I have now sorted out the food for my week on the Ridgeway. I had considered keeping it lightweight, putting a bit of trade to the local shops etc. and buying as I went along. But instead I have looked on this as an opportunity to revisit lighter weight foods and have a closer look at calorific values, hence my taking almost all of my meals with me.
Where I am staying at a hostel, I have booked an evening meal and breakfast, plus a lunch to take with me the following day. I shall also simply take a cheese and pickle sandwich with me from home for Day 1.
Food is heavy stuff. There is no getting away from it. Even with care, the weight builds up. The little lot shown here originally weighed 4790g. That sounded frighteningly excessive so the custards, salamis and just a couple of treats were removed which bought it down to 3690g. But the heavier items are mostly toward the beginning of the hike and the weight will quickly drop. The final meal to be consumed is simply some Pop-Tarts on the final morning. Though I suspect they will be slightly crumbled by then.
I haven’t used the Mountain House type meals in decades. I think it was Raven meals in the 1980s that put me off them at the time. But, seeing as I had a Cotswold discount card knocking around, I included some meals by Mountain House and Adventure Food. I bought an extra to try at home, and to be honest, having sampled today’s offerings I am glad I am not relying on these totally. But still, the calorific value to weight penalty is rather good.
Lunches are mostly a couple of tortillas per day with a pouch fish (tuna or mackerel) and a nut butter (peanut or almond). Despite very rarely partaking at home, I have included some puds in my meal plan, simply to carry on packing in both calories and ensure proper rehydration in the evenings.
|Friday||20th May||2 x Granola bar ‘on the go’||Home made cheese sandwich / cake slice||‘Look what we found‘ , + dried ‘bubble and squeak‘ mash / Toffee pudding with toffee sauce / mini choc bar||Camping|
|Saturday||21st May||Home made breakfast mix||Tortillas with (pouch) tuna, almond butter / Mango fruit bar||Home made ‘Mac ‘n’ cheese’ / Toffee pudding with toffee sauce / mini choc bar|| Camping-
Use Court Hill ‘campers kitchen’ in evening
|Sunday||22nd May||Court Hill- booked meal||Court Hill- supplied lunch||YHA provided meal||Hostel room|
|Monday||23rd May||YHA provided meal||YHA provided lunch||Chilli Con Carne / couscous / Lemon cake with custard / mini choc bar||Camping|
|Tuesday||24th May||Home made breakfast mix||Tortillas with (pouch) tuna, peanut butter / cake slice||Mince Beef Hotpot / pitted olives / Rice pudding with strawberries / mini choc bar||Camping|
|Wednesday||25th May||Home made breakfast mix||Tortillas with (pouch) mackerel / cake slice||Chicken Curry with rice / Lemon cake with custard / pitted olives / mini choc bar||Camping|
|Thursday||26th May||Pop tarts||Not required||Not required|
|Spare meal- Ramen noodles, curry oxo|
|Snacks- Salami type sausage / Nuts & dried fruit, Craisins, dried pineapple / Sesame bar for each day + trail bar|
I thought I would have a play around and knock up one dried meal by myself. Not at all difficult to make a simple mac ‘n’ cheese. The one I have produced is also a little healthier as it misses out all the preservatives and oddities at the end of any packet ingredient list. Rehydration is quick and not only is is pretty tasty but the 195g (incl ziplock) also delivers 760kcal.
Lio-licious supply a rather lovely Red Leicester in dehydrated form. The Nido full-fat milk powder is, simply, the best dried milk powder on the market, while Orzo pasta (looking like a large grain of rice) cooks quickly and is slightly less bulky in this form. A fistful of dried vegetables adds some flavour and vitamins while a pinch of chillies gives an underlying oomph. Simple.
|Dehydrated Red Leicester cheese||40g||244kcal|
|Full fat milk powder||20g||102kcal|
|Dried mixed vegetables||10g||6kcal|
|Dried crushed chillies||1g||0|
I like my food and am taking plenty of snacks. The M&S bars are great, I have written on the benefits of Sesame Snaps before and have included a small bar of Green and Blacks choc, in various flavours, for the evenings.
My brew kit comprises a mix of tea bags, herbal teas, drinking chocolate, milk powder ( Nido in a v. strong small zip lock with a tiny plastic measuring spoon), some condiments, a bit of sugar and an OXO cube for each day. I like a bouillon/stock cube in camp soon after setting up. Each cube has just under a gram of salt so goes some way to immediately putting that back into the system. By the way, after using the things for some forty years for the same purpose, I have only recently found out I was crumbling them all wrong! Hurrah, another piece of cross contamination done away with.
I may yet leave it out, but I am currently planning on including one reserve meal. This is simply a stick of ramen noodles and a curry flavour OXO cube.
Trail mix is a simple and tasty mixture of 300g of Brazil nuts, dried Blueberries and Pineapple with Pomegranate flavoured cranberries (Craisins).
If I remember and get round to it, I’ll try and post on how this all worked out. The one thing I am mindful of (beside the weight) is the risk of carrying food that isn’t eaten.