Tag Archives: Backpacking Food

Notes from my Woodhall Spa weekend

Woodhall Spa Camping and Caravan Club site

First thing at Woodhall Spa – I had early morning coffee at this camp instead of tea

Menu for the weekend

Weight 750g

Lunch
Tinned Mackerel in Teriyaki sauce
Crackers
Cereal bar
Tea

Arrival at Woodhall Spa Camping and Caravan Club site
Milicano coffee stick and cakes (the warden gave me some milk as they had sold out of 1 pints – otherwise I would have bought some)

Dinner
Sesame flavoured Japanese noodles
I let the noodles cool down then I added a small packet of mixed pitted olives in herb oil and a salad dressing sachet that Mum had left over from her dinner on Friday
Chinese sesame dessert
Peach tea (cold)
Milicano coffee
Tea

Early morning
Tea and breakfast biscuits

Breakfast
Apple Pop Tarts
Dried fruit
Fresh coffee and more tea

Elevenses
Nescafe 2 in 1 coffee
Nutrigrain breakfast bar

Extras
2x decaf coffee sticks
Nutrigrain bar
Hot chocolate drink

I also had my Backpacking Brew Kit, packet of glucose tablet and some SiS Go Hydro tablets.

Water Rail Way

lunch in the pouring rain – getting a little shelter under the trees

Chinese sesame dessert

I got this from a local Asian supermarket – there is no other way to describe it, it is black custard. It is very sweet and tastes strongly of sesame. I like it as an alternative to instant custard.

Sesame dessert

Sesame dessert

Water

It was a warm humid weekend so I carried 2.5l of water and used nearly all of it. I carried a pack of SiS Go Hydro tablets, which I made up in my 500ml bottle, which I refilled as required from one of my other bottle – I had three bottles of the electrolyte drink. I made tea at lunch and drank nearly all the rest of the water – and it was probably just enough for the conditions.

Once I was at the camp site I was aware how much fluid I had lost during the day so I made sure I had plenty to drink – stoping to make a drink before I even put my tent up.

I walked until about 1pm on Sunday I carried 1.5l of water. I used one of my electrolyte drinks, made hot chocolate whilst I waited for Diana to arrive and drank most of the rest.

Water bottles

Read about my water choices here.

HTC Wildfire – MP3 player and ePub reader

This is the first full weekend away using this “retired” mobile phone as an MP3 player to replace my iPod Nano. It worked really well. I listened to an audio book all day Saturday and Sunday morning whilst I was walking and at the campsite I read for an estimated four to five hours. The 2.5Ah battery gave out about 20 minutes before Diana picked me up on Sunday, so it lasted the weekend. I had the original 1.2Ah battery with me so I swapped them and carried on reading. If I am away for any longer I will need to take my 20Ah Power Pack with me to charge the HTC. (Read my Backpacking Geek.)

I still used my iphone for my photos, photo editing, blogging, navigation etc, but not using it to read my books on meant that I only used one of my 2Ah emergency iphone batteries. I have used both of them on previous weekend trips.

Lunch – Spires and Steeples walk

This is an article I wrote last week, but I forgot to post it – here it is,  just a little late!


I have a small beaker with a lid in my lightweight cooking kit, for rehydrating food in and to use as a mug when I am using the titanium mug as a cook pot. Unfortunately on my last overnight trip I noticed that a small crack has started to develop in the bottom of the beaker, so I guess it will not be long before it starts leaking. I’d like to find a replacement but it took a some searching to find this beaker, as I wanted one that fitted inside my titanium mug and had a convenient, comfortable drinking lip. I bought this one in Cornwall.

In the mean time I shall use a Light My Fire cup. There was an issue though, can I rehydrate a packet of noodles in it?

Noodles for lunch on my Spires and Steeples walk, last Monday, seemed like a good opportunity for a test.

Testing the Light My Fire mug

I had to crush the noodles quite small to get them to fit in the mug – this was easily done in the packet before opening them.

Crushed up, dry, Pork flavoured Japanese noodles (100g).

Adding the water and stirring the stock in had to be done carefully as the mug was brim full.

With the lid on, I left the noodles for about five minutes to soak up all the stock.

Success though, the mug is full but the noodles are completely rehydrated.

There are a couple of good reasons to use this mug:

  • it is more stable than the current beaker – less chance of knocking it over and spilling food and drink in my tent
  • the sipping lid will keep my drinks warmer, longer

However:

  • the lid, unlike the beaker, is not water tight – at the moment I put the sealed beaker into my sleeping bag using it as a pot cosy, I will no longer be able to do that
  • the volume is smaller than the beaker

Conclusion

I think this will make a good addition to my lightweight kit, because of the extra flexibility.


Wild Camping trip Black Combe – Lake District

Black Combe Wild Camping

This wild camping trip had been planned for months – the only issue was we chose the time over the Bank Holiday weekend when the weather was not splendid! However even with the wet, we had a great weekend.

Wild Camping Black Combe
The Lake District from Black Combe – click on the above image for a larger version

The route and site we chose for this camping trip was one I had checked out last January and it did not disappoint.

There was a suitable parking spot reasonably nearby – with a short walk from there to the start of the path, some care has to be taken as there is not footpath and the road is narrow. There is a car park at the actual start of the path, which is much safer for both the walker and the car driver, but unfortunately the local parish council prefers to see it empty overnight.

Wild Camping - Black Combe

The view on the way up.

Black Combe Wild Camping

The first look at the trig point on the summit of Black Combe.

Black Combe

We found an excellent area to camp, over from the trig point towards the edge of the summit.

Wild Camping Black Combe

From here we had great views across to the summits of the Lake District.

Wild Camping - Black Combe

Wild Camping

click on the above image for a larger version

However once we had taken some time to photograph the view and get a group shot at the trig point it started to spot with rain. This rain became heavier and the visibility dropped to a couple of hundred meters. We each retreated to our one man tents for the evening – conversation was then shouting at each other.

The visibility was no better at sunrise.

Food and Water

As I had to carry all my water up with me for this wild camping trip, I chose my menu so it needed no water in the preparation. All the water I had with me was used for drinks or hygiene. I had planned to take up 2l of water but at the last moment I added an extra 500ml bottle of water to which I added two SiS soluble electrolyte tablets. I am glad I did this as I used this drink on the way up. I made a much faster pace to the summit than the other two, with barely a stop and only one quick photo opportunity. They on the other hand took the much more sensible way up with plenty of rests and photo stops. When I got to the summit I was very hot and I needed to the extra water/electrolyte drink.

For my evening meal I made spicy sardine sandwiches with the Warburtons Brown Sandwich Thins which was a great success, I shall use this bread again. It comes pre-sliced which is convenient but even better it resists the inevitable crushing that food suffers in the backpack, better than most bread. However my crackers and breakfast biscuits did not survive so well when Richard turned my pack upside down.

Alpkit Kraku Stove

I needed the wind shield for the stove because of the wind

Even in the flapping, windy conditions it was quite safe to boil water for my drinks in the porch of my MSR Hubba tent.

POP tarts and breakfast biscuits make an easy, filling breakfast with fresh coffee and tea. It is something I can prepare whilst still in my sleeping enjoying the view! The only thing to improve on my menu was the bacon bap Richard cooked and brought over to me in the morning, complete with Heinz tomato ketchup.

Two litres of water was enough for this trip – I had planned to have six drinks. I was going to have a hot drink before going to sleep but I didn’t, when we came to leave the campsite I still had about a mugful of water left in my water bladder. This included using a little water to clean my spoon, pocket knife, plastic mug and teeth. I used KFC wipes and anti-bacterial hand cleaner for my hands and face.

Star Wars Day

After breakfast we packed away and left no trace of where we camped – inspecting the site carefully for wind blown litter or “lost” kit.

Heading back to the car on Star Wars Day – the visibility only improved once we were below 300m


Posts about this wild camping trip:

Breakfast

Forest walk

Cream Tea

Sunrise

Backpacking gear I packed for the weekend

Food for the weekend

Backpacking Food – “Star Wars” Camping Trip

Backpacking Food

I am off to the Lake District with friends tomorrow for an overnight wild camp. The following is the backpacking food I will be taking.

As we are planning to wild camp where this is no water available, it means that all the water I think I will need I will have to carry in. This menu is designed reduce my water needs to drinks only – no dehydrated food. I am planning to carry 2l of water up into the hills.

The plan is to day hike, on Saturday, down to one of the lakes. Then go back to the car, restock with water, pick up our main packs and head off to our camp site later in the afternoon.

Lunch Saturday

Backpacking Food

Extra to this I am going to buy a Sausage Pie from the village shop when we leave and add a banana. The plastic bag is for the rubbish and the “hint of lemon” is a hand wipe.

Saturday Dinner

Backpacking Food

The bread is Warburtons Brown Sandwich Thins, which are pre-sliced. I shall probably eat the granola bar with my first mug of tea at the campsite before the tent goes up.

Sunday Breakfast

Backpacking Food

Extra Food

Backpacking Food

Just in case I am a bit more hungry than I expect – I am planning to have the chocolate breakfast biscuits with my early morning tea, whilst I am still in my sleeping bag, admiring the view.

Drinks and extras

Backpacking Food

The small Nalgene bottle contains dry milk powder. The Chrysanthemen Honey Tea, which I get from a local Asian Supermarket, can be dissolved in either hot or cold water.

There are two items not shown:

I have a 60ml Nalgene bottle of fresh ground Costa Coffee and I my Brew Kit.

Why “Star Wars”?

Sunday is May the Fourth.

Walking today – Craigellachie Aviemore

With the weather forecast for the day being reasonably good, I decided not to waste any time driving but set off to Craigellachie National Nature Reserve – with a plan to go up onto the ridge and walk along the top.

The weather was great and relatively warm (for January in the Cairngorms), I did not need my gloves, hat or jumper nor did I need to zip my coat up until I got out into the wind on the exposed ridge and summits. One thing I did have on though was the new Helly Hansen Lifa Dry base layer Diana bought me – and it was excellent, it kept me warm, was comfortable to wear and did not absorb any sweat when I was warm so when I did need the insulation on the top, it worked.

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Have you ever wondered who puts the rock steps in the footpaths? Well I met two of them today.

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Rather than get my stove out to make a coffee, I took hot water in a thermal mug, for the first stop. I had a number Octagon Technology emails and texts to deal with – if there is one problem with the titanium mug I normally use is that on a longer break, like this one, the drink would get cold too quickly. But not when using a thermal mug. I had packed it for this trip having recently read a blog of a backpacker who used one to keep water hot for his late night hot chocolate. He boiled the water when he made his evening meal so it meant he could pack his stove and pots away for the night and still have a hot drink later. I bought my thermal mug a number of years ago but it has had little use but I am going to try it out on this trip and if it works out I may pack it for subsequent trips.

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Lunch

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Lunch was soup and crackers. I really like the “Squeeze and Stir” tomato soup but I have found it difficult to stir in and dissolve all the paste when I have been making it for lunch when walking and backpacking. I tend to use cup-a-soups which are really easy to make on the trail. But today I had a thermal mug. I put the paste in the mug and half filled it with boiling water. Then making sure the lid was on firmly I vigorously shook it. After about a minute I topped the mug up with more boiling water and I had perfect tomato soup – and once I was finished no messy mug to clean up, I just put the lid back on and packed it away.

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click on the above image for a larger version