‘creating narratives’ part 2: eating OUT (week 2)

As we progress through our university studies, we are taking more and more responsibility for setting ourselves targets and come up with a personal schedule.  This week, I have written a project brief for Creating Narratives with the multi-tool end result in mind.  The focus is on communicating my camping story and showing how much fun it can be.

Brief: eating OUT

In case the link above won’t open, here it is:


TITLE: eating OUT (a personal dining experience in unconventional settings)


What is it this project about?

As a regular touring cyclists and wild campers, my husband and I have come to love the outdoors and the temporary break from the trappings of hi-tech life and the assault on the senses. There is no more fulfilling down time than sharing a simple hot meal and quiet conversation in a deciduous forest after a long day of cycling. I hope to show this to others and convey a wonderfully satisfying experience I have enjoyed over the last 15 years.

What exactly am I investigating?

From an outsiders’ point of view, the stages of cooking are not radically different to that on any hob but do require careful planning (especially as there is only one burner with a limited gas supply). It is probably the various elements inherent to our particular al fresco dinner that are not familiar or expected. For this reason, these are likely to be the most interesting parts to focus on. I think that most people will not ever try this kind of dining if they are slightly fussy about what they eat/where they sit or are put off by unnecessary exposure to the weather, wildlife and insects.

What are the main considerations?

To get to grips with the narrative details and requirements of this module, I intend to look at the specific features of eating outside that make the experience personal and so rewarding to us. The location itself is also significant, and much time and effort go into finding a discrete spot for the tent with/without tree coverage, cooking area, and if possible, a fire. Timing is crucial, as fading daylight will seriously hamper the best of meal preparations. Everything for cooking and the fire needs to be set in place well before the sun goes down. This means by the time we’ve found enough firewood and pitched the tent, dinner is almost ready and a plastic cup of wine is most welcome.

Why is this of interest to me?

A multi-tool to pull together several aspects of food preparation and/or consumption would refine our outdoor kitchen whilst lessening the need to always plan as thoroughly. It would also serve to simplify meal and ingredient combinations when physically exhausted, feeling slightly lightheaded and needing lots of calories/salts to replace the ones sweated out during the day on the road.

How do I intend to undertake this?

In breaking down the processes and individual stages involved in a camping meal, I hope to better understand the need/applications for certain components of the kit. Keeping an eye on our water usage is one of the most important parts and therefore worth investigation.   Having personal experience of creating and eating such meals means I am more than familiar with all aspects of the realities of this project and not just as an academic exercise.

These are images of the equipment we currently use.

SAM_7701 a stone firepit stops a fire getting out of control and is a great discovery for fellow campers

rokCoHalk2uZw-ATfz2PzFpda62MeOsbLC1Y6Olm1TQ=w288-h162-p-no just couldn’t be bothered to keep stuff organised so everything came out of the panniers

SAM_7207 we don’t normally carry glass bottles but we had found a superb spot in Belgium with easy access to a shop


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