Author Topic: touring without "eating out"  (Read 6494 times)

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Offline sspeed

Re: touring without "eating out"
« Reply #15 on: April 11, 2013, 10:32:18 am »
We were talking about it and, like a lot of you mentioned, eating at mom and pop diners is part of the fun.  Maybe a better option is to try and eat out only once a day and use the great ideas here to make camp meals the rest of the time.

Offline Pat Lamb

Re: touring without "eating out"
« Reply #16 on: April 11, 2013, 11:42:59 am »
That said, grocery stores have a huge variety of ready to eat and easy to prepare items and many have hot food and deli counters where you can eat well at moderate cost.

It varies by location.  You could eat a week's worth of different meals pre-prepared by the grocery stores in my home town, but in some small towns on the TA (eastern Kentucky and western Kansas in particular), sometimes you're lucky if they have any fresh foods.

Offline e46rick

Re: touring without "eating out"
« Reply #17 on: April 11, 2013, 12:26:01 pm »
Top Ramen - only has to cook for 3 minutes
Cous cous - just bring water to a boil and let it sit for 5 minutes. 
Minute Rice -
 
All three are cheap, easy, light and require relatively little fuel to cook.  They are available at most grocery stores.  Add veggies and/or packaged tuna or chicken to any of them for a more balanced meal. 



Freeze dried meals can get expensive if you're eating them every day.  Plus, they really aren't very good unless you're completely famished, then anything tastes good.

Offline Patco

Re: touring without "eating out"
« Reply #18 on: April 11, 2013, 07:41:41 pm »
Dehydrated foods have improved considerably over the years. My spouse and I like Mountain House and we have a number of go-to meals that serve us well when backpacking and on bike trips. I suggest you purchase a meal or two and try at home and make up your own mind on whether they are palatable. And yes, you are able to refuel on such meals without harm.

Offline Westinghouse

Re: touring without "eating out"
« Reply #19 on: April 12, 2013, 08:11:34 am »
Beware of getting caught in the convenience store trap. Sometimesyou might be in a region where you go through small towns for days. Getting in late and on Sundays might force you to use CSs only for a while. If you get the ones that sell prepared pizza, fried chicken, potato logs, maccaroni and cheese, and other deli stuff, you are ok for a while. Others may have plenty to drink but a paucity of nutritional food.  Potato chips and bologna sandwiches don't make it for a day on the road. The beer is always good though.

Offline paddleboy17

Re: touring without "eating out"
« Reply #20 on: April 12, 2013, 12:40:42 pm »
Our original poster's trip is only 11 days long.  I guess if he had to, 11 days worth of freeze dried stuff could be carried...

Sounds like we have turned him on to real food. 

I have read tales of backpackers going for a week on just macaroni--I hope I never have to eat like that.  Since his trip is only 11 days, I would think he could research his route and determine where he can resupply and where there are restaurants.  I don't love peanut butter and jelly, so I try to eat lunch in some small town, but I do carry the stuff in case I need it.

He mentioned burning a hole in aluminum.  I have a different argument for stainless steel.  Ti and aluminum cookware is generally so thin walled that it is only of use for boiling water.  Stainless steel cook gear is pretty thin too but there is some heat integration going on and you are less likely to burn whatever you are cooking.  But if all you want to do is boil water, it is hard to beat aluminum.

As for carrying both a white gas stove and an alcohol stove, I would just settle on one.  Just carry one kind of fuel.  We used to take white gas stoves, I had a Whisperlite and my buddy had a Dragonfly.  We converted to alcohol because we found the stoves to be easier to use and we found their lower temp cook flames to be more friendly for food prep.  I also like that if the alcohol fuel bottle leaks  it is no big deal where as if the white gas leaks that could be a big deal.   It is hard to knock the Tragia as it out performs the Super-Cat stoves I used to make.

I think you need to make some test meals at home using your cook gear.  Evaluate how bulky the food items are versus how tasty they are.  See how you feel about food prep and clean up.  Do some test meals with freeze dried stuff and see how you feel about that.  You have not mentioned MREs.  I hear about people buying them and using them.  Our military uses them in field, after the boys field strip them and discard excess packaging before sticking them in a back pack.

I think you got some experimenting to do. ;D
Danno

Offline indyfabz

Re: touring without "eating out"
« Reply #21 on: April 12, 2013, 03:27:38 pm »
For stove I do have an MSR DragonFly (can run on unleaded) and was planning on also making a soda can stove, so the two combined might be good for cooking and water.

I have a Dragon Fly. I cook elaborate meals with it, whether I am going solo or with the GF. Why would you need anything else? When solo, I bring two nesting pots. In one I first cook the "go-with"--something like sausage or boneless chicken cut into strips with whatever vegetables I can find, onion and fresh garlic. Once that's done, I will cook the pasta in the second pot. When that's done, I put the first pot back on the stove for re-heat while I drain the pasta. The formula is the same when there are two of us, only we carry a larger second pot to be able to properly cook enough pasta for two.

Here is a meatless version made in camp in about 40 min. of prep and cooking time:

http://www.flickr.com/photos/davez2007/8642778947/in/photostream

Seems slow, but the water was very cold so it took a while to boil.

As for grocery availability, when you have your route down you can go to Google Maps and search for "Grocery stores near [name of town]". You do have to be careful about hours of operation as you do with restaurants. I have stayed in plenty of small towns where the grocery stores have closed as early as 6 p.m. Your best bet is a larger chain like Safeway.

With all that said, I agree with the others who say that the local cafe, etc., is where many memories are made, even if you just go for a slice of pie after cooking dinner.

Offline sspeed

Re: touring without "eating out"
« Reply #22 on: April 13, 2013, 03:43:46 pm »
Thanks everyone, for all the replies.  Have definitely turned me on to real food vs the freeze dried stuff, and also convinced me to at least do a few stops in local diners.  I planned on making a lot of test meals, including some of the Mountain House ones just for fun.  I've made a lot of meals with the same items while car camping before, but then you have a big duffel bag full of camp gear with you and things like a bottle of dish soap and all utensils are no big deal.

I posted my route on another thread awhile back.  I have the route down and have also researched the towns.  Google Maps has a nice street view that you can read store names from in the towns.  Quite a few of these towns are near ghost towns and don't have much beyond a gas station and steakhouse.  Many grocery stores have gone out of business along the corridor as bigger towns are half an hour away by car.

Here's my route for fun...

http://www.motate.org/riders/scottdeleeuw/trip/trip.php
« Last Edit: May 11, 2013, 08:52:30 am by sspeed »

Offline freightbike

Re: touring without "eating out"
« Reply #23 on: April 14, 2013, 10:32:34 pm »
I like to bring a dragonfly stove along with a nonstick frypan and two or three pots nested together. I bring along Krusteaze pancake mix and some blueberry syrup. A couple packs of ramen noodles for emergencies crammed in with the pots. Just about any little store will have canned spaghetti and canned vegetables and some kind of protein, hotdogs, spam, tuna. I pack in some instant potato's to thicken things up when it seems needed. Vary the food by whats available, get amazed by the variety when you get to a town that has a big grocery store with a deli. I put yogurt on the pancakes when it's available. I like the dragonfly because it has a fold up wind screen and a flame adjustment that is much more supple than the other MSR's I've used. I burn white gas when I can get it, including keeping an eye out for other campers who might be using it and buying some off them.
May the wind at your back always smell like home.
                  MORG

Offline indyfabz

Re: touring without "eating out"
« Reply #24 on: April 15, 2013, 10:50:23 am »
I've made a lot of meals with the same items while car camping before, but then you have a big duffel bag full of camp gear with you and things like a bottle of dish soap and all utensils are no big deal.

I still use and old MSR Blacklite cook set minus the frying pan. The two pots nest. I put a bandana between the two pots so they don't rub against each other while I am riding. Inside the smaller pot I can fit a folding spatula, a folding pot strainer, sponge, small plastic vial of dish soap, the pot gripper, a few small Nalgene bottles containing spices, a head of garlic, collapsible plastic cork screw and pack towel.

Think small. You are not going to be on the road that long.

Offline mbattisti

Re: touring without "eating out"
« Reply #25 on: April 16, 2013, 02:36:58 pm »
I would agree to reconsider this touring without eating out challenge.  Part of the highlites of my TransAm trip was the great food and people, conversation, connecting with communities which was made possible in a large part by local mom and pop diners.  Breakfasts are usually cheap, and when you figure in the bottomless cup of Joe, and all the ice and water to fill your bottles, and maybe a few packets of Jam for that bagel 20 miles down the road, all in all a pretty good deal.
We also passed thru some towns where we heard cyclists felt unwelcomed.  Maybe if more cyclists patronized the businesses, instead of just asking to use a bathroom and mooching for water, this wouldn't be an issue.

Offline bikeman

Re: touring without "eating out"
« Reply #26 on: April 19, 2013, 11:42:23 pm »
Why. 
Regards: Clyde
The journey is my destination.

Offline Cat

Re: touring without "eating out"
« Reply #27 on: April 21, 2013, 09:12:29 am »
Several of you mention "local mom and pop diner" - What is that?

Offline Pat Lamb

Re: touring without "eating out"
« Reply #28 on: April 21, 2013, 11:26:53 am »
Several of you mention "local mom and pop diner" - What is that?

Small, locally owned and operated diners are often operated by the owners' family, thus known generically as "Mom and Pop Diner."  They know and are known by the locals, who often will go there for a regular cup of coffee, sometimes a breakfast, every morning.  These restaurants are often the only restaurant option within 15 miles or so, and are often overwhelmed when a chain restaurant opens nearby, as they can't compete with the variety of pre-packaged foods the chains offer.  When they do survive, you can bet it's because of the welcoming atmosphere and fresh, tasty food -- both great reasons to stop and check them out.

On a side note, it's accepted wisdom that when you come into a town and there are several restaurants, go to the one with the parking lot ful of local cars and trucks.  The locals know where the good food and good prices are; out-of-towners will often spring for a well known name, even when the food's not so good and more expensive.

Offline indyfabz

Re: touring without "eating out"
« Reply #29 on: April 22, 2013, 11:12:05 am »
Several of you mention "local mom and pop diner" - What is that?

Small, locally owned and operated diners are often operated by the owners' family, thus known generically as "Mom and Pop Diner."  They know and are known by the locals, who often will go there for a regular cup of coffee, sometimes a breakfast, every morning.

In Darby, MT we had breakfast at Sandy's Silver Spoon or something like that. A couple of regular locals came in, went behind the counter and poured their own coffee so the lone waitress could see to the other customers.

Places like that are fun to visit. They are also good places to pick up intel, such a nicer roads to ride. You may even get a surprise. In a local diner in Poe, IN on the Northern Tier, a compadre and I ended up in a conversation with the former Mayor, who was an active farmer. We talked about our trip and he told us all bout the new volunteer fire house the town had built. He eventually went to work in the fields. When we asked for our check a short time later, the waitress told us he had paid for our breakfasts.