Something that has peaked my interest of late. Cooking in the outdoors. Whether a small snack or a planned full fledged meal. A search through Youtube will get a very large mix of what, when and what to cook in the outdoors. My food fare in the outdoors is kept to a minimum as far as what I eat. I don’t mean I starve myself. I just have a very limited selection of the meals I typically cook.
I am not a minimalist as far as outdoor activity goes. I simply pack to my comfort. I am no longer a young gun, traipsing around the outdoors carrying a large pack full to the brim with all my needs and wants. Back in those days size and weight of my packs was something I was not concerned with. However age, medical reasons etc. Soon put a damper on those shenanigans. Now it’s the number one concern. I have to limit myself in weight and size of what I choose to take with me.
I have finally found the pack of choice for this dilemma I have have been dealing with. It only took 8 packs and hundreds of dollars to get to this point. A journey which was frustrating, expensive and finally rewarding. I now own a outdoor pack for overnights and multiple nights. It limited me to what I take with me. Without having to go without. If that makes any sense. I now carry less, plan better and doesn’t spoil the experience by finding I have to do without. But once again I digress.
Back to what and how I plan MEALS for outdoor excursions.
My diet is a little different to the average outdoor enthusiast. When planning the trips, Its typically just lonesome me that I have to feed. Very seldom am I in a group or pair camping. Typically this type of camping is family and friends just going car camping. Not necessarily for the reasons I would normally go. The food choices for groups are, I find much more general, home style cooking, with the touch of outdoors or backyard Barbeque and what is used to prepare and cook. Mostly it’s convenient, fancy outdoor convenience style cookware, with fire ovens for baking, fold up camp kitchens, with built in dishwashing area, shelves and storage cupboards and all sorts of clever items to make it easier and more convenient. Don’t get me wrong. This is how I believe it should be when car camping with friends and family. The focus is more on group fun in the outdoors, rather than my trudging along on a quiet trail in the wilderness.. My personal preference.
I personally, when out solo, I will cook as simple as possible. Mainly veggie based and quick to prepare. I find the convenience of boil in the bag rice or pasta (Veggie Based) the main base ingredient. To that I can add a small tin of canned peas and carrots, or pre prepped grilled together veggies, like chopped onion, peppers, zucchini and mushrooms all mixed together with a wide variety of different spices. The spice mix varies on my whim. It can be very plain, garlic, Curry and herbs to very spicy Cajun. I even venture into using a brown gravy packet mix. The options can be endless. The simplicity blends in with lessening my load out. To cook all I need is a pot or use my military canteen cup. Which is part of my drinking, beverage setup. To some this may sound boring and plain. Believe me it’s filling and the right mix of spices may surprise you. I always carry fresh fruit and a mixed bag of nuts. I use that for my protein intake. Sometimes I get adventurous and bring along a small chicken breast. Covered in my spice of choice.
You will have noticed that by carrying the spice mixes I can limit what I take in food. Packing small bags of spice made for multiple meals. The same common base (Pasta or rice) now becomes a variety of meals, should I spend longer than one overnight and need multiple meals.
Ah. You are lazy you say. Well I think I am wiser, Older and need to carry less. It works for me and this type of meal prep can save you lot of space in your backpack. Any way under Dr’s orders for my diet since my heart surgery. It’s taken a while, but I have now figured it out. For my situation anyway. And I am better for it.
There you have it. Simple, multitasking meals can go along way. Take sometime to figure out a way to multitask your meals the way you like em.
Remember. Knowledge (And a little thought and preparation) is a survival skill.
Be safe and eat well.
The Novice Survivalist.