To get the free app, enter your email address or mobile phone number.
Trail Food: Drying and Cooking Food for Backpacking and Paddling Paperback – February 22, 1998
See the Best Books of the Month
Want to know our Editors' picks for the best books of the month? Browse Best Books of the Month, featuring our favorite new books in more than a dozen categories.
Frequently Bought Together
Customers Who Bought This Item Also Bought
About the Author
More About the Author
I am still with that woman, Marypat Zitzer. We share three children, Eli, Sawyer and Ruby, all born in our bedroom near downtown Bozeman. We share decades of adventures, including two separate years spent paddling a canoe across Canada and wintering in a remote log cabin on the shores of Lake Athabasca. We have made money together, made a home together, raised kids together, become part of this community together, spent time outdoors in every conceivable environment and weather together, grown gardens and weathered tragedy and skied slopes and paddled creeks and walked dogs and watched soccer games and found joy together. We are partners more than we are spouses.
The land still holds me fast in its spell. Ever since I read Guthrie's The Big Sky as a teenager, the west, and especially Montana, has drawn me to it, made me breathe deep in response and lean toward its wide promise. The first time I came to Bozeman to visit Marypat, it was spring. The mountains that ring the Gallatin Valley shone white with snow. The bottomland was emerald. The creeks and rivers raged with snowmelt. Bluebirds and meadowlarks perched on fenceposts. Sandhill cranes stalked through grain fields. I was stunned. On a regular basis, I continue to be stunned by the power here.
Freelance writing really was an abyss. I plummeted to the bottom of it. I came from a decade of work as an outdoor educator. My parents couldn't believe I'd walked away from a secure position at a college. For years everything they say about the sketchy proposition of freelance writing came true - the repeated rejection, the poverty, the unrewarded discipline required, the scant encouragement. For years I did a great many things besides write to make ends meet. I planted trees, I worked a livestock yard, I clerked in an outdoor store, I carried hod. I wrote when I could. I sent stories to magazines. I had rare, small checks in the mail.
Our first canoe expedition across Canada, in 1985-86, was the turning point. After that epic journey, magazine editors finally paid a bit of attention. Stories began to sell more frequently. I sat down at my kitchen table with a legal pad and started writing and typing my first book. Two years later I actually found a publisher and sold the manuscript. In 1989 my first book arrived, tangible and precious as a first child. Incrementally, in fits and starts, my writing career grew and established itself.
Several decades along, I am fortunate enough to have eleven published books and hundreds of magazine articles in print. I've found myself writing curriculum guides, outdoor manuals, ad copy, cookbooks, adventure tales, equipment reviews, history, comedy, drama, profiles, environmental essays, editorial pieces. My stories have appeared in Audubon, Canoe & Kayak, Natural History, Family Fun, Men's Health, Backpacker, Outside, Montana Quarterly, Big Sky Journal, High Country News, Glamour, Montana and other magazines. My roles have run the gamut of columnist, editor at large, senior editor, and contributing editor.
I've had the good fortune to collaborate with talented and remarkable people along the way. For three years I shared the stage with classical guitarist, Stuart Weber, and we performed a duet of words and music we called Confluence. I worked together with Dr. Susan Wicklund to write her professional memoir, This Common Secret, the powerful story of a life devoted to womens' reproductive health and providing safe, humane abortion services. Most recently, I paired up with Montana-based photographer, Thomas Lee, on a series of stories profiling inspiring Montanans. A best-of collection of our photo/essay pieces makes up the 2012 publication, Montana: Real Place, Real People.
Thirty years ago I came to Montana, fired up with a romantic notion to set the world ablaze with words. That didn't happen. What came my way instead is a lifelong partner, a home in geography that inspires, children who make me proud, and the luck to make a living doing things I love.
Not bad for Plan B.
To find out more than you ever want to know, check my website/blog at www.alkesselheim.com
Top Customer Reviews
A nice feature is the chart of drying temperatures and times for different foods. Also, the chart of calorie and protein content of different foods is important to making sure you get enough calories to keep going in the field and enough protein to keep your body from consuming your muscle tissue for fuel. There are also plans for building your own dehydrator for the do-it-yourselfer. The suggested one week meal plan is a good guide to get you started on packing for a trip.
The emphasis of this book is on drying individual ingredients and then rehydrating and combining them at meal time. This allows you to be more flexible in your meals, but takes a little longer at meal time. However, it also tells you how to use your own recipes to prepare a conmplete meal and then dehydrate it. Precooked spaghetti, rice or beans rehydrate and cook faster in the field. The book recommends having both types of meals with you for variety and flexibility. You can also dehydrate canned foods like vegetables or canned chicken, tuna or salmon and use them in your recipes.
This book is concise and a fast read, but packs a lot of information. This means that you need to pay attention to pick up all the important points.Read more ›
No more. This is an excellent introduction to drying, and you don't need to be an expert to start either. Wanna dry? Get this book.
In other words, if you have a husband as I do with high blood pressure this book will give you options that others don't. :)
There are extensive tables explaining what texture your finished dried food should be at, tips for storage and many recipes. Some of them are vegetarian and many of them could be easily adapted to being vegan as well.
He also includes plans for building your own food dehydrators, one heated by a light bulb, the other, solar.
A wonderful inspiring book for finding new ways to pack nutritious and good meals.
Most Recent Customer Reviews
great book - I am going to get more books by this author. easy read but informative. Healthy alternatives for trail foodPublished 2 months ago by Amazon Customer
This this wonderbook has a great deal of good ideas. The only reason I gave it 4 stars was because, unlike me, the author enjoys cooking. Read morePublished 3 months ago by Beth
Lots of good ideas, advice and recipes. I was already dehydrating some of my backpacking food, but this inspired me to expand my back-country menus considerably. Read morePublished 4 months ago by Timothy Parker
Excellent, best book on drying and cooking on the trail. A must have for any one who loves camping.Published 5 months ago by Amazon Customer
This book was essential in my quest to dehydrate food for my own backpacking meals. It gives background and guidelines for different foods and also some fun stories from the... Read morePublished 5 months ago by Peter L.