Backpacking With Fresh Fruits and Vegetables

Typically when we think of a backpacking menu we immediately think of dried, dehydrated or freeze dried, but I want to rethink some possibilities here. This isn't to say that those aren't good options for your trips - drying and dehydration drastically reduce the weight of fruits and vegetables, and reduce their packing size down significantly. However I believe for some trips you can incorporate at least one or two of these items below into your pack without killing your pack weight, and they can really provide a flavor and freshness boost to your menu.

There still are things that just won't fare well in your pack no matter what, but I'm going to go through what I have been successful with below:

Apples - Apples are one of my favorite fruits to eat while taking a break on a summer hike, they really quench your thirst and the sugars give you a little energy boost to get started up again.

Oranges- Oranges have tough skin and pack nicely, have one for breakfast sometime and its like having a fresh squeezed glass of orange juice

Lemons- If you enjoy fishing on trips lemons can be a great ingredient to eat with fresh fish you might have landed. Lemons also are good added to water, or teas. Vitamin C in these is great for keeping your body healthy and vital as well.

Broccoli- Broccoli stays very well in a pack actually, and it is packed vitamins and minerals. Raw or cooked this can be a good thing to toss into a menu

Garlic- Garlic stays better than anything in a pack, it can bring awesome flavor into any meal, I really like bringing a few cloves on a trip

Onions- These also stay very well in a pack, onions can be really versatile too

Peppers- Fresh Hot or sweet peppers are a nice ingredient to have at hand and stay well

Tomatoes- Yes Tomatoes bruise easily, but if you wrap one in a paper towel and put it in a cup or bowl they can stay well protected

Mushrooms- These can stay good for a few days in a pack, I just leave them in the store styrofoam box, and poke a few tiny holes in the plastic wrap on the top

Spinach- If you want to bring a leafy green into the woods, I would go for spinach. At home just dry out the spinach really well and you will be surprised on how long it will last without refrigeration.

Other Tips:
Start out with the freshest produce you can get, don't use anything bruised or diseased looking.
In the Summer time keep these items out of direct sunlight, preferably in a cool shady spot if possible.
Never store fruits and vegetables in plastic bags.  Trapped gases produced by the ripening produce will accelerate spoilage.  Store produce in paper bags or something that can vent.
Pack Strategically- don't keep fruits or veggies in a spot where they will get slammed when you put your pack down or move things around in your pack

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