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Cooking an imaginative meal on a primus stove at high altitudes takes practice—though, fortunately, you are usually so hungry that you will eat almost anything. You can manage perfectly well on food available in Pakistan, but if your baggage is not already too heavy it helps to take some extras and treats from home.
The main problem in the mountains is rubbish disposal, so try to restrict yourself to food in packaging that you can bum. Aluminium packets can be burned to a solid lump, then carried out. Tins should be avoided.

Packet soups and bouillon cubes make warming hot drinks as well as good bases for sauces and flavouring.  Allow two portions per person per trekking day.
The dehydrated meals available in camping shops tend to be expensive and poor value, so  prefer to scour the supermarket shelves. 
Instant mashed potato mix is lighter to carry and quicker and much easier to cook than Pakistani rice, making it an excellent starch accompaniment to dehydrated meals. Bbrands for high-altitude cooking are Knorr and Yoeman, but there are many others. Try them out at home first, as some are horrid.
Instant noodles
are also light, quick and tasty.
Dried vegetables should be quick cooking. The best we have found are the Irish Erin brand, whose peas, beans, carrots and so on cook in five to seven minutes and do not need pre-soaking.  Just add them to the dehydrated meals described above.
You can also buy dehydrated mushrooms, tomatoes, green peppers, mixed vegetables and onions. If you are coming from some other country and cannot find them in the supermarket, try r Pakistani comer shop. These shops may sell them only in small packs, but they usually have them in stock.
You can get cornflakes and porridge in Pakistan, b try to take a kilogram for each person from home.  Mix it with dried fruit, nuts and boiling water for breakfast. You can make it last longer by mixing in some  cornflakes.
Dried fruits (apricots and dates) are available in Pakistan, , they need to be soaked overnight before use.  . You can buy packets of imported raisins and sultanas in Islamabad. Apple sauce, raisins and nuts make a delicious dessert.
You can buy fresh cheddar and tinned
cheese in Pakistan, but you must carry out the tins. Smoked cheese in sausage-shaped wax coating travels well.  Also take tubes of Primula cheese spread and carry out the empty tubes.
Black-eyed beans do not need soaking but take 3(MO minutes to cook (or 10-15 minutes in the pressure cooker). They are comparatively heavy but are also nutritious, have a delicious, earthy flavour and go well with rice (especially the imported brown rice available in Islamabad).
Energy bars and chocolate are always welcome. Test a variety at home and take your favourite . Buy high-energy fruit and muesli bars , which is specially packaged to withstand travel and heat.
Tang  & Energile
are good for flavouring water.
Rice, lentils and wheat flour (chaavel, dhad and atta) are available most places, even in all remote village shops,  There are a dozen varieties of rice and lentils to choose from; these are sold from big, open jute sacks standing in rows in the grocery store.  Your guide or a Pakistani friend can help you choose the best. be sure that the lentils are the quick-cooking variety (mwig dhaal)—which take about ten minutes at low altitudes—and are clean. Wheat flour is useful only if you know how to make chapattis or can get a porter to make them, and then only if you carry a wooden rolling pin and metal griddle.
Powdered milk is available in smaller towns, but is best bought in Rawalpindi or Islamabad in large, imported tins (Nestle's or Nido or Every day). When empty, the tins are excellent for storage and make good presents at the end of your trek. The locally produced powdered milk, which is sold from open sacks, is not good. It lumps up when you try to mix it, is often stale or diluted with flour and does not taste very nice.
Sugar and Tea in Skardu, Gilgit or Chitral, where you find the same quality as you do down-country.
Green tea, Nescafe, Ovaltine and custard powder are best bought in Rawalpindi or Islamabad, to ensure that you find them. They are, however, usually available in the three northern towns.
Pakistanis make excellent biscuits and
crackers. The best selection—and freshest product—is in Islamabad, but some sort of biscuit is available almost anywhere.
Cooking oil is available in litter bottles. Good olive oil is available in Islamabad in small tins.
Cornflakes and porridge are always available in the capital and usually so in the mountains.
Honey, jam and tomato ketchup come in glass jars or bottles. Decant them into plastic flasks.
Spaghetti is available almost in all big stores.
Tinned corned beef,  baked beans, sardines and tomato paste are available in Islamabad.  You must carry the tins out with you.For
herbs and spices,  buy curry powder, gar-am masala (mixed spices without the chilli), pepper, dried garlic and mixed herbs. These are best bought in Islamabad, where they are properly packaged and clean. You can also get the spices separately, but this is more expensive. Be sure the spices are ready ground. Film cannisters make good containers; double bag them in plastic for safety. Thyme grows fresh in the mountains.
Marmite, a savory yeast-extract spread that is indispensable , is available in Islamabad.
Fresh onions, garlic, potatoes, cabbage, cucumber, carrots, apples—or any fruit or vegetables in season that you think will travel well—are all best bought in Skardu, Gilgit and Chitral.


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