Bringing the correct food on an expedition can make a real difference to your experience. It can go one of two ways, make it a really enjoyable one or the opposite way where you feel hungry and tired from not bringing enough or bringing the wrong food so your bag is heavy and you don’t have enough energy. With the help of our expert leaders we have put together this sheet to provide you with the information you need to go the right way with your food.
We all know that breakfast is the most important meal of the day and when you’re taking part in an expedition where you are active for up to 8 hours in one day you need to make sure you have enough fuel from the start.
Porridge is great, you can pick up small pots or sachets of porridge from all supermarkets with all sorts of different flavors. Porridge will provide you with omega-3 and fatty acids as well as potassium. Giving you a great start to the day ahead.
If you don’t like porridge, then some cereal bars are good. Avoid ones that are high in sugar as these will only give you a short burst of energy. If you decide to go for this option, ensure you have something warm in the mornings. This can be a cup of green tea or hot chocolate, you decide but this will help you from getting cold and will boost your morale considerably.
Avoid bacon and sausages, although this may seem like a good idea in reality it is not. It makes cleaning your stoves incredibly hard and takes up a large chunk of your time in the morning that could be spent getting some extra sleep. As well as this breakfast shakes and meal replacement shakes are also not a good idea.
For lunch you should bring things you may normally have for lunch at home but adapt them slightly to make it suitable for the expedition. For example, if you re on a Bronze expedition you might take a full packed lunch for your second day consisting of ham sandwiches perhaps as the ham will not `go off` after one day – however on a Gold expedition as you are unable to keep things refrigerated you would not take ham.
With this in mind you should think about things that do not to be refrigerated such as tuna pouches (not tins) or other types of fish to put into wraps rather than bread as wraps will not get squashed. You could also bring peanut butter in a plastic jar, not glass. Alternatively, you can bring extra pasta or rice and cook this in the morning and store it in a plastic box to eat cold during lunch time. You could also bring fresh vegetables as these do not need to be kept cold and will last for all levels of expedition and have these in your wraps.
Please note that you cannot cook during lunch time on your expedition.
Avoid things that need to be kept cold and jars that are made of glass. These are too heavy and could break easily.
Dinner should be high in unsaturated fat and protein. This is to give you enough energy for the next day and repair micro tears in your muscles caused by walking longer than you normally would do each day. Imagine you have one hob to cook on at home with one pot to cook in when thinking about dinner.
Pasta or rice should be the base of your meals. Rice is better. Then add things to it to make a full meal. You may have rice and tuna with peppers or spinach and ricotta tortellini. As with lunch don’t bring fresh meats that need to be refrigerated as this will cause you to get ill. You can bring cooked meats and heat them up on the first day, or tinned products that you have transferred to plastic containers.
When buying food look for things in packets that you can just boil in water to warm them up and eat out of the packet. Uncle Bens rice is a good as well as ‘look what I found’ meal pouches. This will save you both time and washing up.
A great simple and easy meal is penne pasta with tomato puree and pepper. A super easy and simple meal that is lightweight and quick. Cous cous is also a great option as all you have to do is add hot water to it and its done, its really lightweight and cheap too. You can also get different flavors and add your own things to it as well.
You can buy whole boil in the bag meals from places like go outdoors, you can get both wet food and freeze dried food, the freeze dried food is better as it is more lightweight. These types of food are great although they can be quite expensive.
Snacks are for when you take short breaks between breakfast lunch and dinner, you should not take copious amounts of these with you on expedition as your bag will become to heavy.
Cereal bars as well as baked energy bars such as Clif Bars and Chimpanzee bars are great. Sesame snpas are also very good. Dried food nuts and seeds are also fantastic snacks while on the move.
Small amounts of chocolate are ok and the occasional jelly baby but again don’t bring large amounts of these things as chocolate will melt and both are not very good for you and hold no nutritional value.
Things to avoid
- Jars and tins
- Fresh meats as they cannot be chilled.
- Food high in sugar.
- Food that will get squashed and become inedible.
- Heavy food items.
- Food of low nutritional value.
- Food that other team members are allergic too.
The food you buy for your expedition should not be expensive. We know that we can buy enough food for a Gold expedition and not be hungry and sometimes have food left over for £15.00 that’s £1.50 per meal. If you have any questions or need some more advice you can reach one of our food experts direct at firstname.lastname@example.org.
1. Scotch Pancakes. (50p from Asda)
- You will need a pack of 6 scotch pancakes.
- I would recommend at least 3 per person.
Gently heat the pancakes in the mess tins, be careful not to burn the pancakes. This can be avoided by turning the stove down to a much lower heat than if boiling water. If the pancakes are burnt it will be really difficult to clean! Add some honey or golden syrup for some extra taste!
2. Porridge pot (£1 from Asda)
- 1 Porridge pot & boiling water.
This is possibly the simplest breakfast option and requires the least washing up. Boil approximately 250ml of water. Place this in the pot and stir. Enjoy!
3. Cereal Bars and a Hot drink. (Various prices)
- A pack of your chosen cereal bars
- A coffee sachet, tea bag or hot chocolate sachet.
Have at least 3 of these cereal bars. Otherwise you will get hungry. You must have something hot if you don’t you will get cold.
1. Peanut butter pita breads. (£2.00)
- One pack of Pita breads.
- Peanut butter (not in a glass jar)
Spread the peanut butter onto the pita bread. Simple! Don’t bring a glass jar as it could break and will be heavier. You could have this lunch for multiple days as it is unlikely you will use a whole pack of pita bread in one day.
2. Avocado and crispbreads. (£2.00)
- One pack of Rivita
- One Avocado
Cut the avocado in half, twist and pull. Scoop out the avocado and spread it across the crispbread. This lunch will only be good for the first day of an expedition and the whole avocado should be eaten on this day.
3. Pesto sandwiches. (£1.50)
- Red or Green Pesto.
Bring bread or hard rolls so that if they get squashed they’re still edible. Do not bring a jar of pesto, transfer it into a Tupperware pot. Spread the pesto onto the bread to create a sandwich. Enjoy! Again, you can have this for multiple days as the bread and pesto will last.
4. Tuna Wraps. (£2.50)
- 1 pouch of tuna (not a tin).
- 1 pack of tortilla wraps.
Spread half a pouch of tuna onto one of the wraps, roll the wrap up and enjoy! Make sure you get the pouches of tuna and not tins. Tins are heavier and difficult to dispose of in the outdoors. Minimal waste is key. As with the pita breads you can have this for multiple days.
5. Tomato pasta. (£1.30)
- 75g of pasta (dry)
- 25g of tomato puree
Cook the pasta the pasta in boiling water until soft. When a fork is placed in the pasta and the pasta falls off then it is cooked. Stir in the tomato puree after the pasta has been cooked. Don’t place too much pasta into the mess tin as it will expand and will get stuck to the bottom of the pan. Cook this meal the night before to save time during the day and conserve you water supply while walking during the day.
1. Tomato pasta. (£1.30)
- 75g of pasta (dry)
- 25g of tomato puree
Cook the pasta the pasta in boiling water until soft. When a fork is placed in the pasta and the pasta falls off then it is cooked. Stir in the tomato puree after the pasta has been cooked. Don’t place too much pasta into the mess tin as it will expand and will get stuck to the bottom of the pan.
2. Spinach and Ricotta filled pasta (£0.75)
- One pack of Spinach and Ricotta pasta.
- 500ml water
Boil 500ml of water and then place the pack of filled pasta into the mess tin. Drain the pasta and then enjoy! This really simple meal will only take about 10 minutes.
3. Vegetable stir fry (£4.00)
- Spring onions
- Bean Sprouts
- Rice Noodles
- Stir fry sauce
- Olive oil
Poor the olive oil into the pan and heat. Add the cut-up vegetables into the pan and begin to cook. Once the vegetables are cooked add the rice noodles and sauce. Stir until the all is cooked. Be careful not to burn the noodles onto the bottom of the pan. It will be terribly hard to clean if they do. Cut the vegetables up before you leave for the expedition to save time and to make them more packable as a ‘pre-mixed’ meal.
4. Pesto Pasta (£2.00)
- 75g of Pasta
- 15g of Pesto
- 400ml water
Cook the pasta the pasta in boiling water until soft. When a fork is placed in the pasta and the pasta falls off then it is cooked. Stir in the pesto after the pasta has been cooked. Don’t place too much pasta into the mess tin as it will expand and will get stuck to the bottom of the pan.
5. Boil in the bag (£5.00)
There are a variety of different boil in the bag meals available, they are quick and easy as all you need to do is place the bag in water and leave to simmer for around 10 minutes, you then just eat it out of the bag so there is no washing up. However, the wet meals are quite heavy and they are all rather expensive. Assessors prefer you to cook something properly as a group so don’t have these each day.
6. Couscous (£0.50)
- A pack of pre-seasoned couscous.
A super quick, super light and super cheap meal that tastes great. Boil some water and place the couscous in the water. The couscous will then expand, soak up the water and is ready to eat.