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Chapter 1
Chapter 2
Chapter 3
Chapter 4
Chapter 5
Chapter 6
Chapter 7
Chapter 8
Chapter 9
Chapter 10
Chapter 11
Chapter 12
Chapter 13
Chapter 14
Chapter 15
Chapter 16
Chapter 17
Chapter 18



The Melbourne Bushies - Fifty years along the track (1940-90)

were supplied bulk pills in M&B tins, and friendship with the local chemist was useful for obtaining these prized items. One of Jock Low's early food lists includes 'Polish Pudding', a forerunner of the salami and cabana available today. Chicken and ham sausages were carried, but didn't have the keeping quality of salami.

Dried vegetables onion, parsnip, carrot, cabbage and potato were available to walkers on early Club walks. These were not very appetising. Graham Errey recalls the early dried potato as, 'bad tasting, grey and sandy'. 'Deb' potato flakes were a huge improvement. The dried vegetables were marketed separately, or mixed as 'Dewcrisp soup mix'. Dried vegetables (DV) were used as the basis of stews, using packet soup or 'Oxo' cubes to improve the flavour. Bacon would be carried to add to stew being cured it would last on a long trip. Sometimes small tins of meat were carried, but they were usually considered too heavy. DV could also he made more palatable by boiling first then frying with sultanas, almonds and other additives. 'Surprise' brand freeze-dried peas, beans and carrots, being better tasting, were a welcome addition to the bushwalker's diet in 1971. 'Alliance', the New Zealand freeze-dried meats, became available in 1971, making a great difference to the walker's menu.

Rice has always been a popular food to carry - light and filling. Boiled with dried fruit, it makes an excellent dessert. Instant puddings were popular - freshly picked blackberries on the Kiewa and instant 'pud.', who could ask for more?

A mixture of dried fruit, sweets and nuts, generally known as scroggin, would also he carried, as now, for nibbling along the track. Merv Scott was in favour of a cooked scroggin. The fruit and nuts were minced, mixed with rum and chocolate, made into balls, rolled in brown sugar, then baked. Mike Stevens always claimed it looked like wombat droppings. Harald Goetz marinated the fruit for days, then poured melted black chocolate over it, forming great nuggets of scroggin, from which he would generously break off lumps to hand round.

While tea and coffee were always popular drinks when a billy was boiled, many walkers then as now carried fruit saline ('Fizz') to give a bit of zip to a drink from a warm water bottle. If water was a little brackish, Lemon and Lime crystals helped to improve the flavour. Staminade and Tang also had and still have their fans.

Dry food was generally carried in japara bags with drawstrings in the neck, and wet food in M&B tins. Plastic bags became available in the early sixties. The Club managed to get hulk supplies of various sizes and for a while had an official plastic bag seller. Snap-seal plastic containers