How do you keep your perishables cold?

Rodnak Kayak

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Dec 19, 2007
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Victoria, BC
OK, I have visited this once before, but bear with me, what I need to know is how do you guys who go on these longer trips, 5 days or so, keep meat, milk etc cold... I have heard of layering dry ice with meat, not for me... but do most, or at least what kind of dry bag may work best to submerge food to keep it cool, we are off to the Broken Group late July, and cannot live without certain pleasantries, like cream with coffee, and steak! I know I may be a bit spoiled, that is the way I like it!
PLEASE NO Freeze Dried Steak!! :yikes:
At present we take 2 foldup coolers, and get a few days (2-3 max) of chill, in moderate weather, if it's hot, maybe 2. We use up the water as it melts. We only put the absolute perishable stuff, fruit/veggies can be drybagged.
I am going to test a few bags this weekend in a swimming pool to see if they hold water, or not, so to speak
Any suggestions for this brat will be gobbled up thanklessly, :wink:
 

Mark_Schilling

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I usually try to factor in the weather when preparing for a multi-day trip as far as perishable food goes. "Real" meat rarely lasts more than about 2 days in the summer unless you're planning on taking half a hatch worth of ice / dry ice etc. Sausages etc. might last a day or two longer. Eggs maybe 3-4 days, or longer if you can keep them cool. Fruits and veggies, depending on specifics, can last a week or more (carrots etc.). I don't even bother with milk - if you need it, use powdered milk. We've already got a good amount of meal planning done for a 2-week trip in August, and anything beyond the first few days is mostly dehydrated food. I'll be bbq'ing a whole chicken and dehydrating that in the next week or so; that should give us plenty of meals worth of protein without getting bored of any particular recipe. (Truth be told, Blondie is doing the meal planning - I just dehydrate what I'm told to!). :cool
 

Astoriadave

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Rod,

Without resupply of ice, Mark's stipulations on meat are what I experience, also.

Some folks I paddled with once hard-froze meat at home and transported it to the launch site, wrapped it in multiple layers of newspaper (over plastic) and were able to serve up flank steak on night three ... I think it was in one of those collapsible coolers, and when paddling they kept the whole arrangment against the keel. That was in the Brokens, in June, I believe. August would be tough.

If you speak nicely to the folks at the lodge (Sechart) and/or ask for a delivery of ice via the water taxi as it sidles amongst the islands, you might luck out. Cost a bit, but sounds like it might be worth it to you.
 

Rodnak Kayak

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Mark, Aha, can I assume that if you dehydrate your won food, it is better, is it just as easy to prep in the field? Most stuff I have tried, ie the store bought stuff was, well not too good...Any suggestions would be great for certain flavours/brands, but we are trying to low carb it where we can, realizing limitations..

Dave, we are staying at the lodge at Sechart on the to and fro part of our Broken trip, a bit of a treat, so I hope to utilize them to keep food for us in their freezer overnite. Resupply of ice would be nice, but we are gonna try and stay off the martinis until it is Lodge Time :cool

You guys alway pipe in, one day we may paddle the same waters, who knows even the Brokens ,as we will be going back a few times, I'm sure.
Still any guess whether a dry bag can hold "air" submerged in the drink for food chilling?

Damn!! Now I better read all that stuff on dehydrating chickens and sushi and chocolate? :?
 

Astoriadave

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Rod,

Are you thinking of storing food in a dry bag, held underwater near camp, anchored or held down? If so, a small float on a line would be good, I expect, for easy retrieval.

I've not done that, but it matters little whether the dry bag leaks or not, as you will want minimal air inside it anyway, so it will stay down. Anything floating on the surface will be fodder for crows and gulls. On the bottom, I suspect it will get looked over pretty good by crabs, but not likely penetrated unless it starts to get rank. They love rank stuff. Sun stars will likely glom onto the bag if it has odor, but they are easily removed.

I'd bag it internally so sea water would not contaminate it in the event of a leak.
 

DarenN

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Surrey
dehydrating your own meals is a lot better than any of the store bought stuff that i've had.
poultry is still giving me fits. always re-hydrates a bit chewy.
chilli, pasta and sauce, basmati rice, stew and soups, are some of my favorites. i always augment my diet with seafood when on a long trip.
 

nootka

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Campbell River
When I was camping north of Revelstoke, I would often store food in drybags in the lake (griz & black bear country). I used a mesh bag & stone anchor. I also had a line from shore so I could pull the food bag in for breakfast without needing to fetch it via the kayak.

If the shore line was attached to the food bag, then the food bag would go underwater during the retrieve and water would ingress. If the shore line was attached to the anchor, the food bag would stay on the surface and stay dry. So I would guess that an ordinary dry bag won't keep your food dry if it is underwater.
 

ken_vandeburgt

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Nov 13, 2007
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how do you guys who go on these longer trips, 5 days or so, keep meat, milk etc cold...
I freeze a couple of farmer sausage for the first night. I keep 'em in a foldup lunch cooler with a ziploc full of ice cubes. I put any other food that is perishable such as mozarella in there and if there is any room then a cold beer goes in too.

The ice is usually melted after a day or so. By then the sausage is eaten and the beer drunk. The mozarella keeps for a couple of weeks so long as it isn't left out in the sun. (Hang the food in the shade).

Canada and US are the only places where grocery store eggs are kept refrigerated. Eggs will keep for many days so long as the shell isn't cracked. I usually hard boil them before a trip.

Good beer is good even when warm. Just don't buy the cheap stuff.

When hiking the only booze is a plastic mickey of rum. (a glass mickey is heavy and apparently heavier when empty) A shot with juice crystals and hot water make a nice after dinner drink. (or maybe a cool one with an ice cube from a handy glacier)

I used to take powdered milk. I don't use milk at all now.

Peanut butter is good without margerine or butter. I've seen people make yellow death (kraft dinner) with peanut butter instead of margerine.

Mainly though, I just don't take stuff that needs refrigeration.
 

pryaker

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Mar 23, 2010
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Powell River BC
For cream you can get those little "cup" containers of superpasturized cream from convenience stores. They don't refrigerate them so I'm assuming they are ok for indefinite amounts of time at ambient temp.

I also snag the little packages of mayo before trips, not sure how those stay good, but they do!
 

SheilaP

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Victoria, BC
Rod Stiebel said:
We use up the water as it melts.
HIYA! Don't use this valuable water and you will buy another day of "cooler time." The water helps keep the temperature down. Many SMALL coolers work much better than bigger ones that you open repeatedly! I use this exact cooler with great results: http://www.canadiantire.ca/AST/browse/5 ... ?locale=en

They are on sale for $10.00 and guaranteed for life. :doh: Keeping the coolers as full as possible helps a lot too! I use a day 1, day 2 system...

Freezing big meals with smaller things helps too; for example freezing a big chili in a plastic container means I am not carrying water and the meal will help keep everything cold. Once the meal unfreezes you can eat it the next day after the other stuff is gone. And yes, your frozen meal can have meat too. :mrgreen:

Keeping boats on the water with the coolers inside during every stop helps, and keeping the boats in the shade with the coolers is great too. Hope this information helps.
 

Pawistik

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Apr 28, 2010
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Saskatoon, SK
Ditto to much of what has already been said. I've dehydrated a bunch of food and plan to eat well when we too are in the Broken Group. We have the added complication of transporting things from Saskatchewan but the dehydrated food I've prepared (chili, cuban stew, sweet potatoes, jerky, etc.) will make the trip just fine. We'll pick up a couple days worth of fresh food the day before we launch to supplement the rest and get us off to a good start.

If you want to learn to eat well while paddling, I recommend the book A Fork In The Trail by Laurie March. Very good food, though some of it is more complex to prepare than that in my other main cookbook, Cooking The One Burner Way.

We do often take meat with us on our trips. A roast that is very well frozen will keep for several days wrapped in newspaper and packed into the center of the food barrel. Cans of frozen beer make excellent consumable cold packs. With respect to the food barrel, that's why canoeing is better. ;)

Cheers,
Bryan
 

kisielk

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Jul 5, 2010
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Vancouver, BC
If you live in/near Vancouver there is a large selection of bulk dehydrated foods at Famous Foods on Kingsway and Knight. I've been shopping there for years to stock up for all kinds of trips.
 

camshaft

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Jun 11, 2010
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Just my .02

I took 20 eggs in two rectangular zip lock plastic containers and they lasted 8 days. Little custom cutting and some paper towel padding and presto. These guys took some serious punishment and I was shocked to see they survived. Well until I dropped one out of my pocket one morning :(

As well I forget who mentioned it off WCP about precooked bacon. I just wanted to thank you as they lasted 8 days with no problem. Might be strange but I actually found it way easier to cook or heat it. Then dealing with the bulk of regular uncooked bacon.

I did want to ask about dehydrated pasta sauce ? searched and it seems you can just put it in your dehydrator. Which brings up the question what dehydrators do you recommend.

thanks

ken_vandeburgt said:
how do you guys who go on these longer trips, 5 days or so, keep meat, milk etc cold...
I freeze a couple of farmer sausage for the first night. I keep 'em in a foldup lunch cooler with a ziploc full of ice cubes. I put any other food that is perishable such as mozarella in there and if there is any room then a cold beer goes in too.

The ice is usually melted after a day or so. By then the sausage is eaten and the beer drunk. The mozarella keeps for a couple of weeks so long as it isn't left out in the sun. (Hang the food in the shade).

Canada and US are the only places where grocery store eggs are kept refrigerated. Eggs will keep for many days so long as the shell isn't cracked. I usually hard boil them before a trip.

Good beer is good even when warm. Just don't buy the cheap stuff.

When hiking the only booze is a plastic mickey of rum. (a glass mickey is heavy and apparently heavier when empty) A shot with juice crystals and hot water make a nice after dinner drink. (or maybe a cool one with an ice cube from a handy glacier)

I used to take powdered milk. I don't use milk at all now.

Peanut butter is good without margerine or butter. I've seen people make yellow death (kraft dinner) with peanut butter instead of margerine.

Mainly though, I just don't take stuff that needs refrigeration.
 

kisielk

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106
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Vancouver, BC
We've actually dehydrated pasta sauce. It basically just works, you just put it on the mesh and off you go. Makes a good tomato leather as well if you don't feel like rehydrating it. We got an American Harvest Snackmaster from a friend of ours and it's been working great for all kinds of dehydrating.
 

DarenN

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Feb 12, 2006
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Surrey
i have a Nesco (American Harvest) Professional. i bought a couple extra trays and screens with it, and i'm glad i did. it's been a really great dehydrator.
one trick i learned for doing sauces, chilli, stew, and other more liquid type foods is to cut pieces of parchment paper to fit the tray, and put the food on the paper. lots easier cleanup, too.
 

camshaft

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Jun 11, 2010
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great tip daren thanks

is that kinda like that
Nesco American Harvest Clean-A-Screen Tray
Prevents foods from sticking
Flexible so can be curled to peel off foods




DarenN said:
i have a Nesco (American Harvest) Professional. i bought a couple extra trays and screens with it, and i'm glad i did. it's been a really great dehydrator.
one trick i learned for doing sauces, chilli, stew, and other more liquid type foods is to cut pieces of parchment paper to fit the tray, and put the food on the paper. lots easier cleanup, too.
 

DarenN

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the "clean-a-screen"s are what i use for dehydrating rice and other small granule stuff. like eggbarley pasta. google it. it easy and tastey.
the solid (no holes) trays are used for making fruit leathers.
for sauces and other more liquid foods i use parchment paper, cut to fit the trays.
 

Chris_Hvid

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Jul 7, 2006
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Victoria, British Columbia since 1955
The silver wine sacks used for drinking water can be frozen solid in the freezer prior to the trip (allowing for the expansion of freezing) and then kept for drinking water after a few days after they melt. Put into a dry bag at the bottom of soft cooler, they make a pretty good fridge for Day 1 travelling and for a few days thereafter. Can also be wrapped in newspaper to prolong the "coolth".
 

bigbear

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Aug 30, 2008
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Hmmmmmmm.....As a paddler who has done many two to four week trips (and longer) I suggest using what we have best at hand on the west coast of Vancouver Island.....the sea is our refrigerator!
A sealed bag, a heavy rock and a line..............the waters off our coast are mighty chilly. Perishables will last as long as they do in your fridge, if you use the ocean as your fridge.......
 
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