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Boondocking Meals


Arizona Drifter

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Any reason for the no refrigeration? Kills my menu as well, but your veggies would keep just fine for your 12 days. I would look at some of the hard squashes. Acorn squash on the grill with a little brown sugar would be tasty. Kidney bean and cured ham stew... buscuits and powdered gravy mix...

 

You could always make a few dishes before leaving home.. freeze them.. then eat like a king as they thaw. At least for the first week. Cooked bacon will last a long while and adds a lot to a decent vegetable stew. Jerky can be added to a number of dishes for flavor and protein. The same goes for some of those grocery store sausages. Those can be frozen before you leave then broken up into a decent meal. Maybe spaghetti with fresh tomatoes and some dry herbs.

 

Camping doesn't mean a fellers gotta suffer. lol

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Just another thought. If you have some kind of asian grocery nearby they generally have a pretty good selection of cured fish that will keep. Just toss them into a dutch oven over the fire with your favorite hard vegies and a couple of bullion cubes. Good eats. :P

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You could always buy some MREs. Not sure I'd want to live on them for any length of time, though. http://beprepared.com/catalogsearch/result/index/?food_type=279&q=MRE

 

What I would do using your criteria is go to the potato/rice section of the grocery store and look at what flavored packages they have. Then I'd go to the tuna section and buy tuna, salmon, ham, Vienna sausage, dried beef, etc. to go in the rice/potato mixes. That, at least, would give you some variety beyond canned chili and beef stew. Serve canned fruit alongside your main dish to help keep you hydrated after consuming all the salt in your packaged foods.

 

But what I'd really do is at least bring a cooler so I could have real meat. I'm also fond of Hormel's meat and cheese tray which has ham, turkey, two kinds of cheese, and crackers all packaged individually inside the tray so you can throw some in the ice chest while you eat the others.

 

Linda Sand

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When buying freeze dried meals be aware that a serving size tends to be 250 calories. I don't know anyone who can thrive on three meals per day of 250 calories each. My favorite brand, Mountain House, usually says a package is 2.5 servings. I don't know who keeps that half serving for later. I usually make a meal of one whole package for what seems to me to be a more reasonable number of calories per meal. If you have sides with your meal you might be able to get by with half a package. Back when Mountain House offered more than two kinds of desert we use to make one entree and one desert to feed the two of us a meal. And, while they say you can mix it right in the package we much prefer using a bowl to do that. The stuff in the creases of that package that didn't get stirred in can be kind of startling to bite into.

 

Linda Sand

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Way back in the 1973 I was running crews all over the backcountry of Sequoia National Park mapping Giant Sequoia's. Everybody was in their early 20's and working in the woods for eight hours a day. We also had to pack our food!!

 

Nobody could do it for any extended period of time just eating freeze dried foods. I ended up supplementing everybodies food with canned salmon, tuna, beef, etc. And a serving of four was really for two. I think it is much easier to do these days.....I would get some fresh food. Since your not concerned about weight it should be easy to do.

 

The freeze dried food is not bad these days. Be aware if you eat it for extended period of time there are gastronomical side effects.

 

The good news is the company did not want to open a REI membership account so I got one hell of a REI dividend that year.

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My wife and I will be doondocking for 12 days next month in the desert of central california. I am trying to figure out what to take for meals that do not require require refrigeration and can be prepared on the stove or in the rv oven.

 

Any suggestions appreciated.

Arizona Drifter,

Would you update us on why you will not have refrigeration? I am curious, as to what kind of an RV you will be in that doesn't have a fridge. Of course if you are tent camping that is a different issue.

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Bill - That stuff is getting rippin expensive!! Along with some decent corned beef n hash. Who would have thunk it. It used to be that if you didn't catch a fish in the the morning you were resigned to a $.25 tin of corned beef hash and eggs. Now days it's just about a delicacy. :D

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Back in our tent camping days we used to take two weeks of non refrigerated meals along and spend the whole two weeks in various national parks. Some of the meals we took, as I remember them:

 

Velveta and elbow mac- a pretty good mac and cheese.

Whole canned chicken (banquet I believe) along with some Bisquick dumplings.

Canned bacon. It was quite good, a whole pound in a can wrapped in wax paper. Did have to refrigerate what wasn't cooked.

Spagetti and canned sauce.

Powdered whole eggs.

Canned non refrigerated ham.

One year we found cooked ground beef in packets, similar to tuna packets.

Canned chicken breast made a good casserole.

Tuna casserole.

 

We would spend two whole weeks in a park and never make a trip to town. We did have a cooler and needed occasional ice.

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I have a Coleman Ultimate Xtreme 6 day ice chest. They're cheap compared to the high end Yetis, Pelicans and such and will hold block ice for the advertised 6 days, even in warm weather, as long as you don't leave it sitting directly in the sun. In cooler weather you can get 7 or 8 days out of it as long as you don't raid it too often. Of course if you want to use your cooler for beer only then I completely understand. ;)

 

I camped at Big Bend NP in the August heat once for 2 weeks without benefit of a cooler, and the ice chests they had in the early 70s didn't keep ice for more than about 3 days in the desert heat. We ate sandwiches (when bread went stale we used crackers) a lot (spam, vienna sauage, canned tuna, peanut butter, etc. with chips. We used catsup, mustard and packets of mayo which keep unrefigerated. We brought boiled agges with us and mixed it with packet mayo to make egg and tuna salad when needed. We had chickens, so we had fresh raw yard eggs for breakfast - which will keep unrefrigerated for a couple weeks. Don't try this with the refrigerated eggs you get at the market. We supplemented our sandwiches with canned beans, peas and corn, potatos and rice. On the trail, we ate jerky and trail mix, Lurps and C-rations. (I loved the peanut butter in the rats, but could never figure a way to open the can without getting green paint inside.) I guess today's equivalent would be MREs. Don't forget the cooking oil to fry up the eggs, potatoes, spam and such. For dessert we had moon pies, cookies and twinkies, which last virtually forever without refrigeration.

 

Chip

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I purchase from these folks from time to time. Really decent prices for the entrees. http://theepicenter.com Nice people and very accommodating. It's nice to be able to whip up a quick pot of rice and an entree on those days you just aren't feeling it.

 

I'm not sure why.. but now I've got a craving for corned beef hash with fresh peppers and walleye. :P

 

Have fun!!

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You can keep eggs for a surprisingly long time without refrigeration. Lots of cruising yachts keep them below in lockers near the water line (for a little better cooling... not much in the tropics). Some coat them with vaseline but we never did.

 

Peanut butter is great.

 

Jerky.

 

Biscuits (hard tack).

 

All sorts of canned foods. But my wife tells me that she can no longer get canned whole chicken; at least around here.

 

Fruit (apples, oranges, pineapples, etc.) keep will for a week or so. Bananas... not so much but you can eat those first.

 

Powdered milk for the kids... they hate it at first but after a few weeks the real milk tastes yucky. On our cruising sailboat we had powdered milk for years and it took us a long time to get used to 2% milk. The trick was to mix it at least 12 hours before you drink it.

 

WDR

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Check out Costco, Emergency Essentials, Augason Farms or the bluechipgroup as additional sources for food storage. We also have a dehydrator that my wife uses to prepare backpack meals for our trips. We have been in the wilderness for 3 weeks continuous living on her dehydrated foods. Much cheaper to dehydrate your own food even factoring in the cost of the dehydrator. Please note that freeze dried foods can cause foul smelling intesinal gas as they are prepared with nitrogen.

 

As far as keeping food cool assuming you don't want to use your refer. look at Yeti coolers. Food will last for days with dry ice. Expensive but work well.

 

Brad

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I have done the freeze dried (only for backpacking), MRE stuff (when you want 5 times your normal daily salt intake/meal) and agree with others.... Why no refigeration? On a typical 20 to 30 day Elk bow hunt I could keep all the fresh meat, milk, juice, vegies etc that I needed in just a couple of medium coolers. Just make sure everything that can be is frozen before hand, keep the coolers covered with survival blankets and in the shade.

 

Use block ice only.... or if the the weather is warm add a couple of pounds of dry ice-- careful with the dry ice, if it is wrapped well with newspaper to insulate it will work quite well even in a regular Coleman type cooler..... if not wrapped it will ruin a regular cooler in a matter of hours. I have kept full hams, steaks, prepared meals etc frozen solid in a cooler for two or more weeks with just a few pounds of dry ice (don't put your beer or sodas in there though, and the ice cream will be hard as a rock).

 

For 12 days I just use the propane setting of the RV fridge....

 

Dave

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