All about touring, whether you are a local or visiting from overseas.
So you're about to set off on an Australian tour. You will not see a shop for a week. You walk in to a Coles, Woolies, IGA or whatever and walk out with....
Breakfast: Porridge, sultanas, honey, carmans deluxe muesli, banana chips, milk powder
Snacks: Carmans muesli bars, sesame bars, mixed salted nuts (love these), dried fruit, natural confectionery lollies, chocolate covered coffee beans, dark chocolate
Lunch: tortilla/mountain bread, vegemite, peanut butter, cheese
Dinner: pasta, salami, dried mushrooms, peas and carrots, rice, condiments, tuna.
Drinks: coffee (i take a machine with pre-ground beans, a ritual where i start the day with a little writing), tea, sport drink powder kept in one bottle only - they get festy.
I always buy soup, but I never use them.
What are you buying?
That would be a unlikely scenario - it would be most unusual for me to carry a weeks supply of food while touring. And that much food is quite bulky, and takes a lot of carrying, so it pays to keep things simple. But I've often had to carry this amount of food bushwalking and trekking, and provisioned my wife for 7 days/6 nights on the Overland Track just last week. So these are the foods I'd be looking for in the supermarket.
Breakfasts: Uncle Toby's Gourmet Instant Oats Selections - two sachets per meal. If Gourmet selections are not available then add dried cranberries, and/or goji berries or ginger to plain instant oats.
Lunches: Vita Wheat Lunch Slices (Mountain bread is not a good choice - it disintegrates radiply), Laughing Cow cheese wedges, salami, tuna or salmon in foil pouches, scroggin or other dried fruits/nuts selection - there is a huge choice of these foods in the supermarkets now
Afternoon Teas: Soup (Continental Asian Laksa)
Snacks: WInner Bars - Cadel Mountain Mix or Carmens bars, mixed salted nuts (love them too).
Dinners: pasta, sometimes with a can of Campbells Spaghetti Bolognese Sauce (not often, they're heavy) or two-minute noodles, salmon or tuna sachets, beef jerky nuggets, tinned sardines, Ainslies risotto or couscous, Uncle ben's Instant Rice (also heavy) soups (Continental Asian Laksa), Deb with Onions, Surprise dried peas and corn. Masterfoods Bacon Chips.
Drinks: Water, Williamsons Earl Grey tea, and either powered or UHT milk, although a coffee drinker I can't be bothered with machines or filters. A pack of 10 Nescafe Cappuccino 125gm sachets a handy for the occasional palate tickler
Emergency rations: Deb Mashed Potato with Onions, Chefsway freeze-dried meals - not available from supermarkets but I always have some as backup rations.
There are probably other foods I've overlooked - I'll add them when I think of them.
Try this little combo. I enjoy the coffee so much I use it in the office over other brewing methods available... Freshly ground coffee then the funny upside down plunger that makes an espresso shot, not a full cup of muck.
EDIT: Forgot to add - it's quite small, light and dead easy to clean up. If you like coffee, it's all worth it
If you are really serious about making coffee whilst on the road, try the Handpresso, available for both grounds and pods...
or the Airspresso...
or, if you can't be bothered with pumping, the mypressi TWIST, which uses gas cartridges which also come in handy if you get a puncture.
Pretty common scenario here ... no shops on the Munda Biddi for example ... I actually wrote up a bit on what food I took on my last ride of the Munda Biddi.
The food went from this
On my Dreaming Tour I will be looking at up to 20 days of food on the bike on one section and for a lot of the sections it will be up seven + days.
I don't bother with honey but do take brown sugar, sultanas and almonds instead. No muesli for me either.
Nuts and Natural sour lorries and oh a fruit cake No museli bars or the likes any more. Now replaced with nuts only. More energy per gram and a lot less bulky. Also as most of my riding is in winter, soup goes in the mix as well.
Cheese, jam and crackers after a day or two out of town. I always go for the highest energy crackers I can find. Comes from my bushwalking days.
Hadn't thought of salami so will add that to the mix. Thanks for the idea. I also add rice and deb potato to the mix along with garlic cloves and maybe some salmon.
Tea bags and coffee satchels for me (keep it simple is my moto). I also carry some Nuuns or similar to give me a change from plain water. Oh and hot chocolate for after dinner + plus LIndt chocolate of course
Yep. Use mine a lot if heading out from home.
Seems like everyone is on the same page. Does not seem the prepackaged trekking satchel type foods are popular. I'm not a fan either but if someone swears by a certain brand I'm willing to give them a try.
Man those coffee makers are expensive. I see in the European food stores you can get little one shot coffee machines with a spout for 12$. Weigh about 100gm.
The airspress seems good but I have a hard enough time keeping the pump in one position when inflating tires, seems like you would knock your cup over in the pressurising process. I also like the boiling over sound of the machines. Have never been a fan of plungers. Too messy. Don't like filters for the same reason.
Would like to try to dehydrator too but one day.
The munda biddi does go through towns though. But Yes I am thinking more the Gibb River Road. But the theory is the same, basically three days is the same as 20, except you're just carrying more of the same for 3+.
I've steered away from tuna and more toward salami in recent tours/hikes. Higher quality meats have less fat, but fat isn't such a bad thing either. I like just taking a bite out of a salami roll at any time too. Dont like the tuna foil bags stinking up your rubbish bag, panniers.
Is deb mash actually any good for you?
Garlic cloves is a good idea. Those mee goreng packs (not that I use these) come with dried garlic and onion, but they're a little strange. Fresh garlic would be welcome.
Might try the winners bars over muesli bars, wonder if you can buy in bulk.
Thinking a bag of spinach would last a couple of days and pack up quite small.
I got in to custard rice in the UK on the last tour. But that's obviously access to shops.
Nobody takes small fruit packets?
I use an Aeropress, but have the mini Porlex grinder, which is a ceramic burr grinder and fits perfectly into the barrel of the Aeropress. Freshly ground beans make for a delicious cup.
The Areopress cleans up very easily, and being plastic, it's tough. I re-use the paper filter countless times before replacing it, and it's simple to use overall. I'm missing my Moka pot though, and might re-visit using one before I decide on what to take on my next tour. But the Aeropress is getting a workout at work these days.
I bought some from Coles. It's revolting - only suitable for cakes and similar recipes that use egg. You can't make palatable scrambled eggs or omelettes with it.
I just checked the container - the product is Pace Farms Whole Egg Powder - it's extremely difficult to find, and I just happened to stumble across when we shopped at a different Coles store for some reason, after I'd been looking out for it for a long time. According to Pace Farms it is suitable for scrambles and omelettes, but my attempts were spectacularly unsuccessful. Perhaps it was my recipe or cooking technique. If anyone knows how to cook with powdered eggs please share the method.
Last edited by RonK on Wed May 23, 2012 9:56 pm, edited 1 time in total.
As I mentioned - Chefsway is the best I've had. I quite like it and always start out with a couple of packs as reserve food. I'm partial to the spaghetti bolognese and the mushroom risotto. It's very light and compact to carry. Only available from camping stores though.
Is Deb good for you? You bet. Looking at the analysis there nothing in it that's not in most processed foods. It's fairly high in energy, and a bit salty perhaps, but it's not something I'd eat every meal anyway. When you are cold, hungry and tired Deb puts a big warm lump in your belly as quickly as you can boil water.
Yes, you can get Winner bars here.
Yes, I do take fruit packs - as mentioned there is a huge selection in the supermarket to choose from now.
Not sure if these are available in Oz, but in the snack department of your panniers you might want to add individually wrapped croissants with hazelnut filling, apple strudels and bake rolls. They can stand the heat and have a very long shelf life. You may even prepare your own bake rolls before setting off for the trip, for next to nothing. They can last for a very long time.
You can also bring along sun-dried tomatoes if you're going to cook any pasta/tortellini. They also last for a long time if their container is topped up with a little olive oil which may also be used for cooking the pasta dish. Add some Parmesan/ Parmigiano cheese which can last for a long time in your bag.
Some fresh fruits can also last several days, eg apples, oranges, while the weight-conscious can opt for dried fruits, such as apricots, dates, banana chips.
Hope these ideas work for you too!
For those who like their coffee, food and want to see what can be done with a dehydrator, take a look at
If you have access to the bushwalking magazine "Wild", they have an excellent series on food with some very interesting and tasty ideas.
ah so finally you say where you are going. Ok so where are you going to do all his shopping and how long do you plan to spend on the GRR?
Do not expect to be able to buy anything of any value along the GRR itself. And if i were you i would allow your journey to be three weeks. I took one month i think but that starts to get too long. I grew tired of the dust.
but what you buy to some extent will depend on how long your route will be. because of the weight of your food. So you need to make your food choices as compact as possible.
Well either you will be doing your shopping in kununurra or Derby or Fitzroy Crossing. All are good places to shop but don't be to fixated on being able to get certain items because you might just not out of luck.
So what i ate on my trip was this and then i will add what i would suggest in addition.
bf'ast - rolled oats either raw or made into porridge with dried apple or sultanas. a few almonds extra and sunshine powdered milk. (but muesli is obviously a good alternative.
If you are snacking for energy to get you through to hte next meal, i would make it something substantial. meusli bars and stuff like that don't really do it. On the other hand if you just want it for after a meal, then stick with your lollies and stuff.
Lunch - i would make the same thing for dinner and lunch at dinner time and it would keep till next lunch just fine. Lunch is the hardest meal becuase usually you don't want to cook. That's why i have given up making a lunch type meal.
Dinner was spaghetti one day and beans of some sort the next. I probably had too many varieties of beans which increased the weight of my food a bit but it was nice to have choices.
so i had lots of spaghetti, chickpeas, red lentils, borlotti beans, white beans. When i got to the shop in the middle of hte route i bought some flour but someone gave me some rice a little futher one. Rice goes well with all hte bean meals. And its nice for rice pudding.
I used to eat a lot of tuna with spaghetti but i've stopped doing that. I still like tuna but i've overdosed on it so i don't want to eat it every day anymore.
But for my pasta dishes i like to add things like dried peas, smoked mussles, tuna chunks in oil sirena brand, olive oil, a disposable pepper grinder becuase that makes your pasta so much better, packet parmesan cheese, sachets of tomato paste, dried oregano, fresh garlic. Later on someone gave me some dried onion but it was from india and not bought here. If you put lots of olive oil in your pasta at night, your lunch will be delicious the next day even cold and you will feel very satiated.
for the bean recipes i varied it a bit. Mexian style borlotti beans make great frijole using cumin, garlic, tomato paste, olive oil. You cook them, then mash them a bit. I ate them with damper most of the time. I didn't have rice most of the time.
The chickpeas are good too.
For damper i used wholemeal flour, powdered milk, salt. I experiemented with various other ingredients but these are the best.
YOu can buy canned sardines but i don't really like the cheap brands. I don't like tuna in spring water or any of the john west tunas. the fish itself when mixed iwth those flavourings is poor quality and as you will need the protein, you should buy the best you can get. Safcol is also a good brand.
Red salmon is another fish alternative.
I like the beans and lentils dishes becuase they are high in protein as well as carbs. Tehy also keep your bowels working well.
In the absence of vegetables, i had a bottle of multivitamins. Swisse were said to be good.
if you soak your beans or lentils in a pot from morning til cooking time in the evening, they will usually cook in about 10-15 minutes. I always cook on a wood fire when i can.
Chocolate will melt in your bag so its probably not a good thing to take. Salami and hard cheese is good for a while. Things like muesli bars are bulky and accumulate too much rubbish. YOu will have to carry your rubbish with you if you want to be a good citizen. There are drop off spots but not every day. Don't leave your toilet paper behind. Burying it will only mean it ends up flying about hte place too unless you have a shovel and can bury it properly. Burn your loo paper or carry it away with you. Or better still don't use it.
I had coffee and a few tea bags. cocoa would also be good if you like chocolate. Oh and i had cupasoups and i liked them. but only the chicken ones. French onion was ok too. If you had a mushroom one, you could try adding it to one of your bean dishes but be careful about adding extra salt.
Don't forget to take some salt with you. Take olive oil. I would even suggest some balsamic vinegar could be a good thing for some dishes, ie lentils. YOu can make a yummy salad with not over cooked red, brown or green lentils and a dressing of garlic, vinegar and oil. I keep my olive oil in a drink bottle.
I had almonds which i would ration carefully.
Cooking a meal at the end of each day was a highlight for me. I loved the routine of collecting the wood, making a fire and all that. Always extinguish properly with water. Only make small fires and for the sake of the habitat, avoid using big logs.
Last edited by Meditator on Thu May 24, 2012 1:49 am, edited 1 time in total.
I've just realised that nobody has mentioned the old favourites, CousCous and Lentils. Red lentils cook faster.
Depending on what the meal is, one way of adding some interesting tastes is to make up your spices and herbs into individual packets for a meal.
One of the best cheeses to travel with is a chunk of Parmesan, doesn't leak oil/fat, tolerates hot days and adds a nice taste to whatever you are making. It's good on the various types of crackers with sardines, tuna etc. Even the old RyVita crackers taste good when you are hungry.
The Asian food shops are good for a variety of foods, just make sure that you try them at home first as some can be too salty.
Consider trying out your menu choices at home. Fire up the stove, in the backyard not on the kitchen bench, we want authenticity here, and see how your choices work. It's a good way to make sure that you have everything you need and gives you a good idea of fuel usage and cooking times. Crouching over the stove in the pouring rain and gale force winds is not the right time to be experimenting! : )
Ooops, correction. RonK did mention CousCous!
YOu can probably buy powdered egg in Kununurra. I think i saw it there on my way back. It would be handy and if you had the right sort of kitchen gear you could make pancakes.
For making coffee you don't need a gadget. Just boil it. I found some delicious illy coffee in Fitzroy crossing at the camping ground so i enjoyed that for a few days afterwards. I just added 1 heaped spoon to hte pot and brought it to he boil. The israelis say to boil it twice. If you like it black try adding ginger to it. You shold be able to get fresh ginger in kununurra.
Also you can do some shopping in Wyndham but do most of your shopping in Kununurra where prices are cheaper and the selection is much better.
Of for making damper, take some baking powder or bicarb soda.
There won't be any pouring rain or galeforce winds to contend with. It can rain but you will likely be in bed and it won't rain much.
Best value lunch/snacktime food has to be those crappy fruitcakes you find in any Woolies, Coles or even community store.
Much better than a loaf of spongy white frozen bread, doesn't get stale, probably because it already is.
When you learn to say yumm to them you realise you are a true touring junky.
Great rundown Meditator. I've often thought about dried beans/lentils/chickpeas. So you just soak them in a jar during the day and cook them in the evening? If you're cooking rice as well, I assume you cook the rice in a separate pot eh?
Cooking for 10-15mins might be considered a while in ultralight camping circles, but if the result is good and healthy and you have to do it every day, I'd prefer it.
I love it how some of my best cooking ideas have come from guys i meet on the road. I got moved onto lentils and beans after meeting some guys from argentina on the road before i got katherine - just during a road side chat. I had had a bad experience with lentils on a trip twice in the past and so had given up but i do like them. Now i thought it time to try them again. I have to admit that i cook on a fire so it is probably hotter and faster and i haven't cooked them this way on a little camp stove but i think those guys probably did. (most foreigners use a camping stove as do most aussies).
I have found that those 1kg plastic honey pots iwth the yellow lid are very water tight. I sit the container inside my billy can which is upright in my pack usually and inside a plastic bag or three for various reasons.
Also one other tip when i cook these beans and things don't add the salt until near the end. I think this could make a difference to cooking times. If whatever you are cooking tastes bland, add more salt. But you know, be sensible.
I didn't actually cook rice and beans for several reasons. One i had only one pot. 2. i didn't have any rice for most of my trip. 3 i would make damper to eat with it. I love making damper now that i know how. Its as good as any bread when you are on the road the way i make it.
1/2 cup of wholemeal flour
I can't remember how much powdered milk
1 tsp i think of baking powder
pinch of salt
Mix with water to a nice dough. Not too dry and not gloupy.
To make my billy into an oven i bought an enamel tin plate from a camping shop for $1.65 from Fitzroy Crossing!! Before that i'd been making dumplings which i would cook either in water, milk or cupasoup.
actually dumplings in chicken cup a soup is a good meal. when you want something quite easy.
back to my recipe for damper.
then i sprinkle some flour on the plate and dump the ball of dough on it. Put the billy upside down over the dough. I push out the wood from the fire to so that i can sit hte plate directly on teh ground. Then i push the coals back up around the plate. It shouldn't be too too hot. You will have to experiement a bit with this. Then it takes about 10 minutes to cook.
see pictures here http://www.photoblog.com/ShangriLa/2011/07/19/8-july-food-who-knows-where-i-am-today.html
if you had powdered egg, you could make scones using this method. You could even possibly figure out how to bake a cake. you might be able to do this with a pot that has a fitted lid. if you are doing that i would make some suggestions.
1. flour the base and sides of the tin well before adding the floured dough ie coat the dough in flour first. this will help prevent it sticking too fast to the sides.
2. do not push the coals up too close to the sides of the pot, unless you want to burn it.
3. as you can see i have a good sized billy can. I think its about 1 litre.
I think it takes 10 minutes to cook spaghetti so i don't find cooking 10 mins or a bit more to make lentils a problem. But then i cook on a fire so it doesn't matter how long. A lot of people try to live on quick noodles. I think they have almost zero nutritional and energy value - ie as bad as white bread.
What i liked about my food on my trip was that i could eat big meals and feel full and still lose a ton of weight. (well not a ton) to avoid losing weight add more sugar, more oil to everything you eat. Eat more nuts. I tried to avoid sugar.
For people who don't know much about cooking, there are some packet sauces that can be ok but still not as good as your own versions. you can make your own cheese sauce from flour, milk powder and packet parmesan cheese. It goes well with spaghetti.
Also make nice tomato sauce for your spaghetti just by using garlic onion sauce and tomato packet sachet. Add a pinch of sugar.
One point i would make, often when i cook with garlic, I don't cook it much at all. I just chop it and when the pasta is cook. I strain off hte water, pour in a bit of oil and throw in the garlic and swish it around in the pot while its warm still. This doesn't burn the garlic but it releases the flavours.
I forgot to add the yellow split peas are good and much like red lentils. YOu can make indian dal with them easily.
With the chick peas i usually tried to make hummus. It was a bit of an experiment and not true hummus but i think if you buy chick peas it would be worth taking tahini to make proper hummus. Its good with damper. I tried to make it with peanut butter but it didn't cut it to be honest. Other times i just made iwth oil and i mashed the chick peas with my fork. It was a little bit of work but generally worth it. I really like chick peas.
One more important tip. If you are going for two to three weeks, its a good idea to send a parcel of food to Mt Barnett store which is about half way along. The people there were not very nice last year but i think they will hold it for you. Others have done it. It is much better to spend $10-$20 on postage to get a food parcel there than starve or expect to get what you need from Mt Barnett store.
I got lucky and another camping crowd offered me a whole lot of stuff because they were flying back from derby and knew they had too much extra food. Had i not had that luck, i wouldn't have starved but i would have been eating very very dull food. As it turned out, i had a little bit still in my bags when i arrived in Wyndham (coming from the other end).
So in order to not carry extra weight, you should plan each meal carefully. No need to package things up separately but just know how many meals in each bag of beans, each bag of rice, each packet of spaghetti.
I also prefer spaghetti to other types of pasta because i think it is more compact and i also think its better quality of pasta. My favourite is zafarelli (the blue packet) #3 which is not too thick. and its well priced.
For rice - aborio or short grain rice is hte best for rice pudding and risotto. I just remember i made one really yummy risotto meal using those packets of dried parmesan and surprise peas and garlic.
Oh i forgot, stick a packet of beef stock cubes in your sack. They are handy for some dishes. ie stock cube soup with dumplings.
http://www.photoblog.com/ShangriLa/2011/06/21/ more food pictures down the bottom nad recipe. NOte borlotti beans take longer to cook. I"ve written 40 minutes here which surprises me. Lentils, split peas and chickpeas are the quickest. Evidently the beans take longer.
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