The Humble Oat

For years I’ve relied on oatmeal mixed with various treats and fortifiers for breakfast while hiking, canoeing, and kayaking. It’s quick and easy, usually filling, but it does get boring - especially because I usually have oatmeal for breakfast every day before work.

What else do you have for breakfast that’s “no fuss” and keeps you going until lunch?

granola, yogurt, and fruit

Sometimes I look at the designer oatmeals and find what they added. Be it a new nut or dried fruit. Maple syrup makes everything better
I also like flour tortillas with cream cheese and jam.
And am very partial to the Mountain House Breakfast Skillets. But they are pricey

I pretty much do the same as all of you with a few twists. If you have a little extra time in the morning, I recommend any of the 10-12 grain non-instant hot cereals. They cook up in ~8 minutes, and while they’re simmering, if time-crunched, I’ll do a little organizing of gear, boat or whatever. The last minute or so of simmering, I’ll throw in dried fruit, a dash of cinnamon, etc. It is very satisfying and keeps me going for quite a few hours. I also like the brown rice from Success Rice, and add raisins, dash of nutmeg, (dates are good too!) , and sometimes I add a little dry evaporated milk powder and a sweetener. It cooks up fairly quickly and has good staying power. If I make oatmeal, I use the steel cut oats that cook up in 3-4 minutes - the instant stuff fills me up initially, but doesn’t last. A real quickie, but may not float your boat, is Grape Nuts, cinnamon, dried fruits/sweetener of choice and add Horizon shelf-stable milk. The Horizon is available in 8 oz containers in various flavors, and if you’ve got the room, it’s awfully nice to have real milk on a trip!

Dried apricots cut into small pieces, and some type of nut, but chopped walnuts make a great combo.
Coconut, dried and shredded, with a handful of grape nuts, top at the end with some golden raisins. A big dab of peanut butter wouldn’t hurt either.
Finely chopped apple is always good with oatmeal, pairs well with cinnamon and vanilla, maybe some almond slivers as well.
One of my favourite breakfast options but needs a fry pan setup. I used to make breakfast biscuits and throw in quit a bit of oatmeal, maybe almost a 1 to 1 ratio with pancake mix, and also some grapenuts. Something like bisquick mix, or mix your own, keep it almost a paste consistency, and you can cook up three or four at a time, rather than one pancake at a time. About the size of a big English muffin. And they travel well for later on, and make a great combo with salami and cheese.

A cinnamon roll , coffee, and OJ when I’m in a hurry. Waffle House All American breakfast if I’m not.
Had one this am and was paddling within an hour.

Whatever’s left over from dinner the night before. Seriously, real food for breakfast is good!

I’m a big fan of bagels and yogurt. We have a local brand of bagel that is phenomenal (most other bagels I’ve tried are quite blah unless dressed up with something). One cool thing about bagels, is that compared to other bread-like products, they are nearly indestructible. Cramming your food pack into a dry bag won’t hurt the bagels!

Oddly enough I had a craving for oatmeal this morning. I wanted chocolate peanut butter oats, an infrequent treat that I make myself some mornings. After scraping out the bottom of a jar I grabbed another from the pantry and proceeded to open it and scoop some in. It smelled funny… a bit … rancid. Maybe I was just being a little sensitive, so I mixed it all up and had a bite.

It then occurred to me to check the expiry date. Hmm… just coming up on it near the end of “MA”, whether that’s March or May doesn’t make much difference… hmm… wait a sec here… 2014?!

Oops. That jar must have been pushed to the back of the cupboard and not been rotated with the rest of the pantry stock. So if you’re wondering, peanut butter does go bad. I don’t think it would have killed me, but it was certainly not palatable - even with chocolate and vanilla to mask the flavour.

Of all the great suggestions so far I think I like String’s the best. Though not exactly what I was thinking of for a backcountry morning meal. :wink:

I haven’t tried Grape Nuts before, but I think I will. The name turned me off in the past, but it turns out there’s no relation to grapes or nuts.

I recall a four day wilderness trip into Algonquin Provincial Park with my father and friends when I was younger. We brought so many bagels with us that we were eating them for every meal. Since then I’ve been a bit reluctant to bring them on a trip with me, despite being extremely durable. Maybe it’s time to reconsider and bring a few along. Although I don’t find the bagels that can be purchased in most grocery stores are much like the bagels of days past. They’re more like bread with a chewy outside. I wonder where I can source some denser varieties?

I once tried pancake mix (same trip I forgot the spoon, actually) and my plan was to fry it up in the lid of my very small titanium pot setup. Wow, what a mess. It severely burned on over the lowest heat I could manage, and didn’t even firm up enough to eat as a solid. I ended up scooping the mess into my mouth rather than waste it. The taste was alright, but it wasn’t a pancake.

Anyone want to volounteer for the position of my personal backcountry camp chef? It doesn’t pay much (any) but you’ll get to see some interesting places. :wink:

I do like pancakes in the field myself. I have found the “Kodiak Cakes” brand to be excellent – add water only, it’s all in there. Plus many flavors. most are whole grain and they donate profits to preserve grizzly habitat. I have a venerable Teflon coated frying pan with folding handle, that I have used for years for cooking on a Bleuet or other butane/propane/coleman fuel cookstove or even a small campfire coal bed. Have never had trouble with that pancake mix sticking. Best camp breakfast ever, for carb and protein loading as well as flavor, is a big thick Kodiak pancake smeared with peanut butter then rolled up around a couple of slices of crisp bacon and eaten like a burrito. Cook up the bacon first and the fat will help with assuring release of the pancake from the griddle and add flavor.

Another breakfast tip: get ultra thin-sliced Parma ham, lay slices on a couple of sheets of paper towel, but bunch them up so they are wrinkly and not laying flat, then microwave on high from 1 to 3 minutes (needs experimentation depending on your microwave size and how many pieces of ham you use.) Comes out super crispy and tasty, much lower fat than bacon. Also outstanding rolled up in the pancakes or crumbled into eggs. Cook at home and take along in a baggie.

Penzey’s Spices sells some excellent blends that enhance camp cooking. Two of my favorites are “Sunny Paris” which has dried shallots, ground peppercorn, basil, tarragon, chives, bay leaf and dill – really good in eggs or on fish, chicken or potato dishes. Their Maharaja curry makes any pot of assorted camp goulash or soup into ambrosia. Their ground cinnamon is so fresh and intense you will never buy any other brand. I add it to pancakes sometimes, also coffee and what I call “Sherpa Tea” which is strong British tea (Taylor’s of Harrogate’s Yorkshire tea) with a dollop of butter and that dash of cinnamon – good body warmer on cold mornings. We have a Penzey’s in our town and they are nationwide but they also sell on line.

A pan grilled split bagel with cream cheese and salmon is easy to take camping. I get the individual foil packs of cream cheese and buy the foil pack smoked or peppered salmon (when I can find it). Trader Joe’s sells salmon jerky, also good with cream cheese or crumbled in eggs. A little risky in bear country but if you are in a fishing zone another fish scent around the human campers is not going to change the wildlife attraction situation much, though I try to burn the residue off the packaging before packing it out… Here is one source for shelf-stable smoked salmon and other fish, 4 ounce foil packs that don’t need refrigeration.

eat a lot of oatmeal- like adding fresh fruit, like blackberries, strawberries, apple, banana slices and even cut in-half grapes

For kayak camping I like to get on the water very early in the morning before the wind comes up and before it gets too hot. I might paddle from about 6 am to 10 am and then return to camp for lunch and a long rest in camp all afternoon. Then go out on the water again toward sunset when the wind and heat die down. That means eating breakfast in the kayak: cottage cheese with fresh fruit; sandwich; cold pizza; plain yogurt with fresh fruit; cold leftover from previous supper. Whatever it is, it should have protein.