Bushwalking foods

From "Gourmet Bushwalking", by Alan Close, Ian Close, Les Robinson and Sean Kidney

Different foods for different weather - cold vs hot weather trips

Cold weather trips

Now you can indulge in all the richest, fattiest, most calorie-rich foods without having to worry about getting fat. Your body will want to be fed a lot of hearty food and you'll love it.

In cold weather more energy is needed (just to keep warm!) and the best way to get it is from fats and proteins (rather than carbohydrates). Fats provide more than twice the enrgy by weight of carbohydrates. (Hence people living in cold climates eating more fats than those in warm regions. The extra energy is burnt to stay warm and the rest is stored as body fat, which in turn allows the body to need less warming.)

You'll need less water-heavy fresh vegetables on cold weather trips also (being able to take less fresh food wil compensate for the extra clothing weight you'll have).

And you'll need foods that can be served hot: soups, hot milk-based (even if powdered) drinks, porridge. We've found that hot muesli porridge is the ideal, combining the best of cooked oats with nuts and dried fruit (don't forget the brown sugar!).

More butter than usual will be desired, and more cheeses and meats (salami, smoked ham, bacon, etc) will probably be popular. Most of all, you'll need more chocolate, a great cold weather food with an ideal balance of fats and carbohydrates. See page ..... for more on chocolate).

Hot weather trips

In warm weather you don't need as much energy but rather need water and salt replacement.

You will generally feel less like eating the rich and heavy foods which would so satisfy you when you're cold. (You'll also - probably - have less desire for chocolate, especially as it will be soft and warm when you try and eat it.) You might still feel like taking a "scroggin" (see page .......) but is so it will be in much smaller quantities.

Generally your diet will provide a simpler energy - simple carbohydrates and nutrients rather than all that fat and protein.

Lunches will be more bread, crackers, spreads and vegetables than cheeses and meats. Muesli will still be the most efficent breakfast, but cold rather than hot.

In very exposed or dry conditions, though, you will still want oily foods. Oily foods are important because they help save the skin from drying out in lots of sun. This is often thought not seen as an attraction but is a real bonus in places of high exposure, especially extremes such as dry places at high altitude.

Planning for a bushwalk is the same as for planning a menu. Make a list of the meals you'll need to have, then start writing ideas for each meal. (see sketch e.g.)

Lunch on one day might be a Spanish affair (see lunches section); lunch on day two might be Greek style; lunch three simply a cheese, pastrami and biscuit day. Do the same thing with dinners. (A good organising idea is to get each person to volunteer to prepare a meal). Then it's simply a matter of making a list of ingredients to get and eciding how much of what you will need. The "people day" list earlier in this book has been designed to help with this.