Make Your Own Camping Ready Meals
There are plenty of outdoors-friendly ready meals out there, both dehydrated and pre-cooked ‘wet food’ and they’re undoubtedly convenient and easy to use. They’re also relatively expensive and may not taste quite as good as you’d hoped.
The good news is that with a little bit of ingenuity and preparation, you can make your own ‘ready meals’ at home using fresh or dried ingredients with the help of ‘pour and store’ bags commonly available from supermarkets.
The bags were originally designed to allow freezer users to pour in liquid food before freezing and storing. They’re made from a thicker, more durable and heat-resistant material than most freezer bags, are micro-wave safe, resealable and free-standing on their base for easy pouring.
Straight From The Bag
What’s great about them is that not only can you use them for carrying food, with careful choices of ingredients, you can pre-package a whole meal then eat it straight from the bag which saves on the hassle of washing up and means, potentially, carrying fewer pans and bowls. All you need is a lightweight stove to boil water.
Stuff that works well includes couscous, instant ride, noodles, quinoa, mashed potato, porridge, powdered eggs and indeed anything that will ‘cook’ just by steeping in hot water for five minutes or so. Add stuff like dehydrated fruit, meat – have a look for jerky – vegetable stock and so on to increase interest. Herbs, dried crushed chilli flakes, garlic and so on are all added grist to the pour and store mill.
If you get serious, you can even invest in your own dehydrator and prepare your own recipes to taste.
Make Your Own ‘Wet Food’
But what if you’re only out for a night and fancy some ‘real’ food regardless of the weight penalty? Some pour and store bags can help here too. Pre-cook your stew, soup or whatever the simply reheat the contents by sitting in a pan of boiling water just as you would with commercially prepared ‘wet food’, Wayfayrer being the best known in the UK.
Be aware though that not all bags are suitable for use like this, Lakeland sells Boil-A-Bags which are specced specifically to be used in boiling water and there are other, similarly specced bags out there as well though you may have to do some focussed googling to find them.
For something a bit different, once you’ve found a suitable bag, try a boil-in-the-bag omelette by cracking eggs into the bag then adding extras like ham, vegetables and so on.