Hey all, just got back from backpacking for two weeks through the South Island of New Zealand, staying overnight in backpacker hostels (the ones here are awesome... like hotels where you just share the water facilities and kitchen). The surroundings are wild, giant mountains and waterfalls and heaps of native bush... not a lot of grocery stores where things aren't ridiculously priced because they known travellers don't have options!
The kitchens in the hostels were all stocked with dishes, cutlery, fridges, microwaves and ovens. Everything else, backpackers bring with (even oil, milk, salt and pepper). Now mind you, everything needed to cook must be able to be carried, often kilometres at a time in the backpack. And this wasn't "camping", it was just travelling by day, and staying in the backpacker accomodations at night.
I always kept meusli in giant baggies, great for snacking , and carried a lunchbag sized insulated bag where I kept a few individual sized yoghurts and a small block of cheese. Took tons of nut mixes and chocolates (hey I was using up a lot of energy with all of that walking!), some coffee, sweetener, and lots of power bars. Had a few tiny tins of baked beans, and a couple of those microwaveable rice bag things for brown rice (in case there was a crowd using up the burners at the kitchen). And I carried some of those flat wheat tortilla like wrap things. That was it. Every third stop or so (sometimes three or four days) could grab fresh goodies like fruit and veg and the odd piece of poultry or meat.
Now, not to brag at all, but I do know how to cook. But when I found fresh meat I realised that I didn't have my spices with, and anyway my spices would've been in too big of containers for me to carry. So am planning on taking my spices in tiny little travel containers next time. Plus, travelling alone, I just couldn't use up a lot of things I came across to possibly cook.
So here's how my days starting looking: Meusli and yoghurt for breakfast. A sandwich I'd made the day before with the tortilla like wrap bread and whatever pre-cooked piece of meat I could find at the last grocery, if there wasn't a grocery, then a power bar. Nuts and candy for snacks, plus fruit if I had it. I fell in love with beans and rice again. Just dump the precooked rice (half the bag) into a bowl, top with beans, slice up some cheese on top- zap it in the microwave and I'd be full in minutes. In the meantime, I'm smelling garlicky meats and seeing all these gourmet looking backpacking meals coming out of the kitchens... of course these were larger groups cooking together.
The trip was awesome and I've been bitten by the backpacking bug. Will be going again in a few months when I get my next vacation.
Does anyone have any quick, lightweight, healthy hot meals to cook up while on the go... for one person only??? Thanks in advance for your ideas!