review by Tony Lourens
There are two major factors that can hugely enrich your experience when out in the mountains, whether on a traverse across the Cederberg or Drakensberg, a trip into the wild Hex, or even an overnight jaunt to your favourite climbing area. One is, you want to carry as light as possible. The other, at the end of the day, when you are tired and weary from a long day on your feet, you want to tuck into a great meal. Now, I’m a lover of fresh produce, but I also realise that there are times when that is just not possible, particularly if you are trying to shave precious weight of your bulging rucksack.
Back Country Cuisine, manufactured in New Zealand, is just the ticket in these situations. Besides being super light, they are simple to make (just add boiling water – about as simple as it gets). And the meal is prepared directly in its own packaging, which has a base, so it is relatively stable to balance on the ground. This also means no dirty dishes at all, except your fork or spoon – no pot nor plate necessary, which means another saving on pots and pans and dish-washing paraphernalia.
There numerous different meals to choose from, including curries, stews, pastas, soups, cottage pie, and a range of soups and desserts as well. And even some delicious smoothies, and a selection of freeze dried fruit chunks. Some meals are even gluten free and veggie friendly!
Tip: I found that adding your favourite mixture of fresh herbs and spices (which weighs nothing) to your meals, makes a notable difference. And if you enjoy big helpings, especially after a long day on the hill, I would possibly take a little extra.
So next time you are packing for your trip and feel the kilos adding up, check out Back Country Cuisine’s range of meals. Don’t expect 3-star Michelin nosh, but in a far flung remote cave, high above the expanse of tundra with wildebeest sweeping majestically across the landscape, I have a feeling you will be pleasantly surprised.
175 g meals (serves 2): R200
Soups (serves 1): R99
Fruit packs: R49