What to pack to GEt YoU oUt oF a JaM.
Packing for when the chips are down
Most of us have done it. We’ve gone out for the day to get some fresh air and to test the latest modification on our 4WD by tackling a favourite track a few kilometres from home. You’ll be back by lunch to mow the lawn, right? But what if your rig breaks down and you’re not able to get back?
Or what if you’re travelling well off the beaten track and suffer a serious a mechanical failure, run out of fuel, roll-over or become dislocated from your vehicle? There may be no option to phone a friend. After all, in Australia, there’s mobile coverage for more than 90 per cent of the coast-hugging population, not 90 per cent of the country (it’s closer to 65 per cent, in fact). Did you have the foresight to buy a PLB or satellite phone before you set off?
Remote area travellers should become accustomed to having a good supply of tucker onboard. With advances in refrigeration and the science behind packaging and preservatives, camp cooking has come a long way since the days of the Burke and Wills.
The challenge in preparing for any trip is knowing how much food to travel with – and when you’re likely to be able to restock supplies during your journey. Food also becomes an issue for those of us who plan to leave our vehicles and get among the scrub on foot or with a bike or small boat.
While things are going according to plan, there’s probably not too much to worry about. As usual, the issue comes if we’re faced with the unexpected. If you’re an experienced outdoorsman and bush tucker specialist, you’re probably going to be okay. If you’re not, you’ll quickly start to wonder whether the pre-packaged, single serve, one-use food items that you chucked in the rig were the best option. If you find yourself looking at a stale bag of chips on the back seat of your car or in your backpack, you’ll know you should have (and could have) come better prepared.
How many calories you need to survive depends on your metabolic rate, age, height, weight and fitness levels. Regardless, some food products offer you better nutritional options and more flexibility than others. So here’s some simple ideas that can help you out if you get into trouble – whether you’re on a simple day trip, or tackling the Big Lap.
YOUR VEHICLE’S TUCKER BOX
I’ve looked in a lot of tucker boxes in my time. Travelling with friends and thinking about family camps as kids, there’s usually been a