This is my Trangia camp stove. I made some good little burners out of beer cans, but the Trangia is such a neat package that I think it is worth the money. It comes with three cooking pots and a handle, with a wind shield, and  you can pack the burner  with fuel left in it (once cool) so it's a lot less messy than the home made jobs.

Normally when I'm touring, I have four meals a day, plus snacks, and lose around a kilogram a week. The upcoming trip is ten weeks, and it will be interesting to see if exercise can outrun calories — outride, in this case—for that long. I think the link above probably missed a few things- I'm sure there must have been fruit cake in all that- and on that four week trip I lost over four kilos.

In the past, I've taken my own high calorie muesli with powdered milk added in, for breakfast, and I'll do that again. I buy at least one steak sandwich with the lot, or similar, each day, and supplement this with fruit, carrots, broccoli, fruit cake, nuts, and meat pies. And chocolate milk— yes, you still lose weight!

On overnight camps between distant towns, tins of beans or stew are a good variation, although it's too heavy and bulky to carry more than two or three. If there is hot water at a camp site, it's simple to stick a can in a sink and heat it up that way; no washing up afterwards.

But on this trip, I will be spending a six day stretch, and then a ten day stretch, between towns; no shops and only an occasional fuel stop with junk food. Part of my strategy is to have a big dried food meal each day.

Dried food is hideously expensive; even the old staple of Surprise Peas is $42.00 a kilo at my local supermarket, and the only other stuff widely available is noodles.  Everything else is pouches with sauce.  Real dried meals by people like Back Country are expensive, and I have discovered some of them have additives that give me a nasty allergic reaction.

I'm drying my own stuff; carrots, peas, beans, broccoli, sweetcorn potato and pumpkin. Tonight's meal is a chickpea and rice base, to which I will add beans and broccoli and other vegies, and at the end, dried beef mix. This thickens it all up into a stew. Dutch Curry and Rice soup does the same trick. The  flavoured beef mix doesn't make me sick, and since I've found drying meat is a much messier business than drying vegetables, I'm buying in enough for my trip.

I'll still carry along the usual fruit cake and nuts etc., and buy fruit in the major towns, but the major meal of the day will be an evening cook-up. I'll shove rice and chickpeas in a container as I go to bed to rehydrate and save cooking time the next evening.

I'll leave Adelaide with a store of food for around 10 evenings. I won't need this until I leave Quorn. Then I'll pick up a pile I'm sending on to my cousin Kev in Alice Springs, and perhaps another batch a fortnight further on.

The stove burns meths; you add about a teaspoon of water and it burns nice and clean with no soot on the saucepan. Tonight took about half an hour, with some fuel in reserve.

It all came up as a decent stew, although I will have to forgo the beer on most occasions. The good news is I won't have to fend off Reepicheep, who took far too much interest in the whole process. 

 (May 29 2016)

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