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Dry goods challenge

Bloffy13

Jon Muir
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G'day Bushcrafters all,
Just looking for some feedback on another crazy idea I am having and want to set a challenge.
I am thinking of an experiment by carrying the following:
Black tea, oats, sugar, pasta (the spirally stuff), flour (will take your advice on plain or self raising), powdered milk, and rice, dehydrated peas, potato, beans and onions, as well as roo jerky. And maybe some basics like salt and pepper.
I am making the assumption that water isn't an issue.
My questions for you cooking gurus are:
1. What could I do with those ingredients for an interesting and varied diet?
2. How much of each would I need to carry for a week's worth of food?
3. Is there anything else I would need to round this out?
4. Would you swap anything out? Eg coffee for tea.
As I will be carrying this, I need the weight to be kept to a minimum and I am looking for a non-plastic means of carrying it.
I only carry a small frypan (no handle), a GSI cup, a small grill, a Sea to Summit collapsible cup and my spork as well as a one litre stainless steel water bottle which I only intend to boil water in (it's not a cooking pot, not even tea as I don't want to taint it).
Oh, and as MDU well knows, I burn salads and DESTROY dampers so it needs to be simple.....
Not much of a challenge, lol, but your guidance would be awesome.
Cheers
Bloffy
 

MongooseDownUnder

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Mashed potato, bread/damper, you could make a simple fried rice and use the jerky in it, porridge. You could also make some nice pasta dishes if you carried a couple of tomatoes another alternative for meat is to buy something called strikers in the dairy section of the supermarket, they actually do not need to be refrigerated and can be a great source of protein and flavour. Always use self raising flour, you can make most things with it as well as bread. If you carried a small block of Kraft cheese you could even do a nice pasta with cheese sauce etc.


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Thrud

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Bloffy13

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Thanks guys. That's a great start. That would be a great idea MDU. Maybe not so far north next time. Most places have fire bans now though. I have seen the Paul Kirtley vid. He seems a good operator.
Cous cous is a good idea as a variation.
Cheers
Bloffy
 

Walker

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1. What could I do with those ingredients for an interesting and varied diet?
2. How much of each would I need to carry for a week's worth of food?
3. Is there anything else I would need to round this out?
4. Would you swap anything out? Eg coffee for tea.

Firstly, primarily I'm a Bushwalker so my response is based on lightweight but robust gear that can have multiple uses and a degree of redundancy. The longest unsupported bushwalking trip I've done is about 12 days - that's breakfasts, lunches, dinners, snacks, and reserve food on top of regular gear like sleeping bag, etc.

After decades of chopping and changing cooking gear, the result was to only take a squat billy, fork/spoon (utility knife for multiple purposes), enamel mug, 2-3 wine casks to carry water (they weigh nothing empty and mould to fit spaces in a rucksack when filled), small cake rack (toast, grilling fish, etc). That's it. Don't know why you need a frypan? Everything can be done in a billy.

Looks like you have a protein (meat) component in the roo jerky. Salami and a variety of dried beans, lentils, couscous, rice are also good flavour absorbers and changes in texture.

To change flavours in a healthy way, go for dried herbs and spices e.g. Typically salt, black/white pepper, thyme, rosemary, lemon grass, turmeric, cardamom, coriander, chilli, etc = huge choices and combinations. Carrying these was once simple = film canisters, maybe you can hunt a few of these little wonders down from people. Remember, when using herbs and spices: a little goes a long way.

Carrying self raising flour is more versatile and makes a better damper.

Lots of dried vegetables available, also consider drying your own or dehydrating full meals for reconstitution in the field.

Personally, I like a lot of choices so would carry tea, coffee, drinking chocolate, and rum/port/wine on shorter trips!

Ginger Nut biscuits last the longest and usually don't get pulverised in a rucksack.

Always consider back ups if you can't access water or will be overdue - always carry an extra dinner and lunch and ones that don't require water: good old black bread, salami and cheese!

In the Bushwalking fraternity, snack energy booster (and back up emergency food) is ALWAYS a large bag of scroggin - mixed unsalted nuts, assortment of lollies, dried fruit, etc. It's also a good thing to share socially with others because everyone has a different variation of it.

How much you'll need is dependent on your eating habits and type of trip - difficulty. But a rule of thumb is: for the first three days your food consumption will be roughly the same, after that add half as much again to each day - you will get very hungry as the trip goes on and energy is required. It seems to plateau out at about day 8 though as your body adjusts.

The varied diet, large intake of fluids, and strenuous activity should also keep your bowels active (very important), so don't forget to take a good supply of toilet paper!

Total average rucksack weight hovers around 36 to 40lb from a weekender to a 12 dayer - bearing in mind that a minimum safe party size is four experienced people, so some gear can be shared or distributed for efficiency e.g. Tent, cooking gear, food, etc.

Hope this assists.

Walker
 

Aussie123

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I like Risoni instead of spirals, its still pasta, but much more compact; and easier to eat with a spoon. Readily available to the supermarket.

I'd take a mix of tea and coffee - (variety is good and I regularly drink both during the course of a day)

Flour - SR is best if you want damper, even add a bit extra baking powder from home. For luxury, add milk powder and some sugar.
Consider making a sweet or savory damper - add some scroggin to the mix, or some onion / roo etc ... ?
 

Bloffy13

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Awesome, thanks guys.
I haven't tried Risoni but I will hunt some down.
Self raising flour it is and I had milk powder and sugar on my original list.
I am not a big billy fan but if I put my ingredients in it, it would be okay.
I carry a small fry pan as a plate and I pull it out of my pack every now and then. But it finds its way back in somehow.
I like your rule of thumb. Good way to go.
This is more of a mental experiment so water isn't a consideration.
Keep the hints coming.
Cheers
Bloffy
 

BushChef

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Hi Bloffy, here are some recipe ideas...

- Hot or cold breakfast oats - put some oats, brown sugar and milk powder in zip lock bags for an easy breakfast. Just add hot or cold water, allow it to sit for five to ten mins then it's ready to eat.
- Rice, dehydrated peas, potato, beans and onions, roo jerky - simply bung it all together in a pot with water, herbs and spices and cook for a tasty rice stew. You could do the same thing with pasta.
- Bolognese - for a type of roo bolognese you could rehydrate some finely chopped roo jerky in hot water for ten mins or so, then cook up with some onion and garlic powder and pasta sauce. Then add cooked pasta and stir.
- Simple 'pizza' pockets - Make up a simple damper recipe with self-raising flour, milk powder and water. As per the above recipe you could rehydrate some of your finely chopped jerky cooked in some tomato sauce, take balls of dough, make an indentation in each one and put some of the mixture in the middle, then close up the ball of dough. Cook directly on hot ashes.

How much of each would I need to carry for a week's worth of food?
This would depend entirely on which recipes you choose to make.

I only carry a small frypan
You might want to swap out pasta for smaller wheat grains/ pastas like risoni pasta, cous cous etc. things you can cook more easily in a pan with some water. Alternatively you can cook cous cous in a ziplock bag with boiling water, pour in the boiling water and seal the bag. If it's a cold day put the ziplock in a cosy of some kind (a sock or beanie does the job). Within ten minutes it will be ready to eat.

I need the weight to be kept to a minimum and I am looking for a non-plastic means of carrying it.
I think that unless you are carrying your food in glass jars, plastic is definitely the best option in keeping the overall weight to a minimum. I am in favour of strong zip lock bags for carrying almost all of my food, especially when walking long distances. Not sure what else to suggest there...

I would also recommend putting together a spice/ herb kit in some small ziplock bags so you always have lots of options for seasoning. My favourite staples are garlic powder, onion powder, smoked paprika, salt, ground black pepper, oregano, thyme and rosemary. Stock powder of some kind will also make a big difference in flavour to a dish and has the salt included already. Additionally, a small bottle of olive oil is always handy and will add a good amount of calories to your diet if you're doing some hard hiking and need the energy.

Hope that helps :)

BushChef
 
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Bloffy13

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BushChef, you are awesome.
That's fabulous advice. I might make these and work out how much I need.
I was talking with my wife and she reminded me about her waxed cloth that she takes her lunch to work in. Maybe something like that made up into storage bags might do the trick.
Looks like I am going to have to try a few more herbs and spices.
Thanks for that. Inspiring stuff. You have inspired me.
Cheers
Bloffy
 

Bloffy13

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My dear wife is visiting her mother for an extended weekend. I think I might buy some ingredients and put them to the test. Easier to test and adjust from my kitchen, and then try in the field afterwards.
Cheers
Bloffy
 

Bloffy13

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G'day all. Yesterday I started the challenge to see how I go.
The parameters I have set myself are:
As far as possible, I will use only the dry goods I posted earlier.
The variations to that are that I have substituted a 350g McKenzies SuperBlend Protein lentils, quinoa and beans for the beans and I switched the spirals for risoni. Also am using garlic and herb salt for more flavour.
I am limiting my cooking to my frypan and my GSI cup and am trialling a 425g tin can billy which fits perfectly on the base of my water bottle but so far haven't used it.
As I am cooking this inside and my good wife wouldn't appreciate me lighting a cookfire on the kitchen floor, I am using just the smallest burner on the stove.
Also, water is unlimited and I am using the kettle not a billy.
I have also used two eggs so far. Will have to work out how to carry them but there are any number of carriers out there. Hmmmm, wondering if it's possible to dehydrate egg easily... Mr Google?
I am also finding that I need a chopping board/plate and possibly a spatula. Not a biggy. I could make them in the bush but probably easier to get some small ones which weigh virtually nothing.
Thankfully Mrs Bloffy is at the mother in laws... neither would probably appreciate the mess.....
Cheers
Bloffy
 
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Thrud

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There is dehydated egg!

A few years ago Uneekwahn waged and won a titanic battle against customs when we imported a box. Very good and not like the powdered egg of yesteryear.

As for diy dehydrated egg...
 

Bloffy13

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Now to the diet so far.
Measurements are rule of thumb and my best guess. TBL = Tablespoon, tspn = teaspoon, rough measure on my spork. My imitation Jetboil has measures marked in the cup, as does my Sea to Summit collapsible cup. At home, I am using a 1/2 cup measure.
I am not including any water I drink, but usually about 1 litre a day, depending on workload.
SATURDAY: Breakfast: Rolled oats (1/2 cup rolled oats, heaped spoon of powdered milk - threw in a banana too, figured I would carry it day one) and coffee (1 tspn coffee, 1 tspn milk).
Lunch: Mock mock fish (1/3 cup Deb dehydrated potato, 1/2 onion (fresh - dehydrating 2 onions as I write), 1 egg, water to a thick but wet mix, dry fry), coffee (1tspn coffee, 1 tspn milk)
Dinner: McKenzie mix with roo jerky (~1/3 cup McKenzie mix, boiled ~15mins, 3 strips roo, a sml shake of dehydrated peas). Semolina (1 TBS semolina, 1 TBS milk. Cheated a bit and added 1 tspn plum jam).
Supper: Black Earl Grey tea and a Tim Tam (how did that get in my dilly bag?)
3 x rum and cola (Out bush it would be straight or mixed with water).
SUNDAY: Breakfast: Pancakes (1/2 cup SR flour, 1 egg, 2 pinches raw sugar, tiny drizzle of oil) this made 4 thick pancakes - I am SOOOO full at the moment. Coffee (1tspn coffee, 1tspn milk).
Lunch: Bannock (1 cup SR flour, 1 tsp baking powder, big pinch of salt, 1/4 cup milk powder, 1 TBSP butter, drizzle of oil). Tricky part with this was trying to balance it on the stove so the pan didn't get too hot. I didn't get started until about 2pm and nearly 3pm before I took it off. Around a fire, it would probably cook quicker. Add a single serve of honey. Yummy. Only going to eat half. The other is for tomorrow's lunch. Coffee (1 tspn coffee, 1 tspn milk)
Dinner: Risoni jerky (5 TBL risoni, 4 strips of roo jerky, dehyd peas, dehyd onions). Very filling.
Supper: Coffee (1tspn coffee, 1tspn milk) Tim Tam (I keep finding them, somehow)
2 x rum and cola.
MONDAY: Breakfast: Rolled oats (1/2 cup, pinch of sugar), coffee (1tsp coffee, 1tsp milk).
Morning tea: coffee (1tsp coffee, 1tsp milk),
Lunch: Bannock with single serve vegemite.
Afternoon tea: Sausage roll (curse you empty fuel tank and strategically placed bain marie).
Dinner: McKenzie Mix with peas and onion soup (~1/3 cup mix, handful of peas and lge pinch of onions, ~1/3 cup risoni, two small pinches of garlic and herb salt.), semolina (1tsp semolina, 1tsp milk, 2 sml pinches sugar.)
Supper: Earl Grey tea, another one of those Tim Tams.
1 x rum and cola. (I don't normally drink during the week but is has been one helluva busy day - also the reason behind the sausage roll).
TUESDAY: Breakfast: Rolled oats (with a small handful of scroggin. I thought about it and have regularly walked with it. It fits within the dry challenge in as much as it doesn't need refrigeration, has a long shelf life and can be used in a variety of ways.) Coffee (1tsp coffee, 1tsp milk).
Morning tea: Scroggin (a few small handfuls). Coffee (1tsp coffee, 1tsp milk).
Lunch: Fried rice (~1/3 cup rice, handful of dried peas, dried onion, reconstituted dehyd (1) egg, 2 pinches of garlic and herb salt - boiled, drained and fried, quickly prepared at breakfast, about 10 minutes, yummy), coffee (1tsp coffee, 1tsp milk).
Afternoon tea: Scroggin (a few small handfuls). Coffee (1tsp coffee, 1tsp milk).
Dinner: Chicken schnitzel (had to cook it up before it went off) with peas, onions and potato served separately (2TBS peas, large pinch of onion, 2TBS Deb potato, 2tsp milk to thicken the potato). Dessert: (left over custard).
Supper: coffee (1tsp coffee, 1tsp milk) (bugger, ran out of Tim Tams.)
WEDNESDAY: Breakfast: Rolled oats (1/2 cup oats, 1TBL milk), coffee (1tspn coffee, 1tspn milk).
Lunch: Flatbread with jerky (1 cup wholegrain SR flour (I ran out of white but TBH I think would take wholegrain), four big pieces of roo jerky, 2 liberal pinches of garlic and herb salt -1 in the making, one spinkled over at the end, small drizzle of oil), coffee (1tsp coffee, 1tsp milk)
Dinner: Not applicable.
THURSDAY: Rolled oats (1/2 cup oats, 1TBS milk), coffee (1tsp coffee, 1tsp milk).
Morning tea: Morning tea: Coffee (1tsp coffee, 1 tsp milk) still full from brekky.
Lunch: Rice wotnot (not sure what you'd call this - 1/2 cup rice and 4 strips roo jerky, boiling water to cover by 1cm. Boil for two minutes. Allow to sit covered approx 1 hour. Add large handful of peas, 1 TBS SR flour, two pinches garlic and herb salt, 1 TBS egg. Mix thoroughly, turn into fry pan and shape into cake shape, dry fry through, turning once or twice). Coffee (1tsp coffee, 1tsp milk).
Afternoon tea: coffee (surprise, surprise 1tsp coffee, 1 tsp milk), double handful scroggin.
Dinner: Jerky, scrambled eggs, peas and potato (remainder of the jerky (maybe 5-6 strips), 1TBS egg, 1TBS milk, remainder of the peas (maybe 1TBL), 2TBL potato).
3x rum and cola.
FRIDAY: Breakfast: Rolled oats (1/2 cup rolled oats, 1TBL milk), coffee (1tsp, 1tsp milk).
End of experiment.
 
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sami12

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I have seen eggs stored in bottles. so you dont need to worry about keeping them intact.
crack and pour into the bottle. looking forward to seeing what you come up with!
 

Bloffy13

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I will re-edit the above to continue adding to menu as I go. As MDU and Chris can attest, I am a crap cook and I am making this up as I go, so any and all suggestions appreciated. Mr Google is getting a workout at the moment.
Also, if anyone is a nutritionist or otherwise, feel free to chip in. As long as I am full, I am not fussy. If I can make it healthier, then all the better.
Cheers
Bloffy
 
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Bloffy13

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Had a look online. Apparently you just blend 6 eggs (I did five, that's what I had), dehyd them for 8-10 hours, reblend into powder. Stores for several months apparently. I'm keen to find out.
To rehydrate, add water and a drop or two of oil. How much water is the question.
Cheers
Bloffy
 
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