Friday, 9 April 2021


Welcome to my wee blog, a place to share UK camping recipes.

Just because you're away from home is no reason to live on just beans and instant noodles. In fact if you are just eating beans and instant noodles you'll either be keen to get back home or be put off camping for life.

I love walking and particularly lightweight backpacking - basically carrying all you need for a 3-4 day walk, including equipment and all supplies except water, but with the absolute minimum of total weight.

This doesn't mean, however, that you should compromise on comfort or good food. As the great Alan Whicker said 'any fool can be uncomfortable'. Similarly any fool can eat boring dull food while out on the trail. I just read on another blog from 'over there' a recipe for spam and noodles. Life is far too short to eat dross like that. Even stuck in tin can in space they do better than that!

Food is more than just fuel, it's a great motivator, something to look forward to as you trudge the final miles or something to savour gazing at a perfect view at the end of a perfect day. Eat well, sleep well and you'll approach the next day's camping with a spring in your step.

Commercially available specialist foods for camping are universally disgusting. Bar none. At all.
There are dehydrated meals in plastic packets that you 'cook' and ambient meals in foil pouches that you just heat up. All the ones I've tried put me in mind of school dinners on a really, really bad day. actually that's unfair. Our dinners were never that bad and I went to a 19th century school.

There are some non-camping ambient meals that are actually nice - the Look What We Found range ( are excellent but as they're not dehydrated they're heavy. As a treat for a one night camp they have a place but they're not feasible for a multi-day backpacking trip - unless you have a Sherpa.

We eat good food at home so why should it be any different outdoors? The answer clearly is to cook and dehydrate food especially for camping trips

I searched on the 'net for camping recipes and was suprised how few there were and how poor the recipes were. Too many other blogs concentrate on US recipes which just make no sense to us metric (ish) and gastronome Brits.

These are recipes I've developed and used - they work!
I hope you'll comment on them & suggest tweaks and improvements.

If you have a recipe you want to share then e-mail it to me at and be sure to include your details so you get the glory / blame for your contribution

Thursday, 8 April 2021

Basic Principle

The basic principle of lightweight backpacking is to carry the bare minimum of weight. The less weight you're lugging up hills the further you can travel and the more enjoyable it will be.

-tufty squaddies and callow youths walking for badges may wish to get their bragging rights with 'my pack's heavier than yours' but for the discerning, ahem, older walker the absolute minimum grammage is where the real kudos is to be found.

Obviously you can take nothing, beyond money, and stay in B&B's, eat take-aways etc but then you'll miss out on camping in your tent deep in the countryside and eating great food gazing at a perfect view (if it's not raining).

The real 'racing snakes' can pitch, scoff, kip, pack-up and carry on with their mega-mile outings with the minimum 'time lost' using this system.
Those who appreciate life a bit more can make themselves very comfortable with their lightweight kit, kick-back, and watch the young speed by while savouring great food that weighed next-to-nothing, was perfectly 'cooked' when required and involved no washing up.

Lightweight is the new black for walkers, the weight of efficient, reliable kit has reduced drastically in recent years. What appeared to be lightweight 20 years ago is now labelled as 'car-camping' gear and everyone compares grammes and ponders how to shave weight from their kit.

Even food hasn't escaped the revolution.

'Wet' food is about 50% water - not counting the
1 litre of water weighs 1Kg, some 1-man tents are only 750gm!
Plus whisky weighs the same as water so less water carried means the more 'wee drams' you can sneak into your pack.

The countryside is full of free water, sometimes it comes to you, other times it's in nearby streams etc. Obviously sensible precautions regarding which water you use & purifying it before use are important considerations but it makes no sense to carry
extra weight as water in your food when there's loads of it lying around.

Far more sensible to carry your food minus the water and then replace it when you want a meal.

Wednesday, 7 April 2021

Camp Routine

This is how efficient and effective the dehydrate / rehydrate system can be.

  • Arrive at your selected pitch
  • 10 minutes to erect tent, set up your mat and sleeping bag and arrange all your kit so it's to hand
  • Boots off and lie in tent or find comfy place to sit and eat.
  • Set up your cooking kit
  • Light stove and boil a full kettle of water
  • While water is boiling decide on which 'brew' you'll have and which of the delicious dehydrated meals you packed will be tonight's treat
  • When kettle is boiled pour the required amount of water into your food and pop it in your cosy to rehydrate (about a third of a kettle)
  • Use the other third to make hot chocolate in an insulated mug (I have a 'Lifeventure' one which is a brilliant mini flask, secure the lid and shake violently for frothy choccy drink) whisky is, allegedly, optional
  • Use the remaining third for a brew now, tea or coffee or even instant soup if you must.
  • Enjoy this drink gazing at the view, working out how far you've walked etc
  • After about 20 minutes take food from cosy, eat from the bag, remark how great it tastes, re-seal bag, pop it in your pack, rinse kettle and remember the days when you used to have to wash up
  • Have a chuckle
  • Drink hot choccy 'a la Grouse' while reading a slim volume of difficult modern verse
  • Sleep well