Favourite things to make to take out hiking/rock climbing/outdoorsing with you or others?
My personal don't-leave-home-without-it for any travel/camping/hiking expedition has to be without a doubt a "P-38" ,military portable can opener,folds flat ,is @1" long,an even better model I obtained in Israel while volunteering for the I.D.F.
And let's face it ,trail mix is good, but hot food is (usually) better!
It depends on exactly what your recipient plans to do-- if they are going for a long climb (long day/multi-day), water can be very limited and you wouldn't want to send anything terribly dry or salty. If hiking/backpacking are in the plan, you have more options.
When I climb, I try to bring foods that do not require refrigeration and are squishable-- peanut butter and jelly are good, bagels, tortillas. Mild cheeses (cheese sticks are good but get funky after a day or so out of the fridge). Brownies are good because they are easy to eat ever after being smashed! Beef jerky is okay for the protein but can make you really thirsty.
When I hike, my favorite treat are a block of manchego cheese and a block of quince paste and some flour tortillas to eat it with. For some reason it tastes even better after a good hike!
Chococat, ALL food tastes better after a hike! Haha.
You can't go wrong with GORP (Good Ol' Raisins & Peanuts), I usually put roasted cashews as well and peanut M&Ms and some dried, unsweetened coconut.
A good hearty sandwich is always good on a day hike, for some reason I prefer cheese and things like roasted veggies over meat fillings when I'm hiking. Actually, truth be told I usually pack a huge, fluffy roll stacked with a big pile of sliced Muenster cheese slathered with whole grain mustard. I have no idea why that's what I want when I'm hiking, I certainly don't crave it when I'm not.
Once I made an enormous pasta salad with lots of chopped roasted veggies, chick peas, a balsamic vinaigrette and feta cheese. It was good, but I had packed enough to share with my fellow hikers (4 of us) and it got to be really heavy after about the 5th or 6th mile. Not sure it was worth the effort. Maybe I should have packed individual portions for everyone to carry themselves.
Good carbs, cheeses, something crunchy and nutritious to snack on, those are the essential elements.
Things I take on hikes are hummus and pita chips/crackers/baby carrots, smoked sausages and cheese to slice up, maybe a mini travel container of nice mustard, roasted veggies in a tupperware, salty snacks (nuts, trail mix, etc), and chocolate. I've done baguettes with a tin of smoked fish and tomatoes too, but this can be messier. I have also made flat bread pizzas on focaccia bread and taken them in foil or tupperware with success. Depends on how long the hike is and dietary preferences of who is going.
I agree with chococat - what is the recipient doing? Is this a multi-day excursion, or just a hike-in/hike out? Will they have cooking tools/pots to use, or are you just looking for "snacking" items? Are they planning to hike all their goods with them?
I'm a car camping guy (read: tailgating in the woods) so I always bring my cast iron pan and a dutch oven to cook.
For hiking/backpacking, a stash of custom made GORP is always key. I create my own from a mix of honey mustard pretzels, peanuts, glazed "Sahale" pecans, reese's pieces, dried blueberries, and other goodies.
Powerbars are also a good choice, as they are not chocolate coated so they don't get melty, and they travel very well.
I always make some oven dried tofu jerky. You can search for baked tofu recipes online, but basic ideas is this: marinate thin slices of tofu in balsamic vinegar and soy sauce w/ garlic, ginger, and chili powder. Let marinate for overnight. Bake at 350, turning once, until desired texture and most of the marinade is evaporated. (I like mine fairly chewy.) Tofu is great as a snack, or w/ cheese and olive spread on a sandwhich. Speaking of, I love to carry olive tapande in a big squeezable tube for cheese and crackers and snacks.
We also always bring dehydrated refried beans mix w/ some boullion cubes, dried cilantro, fried tortilla chips, fried ancho chilies and dehydrated onions and garlic to make a tasty mexican bean soup on the trail (if an overnight.)
for day hiking i like to take calzones/pasties.
for climbing, i gravitate towards durable foods: triscuits w/ pb, a chunk of hard cheese, chocolate (not a fave, but for durability, toblerone is good), oranges, carrots & celery. the gear is heavy and terrain is usually rugged; delicate foods don't fair well.