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The Great Central Rd Guide
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As with any camping trip, some pre-thought needs to be put into the type of food you are going to take and how you are going to store and cook it and driving the French Line and its 1200 sand dunes is requires some particular attention.
We are taking a 40L Engel fridge and a 40L ARB freezer, so fridge/freezer space is not an issue for us. However we are concerned about:
What is our solution?! Some extensive meal preparation!
Dehydrating Meals and Snacks
By dehydrating a few batches of bolognaise to rehydrate on the road with some pasta we have a quick pre-prepared meal that is full of nutrition (lots of veggies have been grated into the bolognaise), has very little rubbish and needs no refrigeration. As the meal is dehydrated it takes up a minimal amount of space too. It is also a great option for some spare emergency food.
Fruit is a great one to dehydrate for snacks as it won't perish like fresh fruit does. Again it will take up minimal room and be very light weight. Best of all it does not need re-hydrating. Dehydrated fruit is a great thing to chuck in a day pack for snacks or up front in the car when you want to nibble something healthy. All you need to do to prepare is turn your dehydrator to medium, thinly slice (about 5mm) your fruit (like apple, kiwi, banana etc) and place it on the dehydrator tray, and after a few hours get them out at your desired dryness. Then bag them up.
With fruit you can also make "roll-ups" by blending a combination of fruit (either cooked or raw), spreading it onto a tray with baking paper on it and leaving it overnight (about 12hours). Peel the roll-up off and either cut or roll and bag. These roll-ups are such a sweet natural snack, you will think you are eating lollies. They can be eaten dehydrated or re-hydrated to make a yummy sauce for ice-cream (not that ice-cream will make it on our trip), pancakes or porridge.
I am a big fan of soups and stews, particularly when it is cold. These types meals also tend to freeze well, so as we have ample freezer room I have got some Chicken Stew, Lamb shank stew and pumpkin soup cooked up and frozen into a night's worth of dinner for the three of us. Each of these are ofcourse chock full of a variety of veg and legumes and the beauty of this is that they have already been cuyt and scraps disposed and are not taking up all that extra room. If we are feeling up to the challenge we will also enjoy some fresh campfire damper with these.
We have also cooked up a few yummy little snacks like banana muffins, banana crunch and a quiche-like veg and bacon slice.
Getting Rid of Unnecessary Packaging
As we are concerned about the amount of rubbish we will collect (somehow we always seem to gather an incredible amount of rubbish) we want to get rid of as much of the rubbish before we leave as possible. Another way we are minimizing the waste we carry out with us is "recycling" as we go. We will have a collection of paper bags that we will fill up with paper rubbish and burn at each camp fire we have.
I know there are many people out there who don't have any issues with burning their other rubbish (such as plastics) as they say "it happens anyway", although I feel uncomfortable with this and prefer to keep a clean fire.
Getting rid of unnecassary "packaging" for us also includes vacuum sealing fresh fruit and veg ready to be cooked (peeled and chopped) which gets rid of that rubbish and prep time for the meals we are going to cook fresh on the trip.
Something that you may need to keep in mind is whether or not you are going to be travelling through quarantine areas on your way to start your journey. This may affect your preparation and needs careful consideration.
Although we plan to have the majority of our meals (mainly dinner) pre-prepared, we can't and shouldn't resist the opportunity to have a yummy fire-cooked meal so we will be making sure we have the camp stove and foil packed!