Keeping Meals Simple

A theme you will find in this section is KISS: ""Keep It Simple Stupid"". If you skip the complex cooking and especially the frying you will get fed sooner, need less fuel, have more time to relax and less washing up to do. A dedicated follower of this th

Actual menus is a topic better suited to its own FAQ, but a few suggestions are in order. 

A theme you will find in this section is KISS: ""Keep It Simple Stupid"". If you skip the complex cooking and especially the frying you will get fed sooner, need less fuel, have more time to relax and less washing up to do. A dedicated follower of this theme can cook the entire dinner in one pot with only a single rinse at the end: it makes life so simple! Some fanatics rinse the pot with clean water and then drink the water - no waste. Other fanatics have been known to use snow as a scourer (it works well).

For breakfast the old standards of porridge or muesli are pretty simple - the latter doesn't even need any washing up. A fried breakfast is much more complex in many ways, and the washing up required can be serious. And it takes a long time to both prepare and clean up. Museli cold even in the snow, but you could always warm the milk up a little if that seems too harsh.

Morning tea gets a mixed reception. Some walkers are happy to have a couple of sweets and keep going; others like a cup of tea or coffee. If you have been walking hard for two or three hours, why not enjoy a break? We can have a decent (large) morning tea in under half an hour with a gas stove. It's usually a lovely time in the day to contemplate the view. 

For lunch most walkers take either a hard bread like rye or pumpernickel (it travels reasonably well) or biscuits, with all the usual spreads. Jam and honey do contain water, but the dehi-food campaign does have its limits. A bit of scroggin and some cheese is pretty good too (cheese has a lot of energy). If you are in Europe the possibilities in the bread department become huge and irresistable; ditto for the cheese department.

Afternoon tea gets widely ignored, but this is not smart. If you have been going hard all day you will have burnt up most of the energy you got at lunchtime well before you stop to put the tent up (well, unless you are being a bit more relaxed about life). A quick snack of scroggin, muesli bars and chocolate can help you cover the last few km to the campsite safely and happily. If things are running a bit late because of some navigation problems (oh, never!), the extra energy may be needed to keep you thinking straight. This can be a more serious problem than you might think sometimes, especially if the navigation or terrain is tricky. It often helps to grab a sugar snack before you put the tent up when ski-touring for a long day: you may be at some risk there.

Dinner is where many get creative, and the variability is high. Two Minute Noodles get scorned by some, but they contain a bit of salt and carbohydrate ('electrolytes' for the more fanatic), and are a very good quick recovery item after a hard day. You need the liquid too. In the snow, they make a marvellous restorative after a hard cold day. If you can't get two Minute Noodles, try an ordinary fast-cook soup - there are lots on the market. Boil water, mix with soup, cover and let stand. Then the norm seems to be the usual carbohydrate and meat mix for a main course. The dehydrated meals excel here, but you can throw some cooked meat in instead. Some people do their own food drying, and very creative meals follow. If you can't get any dehi, don't risk it: try a packet of soup, some cheese and salami all mixed in instead. (We did this for nearly eight weeks in the Pyrenees, no problem.) Some people like dessert, but the possibilities are limited to things like dried fruit, Instant Pudding and custard. Others settle for a cup of cocoa and a little rich dark fruit cake lying down in their sleeping bag: very relaxing. The evening after shopping in France we would have a bit of fruit and some fresh yoghurt: sinful indulgence.