Adventure Dining Guide | A foodies guide to eating well in the wilderness

Adventure Dining Guide wants us to know how to eat civilized miles from civilization. Michelle Shea is the founder of the new startup who enjoys good food and outdoor life. Shea was inspired to create the business after she and her father walked the 500-mile Camino Frances from St. Jean, France to Santiago De Compostela, Spain.

With a deep love for all things outdoors, it was a natural fit to create a company that helps people plan healthy meals on their outdoor journey, whether that’s trekking into the back country, hiking, backpacking, boating or camping. When we take a trip, we need to eat.

“Healthy food benefits you. If you’re only eating Ramen for a week, there’s not a lot of nutrients and you pay the price for eating foods that don’t optimize the body’s performance. Eating nutritionally benefits you in the long run and benefits your physical dexterity, mental clarity and muscle stability. Food is energy,” says Shea.

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Michelle Shea prepares a healthy meal in the wilderness

Shea understands that when planning a long trip, it is important to consider caloric density. This in conjunction with nutritional value is important when packing for extended distances. She explains that while an orange weighs 4 to 6 oz. it doesn’t have a lot of nutrition in relationship to its weight, while a packet of vitamin C is lightweight and might be a better choice.

“It’s all about finding foods that are most efficient to carry in your backpack,” explains Shea.

There are plenty of ways to pack foods that have a lot of calories, but picking and choosing the ones that will serve you best can make or break your trip. Reading your labels and knowing your food is a key, she says.

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Nutty couscous and vegetables

Hemp, spirulina, seeds, couscous and certain oils like olive oil and coconut oil are good healthy foods with lots of nutrition.

“Think of things that have multiple purposes, like coconut oil, you can brush your teeth, moisturize your skin and cook with it,” she says.

Adventure Dining Guide is a Web-based educational service supported by social media and a YouTube channel. Shea hosts cooking inspired videos, offers recipes, photos and connects with experts in the field like chefs, athletes and local businesses.

“I want to get people excited about the cooking outdoor component and share that part of their journey with me. People can share their recipes,” she says.

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Muffin tin eggs

Shea wants to connect with people that go into the wilderness to share their experiences and styles of travelling. She is looking to build a food community.

“Tahoe inspires me. Everyone has a great story about spending time in the wilderness. It’s infectious. I like to hear what they eat on their journey. I want to hear what they’ve accomplished. Often the food part was a missing element that we can’t live without,” says Shea.

Adventure in Dining is currently collaborating with local businesses such as Tahoe Trail Bar, Back Pocket Hammocks and their Pesto Tortellini Company.

In a recent episode, Shea interviewed Justin “Trauma” Lichter and Shawn Forry. They were the first two people to hike the length of the Pacific Crest Trail during the winter. Shea asked how they found nutrition on the trail with no resupply stations.

“They had to hike off trail to go to nearby stores to resupply making their journey longer,” recounts Shea.

When planning that next long trip in the wilderness, think gourmet and healthy. Maybe nutty couscous and vegetables, paleo-pork and zucchini salad or maybe try Shea’s latest concoction – a dehydrated Bloody Mary. It’s made with tomato powder and spices and is a food with multiple purposes.

“It serves as pizza sauce, red sauce for pasta or tomato soup depending on how much water you add. And if you decide to take vodka it serves as an antiseptic, astringent and cleans,” says Shea.

“Adventure Dining Guide was created to give back-country dining the recognition it deserves, and inspire others to make their next adventure more gourmet,” says Shea.

Got a cool idea or recipe? Send it to Michelle Shea at michelle@sheaoutside.com or visit adventurediningguide.com.

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Priya Hutner

Priya Hutner is a writer, personal chef and meditation teacher. She writes feature articles about music, art, food and recreation. Priya loves to immerse in story. Whether jumping from a plane, eating obscure foods or hitting the Tahoe-Reno music scene, she is always up for adventure and experience.
Having moved to the mountains from Sebastian, Fla., she embraces the Tahoe lifestyle and loves to ski, hike, paddle and swim. Priya is the owner of the Seasoned Sage, a business that prepares organic meals and facilitates workshops that promote a health-conscious lifestyle.
She is currently writing a memoir about her experience living on an ashram and working on a series of cookbooks.
| priya@tahoethisweek.com