Here are some ideas that will certainly help our people who go out and camp, practice bushcraft or survival. These are simple things but putting them down here may help others to save a good deal of time researching -
The following is a recipe for 'Damper Bread' or 'Bannock Bread' which is nothing more than a very simple bread made with ingredients that can be carried with you and only water need be added when you camp or train. Originally this bread was made as 'unleavened bread' (i.e. plain flour with no rising agent), but today it is usually made with self-raising flour or plain flour with baking powder added. The advantage is that the dried material can be carried in a bag/container and all you need is water and a good cooking-fire. Unlike normal bread this does not use 'Bread Flour' but normal plain or self-raising flour. It rises due to it being self-raising.
450 grams (3 cups) self-raising flour/plain flour with baking powder).
180 ml (1 small cup) water.
1 tsp sugar (caster sugar preferably).
1/2 teaspoon salt.
(Tip - some of the recipes given for this bread do not state that it needs to be kneaded, but kneading the bread for about 100 turns helps the process greatly. You can, of course, leave out the kneading if this bread is prepared on site.)
Cooking - Cooking over an open fire should take around 2/3 to 3/4 the time of that done in a home oven - i.e. around 25 minutes or so.
This is the very basic bread-making mix which can be carried with you in a dry state ready to add water on site. When making this bread at home (and it is delicious!) I have used milk; a tip here is to add 2 tbsp. of powdered milk to the dry mix.
STICK-BREAD MAKING -
This is a very good way of making bread on an open campfire; the ingredients are the same as above but here I have given a slightly different recipe and method of cooking. Here the dough is placed on sticks which are cooked over the fire.
I cup self-raising flour (or plain flour/ 1 tbsp. baking powder).
2 tbsp. powdered milk.
1 tsp salt.
1 tsp sugar.
Again, these dry ingredients are mixed before setting out. Either water or vegetable oil can be added to make the dough, water being perhaps the easiest since you will be carrying it anyway.
- Gather some sticks suitable for twisting the bread onto.
- Heat the sticks over the fire but do not scorch them; this heats and sterilises the sticks.
- Twist the bread around the sticks.
- Cook the bread-on-sticks over the fire.
DUTCH OVEN BREAD -
This is an alternative if you are camping and have a Dutch Oven. You can cook any types of bread in this.
BREAD-MAKING FOR CAMPING -
The above recipes are the very basic and you can add other ingredients as you wish. The following can be added, useful especially for making this bread at home -
- Ground pepper
- Herbs chopped finely
A tip here - as you can see I have used the measurements of certain ingredients as 'cups', 'tsp' (teaspoon) or 'tbsp. (tablespoon) in some of these. What would be a good idea is to measure all of the large ingredients you need in 'cups' using a standard plastic cup (camping-type cup). Doing this we move away from the need for modern scales, which would not be available on site. It would also standardise our measures since we here in England use different measures than the US, Canada, Australia etc.
Bread made with plain or self-raising flour tastes a lot different than that made from bread flour. It is both wholesome and filling, and, of course, you can use wholemeal flour if you wish, or make 'unleavened bread' which was the original way to do this. Whatever the case this is a good way to start to make your own bread on site from ingredients easy to carry in your backpack.
DRIED FOOD -
You can, of course, pay out four to five pounds on specially-prepared dried food for backpacking, but really this is not necessary. Here I am going to put forward some alternatives. Why do we need to carry food anyway? Well, in any emergency survival situation the first steps would be shelter-building, fire-lighting and finding water; food would be less of a priority and would take much more time. But a good meal inside us certainly lifts the spirits a bit, and gives us the energy to get active in what needs doing urgently.
When we talk of an 'emergency' for most of us that would be one which would happen to us when we are pretty well prepared, i.e. when we go out on a hike and get problems due to the weather, or break down in the car in a wilderness (not much of that here in England anyway). This means that we would (or rather should) have the necessary stuff with us in our backpack/car. The same situation would occur if we were made homeless or had to leave our home quickly. Again, we would have time to prepare; in saying this it is thus essential to have a 'bug-out bag' ready for such occasions and anyone who has not prepared a rucksack after being told so many times by various people at our Folk-Moots should do so as soon as possible.
Anyway, these are some ideas on what to pack into a rucksack in regard to ready-food -
- Pot noodles - if you are leaving these in a bug-out bag leave them in their container, if using them straight away take out and put in a small polythene bag (lessens the weight).
- 'Mug Shot' (Symingtons) - These come in various types, pasta being a good one to use. They are made in a mug (as the name suggests) adding boiling water and leaving for 5 minutes. Other makes are available.
- Cup Soup/Cup-a-Soup - These are very easy to make, very light and the new Heinz variety is very good. Again, they are light to carry and here you can take the sealed sachets with you. Shelf-life is anything from 8 - 12 months.
- Rice - the packets of flavoured rice are handy to pack into a rucksack, taking up very little room too. Some of these now take only 10 minutes rather than the original 20 minutes cooking time, so take half the time to prepare.
These make really good snacks and are quick and easy to make; taking a bread-mix with you as well will make this into a small meal for one. This is an ideal way to ensure you have something to eat when out. There are also other things you can take - pasta, rice, noodles etc. What would be a good idea is to stock up with these as an alternative to tinned food, or better still as well as tinned food. Remember, as with tinned food, to rotate stocks on a regular basis, marking when teir dating runs out.
I am not going into the full use of dried food here since that is for another post; these are just a few ideas that can be got cheaply and easily. It should also be remembered that fruit-cake (the type of 'Christmas Cake mix') will last a good 12 months after making. This is another thing you can take along. Also perhaps pack in some home-made biscuits or scones (the Northern Lads might need cream to go with the scones, Veorsson and Vicaxe will put you right on this aspect!).