Plan Ahead and Prepare
One Pot Meal
Use this activity as an attention grabber and round-about introduction to the Plan Ahead principle.
Participants will understand that planning meals properly is one main component of this principle and will be eager to learn more about the principle.
15 minutes for session, 10 to prepare food
Participants will be able to:
- Choose minimal impact meal options
- Distinguish between good and poor food choices to minimize impact
- Identify ways to reduce unnecessary garbage before a trip begins
- Backpacking stoves and fuel - one for each meal you want to show
- Food items for each recipe you cook - teriyaki salmon, chicken and noodles, beef and noodles. Lipton dry noodle pouches and pouches or cans of salmon, chicken, and beef work well.
- Spoon to serve each meal
- Printed recipes for each student
- Paper and pencil for each student
- Original packaging from food and packaging it was carried in
- Spoon and cup or small bowl for each student
- The time not spent on building a fire and cleaning multiple pots is spent enjoying the day.
- My body is stressed less and able to travel faster and farther with a lighter pack.
- There is less chance of dropped bits of packaging and less trash weight to carry out.
- Set up the backpacking stoves and prepare the one-pot meals for each one. It will take about 10 minutes total to heat the food, so setting this up during an afternoon break works well. Or, have an assistant get the stoves and food set up.
- Have participants gather, preferably downwind so they can smell the food.
- Hand out the recipes, blank paper, and pencil to each student.
- Make these points:
- These are samples of easy, low-impact meals for backpacking
- Each meal gets one pot dirty which means just one pot to clean
- Deciding on the kind of food, source of heat, and packaging was part of my planning for the trip.
- Show and compare the original packaging to the repackaging materials. If you are preparing just one bag of noodles and pouch of salmon, then repackaging doesn't gain anything.
But, if you were making 4 bags for a crew of 8 people, repacking all the ingredients into a zip-loc bag keeps the individual bags at home.
Putting all the food items for a meal inside a larger zip-loc helps organize and consolidate garbage.
- Meat comes in cans or pouches - pouches are less weight and easier to pack as trash.
- Have each participant get a spoon and bowl and take a sample from whichever meals they want.
- While they are trying the food, ask them to write down a recipe they like to have while camping. Have them make a list of all the ingredients required for the meal.
- Ask for a volunteer to share his recipe. As a group, discuss how well it would work as a backcountry meal and what changes might be made to improve its appropriateness. Discuss what repackaging might help. Repeat with other volunteers.
- What are the major benefits of proper meal planning?
(nutrition, minimal pack weight, flexible cooking options, more free time)
- How does planning the correct amount of food minimize impact?
(less waste to dispose of properly)