Saturday, 31 October 2009

Feed me, Feed me now!!!

A normal day's food

7.00 AM 1 bowl of fruitful
1.00PM 1 1/2 round of sandwiches with various filling; 1 apple
3.00PM A Banana
7-8 PM Evening Meal
10.30PM Maybe a couple of biscuits

I've always had a problem with converting this normal day's food into backpacking food; I can never find the right food to eat, especially when wild camping.

Breakfast and lunch seem to be the biggest problems, and in all the years of backpacking I've never been able to pin these down.

On the recent trip I was trying out a few new ideas; some worked, some didn't work so well.

For breakfast I usually just eat breakfast bars but always find these to be quite bland and not very filling. This time out I took along 'oats so simple'. The oats worked out O.K, were filling to a degree but after two days, became boring and I wasn't enjoying them.

I can't be bothered with the faffing about mixing in powder milk; I really only want something that is quick and simple to do first thing in the morning.

I've tried other foods like pop tarts but find these taste like sweeten cardboard.

Next up lunch; this time I took tortilla wraps and these worked well, they were small and light to pack and stayed fresh for the whole trip. The only problem was a filling for them; I took a big lumb of Brie with me and this was O.K. but did start to turn after 3 days. I also had Chorizo sausage but again found this to start turning after a few days.

As usual I had dehydrated food for this trip; some old favourites and some new ideas to try.

Fruits are always a good item to dehydrate as they can be eaten dehydrated or re-hydrated; I usually do 4 apples covered with cinnamon and these can last 3-4 days.

Strawberry are another favourite and work in the same way as the apples; either eaten during the day or re-hydrated as a pudding in the evening.

Talking of pudding I found a great cake to make and take on trips; It called an Angel food cake and is made from whipped eggs whites, with essence of vanilla.

When made it is a very light cake and once dehydrated can be broken into small nuggets which can be eaten as is or as I did hydrated with a little hot water and mixed with either the strawberries or apples to make a tasty pudding.

For evening meals were the usual mixture of home-made meals and shop bought meals dehydrated; two of these were the 'look what we found' meals. These rehydrated o.k and tasted fine but were small in portion size.

I also took some Eccles cake but these seem to be quite heavy for the size to weight ratio; also they didn't last to long as they were quite more-ish.

I think I need to spend the Winter working on a good set of backpacking menus.

Thursday, 1 October 2009

Enjoy England

I started this before the trip to Wales and have had it sitting in my drafts folder; I though I still had a day to post it. Don't you just hate those pesky 30-day months :-)

Even if its not eligible for the feature; it's written so may as well share.

I was contact by Jam to write a blog post on 'three things you do to enjoy England' this is part of the Guardian's Enjoy England feature.

I thought long and hard about what three things I could write about; other than the obvious of backpacking.

The three I came up with are all sightly different (I think) but all take in the Great Outdoors.

Bird Watching

I have been a keen bird watcher for many years (not to twitcher standards, mind you). The RSPB have some great reserves in the country and they are a joy to visit and explore.

One of my favourite sites is Minsmere in Suffolk. This site has a good range of habitat from reed beds to heathland to coastal waters, and changes with the seasons. Now is a great time to visit as the migrating birds will be starting to arrive and past through and there is always the chance of a rarity.

England's History

England has a rich and varied history and along with this are the buildings.

Buildings from neolithic burials to fortifications from the Napoleonic Wars.

Taking a trip to any of these interesting places is educational and helps to give a sense of where we came from.

One of my favourite of these; is the Avebury Stone circle; a much better place to visit than Stonehenge.


Geocaching is a modern day game of hide & seek only now it uses hi-tech gadgets; namely the Global positioning satellites around the Earth. Using a GPS receiver players seek for caches hidden around the Country using lat/lon co-ordinates from the geocaching website within the caches are normally some kind of small trinket and a logbook. Usually you swap out one trinket for another.

This Game is a great way to get the kids out in the the countryside and they love the idea of hunting around the countryside looking for caches.