Wednesday, May 4, 2011

Camping Feasts

Being in the middle of nowhere doesn't mean you should settle for less than great meals. There is nothing better than getting in to camp after a hard days walking, paddling or whatever, and tucking into a good meal. There is nothing worse than getting in an eating a bland, tasteless meal that you only force down because you know you need to. Sometimes camping food can be like the midnight snack while you're on the turps. It tastes fantastic when you’re there, but if you eat it any other time it’s another story. Some camping trips you spend most of your time planning the intimate details of what your first meal back will be.

Its amazing what a little imagination and planning can do for a camping meal. I’m not talking about car camping, I'm talking about walking, cycling touring or kayaking, something where you have to carry it all with you in a bag, where weight and space are major issues. So the challenge is to come up with tasty dinner recipes for two hungry, active people. The criteria are:

1. The ingredients must not spoil without refrigeration

2. Preparation can be done before the trip, but must be minimal when doing the actual cooking

3. No frying, only boiling, or a really bad simmer. Most camp stoves have two temperatures despite any claims, it’s on or off.

4. It must be light, think about carrying it for week. If the ingredients are more than a kilogram then it’s probably too heavy.

5. The food must be able to withstand being squashed, and stuffed into a pack.

6. You can dehydrate things before hand. I can see the recoils in horror now… DEHYDRATE. Yes yes, it’s a necessary evil for this sort of thing though. Its like a lot of things, if you buy store bought dehy food its pretty ordinary, but home dehy stuff is actually not bad…..for camping.

7. You can use a maximum of two small pots to cook

To help give you some ideas some of our camping meals include laksa with noodles, Gnocchi with some dehy veggies and a tomato based sauce. A stir fry that is slightly more boiled than fried, or a home made bolognaise sauce dehydrated. I am interested to see what a bunch of gourmets can come up with, and very keen to try then on our next trip.

Have fun!!


  1. I look forward to this, as to suggestions zip.

  2. So I guess the 10 kilos of potatoes Beeso always insists on taking camping is out of the question! This is possibly why he won't do any longer than a day walk!

    Wow that's a tough criteria. What about some beef jerky stew or wraps with refried beans?

  3. What about some fettucine and some home made pesto in a Cryovac bag.

  4. One thing that works well is Sushi rolls. The prep time can be too much i you have had a big day though. And you need to make a fair bit to feed hungry people.