No cook meals

Food topics, including recipes.

No cook meals

Postby Orion » Thu 30 Aug, 2012 10:52 am

One way to save a little weight in the pack is to leave the stove, fuel, pots and pans, and eating utensils at home.

When I first started walking I didn't even own a stove. I imagined that it was a pain in neck to cook and then clean up afterwards. It seemed so simple to just reach into the sack and eat. Why bother with a stove? Now, the owner of numerous stoves, I can't even remember exactly what it was that I ate back then. I did long trips without a stove. How did I survive without hot meals? And what about morning coffee??

For a short trip it's easy enough to pack in (heavy) prepared food, but for a longer trip that doesn't work.

So...

Does anyone have suggestions for cold food (particularly the evening meal) a week or so into a walk?
Orion
Athrotaxis selaginoides
Athrotaxis selaginoides
 
Posts: 1838
Joined: Mon 02 Feb, 2009 12:33 pm
Region: Other Country

Re: No cook meals

Postby LAMEA-Gals » Fri 31 Aug, 2012 3:07 pm

I went on a 4 day bushwalk last year where a fireban was on the cards. I did the no-cook option but must admit it was pretty uninspirational. I carried extra fresh stuff which more than outweighed the weight savings of not having a stove and fuel etc. My first dinner resembled my lunch (ie. mountain bread, hard boiled eggs, cheese, grated carrot etc). I also took one of those BackCountry meals - pasta vegetariano- you can add water and eat it like a cold pasta salad. Also made up cous-cous with cold water and ate it as a cold salad. All just OK but I missed a hot meal and the enjoyment of cooking at the end of the day.

Not having a cuppa in the morning was the toughest. I was a grim, cranky little bushwalker each morning.

Would I do it again - not if I can help it!
User avatar
LAMEA-Gals
Atherosperma moschatum
Atherosperma moschatum
 
Posts: 86
Joined: Wed 06 Jan, 2010 2:59 pm
Region: New South Wales
Gender: Female

Re: No cook meals

Postby MartyGwynne » Sat 01 Sep, 2012 12:24 am

I think someone from the US walked from Sydney to Mallacoota and they did not cook food just ate cold.
I think the name was Amyl, they managed to stop along the way and have hot meals at cafe's etc when available but otherwise just packed sanger's etc and lived off cheese salami bickies etc.
I would find it a bit hard going without a hot cuppa sometimes but if the weather was warm and only for a few days I most likely would cope.
No I would not cope I just thought of cold muesli for breaky every day - yuck!
User avatar
MartyGwynne
Athrotaxis cupressoides
Athrotaxis cupressoides
 
Posts: 355
Joined: Sun 30 Jan, 2011 4:31 am
Region: Victoria
Gender: Male

Re: No cook meals

Postby Orion » Wed 03 Oct, 2012 1:38 am

So I ate this way recently for the first time in over 20 years. I was out for 7 nights and by the second night I went from missing the hot food and drink to being happier not bothering with setting up the stove and cooking and cleaning. I was surprised by this since I expected it to be unpleasant. It helped that I was walking long days (11-13 hours) so I was tired and pretty much anything made me happy so long as I was lying down. Unlike 20+ years ago I took almost all dry food, not really enough kJ/day to be sustainable, and also kind of high in fat content. It was not a very good menu, but hunger has a way of making things taste good. By the fourth night I was enjoying plain mayonnaise packets as a "treat".

So the cold food thing worked just fine, in this mode of walking, at least for a week. I'll definately do it again.
Orion
Athrotaxis selaginoides
Athrotaxis selaginoides
 
Posts: 1838
Joined: Mon 02 Feb, 2009 12:33 pm
Region: Other Country

Re: No cook meals

Postby Maelgwn » Wed 03 Oct, 2012 7:15 am

Flavoured couscous with dried vegs and tuna/salmon makes a not bad cold salad. Just make the couscous with cold water and wait say 30 mind for it to be ready.
Maelgwn
Athrotaxis cupressoides
Athrotaxis cupressoides
 
Posts: 366
Joined: Sat 03 Oct, 2009 3:29 pm
Region: South Australia
Gender: Male

Re: No cook meals

Postby wander » Wed 03 Oct, 2012 9:35 am

I have met a couple of folks who did the no stove thing. Both had sausage, cheese and biscuits as a focus for dinner. Both were on extended (10 plus days) Tas wanders. Both were happy enough with the plan but had worked out that after a certain point they were possibly not saving weight being unable to deal with rice, lentils and other lighter when dryer high carb foods on the longer wanders. Both were solo walkers and made the comment if they walked with a partner to share the stove load they would go that way.

My conclusion from their comments is it made sense on shorter wander rather than longer.

One them was big on jerky, lots of jerky.
wander
Phyllocladus aspleniifolius
Phyllocladus aspleniifolius
 
Posts: 664
Joined: Mon 26 Oct, 2009 11:19 am
Region: South Australia
Gender: Male

Re: No cook meals

Postby Orion » Wed 03 Oct, 2012 10:00 am

wander wrote:I have met a couple of folks who did the no stove thing. Both had sausage, cheese and biscuits as a focus for dinner. Both were on extended (10 plus days) Tas wanders. Both were happy enough with the plan but had worked out that after a certain point they were possibly not saving weight being unable to deal with rice, lentils and other lighter when dryer high carb foods on the longer wanders. Both were solo walkers and made the comment if they walked with a partner to share the stove load they would go that way.

My dinners featured salami and crackers and various tidbits (including 151 proof rum). I didn't take anything that wasn't at least 15 kJ/g and my food averaged about 20 kJ/g. So taking rice and lentils wouldn't have saved me any weight.

Including the stove/fuel would have increased my base pack weight by 15%. But traveling with a partner or on a long trip or not in a minimalist mode -- the stove weight becomes less significant.
Orion
Athrotaxis selaginoides
Athrotaxis selaginoides
 
Posts: 1838
Joined: Mon 02 Feb, 2009 12:33 pm
Region: Other Country

Re: No cook meals

Postby sim1oz » Wed 03 Oct, 2012 6:10 pm

I think there must be more creative solutions than crackers, cheese, and jerky for no cook meals. I've dehydrated commercial dips and just added water on the track. Delicious with corn chips, crackers, etc. We made nachos once. The only fresh thing was the avocado. Though I must admit I like a more substantial meal for dinner.

Surely most dehydrated meals will re-hydrate in unheated water, just not as quickly? I don't like my food super hot anyway and generally let it cool down before I go near it, so maybe I should give no cook a try. Two of my favourite homemade and home dehydrated soups are minestrone soup and red lentil/tomato/coconut milk soup. One downside I can see is that the cheese won't melt on top of the minestrone if its not hot :-(. The major downside is if it's really cold weather, warm/hot food is just so incredibly comforting.

Thanks, Orion, it's an interesting challenge.
Carpe diem!
User avatar
sim1oz
Athrotaxis cupressoides
Athrotaxis cupressoides
 
Posts: 478
Joined: Mon 17 Jan, 2011 10:15 pm
Region: Victoria
Gender: Female

Re: No cook meals

Postby madmacca » Thu 04 Oct, 2012 12:16 am

I'm thinking about no cook options for fire ban days this summer.

Adding water to a freezer bag meal, and carrying it for a couple of hours might rehydrate it. Also, having your main meal at lunch, and putting a freezer bag out in the sun for 20 minutes may get some heat into it.

(No experience with these options, but this is what I am thinking about at the moment.)
madmacca
Phyllocladus aspleniifolius
Phyllocladus aspleniifolius
 
Posts: 518
Joined: Fri 14 Oct, 2011 11:18 pm
Region: Victoria
Gender: Male

Re: No cook meals

Postby Orion » Thu 04 Oct, 2012 2:10 am

Adding cold water to rehydrate certain foods definately works. I used to do this in the past. Couscous and bulgur wheat work pretty well. I think ramen noodles is another. But it takes a lot of time. So you end up either carrying a big sealed container of food+water for the last part of the day or waiting for what seems like an eternity for dinner to soften up. And when it comes down to it the result is really not all that wonderful.

Before this trip I tried making instant coffee at home with cold water. It mixed right up no problem. So I took a sip... and spit it out! It tasted even worse than instant coffee normally does. I packed 200mg caffeine tablets instead and practiced visualizing a hot cup of perfectly brewed freshly ground coffee each morning as I popped the little yellow pill.
Orion
Athrotaxis selaginoides
Athrotaxis selaginoides
 
Posts: 1838
Joined: Mon 02 Feb, 2009 12:33 pm
Region: Other Country

Re: No cook meals

Postby Kinsayder » Thu 04 Oct, 2012 7:28 am

I've been thinking about this too. I'm not sure if it takes the ultralight thing that step too far though. I was thinking maybe a diversified scroggin. Adding goji berries, dried pineapple, banana, apple, flat bread, maybe some jerky and chocolate. Now that I've typed it out it looks pretty yuck. The idea of cold rehydrated meals doesn't get me going either. I think maybe an overnight trial run out to Fed Hut might be in order.
User avatar
Kinsayder
Athrotaxis cupressoides
Athrotaxis cupressoides
 
Posts: 359
Joined: Tue 15 Nov, 2011 8:23 am
Region: Victoria

Re: No cook meals

Postby andrewbish » Thu 04 Oct, 2012 7:39 am

I'm all for the minimalistic approach but you guys have gone too far! :)

Seriously, for all but the longest trips the extra weight of cooking gear seems an small burden to me.

Even for the longer trips I would rather look at the most efficient per-weight fuels.
Twitter: @andrewbishxplor Blog: Trails & tracks
User avatar
andrewbish
Phyllocladus aspleniifolius
Phyllocladus aspleniifolius
 
Posts: 800
Joined: Mon 03 Jan, 2011 7:08 pm
Location: Melbourne
Region: Victoria
Gender: Male

Re: No cook meals

Postby wander » Thu 04 Oct, 2012 8:45 am

Orion, I think this qualifies you as "hard core" way more than not taking a stove.

and practiced visualizing a hot cup of perfectly brewed freshly ground coffee each morning as I popped the little yellow pill
wander
Phyllocladus aspleniifolius
Phyllocladus aspleniifolius
 
Posts: 664
Joined: Mon 26 Oct, 2009 11:19 am
Region: South Australia
Gender: Male

Re: No cook meals

Postby rogo » Thu 04 Oct, 2012 8:55 am

madmacca wrote:I'm thinking about no cook options for fire ban days this summer.

Adding water to a freezer bag meal, and carrying it for a couple of hours might rehydrate it. Also, having your main meal at lunch, and putting a freezer bag out in the sun for 20 minutes may get some heat into it.

(No experience with these options, but this is what I am thinking about at the moment.)


Please be careful with putting food into the sun to warm it! Food bacteria can quickly multiply when it is warmed not heated to above 60c. I would say most freeze dries food would be fairly ok but home made dehy food might be suss.
rogo
Athrotaxis cupressoides
Athrotaxis cupressoides
 
Posts: 167
Joined: Thu 08 Oct, 2009 11:59 am
Gender: Female

Re: No cook meals

Postby madmacca » Thu 04 Oct, 2012 4:26 pm

rogo wrote:
Please be careful with putting food into the sun to warm it! Food bacteria can quickly multiply when it is warmed not heated to above 60c. I would say most freeze dries food would be fairly ok but home made dehy food might be suss.


Actually, the UV component of sunlight is pretty good at killing bacteria.

Hence the SODIS method of water disinfection. Or sun dried tomatoes, fish, etc.

But I would only advocate this if you were going to eat it immediately.
madmacca
Phyllocladus aspleniifolius
Phyllocladus aspleniifolius
 
Posts: 518
Joined: Fri 14 Oct, 2011 11:18 pm
Region: Victoria
Gender: Male

Re: No cook meals

Postby Orion » Fri 05 Oct, 2012 2:54 am

andrewbish wrote:I'm all for the minimalistic approach but you guys have gone too far! :)

Seriously, for all but the longest trips the extra weight of cooking gear seems an small burden to me.

Even for the longer trips I would rather look at the most efficient per-weight fuels.

I agree with with you for the vast majority of cases. On most trips I take an abundance of fuel. The evening meal, shared with my usual walking partner, is often one of the highlights of the day. But on this walk I was trying to push my physical limits with 45 to 50km and around 2000m gain/loss per day. My creaky knees are the limiting factor so I had to cut pack weight however I could.

My solo stove kit with fuel for 7 nights only weighs about 600g, but my pack without food weighed under 4000g. It was an easy decision actually. In the summer a stove falls neatly into the category of "not really needed" and I was happy enough without it. Taking only an emergency shelter was a much harder choice. When it looked like rain was coming I was not so happy.
Orion
Athrotaxis selaginoides
Athrotaxis selaginoides
 
Posts: 1838
Joined: Mon 02 Feb, 2009 12:33 pm
Region: Other Country

Re: No cook meals

Postby Orion » Fri 05 Oct, 2012 3:06 am

madmacca wrote:Actually, the UV component of sunlight is pretty good at killing bacteria.

Hence the SODIS method of water disinfection. Or sun dried tomatoes, fish, etc.

But I would only advocate this if you were going to eat it immediately.

Drying food is a way to prevent bacterial spoilage. But a rehydrated meal is wet. Would UV penetrate food well enough to disinfect it?

Probably okay if you eat it fairly soon. I could never get my cold rehydrated meals warm enough to worry.
Orion
Athrotaxis selaginoides
Athrotaxis selaginoides
 
Posts: 1838
Joined: Mon 02 Feb, 2009 12:33 pm
Region: Other Country

Re: No cook meals

Postby Mark F » Fri 05 Oct, 2012 4:09 pm

I expect you could try a system like the black plastic solar showers. The temperature in them can get quite high. Put the food and water in a sealed bag inside a wrap of black plastic. Put it in the sun for a couple of hours lying on a small piece of closed cell foam to improve efficiency.

For super hard trips I think I would take an esbit set up with a 500ml ti mug - all up about 100 - 150g including fuel for a couple of days.
"Perfection is attained not when there is nothing more to add, but when there is nothing more to remove".
User avatar
Mark F
Lagarostrobos franklinii
Lagarostrobos franklinii
 
Posts: 2094
Joined: Mon 19 Sep, 2011 8:14 pm
Region: Australian Capital Territory
Gender: Male

Re: No cook meals

Postby madmacca » Sat 06 Oct, 2012 12:06 am

Orion wrote:
madmacca wrote:Actually, the UV component of sunlight is pretty good at killing bacteria.

Hence the SODIS method of water disinfection. Or sun dried tomatoes, fish, etc.

But I would only advocate this if you were going to eat it immediately.

Drying food is a way to prevent bacterial spoilage. But a rehydrated meal is wet. Would UV penetrate food well enough to disinfect it?

Probably okay if you eat it fairly soon. I could never get my cold rehydrated meals warm enough to worry.


Orion,

Is it going to disinfect it? No, I wouldn't use it without treated water. But the sun is probably going to it becoming a runaway bacteria fest for 20-30 minutes.

Mad
madmacca
Phyllocladus aspleniifolius
Phyllocladus aspleniifolius
 
Posts: 518
Joined: Fri 14 Oct, 2011 11:18 pm
Region: Victoria
Gender: Male

Re: No cook meals

Postby madmacca » Sat 06 Oct, 2012 12:09 am

Mark F,

I'd probably try sitting it on a large rock that has been sitting in the sun, rather than a CCF. (Depends on the weather conditions, I guess)

Your point about a lightweight backup stove is a good one. A cat can stove with 50-100 ml of fuel is another option.

Mad
madmacca
Phyllocladus aspleniifolius
Phyllocladus aspleniifolius
 
Posts: 518
Joined: Fri 14 Oct, 2011 11:18 pm
Region: Victoria
Gender: Male

Re: No cook meals

Postby Orion » Sat 06 Oct, 2012 10:38 am

madmacca wrote:Is it going to disinfect it? No, I wouldn't use it without treated water. But the sun is probably going to [prevent] it becoming a runaway bacteria fest for 20-30 minutes.

Well I don't really know, I'm just speculating. But wouldn't the UV only reach the surface of the food?

I personally wouldn't worry about a typical dehydrated meal kept warm, with or without sunlight, for just half an hour anyways. At some point (maybe 3-4 hours?) I'd start to wonder.
Orion
Athrotaxis selaginoides
Athrotaxis selaginoides
 
Posts: 1838
Joined: Mon 02 Feb, 2009 12:33 pm
Region: Other Country

Re: No cook meals

Postby LTBW » Thu 08 Nov, 2012 3:00 pm

There is a great recipe in Wild issue 126 (lentil and carrot salad) and I think very soon there may be a few pages in Wild dedicated to this subject, maybe the Jan/Feb issue??
LTBW
Nothofagus cunninghamii
Nothofagus cunninghamii
 
Posts: 1
Joined: Thu 08 Nov, 2012 2:47 pm
Region: Tasmania


Return to Bush Tucker

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: No registered users and 2 guests