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Meals on an Overland Trip: Good Camping Food!by Dalene Ingham-Brown

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You’ve booked your place on the overland truck and received your itinerary. Now what’s on the menu for the camping trip? How about you tell us! Not only is an overland trip about lugging your backpack and body weight across Africa, but it’s also about learning to cook for a truck full of fellow hungry explorers. That’s right, you and your fellow overland truck passengers will be each other’s Gordon Ramsey’s, Nigella’s and Dr Seuss’s for the duration of your overland trip. Some overland trips offer professional safari cooks who are hired to feed you, but where’s the fun in that?

Meals Banner

Cooking for the group is not some kind of military enforced rule to prepare average citizens for survival situations where rations are involved; it’s actually a lot of fun. Being in a cooking team of roughly two to three members, depending on the overall group size, everyone gets a chance to cook meals, wash up and do the grocery shopping. After you’re put into a cooking team, your team is given a shopping list, wad of money and a nudge in the right direction to the nearest store to go and buy supplies. If you’re worried about buying the wrong quantity of food, or need someone to restrain you from running off and buying a Ferrari, disco ball and other useless items you won’t need on an overland trip, the guides are always more than happy to accompany you and lend their expertise.

When you arrive at the overnight camping spot, there will be a designated area for making a campfire. It’s not a very good idea to mission off on your own and find a pile of dry wood in the middle of the grass to start your cooking fire on. Chances are that in less than 24 hours you would have successfully burnt your meal of bakes beans and toast… as well as flash braai’d the surrounding big five that were innocently meandering their stretch of homeland. Not cool. If you’re worried about your Master Chef abilities, ask your guide for easy camping recipes and tips. We wouldn’t want to have a repeat of the incident where an ‘innovative’ first-time overlander decided to boil vegetables... INSIDE the kettle. That incident reminds me of a similar event which involved a kettle’s freshly boiled water being introduced to packet sauce… INSIDE the kettle.

If you think getting dog turd off a carpet is difficult, you don’t want to try get Knorr’s double thick cheese sauce out of the inner workings of a kettle. Three generous square meals are prepared every day, leaving you to waddle off once you’ve cleared your plate. There is more than enough food to keep you satisfied. Just because you’re missioning through Africa doesn’t mean you have to be fed like you’re a contestant on Survivor. In fact, 9 times out of 10 you put on weight while on an overland trip. There. Is. Enough. Food.

Overland Cooking

Three meals a day of good camping food include: Camping Breakfasts Toast, spreads, yoghurt, cereals and fruit for on-the-move mornings and not-on-the-move mornings it could be time for a good fry-up. Camping Lunch Cold meats, salads and sandwiches make for easy meals for camping. Camping Dinner A selection of casseroles, lasagnas, stews, roasts and grills with a compliment of salads and vegetables. So don’t worry, on an overland trip, we won’t let you go hungry, and most of the time, the food is delicious. On the bright side, whatever doesn’t kill you, makes you stronger!

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Tags: camping, food


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