Food Preparations — What To Plan For

for those camping at Eden

While all students are responsible for your own meals and what you bring in; as a part of this course, we strongly encourage you to coordinate with one another on group meals and cooking.  It makes good sense on many levels.

Sharing meals/cooking duties – this is optional — with the exception of one group class exercise, but we encourage this to simplify meal times while camping

  • with this being a 10-day course, and each day being full of lessons, hands-on trainings and lots of time in the field — having a plan in advance for the ten days will help simplify food planning at meal-time
  • cooler space:  collaborating together will help with sharing space for cold food items, especially for those traveling by air
  • after a full day of classes, it helps to share the work of preparing meals if you can rotate amongst class members instead of having to start from scratch with each meal
  • instead of having to bring a full arsenal of cooking equipment and goods — these can be pulled together among a group of students so that, example > one person can bring olive oil and another can bring the avocados and so forth
  • coordinating on the food supplies will help students who are traveling in by plane
  • sharing food supplies and gear will lead to less waste and less to worry about disposing of by the end of the course.
  • students will food allergies can coordinate together for making multiple meals


How to Coordinate With Your Classmates!

Our school has a student page set up that helps students who travel in from other locations to coordinate carpools, allows them room to discuss gear or class questions or just to keep in touch before or after courses. We’ve used this for several years successfully and it helps tremendously in coordinating students who want to work together.  That link is here and we already have a ride-share post to Eden ‘pinned’ at the top of that page.


The Eden Cooking Set Up

There is a basic community kitchen building at Eden that has electricity, a sink, full refrigerator, counter top space and stove with oven.  There is also a mish-mash of cooking utensils in the kitchen building.  Outside of the kitchen building is a fire circle for a camp fire and a fire oven for making pizza crusts and all the good stuff.  There are night-time lights strung up between the kitchen building and the picnic benches where you can eat, hang out, prepare food, etc.

When you pack, consider that there will be many people trying to prepare meals at once and the existing cooking equipment and utensils might be in use.  (this is another great reason to consider coordinating with your classmates!)

If you have essential gear that you like to use like your favorite metal bowl for camping or the cooking pot that can be used for pretty much everything, etc.  Make sure that you bring your own mess kit (bowl/plate, cutlery and drinking cup) — do not rely on what may or may not be in the community kitchen building.  We also recommend that you bring a camp chair if you have one, both for class time (much of the class will be outdoors and camp chairs are more comfortable than the wooden picnic benches) and for relaxing after class is done.


Group Meal Exercise

There will be one group exercise that is part of the first responder course that will relate to team food preparations in an austere environment similar to many of the clinical weeks that we do as teams.  The role of food, wilderness first aid and team cohesion is a topic that is important but often overlooked.  In addition to this, we will also have lectures that talk about food gear packing, water purification necessities, group morale in austere environments, heat retention cooking methods and the importance of the provider team member in wilderness first aid situations.

If you have any food allergies, please make sure to email me and let me know.