Tramping Recipes

Muesli & Fruit (per person)

Combine in a ziploc bag:
1/2 cup muesli
1 - 2 generous dessert spoons of milk powder
Put a small handful of dried fruit in a separate bag. (E.g. apricots, dates, prunes, apple, banana)

Soak the fruit in a generous amount of water overnight. For a hot breakfast, simply heat up the fruit and spoon onto muesli with enough liquid to make the right consistency. Extra liquid provides a nice hot drink. Alternatively simply put the cold fruit & juice on the muesli for a quick breakfast.


Tararua Biscuits

250g butter
1 ½ cups brown sugar
½ tin condensed milk
2 c flour
2 c Scotch oats (can used rolled oats)
2 tsp baking powder
½ c coconut
½ c raisins, sultanas, or cranberries (Can also add chopped nuts, chocolate chips, etc.)

Melt butter, sugar and condensed milk in large pot. Add dry ingredients. Spread onto a tray lined with baking paper in a roughly 30cm x 30cm square, keeping edges neat and straight.

Cook at 150°C for around 30 – 45 minutes until light to golden brown. Cut into 25-30 biscuits, gently loosen and leave on tray to cool and harden.

We have found the best way to pack Tararua biscuits is in snack size ziploc bags (4 per bag). This stops them from breaking up and is 1-2 day’s supply.

Logan Bread (Modified from The Well Fed Backpacker by June Fleming)

2 lbs whole wheat flour (approx. 900g)
3/4 cup brown sugar
1/2 cup milk powder
1/2 tsp salt
1 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp ground cinnamon
1/2 tsp ground nutmeg
1 cup chopped nuts (I use walnuts & almonds)
1 cup water
3/4 cup honey
3/4 cup blackstrap molasses
3/4 cup melted butter
1 cup chopped dried fruit (I use dates & raisins)

Blend dry ingredients. Add water, then honey, molasses, butter and fruit.

Place on greased or lined baking sheet and flatten into a slice about 2cm thick. Full recipe may require 2 trays. Bake in preheated oven at 150°C for 1 hour.

Slice into squares roughly 6cm and return to baking sheet upside down with a gap between pieces. Turn oven off and return slices to oven to dry until cold. To make them extra-dry (and potential tooth-breakers, set the oven to 90°C for 2 hours). The drier they are, the longer it will keep. Goes great with a hot drink to dip it in.

Freeze any leftovers in ziploc bags - they will keep for at least 3 months this way. Simply put them in your pack straight from the freezer for your next trip.

Tomato Mince

Quantities are not precise, I tend to just throw in whatever we have. This is more just a template.

100g lean beef mince per person (approx.)
1 tin tomatoes per 4 people (Watties flavoured tomatoes are nice, especially Indian or Mexican)
1 tin black or kidney beans per 4 people (optional)
1 tin pineapple pieces, well drained
1 or 2 finely chopped onions
1 - 2 cloves garlic, crushed (optional)
Lots of other grated or finely chopped veges e.g. carrots, zucchini, cabbage, celery, silverbeet. (Mushrooms are not a good idea if the meal will not be used immediately)
Spices such as cumin, salt and pepper, or a pre-mixed spice blend.

Cook the mince & onion, either in a pan or separately in the microwave. Combine all ingredients in a large mixing bowl. Season with spices, salt and pepper to taste. Add extra ingredients as fancy takes you.

Dehydrate at around 55C (medium) until completely dry, approximately 8 hours. Flip over after 3-4 hours to let the underside dry.

Store in ziploc bags. For long term storage it is sometimes recommended to store the bags in the freezer to prevent spoilage, although we've never had a problem storing them for months in the pantry.

In camp: Cover with water and soak for as long as possible. This is normally one of the first things we do after setting up camp. The longer it soaks the better the texture will be. Bring to the boil and simmer for a couple of minutes before serving. If soaking time has been less than an hour, simmer for a few extra minutes until soft.
Serve with instant mash, noodles or pasta.

Ming Ling

1kg mince
2 onions, chopped
1 Tbsp brown sugar
1/2 tsp curry powder
1 large apple, peeled and chopped
2 Tbsp tomato sauce
2 Tbsp soy sauce
3 Tbsp uncooked rice
4 cups water
3 carrots, grated
1 packet chicken noodle soup
1 cabbage, chopped fine

Brown mince and onions in a large saucepan. Add apple, sugar, curry, sauces, rice and water and boil for 15 minutes. Add carrots, soup and cabbage. Mix in well and cook another 15 minutes.


In camp: cover with water and soak for as long as possible. Bring to the boil and simmer for a couple of minutes. Serve with mashed potato or noodles.

(Recipe from Carolyn Burgess, Nelson)

Bean and Pasta Soup
Serves 4
This is an easy meal for tramping, as it is a one-pot meal.

Cook approx. 250g pasta (dry weight) then drain and set aside. I just estimate enough cooked pasta for 4 people. spaghetti or pearl (Israeli) couscous work well, as do egg noodles.

1 TBSP olive oil
1 onion
1 large baking potato, scrubbed and grated
1 tsp fresh rosemary (or 1/2 tsp dried)
Optional: any veges that you have in your garden or fridge such as zucchini, carrots, cabbage, silverbeet, celery etc. This is a good way to bump up the nutritional content of the meal.

1 tin tomatoes
1 tin kidney beans or black beans
3 cups any variety of stock
1 tsp salt
1/2 tsp ground black pepper

In a pot cook the onion, potato, rosemary and any extra veges in the oil for around 7 minutes. Add remaining ingredients and cook for 5 minutes longer then stir in pasta.

Dehydrate at 60C for around 6 hours, flipping once.

To rehydrate: cover with water about 1 inch above level of food in pot. Soak for as long as possible, but if you are short on time simply boil for longer. Bring to the boil, stir and serve.

Adapted from Backpack Gourmet by Linda Frederick Yaffe

Pumpkin & Corn Chowder

Serves 1 

1/2 cup dehydrated pumpkin puree
1/2 cup dehydrated creamed corn
1/4 tsp curry powder
1/8 tsp turmeric powder
1/4 tsp garlic powder
1 Tbsp onion powder (optional)
dried peas (optional)

Add 1 cup of water, soak, bring to the boil then let stand for a few minutes.
Add a few chunks of cheese after boiling for added protein & flavour (this makes the billy hard to clean though!). Could also add tuna - at the end if tinned or with the veges if dried.

Macaroni cheese


Dehydrated Eggs


Apple Crumble

Crumble mix (serves 4-5):
1/2 cup fine bread crumbs
1/2 cup Scotch oats (or rolled oats)
1/2 cup brown sugar
1 tsp cinnamon
1/2 tsp mixed spice
1/2 cup coconut

Handful of dried apples per person.

If dehydrating your own, allow one medium apple each. Can dip apple slices in lemon juice before drying to give a tartness to the dessert and prevent browning.

To assemble:
Soak apples in a generous amount of water. Heat up (doesn't need to boil), then dish the apples and the juice. Sprinkle over the crumble and stir into the juice. It will turn out too dry if there is not enough juice.

For a short trip, a carton of long-life cream would be a decadent touch.

Trifle    Serves 7

1 unfilled sponge
1 pack (250g) dried peaches
Optional extra: berry jam

custard powder
milk powder (for the custard)

Roughly chop the peaches and soak in water for an hour or two.

To assemble: Place sponge in an ice cream container or large billy (square 2L ice cream container is perfect). Trim edges as required to make it fit. Spread with berry jam if desired. Spoon over the peaches and drizzle with the peach juice to soak into the sponge. Top with any offcuts.

To serve: Make the custard. Dish the trifle and pour over the custard.

Banana Nut Bread Pudding


  1. Oh! Dehydrated eggs - I've got to try that! I have a tray to use in the Harvest Maid, I wonder if that will work.

  2. Great blog Briar! Thanks for the link to Backcountry Paleo - I didn't know it existed, and thought I'd be eating processed rubbish forever. Ben