4WD Touring without a Fridge- An example

Tuesday, Jun 22, 2021 at 08:00

Olsen's Tours and Training

So you are keen to do a 4wd tag-along tour but you don't have a fridge. Do you need one? The simple answer is no, but it does restrict your options and require you to be a bit creative.

Let's imagine you are in Sydney and you wish to do our 8 day Simpson Desert trip that leaves from Alice Springs. Let's assume you have a really good icebox.

The Icebox traveller-
Get yourself a really good icebox
1 week before the trip, freeze water in plastic milk bottles 80% full- water expands by 9% on freezing.
If you intend to camp on the way to Alice Springs you will of course need a way to cook. Several days before leaving, cook and freeze some comfort food- I suggest one evening meal for each day of travel for which you intend to camp. if you will stay in a hotel then you may purchase an evening meal. Meals that are good to freeze include
- Spaghetti Bolognese
- green chicken curry
- casserole
There are plenty more ideas here https://www.taste.com.au/recipes/collections/freezer-meals
When you freeze them, double bag them, ie. place them in 2 x ziplock bags, with the zips at opposite ends.

Grab a couple of freeze dried meals for those emergency times. Got to your local hiking/adventure/camping store or order online- https://australianhiker.com.au/gear/top-10-freeze-dried-meals-for-the-outdoors/

For lunch on the road. Premium biscuits rather than bread. Toppings can include tomato and cheese with preserved capsicum or tuna salad. Lots of ideas can be found online by searching tuna on crackers. A piece of fruit or dried fruit.
If you pack fruit and vegies for this part of the trip, they will keep better if individually wrapped.

Breakfast- I prefer options that do not require milk. Uncle Toby's instant oats come in a range of flavours and they are creamy enough that just adding hot water makes them delicious. Be sure to take a billy or kettle. Fruit is also great for breakfast.
Don't forget muesli bars for breakfast or an anytime meal. Cliff bars are very high in energy. I like the crunchy peanut butter.

So now you are in Alice Springs- Time to refreeze those milk bottles so you will need to stay in accom that has a freezer. I recommend you arrive a few days prior to the trip departure date. You want to have time to buy some groceries and to cook some more meals to freeze. Frozen meals on top of frozen milk bottles will ensure your icebox works well. Another trick is to bring a bunch of wine cask bladders, fill them with air and place them in the icebox to take up any empty space. This makes the icebox work better. Probably best not to drink all the wine at one sitting :-)

In Alice Springs, restock
premium biscuits- you can use bread for the first few days
beef jerky for in car snacks
dried fruit
fresh fruit like apples
tomatoes
bottled and canned preserved tomatoes and capsicums and anything else you would like to put on your crackers for lunch
long-life milk preferably in plastic not cardboard
canned vegetables
frozen vegetables
canned meats and canned fish.
muesli bars
eggs that have not been refrigerated


Think about the itinerary- for the trip you are undertaking. For the example given,

Day 1 and Day 2 are bush camping but we visit a store at Maryvale/Tijikala. While there, look around for foods that inspire you. It is amazing what you can find. Just don't clean the store out of stock as it is a community store.

Day 3 is at Mt Dare- a great pub with great evening meals

Day 4 to Day 7- bush camping

Day 8 Birdsville and a celebratory meal

For more inspirational ideas, contact me or look online

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