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Thread: What about camping food?

  1. #1
    Registered User dadayama's Avatar
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    What about camping food?

    So does every one eat in town? Do you really bust out the camping stove? I've been thinking a lot about this lately... wonder what some of the folks who have traveled the back roads do for food?

    I've become really good at organizing and cooking for the family car camping trips. Though i don't think much of the knowledge gained on how to pack an ice chest will transfer over to the bike. At the same time i can't help but think that a person should not have to be as limited as a back-packer.

    When i was younger i traveled across the country on a bicycle. We always carried some camping food with us, but most days we stopped at little small town grocery stores and picked up stuff. We let the small town stores carry most of the supplies for us...

    any thoughts...?

  2. #2
    GREGFUESS
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    Breakfast food while motorcycle camping isn't that tough, and I prefer to make my own rather than go searching on an empty stomach. Gearing up and then down in so short a time is a bother. Making breakfast, not so much.

    A non-electric percolator will make good coffee, and will keep the coffee hot while you fry eggs and pancakes. There are some good whole grain, natural pancake mixes out there. I have threatened to, but haven't yet pre-made my own mix but with powdered milk, it would not be difficult.

    Breakfast is usually pretty filling, so unless there is something more strenuous that sitting on a motorcycle all day an early dinner suffices about when the day is over and gearing down sounds like a good idea. Then either cooking or eating at a restaurant works fine, though hauling more than one meal at a time takes up space.

    But YMMV, everyone has their own preferences.

  3. #3
    Cam Killer marchyman's Avatar
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    Coffee, of course.



    A breakfast of french toast and bacon. Yes, I often use chopsticks.



    This particular dinner was some cooked pasta thrown into some soup with sausage and chicken.


  4. #4
    BACKROAD.ADV
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    What I carry when riding depends on the type of ride I'm doing.

    [Some background-I tend to ride dirt and backroads. I use to travel a lot of single track and this has impacted my decisions on what I carry since I limit the max load of gear on the bike to 120 pounds and usually I keep the load to under 70 pounds. You can see this then limits what I can carry with regard to a stove and the type of foods I can carry. When I'm riding on paved roads and camping I tend to carry quite a few more luxuries.]

    The down side of cooking can be the time it takes to cook a meal and then clean up after it. Some of this can be mitigated by using prepared foods that require little cooking or are just add water type meals.

    When I travel and need a cook stove-my recent favorite is the JetBoil. It quickly boils water and with freeze dried meals you can quickly and conveniently get'er done. Also clean up is quite easy. The only utensil needed is a spoon or a fork (Spork). The JetBoil seems to be very fuel efficient as well, and thankfully so since the fuel cartridges are not cheap. The stove has good wind protection but is a bit top heavy when filled with water so keep it on a fairly level surface.

    Down side of freeze dried meals is their expense.

    When riding in remote areas meal planning is much like that when you go hiking and camping into wilderness areas. Thus I carry freeze dried meals, granola, dried fruit, some kind of jerky, etc.

    If I'm not riding in remote areas and I want some luxury, I use various propane or a gas type stoves (they tend to be harder to light, fueling can be messy, and they get temperamental as altitude increases), and carry some extra pots and pans so that I can hit a grocery and make a decent meal for dinner or breakfast and whip some pancakes, eggs, bacon, etc. But now clean up will take some time and repacking also takes time.

    So if time is a factor then I default to the JetBoil or will restaurant it.

    Most of the time I ride solo therefore I tend to travel light, get up early. When I wake up I fire up the JetBoil and make some coffee or tea, and I usually have with me some bread or bagel that I can put some jam on, and maybe have a piece of jerky to start the day. That way I can eat and break camp at the same time. At about 10-11 I like to take a break and stop for something to eat. I tend to look for "mom and pop" type places. At about 3-4 I try to take another break and decide do I want to go out to eat or do I want to hit a grocery store and get some food stuffs, (spaghetti, sauce, etc). Then about 6pm I call it a day and find a place to camp and prepare dinner or ride into town for a meal.

    If you are riding in a group and camping then cooking can be a good social activity. Then meal planning and gear tend to be a bit more important. Usually we rotate the cooking duties amongst the group members while the rest of us sit around the camp fire hassling the cook ('is it done yet?").

    Also cooking over a campfire is another option, as long as it is safe or permitted to make a campfire. This too has its advantages and downsides as well.

    I don't know if this helps.

    Even if I'm preparing all my meals on a longer trip, about every 3 days or so I will treat myself to a good restaurant meal.

    Backroad ADV

    PS-JetBoil also has as a french press accessory for making coffee. It's not perfect but works all right.

    PPS- I really like some of the pictures of the cooking gear pictured above.
    Last edited by BACKROAD.ADV; 01-07-2011 at 01:17 PM.

  5. #5
    Rally Rat
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    I enjoy cooking while on the road, but I prefer to keep it simple. I carry a Jet-Boil and a Coleman burner. Both use the same fuel cannister.
    Some simple meals:
    Breakfast--Espresso made on the coleman burner, instant oatmeal made in the Jet-Boil. Add a bagel with peanut butter, or a granola bar.

    Lunch: Fruit, hot tea or espresso, piece of bage.

    Dinner: Sometimes freeze-dry food, but I usually start with ramen noodles mixed with Vienna Sausages or canned tuna. Add a bagel with peanut butter, a piece of fresh fruit and a cup of espresso. A can of sardines also makes a good dinner if you can get some fresh rolls and a good sweet onion--best sandwich going.

    I usually follow this regimen for a few days, then every 4th night, get into a motel, clean up, eat a restaurant meal, then get a good night sleep before hitting the road again.

  6. #6
    criminaldesign
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    coffee, bagels and that peanut butter and jelly goop work great and pack without getting smashed. Carry some trail mix when you get sick of bagels.

    I carry one of those coleman burners and get something edible before I stop for the evening, store brand soup and such. I like to see how cheap and simple I can make the travels.

  7. #7
    sMiling Voni's Avatar
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    Paul does a LOT of campground cooking.

    I appreciate and do the clean up

    We usually stop at a grocery store for daily provisions and always carry some "emergency" food for when we're far away from civilization. My favorite meal involves frozen shrimp! EZ to transport in a collapsible fabric cooler and EZ to cook.

    Voni
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  8. #8
    look out!!! Visian's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Voni View Post
    My favorite meal involves frozen shrimp! EZ to transport in a collapsible fabric cooler and EZ to cook.
    if you've got room on the bike, grocery stores now have pretty reasonably priced shrimp cocktail platters, complete with sauce.

    nothing like sitting in the campground, popping those things down.

  9. #9
    Rally Rat colt03's Avatar
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    I don't usually cook breakfast, I want to pack up and ride 100 plus miles, and then stop at a local diner, When I eat a good breakfast, I can ride all day.

    If I have time to camp, I will usually cook over a fire for dinner.

    HTH
    Craig Cleasby
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  10. #10
    Benchwrenching PGlaves's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Voni View Post
    Paul does a LOT of campground cooking.

    I appreciate and do the clean up

    We usually stop at a grocery store for daily provisions and always carry some "emergency" food for when we're far away from civilization. My favorite meal involves frozen shrimp! EZ to transport in a collapsible fabric cooler and EZ to cook.

    Voni
    sMiling
    I carry an old Coleman dual-fuel stove that burns gas from the bike's fuel tank. I carry a nested 3 pan cook kit - 2 pots and a small skillet. My coffee "pot" is simply a gold screen Mr. Coffee filter basket which I put ground coffee in and pour water through. We usually cook breakfast and dinner, and snack throughout the riding day.

    I used to carry a single burner propane stove but always ran out of fuel in the middle of a meal or pot of coffee (duh!) so wound up carrying a spare cylinder. I looked at stoves that use proprietary canisters and decided that they would not be real easy to find on the roads to Alaska, or in Labrador or Newfoundland where we had trips planned. So I went with a stove that burns gasoline. I always have gasoline.

    The hard part of cooking on the road isn't cooking at a campsite. It's getting stuff in the right quantities to cook for two when you don't have a big refrigerator for extras and leftovers.
    Paul Glaves - "Big Bend", Texas U.S.A
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  11. #11
    Registered User rkoreis's Avatar
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    Another option for a multi-fuel stove is the MSR Whisperlite. My Simmerlite only runs on white gas, but I can get a lot of cooking done with a bottle, it's easily found, and I can tell by looking how much is left in the bottle.

  12. #12
    2009 R1200RT beemeup's Avatar
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    Cooking

    I always carry some kind of food that is heat 'n eat, I used to carry a can of beans or chef boyardi raviolis or something, now I carry a freeze dried meal or two with me in case I need it because I'm stuck somewhere or too tired to cook. I usually carry a Jetboil to make quick coffee or heat up freeze dried food quickly. When I feel serious about cooking I'll carry a titanium backpackers kit and make a meal on the road. The easiest meal that is satisfying is dinner, steak or chicken over a campground BBQ grate and store made potato salad and corn on the cob wrapped in tin foil is great. One of the things I learned when I was much younger in the scouts is that you can make a pretty good meal in tin foil on a campfire. The best freeze dried food I've had so far is from Mountain House, but freeze dried meals usually have a boatload of sodium in them. Good luck. Don:

  13. #13
    sMiling Voni's Avatar
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    When I travel by myself, I don't mess with a separate stove, but carry an immersion coil. It does require electricity, though they also make one you can plug into your bike battery if that's not available.

    Boiling water was never easier, and that way I can make coffee, oatmeal, soups, and most any dry mix . . .



    Voni
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  14. #14
    Unfunded content provider tommcgee's Avatar
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    Jetboil and freezed-ried does it for me if I'm in the middle of nowhere. Mountain House brand from places like REI is usually the best.
    Salty Fog Rally 2007, 2009, 2011, 2012, AND LOOKING FORWARD TO 2014!

    -Tom (KA1TOX)

  15. #15
    John D'oh
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    Its fun to take cooking to new levels on camping trips by motorcycle...

    I like a good cup of coffee. A bag of ground bean and my small two cup French press go with me on every extended trip or over night campout by motorcycle. My MSR Whisperlite gets the water glowing and coffee going in a few minutes and hot water for a fruit and oat hot breakfast with sugar packets from the last restaurant I stopped in. There are a lot of prepared meals on the shelf in grocery stores but most use far too much salt. Backpackers meals are excellent and I carry MREs sometimes for a complete meal with plenty of extra calories to burn and no campfire necessary. My general predilection is for foods that do not turn to rubble in the pack bouncing around on the motorcycle off roadthings that can be prepared easily and with a minimum of cleanup and do not generate a lot of trash. A good idea is to take frozen prepared food items that will be thawed by the time you are ready to stop and make camp at the end of the days ride. You can have a really great home made meal that way.

    For years on our group rides in Big Bend, we took turns cooking for each other in the evenings. A member of our group is the owner and chef of a five star New York City restaurant. One year he fixed roast rack of lamb with fresh vegetable compote and a glazed fruit and cream desert concoction that was so good and in some respects simply unbelievable given the location ÔÇô 30 miles south of the middle of nowhere (near Paul and Voni). That meal raised the bar completely out of sight although one ÔÇ£away campÔÇØ out by Black Dike we ate smoked Alaskan Salmon, French bread and cheese, a simple salad and oranges.

    Photo: Me behind camera, Rich, Tom and Scott at Glen Spring for a pack lunch. Simple, filling and tasty. We know where the shade is in Big Bend.
    Last edited by Na Cl K9; 08-08-2012 at 04:06 PM.

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