Hot Tuna

When it came to the food we carried on mountain climbing trips, weight was the only real issue we needed to deal with. Eating was all about resupplying our bodies with calories and we really weren’t concerned too much about “cuisine”—Julie Child or the Galloping Gourmet, we were not. For us it came down to how much could we carry with the least amount of weight, so we had lots of macaroni and cheese, instant oatmeal, and a dry cereal-nuts-M&Ms-pretzel combination we called GORP that we bagged and carried. We went with hot breakfast, cold lunch, and hot dinner.

Eating in the mountains is also a little different than eating at a campground. There aren’t any chairs, and there’s no table. We cooked one-pot meals on small little Primus stoves and served the food into a bowl that each person ate with his spoon. The only utensils we carried were; our spoons, a small can opener called a P-38, and our Camillus Ranger knife. We use the knife for everything you couldn't do with a spoon; cut wood, stir food, scrape boots, dig holes, etc. It worked like a charm.  

The exception to the weight rule on mountain climbing trips was the first night's dinner. We always had “Hot Tuna”. This was something we dreamed up, or probably created accidentally, I don’t remember, but it consisted of the following;

5 cans tuna fish in oil

3 cans cut carrots

3 cans peas

4 cans boiled potatoes

Instructions: Mix together, Heat, and eat.


It was impossible to screw up hot tuna although we once screwed up breakfast because of it, I should say I did because it was my bright idea. We had some hot tuna left over and I thought it might make sense to mix it into our oatmeal the following morning. We ended up making something that was a cross between wallpaper past and concrete. That morning we ate a cold breakfast.