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Food For Wilderness Camping

If you are portaging a canoe in wilderness areas, the suggestions below will allow you to pack the most food in the least amount of space using the least amount of weight. Basically, you should plan an approximate menu for all the days you will be out. The rule of thumb is pack mostly dry foods.  Take the dried food out of its bulky packaging and place into plastic bags to minimize bulk.  Put all your food inside a small cardboard box that is lined with one or two larger bags - unless you like entertaining hungry black bears, you want to be able to seal off all food odors.  Place the sealed box within another bag that is in a food pack that is hung high up in a tree. Keep your camp area clean of food and never keep food in your tent overnight!


Breakfast Suggestions

  • Instant oatmeal
  • Pancakes from Instant pancake mix w/ syrup or peanut butter
  • Butter or margarine (pack this in an empty peanut butter jar)
  • Coffee (the real stuff!)
  • Hot Chocolate
  • Dried fruit
  • Granola with assorted dried fruit mixed in (gorp)
  • Tang or the equivalent

Lunch Suggestions

  • Macaroni and cheese (take out of box and pack in bags)
  • Noodle Dinners (take out of box and pack in bags)
  • Gorp - everybody's favorite!
  • Wheat crackers with jelly and/or peanut butter
  • Dried fruit
  • Granola bars
  • Beef jerky
  • Rice
  • Tang or the equivalent
  • Fried fish (which you must catch!)
  • Flour and oil for the fish
  • Tang, koolaid, ice tea, or other drink from a powder

Notice that most everything is dried except for peanut butter, butter, syrup, jelly, and oil.


Dinner Suggestions

  • Same as lunch

Basically, dinner and lunch are interchangeable meals when camping (in my opinion).  If you like to fish, here is a meal strategy:  Have your breakfast after fishing in the morning. Fish a bit more. Have a big late (fish?) lunch about 2 or 3 in the afternoon and just have some gorp or crackers & peanut butter after dark.

If you are bit crazy (like myself), you may even plan fish into your menu.  Your trip becomes sort of a "survival mission".  I have a few fond memories of such trips. Make sure all your fellow campers are in agreement of such a trip however!