Someone asked us the other day what we eat when we’re cycle touring so here’s a post on some of the foods we like as well as links to other people’s sites that we have found helpful over time. We would love to read your ideas too, so please leave a comment at the end if you have a good cycle touring food or recipe to share!
During cycle touring trips we like to eat real food, the same sort of things we eat when we’re at home.
Vegetables, rice, oats, bread, fruit…Some foods go well for a few days like potatoes and onions. Other foods like lettuce are only good the first day. Condiments like oil, soy sauce and curry powder last indefinitely and can spruce up any meal.
We have met cycle tourers who carry blocks of cheese, even during summer, and others who live on two minute noodles. The possibilities are endless depending on your taste buds and what your body needs to keep it going!
We have often looked at the websites of others for inspiration. Here are some links to food ideas that we have found useful when planning a trip…
These guys have even put out a cookbook for cycling tourists. Not sure we would carry a recipe book with us on tour (maybe in its digital form…), but the meals look yummy and the ideas on the website are quite practical.
This page is focused on touring in the USA, but it is mostly still relevant for us here in Oz. Dehydrated mashed potato gets a mention. We have tried it. It hasn’t improved since it first came out and our mothers got excited about the convenience of it. The humble whole potato (well, chopped and boiled or mashed or fried in oil) is still part of our regular fare when touring.
There is a list of good cycle touring foods on this webpage, one of which is milk powder. We take full cream powdered milk with us on every trip. Full cream is tastier and has more calories than skim milk powder, which tastes pretty disgusting to us. Powdered milk is good to put in a hot drink or breakfast oats. We have also added it to custard powder and sugar (more touring favourites) to make custard. Custard and cake or fruit is filling and tastes delicious after a day on the road!
Like this family, we have a few of our own healthy, nutritious and wholesome food mantras. However, there are many times when coke, crisps, lollies, ice-cream and sad burgers (is there actually any meat in that?) are a fantastic (and the only) meal option! Our day in Manangatang was a good example of this!
We have never cycle toured in the real cold like the couple on this website, so have never had to deal with frozen honey! We do, however, carry a plastic chopping board, sharp knife, metal paint spatula and stainless steel bowl to use as a wok. With these cooking utensils and our Trangia cooking stove, we manage to cook almost anything we want. We also like those free gas barbecues when you come to a town and buy a steak to cook up with some sliced spuds and salad. Yummo!
There are so many options, all of which involve LOTS of food because cycle touring is hungry work. Everyone has their own ideas on what works well for them. Once you have the basics down, the rest is gained through trial and error, like the time we took a round of camembert cheese on an overnight tour to have with wine and crackers. We forgot to consider the time of year and it was one inedible sloppy soup when we dug it out of the pannier that afternoon!
Do you have any food ideas to share that have worked (or not worked) for you?