Leading a club trip can be a bit a daunting for new leaders, especially when it comes to planning the evening meals, and catering for omnivores, vegetarians and the gluten free. For those running multi-day trips, menu planning brings additional challenges as leaders have to consider nutrition, ensuring there is plenty of variety, the type of trip and terrain, the energy demands of the party while at the same time maintaining pack weights within reasonable limits.

More General Information (click the arrow)

The Committee recognised that club members have accumulated a considerable body of knowledge and experience with planning and running trips. We decided that everyone would benefit if we collated and the published the recipes that club members have developed and tested on trips. 

The first edition of the PTC cookbook is not the last word by any means. Go out, test the recipes, and experiment with different ingredients and quantities, and give the Committee your feedback or provide new recipes to share. It’s likely that we haven’t got some of the quantities quite right, the instructions may be too cryptic or confusing, and varying the ingredients might improve the recipes!! 


We would like to thank everyone who contributed recipes, ideas and advice for the cookbook. In particular we would like to thank the (TTC) Tararua Tramping Club for allowing to us to use and adapt recipes from their cookbook: “Recipes for the Outdoors”. We would also like to acknowledge the Wellington Tramping and Mountaineering Club; we have used the same layout for the recipes as their cookbook. 


Recipe layout 

Nearly all the recipes follow the same format. There is a “standard” recipe for a party of four people. As far as possible the quantities have been specified by weight (grams) so that quantities can be scaled up and down depending on the numbers of people in the party. But to help trip leaders, especially those who are packing in a rush, we have included a table of quantities for parties ranging from two to ten people. 

Some authors have suggested alternative ingredients. These are listed under “Variations ...” 

Rice or pasta as a source of carbohydrate should make up between 1/3 and 1⁄2 of the meal weight. 

Food weights 

As a general guide to individual dry food weights ( i.e. per person/ day): breakfasts – 150g -200g; lunches – 150 – 200g; dinner-180g-200g; snacksabout150g; drinks including milk powder-and sugar – 50g. 

On a long trip, it’s good to be at the 200g end of things particularly towards the end of the trip when people are getting hungrier. On relatively short/easy trips, the quantities can be varied. For example, where perhaps you walk only 5-6 hours per day or when there are lots of women in the party) you might consider reducing the weight down to as little as 150g or alternatively increase the weight and take fresh vegetables and /or fruit for variety. 

Labelling & packing 

The complete meals should be packed into one or two plastic bags.If the ingredients are to be cooked separately, e.g. rice, couscous, then these should packed separately, otherwise if the ingredients are going to be added at the same time, they can be put into the same plastic bag. 

On longer trips, label the meals and include a brief set of cooking instructions. 

Try out the recipes at home

If you are unsure of the recipe, first try it at home so you have a fair idea of what to do and what the results should look like! There is nothing worse than arriving late a camp, and trying to figure out how to cook a new recipe with a hungry party waiting impatiently for dinner!


How much fuel to take is a tricky question? Fuel consumption depends on a variety of factors, such as the, the type of meals, the type of stove, whether you cook on fires occasionally, whether you need to melt snow, how efficiently cookers are used, e.g. is a wind shield being used to minimise draughts etc. 

Before setting out on a trip, get some advice, especially if you haven’t used a particular type of stove before. As a rough guide, work on about 60 to 80ml/person /day, but increase the quantity if you think you will need to melt snow, or require more fuel for cooking meals. It is also useful to take extra fuel for possible contingencies. During the trip, keep a careful eye on the fuel consumption. 

Cooking hints 

For evening meals, tell everyone to bring their own soups. A hot soup is a good way of staving off hunger pangs while waiting for the evening meal to be cooked. 

If cooking rice and dehydrated vegetables together, don’t strain off excess water as this contains many nutrients. Instead simply stir in some potato flakes to absorb the water. The flakes are lightweight and do not take up much room in the pack. 

Tired of bland rice, and dehydrated vegetables. Experiment with the wide variety of Asian flavoured sachets which are sold in many supermarkets and Asian food stores. Again try them out at home first. Some of the mixes are very spicy, and you may decide to reduce the quantity of flavourings. Check also to see whether the mixes are suitable for vegetarians. 

Other sources of tramping recipes include: 


(PDF Files)