Story: Tramping

Boiling a billy

Boiling a billy

The lightweight pot or billy is used for cooking and heating water. Earlier generations of trampers often stopped for a ‘boil-up’ or a ‘brew’. But it takes time to build a fire, and younger trampers prefer to drink water from bottles or from a stream. High-energy biscuits are popular with a brew, and some people bake their own before setting off. This recipe for ‘concrete’ was published in Tararua Tramper in August 1977:

A good biscuit to supplement a lunch of Tararua biscuits or bread.

100g each:
rolled oats
melted butter
brown sugar
sesame seeds (optional)

Lemon icing
icing sugar
juice of 1 lemon
1 Tbsp melted butter

Combine sugar and butter. Add oats and coconut. Pack in shallow tin (sponge or Swiss roll tin), sprinkle with sesame seeds and bake in slow oven (150ºC) for 20 minutes until light brown. Beware – it burns easily!! Ice with lemon icing (optional) and cut into squares.

Using this item

Private collection
Photograph by Mark Pickering

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Source: Ginny Murray-Brown, Recipes for the outdoors. Wellington: Tararua Tramping Club, 1994, p. 55

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How to cite this page:

Carl Walrond, 'Tramping - Equipment and food', Te Ara - the Encyclopedia of New Zealand, (accessed 25 October 2021)

Story by Carl Walrond, published 24 Sep 2007, updated 1 Jul 2015