Yesterday, this question was asked: How can I create a varied (or at least tasty) menu for a 12 day hike whilst using as few ingredients as possible?

It was closed by a moderator, with the comment:

While this is a very interesting question, it is not a good fit for Seasoned Advice. If there were a Stack Exchange site for camping/hiking it would be better suited there. We are not equipped to address a 12 day meal plan, nor do we offer advice on what to eat.

To which I've responded (slightly reformatted), and voted for re-opening:

Although I'd agree that if there were a hiking/camping site, it would be more appropriate, there isn't one, and this relates to cooking just as much as:

Where do we draw the line between this question, which involves cooking out-of-doors, and had extra constraints due to weight and limited options for re-supply, and any other type of questions asking for recommendations on what to cook, given other similar constraints (e.g., limited gear for a college student)?

In some ways, I want this question to stay open because I can think of a few people who might have some good answers (e.g., the coordinator of the local Boy Scout region; a co-worker who spent 6 months hiking the Appalachian Trail last year)

I could see making it a community wiki (or any of the others I've listed), as there's no single authoritative answer for any of them, but I'm of the opinion that it's still on-topic, even if it's not the type of cooking that most of us do every day.

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By the way, separately to my answer, some of those precedent questions you linked to are really quite awful and should probably be closed themselves. Two are asking for resources and that's sorta OK, but the first is all over the place and the third is a blatant recipe poll. –  Aaronut May 22 '11 at 21:37

1 Answer 1

Please remember that the meaning of Community Wiki was changed (or rather clarified) some time ago, when it was permanently disabled for questions except as a moderator function; CW should never be used as an excuse to keep borderline questions alive - a question is either on topic or it isn't.

Now, with that out of the way, I was also ambivalent about this question. I saw the question before hobodave did, and didn't close it. When I saw that it was closed, my first reaction was "It probably didn't deserve that." My second reaction, about a minute later, was "...but then again, it really is kind of hard to offer any information that's pertinent to cooking as an answer." It was probably well on its way to a bunch of one-liner snack answers ("trail mix!").

On reflection, I think what the question really needs is to be broken down into parts that are a little more specific, casting aside the parts that aren't really culinary in nature. There are several culinary aspects to the question:

  • Raw ingredients that are calorie-dense and mostly non-perishable;
  • Raw ingredients that pair easily with many other ingredients;
  • Food preservation techniques suitable for outdoor storage;
  • Outdoor cooking techniques for gas burners;
  • Adapting recipes for the aforementioned techniques, or choosing appropriate recipes;
  • And so on.

Basically, I think the question would be better scoped, and also receive more useful answers, if it could be narrowed from a "help, what should I do!?" type question into one (or several) more focused questions, such as any of the above.

So, at the moment I'm not going to leap to reopen the question; rather, I'd prefer for us (the community) to help her get the biggest bang for her buck here by asking more direct questions. The current question, as a whole, really is kind of off-topic, but there are elements that are on topic, so let's try to focus on those.

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This was my basic train of thought when I closed it. I saw redeeming qualities in it, but the core of the question felt like "what should I eat". –  hobodave May 23 '11 at 14:52

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