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Deciding what food to take when backpacking can be a difficult task. The major deciding factors being the weight of the food, its taste, longevity, nutrition and your diet. Other considerations are cooking, water and packaging. You may also be concerned about issues such as animal welfare, sustainability and food miles.

MSR camping stove being used to heat up noodles

Make your camping food taste better! Source: Flickr by Beemans.

All these things can be balanced out and compromises can be made. For example, you could eat pre-cooked food cold and leave your camping stove at home. You could take dehydrated meals to save weight, but you will need a water source. If you’re a fan of baked beans you can always empty a can into a re-sealable plastic bag. Fresh produce can be stored for longer in a cool bag with small cold blocks, but this adds to the weight. Everyone has their top tips and I’m sure you’ll want to share some of your own using the comments below.

Are You Hearing That Taste?

If you’re on a long expedition things like noodles and couscous are good options since they are lightweight and quick to cook.The trouble is that they can get boring after a while. Many people will no doubt have experimented with adding their own ingredients, but has anyone tried putting an iPod on the menu?

According to this article on the BBC news website, the taste of food can be improved by adding sound. For example, seafood will taste fresher if you’re listening to the sound of seagulls and waves crashing against the shore. The name for this phenomena is “Sonic Enhanced Food” and it works in the same way that the looks and smell of food enhances your taste.

Its not just sounds effects; music and songs can also improve your taste. The sound of Indian music could make your curry taste more authentic, for example.

Camping Sounds

Whilst out camping in the countryside you may hear the sound of running water from a stream, rain on your fly sheet, trees blowing in the wind, farmyard sounds or noises made by wildlife. It would be great if these sounds enhanced the flavour of our food!

One thing that I find tastes particularly bad when I’m camping is coffee. Adding some coffee whitener, sugar or rum does help to compensate of the lack of fresh milk but it still always tastes horrible. Perhaps the sound of a percolator will fool me into thinking I’m drinking a decent mug of coffee!

So next time you’re off backpacking and want to add a bit extra taste to your food, don’t forget to load up your MP3 player with “Songs To Eat Food By!” Our selection of “favourite hiking songs” will also enrich your backpacking experience!

What other sound / food combinations can you come up with, please leave a comment!

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