How to Plan Food for Trips

Even if you're not a big fan of food, planning of meals and quantities of food and water and beverages, and how to carry them remains an essential skill which can make your trip much fun, or put you and your friends at the risk of food severe shortage that may indeed cause you to cancel trip.

For those who are new to organizing this part or find it difficulto to do in frequent trips of various natures; long and weekend trips, in medium or small groups, and to a variety of destinations, this how-to may be of great help as it compiles a number of food-planning options to ensure enjoyable trips, avoiding too much leftovers, or unexpected shortages.

In essence, this is more of a Food-Planning Guide that includes many ideas offered for different types of Safaris.

(A) Food Planning for Camping Trips:

You start off by counting your meals:

Each meal will be packed in double garbage bag as follows:

  • Breakfast in blue (early morning of blue sky)
  • Lunch in white ( noon 's sky becomes white because of the Sun)
  • Dinner in black bags

 

Bags will be loaded onto the cars and brought out at their desired timings, each meal according to its defined color.

Choose a shaded area near cars with some good view, spread the disposable Mafrash plastic, assign a garbage bag and place it close to you picnic spot and then bring 3 or more bottles of water. Open the bag and put similar cans together and open them one by one so that you can save what's left for later. Enjoy! 

Do not forget to pick the garbage and carry it with you in one of the riding cars.

Prior to that stage, you need to:

 

  • Calculate with some accuracy how much cans in each meal for the number of travelers in the safari. Extras will load the cars with unneeded weight, less will leave people irritated. Water and Gas must exceed your calculation with certain factor of safety.
  • Make good alternatives and good variety (fruits and snacks, also Potatos (Puree), Lentils, Bisara, Hommos, Tehina and other powder foods were mentioned as a good option)
  • Make good food packable (ie, could survive the beating of the offroad without becoming horribly unusuable in the packing) and storable in your 4x4s. VERY important aspect for rugged terrains, otherwise you ll end up losing your food.
  • With the absence of fridges, you will need not to bring anything that requires storage like cold-cuts (that's why cans are the best)
  • Remember that SaharaSafaris policy dictates that leaders and drivers are out of cost calculations, which means that 4x4 owners will be excluded from dividing gas and food cost in Safari trips.
  • Collect some downpayment from the voyagers joining the trip, around 30 LE/person/day for food only (excluding the 4x4 owners)

 

Now you start calculating items needed for each meal.

First here's the list of items of food that seemed to be packable and diversified enough:

LE *

Items

 

Large Lubnani white bread bag (it stays soft for days unlike other types of bread)

2.75 - 3.95

Foul Can

4.49

Sausage Can

11.45

Chicken Luncheon Can

2.15 - 4.15

Harvest Cans

5.6 **

Noodles (must have its Cup in its pack)

4.85 - 5.25

Fita white cheese

 

Bottled water

4.75 - 5.25

Sweet Corns Cans

3.80 - 4.35

Tuna Cans

6.29 - 6.85

Salatuna Cans

8.79

Tuna in water

2.70

La vache qui ri Cheese triangles

7.95

Pineapple Kumpote can

 (-)  Powder foods such as Potatos (Puree), Lentils, Bisara, Hommos, Tehina ... etc

Prices as available at Awlad Ragab:
Tel: 7544449 - 0800881234
Mail: info@ragabsons.com as of 2003/12/29 (needing updates)

- Other than that, fruits should be packed in solid boxes (normally every 10 persons can consume a box for 3 days. A box is about 20 kgs for LE 70) that has:

 

  • Tangerine
  • Oranges
  • Apples

 

Items List:

LE

Items

1.5

Marie biscuits

13.95

Halawa Tehinia

14.65

Tea bags 100bags Lipton

13.25

Capuccino bags 10

2.20

Sugar 1 kg

2.15

Heinz Ketchup (200gm)

13.95

Creamer

1.25

Nido powder milk 40 gm

20.75

Nescafe 200 gm

--

Slices of carrots and cucumber

4.15

Kitchen Tissues

12.25

24 toilet paper rolls

2.70

1 litre Coke or Fanta bottles

4.00

Garbage bags roll

13.95

Energizer Alkaline batteries (6)

5.25

Plastic sheets (mafrash) roll

 

Water Consumption:

  • 2 bottles/person. day

     

  • This covers all needs of drinking, washing for praying, etc (emergency water for cars should be on a separate count.

Try to buy these items and as many food as you can from the nearest village to your camp: Locals of your safari area deserve to benefit from your traveling than Metro or Awlad Ragab.

 

LE

Items

 

12 bottles box

 

Bonfire, etc items are:

 

  • Bag of at least 10 kilos of firewood (with enough thin pieces to start fire and large pieces to create Gamr for heat)
  • Candles (at least 5 for every night spent in camping.
  • New torch for emergencies
  • Batteries for torches, GPSs and walky-talkie.
  • Matchboxes - lighters
  • 3 colors of garbage bags
  • Emergency dishes, forks and spoons and cups
  • Big kettle for noodles and tea water
  • Butagas with strong flame good enough for boiling water in large kettles
  • Pan for heating Foul,  etc.

 

Each person could provide their personal items as following:

LE

Items

2.05

Disposable dish 10

0.80

Disposable cups

0.75

Disposable Utensils (spoon, fork, and knife 10)

25

Car mug (plastic and with lid)

--

Mug

--

Tea thermos for long days in car

--

Sleeping bag (maybe additional blanket for inside guarantee of warmth) and thermal mat underneath

--

Ice cap, gloves and probably camel hair socks for cold nights

Breakfast (Cold normally):

Now each breakfast (cold) should have those approx amounts placed here per person (multiply by number of ALL participants) :

Amount

Item

1.5

Bread (leaf = reghif)

0.1

Fita white cheese (pack)

0.2

Foul Can

0.1

Biscuit Marie (pack)

0.25

Sausage can


Amounts are approximated up after multiplying.

You'll multiply the amounts by total number of participants and multiply them by the number of breakfasts found the first table above and note those numbers down as part of the buying list you're going to shop for.

Lunch (Cold normally):

Amount

Item

2.5

Bread (leaf = reghif)

0.25

Sausage can

0.25

Sweet Corn can

0.1

Chicken Luncheon can

0.15

Harvest Can

0.25

Tuna can

- Dinner (Hot normally):

Amount

Item

2.5

Bread (leaf = reghif)

0.5

Noodles pack

0.1

Foul Cans

0.1

Fita White Cheese (pack)

0.25

Sausage can

0.25

Harvest Can

0.1

Sweet Corn can

0.1

Lavachequiri Cheese (pack)

0.25

Coke/Fant bottle (1.5 liter)

 

Important Notes

  • Remember that the above is not what each person eats but the average from the sum of all consumption. For instance, 1 leaf of bread mentioned here means that there will be one who eats two loaves of bread and another eats zero.
  • Above is based on a group of half girls and half guys. Based on experience girls eat less so you might like to compensate that if your group is different.
  • Items are not all to be consumed in one meal. For instance, those who take noodles are not expected to eat everything else on the menu above, but maybe a bit from here and bit from there.
  • Noodles have been found to be a famous meal for camps dinners! :) Please not that City people are used to too much amounts which they can throw away after finishing their dinner but that is meaningless in safaris (wasted money and space in cars and wasted food for nobody's benefit). Since they'll complain if you make noodles exclusively for dinner, you have to add other items in menu. It's okay to make for such wanted items a count that ensures that their total number over all nights are more than the total number of participants so if you miss the noodles in one night, you will guarantee for them at least one before safari is over. If the demand recurred over several safaris you can make a surprise night of All-Noodles dinner or whatever popular in your group. Make that after several safaris of disappointments for not having enough noodles. Jokes (even if were thrown at you) could make people enjoy so try to make them happy. :)
  • If you have one item like Harvest Cans that has many types of food in it, you can spread the count over as many types as possible and place randomly in meals' bags.
  • Be creative in your choices so if you found something that isn't mentioned in the list but could fit in the menus (eg, Salatuna) you can swap it with some of the amounts of Tuna.
  • Email this document if you wish with all your friends even if they don't intend to make safaris soon. Ideas here have inspired people to organize trips just to have the fun of organizing the food and its pleasures and surprises.
  • Print this entire document, add your notes to it every time you're organizing a safari and send the notes to saharasafaris@ yahoogroups. com so that we can all learn more from each others experiences.

Shopping Night:

Most enjoyable! Take friends to help and enjoy the process as we all enjoyed spending a thousand pounds in one night. Choose place where noodles are sold in cups. Also ask for an area in which you can pack all your stuff in bags before you leave. Metro, Awlad Ragab, Carrefour, etc are good places for that. By end of the night, you should have one of the 4x4s to carry all the stuff and keep it until day of loading the 4x4s. Make sure it won't be more than 2 days before the starting day of the safari.

Camping:

  • Never forget to collect everything in garbage bags that won't cut for the sharp edges of opened cans. You might like to use garbage bags of nylon fabric. Clear the contents of the cans so they won't leak from the bags over your car. If away from beaten roads you can throw all eatable matters that wildlife might consume or get biodegraded, but even this is wrong near roads or near towns.
  • If at well, don't throw any water you took from the well back in it: this pollutes the well and stirs the dust in its bottom needlessly. Actually throwing water at soil surrounding the well insures that it's back to the groundwater and filtered by the sand in the process to be cleaner again. It also ensures that the well water is running and replenished.
  • on't put any other open bags near garbage bags, they'll be used as garbage too.
  • In addition to meals' bags, there should be other bags for: tea, towels, dishes, and biscuits, etc. Also, another bag for bonfire needs. Water bottles should be left in their own boxes and every empty bottle put back in box to support it during packing or it'll collapse if half empty.

(B) Foods for your Day Pack:

1. Foods for Hiking Trips:

  • Some suggestions included snacks that are rich in energy, such as quality Dates Like (TAMR AL MADENA) & high grade honey, like the Yemenis SEDR Wild bees' honey, as they deploy massive content of sugar into the blood, which makes the body switches off one's hunger for long hours.
  • This as well be very helpful in Hiking Trips.
  • Other reccomendations for handy foods for Hiking Day Trips may also indlude:
    (Quantities according to each person's capacity of needs)

P.S.: you may need t carry water boilers...

  1. Salted Crackers
  2. Dried Fruits
  3. Fresh Fruits
  4. Nuts (Preferablt salted)
  5. Canned Sardenes, Salmoc, Tuna, Salami.. Etc
  6. Bread
  7. Hard Cheese
  8. Water (minimum 2.5 liters per person)
  9. Sweets and candy
  10. Noodles
  11. Coffee packs
  12. Tea bags
  13. Noodles
  14. Peanut Butter

2. Foods for Fishing Trips:

  1. Water
  2. Noodles
  3. Deserts
  4. Rice
  5. Pasta
  6. Fresh Fruits
  7. Fresh vegetables for Salads
  8.  ...
  9.  ...
  10.  ...
  11.  ...

Comments

This article needs;

 

- Updating Prices:
Prices mentioned in this post need updating, as they were gathered a number of years ago.

- Special Foods for more special Trips:
Special foods required for other special trips would add much to the article

- Additional ideas:
Any additional ideas and lessons learned from trips you experienced would enrich the post.

- Easy Recipes:
For those who are into cooking and home-made foods, you contribution here would be highly appreciated.