Ever been on a trek and found the deafening silence is broken by the gurgle of your stomach and knowing a snack just isn’t going to cut it as your body demands a proper meal? Happens to me all the time.
On the plus side I’ve found mealtime choice, in the great outdoors, can be as far ranging as the very paths you’ve travelled. Just the thought of a sweet cinnamon rice pudding makes my mouth water or the chicken curry hot enough to blow your socks off…. yep, choice is a wonderful thing.
But before I start my treks I work through my quirky personal mantra to consider the ….. “foody quad-choice”, ie when it comes to camp food how do I balance Quality vs Time vs Weight vs Terrain. I’ve found out the hard way that I really need to think about each of these in advance of taking my first step on the path.
My personal choice is KISS (Keep It Simple Stupid!) and forgo on taste (quality) and relying on a simple tin of beans or a meal bar, seeing this as a way of reducing pack weight rather than carrying the fresh ingredients to stir up a stir-fry. Although, when I’ve sat down with another group, just as they’re about to tuck into a fresh hot meal, it’s left me rather envious as I break a tooth on a muesli bar.
Time and terrain are another common pair to consider. Does the terrain allow you to take your time or is it harsh enough to drive you to despair as you hovel over the stove for an hour waiting for your water to boil.
In reality, my preference for the optimum “foody quad-choice” is dehydrated food which means boiling water before I can eat. That, in turn, means it’s ‘time’ that’s the real culprit keeping my stomach gurgling.
So how do I reduce the time it takes to boil water?
One of the fastest ways to boil water, that I’ve found, is to use a piece of kit called a “Jetboil”.