The various paste (pas-tay), as the Italians call them, take the place of bread, may be cooked in many ways to lend variety, and are especially good in soups, which otherwise would have little nourishing power. Spaghetti, vermicelli and noodles, all are good in their way. Break macaroni into inch pieces, and pack so that insects cannot get into it. It is more wholesome than flapjacks, and it " sticks to the ribs".
Sugar is stored-up energy, and is assimilated more quickly than any other food. Men in the open soon get to craving sweets*.
The " substitute " variously known as saccharin saxin, crystallose, is no substitute at all, save in mere sweetening power (in this respect one ounce of it equals about eighteen pounds of sugar). This drug, which is derived from coal tar, has medicinal qualities and injures one's health if persistently taken. It has none of the nutritive value of sugar, and supplies no energy whatever. Its use in food products is forbidden under the Federal pure-food law.
Maple sugar is always welcome. Get the soft kind that can be spread on bread for luncheons. Sirup is easily made from it in camp by simply bringing it to a boil with the necessary amount of water. Ready-made sirup is mean to pack around.
Sweet chocolate (not too sweet) has remarkable sustaining power. It will be mentioned further in Volume II, under Emergency Rations.
When practicable, take along some jam and marmalade. The commissaries of the British army were wise when they gave jam an honorable place in Tommy Atkins' field ration. Yes: jam for soldiers in time ot war. So many ounces of it. substituted, mind you, for so many ounces of the porky, porky, porky, that has ne'er a streak of lean. So, a little currant jelly with your duck or venison is worth breaking all rules for. Such conserves can be repacked by the buyer in pry-up cans that have been sterilized as recommended under the heading Butter.
The only ones worth taking along are potatoes and onions. Choose potatoes with small eyes and of uniform medium size, even if you have to buy half a bushel to sort out a peck. They are very heavy and bulky in proportion to their food value; so you cannot afford to be burdened with any but the best. Cereals and beans take the place of potatoes when you go light.
Fresh onions are almost indispensable for seasoning soups, stews, etc. A few of them can be taken along almost anywhere. I generally carry at least one, even on a walking trip. Onions are good for the suddenly overtaxed system, relieve the inordinate thirst that one experiences the first day or two, and assist excretion. Freezing does not spoil onions if they are kept frozen until used.
A prime factor in cold weather Camping. Take a long time to cook ("soak all day and cook all night" is the rule). Cannot be cooked done at altitudes of five thousand reet and upward. Large varieties cook quickest, but the small white navy beans are best for baking. Pick them over before packing, as there is much waste.
Used chiefly in making a thick, nourishing soup.
Much of the flavor of fresh vegetables is lost when the juice is expressed or evaporated, but all of their nutriment is retained and enough of the flavor for them to serve as fair substitutes when fresh vegetables cannot be carried. They help out a camp stew, and may even be served as side dishes if one has but-ten and milk to season them. Generally they require soaking (which can be done overnight) ; then they are to be boiled slowly until tender, taking about as much time as fresh vegetables. If cooking is hurried they will be woody and tasteless.
Dehydrated vegetables are very portable, keep in any climate, and it is well to carry some on trips far from civilization.
In our table of food values it will be noticed that the least nourishing article for its weight and bulk is a can of tomatoes. Yet these " airtights " are great favorites with outdoors-men, especially in the West and South, where frequently they are eaten raw out of the can. It is not so much their flavor as their acid that is grateful to a stomach overtaxed with fat or canned meat and hot bread three times a day. If wanted only as an adjuvant to soups, stews, rice, macaroni, etc., the more concentrated tomato puree will serve very well.
Canned corn (better still, " kornlet," which is the concentrated milk of sweet corn) is quite nourishing, and everybody likes it.
A few cans of baked beans (without tomato sauce) will be handy in wet weather. The B. & M. 24-lb. cans are convenient for a lone camper or for two going light.
A handful each of shelled nuts and raisins, with a cake of sweet chocolate, will carry a man far on the trail, or when he has lost it. The kernels of butternuts and hickory nuts have the highest fuel value of our native species; peanuts and almonds are very rich in protein; Brazil nuts, filberts, and pecans, in fat. Peanut butter is a concentrated food that goes well in sandwiches. One can easily make nut butter of any kind (except almonds or Brazil nuts) for himself by using the nut grinder that comes with a kitchen food-chopper, and can add ground dates, ground popcorn, or whatever he likes; but such preparations will soon grow rancid if not sealed air-tight. Nut butter is more digestible than kernels unless the latter are thoroughly chewed.
All fruits are very deficient in protein and (except olives) in fat, but dried fruit is rich in carbohydrates. Fruit acid (that of prunes, dried apricots, and dehydrated cranberries, when fresh fruit cannot be carried) is a good corrective of a too fatty and starchy or sugary diet, and a preventive of scurvy. Most fruits are laxative, and for that reason, if none other, a good proportion of dried fruit should be included in the ration, no matter how light one travels; otherwise one is likely to suffer from constipation when he changes " from town grub to trail grub".