We will be able to restock with supplies frequently while backpacking the Cotswold Way, so we won’t carry more than a couple of days food at a time. However, we still need a quick and easy evening meal solution that will work with limited equipment: an alcohol stove, Tatonka mug, and Spork. Pre-packaged adventure pouches are expensive, often heavy, and aren’t readily available in small towns and villages.
During my trail food research I came across #FBC which stands for “Freezer Bag Cooking”. It’s a brilliant idea, and just what we were looking for. Basically, you add dry ingredients to your Ziplock freezer bag, pour in hot water, stir, zip up the bag, and leave it for up to 10 minutes to re-hydrate. The length of time would depend on what you are preparing: noodles take longer, whereas potato is instant. Use your hat as a pot cosy to keep it warm, and hey presto you have a delicious and quick meal with virtually no fuss and no washing up.
Yesterday, while browsing the instant soup aisle, I came across a ‘Mug Shot’, which I have never noticed before. It’s like a cuppa soup but with pasta. If we added more ingredients to the mix, this could have the potential to make a reasonable meal.
The only problem was finding decent Ziplock bags. All we came across were cheap and flimsy supermarket’s own brands. In the end we got Poly-Lina Pour and Store pouches. They are made of sturdy plastic, weighing about 12g each. Ziplock ones would be lighter, but these have the advantage of being self-standing, and they have metric/ imperial measures on the side of the bag. You can easily mark this to remind yourself how much water to add.
Here is my list of backpacking food to mix and match into a variety of freezer bag meals:
- Smash instant potato (add Parmesan for a cheesy mash)
- Cous Cous (lovely with dried raisins, cranberries & flaked almonds)
- Vermicelli noodles or Super Noodles
- Instant Polenta
- Mug Shots Pasta
- Cuppa Soups
- Dried onions
- Sun-dried tomatoes
- Beef Jerky
- Bacon Crumbles
- Parmesan cheese, or packet cheese sauce mix
- Dried Seaweed
- Kallo stock powder
- Dried mixed herbs, chilli flakes, salt and pepper
The tomatoes, onions, and seaweed are an attempt at making it seem slightly healthier. Beef jerky would add much needed protein. While bacon crumbles, Parmesan, stock powder, herbs and seasoning will add some different flavours. Fresh items could be added as and when available. I also like the idea of making a hot dessert by adding instant custard to dried fruit, sponge cakes, shortbread, cookies or marshmallows.
Or we could just pop to the nearest pub! 😉
If you have any other ideas to add to this list, we’d love to know…
Update: I previously thought dried Porcini or wild mushrooms were a good idea, but there seems to be some doubt as to whether or not they are suitable for consumption unless they are properly cooked through. In Italy they eat fresh raw Porcini, but just incase I have decided it is not worth the risk. They also tend to contain quite a bit of grit, which is a nuisance, and defeats the whole object of freezer bag cooking being simple.