Posts Tagged ‘camping food’

Jaded Veteran’s Guide to Burning Man: Feed me, Seymour!

August 6, 2019

 

As always, the hot pink links are hilarious, helpful, maybe both.

Food at Burning Man. What a PITA. At least for me, being gluten-free and surprisingly healthy, when it comes to food.

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I don’t think, due to the large amount of MOOP, I’d live off cold cans of ravioli even if I could buuuuut it’d be nice to have the option. Food is hella important at a burn. Because your body is important. Take. Care. Of. Your. Body.

One tip I always give n00bs: Time your eating. Don’t wait until you feel hungry. Try to give your corpse some calories every few hours so you can keep running around acting a fool.

Eat food when it’s offered. Put it in your pocket for secret eating. Drink water when it’s offered.

Me…I don’t even know…even after 10 years of TTiTD and regionals I end up not having enough of something or too much of something else, despite meticulous notes from the previous year. Pro tip: don’t go shopping for one person at Costco. 

How I pack: I sit down with pen and paper, close my eyes, and run through my day. Wake up: what do I need? Breakfast: What might be good? Getting ready to leave camp: what do I need to do?

Every year I list what food I pack and I keep my Reno receipt to see what I bought (which is always interesting, because it’s at a strange grocery store with an unfamiliar layout and unknown offerings.

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After the burn (theoretically) I examine both lists to see what worked, what didn’t work. This has been tremendously important to me as Burning Man has never happened for me when I could afford it (got the time, no $$, got the $$ it means I’m employed and don’t have the time). I cannot buy shit I will not use. I often have to fly, which means flying with my cooler and not having the luxury of shopping where I want, when I want, with a second cooler (or the option to buy one).

For the most part, my insane note-taking and list-making is a boon. My packing is minimal, my personal comfort is maximized. Except…freakin’ food. Here’s what I have figured out:

I don’t cook at burns. That’s time I could be spending doing awesome shit.

I don’t cook at burns. That’s space wasted on pots and pans – and a stove and fuel, and dealing with grey water.

The point of food for me, at a burn, is sustenance. Maximum feed and nourish (I hate that word) my body, minimal effort and mess.

Sooooooooooooooooooo…I eat a lot of sandwiches! Sandwiches are great. Carbs, fat, protein, no mess, portable, can make it ahead of time to make future you happy (see my notes on drinking at Burning Man).

I covered coffee in the post about how I start my days, and my coffee mug in the post about drinking at Burning Man. Here’s the food stuffs I count on, splurge on, and don’t bother with.

Must-haves:

GF bread – usually just one piece, with: packs of mayo from gas stations, salami, havarti, maybe lettuce if I had room in the cooler. I don’t really like other deli meats, they’re dry. Prepackaged chicken salad and whatever else the deli section has.

If I have the budget I’ll get Swiss cheese, too. If I had a free-for-all budget I’d have spinach artichoke dip, chips, sliced onions, and avocado. You can also get squeezable mayo, as a compromise between MOOP and cooler space.

Schar’s was my go-to, since you can get it at WalMart and I like supporting a GF bakery that’s been around for ages. Their ciabatta buns make PERFECT little sandwiches.

For bread-bread, though, new player Canyon Bakehouse makes the best slices. Perfect toast. Not too dense/heavy.

BM aside, if you have a GF person in your life win their heart forever with Schar’s chocolate caramel cookies and chocolate shortbread cookies. Have some in camp to surprise GF people with and enjoy the tears of joy.

This year I’ll be taking my paleo bread. It’s thinner, nuttier, sweeter but grain-free and fewer carbs. I get a loaf when it’s on sale at Kroger and freeze it. AND DEAR LORD THESE BROWNIES. Y’ALL. BROWNIES ARE STUPID. EAT SOME CAKE. BUT THESE ARE SO GOOD.

And that’s it! Sandwiches and brownies. Have fun!

Just kidding.

….mostly.

A new thing for this year is Siete’s grain-free wraps. Siete is a family of witches who make magical gluten-free, healthy wraps that don’t suck. Make a cold wrap and it’s not too chewy. It holds together. Make a quesadilla. It doesn’t get all greasy and weird. I’ve only had the cassava, so that’s what I’m getting; if you try another one let me know how it is!

Lance’s gf cheese crackers, serving size: one fist-full shoved into my mouth. In 2017 I backed over my bag of dry groceries and ate cracker crumbs all week.

Chocolate milk The only good thing to come out of that Costco saga. I don’t drink it IRL and the MOOP is annoying, but out there, crackin’ this cold one, changes your day. If you have cooler space, Silk’s Dark Chocolate Almond Milk is a real treat.

Annie’s GF mac and cheese Another trade-off between MOOP and mental health. Pour in boiling water. Add a gross-ass can of chicken (tuna, whatever). Late-night snack turns into a treat.

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Alternately, less MOOP and more fat girl (due to the larger one-serving size), Annie’s “deluxe” works the same way. Add boiling water, let the pasta sit, stir in sauce.

Also new this year, if I can find it: Roots Hummus. I don’t really like hummus, except maybe my own, but this Asheville company makes hummus I *want* to eat (the garlic or beet one). You know, as opposed to eating it because it’s the only thing left besides the snow peas from the ranch dressing platter nobody wanted.

Which is also how I feel about hummus companies getting high in the development room.

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…I’m blanking. Let me see if I can find my list.

Be cool, stay in…

July 6, 2009

So I did it, I got a cooler. A Rubbermaid, 5-day cooler that I can’t find a picture of. 25 bucks at Big Lots, w00t! (Most I saw, well-reviewed and five day, were upwards of $40).

So…it kinda changes my usual menu routine. I can put (gluten-free) beer in it, I guess. Take some…some what?? I never really use a cooler, I have to tell my brain kitchen to expand and think of new recipes to try out…

Freezing food flat in ziploc bags is one of the greatest things ever. No packaging moop, saves space, adds cooling power.

Some people freeze their whole chest. Use dry ice. Line it with solar blankets. I think I’m just going to usey regular frozen water bottles and food + homemade frozen bags of water method.

Transformus will be the test run…I’ll report back.

In which I reply to commenters!

June 18, 2009

Woo-hoo! I exist! First, from Mr. Chris:

*scribbles furiously on a piece of scrap paper*

Wait..wait…it’ll be my first time too….let me get all this down…”eye drops”..damn you’d think something like that would be so obvious, yet it never occurred to me…

Ha! I know, right? I am determined to be fully and most radically self-reliant, hence googling the stuff out of “burning man tips” and such.  I recommend you do the same – and join tribe and read eplaya.

Though this is my first time at Burning Man, it isn’t my first burn. And, a few years ago, when I plunged into Burnerland, I read everything I could find. So, there’s a lot I won’t cover in this blog, because I’m prepared for it.

Like ear plugs. Just get a bag of them from wherever, the foam kind. Roll them up between your fingers. Pull up on your ear, so you can fit them better into the ear canal. Sleep. 

I have a bed, I like – get a nice piece of polar fleece, to put on top of an air mattress. It will keep you much warmer (some sort of science something…I forget).

 

Next, from Monsieur  Tiberious:

To cover your rebar stakes, buy some foam swim noodles at Wal-Mart  Cut them to fit the above-ground rebar.  Try to find them with smaller holes for a snug fit. They’re tough, light, brightly colored, can be cut to fit, and cheap. If someone does trip on them, it can then be funny instead of tragic.

Yep, just got to figure out what to camp in, first…I finally heard of someone who camps in an EZ Up, my standard abode, but I’m still worried it’ll get broke and all blown up and away.

My Taj Mahal

My Taj Mahal

But yeah, noodles and solar lights are the plan – I think I’ll be camping with my friends in Big Puffy Yellow, so there’ll be a nice little cluster of us.

And lastly, from Randall – repeat commenter!:

I brought three weeks of food my first year, not really knowing how much I’d eat or what I’d be hungry for.  I had lots of leftovers, and lots of stuff to share.

What I mostly found was that I didn’t want to spend a lot of time on food.  I was pretty happy to just make something fast and get back to the festival.

Breakfast was usually the “big meal” since it was quieter and there were fewer things I’d be missing while I ate.

I drank a gallon each of apple juice and grape juice, which not only broke up the monotony of all the water but provided a boatload of vitamins.

I had a lot of granola bars, mostly because I could carry them around all the time.  Luna is my favorite brand, and again, it has oodles of vitamins

If you are going to at least be able to heat water, there’s lots of “pouch” foods in the grocery store – rice and noodle products, mostly.  Even though I brought my backpacking stove and some jet fuel, we only used it twice… once for a potluck dinner and other time to heat up someone’s branding iron.

I don’t think I started eating “real food” again until mid-September.

If you don’t do a cooler, pretty much everything you eat will be “astronaut” food.

I’m gluten-free, so  a lot of bar stuff is out of the question. Plus, they’re kinda expensive. I did snag some on sale, that I’m saving.

I love cooking, but not washing dishes on the playa. I probably will get a cooler (another thing I have to research), so that at least for the first few days I can have cold water. The places we’re stopping for food, I don’t have one here in town, so that’ll be a pain, wandering around looking for stuff.

I know I want some Tasty Bites, that is an easy, no fridge, no cooking treat.

Gluten-free bread stuffs suck, too, unless they’re toasted. I’ll have to see what, exactly, Big Puffy will have lying around…I”m a natural grazer, so I do just fine without “meals.”

And, I’ve never been to a burn and not returned with most of the food I took!

Now, likker, that’s another story…

Food??

May 17, 2009

Food is the worst part, often, for my trips.  Most staples (crackers, granola, bagels, sandwich bread anything, noodles anything) I can’t eat.  Every time, I pack too much. Usually, that’s not really a problem-problem, since I just bring it home, and eat it eventually.

However, we’re going grocery shopping when we get there. I don’t do coolers. I have no idea what to bring to eat.  I’m not really into junk food, like chips and such. I like to cook, but don’t do all the lugging of stuff, dishwashing, etc.

My main concern on the playa is staying healthy, with my food, not just preventing hunger.  I’m eyeballing some

 

Mountain House Western Style Scrambled Eggs and Ham For One

 

type stuff, but I want to think I can do something for cheaper. But maybe ease would be worth the money.

I juuuuust doooonnn’t knoooooow.