Menu question- nuts


35% of Americans over 50 (apparently) get diverticulitis. I had my first bout ever (lucky me) last month. It was wicked. Set me back a good bit.

I love nuts. Everyone I talk to tells me to avoid nuts (even though the internet doctors are conflicted on the issue). Nuts were going to be a big part of my menu on my upcoming Canada trip.

I can’t afford a gut issue out there. So, I’m looking for nut substitutes.

Questions for the board-
How well does “summer sausage” keep on a multi-week trip? How? Do people just get multiple small packs, and open one at a time, or is it possible to get larger ones, and eat that over a several day period?

Same question re: cheeses. Are there any cheeses y’all recommend for a multi-week trip that won’t go bad? Small versus large packaging= same question.

Thanks in advance, y’all!

I used to always take summer sausage on backpacking trips and never had a problem with spoilage. The way it is cured it’s never refrigerated in the store. And most hard cheeses hold up fine, as do the semi-soft “Baby Bel” types in the wax shell. i have carried Asiago, aged Cheddar and Swiss, Irish Kerry and Parmesan, as well as the individually wrapped string cheese sticks on multi-day trips. I keep the uncoated cheeses wrapped in waxed paper inside plastic tupperware type containers.

Question: was the diverticulitis ascribed to the particulate roughage of the nuts? If that was it, woudln’t creamed nut butters be OK or is there some substance in the nuts themselves that caused the problem? Might be worth consulting with a dietician.


The causes of diverticulitis are poorly understood. Among possible things correlated with it are
advanced age, smoking, obesity, and lack of fiber in the diet. Many people develop diverticula in the large intestine as they age and it was once thought that nuts, seeds, popcorn and such might be trapped in these pouches and lead to diverticulitis, but more recent research has not borne that theory out.

Some people with diverticula never develop diverticulitis, some people that do are asymptomatic, and for a small number of people it can be serious, recurrent, or life threatening. For you, hopefully, it might be a one time event. All you can do to reduce the chance of a recurrence is maintain a high fiber diet and reduce any risk factors as mentioned above. Nuts no longer seem to be one of the risk factors, although a few doctors still mention them.


Hard cheese lasts better. If it gets a bit blue or green, you csn just cut that part off. Are you looking for protein? Consider beans.


I have had unrefrigerated hard cheeses, summer sausage, and hard salami/pepperoni last two weeks.


Landjaeger. Available online… When it is sold in a store it is hung and not refrigerated. Lasts a long time… At least for me four weeks. ( then it was all gone). In humid areas like the Everglades a week.

We kept cheese for four weeks too. Hard cheese is best. We kept it in a small cheap insulated soft side cooler and the cheese was wrapped in a damp dishtowel before being put in the cooler. This is the principle of evaporative cooling. The cooler slows down the evaporation but it still happens . When moisture evaporates it cools. We used to cool our house this way in California way back when with a roof mounted cooler…called a swampcooler. Also back then when there were no convenience stores we carried desert water bags on the outside of the car. They allowed for evaporation and kept the water cool. This was essential for when you needed water for any reason ie breakdown overheating or drinking.


Thanks, Willowleaf!

This is exactly the feedback I’m looking for!

Your take on diverticulitis lines up with all I’ve read and been told, too. That nuts aren’t necessarily the cause, and that there is uncertainty/disagreement on the role that nuts may play. A friend of mine had it, and he says that for him, there’s a direct correlation. My doc said “not so fast -maybe, maybe not” that rather than being a cause, the nuts may exacerbate an existing issue.

I love nuts. Cashews, almonds, Virginia peanuts (real big ones; none of that generic Planters stuff), walnuts etc etc etc.

I am thinking about some nut butters, too.

Thanks again!

Agree on all counts, rstevens15. (See my post just above to Willowleaf).

I am doing a fair amount of dehydrating of apples, pears and bananas for this trip. Expecting fiber to work out, and hoping to be a “regular guy” LOL. :sunglasses:

Hard cheese lasts better. If it gets a bit blue or green, you csn just cut that part off. Are you looking for protein? Consider beans.

Good thought re: beans. Thanks!

That’s approx how long I’ll be out there, so that’s great info. I’m thinking the bottom of my kayak will be cool, since I’ll be pretty far north (by my standards, anyway…).

Thanks. Agree re: everglades, LOL.
I think cheeses and sausages will be part of the “new” menu.

Your cooling methods - we used to have a terra cotta wine bottle cooler that worked amazingly well on the same concept; dip it in water, and the evaporation cooled the bottle very fast and very well!

Just had this thought. If it is protein you need to replace, get those single serving packets of tuna fish. Creates some waste you will have to pack out but they will certainly last unrefrigerated. And don’t add much weight.


Or sardines (gag).

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To add to what is being discussed in tripping food, one of my staples was always dehydrated butter powder. Butter Buds used to sell it packaged in handy paper packet portions but now they only seem to sell a “butter flavoring” stuff with all sorts of other crap in it. But there are sources like this one – this one pound jar will last you a LONG time as a flavor enhancer. Added to rice, noodles, instant pancake mix, any casserole or even onto rehydrated vegetables or fresh caught grilled fish it can really satisfy some of the cravings one gets when “living rough”. I even converted a pair of “minimalist” Outward Bound instructors on a winter snow shoe packing trip I shared with them 35 years ago. They scoffed at first when they saw me adding Butter Buds powder to a side dish our first evening on the trail (I think it was freeze dried green beans). But once they tried it they couldn’t get enough – they used up every packet I had with me during the 5 day trip and declared it would be a staple in their packing larder forever more. Other great savory enhancers are the cheap no-salt Stonemill brand herb mixes from Aldi’s, the Garlic and Herb and the Lemon Pepper. I think they would even make tree bark palatable.

As Celia noted, the single packs of tuna are great for trip packing. Used to be able to get smoked salmon in such packs too which I used a lot but I have not seen that in several years. You do need to have a way to wash off or burn the packaging for it, though, due to it being an odiferous attractant to nuisance mammals.

I was at a store a couple of years ago that was selling individual packages of SPAM slices so maybe that is a thing that could be found. Monty Python jokes aside, I have made some pretty successful campfire goulashes laced with the diced “SPiced hAM” pink stuff.

There is so much shelf-stablized food now in smaller packs that the wilderness pantry is less problematic to stock. Single serving almond milk, or anything in the waxed paper packaging that is easily consumed in the campfire, or crushed to pack out, has been a boon to trip planning.

Link to the dried butter powder.


As opposed to tuna chicken? :smiley:

I think the suggestion of the single serving tuna is a great idea.

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If Tuna is the “chicken of the sea,” does that make chicken the “Tuna of the land?” :thinking:

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Other trip foods that have occurred to me are the Trader Joe’s brand lavash, which is a thin flexible flatbread that comes in square rather than round shape and is even perforated down the center so you can separate a piece into two oblongs that are easily rolled around any filling. It holds up well and is “pre-squished” so no worries about packing damage. I prefer the whole wheat to the white but both are good.

TJ’s also has individual waxed paper packets of marinated artichoke hearts and one of my fave lunch snacks is sardines or tuna rolled up in the lavash with the artichoke hearts and a dash of Stonemill lemon pepper seasoning. For a grab-it-while-on-the-water nosh, thin sliced salami and Swiss cheese can be rolled up tight in the Lavash and stashed in a zip lock Baggie or tupperware.

I haven’t tried it yet, but for those who like to forage native edible greens at camp, I think tossing one of the packets of the marinated artichokes with that kind “found salad” would work well.


These are great ideas, small fish are under-appreciated, have never seen the single-serve artichokes. I bet Lavash rolled with kippers, red onion, parsley and cheddar (or other cheese) would be really good…

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I love sardines but would have to be on a solo trip! I dare not eat them before emerging in public.
Those TJ products look great. Have to make up a TJ list ( its a bit of a drive for me)


I love those things. Especially the mustard ones. Jalapeño is good too.