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Thread: Backcountry Camping Food

  1. #1

    Default Backcountry Camping Food

    Hello,

    I have already posted the following questions in the 'Outdoor Gear Forum', but, unfortunately, I did not get any replies, so maybe someone in this forum is able to help me out:

    Does anyone know, which store in Fairbanks is the best and cheapest concerning backcountry camping food?

    Another question: Is it possible to buy the so-called Bear Vault BV500 Bear Resistant Food Canister somewhere in Fairbanks? When I visited Alaska last year, I went to Sportsman's Warehous and they, unfortunately, did not have them, they 'just' had the heavier Backpackers Cache!

    Thanx a lot!

  2. #2
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    Well there's beaver sports, big ray's, frontier, sam's (freeze dried food), prospectors, sportsman and sports authority....Fred meyer...

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    Any freeze dried food would work well. As for bear proof containers, I have always just hung my food up in a tree and or kept 30-40 yards from camp itself just in case.

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    I had a bv500 get torn up a few years ago out side of Yosemite. Food was fine but the case was so thrashed we could not get in. Just hang your food in a tree it's never let me down.

  5. #5

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    Hey,

    thanx for the replies.

    The 'problem' is, I am not familiar with the American freeze dried food and it would be anything but funny, if you take a month's worth of food with you, just to find out in the middle of nowhere that the taste is awful! Pipercub, which brand would you recommend?

    In all National Parks in Alaska that I know, it is compulsory to store all your food in a bear proof container...!

    Thanx

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    Supporting Member Amigo Will's Avatar
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    Brown bears can tear up steel 55 gal. drums so I don't see plastic as bear proof. All freeze dried food sucks if you have a good women at home.
    Now left only to be a turd in the forrest and the circle will be complete.Use me as I have used you

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    I like using freeze dried and dried foods because often times its light and easy to carry, never said it tasted good lol.

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    Just a note on the bear proof containers...yes they really work. The interagency grizzly bear committee certifies them, and I don't know of a failure in Alaska of a certified product that was used in the field.
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    A canoe can haul more weight, so freeze-dried stuff is never on my menu. A 70 liter dry bag will provide enough food for a month, and keeps the smell down. Here's what I usually bring:

    Dry Pasta, Pecorino Romano Cheese, salt, pepper, flour, light olive oil in nalgene bottles, baking powder, dried and canned meats, soy sauce in nalgene bottles, corn meal, rice, oat meal, shelf life milk, coffee, hot coco mix, dried hash brown potato, and a few other things I probably forgot.

    Anyhow, The boundary pack usually weighs around 65-70 lbs when packed with this type of food.

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    Some great advice Mainer, thanks for sharing.

    I usually dont spend more than a week or two at a time when I go out fishing and hunting. If I am hiking in I will bring freeze dried foods but If I can get there by Truck,ATV, or boat than I usually bring Sausages, buns, Potatos, oatmeal, Eggs, jerky, and what ever I else I feel like taking lol. I thought the poster was posting towards hiking in because he pointed that he posted in the gear section but didn't get much response.

    You have a great list there though. What do you bring for cooking utensils? Cast iron pan and Dutch oven?

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    Supporting Member Amigo Will's Avatar
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    Cast iron is the only way to go. You can cover a deep skillet with a flat rock to make a dutch oven. The one advantage of a dutch oven is it can pull double duty as a chamber pot at night
    Now left only to be a turd in the forrest and the circle will be complete.Use me as I have used you

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    Hey CID, mountain house, backpacker's pantry.... You will find that most of it is pretty good stuff. Just boil water and toss it in... Where are you heading to? Are you flying in somewhere to hike or paddle?

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    Quote Originally Posted by Amigo Will View Post
    Cast iron is the only way to go. You can cover a deep skillet with a flat rock to make a dutch oven. The one advantage of a dutch oven is it can pull double duty as a chamber pot at night
    I have a cast iron pan (10 incher I think) I always take with me but I still need to get a dutch oven. Some one gave us one but it was one of those ones that was cast iron coated in porcelain. I ended up accidentally having the porcelain explode on me lol. I need to get just a basic Cast iron only dutch oven for camping purposes any way.

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    Quote Originally Posted by pipercub View Post
    Hey CID, mountain house, backpacker's pantry.... You will find that most of it is pretty good stuff. Just boil water and toss it in...
    Perfect. I bring some garlic salt and a bit of pepper. Your good

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    Quote Originally Posted by CID View Post
    The 'problem' is, I am not familiar with the American freeze dried food and it would be anything but funny, if you take a month's worth of food with you, just to find out in the middle of nowhere that the taste is awful!
    There are backpacking websites that provide food reviews. Some are paid reviews so might not be the best source.

    You can order some food packs to test out what you think might be a good meal. Several online retailers ship internationally.

    I don't eat wheat or soy anymore so factory made food choices for me are very limited. Some chicken and rice meals - either asian or mexican - are about all I would eat. I make my own these days over the winter and store in the freezer for summer trips. It is a lot of work.

    The one food type that I have never tried after the first time was freeze dried eggs. That was 1983 and I am still not over it. Egg flavored sponge. I am told they have greatly improved. I have tried Ova Easy which is a powdered egg that you still have to cook and those are not bad.

  16. #16

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    Quote Originally Posted by mainer_in_ak View Post
    A canoe can haul more weight, so freeze-dried stuff is never on my menu. A 70 liter dry bag will provide enough food for a month, and keeps the smell down. Here's what I usually bring:

    Dry Pasta, Pecorino Romano Cheese, salt, pepper, flour, light olive oil in nalgene bottles, baking powder, dried and canned meats, soy sauce in nalgene bottles, corn meal, rice, oat meal, shelf life milk, coffee, hot coco mix, dried hash brown potato, and a few other things I probably forgot.

    Anyhow, The boundary pack usually weighs around 65-70 lbs when packed with this type of food.
    A little butter n jelly for the baking powder biscuits
    Brown sugar for the oatmeal
    Tobasco sauce
    Knox bullion cubes

  17. #17

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    Depending on where you are now, CID, see if you can find some meals to try before your trip. I like to do this so I can bring spices as others have mentioned that will make the meals that much better. I am to the point where I can make a little capsule out of a straw for every meal and have just the right amount of spice. I also like to split up the meals some times and I "cook" in a zip lock bag for one of them. Again, this is trial and error so it is best done before you head out.

    Also, check around where you live now and gather some of the supplies. For instance, at the Cabela's here I will grab some extra Frank's Red Hot sauce packets when I eat there. These are great for hiking instead of a bulky bottle where you might only need a little bit. Same for any other condiment. Also, as someone mentioned jelly, go to Sams and you can get a bulk box of the cheapo jelly that you get at IHOP or wherever. Again, you only then need to take what you want.

    Finally, you can make your own dehydrated meals. Google backpacking chef or something like that. I tried a few of these and they aren't too shabby. I also plan to get some Mountain House bulk containers and package up meals that fit what I want portion-wise and I can make up full meals packages for each day.

  18. #18

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    Hi!

    @all: Thanx for all your thoughts and ideas!

    @AmigoWill: Unfortunately (or maybe luckily!?), no woman will accompany me on that trip, but you are actually right: I would also always prefer a nice home-cooked dinner...!

    @mainer in ak: First of all, thanx for taking time to answer me in such great detail! The only 'problem' is that taking too much stuff with you in a canoe can also backfire big time, especially if you are alone like me: If you are going down a river that has a strong current in a heavily loaded canoe and you are approaching a sharp turn with a big rock-wall coming towards you, the first thought of yours will be: Dang, I hope I will survive that crash and if you have survived that crash, the second thought will be: Dang, next time I won't take that much stuff with me....! If your canoe is too heavy, stiring will become very difficult, that is why I would like to keep the weight as low as possible; I will also do a lot of hiking on my trip, which is another motivation to keep the weight low.

    @Pipercup: Thanx for your response; I will be dropped off by plane in the Brooks Range, spend some time hiking in the mountains and then continue with my canoe.

    @AK Ray and colonel00: Since I am from Germany, ordering stuff from the US is always a bit expensive and, I am sorry to say, but it is the truth, your postal service is very slow....; here in Europe we have very good freeze dried food, but the US-Import-Regulations in Alaska concerning food are very strict, so we are for example not allowed to bring any meat into Alaska etc. On my last trip last year, I bought the freeze dried eggs at Fred Meyer's and they were okay, not the best stuff, but you could eat them...when you are hungry...!

    Thanx!

  19. #19
    Member Buck Nelson's Avatar
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    Default Backpacking food from the grocery store

    Quote Originally Posted by CID View Post
    Hello,

    I have already posted the following questions in the 'Outdoor Gear Forum', but, unfortunately, I did not get any replies, so maybe someone in this forum is able to help me out:

    Does anyone know, which store in Fairbanks is the best and cheapest concerning backcountry camping food?

    Another question: Is it possible to buy the so-called Bear Vault BV500 Bear Resistant Food Canister somewhere in Fairbanks? When I visited Alaska last year, I went to Sportsman's Warehous and they, unfortunately, did not have them, they 'just' had the heavier Backpackers Cache!

    Thanx a lot!
    Beaver Sports has the Bear Keg but not the Bear Vault. You might consider ordering a Bear Vault and having it mailed General Delivery to Fairbanks.

    If you want the cheapest backpacking food in Fairbanks, you might just go to Fred Meyers and buy regular grocery store food, appropriate food that is high in calories per oz. I do that almost exclusively and do lots of backpacking.

    Some ideas: peanut butter, granola bars, cold cereal, those Knorr’s pasta or rice meals, especially the Knorrs Sides Plus (around 6 oz.), Idahoan Potatoes (instant), crackers, peanut M&Ms, cheese, Craisins, olive oil, oatmeal, Poptarts, dry roast peanuts, dried fruit, chocolate, jerky, tuna in pouches, ramen.

  20. #20
    Member cdubbin's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Buck Nelson View Post
    Some ideas: peanut butter, granola bars, cold cereal, those Knorr’s pasta or rice meals, especially the Knorrs Sides Plus (around 6 oz.), Idahoan Potatoes (instant), crackers, peanut M&Ms, cheese, Craisins, olive oil, oatmeal, Poptarts, dry roast peanuts, dried fruit, chocolate, jerky, tuna in pouches, ramen.
    +1! That's exactly the stuff I take out! Mountain House = suck
    "– Gas boats are bad enough, autos are an invention of the devil, and airplanes are worse." ~Allen Hasselborg

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