Friday, 8 November 2013

"An army marches on it's stomach."

It may well have been spoken by Napoleon Bonaparte. It might even have been Frederick the great. I don't know? What I can say for certainty though, is that Sandy doesn't march very far if his stomach is empty.

With my mountain going enthusiasm having being recently revived again,  I've found myself starting to consider some of the simple pleasures that bring oodles of seemingly disproportionate joy when out and about, namely food and drink! When you're cold, tired and fatigued, both physically and mentally from pushing on through the elements in a mountain environment you can never underestimate the restorative powers of a hot meal when hunkered down in a tent. Equally, the delight and comfort that a hot cuppa can bring when you're frolicking around a summit pitch with the camera, or just craving that morning caffeine hit can be immeasurable.

In the past I've tried messing around trying to "cook" in the mountains but it never really works out well for me. I can manage to put together an edible meal of sorts using assorted packets of "stuff" from the instant cous cous/pasta and cooked meat aisles in the supermarket. It suffices in a pinch but it always seems such a faff and just feels like I'm merely shoving calories into my big gob to keep me fuelled and moving. I feel food should be more of a pleasure than this and as for hot drinks? Well although I've always enjoyed a hot chocolate sachet or one of those fruity tea bags, I gave up trying to get a decent coffee in the hills a long time ago as a coffee press for my pot is too bulky/heavy, those wee premixed sachets you see in the supermarkets are either rank or piss week and I'm just not prepared to fanny around with filter papers and coffee grounds on a windy summit.

So in a bid to maximise the joy on my first mountain foray for a long while I decided to do some research. A very quick bit of Googling later and I found myself ordering some dehydrated meals from Outdoorsgrub.co.uk. I know most folk who spend time outdoors will probably have heard of them, but they have a decent selection of expedition food at decent prices with plenty of info on each brand and the delivery was also very quick. I've got on well with the odd Mountainhouse meal I've come across in the past but from reading the information on the brands they stock I've decided to give some of the Bla Band meals a go. The pouch they come in is not so tall so should mean less sauce on my fingers while still using my trusty folding spork, they seem middle of the road price wise and come endorsed by a man who appears to be perpetually clothed in Haglofs kit! I'll report back on taste, experience and faff factor when I've actually eaten one.

 photo BlaBand.jpg

A little more internet hunting saw me reaching for credit card again when I came across Lyons Coffee Bags and some UHT milk in sachets far less bulky than the ones Asda used to sell and never seem to stock any more.

 photo CoffeeMilk.jpg

These I have now tried and I honestly can't tell the difference between them and what comes out of my coffee press in the kitchen. Even with the UHT sachet in instead of regular semi skimmed, they really are that good. Going by how my office stank pleasantly like a Costa's last night I'm really getting excited about brewing one of these bad boys up in my little silnylon haven above the clouds. If you're looking to get some of these (and I whole heartedly recommend that you do) then probably Amazon is cheapest for bulk orders.

 photo Bulkcoffeemilk.jpg Colossal Coffee Hit!

Before anyone asks I have no affiliation with Outdoorsgrub, Bla Band, Lyons, Amazon, Asda or any other company I may have mentioned in the words above. All items you see were purchased with my own hard earned cash so if my dinner's disgusting then it's solely my own fault.

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