Wednesday, 25 September 2013

trekmates travel towel

 TrekMates TravelTowel

My approach to personal hygiene on the trail is akin to that of a young boy’s aversion to soap and water. With a few exceptions; I brush my teeth, wash my hands before preparing food, and after going to the loo. I may even splash water on my face if the occasion calls for it, which isn’t often. On some trips I’ll have a wet wipe sleeping bag bath. With all these there is no need for a towel and if needs be I can dry myself with either my buff or bandana. And there’s the fickle nature of the campsite shower; on some sites the showers are free, on others there’s a charge, occasionally no shower at all, and as for the temperature of the water… let’s not get started on that one.

However on longer trips, and especially on those in hotter climes, I’ll pack a towel. Microfibre towels like the TrekMates TravelTowel are a stock item; soft to the touch, absorbent and quick to dry. The towel has a handy loop so that I can hang it off my rucksack or tree, fence… you get the idea.

Mine came from Silverfox Travel and Outdoors and is currently on offer at £6.99.

lentil and cheese slices

Lunch is served

It’s often a good thing to get a fresh pair of eyes on things. The subject of food is very close to my heart and a regular topic of conversation with others who have an interest in the same subject. Inevitably I’d end up quizzing people with what they pack for lunch.

The basis of my lunch is oatcakes along with pate or squeezy cheese, not exactly exciting fare but does the job especially when bolstered with the usual suspects such as dried fruit and nuts, fresh fruit, chocolate or cereal bars. On rare occasions, I’ll bake a gluten free flat bread flavoured with cheese, garlic and rosemary.

After a couple of trips, the oatcakes and mushroom pate had lost their appeal, and I was out of gluten free bread mix for making flat bread, so one of the group volunteered to make some lentil and cheese slices ‘for a change’. My first thought was, ‘What amount of carbohydrate (CHO) are these going to have?’ because although pulses are high in CHO not all of it can be digested. Her recipe, below, cunningly includes gluten free bread crumbs to increase the amount CHO. These will keep for a couple of days so make a great option for weekend trips. They don’t have to be an exclusive lunch item – I’d happily have a slice as part of breakfast or supper!

Lentil and cheese slices

225g split red lentils, rinsed
450ml water
1 onion
25g butter
100g strong cheddar
1 tsp mixed herbs
2 slices of gluten free bread
1 free range egg


Cook the lentils in the measured water until soft and all the liquid has been absorbed. Chop the onion, then melt the butter in the saucepan and fry the onion until transparent. Combine all the ingredients together and press into an oiled 23cm swissroll tin. Bake in the oven at 190c for 30 minutes. Allow to cool and cut into wedges, wrap the wedges in foil, any that aren’t going into the rucksack can be frozen.