Cooking on long trips

Submitted: Monday, Feb 28, 2005 at 14:27
ThreadID: 20847 Views:4556 Replies:13 FollowUps:6
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Hi, my brother is planning a six week trip through the Kimberlies with a local 4WD club. Now he is going in a convoy of about 5 vehicles.The tour leader has done this sort of thing before and knows what he is doing but for my brother it is his first time. He is leaving in June and returning July some time. Mostly you do your own cooking. He is driving his own vehicle and is by himself. Has to do all his own driving so he won't feel inclined to cook a 3 course meal for himself.

Lawrence(his name) has purchased a 40 litre Engel and runs a treat. Now for the reason for this post. My wife and myself started talking about how we ourselves would organise food for such a trip and the more we thought about it the more it got us confused. How would you organise for such a trip?????????

I know there will be oppertunities to purchase food and water during the trip but what would you bring on such a trip and cook it up for a decent meal.
Personally I was thinking Generator, Microwave and all the frozen meals I could fit into the fridge/freezer. You would only need to kick over the gennie for 20 minutes while heating up your dinner(my idea).

So maybe someone has an idea as to what would make the trip more enjoyable for my brother as far as cooking is concerned. Eg dried milk instead of normal milk, packaged food which worked for you or maybe special ways to keep food longer.

I know this a lot to ask but maybe there are some simple ideas out there I could pass on to him.

Sparkie(IE not Y) ;-)

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Reply By: Member - Davoe (WA) - Monday, Feb 28, 2005 at 14:42

Monday, Feb 28, 2005 at 14:42
huge economy packet of chops 50 tins of mixed veg- fry chops and when almost done empty tin of mixed veg in to warm it up then eat straight out of the pan and for brekky and lunch 2 minute noodles.
Seriosly though depends on how much restocking will be possible. I genarally use a mixture of fresh meat (I wasnt actually joking with my first suggestion) canned meat, canned veg tomatoes, bread 2 minute noodles and pasta in a packet. for extended camps saladas or whatnot instead of bread
AnswerID: 100494

Reply By: fozzy - Monday, Feb 28, 2005 at 14:47

Monday, Feb 28, 2005 at 14:47
firstly would find out off trip leader a few things like what towns going through and roughly when so as to work out fuel needs,water needs and food.
research what towns you can buy food from and more importantly what you can buy. can also plan some pub meals
kryovac meat,long life milk in small packs-only being one person),tinned food-can add to weight as quite heavy,rices and pasta.
any normal meal you like at home can generally be cooked on trips etc just pick ones that are easy to prepare ie spag sauce frozen if uing engel as freezer or kryovac mince if using as fridge
could use 40l engel as freezer if u like and have esky with drinks etc and each day rotate frozen blocks from freezer to esky to keep drinks et cool or just use engel as fridge and have limited drink space(depends on your daily alcohol Needs)
if you are 3-4 days in between towns then quite easy but if longer than a week then the food planning is more involved
AnswerID: 100498

Reply By: Well 55 - Monday, Feb 28, 2005 at 14:47

Monday, Feb 28, 2005 at 14:47
With the fridge he can carry vacum packed meats (neg the bones), these can last up to 4-6 weeks, re-stock at the butcher in Kunnanura .

Also MRE's Meals Ready to Eat, these are light and don't take long to heat up, just add water. As with most pasta meals not a lot of cooking time.

A two burner gas stove, cast iron pan and a couple of dixies should cover most needs, as well as a billy. I'm sure at times use anothers BBQ plate and comunal fire.

Keep the tin stuff down as this adds to a lot of weight, just buy a few as you go along. There will be a host of ideas and I'm sure will be usefull.
AnswerID: 100499

Reply By: Member - Beatit (QLD) - Monday, Feb 28, 2005 at 14:56

Monday, Feb 28, 2005 at 14:56
G'day Sparkie,

One of the best advice I can give you is, take what you normally eat at home. A big mistake is to pack heaps of new exotic meals you don't end up eating or don't agree with you. On a 2 month trip to the Cape we over packed because food is purchased along the way ( nothing like a road house hamburger for a change, this happens more often than you think) and we caught a heap of fish (probably ate fish every second day). Thoroughly recommend taking a variety of sauces, spices and herbs.

Kind regards
AnswerID: 100501

Reply By: Grumpybum - Monday, Feb 28, 2005 at 16:11

Monday, Feb 28, 2005 at 16:11
Firstly the Kimberley region is not as remote and rugged as the tourist industry would bhave you believe. (I live there) - unless of course you are going straight cross country ..... but methinks not.! First find out the Itinery for the trip - that will tell you where fresh food will be available - some spots may be a bit limited - filling stations etc.

Water is your most important ingrediant for sustaining life- then knowledge such as where are you where are you going. Only then comes food.

Then it depends on your budget, at the bottom end you have a camp fire and a couple of pots and a BBQ plate. and at the top end three ring gas and a full suite of pots and plates and tools that could be used either on gas or a fire. Technology has a great ability to attract "Murphy" - your genny breaks down, the microwave or the fridge and you are heading up the creek sans paddle.

Chuck out the genny and microwave - get gas cooker(single, double or tripple ring) far more compact and you wont bleep -off the other participant with your noise.

Get plenty of fresh veggies that keep - potatoes, onions, pumpkins, swedes etc and fruit like oranges, apples. For meat get it Cryvac packed - will keep in the fridge for weeks Get basics like rice and pasta and SR flour, dried beans and other pulses pleanty of spices and sauces. Take Ryvita crackers and/ or make your own bread - jams and spreads and honey go well on damper. Learn to drink black tea/coffee

Find out about yams and other bush tucker available - ask you tour guide he/she SHOULD know and take a fishing line and hooks.

Finally If you don't have time to take suitable breaks and cooK a decent meal to be eaten in a relaxed manner then you do not have enough time to enjoy the journey and smell the roses.



There is a very good range of freeze dried complete meals available - take only minutes to prepare and used by serious climbers and hikers.
AnswerID: 100518

Follow Up By: Mike Harding - Monday, Feb 28, 2005 at 17:36

Monday, Feb 28, 2005 at 17:36
Agree with Grumpybum (wonderful name :)

Forget the gen and microwave. Pack fruit, veg, potatoes etc individually wrapped in newspaper and ensure (as best you can) they do not rub together.

I would take lots of tins - weight will not be a problem as he is travelling alone and, often, the water from the tins can be used in cooking thus saving drinking water. Tinned ham and tinned turkey are good as are the _best_ quality tinned stews (don't buy the cheap ones) - corned beef etc... well... you can if you want to... :)

Continental "Pasta & Sauce" dried packet meals are OK once in a while - throw in a small tin (or dried) peas.

Cheese & tinned fish or seafood is good for lunch.

Good evening meals can be made from rice/pasta, tinned tuna, some veg and a few herbs and spices - these can be one pot jobs even.

Tinned soups (Campbells) are good on their own (lots of salt though) or can be used as an easy sauce for main meals.

Cryovac wrapped meat keeps for ages in the fridge but (as someone else mentioned) _NO BONES_ they tend to puncture the wrapping.

Pre-mixed bread mixes are easy to use in a camp oven.

A few Mars Bars in case he needs an energy hit at some point - nuts contain lots of energy too.

Perhaps sort out some suitable recipes first and then select the foodstuffs?

Mike Harding
FollowupID: 358685

Follow Up By: GOB & denny vic member - Monday, Feb 28, 2005 at 17:53

Monday, Feb 28, 2005 at 17:53
you have to buy most of the feresh stuff up in the west as you can not take it across the border check out this site for what you can take where

FollowupID: 358687

Follow Up By: motherhen - Monday, Feb 28, 2005 at 23:05

Monday, Feb 28, 2005 at 23:05
Check on what veges you can bring in WA
FollowupID: 358750

Follow Up By: Member - Craig M (NSW) - Tuesday, Mar 01, 2005 at 10:10

Tuesday, Mar 01, 2005 at 10:10
Hi Grumpybum,
Just wondering where you can get the frezze dried meals from?

FollowupID: 358783

Reply By: RussellV - Monday, Feb 28, 2005 at 17:11

Monday, Feb 28, 2005 at 17:11

If your brother is by himself. Maybe he could hook up with someone else who's in the party and share meal preparation between them. That way he may only need to cook 1 night out of 3 or however many people would be in it! Just a simple thought - then you can combine cooking utensils, gas stoves etc so that you're not doubling up.

AnswerID: 100525

Reply By: muzzimbidgie - Monday, Feb 28, 2005 at 17:21

Monday, Feb 28, 2005 at 17:21
Forget about the gennie. He won't want to carry petrol around !

Plus, gennies have a habit of leaking fuel out of the tank if on bumpy tracks. Also, my gennie wont run my microwave, and I wouldn't want to be worrying about the glass plate that sits inside it.

Chocolate, like mars bars and stuff are good for a pick-me-up breakfast.

For the first week I would try and eat all the home made meals that I have cryovac packed. This can be anything, curries, pasta's, vegies, whatever you want.
AnswerID: 100531

Reply By: Member - Bernie. (Vic) - Monday, Feb 28, 2005 at 18:25

Monday, Feb 28, 2005 at 18:25
Hi Sparkie, we always do a rough menu for all our trips, and long trips are no different.
Use the fridge as a freezer or fridge / freezer, pre cook some meals at home,
ie ky see ming, stews, pasta sauce,
take meat frozen or cyrovaced in individual serves,
cereal is a good start in the morning, pack in 1 serve packs and use them as packing
long live milk in square plastic bottle packs easy,
wrap fruit & veg in paper and store in vented cardboard box.
plenty of ideas in "topic search" on the left of this screen.

good eating & safe travelling
AnswerID: 100543

Follow Up By: Member - Willie , Epping .Syd. - Monday, Feb 28, 2005 at 20:23

Monday, Feb 28, 2005 at 20:23
Take the low fat long life milk - it does not taste like it's been boiled .
Willie .
FollowupID: 358720

Reply By: Member - Frank - Monday, Feb 28, 2005 at 20:43

Monday, Feb 28, 2005 at 20:43
There seems to be a lack of carnivores out there

See a local butcher as I do in SA "economey meat" NE Road, by good meat after all you have to eat it

For me he vacum packs indevidual serves for each meal

small two burner stove one fryining pan one small saucepan (3 potatos max)
cook breakfast steak
while eating cook chops to have cold for lunch
and have what you want for tea

if desperate for vitimins have a bag of oranges

if batchelor hang around other symathetic campers at lest long enough to give them time to put on extra veg

remember the best cook in the world is you because you do it the way you like

AnswerID: 100565

Reply By: snailbate - Monday, Feb 28, 2005 at 21:32

Monday, Feb 28, 2005 at 21:32
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AnswerID: 100578

Reply By: Mainey (WA) - Monday, Feb 28, 2005 at 21:34

Monday, Feb 28, 2005 at 21:34
First of all as previously stated, forget the genny and microwave - you can't use genny's in any national park in WA, get a decent low pressure gas cooker, far more efficient and compact and you wont upset the other participants with your dam noise, or maybe they will 'ask' him to move to hell away from them, so they don't hear the silent genny that is as quiet as a mouse, yeah Ive heard an seen it all before.....:-(

You say he will be travelling ALONE, how bloody boaring that is going to be for him, IF he has to be alone then he needs a good CB to chat with the other partisipants to be part of the group and not seen as an outsider.
Ditto the criovac meat and the normal meals as he is used to at home, but the barra do taste better when eaten fresh, cleaned, wrapped in foil with some herbs and condiments and put into the burning embers for only 8-10 mins, should be decent meal an not a lot of washing up either.

AnswerID: 100579

Reply By: Grumblebum and Dragon (WA) - Tuesday, Mar 01, 2005 at 00:17

Tuesday, Mar 01, 2005 at 00:17
Just a reminder to all. Coming from the NT into WA across the Quarantine Check Point East of Kununurra. NO veggies, Fruit, Honey or Flowers will be allowed in.

Also any fruit cartons or containers will be confistcated. Any plant material, cuttings, pot plants or soil may also be confiscated or be required to be held for inspection and disinfestation.

The Ord valley produces about $75 million per annum from the horticulture industry and the growers don't want interstate pestilance in any form.

As for Sparkie - traveling alone.... Maaaaaate !! - time to get a navigator, cook, stubbie opener, live bait catcher, washerupperer, car cleaner, and provider of 'fringe benefits' also known in some circles as a SWMBO.

Good Luck

AnswerID: 100619

Reply By: Member - Sparkie (QLD) - Tuesday, Mar 01, 2005 at 08:26

Tuesday, Mar 01, 2005 at 08:26
Thanks for all the replies, I'll print it off and give it to him.

Sparkie(IE not Y) ;-)
AnswerID: 100635

Follow Up By: Bob of KAOS - Wednesday, Mar 02, 2005 at 07:05

Wednesday, Mar 02, 2005 at 07:05
I find those foil sachets of tuna with different sauces very good for lunches. They are light, easy to burn, and the contents are healthy.

Which raises the question of what is good food for travelling.

You don't want to end up gaining weight on a trip so avoid excess carbs like rice potato sugar and pasta if you aren't using as much energy as you might otherwise (you'll probably drink more alcohol so need to take account of this).

Packaging needs to be light, environmentally friendly and easy to take out as garbage.

You don't want to be spending ages on food preparation, then be left with pots etc that are difficult to clean.

Breakfast ideas: small cartons of Up and Go, small boxes of cereal (the box insert serves as a bowl so you don't have washing up), or a muesli bar.

Lunch: sachets of tuna, tin of salmon, plus or minus bread.

Dinner: BBQ meat, pre-prepared (by someone who knew what she was doing) curry etc which has been frozen in your Engel
FollowupID: 358894

Reply By: Grumpybum - Tuesday, Mar 01, 2005 at 12:44

Tuesday, Mar 01, 2005 at 12:44
Hi Craig M

Any good camping /outdoor shops such as Paddy Pallin or Mountain designs should stock a wide variety of freeze dried meals - but they are not very cheap but usually fairly palatable.


AnswerID: 100668

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