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Thursday, 20 March 2014 06:00

Touring / travelling / camping season is coming!! Are you ready?

David PocockTouring / travelling / camping season is coming!!  Are you ready?  What do you take with you to eat, how do you cook it?  How much and what to pack, has always got to be weighed against concerns of how much space we have and the kinds of facilities we will be using.  If you’re going to be using motels, then packing food might be limited to snack foods for the occasional rest stop. If you are going to be camping, then decide how much and what you carry, based on where you will camp and if there are known facilities for buying food or other supplies.

This is my basic list, yours may vary, depending on how much room you have and if you are riding two up, or single.

       Tent, 2 person, this leaves room to bring your gear in out of the weather if you’re travelling single.

       Tarp, large enough to provide extra shelter for gear and, maybe even the bike.

       A good mummy bag sleeping bag, this can be substituted with blankets and such if you are in warmer climates, just remember that at altitudes above 900M (2900 ft) MSL, and in dry climates like high desert, nights are cooler even in the middle of summer.

      Foamy or air mattress, makes life a whole lot more comfortable.

       A small cooler, to keep some of the basics .. I use one of the small “lunch box” size coolers.

       Mess kit, these are inexpensive and the good ones are VERY rugged.

       At least one “Sharp” knife

       A good cast iron or stainless steel frying pan, useful for a huge variety of meals, heavy gives a more even heat and will survive more abuse.

       I have a Peak I single burner stove uses white gas (Coleman (R) stove fuel) this is a rugged little stove and it comes with it’s own storage container that is also a convenient pot for boiling about anything you want to boil. 

       a small toiletry kit.

       Bar soap, basic soap bars are available and can be used for everything from shampoo to dish washing ...there are good liquid soaps out there too but with a bar you do not have to worry about spillage, just a thought.

       First Aid kit, a DO NOT FORGET item, not necessarily for you but it is always good idea.

       Water, don’t leave camp without it.

You do NOT need to go to MEC or (in the US, REI) to get camping equipment that is compact, check out your local Army-Navy department store or the Surplus store there are good deals to be had also do not forget to look on-line, Kijiji is a great resource as is E-Bay, but there are a host of places limited by your imagination.

Some ideas for food:

       When making up chicken/tuna/egg salad for sandwiches, try using cream-cheese instead of mayonnaise or Miracle whip, cream-cheese is not as temperature sensitive. 

       Hard boiled eggs for eating at a rest break or for picnic lunches, leave them in their shell, they will travel better and again are not as temperature sensitive.

Here is a recipe for Bannock that I’ve found works for me and stores very well.

2 cup (500 ml) all purpose flour

1 tbsp (15 ml) baking powder

½ tsp (2 ml) salt

½ - 3/4 cup (125 -200 ml) WHOLE powdered milk

Store in 1 litre “ziplock” bags (squeeze the air out, or use vacuum bags) I have stored this for up to 2 years and had it come out well (as long as no moisture gets into the bag).

To make, add about 1 cup (250 ml) of water into the ziplock bag, seal and mix by squishing the bag back and forth till ALL of the mix is wetted, keep going till it forms a ball of dough.

Heat up fry pan and put in enough cooking oil to cover the bottom of the pan, tilt the pan so the sides of the pan get covered.  Pour in the dough from the bag and spread it out in the pan keep the heat even and avoid burning the dough.  It’s done when you can stick a fork in the middle and not have material stick to the fork when you pull it out.

Hints:

       Cook up some bacon in the fry pan first, you will not need cooking oil.

       Crumble the bacon into the dough mix.

       Alternately add dried fruit (raisins, currents, etc.) to the mix before you add the water, and remember to add a little extra water to hydrate the fruit a bit too. 

       Some cinnamon or nutmeg or “savoury” spices (Sage, marjoram etc.) make a different flavour, add sparingly.

       When cooked, Bannock does not need refrigeration to keep. 

       Bannock reheats well usually, and goes well with just about anything.

I wish you all a great summer of wonderful adventures and GREAT rides.

Last modified on Thursday, 29 May 2014 17:40
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