When planning and preparing for an overnight expedition, I can fling all my kit together in about 5 minutes. I know exactly what I need, where I like to pack it and everything goes in the same colour coded dry bags in the same order every time. I’ve got a system that works.
And then I start to pack my food. And that takes at MUCH longer.
While some people are content to eat the same breakfast, lunch and dinner on every expedition, food is something that I like to mix up and have a bit of variety in. Hiking and camping with friends who need to eat gluten-free, vegetarian or vegan forces a bit more thought too, as does leading groups with many different allergies.
Porridge sachets have been a firm favourite recently. I’m trying to cut down on my single-use plastic, so I do avoid the porridge pots where possible. I’m currently loving the Stoats hedgerow fruit with the chunks of apple and rhubarb – it’s lovely and sweet!
I got through my Mountain Leader preparation on granola sachets that I would make up myself at home. A few spoonfuls of supermarket own brand granola and powder milk in a heavy duty sandwich bag meant that I could just add hot water and have a tasty warming breakfast with minimal cleanup. Win/win!
My mornings are not good unless I’ve had a cuppa. In the colder months, a flask of tea is also a key part of my keep warm routine too. While I can cope with black tea, I much prefer it with a wee dash of milk. These little sachets are great, and last fairly well if you can pop them in the top of your stove for storage!
Easy enough on a day walk but after a few days in a rucksack, even cheese rolls get a bit sweaty. Eugh.
I’ve found that bagels don’t squish too easily, and pitta pockets are a good choice too. Wraps are already flat so squishing isn’t an issue, but picking a filling that will last can be tricky. I quite like the pre-mixed tins of tuna, though one of the teams I was leading was horrified – they thought it was cat food…..
While pasta, tomato & basil sauce and a smoke sausage thee bog standard Bronze DofE dinner, it can quickly get a bit boring if you’re going more than two expeditions in a year.
Boil in the bag rice and chilli became amazing on one expedition when I realised I had spare wraps leftover from lunchtime. Lazy as ever, I decided that I would use the wrap instead of a plate to save any washing up. This was the start if my exped burrito obsession which lasted a good six months! If I could put it on a wrap, I called it a burrito.
While I’m not a big fan of dehydrated meals (neither my wallet or tastebuds love them), much of my camp kitchen choices are dictated by laziness.