Weight and packing
Food has to be light, sturdy (or protected), long life, compact, quick and easy to prepare, nourishing, filling – and tasty. All food and ingredients, utensils, plate, mug, billies etc need to be carried.
Meals usually take longer to cook when you are tramping. Try and bring things that need short cooking and preparation times and are quite simple. If you can cook everything in one billy that is best – remember you will probably only have one stove. The shorter the cooking, the less fuel you need to carry.
On multi-day trips the weight of food that you carry becomes all-important. The more dehydrated food you can bring (either commercial or home-made) the less weight you carry. This isn't so important on overnight trips.
To save weight and space put small amounts of things into bags, plastic containers, e.g. film canisters are good for spreads. Don't bring large jars, glass containers.
You have to carry out rubbish, including vege cut-offs etc so take things out of unnecessary packaging. Bring spare bags for rubbish.
For TTC (incl Bushcraft) individuals are responsible for their own breakfast, lunch, and snacks.
Dinner is organised as a shared meal within food groups. For Bushcraft your group is your food group. Each group organises its dinner: a main course, and entrees and desserts if required. In your group decide who will do what. For example one person brings entrees, two the main course, one dessert. Find out if anyone is vegetarian, gluten-free, allergic, hates something; knows from experience that they need more to eat than others on a tramp. Groups are also responsible for feeding their instructors.
Drinks – breakfast, when you arrive at hut/campsite, evening, sometimes at lunch: bring what you enjoy; instant soup is very good for arrival at end of day.
- Cereals, muesli, instant porridge
- Instant mashed potato with instant soup, cheese etc
- Fruit loaf
- Rice and raisins
With these, powdered milk, fresh milk, yoghurt (if overnight), dried fruit (can soak dried fruit overnight for extra flavour)
Need something filling – to last you all morning, quick and easy so that you can get away
Scroggin, nuts, dried fruit, muesli bars, energy bars, chocolate, sweets – expect to stop once or twice each morning and afternoon.
- Crackers/cabin bread
- Bread (Sandwiches)
- Pita Bread/bagels etc
- Spreads such as cheese, hummus, salami, peanut butter, vegemite, canned fish etc - something tasty & filling – protein & some fat.
- Boiled eggs
- fruit/vegetables (eg cherry tomato; carrot or celery travel well cut up). Mandarins, apples – depending on length of trip, overall pack weight.
Usual constituents come from the non-exhaustive list below.
- Soup: 2-3 minute sachets
- Carbohydrate: Pasta, Rice, Potato, couscous, quinoa
- Protein: Meat, Beans, lentils, Fish, Eggs
- Vegetables: Dried or fresh (can be good to cut veges up in advance)
- Salt, herbs & spices
- Drinks: Tea, Coffee, Milo, Drinking chocolate
Overnight trips – you can make and freeze a casserole dish – it will slowly defrost as you tramp during the day, ready to heat up in the evening! Icecream containers are good to take a frozen meal, wrapped in a bit of newspaper and a bag.
If you are buying packets of things check quantities carefully. For example – pasta meals might say four servings – but that is half a cup each – not much when you’re tramping. Rule of thumb – if it says “serves two” when tramping it only “serves one”. Also check what ingredients you will need – most packet meals require more than just water to be added although some you can do without.
Cake and custard, instant pudding and dried fruit, sponge puddings, cheesecakes, anything chocolate…… Turkish delight etc
Bring something to make it in if it requires it (e.g. instant pudding)