Additional Reading: Water Filters
PLANNING AND PACKING FOR TRIPS
Nothing can quite
take the place of good, nourishing meals, prepared tastily and attractively
served no matter how much fun there is in camp.
Even on long trips,
with the variety of dehydrated and freeze dry foods, there is no excuse for not
having good meals.
On trips you will
want to stick to simple substantial meals that can be prepared quickly with a
minimum of utensils.
It is important to
serve nutritious, well cooked, and attractively served meals outdoors and try to
avoid the average American’s idea of wieners, buns, potato chips, pickles and
marshmallows as the only outdoor menu.
Let campers share in
planning and cooking their own meals if possible so they may learn the
principles of proper nutrition and food selection.
– usually simple, but must be substantial enough to get through the morning.
– simple and hearty, sandwiches and other cold foods, sometimes supplemented
by hot soup or hot drink if weather dictates.
– more leisurely, with a hot one pot dish, bread and desert.
Plan each meal in
detail, following recipes exactly by putting down the amount of each ingredient
needed. In selecting recipes
consider such things as:
ease of preparation
time required for cooking
number and type of
amount of fuel required
amount and type of trash
to be carried out
age and personal
preferences of those on trip
religious and cultural
characteristics of group
amounts of ordinary food are seldom taken out on trips because of bulk, weight
and refrigeration needs.
From 70 to 90 percent
of foods is just plain water, which weighs about a pound for each pint (2 cups).
Two modern methods of
removing water and leaving foods dry and light and will keep without
Foods – puff dried or
Dried Foods – rapidly
reducing the temperature to 40-50 degrees below zero, then placing in a near
vacuum where water comes off as vapor. This
is superior but more expensive because of the equipment necessary.
· This type of food can be reconstituted by adding boiling water.
· Individual foods as well as whole meals are available in 1-person, 2-person, 4-person and 8-person packets.
· Some disadvantages are that this food can be somewhat expensive and if used exclusively, campers miss out on the valuable experience of planning nutritious, well-balanced meals.
Many items purchased at the grocery store are overpackaged, bulky, or too fragile.
Always repack your food items to eliminate unnecessary packaging material and take only the amount you need, being careful to include any directions from boxes or cartons. Here are some tips:
· Pack semiliquids such as syrup, jams, peanut butter, or honey in refillable wide-mouth squeeze tubes or plastic bottles.
· Place dry materials in strong plastic bags (zip locks), squeezing out excess air. Be sure to double bag fine particle foods such as flour, sugar, powdered drink mixes.
· Label each bag and place any directions inside bag.
· Mix all the dry ingredients at home and pack in plastic bags for things such as biscuits, soups, cakes.
· Do not carry glass bottles; instead transfer contents to wide mouth plastic bottles.
· Pack all bags for individual meals together in stuff sacks to avoid having to empty all food containers to find what you are looking for.
You may be able to arrange a food re-supply
at some point to get fresh food for a nice change.
METHODS FOR OUTDOOR COOKING
· One-pot Meals – stews or mixtures that furnish a whole meal.
· Stick Cookery – use a metal skewer or peel and sharpen a green stick about 2 feet long and cook over coals not flames.
· Cooking in Ashes or Coals – keep a fire going on the side to keep furnishing hot coals.
· Reflector Oven – very useful cooking utensil, can be purchased from outfitter stores.
· Baking in a Skillet – support the skillet at a 45 degree angle against rocks on the windward side of the fire and over coals.
· Cooking in a Dutch Oven – a heavy, black, cast iron pot with a lid good for baking, broiling, frying, roasting or stewing.
KEEPING FOOD SAFE
Creatures in the wild are hungry too, and will nibble on
anything and everything they can find after you have gone to bed.
A camper should remember that there is no “guaranteed” method of
The usual method of caching food is to suspend it on a tree limb about 15 to 20 feet above the ground, far enough away from the tree trunk and overhanging branches that neither jumping nor climbing animals can get to it.
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