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camping food

stevercpstevercp Posts: 113
edited April 2012 in Tour & expedition
upcoming trip have bought some dehydrated food from tiso
any recomendations boil in the bag or dehydrated
we have tried wayfarer before not bad but after 7 days mrs r was going to hit me over head with pot
cheers

Posts

  • MichaelWMichaelW Posts: 2,226
    The Mrs is quite right. Do some proper cooking or go down the pub.
  • mrc1mrc1 Posts: 852
    Look What We Found is really good (I have these for lunch at home quite often - they aren't just camping food). The only problem is the smallish portion sizes but if you have something carby with them then you should be fine. They sell them in a few of the supermarkets but for the best choice I'd use their website:

    http://www.lookwhatwefound.co.uk/

    There's also these people. I haven't tried them as they are quite expensive but apparently they are very nice:

    https://www.fuizionfreezedriedfood.com/default.aspx
    http://www.ledomestiquetours.co.uk

    Le Domestique Tours - Bespoke cycling experiences with unrivalled supported riding, knowledge and expertise.

    Ciocc Extro - FCN 1
  • Kenjaja1Kenjaja1 Posts: 744
    I do a DIY meal using cous cous, a can of ratatouille and chorizo sausage. Add paprika (or whatever spices & herbs you fancy) to the cous cous, pour boiling water over it and put to one side to absorb the water for about 5 minutes. While that festers, chop up the chorizo & fry it and then pour the ratatouille on top and let it heat through for a couple of minutes until the vegies are boiling.

    Assuming you have water where you are camping you really only have the weight of the ratatouile and sausage to consider as cous cous is dehydrated. The beauty of it is that it takes so little time to prepare and tastes good. If you arrive at your campsite knackered or it is hissing down with rain you are eating in the dry within a few minutes of getting your shelter sorted.

    My preference is wild vamping with a hammock & tarp but I avoid using my petrol stove anywhere near trees (aka bedposts). My strategy is to keep the stove and items handy then stop for a meal break somewhere open before finding myself a couple of trees for the night. The quick and easy recipe fits that strategy very well.

    The 'recipe' can be varied enormously, nothing is critical in terms of quantities or timings but it is quick easy, nutritious and tasty.

    Test drive it in a conventional kitchen and you may well find yourself using it as fast food at home. (Always test any camping food in your kitchen at home or on the barbecue . If it turns out like [email protected] at home you will have no chance when camping!

    Bon apetit & good luck
  • On my last trip I endded binning most of the pre purchased food in an effort to shed wieght we then shopped daily just before stopping for the night on the few times we couldent shop we went to a cafe pub etc 10 days ride through france june 2010
    Training for the Cycle to Spain and the Quebrantahuesos
    www.seeyouinspain.co.uk
  • Kenjaja1Kenjaja1 Posts: 744
    On my last trip I endded binning most of the pre purchased food in an effort to shed wieght we then shopped daily just before stopping for the night on the few times we couldent shop we went to a cafe pub etc 10 days ride through france june 2010

    That is good advice for France where you are never far from a good restaurant and their small food shops nearly always have tempting food on offer. However, even if you are pretty sure of being able to find food, it is still sensible to carry something you can make a meal from. If you hit a problem miles from anywhere (especially if you go off road) decent food and liquid can make a massive difference.

    My rule of thumb is:-
    If I travel with no food I will almost always find something;
    If I have enough for one (good) meal then 24 hours is not a major hardship
    Enough for two good meals and 48 - 72 hours is possible.
    If I am carrying more than a couple of days worth food on a road trip anywhere in the civilised world, I have more weight than I need.

    Remote, off-road treks need more careful planning and more contingeny.

    The other comment I would make is that you avoid having to bin stuff if you do a shakedown trip before the 'real' one. After that trip you seriously question anything (kit or food) which did not get used. On one trip I binned a load of kit and food after a few days and posted a load of more valuable stuff back home at great expense. That was after three days of struggling and was because I had not made the time for the shakedown trip.
  • stevercpstevercp Posts: 113
    wow loads to look at thanks
    tried cous cous not bad pasta also a staple with some chopped tomatoes
    will have a lok at sites gettin hungry now
  • priorypriory Posts: 743
    I usually pack 500g of nice muesli and put water on it if I eat it. You can add powdered milk if you like.And 2 packs of student survival noodles and some chocolate. As often as not this all survives till the last day or comes home again. The only thing to recommend camping food is that it is cheap, except that proper lightweight stuff is not even that . There are not many places you don't pass a shop of some sort or a cafe/pub occasionally( of course you might be going to one I suppose). Peanut butter.
    you do not have to cook noodles, just soak them for an hour or two in a knotted plastic bag then warm them up a bit if you are a fusspot.Pasta might be similarly treated but I think it tastes a bit raw if you don't boil it for at least a minute. Or you can just eat noodles like biscuits. Pesto is handy for flavouring pasta.Abottle of olive oil has many uses and is calorie-dense.
    When I look at the calories per gram of food and therefore weight of food then add weight and cost of fancy cooker and fuel it usually puts me right off unless I am going somewhere very remote.

    PS white fuel and a multifuel stove is probably the most weight-efficient for serious cooking.
    Raleigh Eclipse, , Dahon Jetstream XP, Raleigh Banana, Dawes super galaxy, Raleigh Clubman

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  • andymillerandymiller Posts: 2,856
    priory wrote:
    you do not have to cook noodles, just soak them for an hour or two in a knotted plastic bag then warm them up a bit if you are a fusspot.Pasta might be similarly treated but I think it tastes a bit raw if you don't boil it for at least a minute.

    Where's the 'eeeeew' smiley when you need it?
  • Kenjaja1Kenjaja1 Posts: 744
    stevercp wrote:
    wow loads to look at thanks
    tried cous cous not bad pasta also a staple with some chopped tomatoes
    will have a lok at sites gettin hungry now

    Think of cous cous, pasta and rice as interchangeable. A good sauce which works with one will go pretty well with either of the others. Also, they are good sources of carbohydrate - providing the slow-release energy you need when cycling long distances.

    A tip for cooking rice
    Get the rice boiling in the billy can and boil for 5 minutes. Remove the billy from the stove, cover with a lid, thoroughly insulate the billy and then leave for about 15 minutes. You can insulate using your sleeping bag or something similar - just make sure you protect the bag by enclosing the billy in something waterproof so that if you get a spillage you do not end up with soaked bedding. If you insulate properly the water will stay hot enough to cook the rice - but the whole process will take quite a bit longer than conventional cooking. (With good insulation, the technique can be used to slow cook meat - but it will take hours and I have never tried it.)

    The 15minutes that the rice is 'cooking' in the insulation can be used to prepare the sauce or other parts of the main meal. You end up with the various components of your meal ready at the same time by using a single camping stove. You can use the insulation technique for spuds but it takes quite a bit longer. Dried pasta requiring 12 minutes would be the same as rice.

    The technique was used to save fuel during the World War II and now there are 'up-market' companies producing special 'eco friendly kitchenware' which does the same thing.

    The final obvious benefit is that if you have spent the day getting cold and sopping wet, you can crawl into a nicely pre-warmed sleeping bag and eat there.

    Bon apetit
  • andrew_sandrew_s Posts: 2,511
    Kenjaja1 wrote:
    A tip for cooking rice
    Get the rice boiling in the billy can and boil for 5 minutes. Remove the billy from the stove, cover with a lid, thoroughly insulate the billy and then leave for about 15 minutes. You can insulate using your sleeping bag or something similar
    Purpose-made pot cosies are available, for convenience and to avoid the chance of getting your sleeping bag wet.
    They are generally made of "thermawrap", supposedly equivalent to 2 inches of polystyrene. If you want to make your own, you can buy far too much from B&Q or similar (eg £15 for 40cm x 5m), or small amounts from here (£5).

    As well as helping with the cooking, they are good for stopping your meal going cold before you've finished eating it.
  • Kenjaja1Kenjaja1 Posts: 744
    Hi Andrew,
    That looks like a good improvement on my method! I had thought about a made-to-measure pot holder but did not pursue it because of the high bulk of most good insulating material. With the thin but effective insulation you have highlighted it will take a bit of duct tape and a few minutes to knock up something cheap and effective.

    A quick search on the web showed that Screwfix do the 40cm X 5M rolls for £10.99. I think my billies and my domestic saucepans are all going to be treated to nice shiny jackets.

    Cheers :D
  • mercia_manmercia_man Posts: 1,368
    Delighted to hear Kenjaja1 eats a very similar camping diet to me!

    I always carry cous cous, a few dried herbs and olive oil in a lightweight plastic container. I then stock up at French markets or village shops with the makings of a ratatouille-type sauce - garlic, onions, tomatoes, peppers, aubergine in small, easily portable quantities. The fresh local stuff you get in France is so much more tasty than the stuff you get from British supermarkets. I like my food spicy so always carry a little tube of harissa, a Tunisian chilli/tomato puree type paste that really gives the sauce some zip. I chop the veg up into small bits, fry it briefly with a little olive oil, herbs and harissa, cover it and put on very low simmer. It all reduces down into a concentrated sauce and keeps warm for ages.

    Then I make the cous cous. I prefer frying it for a few seconds with just a splash of olive oil before adding water and bringing to boil while stirring until water has gone and the cous cous just starts sticking. Then I take it off the heat, cover and leave for about four minutes while reheating the sauce.

    My other essential is a bottle of local red wine to wash it down and crusty French bread to mop it up - I particularly like the pain levain sourdough variety.

    I like the feeling of being able to knock up a really tasty meal in two small pans on a camping stove within minutes of putting my tent up. Carrying the basics mean you never get caught out.
  • Kenjaja1Kenjaja1 Posts: 744
    Mercia Man wrote:
    Delighted to hear Kenjaja1 eats a very similar camping diet to me!

    Mercia is clearly a Man with excellent taste. :wink:
  • mercia_manmercia_man Posts: 1,368
    Kenjaja1, we've bonded! I've become a sort of gourmet cycle camper over the years!

    Like Kenjaja1 I'm a fan of chorizo. Another good recipe is to make a Spanish-style stew by frying up some chopped up chorizo, onions, garlic and tomato, adding a drained tin of chickpeas and simmering covered for a while. Goes great with potatoes - chopped up small they cook quickly enough on a camping stove.

    Can't understand why people go on camping holidays to places like France and Spain with chemical-filled dehydrated meals when it's easy to whip up a meal with fantastic local ingredients.
  • Kenjaja1Kenjaja1 Posts: 744
    Mercia Man wrote:
    Can't understand why people go on camping holidays to places like France and Spain with chemical-filled dehydrated meals when it's easy to whip up a meal with fantastic local ingredients.

    An easier solution in France is to locate a restaurant and let the local chef produce something astounding with the fantastic local ingredients. I reckon every village in France has at least one good restaurant. You do need to allow 2-3 hours to work your way through a good french meal and that does take a quantity of the house wine. (The owner of any self respecting restaurant in that country will have good house wines).

    In Germany and Austria the obligatory stop is the konditorie (for the monoglots out there konditorie=sticky bun shop) where you will always find a huge selection of cakes. The beauty of German/Austrian cakes comes in the taste, calorie count (best not to count them) and the portion sizes. (People have died falling from the height of a German cake!).

    Spain & Portugal also have great eateries. Sometimes they are not so easy to home in on but very rewarding once you have found one.

    Once you are out in the wilds, away from it all and there is no one to prepare the meal for you (Mrs K doesn't do cycling or camping), then the chorizo and its many variations will give you a fast delicious meal, fill you up and sustain you.

    My new best mate, Mercia, suggests chick peas and again he is right. You can also use any other pulses/legumes you can find. Only get the tinned ones as most of the dried pulses take hours to cook, many need overnight soaking and some will make you very ill if not cooked properly (apart from breaking your teeth). The tinned chaps just need to be heated through - that has got to be easier when camping!

    Here are a few types of beans which conveniently find their way into tins:- Kidney, butter, cannellini, haricot, borlotti, broad, black eye, flagelot, adzuki and mung. They all make good eating especially if you add the flavouring of your choice.

    Mercia is also right about bread. Most of the bread on offer in this country is not worthy of the name. (I bake my own sourdough bread). Most people in the UK do not normally eat bread with their meal. In other countries it is very different. Any boulangerie will have a good selection of tasty bread. Germany/Austria will also have a good selection but different from french bread.

    Mrs K lived in Germany before we got married and used to buy bread by the slice from the the food department of Kaufhof (a chain of department stores a bit like John Lewis). That was a few decades ago & I have no idea if the practice continues. It was fantastic because you could have very small quantities of several types of bread without worrying about waste.

    Just remember that cycling and good eating go together exceedingly well. Cycling enables me to eat more :) ; eating helps me cycle more :)
    I thoroughly enjoy both of them :D
  • mercia_manmercia_man Posts: 1,368
    Quite agree about good French restaurants. Prices have gone up but even now you can still get superb set menu meals of real food at small restaurants or family-owned hotels, such as Logis de France, for significantly less than in UK. So many pubs in Britain now use caterers supplying pre-prepared dishes. On a cycle tour in England, my wife and I once followed one of these vans making meal deliveries to pubs. I bet they were all seving the same lamb shanks in red wine sauce or stuffed chicken breast at lunch!

    And I agree about bread. I always have bread with a meal. Isn't it weird the way they take uneaten bread away from your table when you fhave inished the soup course in the UK?
  • Kenjaja1Kenjaja1 Posts: 744
    Mercia Man wrote:
    ..... Isn't it weird the way they take uneaten bread away from your table when you fhave inished the soup course in the UK?

    The solution is to calmly tell them to leave the bread. If they hesitate you could explain that people have died due to premature food removal. :twisted:

    It puzzles me why a waiter would do it. They can prepare the table for the next course without confiscating the bread. Equally important for me is that I start to wonder what is going to happen to it. If it is going in the bin it is wasteful; if they 'recycle' it onto another customer I would not want to eat there again (what else are they recycling? :( )
  • mercia_manmercia_man Posts: 1,368
    Here's another tip for the OP as an alernative to dehydrated food. I go to a wholefood shop and sock up with dried fruit (figs, apricots, raisins, prunes), walnuts, brazil nuts, pumpkin seeds and sunflower seeds and mix them up in a plastic bag.

    It's a great nourishing snack if you're pedalling up a mountain pass in the wilds and have not been able to stock up at a shop for your lunch provisions. I also enjoy a handful of the fruit, nut and seed mix as part of my breakfast.

    As a touring and fitness cyclist, and a competitive fell and road runner, I know that good nutrition plays a big part in performance, endurance and recovery. The average touring cyclist will spend longer in the saddle each day than a Tour de France racer so fuelling your body and being able to recover and do it again the next day is really important.

    I try to ensure I eat lots of carbs (cous cous, pasta, potatoes, bread), plenty of fruit and veg and a bit of protein (tinned fish, pulses, cheese, meat) each day.
  • andymillerandymiller Posts: 2,856
    Mercia Man wrote:
    Quite agree about good French restaurants. Prices have gone up but even now you can still get superb set menu meals of real food at small restaurants or family-owned hotels, such as Logis de France, for significantly less than in UK. So many pubs in Britain now use caterers supplying pre-prepared dishes. On a cycle tour in England, my wife and I once followed one of these vans making meal deliveries to pubs. I bet they were all seving the same lamb shanks in red wine sauce or stuffed chicken breast at lunch!

    And I agree about bread. I always have bread with a meal. Isn't it weird the way they take uneaten bread away from your table when you fhave inished the soup course in the UK?

    I spent most of last summer touring in Italy, but came back for a brief tour in the UK. I ate really well, and usually paid less than a tenner for a decent lunch. If the food is good - as it very often is - I don't care if it came off the back of a van.

    And no I've never ever had a waiter try to take the bread off me before I had finished the main course.
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