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dkhntr

Camping with no cooler food.. help

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6 of us are going to BWCA for a short 4 day trip. Looking for food to bring that will last without a cooler. Have oatmeal and pancakes on for breakfast.

I am looking for some food to bring, I have seen Zatarains, Lipton soups.

But I would like some meat. How can this be done?

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summer sausage and beef jerky keep well without refrigeration

cheese also is good, even if it gets warm it's still safe to eat

as far as dinners, rice, beans, pasta, cornbread (i just substitute more butter for the egg and milk)

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Raman noodles. Oh what the heck. Go to youtube and type in Backpack food or click on the link below. (I just did it for you).

I just ordered a snow peak giga power stove from REI. I find it is the most bang for the buck. I thought I'd like the jetboil flash but it doesn't simmer and you would need that for Zatarains. Clif bars or power bars for lunch. Dry fruit, nuts, grain(granola) and M&Ms (all mixed) for snacks. Instant Mashed potatos for supper maybe add some meat to the spuds. Fish?

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Check out a book called the Back Country Kitchen by Teresa Maroni (sp). I have it and found it to be helpful for bwca camping menus.

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Meal ideas without the bulk: Tortillas and Lipton rice packets to do fish tacos. Pitas also work. Peanut butter sandwiches. Mac and cheese. Bring dried fruit for your oatmeal. Granola bars, Clif bars, trail mix.

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we cooked up a beef roast in chunks then dehydrated it, and cooked in water(amount?)and served over rice was pretty good. but after 4 days my shoe would have tasted good. freezing some meat to use right a way also works.

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Bingo on the dehydrated meat or jerky. If you can, I'd make your own versus buying some store bought so you can control the taste via your brine. Alton Brown on the Foodnetwork had a jerky show where he rehydrated homemade jerky to make a stew or stroganoff or whatever. You could do a search on the internet for it.

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DON"T DO IT!!! If you are trying to get around portaging a cooler there are better options. Several duluth pack makers make a food bag with 1/2 inch of closed cell foam around the entire bag. They are over $200 but I usually rent one, most outfitters have them. It will keep a gallon milk jug of water frozen all week if you keep it in the shade. Then add your frozen bacon, sausage, steak and chicken and that baby is not warming up. you have eggs for breakfast and your fish fry plus veggies. Dehydrated food and warm cocktails are for the birds, I say.

have a good trip!

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There are a bunch of options for rice, pasta and mashed potatoes that only need water. Fresh fish also fry up nice.

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When I would go to bwca years ago we would tape cartons of eggs under the seat as long as we were on the water most of the day they would stay cool and we would have them on the second or third day.

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pack in some frozen steaks for dinner the first night. I bought some no names, because they come individual wrapped and vacuum sealed - no bloody mess in my pack. Should be thawed by the time you get to your campsite.

count on fish for the other nights.

I have hiked in tuna or that chunked chicken in a tuna can stuff on backpacking trips.

+1 for GoMaroonM's cheese recommendation. I brought in a block of cheddar and some summer sausage.

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When I would go to bwca years ago we would tape cartons of eggs under the seat as long as we were on the water most of the day they would stay cool and we would have them on the second or third day.

We crack 20 or so eggs, scramble and pour into Nalgene bottles and freeze them solid. Place them in a duluth pack with all of the frozen meats (we bring t-bones, burgers, bacon, sasusage & ham) Burgers are thawed by about the 1st night, T-bones the second night, ham (sandwiches w/chz, grilled) the third, fish the fourth.

Most of this stuff stays so frozen we have to pull it out of the pack a couple hours in advance to thaw it more. The eggs will stay 2-3 days.

Other than that, we bring a bunch of rice and noodle packets, scalloped potatoes (dehydrated), nuts, trail mix, apples, raisins, pringles, bread for summer sausage sandwiches, cheese, honey, peanut butter, jelly.

Nothing beats a day on the water in the BWCA followed up by this:

100_3531.jpg

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Although I find having a steak on the first night a fantastic treat, I find no reward in having all that HEAVY food on the trip. If you making a "base camp" type trip it may be worth it to you.

If you plan to travel and portage more than a couple times, you'll have to decide if it's worth it. I own one of the "cooler" food packs that was mentioned and I've used it ONCE. Never again will I bother to carry in 10lbs of ice to keep my HEAVY food cold. I feel far less rewarded by having a fresh piece of meat on day 4 than if I didn't have to carry all that weight for 4 days.

There are some great ideas here for sure and having that treat on day 1 is nice, but that's as far as I take fresh foods. Many of the dehydrated foods are very good, very flavorful, require less effort to make and weigh ounces, not pounds.

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If you making a "base camp" type trip it may be worth it to you.

If you plan to travel and portage more than a couple times, you'll have to decide if it's worth it.

Very true. We always basecamp so we can spend more time fishing, less packing and moving. We are also a group of 8, so the weight gets split widely for general stuff like cookware, stoves, tools, etc. Also, the further in we go the lighter the load gets. This year we went to Rose Lake, so we were traveling heavy (even brought chairs, man was that different and nice), when we go into somewhere like Gabbi, the menu changes significantly (but we always bring steak).

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+1 for everything powerstroke said. our steaks were for day 1 where we planned to paddle so far we wouldn't have time to fish. also we had 6 people, so splitting up weight for those wasn't too bad.

Nothing beats a day on the water in the BWCA followed up by this:

100_3531.jpg

Well except this:

shore_lunch_deep_fry.jpg

if you are eating burgers, steaks, and ham in a place with the some of the best fishing in the country you are doing it wrong wink

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Our last trip we went to The Wedge and got some really good stuff. Sloppy Joe mix, a couple different kinds of soup, taco mix. It was all very good and required less than 20 minutes prep for each meal. They've got all kinds of stuff that is very tasty and easy to prepare. Probably find the same kinda stuff at Whole Foods.

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What I have found is after a few portages and paddling a cannoe most of the day then setting up camp, a stick of beef jerky taste as good as Porterhouse.

When I look at the pic of all that beef cooking up in the wilderness all I can think of is, I hope you chew you food well! Eat a lot of cheese with it and you won't need to use TP for the hole trip.

Rice and pasta have a lot of sugar. So save it for the last meal of the day. Or you will feel like your pulling an anchor around before the day is over.

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Thanks for the ideas! Steak is nice the first day too, maybe but by the 4th day, my shoe would taste just as good. I am gonna see if my father in law still has his dehydrator and play with that.

Chris

BTW, LOVE the you tube clip too.

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Chicken Helper and Tuna Helper, with the foil packed chicken or tuna. No cooler needed. Just make sure you have adequate margarine and/or dried milk as called for on the box.

I'm partial to the Cheesy Chicken Enchilada spooned onto shelf-stable tortillas, or the Chicken Alfredo. Simple to make, fills you up, tastes OK.

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Well except this:

shore_lunch_deep_fry.jpg

if you are eating burgers, steaks, and ham in a place with the some of the best fishing in the country you are doing it wrong wink

We've certainly done it wrong many a times. But, if we are fortunate enough to have plentiful fish we adjust meals accordingly, including fish for breakfast (sure beats oatmeal).

Oh, and by the way, we were leaving those fish in there for you bobby. We heard you needed as much help as possible. laugh

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I have a somewhat related question to all this. Many mention keeping eggs cool in some way, is this necessary? For years now I've camped for upwards of 3-4 days with eggs just sitting out. It's been a conversation for as many years as to whether they need to stay in the cooler or not with my argument being that in most of the rest of the world eggs are not refrigerated, they stay out on the counter/shelves. I've never had a problem keeping them just sitting out on camping trips. At home I leave them in the refrigerator but that's just habit more than I think they have to be in there.

** note on my camping trips now they go in the cooler because my fiance is on the other side of the discussion and it's easier to put them in the cooler than keep discussing it wink When I camp by myself that's 2 more beers in teh cooler.

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bikeoutback,

The Refrigeration Debate

Since the modernizing of food storage, most traditional methods are no longer used in the U.S. It is a uniquely American ideal, however, that eggs need to be refrigerated. The USDA recommends storing eggs in a refrigerator at about 40F degrees, mainly to reduce the chances that any bacteria on the shell will multiply and cause a risk of illness. But throughout Europe (and many other parts of the world,) eggs are routinely sold and stored unrefrigerated and the incidence of illness from eggs is not greatly increased.

In Europe, eggs are still bought daily and from local producers whereas in the U.S. the mass production of food has created a system of transportation that hinders truly fresh food from getting to our markets and tables. The local foods movement and resurgence in farmer's markets is ensuring that consumers who would like a local product for health, environmental or other reasons can do so, but storing a stockpile of eggs can be a challenge.

How to Store Unrefrigerated Eggs

The trick to unrefrigerated eggs is temperature maintenance. Food spoils when it is subject to repeated changes in temperature so ensuring that eggs can be maintained at room temperature or slightly lower will help keep them fresh. If you buy eggs that have been refrigerated you should keep them refrigerated.

Additionally, don’t wash eggs. Eggs have a natural barrier (known as a bloom) that protects the porous surface and washing will remove that safety net. Cooking eggs to the correct temperature (at least 160F degrees) will also protect you from harmful bacteria that may be on the shells. Without any additional preservation techniques, eggs will age faster out of the refrigerator than in it, but will still be safe to eat.

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Foil pouch chicken, salmon and tuna are good options, but chicken is the only one I bring. If you're in the BWCA and can't provide fish, you're doing it wrong.

That said, dehydrating cooked ground beef is very easy.

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The trick to unrefrigerated eggs is temperature maintenance. Food spoils when it is subject to repeated changes in temperature so ensuring that eggs can be maintained at room temperature or slightly lower will help keep them fresh. If you buy eggs that have been refrigerated you should keep them refrigerated.

not trying to get into some sort of prove each other wrong argument, but where did you hear this from? It doesn't make sense unless temperature changes effect the integrity of the egg's natural barriers making it easier for bacteria and whatnot to get in there.

also, how exactly are you guys bring eggs into the BWCA with out having them break during portages, etc.

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  • Your Responses - Share & Have Fun :)

    • Sounds like a great trip and a really fun experience, congratulations! Thanks for all the pictures and sharing your story. I know that's a lot of work and it is much appreciated.
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    • This year I got the bright idea of buying some leftover Elk B tags in a unit in SW Montana that we had never been to before. Originally my dad and I were planning on going back out to Idaho where we hunted two years ago now that we had some experience there.   MT Elk B tags are less than half the cost of an any elk tag in Idaho, and 1/3 the cost of a MT general elk tag.  In addition we could buy up two two Whitetail B tags each for a reasonable fee, and it looked like there were plenty in the unit to go around.  It did not take much convincing for my dad.    Some quick research on the internet showed this unit had a good amount of accessible national forest ground, plus state and Block Management areas.  Access was a little limited to a handful of major trailheads and short road sections, but I felt there were enough options to give it a go.  Another plus was that the elevation in this area had camp at 6000ft and most of our hunting no higher than 7500ft.  This was important because Dad turned 69 during the trip and I wanted to make sure he wouldn't have a heart attack in the middle of the hunt.  I also subscribed to the OnXMaps service and put the app with my account on both of our phones so we could share waypoints, and waypoints I saved ahead of time from home could be visible on the phone app.  
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