9 Hiker Trash Style Cold Soaking Recipes to Hit the Spot

by Nomad | Last Updated: June 30, 2020

When many people hear about cold soaking and the cold soaking recipes they think of bland boring foods that are more like mush. This couldn’t be further from the truth if you are willing to expand your horizons and pick up some small things when in town to help give your food some bang!

We are going to cover why you would want to cold soak and some good recipes to get you started on the soaking path. There are also some important and helpful tips and finally some of the cold soaking benefits.

Why Choose to Cold Soak?

If you are like me and you aren’t always a fan of stopping to assemble your cook kit, dig out the food, construct everything and then take the time to cook. Once you finish cooking though you are now having to clean, repack and prepare to head out once again.

I instead prefer to cold soak my food preferring to start my food by adding the ziplock to a Talenti container or if you prefer a nicer container then something with a screw lid like the Vargo BOT 700. Then you just add your water, shake it up and put it back in your bag while you continue to hike and put down the miles, then when it is lunchtime you need a spoon and your food and it is food time.

Cold Soaking Tips

Hiker Trash Style Chicken Pad Thai

When looking to maximize your energy and ease of carrying without cooking then one of the favorites I have found for myself and others is a hiker take on Pad Thai. While many will use peanut butter, I typically prefer PB2 as it can go easily into a plastic ziplock to carry and use anytime without the mess.

Add only about 1/2 as much water as suggested to ensure the noodles absorb all the liquid and you don’t end up with a soup. On average, the cold-soaking time required for Ramen noodles is about 30 minutes.

Ingredients

Nutritional Info

Spam Instant Taters

Mashed potatoes are something that is always quick and easy while being very filling. They also can have a consistency that is a nice change from noodles or couscous if you could use a break, definitely add mayo and additional contents below to bring some additional flair! Below we add in spam for additional protein and fat content and to help add calories.

On average, the cold-soaking time required for Instant taters is about instant (zero) minutes.

Ingredients

Nutritional Info

Taco Couscous

I’m pretty sure everyone loves tacos, well at least everyone should be! I made this to give myself a little of that taste on the trail as I’m not a big tortilla fan (as far as carrying, they always break and just are a mess for me) so I used the container to hold everything and the Couscous to be a binder and to provide that “tortilla” firmness while also providing more protein.

On average, the cold-soaking time required for couscous is about 30-60 minutes.

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Nutritional Info

Cheesy Broccoli Rice

This is something I love at dinner time in the house and has become something I love to bring with me when possible. I mean honestly, who doesn’t love them some cheese, butter, and broccoli?! Adding in additional chicken or other protein could be added for more texture, it all depends on your calories needed.

On average, the cold-soaking time required for couscous is about 30-60 minutes.

Ingredients

Nutritional Info

Backpacking Chicken Curry

Curry chicken gives you a little more “high class” feeling to a meal on the go, personally I LOVE curry and having the option to eat it for a meal or two while on the hike is outstanding!

On average, the cold-soaking time required for instant rice and quinoa is about 45 minutes.

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Nutritional Info

Trashy Frito Pie

A big Texas thing is Frito Pie, this is a food which features chili over the top of Fritos chips. This is then able to be eaten by hand or utensil when looking at a way to make something similar for the trail I built the below which is very tasty and I now plan to pre-pack for myself more often!

On average, the cold-soaking time required for beans is about 60 minutes.

Ingredients

Nutritional Info

Cheesy Chicken Couscous

Who doesn’t love chicken and cheese? This is a nice change of pace to get some more flavors into their meals since there is only so many times you can choose to eat the same meal before you will never want to eat it again.

On average, the cold-soaking time required for couscous is about 30-60 minutes.

Ingredients

Nutritional Info

Beefy Chili Love

Nothing is as amazing as chili to eat since it normally is a labor of love and cooking time, we do our best to simulate it in the cold soaking version below that takes only about 60 minutes to be ready to eat up!

On average, the cold-soaking time required for beans and couscous is about 60 minutes.

Ingredients

Nutritional Info

The Original Ramen Bomb

This is a backpacking staple food, especially fits well for soaking. For those of you who aren’t hardcore backpackers, you may not have heard of a Ramen Bomb. I hadn’t heard that name until several months ago, although I have made use of them, in various forms, over the years.

Please don’t fret about the sodium content in these foods, yes while many of them are high you are burning through your electrolytes like crazy on a hike and you HAVE to replace them to stop cramps and all kinds of issues. Guess what, if you take in too much salt your body makes you pee to rid itself of the imbalance.

This one will need to sit for a bit, also you need a larger container or a large ziplock to hold this volume of food.

Ingredients

Nutritional Info

Benefits of Going Stoveless

Final Thoughts on Hiker Trash Style Cold Soaking Recipes

Hopefully, these have given you some good ideas to continue to work from and grow your options for cold soaking and stoveless hiking. It is definitely something which is very personal, you want to enjoy the hike and food is a major player for that. I would suggest everyone at least try cold soaking to see where they stand on the thought and application.

One of the things you would want to explore is whether packing food this way is easier or less complex for you or if this makes it harder, along with the weight savings of not carrying the stove, container, and fuel. As your food weight will still come in about 2lbs per day regardless of cooking preference.

Nice to meet you, my trail name is Nomad the founder of Nomad Hiker and I love being outdoors and exploring nature! I now want to help spread that love through information back out to everyone to help them feel the same excitement with the world that I feel while in the back country. My current goals are to thru hike all the trails in the greater Texas region and to show everyone it is easily achievable at any age!