Materiality and the bushwalker’s diet: the influence of food on walking practice

Harper, Melissa (2012). Materiality and the bushwalker’s diet: the influence of food on walking practice. In: Cultural Studies Association of Australasia Annual Conference (CSAA 2012), Sydney, Australia, (). 4-6 December 2012.

Author Harper, Melissa
Title of paper Materiality and the bushwalker’s diet: the influence of food on walking practice
Conference name Cultural Studies Association of Australasia Annual Conference (CSAA 2012)
Conference location Sydney, Australia
Conference dates 4-6 December 2012
Publication Year 2012
Sub-type Oral presentation
Language eng
Formatted Abstract/Summary
billy tea were standard fare for the midday or evening meal. Cooking over the camp fire added to the convivial nature of the journey. Cured meats were popular too but on overnight and long distance trips walkers often travelled on country roads and could usually rely on local farmers to regularly restock their provisions. In the 1930s, as bushwalkers increasingly headed cross-country, enough food to last for as long as a fortnight needed to be carried on the back. Keeping the weight of the pack as light as possible was of crucial importance as was eating food that was nutritious and sustaining.

This paper examines the materiality of the bushwalker’s diet—the weight, shape and size of food items and the materials in which food was packaged—to explore how food impacted on the bodily experience of walking. As fresh food gave way, firstly to canned and increasingly to a range of dried and dehydrated foods, and lighter kinds of packaging materials became available bushwalking practices became both more diverse and more stratified. ‘Real’ bushwalkers approached the issue of what food to take, and how to carry it with scientific precision, weighing each item and calculating its nutritional value. As this paper will show, knowing how to successfully negotiate the problems thrown up by the materiality of food (and of clothing and equipment) contributed to a discourse of professionalism and expertise within the bushwalking fraternity.
Q-Index Code EX
Q-Index Status Provisional Code
Institutional Status UQ

Document type: Conference Paper
Collection: School of Communication and Arts Publications
 
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