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Food preparations for Burning Man

I'm going to Burning Man again this year (can't wait!), but unlike last year my camp will not be providing meals for everyone. I don't even cook for myself at home, let alone have the equipment or know-how to cook for myself in the middle of the desert.

Does anyone have any suggestions for what I can do? I'll have access to a cooler and an unlimited quantity of ice, but I'll have no fire or grill on which I can prepare meals. I'd prefer to not eat protein bars all week :(

Thank you!

Edit: I will be bringing any trash I produce back out with me at the end of the week, so cans and packaging must be at a minimum (preferably eschewed altogether).

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  1. Take:

    1. lots of fruit, especially citrus
    2. granola & UHT packs of milk
    3. cooked stuff in containers: rice and beans; chili; sliced meats; shredded chicken (and sauces for the latter two) and more
    4. raisins, dried fruit, cured meats
    5. Since you don't cook a little CH heresy might be in order: selected canned goods like black beans, chili, ravioli, corn, ...

    Life would get simpler if you also take along a single-burner propane cannister stove, a pot, a knife, a small cutting board. Being able to make rice or pasta would be a plus. A pan for eggs and hash browns. Heating up food would be a plus.

    1. If you like Indian food those Tasty Bite meals are shelf stable, nutritious and very tasty. TJs also sells shelf stable cooked brown rice for a complete meal.
      Nuts, dried fruit, trail mix, jerky.
      Powdered soups and (eeeek!) instant pot noodles
      Lots of Emergen-C sachets
      Corn tortillas have a surprisingly long shelf life
      Cereal, crackers with hard cheese, cookies and other carby goodness
      Some canned stuff is alright - beans, tuna etc

      *edit Just noted that you'll have lots of ice! You can make/buy some prepared foods that keep well, such as couscous salad, quinoa pilaf, pasta/potato salad (no mayo so it keeps longer) and cooked beans, corn etc.

      1 Reply
      1. re: hrhboo

        Tasty Bites and cous cous were the bomb when I went to Burning Man. So easy (just boil in the bag) and clean up was a breeze. Great suggestion. Pull them out of the box when packing and you can fit a lot with little trash for when you do hit the Playa.

        Oops, just realized you'll have no heat. Seriously, get a little single burner stove. Well worth it. If you can handle it cold, Tasty Bites are fully cooked.

      2. Stuff you don't have to chill or heat at all: Trail mix, nuts, and dried fruits in ziplock bags. Beef or turkey jerky. Granola/energy bars. Hard salami sticks.

        You will want lots of water. Bring gallon jugs if possible.

        1. The original comment has been removed
          1. Hey PJ! We are heading to Buring Man for the 1st time this year! We will have an rv, cooler space and cooking surfaces. I see that folks are recommending fruits and cheeses - can they really last out there? I am assuming the Bread will have a shelf life of 20 minutes. In short - what have you eaten in the past??

            KGB1967(at)gmail(dot)com