a plastic, screw top lidded jar
  • 60-90 minutes to rehydrate grains, which can be done while you hike or in camp
  • Instant Brown Rice
  • Rice Pilaf (with nuts, seeds, etc.)
  • Couscous mixes (not technically a soaked grain…more like a mini pasta made with refined flour)
  • You can add flavoring packets
  • Add in dried mushrooms, dried onions
  • Seaweed, tuna, chicken, dried fruit/veg, nutritional yeast, nuts, seeds, nut butter, nido, powdered stuff, dehydrated refried beans, hot sauce,

Pre-made Bars

  • Make your own with recipes from our book, Trail Grazing
  • GreenBelly
  • Powerbar etc.
  • Lara Bars
  • Whatever you pick, give yourself a good selection

Ramen Noodles

  • Ramen noodles can be soaked in water and eaten.
  • Mix with peanut butter + soy sauce
  • Rehydrate some freeze dried peas
  • Add garlic powder and shaved hard cheese like Asiago or Romano

SUMMIT Gear Review™:  LÄRABAR Fruits + Greens™


  • Short, easy ingredient list
  • No surprises


  • A great “no cook” option for breakfast or lunch


  • Weighs 35 grams


  • Stash the trash


  • $1-1.50 a bar
  • Frequently our grocery store has a 10 for $10 sale


  • Good texture, good flavor
  • Can’t really taste the “greens”

Backpack Hack of the Week™:   Talenti Gelato (Ice Cream) Jar for Soaking Meals

  • Classy looking, good size, squatty jar, tight lid
  • Easy to find

Trail Wisdom

“Great things are done when men and mountains meet;
This is not done by jostling in the street.”
—William Blake