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Meals on the hop
  |  First Published: February 2003



Camping is not only about erecting tents and all the paraphernalia that goes with the perfect campsite. Once you get there and set up your camp, that’s when all the fun begins.

My partner and I are avid fishos, so we nearly always camp where there is water, fresh or salt. Hiking and bird-watching are also favourite pastimes of ours, so we take along some extra essentials when we are in an area likely to encourage these kinds of activities.

The old-fashioned cane picnic hamper of yesteryear has been upgraded into new-style backpacks which contain all the essential components for a great picnic. The range is quite extensive, from two-person evening wine packs to six-person full picnic bags complete with thermos and food containers as well as the usual plates, cups and cutlery.

The idea of backpacks is not new but the ones now on the market really cater for your entire picnic needs. After a long hike there is nothing better than to be able to enjoy a delicious meal before returning to camp. Likewise, when you have been on the water for a few hours, a snack is usually more than welcome. This is particularly true when the fish are biting, but so are the hunger pangs. I have also noticed that when all is quiet, if I bring out the tea and bikkies, the fish seem to just know that it is tucker time and go on the bite themselves.

This has happened more often than I care to recall, so food on board is usually the norm so that we can get those fish biting! Then there is also the prospect of a moonlit picnic for two and the wine pack really does fit the bill.

When travelling we usually prepare for our morning tea and lunch to be eaten at rest stops. If the picnic pack is easily accessible whilst you are travelling and is packed with nutritious food, you are less likely to be tempted to stop for that greasy takeaway.

The money saved by packing your own meals will allow you to do a lot more on your travels. It can take time to pack meals but the time spent doing so is well worth the effort. Evan a salad sandwich costs on average $3 per person so, over a two-week you will save at least $84, which may well pay for that picnic set in one holiday.. Further trips mean further savings which you can spend on essential items like camping fees and so on.

When purchasing your equipment, the best advice is always available from your local camping store. They usually have the largest variety of styles and prices and the staff know which products will best suit your needs.

Camping Country Superstore in Belmont supplies all products used by us for our travels and Bruce, Narelle and staff are always willing to assist with any inquiry.

PHOTO

The size and configuration of these picnic backpacks is varied to suit individual needs and budgets.

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