Trail Food for the Non-cook

Dinner For an easy meal, just throw some meat on an open fire.
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Letís say you love the outdoors, and yearn for a weekend of four wheeling. But you canít cook or donít care to. Itís just not your bag. Should you stay home? Of course not! You can still hit the trails Ė you just need to plan accordingly.

Youíre in luck. Chef Severin has put together a nifty game plan for your next 4WD weekend. It involves selecting the right items and mapping out a menu to make your decision making so much easier. Iíve done all that for you.

Fortunately, much of what you need is inexpensive and convenient. Because many items are packaged or premade, you donít need to be Chef Cordon Bleu to eat pretty well.

As you long as you can boil water, cook over a fire (or camping stove), and you own a cooler or fridge, youíll survive!

Itís quite simple, actually. Thatís the beauty of it. You can enjoy three meals a day without a lot of fuss and mess. This outline shows you how. Afterward, I provide additional details of what to buy and where.

Outline of a Simple Menu


Breakfast: (at home)
Lunch: Stop at a fast food joint along the way. Your choice. (Heck, I canít make all the decisions for you!)
Dinner: Steak (over the fire) and lettuce; beer.


Breakfast: Coffee and donuts or Coke and cookies. (Gotta get that energy for the big day ahead!)
Lunch: Prepared sandwich or made on the trail; Chips, soda or sport drink.
Dinner: Pork chops (over the fire) and lettuce; beer. If youíre inclined, heat up some baked beans in the can. Call it a three-course meal.


Breakfast: Coffee and donuts or Coke and Pop Tarts.
Lunch: Chicken wings from the supermarket. Found in the deli, theyíre precooked. Donít grab the uncooked kind. You want to minimize cooking in camp.
Dinner: At home, unless itís an extended weekend. Then youíll need to account for supper. Chicken breasts (over the fire) and lettuce. Feel free to substitute brats.


Breakfast: Finish off the pastries or cookies, and wash down with coffee.
Lunch: Remaining prepackaged sandwiches or bring stuff to "you roll your own".
Dinner: Fast food on the road or at home.

See how simple this is? Nothing fancy here, and just a few food items each meal. All items are prepackage or premade. You simply grab and go.

Letís look at a few of these food items in greater detail.

Lettuce: Either a head of iceberg or package of Romaine. Cut the iceberg in quarters; each one, to be topped with salad dressing, is your salad. Romaine usually comes with three stalks per package. Each stalk can make at least two salads. You literally just pour on the dressing. Don't forget a small bottle of salad dressing.

In either case, donít bother chopping the lettuce in advance. Youíll do that with knife and fork during dinner. (Remember: one objective is to minimize the preparation.)

Sandwiches: For minimal effort, hop into a Subway, gas station or a supermarket. Look at what they have, and grab what looks good and is relatively inexpensive. Donít care for a sandwich or sub? Other possibilities include Lunchables, Hot Pockets and frozen burritos. Before leaving camp each morning, double wrap the Hot Pockets and burritos in tin foil. Stick then in a secure position above the manifold on the engine. By lunch time you will have a hot with melted cheese meal. Donítí worry about nutrition. You just need cheap body fuel for the weekend.
Just right for manifold cooking!
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If you prefer to make your own sandwiches, buy some bread (cheapest you can find), cold meat(s) and cheese. Avoid applying any sauces in advance; you'll do that in camp. Bring along bottles of sauce or grab some of those foil packets from the fast food joint. Lettuce pulls double duty here.

By the way, a loaf of bread (or package of hamburger buns) can be used for sandwiches, brats and wienies. No need to buy separate packages.

Beverages: This is a personal call, but Iíve found that coffee, cola (Coke for me) and beer or Tequila are all I need for a weekend. If you can't make coffee or get your buddy to make it, buy Starbuck's coffee in a bottle.
Check the reqs where you will be camping to see if glass beverage bottles are allowed.
Another lunch alternative.
All your food can be purchased on Friday. It will keep throughout the weekend.

Snacking: Whether on the drive to and from the trail or while on the trails themselves, youíre bound to get the munchies at times. Convenient snack foods (which also are good for you) include plums, apples, cucumbers (mini ones in a package), snap peas, and bananas. Cukes, by the way, can also be added to your salads. Another good snack is Mother's Oatmeal cookies, one of my favorites.

Good for happy hour or on the trail.
Eat them whole out of the bag.
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Mixed nuts are good, though they can be a little salty. Avoid shelled nuts (peanuts and pistachios, for example). Too often these become campfire food, and the grounds become littered with shells.

You should plan on contributing to happy hour as well. Here, again, the choices are easy and convenient. Corn chips, salsa and cheese dip are a natural. Other possibilities include wheat chips and cheese (Triscuit, Wheat Thins), beef jerky and even licorice.

Speaking of happy hour, a common effect after a good happy hour is lack of enthusiasm to prepare a full meal. Could be that everyone filled up on snacks or just tanked on beer. This is yet another reason to stock up easy-to-prepare food. A quick bite is possible if the hunger pains strike. (Of course, you can always bribe a buddy to cook for you. Make sure you have enough extra beer or booze with you.)

As you see, preparing for your meals doesnít have to be a nerve-wracking affair. Use these suggestions as a guide when you next visit the store. Youíll quickly fill up your cart and be prepared for your next 4WD outing.


Related Articles from Badlands Off-road Adventures

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Some Upcoming Events

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Water Fall
Calf Creek Falls, Grand Staircase UT
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Summary of upcoming events.

Winch Clinic June 13

Winch Class Example

This one day clinic starts with the basics. If you are considering installing a powered winch on your vehicle, or have one already but need training to learn how to get the best from it and do it safely, you need to take this class. The one day course covers: safety related issues, basic operation of the winch, simple and complex riggings, stuck assessment, winch capability, and minimizing environmental impact. This is a hands on class. By the end of the day you will be safely rigging some complex recoveries. More Details...

You can register directly at http://www.4x4training.com/calendar/calendar.php#Winch


Rock Clinic June 20


If you are planning on doing the Rubicon, this is a good "shake down" or if you prefer a "warm up" clinic. It is great introduction to rocks even if you don't plan to do the Rubicon. The Class will be in Johnson Valley. It is an introduction to Rock crawling but it is not on "baby" rocks. We take our time and stress careful wheel placement. We use spotters for difficult sections. You learn by inspecting the obstacle and predicting the line; by watching others try their line; by experiencing it yourself; and by the coaching. We recommend you repeat the training several times. You will be much more relaxed the second time over the same obstacles and you will pick up on little details missed the first time. More Details...

You can register directly at http://www.4x4training.com/calendar/calendar.php#Rocks

Winch Recovery Bandana & Winching DVD

Winching Recover Bandana
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We have our new stock with many new colors (Red, Orange, Green, and Blue) on hand. The Bandana is packed full of useful information and is a quick reference in the field when no DVD player is available."

The Bandana layout follows the ďVehicle Recovery PlanĒ with pathways to more detail. A unique section of the Bandana, gives the steps for a ďWinch Rigging Check: Walk throughĒ so that you verify every element of the rigging before you commit to the pull. Stuff this in your recovery kit and you will always be ready!

Pick up or order the Winching DVD too! There is no substitute for hands on training. If you can, sign up for one of Badlands Off-Road Adventureís Winching Clinics.

Warning Ė the Bandana and DVD are not a substitute for proper training and use of quality equipment that is used within the bounds of their safe working load. We advise you to use the information provided in both the Winching Recovery Bandana and the "Basic to Advanced Winching and Recovery DVD" at your own risk. We cannot control the quality and specifications of the equipment used and the methods actually employed.

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Order a Basic to Advanced Winching & Recovery DVD too!

Winch DVD
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I hope to see you on the trails!
Tom Severin, President
Badlands Off Road Adventures, Inc.
4-Wheel Drive School
Make it Fun. Keep it Safe.
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