Trail Fill-Up: Chicken Alfredo

If you’ve been eating dehydrated meals on backpacking trips for a while, you understand that the serving sizes listed don’t always match up. Especially after a long day on the trail, it’s not uncommon to find yourself fighting with your hiking buddy over spoonfuls of that two-serving pack of mac and cheese. However, making and packaging your own food helps get the amounts right, and having a filling, hearty backcountry meal goes a long way to making sure you’re ready for the next day.

With this Chicken Alfredo recipe, one serving will be all you need. Ultimately, this meal is best on trips where you’re very active: backpacking, kayak touring, and multi-sport adventure weekends. According to the Mayo Clinic, a 160-pound person burns approximately 511 calories per hour while backpacking, which this delicious meal will more than make up for.


  • 2 oz. Angel Hair Pasta
  • 1 Tyson Grilled & Ready fully cooked chicken pouch (7 oz.)
  • 2 tbsp. Creamy Garlic Alfredo Sauce Mix
  • ½ cup Powdered Milk
  • ½ oz. Dried Shiitake Mushrooms
  • 2 tsp. Parmesan Cheese
  • 1½ tbsp. Salted Butter


  • Serving Size: 1
  • Calories: 865
  • Carbs: 78 grams
  • Fats: 28 grams
  • Protein: 73 grams


Prep: 2 minutes
Cook: 10 minutes 
Ready in: 10 minutes

Credit: Chris Colahan
Credit: Chris Colahan


At-Home Prep:

  1. Combine the alfredo sauce mix and powdered milk in a Ziploc bag
  2. Add parmesan cheese to a small container, or wrap it in a piece of cellophane
  3. Put the salted butter in a small container that seals (if it’s warm out, it may melt a little)
  4. Store the unopened chicken pouch inside a medium Ziploc bag
  5. Add loose angel hair pasta and loose mushrooms to a Ziploc bag
  6. Put the sauce mix, cheese, and butter in the Ziploc bag
  7. Seal the Ziploc and admire your future meal

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To Cook:

  1. In your pot, add 16 oz. of water and the mushrooms together. Turn your stove on for a minute to warm up the water, and then turn it off. Let the mushrooms sit and rehydrate for 5 minutes.
  2. Add the pasta to the pot, leaving the mushrooms to continue rehydrating. Turn the stove back on for about 3 minutes, until the pasta is done.
  3. When the pasta is done, drain 4 oz. of the mushroom/pasta water into the Ziploc bag with your alfredo sauce mix. Swish the water around, so the mix gets creamy. [As a tip, always use less water than you think you need. You can always add more water, but you can’t take it out.]
  4. Drain the rest of the water from the pot.
  5. Add the chicken, butter, and sauce to the pot, and give everything a stir. Turn the stove on for another minute to warm up the chicken.
  6. Boom! Your Trail Alfredo Chicken is complete. Add parmesan cheese to the meal to taste.

Backcountry Aspirin: Wasabi Salmon Fish Cakes with Rice Noodles

Sore muscles or joints after a long day on the trail? This backcountry meal might do the trick. The secret is in the wasabi, which is known to have anti-inflammatory qualities. Plus, salmon is a superfood. It’s high in protein and full of omega-3 fatty acids, which help with brain, nerve, and eye development. Our bodies don’t naturally make them, so we have to get them from food.

What’s even better? You can get it all in a delicious, half-pound, camp-ready meal in under 10 minutes. So, eat up!


  • 2 tbsp. potato pancake mix
  • 5 tsp. wasabi powder
  • 1 pouch salmon
  • 1 tsp. olive oil
  • 2 packs soy sauce to taste
  • 1 serving rice noodles


  • Serving Size: 1
  • Calories: 503
  • Carbs: 50 grams
  • Fats: 19 grams
  • Protein: 30 grams


Home Prep: 2 minutes
Trail Prep: 2 minutes 
Cook: 10 minutes
Ready in: 10 minutes

Wasabi Salmon

At-Home Prep:

  1. Combine the potato pancake mix with the wasabi powder in a medium Ziploc bag
  2. Pour the olive oil into a small bottle
  3. Put all of the ingredients in a medium Ziploc bag

Wasabi Salmon

Trail Prep:

  1. Pour 2 oz. of water into the bag with the potato pancake and wasabi mixture
  2. Add the salmon to the potato and wasabi mix
  3. Mix it all around inside the Ziploc

Wasabi Salmon


  1. Boil water in your pot, and cook the rice noodles for 2 minutes
  2. Drain off excess water, so the rice noodles are dry
  3. Heat the olive oil in your frying pan on medium-high heat
  4. Squeeze out 4 small fish cake patties into the pan, and cook them until both sides are golden brown
  5. Boom! You’ve got Wasabi Salmon Fish Cakes with Rice Noodles. To finish, add the soy sauce to the fish cakes or rice noodles to taste.

Fun fact: According to Packaging Technology & Science, salmon and tuna pouches produce 60- to 70-percent less greenhouse gases than metal cans. So, with this dish, you’re helping the environment, too. Nice!

Wasabi Salmon

Preparing Your Child For Summer Camp

The school year is over and with it goes your kid’s six-hours-a-day babysitter. Thankfully, you’ve got something else lined up, both to occupy their time and give them a valuable experience: Your child is going to camp! You’re either nervous to see your little one become more independent or excited to have a few hours, days, or weeks of parental freedom. Whichever the case, you could probably use a little guidance when it comes to getting them ready.

Summer Camp

Preparing for Camp

1. Read the Handbook

First, read the parent handbook. Every camp has one, but not every parent reads it. Most camps answer hundreds, if not thousands, of parents’ questions in emails, phone calls, and Facebook posts, so there’s a good chance they’ve heard yours before. A good camp will pay attention to the questions coming in, identify the most common ones, and answer them in the camp’s handbook or in their website’s FAQ section.

2. Discuss Health Issues

The best reason to contact the camp before your child arrives is to discuss any health issues. If your child has a medical condition, mental health matter, dietary restriction, or something similar, don’t hesitate to reach out to the office.

Believe it or not, some people actually try to hide this stuff, because they’re worried that, if the camp knows their child has ADHD, is a vegan, or takes medication for depression, they will turn their child away. This couldn’t be further from the truth. Camps want children to succeed, and campers have the best chance when the camp and parents work together. Rather than withhold information, do your best to share everything the counselors and support staff can use to encourage your child’s success.

3. Share Your Thoughts

Lastly, it’s a good practice to think about two questions: One, what excites you most about your child’s camp experience, and two, what are you most worried about? Quietly pull your child’s counselor aside to share those thoughts while your child is unpacking or talking to a friend.

After working with over 400 college-aged counselors, I can tell you that they’re all in competition to be the best. They will eat up any information that helps them provide their campers with a positive, life-changing experience.

Summer Camp

What to Bring to Day Camp

Day campers should arrive wearing comfortable, weather-appropriate clothing—shorts, T-shirts, and either sneakers or other closed-toe shoes—and have a pair of water shoes or sandals ready for water activities. I recommend bringing a backpack with the following items:

Summer Camp

What to Pack for Overnight Camp

Each overnight camp offers different activities. So, as a starting place, this general list can be customized to the uniqueness of your child’s camp:


  • Shorts (2-4 pairs)
  • Jeans/long pants (2 pairs)
  • T-shirts (6)
  • Sneakers
  • Sandals with a heel strap
  • Socks and underwear (7 pairs)
  • Pajamas
  • Jacket or sweatshirt (boys or girls)
  • Raincoat or poncho (boys or girls)
  • Bathing suit (2)

Toiletries (Unscented)

  • Bath towel
  • Beach towel
  • Washcloth
  • Soap in a box (or Dr. Bronner’s)
  • Toothbrush and paste
  • Shampoo
  • Deodorant
  • Comb or brush

Camp Life Items

  • Sleeping bag or bedding (twin size)
  • Pillow
  • Headlamp or flashlight with extra batteries
  • Water bottle or hydration pack
  • Bag for dirty clothes
  • Insect repellent (non-aerosol)
  • Sunscreen (non-aerosol)
  • Optional: Games and toys
  • Optional: Hammock or camp chair

Don’t worry too much, though. Your child will have a blast whether or not you remember to pack each and every item listed. Camp is a community, and folks tend to band together, so whether it be the health center, counselor, or your child’s new best friend, plenty of people have their back. So, relax, and get ready to hear “one time at camp” stories for the next nine months.Summer Camp