Amy Molloy knows a thing or two about camping and camp grub. Here she lets us in on some tips she’s learnt along the way.
Gluten free, sugar free, vegetarian, vegan or just plain picky. Outdoorsy types are meant to be easy going but that doesn’t always translate to our eating requirements.
In fact, my hiking crew are fast becoming more dietarily difficult than a group of Bondi hipsters and I’m no better. So, if you can’t serve up sausages in a can, what are the quick and easy alternatives that are still light to carry? No-one wants to go to their sleeping bag hungry, so trying adding these tasty tricks to your menu…
Breakfast like a Pauper
Yes, we know you’re meant to breakfast like a king but you’re in the middle of nowhere and, if you hiked to your campsite, then eggs and bacon probably aren’t on the menu. Step forward lowly porridge, a pocket rocket for slow release energy. Buy the individual 2-minute sachets made by that famous Uncle of cereals. If you want to make it more ‘fancy’ carry a tube of Condensed Milk. Yes, it’s a sugar-fest but your taste buds will thank you.
It is most definitely not advisable to go hunting for mysterious mushrooms. However, knowing one or two edible plants can turn a tin of tuna into a Niçoise salad (kind of). My husband, an environmental scientist, has taught me to spot Tetragonia Tetragonioides, which is quite the mouthful. Otherwise known as Warragal Greens, you can often find it on the coast. Just don’t eat it raw, as the leaves contain oxalic acid so you need to blanch the leaves in hot water first.
Stock up Your Spice Rack
Cinnamon, Moroccan Spice, Curry Powder and powdered coconut milk. Trust me, on a cold night you’ll become the most popular person in the campsite when you cook up a fresh fish curry with the catch of the day. There are lots of hacks on Pinterest for how to store spices for camping but Tic Tacs boxes are a great option, as are small ziplock bags. Side note: don’t try to go through airport customs with a small plastic bag of white Stevia powder. They don’t like that.
Foods That Flatten
The backpack pocket where you keep your water bladder is the perfect place to store flat foods such as wraps (far less bulky than bread), the aforementioned porridge packets and also instant couscous or rice sachets. Designed to be put in a microwave they still work if you add hot water. Instead of carrying a roll of aluminium foil, tear off squares in advance and keep them in this pocket too. Then you just need to find space for a potato.
Make Room for Dessert
Even when roughing it, this three ingredient treat is well worth carrying. Take a banana, slit the skin down the middle to form a ‘boat’, add chunks of chocolate and marshmallows in the gap and put it in the embers of the campfire to melt for a few minutes. The healthier option is just to add cinnamon. The more indulgent option is to add a dash of rum. You’re welcome.
Need Inspiration? 5 Outdoor Foodies to Follow:
Check out the mouth-watering YouTube channel of Guy Turland, surfer, free diver and the man behind the Aussie eatery, Bondi Harvest, who loves nothing more than getting ‘grubby’ with his mates in the great outdoors.
This wild food blog breaks recipes into five categories – backpacking, bike touring, car camping, day trips and picnics. Written by three female friends who love cooking dirty, there’s something for every outdoor occasion.
From chicken casserole to a full thanksgiving dinner, work your way through ‘9 easy and delicious foil recipes that you can cook on a camp fire.’ It’s not just for the guys either.
For minimalistic campers this is the ultimate culinary guide, with a 5-day meal plan for longer adventures and an accompanying app so you can browse recipes on the go. It also has a beginners guide to dehydrating.
Blueberry muffins baked in orange skins? Okay, this recipe is more suited to a campfire in your back garden (unless you make the batter in advance and keep it in a car fridge) but you still have to try it and kids will especially love it.