Dessert night time food storage?
I don’t want to go to sleep with my meal in my stomach. However, because there are no trees to hang from in Southern California, I am concerned about rodents gnawing through my food. Any suggestions would be much appreciated. Ben I’ve cooked little amounts of food in my cooking pot and then covered the pot with pebbles to keep the heat in. I’ve had minor success trying the same method, but using a stuff sack instead of a pot instead of a frying pan. It left me with a few little bite holes in my stuff sack, but my food was not ruined as a result.
[email protected]’s address is Tralfamadore.
Hello, An excellent choice is an Ursack with an odorproof lining.
Listed below is a link to the Outsak manufacturing company’s website: Posted on March 23, 2009 at 12:33 a.m.
- Most of the lower Colorado and Mojave deserts are sparsely populated, which means there aren’t many creatures to be found.
- You’ll never have any issues.
- Posted on March 23, 2009 at 12:41 a.m.
- Because of their extraordinary ability in plundering people’s bags and other belongings, I frequently hear them referred to as “grad school” ravens, squirrels, and so on.
- I have anUrsack, but it is rather hefty.
- Bears can be found at higher elevations on occasion.
- Ali The only issue I’ve ever had was with a ringtail cat on the upper Rio Grande, which happened 35 years ago on the upper Rio Grande.
- Something did manage to chew a couple of holes in my son’s hydration pack while he was out getting lunch in Zion National Park last year.
- So, what do you do with the remains of your meal once you’ve finished storing your dessert?:) At Costco, I just purchased enough pretzels to last a lifetime.
They are packaged in conveniently sized lightweight plastic containers. They have a capacity of 40 and 55 ounces of pretzels and weigh slightly under 7 ounces. I’m hoping they’ll be able to keep the rats away. Is there anyone who would like a pretzel?
Food Storage and Handling for Campers and Backpackers
There have been 288 reviews, with an average rating of 4.4 stars out of 5. Regardless matter where you camp, animals of all types can get into your food. In order to get to the crumbs or goods left inside a tent or bag, mice and other rodents, as well as bears, will nibble their way right through. It is our obligation as campers to ensure that wild animals do not have access to any human food sources. Because of this, they lose access to their natural food and become reliant on humans, posing a hazard to public safety.
Backpacking in Bear Country has extra information on bear safety, which you can find here.
Take care to follow the instructions below if you want to spend your time on the path rather than in the restroom.
Video: Backpacking Food Storage
Animals are attracted to human food (and other scented goods such as toiletries) and must be kept away from it. The same procedures apply in a campground and a wilderness camping. Here are a few general pointers:
- Never store food, garbage, or other smelly things inside your tent
- Instead, store them outside. Never leave your food unattended while you’re working. When it comes to snatching food in broad daylight, jays, squirrels, and chipmunks are among the most adept
- Other creatures come scavenging at night.
Food Storage in a Campground
- During the day, keep all of your food safely stored in your cooler or car, even if you’re just sitting nearby or taking a quick trip to the outhouse, and especially if you’re off on a hiking expedition
- Place any loose food, as well as a cooler if you have one, inside a metal bear box, if you have one, before retiring for the night. In certain regions, storing food inside a car is also a possibility, but you should check with local land managers first because some areas (particularly those where bears have gotten expert at getting into vehicles) strictly ban the practice. Raccoons and bears are skilled at opening coolers that have been left out in the open. Some cooler makers say that some types are bear-proof, yet it is possible that padlocks will be necessary in some cases. If bears are a known issue at the campsite, you can also use a bear canister or hang a bag of food from a high tree limb as a last option
- However, this is not recommended.
Food Storage in the Backcountry
Following the restrictions and suggestions for food storage in a national park or national forest’s bear-inhabited wilderness (such as the Appalachian Path or Pacific Crest Trail), or on a national scenic trail such as the Appalachian Trail or Pacific Crest Trail, is extremely important. Depending on where you’re traveling and whether or not there are specific rules in place, you can select between three options:
- Using a metal food locker that has been given
- Using a bear canister or bear bag to protect yourself against bears
- Putting your meal on a tree or a pole to keep it fresh
The following are the advantages and disadvantages of the numerous bear-proof food storage systems used in the backcountry:
Metal Food Lockers
A huge metal bear-proof box is provided at certain campgrounds and backcountry campsites where you may store food, garbage, and toiletries to keep them safe from bears. These are occasionally shared, so there is no assurance that there will be enough space for your belongings. It’s also crucial to make sure the lock is securely secured so that bears can’t get in. It’s a safe bet that they will do otherwise.
Each of these cylinders is made of strong plastic with a cover that people can screw on and off (some require a coin or screwdriver to lock and unlock). Designed to fit into most backpacks, they come in a variety of sizes, making them ideal for lone travelers who want a more compact bag to carry about. If you’re hiking in a region where canisters are necessary, make sure to bring one along with you as well. The ranger may give you a large fine if you are stopped on the path and do not have an identification card.
On busy summer weekends, though, they may run out of canisters before you arrive, so prepare ahead of time with a backup plan in mind. It is also possible that canisters will be necessary in order to keep raccoons from getting into your food and rubbish. Pros:
- Bears have been known to open canisters on rare occasions. Instead of hanging them, you may just leave them on the ground to dry. When the lid is closed, they form an excellent camp seat. Some are transparent, allowing you to see whether or not you remembered to put that chocolate bar in there
- Others are opaque, allowing you to see whether or not you remembered to put that chocolate bar in there. Many bears have learnt that canisters are not worth their time and will likely leave your camp if they notice you have one
- But, if they find you don’t have one, they may stay.
Using a bear canister: Here’s some advice:
- Reflective tape should be applied to your canister. In this way, if you hear something strange in the middle of the night, you can more readily determine what is going on
Make sure your canister is well-lit by using reflective tape. When anything disturbs your sleep at night, you will be able to perceive more clearly what is going on;
- Some national parks do not recognize bear bags as a bear-proof food storage option because they are considered to be unsanitary. Even if a bear is unable to get into the bag (because of the absence of an aluminum lining), it may destroy it or even carry it away.
Tips for utilizing bear bags include the following:
- Make certain that the drawstring is tight and that the knot is tied precisely the way the manufacturer directs you to. As an alternative to leaving these bags on the ground as you would a canister, you can consider tying the bag to a tree branch or hanging it from a bear pole (as seen below). Bear bags are often made of plain white material. You may distinguish yours from others’ by writing your name or drawing a design on the surface using a permanent marker. In the event that you are unsure whether to use a canister or a bag, pack a canister for your most critical food and a bear bag for your waste and less vital goods.
Hanging Your Food
Make certain you tighten the drawstring and tie the knot in the manner specified by the manufacturer. As an alternative to leaving these bags on the ground as you would a canister, you can consider tying the bag to a tree branch or hanging it from a bear pole (see illustration below). Bear bags are often made in a solid color such as white or ivory. You may distinguish yours from others’ by writing your name or drawing a design on the surface using a permanent marker; It’s best to pack both: a canister for your most critical food and a bear bag for your garbage and less important belongings if you’re unsure which to use;
- Suspend your food from a high, solid tree limb
- In some wilderness campgrounds, bear poles are available, which are a significant improvement over tree branches in terms of safety. A long metal pole with numerous hooks at the top of the system will allow you to hang your food bag or perhaps your complete backpack from it. Alternatively, you may discover a high horizontal metal cable stretched between two poles, which is normally simpler to hang your food bag from
- Or you may locate a long metal lifter pole for lifting your food bag up onto one of the hooks.
- It is not necessary to purchase specific equipment. All you’ll need is some rope and a strong bag to get started.
- If you’re camping beyond treeline or in desert areas with sparse vegetation, hanging from a branch isn’t even an option
- Instead, you’ll need to find another way to stay safe. Hanging food from a tree can be a tough and time-consuming task to do. Try to put a food bag with an ungainly pole onto a hook atop a tall pole, and you’ll find yourself exerting some effort. Numerous bears have mastered the art of pulling on ropes in order to gain access to the bag.
In regions where there are no trees or low bushes, hanging from a limb is not even an option if you are hiking above tree line or in a desert area with low plants. It might be difficult and time-consuming to hang food from a tree. Try to put a food bag with an ungainly pole onto a hook atop a tall pole, and you’ll find yourself straining your muscles. Numerous bears have mastered the art of pulling on ropes in order to gain access to the bag;
- Tying the rope and weight together (a hand-size boulder or filling your tent stake bag with local rocks) and tossing it over the tree limb or cable is a good idea. It can take several attempts to get it over
- Upon reaching the other side and returning to the ground, untie the rock or tent-stake bag and fasten your food bag
- To keep a standing bear from getting to your bag, hoist it up to 10 to 15 feet in the air and out four feet from the tree trunk or pole. Secure the other end of the rope to a tree trunk or pole to keep it from slipping
Food Handling Basics
When you’re camping, the last thing you want to do is waste time running to and from the latrine. While camping, there are three typical ways in which you might become ill as a result of poor hygiene and food preparation:
- Fecal-oral transmission is the spread of microorganisms from the toilet to your hands and mouth after using the toilet. Eating food that has gone bad from a cooler
- Handling raw meat in an inefficient manner
How to prevent the spread of fecal-oral germs:
- While away from camp and away from a freshwater source, fully wash your hands with soap and warm water after going to the restroom. hand-drying with a towel that is not intended for dishwashing If you are unable to wash your hands, use hand sanitizer or sanitizing wipes instead. Before you begin making a meal, wash or sterilize your hands once again. If you intend to share a bag of trail mix with others, shake the food out of the bag into their hand before passing it on. Allowing unclean hands to reach inside a bag of food is not recommended.
If you’re vehicle camping, it’s likely that you’ll have a cooler with you. Here’s how to keep it from going bad. Maintain the temperature of perishable items such as meat (particularly raw), cheese, eggs, and milk at 40 degrees Fahrenheit or lower in order to prevent them from spoiling in the refrigerator.
- Put ice or ice blocks in the cooler and let it sit for an hour before you put any food in it. Fill big polycarbonate water bottles halfway with water, juice, or milk and place them in the freezer for a few hours (leave room at the top of the bottle for expansion). These will keep your cooler colder for a longer period of time than quickly melting ice cubes, and you may sip the beverage after you no longer require the ice. If you’re preparing raw meat, double-bag it to prevent it from leaking onto other items
- Freeze everything you’ll be eating after the first day ahead of time. Place the food that you will consume first at the top of the pile. Place frozen raw meat near the bottom of the cooler, where it will be the coolest
- Check the temperature of the cooler using a thermometer to see how cold it is remaining
How to manage raw meat in camp: It’s a good idea to chop up your raw meat at home into bite-size pieces and store it in a zip-top bag before you go for camp. As a result, you’ll have less laundry to do when camping. Here are some extra pointers:
- Handling raw meat should be approached with the same caution as you would at home. After you have cut raw meat in camp, place the meat pieces into your cookware and immediately wash the cutting board, knife, and your hands with soap and hot (if possible) water before touching anything else
- After you have cut raw meat in camp, place the meat pieces into your cookware and immediately wash the cutting board, knife, and your hands with soap and hot (if possible) water before touching anything else
- Never chop vegetables or cheese on a surface that has been exposed to raw meat residue. Any plastic wrap from raw meat should be double-bagged and placed in your cooler or garbage bag until you return home
- Otherwise, it should be disposed of in a campsite trash container supplied by the campground staff.
More information on proper food handling
- Tips on how to properly handle food
- Backpacking Food: Meal Preparation Tips
- Bear Canister Fundamentals
- How to Treat Water in the Backcountry
- And more.
How useful did you find this article? To provide a rating, click on a star.
How to Store Food When Camping and Backpacking
It is our responsibility as responsible campers and hikers to keep food in a safe manner. Not only do you protect yourself from hungry animals (such as bears) but you also safeguard the other species and critters that live in the wilderness when you follow good food storage procedures as well. Keep vermin, bears, and other creatures away from your food supply by following these simple guidelines.
Why is food storage so important when camping and backpacking?
When wild animals consume human food, it has a negative impact on their natural food supply. Animals, particularly bears, can grow dependent on humans if they consume an excessive amount of “people food.” When those animals seek for food in campgrounds and other locations, it frequently results in dangerous circumstances for people.
Animals that attempt to break inside tents, automobiles, and other enclosed spaces may also be killed if they become a nuisance to the owner or others. Following the guidelines outlined below will keep you and animals safe.
Food storage 101
Regardless of whether you’re at a developed campground, a wilderness camping, or somewhere else, the following rules should always be followed:
- It is important to be cautious about what you store in your tent. Never store food, garbage, or scented hygiene items in your tent
- This includes sleeping bags. If you’re camping, don’t leave food out in the open. A variety of creatures such as squirrels, chipmunks, birds, and other animals will take advantage of the situation to steal your treats.
Storing food at a campground
How to safely store your food when camping at a campsite is outlined below.
- Ensure that food is kept safe during the day. The location of this might be in your cooler, inside your vehicle or camper, or in a bear box. Yes, even if you’re only taking a brief trip to the restroom, this regulation applies. Food must be stored in your car or in a bear box at night for safety reasons (if one is available.) The fact that certain creatures are competent at opening coolers explains why this additional layer of security is required
- If you do not have access to a car or bear box, you can hang a sack containing your food or use a bear canister/bear bag to protect yourself from bears. In order to hang a bag, look for a solid, tall branch (and remember to bring rope if you plan to utilize this approach).
How to safely store your food on a backpacking trip
The following are three distinct methods of storing food while on a hiking trip in the wilderness:
- Food storage for a hiking trip in the outdoors may be performed in three distinct ways.
Some wilderness regions also have their own set of laws and regulations that must be followed. For example, at Rocky Mountain National Park, “All food items and rubbish must be secured inside a hard-sided commercially-made carry in/carry out bear-resistant food storage container between April 1 and October 31.” Because of recurrent wildlife events in the park’s wilderness sections below tree line and in the Boulder Field of Longs Peak, this is necessary in these places. There are no other techniques of food preservation allowed in the wilderness during this time period.” Because alternative methods of food storage are not permitted in certain regions, you are unable to utilize a bear bag or a bear hang in these locations.
Bear Essentials: How to Store Food When Backcountry Camping
Written by Michael Lanza We hung our food on a tree limb near our camp on our first night in the wilderness of Yosemite National Park on one of my first camping trips, when we were complete amateurs. It was one of my first backpacking experiences. Unfortunately, the conifer trees in our immediate vicinity all had short branches, which meant that our food sacks were dangling close to the trunk. During the night, the unavoidable occurred: we were awakened by the sound of a bear clawing its way up the tree in search of our food.
However, due to the fact that we had overpacked our food (another rookie mistake that, paradoxically, compensated for the more significant rookie mistake; see my suggestions on avoiding overpacking), we were able to make it through the trek without becoming hungry and ended up having a lovely time.
- Hi, My name is Michael Lanza, and I’m the creator of The Big Outside.
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- A black bear on the Sol Duc River Trail in Olympic National Park, according to the park’s website.
- This page explains what I’ve learned about safeguarding food from critters such as bears and, more typically, mice and other small animals, as well as birds such as ravens, in my experience.
Any queries or advice you’d want to share with others should be posted in the comments area at the bottom of this page. I make every effort to react to all comments.
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Food lockers at Floe Lake, a wilderness camp on the Rockwall Trail in Canada’s Kootenay National Park, which is accessible through the Rockwall Trail.” data-image-caption=”Food lockers in the wilderness camp at Floe Lake on the Rockwall Trail in Canada’s Kootenay National Park.” data-image-caption=”Food lockers in the backcountry camp at Floe Lake on the Rockwall Trail in Canada’s Kootenay National Park.” data-medium-file=”ssl=1″ data-medium-file=”ssl=1″ data-large-file=” ssl=1″ src=”data:image/svg+xml, percent 3Csvg, percent 20s Kootenay Mountains” data-large-file=” ssl=1″ src=”data:image/svg+xml, percent 3Csvg “”National Park” is a formal designation.
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data-lazy-src=” ssl=1″>Food lockers at Floe Lake on the Rockwall Trail in Canada’s Kootenay National Park.
national parks, including those with grizzly bear populations, such as Glacier and Yellowstone, and parks with only black bear populations, such as Yosemite, Mount Rainier, and many others.
Other places, such as Grand Teton National Park, require bear canisters. However, on public lands with fewer laws, management authorities frequently propose that food be protected from animals by using one or a combination of a few commonly used and widely approved techniques of food protection.
Keep Food Out of Your Tent
If you are camping in an area where grizzly or black bears are present, do not bring any food or objects that smell like food (for example, a shirt that has food spilled on it) inside your tent. Put any odor-causing things, such as toothpaste, sunscreen, ointment, and so on, in the same container as your meal.
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Never bring any food or anything that smell like food (for example, a shirt that has food on it) inside your tent, whether you are in a bear-infested area or not. Toss in any odor-producing goods with your stored food (such as toothpaste, sunscreen, ointment, and so on).
Never Leave Food Unguarded
It is important to store food properly even in areas where there are few or no bears, such as the desert Southwest, to keep it safe from other animals, such as mice, which are more numerous than bears almost everywhere and will often descend on food left unguarded for even a few minutes in an open backpack or at a campsite. The use of metal food-storage lockers, which are only available in a few popular backcountry camps, is required in Grand Canyon National Park, where mice and ravens regularly steal food from various areas of the park and rock squirrels are the most common cause of animal bites.
That piece of advise would be very useful in the Southwest.
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The Bear Vault BV500 bear canister has a capacity of 500 liters.” data-image-caption=data-image-caption= “The Bear Vault BV500 bear canister has a capacity of 500 liters. To discover my best selections for camping gear accessories, please click on the image.” data-medium-file=”ssl=1″ data-medium-file=”ssl=1″ data-large-file=” ssl=1″ src=”data:image/svg+xml, percent 3Csvg percent 20 data-large-file=” ssl=1″ “”bear canister” is an abbreviation.
To discover my best selections for backpacking gear accessories, please click on the image.
Use a Bear Canister
Bear canisters with screw-top lids and hard sides, such as the Bear Vault BV500 and smaller BV450, are almost impenetrable to bears and extremely handy because you don’t have to worry about finding an adequate spot to hang food from the bear canister. Leave the canister on the ground at least 100 feet away from your campsite, ideally wedged between two logs or in a location where it would be difficult for a large animal to roll it away from the site (leaving you unable to find it). The disadvantage is that a canister adds weight (about two pounds) to your pack, and it is sometimes big and difficult to place neatly inside a pack’s compartment.
In mid-size and smaller packs, you may have to insert the canister upright, which makes it a bit more difficult to load the rest of the items around it. See “The 10 Best Backpacking Packs” for more information.
Use a Bear Bag
While not as impenetrable as a hard-sided canister, soft-sided bear bags such as the variousUrsackmodels—which are composed of extremely durable Spectra fabric—are more difficult for a bear to break apart than a hard-sided canister. It is necessary, however, to hang them properly on a tree so that, even though a bear can swipe at it with its paw, it will not be able to pin the bag to the ground and claw or bite through it, crushing its contents, or carrying it away. Line a bear bag with an odor-barrier bag or an aluminum liner to help decrease the aromas that attract bears and other wildlife.
Plan your next great backpacking trip on the Teton Crest Trail, Wonderland Trail, in Yosemite or other parks usingmy expert e-guides.
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data-recalc-dims=”1″ The hiker Todd Arndt hikes across Matterhorn Canyon in Yosemite National Park, using a lazy link to the source.
Hang Food Properly
Always make use of a bear pole or cable if one is available. As an alternative, use around 50 feet of strong cord (5-6mm utility cord) draped over a branch (with a small rock connected to one end of the line) and hoisting the stuff sack(s) packed with food into the air before tying the other end of the cable to another tree. In order to prevent bears from reaching the food bags, they should be suspended at least 10 feet above the ground and several feet away from any tree trunks. They should also be suspended at least four feet below any branch so that they cannot be reached by climbing the tree.
If the location where you’re going doesn’t contain trees of such nature, you’ll need to carry a bear canister with you.
When at high altitudes where bears are not known to roam, such as expansive alpine areas in mountains high above the nearest forest and the desert Southwest, it is usually safe to store food by hanging it low but out of reach of rodents—for example, on a strong branch of a stunted tree—in order to keep rodents from getting to it.
This will save you from lifting one large, awkward load or risking shredding or snapping a cord while you are out in the wilderness.
Are you debating whether or not to trek alone in bear country? Take a look at my advice on the subject. At The Big Outside, you may find a menu of all tales on backcountry skills.
Tell me what you think.
In a previous piece, I discussed the food storage strategies that I propose to people. Some readers expressed skepticism about my fifth option — sleeping with it — so I decided to go into further detail about it. I’m deliberate about when and where I’ll do it, and I don’t have a death desire in mind when I do it.
First, a disclaimer
It appears that sleeping with your food is more dangerous than storing it further away from camp. Although there is little (or no?) evidence to support this premise, it appears to be logical. If you choose to sleep with your food, you are solely responsible for your actions. However, I am not advocating that you follow my method, nor am I guaranteeing the same outcomes that I have achieved in this article. In the Yukon Arctic, the sun sets. My food was kept in an OPSAK that was visible from the front of the shelter.
Defining “sleeping with food”
If I’m sleeping in a shelter with a door, I’ll keep my food in the shelter as well. Whenever I’m out cowboy camping, I’ll either sleep on it or right next to it. I frequently use my food bag as a knee rest to reduce pain on my lower back; it also serves as a great pillow when necessary. It is not permissible to leave food on the ground “nearby.” Unattended food is a prime target for opportunistic food thieves since it is easy to get their hands on. Wildlife is always on the lookout for cheap calories, and only the most bold and desperate bears and mini-bears would attempt to steal food that was clearly in my hands, according to my observations.
My food bag is the transparent bag on the opposite side of my sleeping bag and bivy from my sleeping bag and bivy.
Why do I sleep on my food?
Every now and again, when the circumstances are ideal, I will sleep on my meal. It’s the simplest, least time-consuming, least finicky, and least costly technique of storing items in a small space. To put it another way, it is the most convenient.
Whenwhere will I sleep on my food?
If I desire to sleep on my meal, I must meet the following three requirements:
- In addition, the land agency should not mandate a specific storage technique
- The chance of a bear entering my camp is acceptable, and preferably zero
- And the risk of rodents entering my camp is also acceptable, and ideally zero
If the land administration demands a certain way, I will follow the rules and regulations. It is possible that I will utilize permanent infrastructure like as a hard-sided bear-resistant canister like theBV500, or a soft-sided bear-resistant sack like theUrsack Major if I am not comfortable with bear danger. If I believe that rodents will be present in my camps, I will take the following precautions: hang my food out of reach (a.k.a. “rodent hang,” which will not be out of reach for a bear because the food will be only a few feet above the ground); or use a soft-sided rodent-resistant sack such as the Ursack Minor.
At the edge of the Wind River Range, some miles off the beaten path and above treeline, this campground displayed no traces of past usage.
What factors should I consider while assessing the risk of bears or rodents? Personal experience and research are the foundations of my argument.
Observations from the past, as well as information from guidebooks, internet forums, trip reports, park rangers and the local news: what have I learned so far? If the following conditions are met, I would consider a location to have low bear risk:
- There are few or no bears in the region
- There has been little or no evidence of bear activity (e.g., prints, scat, root digging)
- In addition, I’m camped far away from seasonal food sources (e.g., berry patches), and/or
- There have been no recent reports of bears taking food from hikers or campers (and, in an ideal world, no reports at all)
The assessment of the danger posed by rodents is less complicated, and the consequences are less severe:
- Mini-bear issues are expected at high- and moderate-use campgrounds, respectively. It’s unusual, but it’s feasible, in low-use campgrounds. I don’t recall ever encountering a rodent problem while camping in a pristine area.
Along Alaska’s Lost Coast, I slept on the most luxurious bed of moss I’d ever experienced.
I haven’t kept track, but I’m quite sure I’ve slept with my food for more nights than I have with every other kind of overnight storage combined. A few of these treks have included the AT, CT, IAT, NCT, PNT, PCT, and CDT (among others), a small circle around Alaska and the Yukon, and weeks on the Wind River High Route and Pfiffner Traverse (among others). In Sequoia-Kings Canyon National Park, I’ve had a couple bears come into my camp, and each time it was a different bear (where hard-sided bear canisters are generally required, and always required for commercial groups).
If I were to go back on these excursions, I would do things a little differently in certain circumstances.
Have a question, opinion, or experience with sleeping with your food? Leave a comment?
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10 food mistakes every beginner makes when hiking and how to avoid them
Adventure Hiking in the bush requires a great deal of preparation. There’s no exemption when it comes to trekking meals. Finding suitable camping sites and water sources, double-checking that you have all of your equipment, examining maps and remembering weather forecasts are all part of the preparation process. When it comes to preparing a hiking vacation, whether for a night or for two weeks, it’s tempting to place packing your meals at the bottom of the priority list. I’ve made the mistake of assuming I could just throw something together in the morning, and I’ve been burnt far too many times by inadequate meal preparation.
My first backpacking trip was a total and utter failure in terms of food preparation and consumption.
My bag weighed as least half as much as I did, and it was clearly the biggest load on the path that day.
You may put your trust in me. Every blunder in the book has been made by me, so you don’t have to! Here are the top ten food blunders that every newbie makes when camping and trekking, as well as some tips on how to prevent them in the future.
1. Packing too much
When trekking, overpacking on hiking food is perhaps the most common blunder made by hikers. It’s easy to fall into the trap of thinking that it’s better to have too much food than not enough, but this approach may be extremely taxing on your legs, causing you to use more energy than you actually require and resulting in wasted food at the end of your journey. When I first started backpacking, I prepared my belongings as if I were preparing for my final supper on this planet. Maintain a rigid schedule and plan out each meal in advance.
I like to pack a few extra pouches of Back Country Instant Mashed Potatoes with me when I go on vacation, and this is one of my favorite techniques.
It’s a convenient method to bring “just in case” food without adding to your luggage’s weight.
Whether you get stranded in the wilderness for a longer period of time than you anticipated due to unforeseen events or you come across someone who requires more food (believe me, it happens), it is always better to be safe than sorry, and instant food is light and portable.
2. Not packing enough
Overpacking on trekking meals is perhaps the most common blunder made by hikers. However, falling into the trap of “better to have too much than not enough” may be extremely detrimental to your legs by requiring you to exert more energy than you actually require and ultimately result in food being wasted at the conclusion of your trip, which can be quite uncomfortable. Backpacking with the mindset of preparing for my final supper on earth was how I approached my preparations. Stick to a rigorous diet and make a food plan for every day.
The fact that I bring a couple extra pouches of Back Country Instant Mashed Potatoes along with me on the trip is one of my favorite travel hacks!
The “just in case” food can be packed without adding to the overall weight of the bag.
Whether you become stranded in the wilderness for a longer period of time than you anticipated due to unforeseen circumstances or you come across someone who requires additional food (trust me, this happens), it is always better to be safe than sorry, and instant food is light and portable in comparison to other options.
3. Packing bulky foods
After packing the appropriate amount of food, you discover that it does not all fit into your luggage. Why, oh why? Despite the fact that a loaf of bread is small and easy to transport, it will take up the same amount of room as your inflatable sleeping pad. Your journey will be lot more pleasurable if you can strike a balance between weight and bulk on your luggage. Choose meals that are easy to transport and are high in calories and nutrients. When it comes to trekking food, dehydrated and freeze dried meals, such as those produced by Back Country Cuisine, are a fantastic choice since they are lightweight and compact.
They can be packed down to almost nothing and produce very little waste when you’re finished with them. According to the label, all you have to do is add boiling water and rip it apart in a precise way so that it transforms into a bowl of sorts.
4. Not enough variety
Granted, camping is all about limiting your pleasures to the basic essentials, but coming at the end of each hard day spent traveling out in the woods and eating the same meal for a week can be quite discouraging. Believe me when I say that there are only so many times you can eat peanut butter and jelly sandwiches for dinner until you want to chuck your meal off the nearest cliff. Make an effort to make each day’s dinner a little different from the previous one. Almost everything will taste wonderful after you’ve exerted so much energy, but don’t allow yourself to reach a point where you can’t force another mouthful of your boring meal down.
Beef Teriyaki, Thai Green Chili, and Creamy Carbonara are some of the dishes on the menu.
5. Not enough savory foods
This is a rule that I find myself breaking on a regular basis. In my opinion, a large portion of hiking food comes under the category of “sweet tooth.” Chocolate-covered pretzels, breakfast bars, and even trail mix, with its pieces of chocolate and dried fruit, appear to be a delicious treat. After a time, I find myself desiring something salty to counteract the carbohydrate overload from the hike. Beef jerky and salted almonds are two of my favorite salty treats. The small amount is just enough to break up the sweet goodies and keep me going until my next substantial meal.
6. Packing heavy foods
Another typical blunder made by first-time travelers is over-packing on calories. Hikers frequently tell me that they bring canned food with them, such as tuna, beans, and spaghetti. I get what you’re saying. As quick and easy meals that are also high in nutritional value, they don’t add much weight to your pack on their own. However, if you start packing more, your backpack will become much heavier, making your days in the mountains even longer and more difficult. After all, who wants to lug along a bunch of cans?
Talk about a ton of weight!
When hiking, freeze dried meals are my go-to option since they provide the ideal blend of little weight, enough energy supply, and a variety of “genuine meal” flavors.
7. Not packing enough nutrient-rich foods
Beginning trekkers make the mistake of bringing too much food with them. Hikers who bring canned food, such as tuna, beans, and spaghetti, are common. I get what you’re trying to say, As fast and easy meals that are also high in nutritional value, they don’t add much weight to your pack on their own. However, after you add many more, your bag will become much heavier, making your days in the mountains even longer and more difficult. Really, who wants to be bothered with carrying aluminum cans around?
Speaking of weight, this is serious business.
Using the light and quick hiking food strategy, I ensure that all of my meals are nutrient-dense while being incredibly lightweight. When hiking or trekking, freeze dried meals are my go-to option since they provide the ideal blend of light weight, ample nutrition, and diverse “real meal” flavor.
8. Planning elaborate meals
For my meals, I’ve been on far too many excursions when I had the best of intentions. Prepare dishes that are visually appealing and include fascinating components. It all sounds fine in theory, but when it comes down to it, it’s a different story. The end of a 10-hour day on your feet has left you with just one desire: to devour as much wonderful food as possible before collapsing into a lovely food/exhaustion coma for the rest of the night. After a hard day on the trail, there’s nothing worse than setting up camp and remembering you forgot to carry the ingredients for Duck Confit, which will undoubtedly take two hours to cook on your jet boil.
Treat yourself to a Gourmet Meal if you really want to go all out – hello, wild mushroom and lamb risotto, for example.
9. Too much sugar
The use of sugar provides short spurts of energy, but far too many travelers get lured into the sugar high, only to find themselves with a significant drop in energy just a few hours later. Don’t be caught in this trap! You’ll want to look for food sources that are high in carbohydrates as well as healthy fats to keep you going during your long days. When the sugar high wears off, you’ll feel exhausted and sluggish as a result of stuffing your body with it. Check to see that your meals and snacks are well-balanced!
10. Not knowing your own dietary needs and preferences
At the end of the day, no one is more familiar with your eating habits than you yourself. Prepare your trail food at home before heading out into the wilderness, where you will be isolated from civilisation. Before embarking on any large long-distance hike, you need have a thorough understanding of how much food you will require during periods of intense exercise and what kind of foods would be most beneficial to your body. Try not to compare yourself to other campers or hikers who have gone before you.
- Walking, hiking, or trekking in the outdoors is about getting down to the essentials.
- Food comes in third place only behind hiking and sleeping, therefore it demands special consideration and attention.
- Putting together a hiking trip is a true work of art.
- If you’re just getting started with backpacking, here are some tips for what to eat along the way:
2 day hike:
Breakfast at home or on the road in the morning. Crackers, cheese, salami, and an apple for lunch Snacks include granola bars (3-4 a day), chocolate-covered pretzels, and beef jerky, among others.
Backcountry Cuisine will be served for dinner. Spaghetti Bolognese is a traditional Italian dish. Desserts courtesy of Backcountry Cuisine Apple Crumble is a dessert made with apples.
Early in the morning: Backcountry Cuisine Porridge Supreme and a cup of coffee Lunch consists of tuna in a pouch, 2 pitas, and an apple. Grains bars (3-4 a day), salted nuts, and a triumph chocolate bar at the end of the day are some of my favorite snacks. Dinner options: on the road or at home.
3 – 5 day hike:
Breakfast in the Backcountry Porridge Supreme and coffee are two of my favorite things. For lunch, I’m having tuna in a pouch with two pitas and an apple. Grains bars (3-4 a day), salted nuts, and a triumph chocolate bar at the end of the day are some of my go-to snack foods. Dinner options: on the road or at home?
Backcountry Cuisine in the Morning Porridge Supreme paired with a cup of black coffee Lunch consists of pita bread, tuna, cheese, and an apple. Snacks such as bliss balls, beef jerky, trail mix, and granola bars are recommended. Backcountry Cuisine will be served for dinner. Risotto with wild mushrooms and lamb 3 Fruits Cheesecake from Backcountry Cuisine for dessert.
Backcountry Cuisine in the Morning Yogurt and muesli with a cup of black coffee Backcountry Cuisine will be served for lunch. Soup with Creamy Mushrooms and Potatoes, and a package of quick rice if I anticipate being very hungry. Snacks such as beef jerky, crackers, cheese, and muesli bars are available. Backcountry Cuisine will be served for dinner. Stir-fry with Vegetables Carrot Cake from Backcountry Cuisine for dessert
Backcountry Cuisine in the Morning Breakfast that has been prepared Cottage Pie from Backcountry Cuisine for lunch. Snacks include granola bars (3-4 a day), chocolate-covered pretzels, and beef jerky, among others. Backcountry Cuisine will be served for dinner. Moroccan Lamb is a kind of lamb that comes from Morocco. The Backcountry Cuisine Apricot Crumble is the perfect dessert.
Backcountry Cuisine in the Morning Salad de fruits et de grains de blé Backcountry Cuisine will be served for lunch. Soup with Chicken from Malaysia Snacks include granola bars (three to four each day), salted peanuts, and a triumph snickers bar. Backcountry Cuisine will be served for dinner. Vegetables and Lamb Roasted in the Oven Desserts courtesy of Backcountry Cuisine Apple Pie is a traditional dessert in the United States. What are your thoughts? Do you have any food recommendations for backpacking?
Many thanks to Back Country Cuisine for keeping us happy, warm and fed on all our adventures in the mountains – like always we’re keeping it real, all opinions are my own, like you could expect less from me!
Jacoblund/iStock/Thinkstock Camping and hiking might be the ideal way to get away from it all and take in the sights and sounds of nature. However, whether you are planning meals, snacks, and beverages for a few hours or many days, it is crucial to keep fundamental food safety rules in mind when making your preparations.
1. Keep Hot Foods Hot and Cold Foods Cold
It is in the “danger zone,” which is the temperature range between 40°F and 140°F, that bacteria reproduce most rapidly. Maintaining the temperature of hot foods and the temperature of cold foods will keep them out of the danger zone. This includes not only preparing and reheating foods to a safe internal temperature, but also keeping foods that require refrigeration in a safe manner after preparation and reheating. Perishable goods should not be kept out at room temperature for more than two hours, or for more than one hour if the temperature outdoors is over 90°F.
Short Hikes:If you are going on a short hike, carry nonperishable snacks or items that can be kept refrigerated.
This walk will allow you to thaw out your frozen beverages while still keeping your meals cold.
Pack a food thermometer to verify that meals are cooked to a safe temperature. You can’t rely on sight or flavor alone to judge whether or not food is cooked properly.
- Internal temperature of 160 degrees Fahrenheit should be reached in burgers consisting of raw ground beef, hog, lamb, and veal
- Heat hot dogs and any remaining food to 165 degrees Fahrenheit. Cook all fowl until it reaches a safe internal temperature of 165°F on an internal thermometer. Internal temperature of 145°F should be reached in all raw meat products (beef, hog, lamb, and veal steaks, chops, and roasts). Allowing meat to rest for at least three minutes before cutting or ingesting it is essential for safety and quality.
Only consume cold goods if they are at or below 40°F in temperature. In the majority of cases, cold meals should be consumed on the first day. Car camping, on the other hand, allows you to carry a cooler to your campsite, which is a nice perk while you’re traveling to your destination. Instead of packing your food in advance, load it directly from the refrigerator into your cooler right before you leave the house. This will ensure that the food stays as cold as possible and is safe. Also, remember that perishable food should not be eaten if it has been out of the refrigerator for more than two hours, or for more than one hour at temperatures above 90 degrees F.
2. Don’t Forget to Wash
The propagation of bacteria is facilitated in a filthy environment. Bring soap, water, clean towels, and hand sanitizer with you to the event. Before and after preparing and eating meals, wash your hands, utensils, and any surfaces thoroughly with soap and water.
3. Keep Water Safe for Drinking and Dishes
It is not recommended to consume water directly from a lake or stream, regardless of how clean it appears to be, or to use it to prepare meals or wash dishes. Some diseases thrive in secluded bodies of water, and there is no way to know what is in the water without diving in. Bring a full bottle of filtered water, and refill your supply from well-tested public water systems as needed. If that is not feasible, purify any water obtained from the wild. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, boiling water will kill germs and make it safe to drink.
Water that is murky should be allowed to rest until the silt has settled to the bottom.
Because the boiling point of water is lower at higher elevations, it is necessary to boil for at least three minutes.
If boiling water is not an option, purification tablets and water filters can be used, although the efficiency of these products in controlling viruses, germs, and parasites can vary.
4. Prevent Cross-contamination
By dripping fluids, hands, or utensils, bacteria from raw meat and poultry can quickly travel to other foods and cause food poisoning. Maintain food safety by thoroughly washing your hands before and after handling food, and by using separate platters and utensils for raw and cooked meats, fish, eggs, and poultry to prevent cross-contamination. When carrying meat and poultry in a cooler, double-wrap the items to prevent raw meat fluids from spilling onto other foods.
5. Always Clean Up
When washing dishes and cleaning up after yourself at the campground, keep food safety guidelines in mind. There are biodegradable camping soaps available for purchase; however, they should be used sparingly and should not be used near freshwater bodies of water since it will pollute them.
Dishwashing should be done at the campground rather than at the water’s edge, and all water should be filtered. As you prepare to leave the campsite, any leftover food should be burnt or transported out with you in your vehicle. Bring garbage bags to dispose of any waste that may have accumulated.