It’s a common misconception that hitting the road and leaving civilisation behind for the outback, rugged coastal drives or native bushland also means leaving behind good food and replacing it with countless tins of baked beans.
Well, we’re here to tell you that you can enjoy some damn good bush tucker in the remotest of locations.
What You’ll Need
Allowing you have the room, and your vehicle can handle the extra weight (see: 4X4 GVM and GCM Explained), a small 12V fridge will come in handy. Make sure it’s properly secured and that everything inside it is neatly packaged in containers (unless you want to be greeted with a vomit-like mess after a long day on the road). If you don’t have a fridge, at the very least, invest in an icebox.
You might also want to bring along a gas burner (but a campfire will do the job just as well), a couple of pots, enough dinnerware (plastic or metal) and crockery for everyone, and of course a cutting knife and chopping board.
Leave anything glass or porcelain at home, and keep your perishables to a minimum.
If you pack your fridge/freezer and esky like you’re gearing up for the ultimate game of tetras, you shouldn’t have any problems taking enough meat with you, especially if you’re on a short trip. However, if you can, try to limit how much fresh produce you take with you initially, and stock up along the road when you can. It’s also advisable you exchange fresh milk for long life cartons.
Tinned is Good
You’re not going to want to eat baked beans and chunky soup for breakfast, lunch and dinner the whole time you’re away, but a couple of these tins will come in handy for when your fresh food supplies start to run low or you’re pressed for time.
When you’re on the road, anything with a short shelf life is your enemy, while food with a long shelf life that doesn’t need to be refrigerated will be your new best friend.
Think tinned tuna, canned lentils and beans and any dehydrated or freeze dried food.
It could also be worth switching bread for wraps, Turkish bread or pizza bases, as these will stay fresher for longer. If not, bread or damper baked in a camp oven will go down a treat!
Easy to Prepare/Cook
If it requires more than two pots to cook, or will take longer than 30-minutes to make, save it for when you’re back at home.
Food cooked on the campfire tends to taste better anyway, so there’s no point fussing over a three-course delicacy when sausages and bacon will go down just as well.
If your itinerary includes time for fishing, fresh fish for dinner will reduce how much meat you need to bring with you, and it will taste great too!
Cook in Advance
If you really want to make sure you’re enjoying a few hearty, home cooked meals while you’re travelling off-the-beaten track, do some cooking before you leave home. Pre-made sauce and mince for spaghetti bolognese can be thrown in a container and stored for a few days, and homemade soup is super easy to heat up on the fire if it’s been made in advance.
Take Plenty of Snacks
Museli bars, dried fruit, nuts; anything that’s easy-to-store, is non-perishable and will curve your mid-afternoon cravings will be a welcome addition to your camping pantry.
Regardless of how long you spend on your 4X4 adventure, by following these tips, you’ll never need to go hungry!
Also, make sure you get your vehicle serviced and check you have all of the 4WD equipment you need before you head off. Talk to Ultimate 4WD about your 4WD gear and any of your mechanical needs today!