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Cooking at Shambhala: No BBQs, no problem!

Ampitheatre stage 2017, photo by Astrid Nicolson

By my own confession, I’m not the culinary type. I can throw together a passable Chicken Tikka Masala and fry up my own breakfast, but that’s about the height of it. However, if there’s one area of culinary expertise I do excel in, its camping food, particularly at music festivals.

Fractal Forest

Photo Credit: Concert Socks

Without further ado, here is a short guide to cuisine a la Shambhala (minus the festival’s delicious food truck fare). One important thing to remember is that festivaling is a marathon, not a sprint. You’re going to be walking/dancing/hula-hooping etc a great deal more than usual. Essentially you will be burning off calories like nobody’s business.

1. Pack a cooler, in a bag or box form.

I personally use a large Costco insulated cold bag with a bunch of reusable frozen gel packs. I can tell you from experience filling the cooler with ice will leave you with a great deal of standing water.

2. You don’t just have to eat canned food for breakfast, lunch, and dinner

Save yourself the trip to the recycling bins with a couple of reusable containers filled with your favorite non-perishable snacks. Another lifesaver I found was to take a couple of containers of breakfast muffins to serve as a quick morning snack.

My recipe involves self-rising flour, eggs, milk, oil, ripe bananas, chocolate chips, cranberries, and cherries followed up by a little orange zest. I mix the lot together, pour into the baking tray and bake at about 350 F for 25 minutes. And voila! Plus, this recipe is easily altered to suit dietary requirements; I’ve successfully concocted a batch using gluten-free flour and vegan egg substitute.

3. Take guidance from the Shambhala website

All types of liquid fuel in open-nozzle containers are banned, including white gas, kerosene, gasoline in jerry cans, and any other forms of combustible liquid fuel. Refillable propane tanks are permitted. Propane or butane cookstoves and containers are permitted. Do not leave camp stoves unattended. Gas-powered fire pits, barbecues, and anything else with an open flame are banned and will be confiscated.”

Its also worth considering that even small camp stoves carry an environmental impact and they are extra bulk when packing.

Translation? Leave the bulky old BBQ at home — no need for messy charcoal briquettes and certainly no call for sooty campfire roast-up. Little butane stoves like this guy will do the trick, and if you’re in any doubt don’t hesitate to ask a staff member. Also, its worth considering the environmental impact of your choices. Use using reusable containers and the “packing in, packing out” mentality. Avoiding the use of disposable plastic forks, knives, and straws is a small way to try and reduce one’s carbon footprint. A venue such as Shambhala’s is especially sensitive to environmental strain, and it bears repeating that the property is a working family farm in its down time.

How do you handle your food situation at Shambhala, or have any recipes to share? Let us know on Facebook and Twitter!

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