When you’re bikepacking, what should make up your kitchen in the road? Your cycle touring cook kit must be simple, light and ‘bike portable’. After all, you’re vagabonding on two wheels. While meals are easily purchased, preparing your own meals will be much cheaper and healthier, not to mention very much ready whenever and wherever you’re hungry.
Say you’re alone and you’re taking the backroad, making trips to remote areas, yet restaurants are nowhere to be found. In such cases, you must be ready to camp out and cook your budget dishes in a minimal setup.
Your bike touring kitchen must-haves include stove, three-quart pot, lighter, fuel, cup, small, sharp knife (also a Swiss army knife for cork-screw attachments), a frying pan with spatula, fork and spoon (or spork), and a small, thin cutting board for fruits or veggies you grab on the way. For your cooking adventures, these basics will do you great.
It’s best to get a titanium pot as it’s the lightest, while an alcohol stove would be a cheaper and better choice for its lightweight efficiency and easy refueling, especially since fuel can be found at any gas station.
Now, for the bulkier ingredients like fruits and veggies, grab some when you ride through any village.
It doesn’t have to be instant noodles all the way. For a good appetite, getting enough calories is top priority. You are cycling, and to be able to put a good day on the saddle, strive to make your three meals enjoyable and, of course, filling to give you enough energy supply. Eat less than you need and feel terrible, if not in trouble.
Your food stash must contain high-carb variety such as pasta, rice, bread, lentils and oatmeal, among others. Choose quick-cooking varieties. For pasta, remember that smaller shapes like seashells cook quicker than bigger ones like spaghetti. For rice, find a quick-cooking variety that cooks by simply soaking it in a leak proof container for a couple of hours before making camp. At least 60% of your daily calorie intake should come from carbohydrates.
Monosaturated fats are beneficial to your muscles, as well as protein for muscle repair. Replenish them daily with protein-rich foods such as chicken, fish, eggs, nuts and beans, among others.
To add flavor to your simple dishes, experiment with spices such as curry powder, paprika, crushed chilies. Stock cubes also improve the flavor of many dishes. It could just be your instant soup for emergency! Dried onions and garlic must not be forgotten for that savory dish. Sure, you may use the fresh form, but dried ones are lighter and more space-saving, on top of them lasting longer if you’re away from shops.
Contain them in a film canister.
Don’t forget the butter or oil, as this greatly improves your cooking. Keep it in a screw-top container, especially a spill-proof one for the oil.
You may opt for your non-cooking options such as veggies like carrots, celery, tomatoes, broccoli, cabbage and lettuce. Ditch ingredients that are easily affected by heat and, most importantly, never miss the mess. Pack a detergent in a plastic bag and a wash rag to clean up any cooking mess you made.