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food for drop camp

Will be going on a drop camp elk hunt 1st rifle Colorado. Will be staying 7 days. Was wondering if anyone had any ideas on what kinda food and drink to take in. I am sure we are limited to the amount of weight we can take in, just not sure how much. there will be 3 of us. Also how do you keep your food cold. Would taking a soft sided cooler in help. ( no ice).  Any ideas or good recipes would be appreciated.

exbiologist's picture
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freeze your food first

A cooler might help if you can take it in, but otherwise we rely on freeze dried foods mostly from Mountain House.  Too much bulk with cans and takes too long to cook real food when you get back in from the woods to bother with much more than that.  We will prepare a few meals ahead of time and freeze them, just using hot water to heat it up, but otherwise it's freeze dried in the backcountry.

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sometimes a little weight is worth packing in.

For breakfast on day one, I suggest pancakes and bacon - go ahead and cook the whole pound - you will eat it and don't worry about spoilage of the raw meat for the rest of the trip.  Don't forget coffee and tea if you normally drink it.  Don't try to do without it.  Don't forget creamer of some kind if you normally take it.  Even powdered creamer is better than none at all if you are not used to black coffee for drinking first thing in the morning.  It isn't as good as brewed or perked, but instant coffee is a whole lot easier to make in camp.  Powdered creamer doesn't need refridgeration - it isn't as good as real cream but it is a whole lot better than no cream at all if you don't like your coffee black.  For breakfast after day 1 - instant oatmeal is an option that doesn't take much weight to bring in - especially good if you can bring in raisins or nuts or both to mix in too.  Bagels split buttered and fried butter side down on a frying pan are amazing.  You will be hooked for life once you try them!  Bring more than 6 bagels and more than 1 stick of butter. Trust me on this! lol  For lunches Nothing is better in the world when you are chilled and wet than the instantly edible cup of noodle soup when you make it back to camp.  Again - bring plenty.  Ramen noodles will do in a pinch but 'cup-o-noodles' brand is much better in my humble opinion.  For me personally - evening meals must have meat in them for me to enjoy them.  Pasta can hold you for a day or two but it doesn't compare to a good grilled steak and potatoes aluminum foil wrapped and baked in the coals of a campire or woodstove.  After the first few days you should be able to supplement evening meals with fresh caught fish, partridge, pheasant, turkey, rabbit, or the backstrap of white tail or mule deer etcetera if any of the forementioned are in season and legal to take in your area - at least if all goes well for you.  Good luck and let us know how you make out

Mike

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food

Our plan is to freeze some 'real' dinners in vacu bags that we can then drop in hot water to heat, along with some rice or pasta.  Do the instant breakfast stuff, although those bagels sound pretty good.  Still kicking it around for lunches. Dont really plan to be back at camp for lunch, so thinking cup o soup in the field.  Ive got my jet boil stove ready to roll!  This will be our first drop camp also, and this site has been great in terms of helping to plan.  Good luck.

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Two words ...

Elk Jerky  Yes

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I too would use some pre-made

I too would use some pre-made meal that you can reheat very easily.  When we are lk hunting we do the same pre make some meal vacum seal them and they are so easy to reheat in some boiling water.  I would also suggest the freeze dried meals.  Mountain House makes some really good ones.  They have them for breakfast all the way thru dessert.  They are great beacuse they are lightweight and do not take up as much space...and no cooler space...save that for the meat if need be as warm as it has been.  Pre make a bunch of peanit butter and bacon sandwichs along with some great jerk and you should be good to go. 

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More food links

There's another thread in the regional, rocky mountains forum of this site too regarding camp food suggestions.  Not that it will be super helpful since you are looking for packable food ideas.  But it's there and has some good suggestions too.

I have to plug Starbucks here, too, for the instant coffee.  I love coffee (and Starbucks is really the McD's of the coffe world, but at least it's consistent) and enjoy drinking it almost any way, from froo-froo drinks to just staight black coffee.  I used to take my french press into the backcountry backpacking so I could make a decent cup of coffee.  But the Starbucks Via instant coffee pouches are really pretty good and WAAAAAYYYYY easier.  They're kind of spendy, about $1 each pouch (1 pouch will make a 8-10 oz. cup of coffee).  I limit myself to 1 cup in the morning and it doesn't end up costing too much to have a fast easy cup of coffee to start the day and I don't have anything to clean up, just a cup to rinse when I'm done.

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Have you thought about roll

Have you thought about roll up sandwiches for lunch.  Instead of bread we  took some flour tortillas, cheese, and sliced ham to camp in 2010, would just roll a few slices of ham and cheese in a couple of tortillas place in zip lock.  Lunch would consist of roll ups, trail mix, and water with a piece of hard candy for desert.  We also carried a couple of protein bars at all times, also had peanut butter and squeeze jelly.  Carried squeeze margarine instead of stick though it turned out we stayed cold enough all week to not have cooler worries.  Mornings was instant oatmeal or instant grits (hey we're from the deep south so we gotta have grits even if they were instant), supper was steaks first night, homemade chili that my hunting partner had dehydrated and vac packed, meat/jalapeno pepper/onion/bacon rolls that I had cooked, vac packed and froze, one night we had a big pot of dehydrated potatoe soup, another night we had some of the leftovers from the chilli and the meat rolls.  Forgot about the spaghetti night with garlic bread. 

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I just got back from a 5 day

I just got back from a 5 day backcountry hunt, my menu was for breakfast: 3 packs of instant oatmeal. lunch was pre made before i left peanut butter, bacon and honey sandwiches, they will last about 7-10 days before they spoil. I lightly toasted the bread so it didntget sogy. dinners were freez dried Mountain house meals, they are not to bad and really filling. snacks were beef jerkey and trail mix and Cliff bars. My food did weight to much and it all tasted good. When weight is an issue in the back country than the Mountain houses are the way to go. Also to mix it up you can get the cup o noodle things and just add water. As far as the water thing I have a water pump/purifier I bought and it was worth its weight in gold, it worked great and the water tasted good, we took water from a lake we camped by and also streams we found.it was probably the best tasting water i have ever had. Good luck with your choices and let us know how your hunt goes.

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