Just because you’re sleeping out in the wild doesn’t mean you have to live off tasteless ration packs. These five easy camping meals and ideas, from proper tasty morning porridge to a make-anywhere filling stew, will make feasting in the great outdoors a real treat, and they’re all great value to make, too.
Porridge is the ultimate healthy, filling breakfast before a busy day of adventure, and it’s also portable, long lasting and quick and easy to prep. But a sloppy bowl of plain oats isn’t the most inspiring of wake-up calls. Instead, pack MOMA porridge sachets for a no mess bowl of morning fuel. I love their cranberry and raisin version, or you could spice up their golden syrup flavour with foraged berries. A box of 30 sachets cost £17.99, so this is an ace value for money trick, too.
2. Home-made trail mix
The awesome Jake Thompsett (check out his expeditions if you’re after a wild camping and trekking adventure) taught me this trick. Instead of buying pricey trail mix in teeny portions, buy raisins, dried fruit and nuts in bulk and mix them yourself in zip-lock bags. Voila! Instant, cheap and easily packable trail mix. Add jelly babies for a sugary energy hit and a handful of chocolate buttons (these are ace when stirred into your morning porridge too).
3. Instant veggie noodles
This genius trick is the brainchild of Tenderstem and still one of my favourites for an all-day walk or an overnight camp. A rainbow noodle pot is a brilliant healthy cheat. Once you’ve mixed all the dry ingredients together in a lunch box all you need to carry is hot water in a flask (or boil some on a stove) and you can make an instant hot lunch. You can add any ingredients you like but this Asian-inspired recipe uses glass noodles and lots of fresh veggies.
4. Coffee on the go
I really struggle to resemble a functioning human being in the mornings without a strong cup of coffee. I find the easiest ways to get my obligatory shot of joe when far from civilizations and posh coffee shops are portable coffee filters like these (a bit bulky though, so not ideal for wild camping) or, even easier, to make my own coffee bombs. Pop a few spoonfuls of ground coffee into a filter paper, tie into a bundle with string or a plastic bag tie and pop one per person into boiling water on the stove.
5. Easy stew, anywhere
Stew is basically a nice way to label how I approach campfire cooking, which is to roughly chop up every ingredient I’ve brought with me with a Swiss army knife and then chuck it all into one pot along with a can of tomatoes. If I’m really hungry I’ll add pasta or noodles too. If you’re off wild camping and can’t take much fresh food, I find that chorizo, onions, potatoes, beetroot and courgettes tend to last at least four or five days, even in a sweaty rucksack.