These daily rations are taken from the French and Indian War's period records:

Cornmeal or oats 2 handfuls
Peas or beans 2 handfuls
Parched corn 2 handfuls
Dried meat 3-6 pieces (venison, beef, fish)
Dried fruit 1-2 handfuls (apples, peaches, raisins, pumpkin or combination)
Small red potatoes 2-3 each
Small onions 1 each
Maple or muscavado sugar 1-2 Tb
Salt 1/2 Tb
Peppercorns 4-10 each
Coffee 1-2 handfuls
(Alternate) Chocolate 1/2 - 1 full cake or tea 1-2 Tb.

Another daily rations from the Fur Trade period are much similar:

corn meal (per person) mixed with Havana sugar (2 cupped hand fulls),
corn flour (2 cupped hand fulls),
wild rice (cupped hand full),
barley pearled (cupped hand full),
split peas (cupped hand full),
fruit [dried apples or peaches] (2 cupped hand fulls),
dried meat strips broken into 3" pieces (2 cupped hand fulls), parched corn w/ local nuts (3 cupped hand fulls), tea (same measurement per person, lasts for 3-4 days - cupped hand full) a little on the weak side last day or two.


Lets start with the measurement for: a "cupped hand full" = ( 1) measuring cup.

Morning meal:
corn meal w/ Havana Brown sugar, (Havana Brown is an old sugar [less costly than white sugar in the colonial
days] have switched to blue corn - better taste) 1/2 cup per person with water, a few small pieces of
fruit and small amount of tea (save the tea leaves), corn flour, use a 1/2 cup per person of flour to make "bannock" bread (will produce a loaf per say the size of a regular hot dog). Surprisingly this will satisfy you, no matter what your brain says.

Afternoon snack:
some parched corn, a little fruit and whatever you may find in your travels.

Evening meal:
with a little testing you will be able to judge the amount of rice or barley needed to make a small
portion, and not waste anything. We have used mixed small amount of wild rice, barley pearled, split peas and a little jerky (changing the meal of one or two items) to make a stew, make with a little more water than what your wife would use - fills you up with the broth. Use your used tea leaves for a mild tea flavor. Use any left overs and try and eat late in the evening (going to bed on a full belly). One cup white flour
One cup whole wheat flour
One cup cornmeal
Two cups honey

Make sure to heat the honey, and if after mixing the batter is still too thick to drop off a spoon, add a little hot water enough to thin the batter). The more honey used, the harder the bread. Grease your pan to avoid sticking. Bake at 350 until done. Use cupcake ins to bake the bread in, and fill only 1/2 full. This bread will last indefinitely without refrigeration.

Roy added to his bread some dried fruit and some jerky. The addition of the fruit and jerky added to the food-value of the bread, and resulted in a “one course meal” to take along on scouts. For a trip such as the Gorge or a 30 miles in three days kind of trip, this trail bread mix is just the thing.

Grease from cooking bacon, salt pork or hog jowls (the latter creates more grease, smoked is best)
cornmeal (self rising or not, the better the cornmeal, the better the cornbread)

Pour some cornmeal in a cup and add enough water and stir to make a dough that just holds together. Let the dough rest for a few minutes to soak up all the water. Form into balls a little smaller than a "small" egg. Pat out into 2-1/2 or 3" rounds. Fry in an inch or so of grease over the fire until golden brown, and eat with the pork.

You can vary this in a fixed camp by adding milk, buttermilk, egg or even chunks of apple (hadn't had the last one before, Jerald). If you have egg, you can get it thinner and cook it in the pan like hoecakes. It won't be as good without the grease though.


1 lb. dried venison (takes about 6-7 lbs fresh meat)
1 lb. beef kidney fat rendered over low heat
.5 lb. dried fruit (berries or grapes work well)

Dry venison till no moisture is remaining. Crumble fine.
Make sure fruit is extra dried out also. Crumble in small pieces.
Render beef fat, let cool till film forms on top of pot, but still
in a liquid state.
Mix the three ingredients together well. Stuff in small canvas
bags that will hold about one cup of pemmican. Close up bags and
coat with remaining cool liquid fat to seal. One cup of pemmican
will last 1-2 days per person, depending on your appetite and other
grub available. This will last for quite some time. Store in a cool
dry place.
When drying the venison, slice as thin as possible, 1/8" works well. I
usually slice it when it is still partially frozen. The thinner the meat
the easier it is to crumble when dried.
If the fat is too hot it will cook the venison and spoil the pemmican.
Also, moisture will ruin the pemmican so keep it dry while storing.
I figure 1/4 cup per person per meal made into a stew  

Dennis Miles

 mush all it is cooked corn meal in boiling water it makes
a good thinking for soup and is a fine breakfast meal after
a cold night.

Honey Wheat Cookies

These are a simple yet high energy treat, they really provide a burst of ambition when you need it!
Mix whole wheat flour and honey into a thick dough like consistency then bake untill completely dry at a low heat. I baked my last batch 3 hours at about 200

    Trail Bread

I found this recipe in the Blue Heron Catalog, but it is similar to many others


Four cups of flour
Four teaspoons salt
Two cups water

Mix flour and salt together in a bowl. Add just enough water (less than two cups) to make the mix stick together. Roll the dough out and shape it into a rough rectangle. Cut the dough into squares about three by three inches and a half inch thick.

After cutting, press into each square a pattern of four rows of four holes using a nail (note: just press into the dough - don't punch through it). The appearance is similar to a modern saltine cracker. Turn each square over and repeat.

Place on an ungreased cookie sheet in an oven pre-heated to 375, and bake for 30 minutes. Turn each piece over and bake another 30 minutes. Brown slightly on both sides


Try taking some steel cut oats, purchased from your local co-op food store. I will slightly toast mine with some lightly sprinkled brown sugar and cinnamon. Place in a linen bag, and carry and use as you would parched corn. You can eat it, dry from the bag, while on the move by day; or mix it with water and make up some hot oatmeal by the camp fire in the evening. (and the seasoning is already in the mix). If time allows for a hot meal in the morning before breaking camp, let some oats soak in water over night, and then cook up over the morning fire. You will have a much softer, "stick to your ribs" batch of hot oatmeal this way

With cornmeal make a thick mush, add a pinch of salt, make into small cakes and fry in a little bacon grease until brown on both sides. You can also bake these in the ashes of your fire or on a rock, if you don't carry a skillet. Sometimes I make them at home and carry them already cooked (this is great if I have to make a cold camp) This type of cornbread is known by many names, Johnny or Journey cake, Hoe cake, Hunter cake or Ash cake. My Grandma called it Fried Cornbread and it is one of my favorites on the trail or at home with a big bowl of beans.


Parched Corn

     In the 18th Century Parched Corn was one of the most important trail foods. Parched Corn is listed in many of the sources used  at for research. It was made by first hanging the fresh corn cobs in the top of your cabin until they thoroughly dried, and then a small amount put in a skillet or spider with some bacon. The bacon grease would keep the corn from sticking and the heat would make the small kernels of dried corn swell up and turn brown. Parched Corn is the swollen and browned kernels. Parched Corn is a lot easier to digest than dried corn, and it's not as hard on your teeth either. If you can't get fresh corn on the cob (or don't want to because of the price), and don't want to explain to your family with you have corn hanging from the ceiling, then just go buy frozen whole kernel corn at the grocery store. If you have a dehydrator that will simplify drying the corn, but if not you can spread the corn out on cookie tins and set your oven to 150 degrees and leave the door cracked an inch or so. It will take eight (8) hours or more to dry, just be sure to check on it every thirty minutes or so. Once you get it fully dehydrated, then it's time to get out your favorite skillet and oil or grease. Almost any kind of oil or grease works, just heat the skillet on a low heat and oil the skillet. Once the skillet has gotten hot take a rag (or paper towel) and spread the oil around wiping up all but just a thin coat. If you to go modern PAM spray works very good for this. Then you should pour a little of the dried corn, you should have not quite enough corn to coat the bottom of the skillet. You have to constantly stir the corn around so it won't burn. It takes less than a minute to parch the corn. When swells up and turns a light to medium brown colour, it is ready. Dump the corn out onto a plate that has some cloth (or some paper towels) on it to soak up any of the oil/grease that might be left on the corn, then re-oil your skillet and do some more. If you are doing it right it will take several skillets full to make a weekend's ration but you won't end up burning any of it. I like to use sweet corn when I makes mine, and I don't add anything to the corn, but you could add in your favorite nuts, dried fruits or berries, or even some sugar to make your daily ration more interesting.

Pemmican Recipie

This is my recipie for pemmican. If you don't follow  certain parts of this to the letter, you will poison yourself and probably die, taking yourself out of the gene pool, hopefully before you have bred.

You will need
1/LEAN MEAT amount up to you (I use venison)
2/Rendered Tallow (I use deer)
3/Dried fruit, corn, nuts or any combination, and I mean DRY. As little moisture as possible.
4/Some maple sugar, if you want.

Slice LEAN meat thin, NO FAT (fat can & will go rancid, poison you and you will die or wish you had). Dry this in an appropriate manner until it is dry enough to pound into a stringy powder, then dry it a little more.

Chop or pound the fruit, nuts, sugar, corn to the consistency that you want it. USE UNSALTED NUTS

Mix with the meat in a bowl.

So it is in red.

Melt the tallow until it JUST goes liquid and mix it into the above mixture, a little at a time. **This HAS to be cool enough that it does NOT cook the meat. If it cooks the meat it WILL go rancid and you will meet your ancestors and they will point at you and make sly, witty remarks at your expense and won't talk to you much for you poisoned yourself after being told how to avoid it.**
Add just enough tallow that when mixed you can squeeze it into balls and it will stick together. A little fat goes a LONG way. You may want to add a tad more in real cold weather, but use it judiciously.

Leave it ball shape or pack into a par fleche or how ever you want to store it.
A friend of mine used to roll the balls in pounded maple sugar when they were still a little warm, you could do this with pounded corn, nuts &ct.  


 Keepsake Biscuits

1 quart milk or cream - I use half and half

1 & 1/2 cups butter or lard

2 tablespoons sugar

1 heaping teaspoon salt

1 teaspoon cream of tartar

10 cups all purpose flour - NOT self rising

Cut the butter into the dry ingredients, reserving about three cups of the flour. Add the milk and mix in enough of the reserved flour to make a stiff dough.

Roll out between 1/2 & 3/4 inch think and cut into biscuits - or roll into balls the size of small eggs and flatten into biscuits.

Place fairly close together (they hardly rise at all) and bake at 400 degrees for about 20 to 25 minutes, or only until the bottoms are lightly browned. If you cook them until the tops look like regular biscuits they will be hard as Chinese arithmetic. The excessive fat will make them look (and be) gummy, but they will be fine when cool. This recipe makes about 40 biscuits.


Lanney Ratcliff, expert biscuit chef

 Sugar Buns (colonies)

Take 3/4 of a pound of sifted flour, (2) large spoonfuls of brown sugar, (2) spoonfuls of good yeast, add a little salt, stir well together and when risen work in (2) spoonfuls of butter, make into buns, set to rise again and bake until a golden brown on tins.

Mrs. Berkshire, New Lady’s Cook Book,1731


  Soda Biscuits (F & I War)

(1) quart of sour milk, (1) teaspoonful of soda, (1) teaspoonful of salt, a piece of butter the size of an egg and enough flour to make them roll out. Bake on a clean rock or flat plate until they are brown.

(un-named) 17xx ?


  Yeast Biscuits (Rev. War)

Take (2) quarts of flour, (2) ounces of butter, half pint of boiling water, (1) teaspoonful of salt, (1) pint of cold milk and half cup of yeast. Mix well and set to rise, then mix a teaspoonful of saleratus in a little water and mix into dough, roll on a board an inch thick, cut into small biscuits and bake twenty minutes.

Sgt. Major A. N. Berwyn, Paoli News,1776

 Tarter Biscuits (War of 1812)

Take (1) quart of flour, (3) teaspoonfuls of cream of tarter, mixed well through the flour, (2) teaspoonfuls of shortening, (1) teaspoonful of soda, dissolved in warm water, of a sufficient quantity to mold the quart of flour. For the large families the amount can be doubled.

un-named, New York Regulars,1810

    Johnny Cakes

Popular with troops of most every war that has been in N. America, William Clark wrote about them at Fort Osage years after the westward movement started.

Take (1/2) a cup of sugar, (1 1/2) teaspoonfuls of soda, butter the size of an egg, (1) cup of yellow corn meal, (1) egg, (1) cup of white flour, (1 1/2) cups of sour cream or buttermilk and a pinch of salt. Grease a flat pan, bake in a field oven, medium heat, check when they start to brown.

The Book of Recipes,1837


  Buckwheat Cakes

(1) quart of buckwheat flour, (1) gill of wheat flour, (1) quart - less (1) gill of warm water, (1) gill of yeast, (2) teaspoonfuls of salt. Mix the batter at night in order to have the cakes for breakfast; if very light, an hour before they are required stir the batter down and let it rise again. Bake the cakes on a smooth, nicely-greased griddle and send them to the table the moment they are baked, piled regularly in the middle of the plate. Left over batter will serve as yeast for the next baking; store in a cool place, but don’t let it freeze if in a winter camp. Bring it out at night, add buckwheat, etc., and leave it to rise. With a little care no fresh yeast will be necessary for the winter.

Recipe origin is unknown.,18xx ?  

  Camp Bread

Below is a recipe from an 18th century cookbook for Keepsake Biscuits. KS biscuits were intended to keep long enough to provide bread for the extended journeys of the time. I have kept KS biscuits for several weeks but after the first day or so they are better if they are heated over a fire. They can also be broken into chunks the size of the last joint of your thumb and cooked with meat for dumplings or cooked with fruit for a cobbler.

It is unlikely that even one KS biscuit ever got baked in the rocky mountains but it is remotely possible that someone fresh from his mama's kitchen could have hauled some a couple of thousand miles to the mountains. Let your conscience be your guide.

Regular biscuits are very easy. Mix about 1/2 cup of any liquid fat...bacon

grease, melted lard, butter, cooking oil... with about 1 1/4 cups liquid...water,

milk, beer... and add to about 3 cups self-rising flour and stir into a damp dough. Pinch into balls about the size of golf balls and flatten between your palms. Cook them any way you a Dutch oven if you brought such a thing to the mountains, in a skillet over a slow fire (turning as needed), in a skillet inclined before a fire (turning as needed), or even on a flat rock before the fire. They can even be cooked in a regular house oven at 400 degrees for about 10-12 minutes.

A rope of dough can be curled around a stick and toasted over the fire but I have never had very good luck with this method...making the rope not much bigger than a pencil might help. Somebody help me on this.

I hope this helps.

Lanney Ratcliff, expert biscuit chef


This bannock recipe makes up a batch of bannock for 24 persons.

Ingredients 6-1/4 cups all-purpose flour 2 teaspoons salt 1/4 cup baking powder 1/2 cup and 1 teaspoon butter, melted 3 cups and 2 tablespoons water.


#1 Measure flour, salt, and baking powder into a large bowl. Stir to mix. Pour melted butter and water over flour mixture. Stir with fork to make a ball.

#2 Turn dough out on a lightly floured surface, and knead gently about 10 times. Pat into a flat circle 3/4 to 1 inch thick.

#3 Cook in a greased frying pan over medium heat, allowing about 15 minutes for each side. Use two lifters for easy turning.

The word 'bannock' referred originally to a round unleavened piece of dough, usually about the size of a meat plate, which was baked on the girdle and used by the oven-less Scots/Irish workers.

Concho Smith 12/02/81


Finnish Hard Tack (Werry Goot, yu dam betcha) 

4 C Oatmeal (Quick Cooking type)

1 C Milk (soak oatmeal with milk over night) 

IN morning add 3/4 C of sugar

1-1/2 C of all purpose flour

3 teaspoons of baking powder

1/2 teaspoon of salt. 

Mix all well. 

Roll very thin (1/4 " or so) cut (pizza rollerknife works well) Prick all over with a fork. Bake 10 to 15 minutes at 400 degrees. Watch it does not burn. Should be a light tan color.  

Needs to sit for a few days and dry out hard. Keep air circulating so it does not mold before it is bone dry.

Very good. 

Capt. Lahti'



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