Among canned fruits, those that go farthest are pineapples and blackberries.
Excellent jelly can be made in camp from dried apples (see recipe in Chapter XXII).
There is much nourishment in dates, figs (those dried round are better than layer figs) and raisins.
Pitted dates are best for light outfits. And do not despise the humble prune; buy the best grade in the market (unknown to landladies) and soak overnight before stewing; it will be a revelation. Take a variety of dried fruits, and mix them in different combinations, sweet and tart, so as not to have the same sauce twice in succession; then you will learn that dried fruits are by no means a poor substitute for fresh or canned ones.
In hot weather I carry a few lemons whenever practicable. Limes are more compact and better medicinally, but they do not keep well. Lime juice in bottles is excellent, if you can carry it.
Citric acid crystals may be used in lieu of lemons when going light, but the flavor is not so good as that of lemonade powder that one can put up for himself. The process is described by A. W. Barnard: "Squeeze out the lemons and sift into the clear juice four to six spoonfuls of sugar to a lemon; let stand a few days if the weather is dry, or a week if wet, till it is dried up, then pulverize and put up into capsules." Gelatin capsules of any size, from 1-oz. down, can be procured at a drugstore. They are convenient to carry small quantities of spices, flavorings, medicines, etc., on a hike.
Vinegar and pickles are suitable only for fixed camps or easy cruises.
Lard is less wholesome than olive oil, or " Crisco," or the other preparations of vegetable fat. Crisco can be heated to a higher temperature than lard without burning, thus ensuring the "surprise" (see Chapter XVI), which prevents getting a fried article sodden with grease; it does as well as lard for shortening; and it can be used repeatedly without transmitting the flavor of one dish to the next one. Olive oil is superior as a friture, especially for fish, but expensive.
The best coffee can only be made from freshly roasted berries. Have it roasted and ground the day before you start, and put up in small air-tight canisters. It loses strength rapidly after a tin has been opened. If you are a connoisseur you will never be tempted more than once by any condensed coffee or substitute.
Tea is a better pick-me-up than coffee or liquor. Even if you don't use it at home, take along on your Camping trip enough for midday meals. Tea tabloids are not bad, but I advise using the real thing. On a hike, with no tea-ball, I tie up enough for each pint in a bit of washed cheesecloth, loosely, leaving enough string attached whereby to whisk it out after exactly four minutes' steeping.
However it may be with you at home, leading a sedentary life, you probably will find that tea and coffee do you a world of good when working heartily out-of-doors.
There are exceptions, to be sure; but old campaigners generally will agree with Dr. Hutchinson when, having discussed the necessary solids for a soldier's ration, he says this:
"But is even this dietetic trinity of bread, beef and su-gar, with greens and dessert on the side, sufficient? The results of a hundred campaigns have shown that it is not. Man is not merely a stomach and muscles — he is also a bundle of nerves; and they require their share of pabulum. In the early days the nerve-steadier in the soldier's diet used to be supplied in the form of grog, beer, wine, whisky; and up to about one hundred years ago alcohol in some form was considered to be an absolutely indispensable part of the army ration.
" Gradually, however, and by bitter experience, it was realized that alcohol's way of steadying and supporting the nerves was to narcotize them, which practically means poison them; that it gave no nourishment to the body and, instead of improving the digestion and utilization of food, really hindered and interfered with them. Man must have something to drink as well as to eat; but what can be found as a substitute?
" About two centuries ago two new planets swam into our human ken above the dietetic horizon — tea and coffee. They were looked on with great suspicion at first, partly because they were attractive and partly because they were new. They were denounced by the Puritan because they were pleasant, and by the doctor because they were not in the pharmacopoeia; but, in spite of bitter opposition, they won their way.
" It is doubtful whether any addition to the comfort of civilized man within the last two hundred years in the realm of dietetics can be mentioned that equals them. Certainly, if we take into consideration the third new article of food, which came in and still goes down with them — sugar — it would be impossible to match them with anything of equal value".
Cocoa is not only a drink but a food. It is best for the evening meal, because it makes one sleepy, whereas tea and coffee have the opposite effect.
Get the soluble kind, if you want it quickly prepared.
Salt is best carried in a wooden box. The amount used in cooking and at table is small, but if pelts are to be preserved or game shipped out, considerably more will be needed.
White pepper is better than black. Some Cay enne or Chili should also be taken. Red pepper is not only a good stomachic, but also is fine for a chill (made into a tea with hot water and sugar).
Among condiments I class beef extract, bouillon cubes or capsules, and the like. They are of no use as food, except to stimulate a feeble stomach or furnish a spurt of energy, but invaluable for flavoring camp-made soups and stews when you are far away from beef. The powder called Oystero yields an oyster flavor.