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Troop 849
Manhattan Beach, CA
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Last Updated:
  March 30, 2018

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General | Hikemaster's Handbook | Reservations | Showers | Banquet

This entire guide is also available in PDF format (315k)

Long-term Hikemaster Handbook

Introduction | Locations | Permits | Equipment | Food | Travel | Cost | Checklist



Call a menu planning meeting well before the hike. A good starting menu is what was used by last year's long-term. Participants can then modify the menu to suit themselves. Take particular note of any food allergies. Food portions sizes, tips, and buying notes can be found later in this section. Food buying is done as a group. Make up a shopping list and then assemble the entire group at a local food store and buy everything you need. (Note: Ask at the grocery store for a discount as some stores give BSA a 5 to 10% discount.) Dehydrated food will have to be ordered separately. (Mountain House will sell wholesale to Boy Scout Troops if you buy by the case.) Some food is best bought fresh so it will have to be deferred until just before departure.

Food Tips

Try out all food items on weekend hikes before committing to them on long-term.

Mountain House brand dehydrated food usually works out the best as it is less spicy. Some of the more popular ones are spaghetti, lasagna, beef stroganoff, chicken a la king, and beef stew.

Adjust the portion size slightly based on how much you can cook in the pot(s). Keep in mind that the largest pot is rated at 8 cups but is very difficult to stir when used at that level. A more practical level is 6 cups.

Try to carbo load the night before strenuous days.

Leave one packet of Wonton flavoring out of each pot to reduce spiciness. (Don't even pack it.)

Wonton cooks real fast. Don't overcook it as it gets mushy.

You can add one package of unflavored Top Ramen noodles to each four servings of either spaghetti or lasagna to help dilute the sauce and add bulk.

Extra crackers can be eaten with the soup.

Stick with a quick to prepare breakfast on long hiking days.

Estimating Portions

The food portion estimates given below are per person per meal. For other food items go by the suggested serving size on the package.


1/5 qt. of Tang

1/4 cup of granola

1 packet of hot chocolate

1 packet of oatmeal

3/4 to 1 cup Hungry Jack pancake mix

1.5 oz. of pancake syrup

3/4 to 1 serving of dehydrated eggs

3 oz. of meat is plenty

1 to 1 1/2 oz of Gouda or Edam cheese

2.5 oz. peanut butter and 2 oz. of jelly

2 6" tortillas

1/3 stack of Keebler Club crackers (15 crackers)

1/2 qt. of Koolaide

1/2 package of Top Ramen

1 package of Wonton

1/3 to 1/2 qt. of Koolaide

1/4 to 1/3 of a large (10 oz.) can of chicken

1/4 large can of SPAM

1 cup dry mashed potatoes (for SPAM)

2/3 cup gravy (for SPAM)
All meals

1 paper towel per meal except 1/2 towel at lunch


Make up a complete list of all food that needs to be bought before going to the grocery store. Here are some things you should know about the typical food we buy. What works well, packages sizes, weights, etc.

Canned chicken - Used for chicken rice casserole comes in 10 oz. cans (water). Be sure to use the water that is in the can. Note: You can use pouch chicken instead. The amount of chicken in a 7 oz. pouch is the same as in a 10 oz. can of chicken.

Cheese - Sliced cheese comes in 12 oz. packages. Small wax covered packages of lunch cheese (Gouda and Edam) come in a 7 oz packages.

Crackers - Keebler Club crackers come 3 stacks per box, about 45 crackers per stack. A box weights 20 oz.

Deviled meat - Underwood deviled ham/chicken comes in 4.25 oz. cans.

Dish towels - Get "Easy Wipe (Reusable wiping cloths)". They come in packs of 6. Start off with three and slowly replace them throughout the hike. They can be disposed of in a campfire.

Jelly - It comes in 20 oz. squeeze bottles. Strawberry and grape are the most popular.

Koolaide -It comes in 8 quart packages.

Mashed potatoes - They come in 17/3 cup and 43/3 cups boxes. They all require powdered milk which can be added ahead of time.

Meat pouch options:

 Light tuna 3 oz., 7 oz.
 Albacore 7 oz.
 White Chicken 7 oz.
 Chicken breast 7 oz.
 Turkey breast 7 oz.
 Chunk ham 7 oz.

Pancake mix - Get "Pancake Mix Complete". "Complete" indicates just add water. Each box typically has 19/3 cups or 28/3 cups of mix. Hungry Jack is a good brand but others work too.

Pancake syrup - Syrup comes in 12 oz. and 24 oz. plastic bottles. Dehydrated maple syrup makes 1/2 cup (4 ounces).

Paper towels - Paper towels estimates used here are based on a roughly 11" square towel. Scouts are encouraged to clean their eating equipment using 1/2 paper towel. Towels now tear off every 6". Buy that size as it is handier. Then try to use 1/2 of a 6" towel whenever possible.

Peanut butter - It comes in 18 and 28 ounce plastic jars.

Rice - Chicken flavored rice comes in 2.5 serving pouch which usually servers 2 people. Go light on the water or it will turn to soup. Lipton "Asian Sides" chicken fried rice is one of the better choices.

Rolls - The best rolls are Francisco French Steak Rolls. They come in a package of 6 rolls which weights 17 oz.

Salami - A stick of Gallo salami weights 8 oz.

SPAM - It comes in 7 oz. and 12 oz. cans.

Tang -It comes in 6 quart packages.

Tomatoes - Each one weights 5-6 oz., (4 oz. is a very small one)

Tortillas - Corn tortillas have more taste but crumble. Flour is a more practical choice. Options:

 Flour Tortillas (fajita size) - 6 3/4" diameter, 10/package, 10 oz.
 Flour Tortillas (soft taco size) - 9" diameter, 10/package, 17.5 oz.
 Flour Tortillas (burrito size) - 10" diameter, 8/package, 20 oz.
 White Corn Tortillas (super size) - 6" diameter, 12/package, 14 oz.
 White Corn Tortillas don't come any larger


We cook as a single group, organize into three cook groups. See the Guidelines section of this handbook for how to organize these cook groups.

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