Camping without refrigeration

betiPT

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Hi All,

Happy New Year :)

I have a camping trip scheduled, would love to hear advice on what you have done to camp without a fridge.

I avoid eating processed foods :)

Thanks so much,

betiPT
 

Emma JC

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Oatmeal, rolled or steel cut. Dried fruit/berries.

Rice, dried veggies, garlic, onions, potatoes.

Other whole grains like quinoa, dried or canned beans, lentils might be best as they take less time to cook.

Whole grain pasta, sauces that are in tetrapaks, there are so many of them now and the less water the better so tomato puree would be less weight etc.

Have a great camping trip!

Emma JC
 
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Lou

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Backpacking has a whole different set of strategies. But if you are camping close enough to your car where you have a cooler then I have lots of good suggestions. Me and my buddy have packed a big cooler as far as a mile up the trail. but usually its just 50 feet for less. If space allows you can even fit two coolers in the vehicle.

  • plan ahead and start freezing your bottles of water. Don't pack ice. I have found that a couple of one gallon containers on the bottom, a couple of 2 quarts on the sides, and a couple of one quart or smaller can be squezzed in between. Best thing about containers of water is after they have melted you get to drink the ice cold water.
  • bring some frozen water for the first day but don't put it in the cooler. let it melt.
  • Freeze some grapes. Not only do they act just like ice in the cooler but they make great ice cubes. and of course they are great snacks. One cup of grapes per person per day.
  • Freeze your first dinner. My standard first dinner is pasta and sauce. Cook, mix the sauce and pasta together and put one or two servings in zip lock bags. You can even start the defrosting process when you start making camp. Heats up great over a campfire or a cook stove. Beans and rice can be frozen and reheated too.
  • You can even freeze smoothies. They last for a day or two.
  • Overnight oats make for a great breakfast. make them at home and pact them in the top of the cooler. but also muffins can be frozen and defrosted the night before. Fresh fruits can be cut and stored in the cooler too. strawberries and blueberries are great with oats. or just pack a bag of raisins. they last forever without a frig.
  • Premade homemade stuff like energy bars (we call the primeval bars around here for some reason) or energy balls or a big bag of Gorp (Granola plus trail mix). These are all good for breakfast or snacks.
  • Peanut butter and jelly are great. and if you make them, freeze them, and then pack them - they don't need to be kept in the cooler. Lasts for at least a couple of days. Good for breakfast, lunch, or snacks.
  • Dinners after the first day are a little challenging. Pasta is easy to make over a cook stove. And those boxes of rice you get in the supermarket - take only like 10 minutes.
  • You can also pack cans of beans and cans of veggies.
  • If you have a campfire you can bake some potatoes. wrap them in tinfoil and find a nice rock to rest them on.
Oh if you drink beer figure on needing another cooler. You can pack some six packs out of the cooler and put them in the cooler the night before to cool down. Better freeze some juice and the liquor of your choice and just make mixed drinks. Cranberry and vodka with frozen grape ice cubes was a real hit last summer.
 
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betiPT

betiPT

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Oatmeal, rolled or steel cut. Dried fruit/berries.

Rice, dried veggies, garlic, onions, potatoes.

Other whole grains like quinoa, dried or canned beans, lentils might be best as they take less time to cook.

Whole grain pasta, sauces that are in tetrapaks, there are so many of them now and the less water the better so tomato puree would be less weight etc.

Have a great camping trip!

Emma JC


Thank you... great ideas. I will have to try and find these tetrapak sauces; brilliant idea!
 
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betiPT

betiPT

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Backpacking has a whole different set of strategies. But if you are camping close enough to your car where you have a cooler then I have lots of good suggestions. Me and my buddy have packed a big cooler as far as a mile up the trail. but usually its just 50 feet for less. If space allows you can even fit two coolers in the vehicle.

  • plan ahead and start freezing your bottles of water. Don't pack ice. I have found that a couple of one gallon containers on the bottom, a couple of 2 quarts on the sides, and a couple of one quart or smaller can be squezzed in between. Best thing about containers of water is after they have melted you get to drink the ice cold water.
  • bring some frozen water for the first day but don't put it in the cooler. let it melt.
  • Freeze some grapes. Not only do they act just like ice in the cooler but they make great ice cubes. and of course they are great snacks. One cup of grapes per person per day.
  • Freeze your first dinner. My standard first dinner is pasta and sauce. Cook, mix the sauce and pasta together and put one or two servings in zip lock bags. You can even start the defrosting process when you start making camp. Heats up great over a campfire or a cook stove. Beans and rice can be frozen and reheated too.
  • You can even freeze smoothies. They last for a day or two.
  • Overnight oats make for a great breakfast. make them at home and pact them in the top of the cooler. but also muffins can be frozen and defrosted the night before. Fresh fruits can be cut and stored in the cooler too. strawberries and blueberries are great with oats. or just pack a bag of raisins. they last forever without a frig.
  • Premade homemade stuff like energy bars (we call the primeval bars around here for some reason) or energy balls or a big bag of Gorp (Granola plus trail mix). These are all good for breakfast or snacks.
  • Peanut butter and jelly are great. and if you make them, freeze them, and then pack them - they don't need to be kept in the cooler. Lasts for at least a couple of days. Good for breakfast, lunch, or snacks.
  • Dinners after the first day are a little challenging. Pasta is easy to make over a cook stove. And those boxes of rice you get in the supermarket - take only like 10 minutes.
  • You can also pack cans of beans and cans of veggies.
  • If you have a campfire you can bake some potatoes. wrap them in tinfoil and find a nice rock to rest them on.
Oh if you drink beer figure on needing another cooler. You can pack some six packs out of the cooler and put them in the cooler the night before to cool down. Better freeze some juice and the liquor of your choice and just make mixed drinks. Cranberry and vodka with frozen grape ice cubes was a real hit last summer.


Excellent ideas... I will start freezing :) Thanks so much :)
 
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TofuRobot

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Backpacking has a whole different set of strategies. But if you are camping close enough to your car where you have a cooler then I have lots of good suggestions. Me and my buddy have packed a big cooler as far as a mile up the trail. but usually its just 50 feet for less. If space allows you can even fit two coolers in the vehicle.

  • plan ahead and start freezing your bottles of water. Don't pack ice. I have found that a couple of one gallon containers on the bottom, a couple of 2 quarts on the sides, and a couple of one quart or smaller can be squezzed in between. Best thing about containers of water is after they have melted you get to drink the ice cold water.
  • bring some frozen water for the first day but don't put it in the cooler. let it melt.
  • Freeze some grapes. Not only do they act just like ice in the cooler but they make great ice cubes. and of course they are great snacks. One cup of grapes per person per day.
  • Freeze your first dinner. My standard first dinner is pasta and sauce. Cook, mix the sauce and pasta together and put one or two servings in zip lock bags. You can even start the defrosting process when you start making camp. Heats up great over a campfire or a cook stove. Beans and rice can be frozen and reheated too.
  • You can even freeze smoothies. They last for a day or two.
  • Overnight oats make for a great breakfast. make them at home and pact them in the top of the cooler. but also muffins can be frozen and defrosted the night before. Fresh fruits can be cut and stored in the cooler too. strawberries and blueberries are great with oats. or just pack a bag of raisins. they last forever without a frig.
  • Premade homemade stuff like energy bars (we call the primeval bars around here for some reason) or energy balls or a big bag of Gorp (Granola plus trail mix). These are all good for breakfast or snacks.
  • Peanut butter and jelly are great. and if you make them, freeze them, and then pack them - they don't need to be kept in the cooler. Lasts for at least a couple of days. Good for breakfast, lunch, or snacks.
  • Dinners after the first day are a little challenging. Pasta is easy to make over a cook stove. And those boxes of rice you get in the supermarket - take only like 10 minutes.
  • You can also pack cans of beans and cans of veggies.
  • If you have a campfire you can bake some potatoes. wrap them in tinfoil and find a nice rock to rest them on.
Oh if you drink beer figure on needing another cooler. You can pack some six packs out of the cooler and put them in the cooler the night before to cool down. Better freeze some juice and the liquor of your choice and just make mixed drinks. Cranberry and vodka with frozen grape ice cubes was a real hit last summer.

This is awesome @Lou !! The only cringe I have is the one having people freezing bottles of water because the freezing-thawing process causes more BPA to leech into the water. It's not recommended that you do that. But one could use their BPA-free bottles, for sure! Collapsable ones would be great for this :)
 
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Lou

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The only cringe I have is the one having people freezing bottles of water because the freezing-thawing process causes more BPA to leech into the water. It's not recommended that you do that. But one could use their BPA-free bottles, for sure! Collapsable ones would be great for this :)

Oh, Gawd! I did not know that. They have these new fancy ziplock bags that are BPA free. Maybe that is something I should look into. They say that they are the best for freezing leftovers. More space saving than Tupperware. In the cooler, as you drank the water out of them they would also take less space. Kind of pricey - but multipurpose. Hmmm.
 
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Forest Nymph

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Granola with vegan protein powder,dried fruit and pecans, and soy milk. Bring powdered milk and just pour hot water over the entire thing. Trust me.

Tortillas with nut butter and dried fruit. Or tortillas with avocado and nutritional yeast.

Bean burritos or chili. It's really easy to carry things like salsa or tomato paste and spices, as well as rice. If you can get dehydrated beans (not dried beans, two different things) which are much lighter than cans and minute rice since it cooks faster.
 

TofuRobot

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These are BPA free and ane freezable. Would probably work great to put in larger coolers:
https://www.amazon.com/Faswin-Conta...SHNNWZWJ66Q&psc=1&refRID=SA3EMNZNMSHNNWZWJ66Q

I have 2 of them and just ordered more to give away as gifts. I refill them at local Glacier Water or Primo Water dispensers (along with my 3- and 5-gallon jugs).

Edit: Actually these are cheaper and look like they're pretty much the same thing. I just ordered a couple of them. Shipping appears to be free
https://primowater.com/dispensers-list/1-gallon-pouch-refill/
 
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betiPT

betiPT

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These are BPA free and ane freezable. Would probably work great to put in larger coolers:
https://www.amazon.com/Faswin-Conta...SHNNWZWJ66Q&psc=1&refRID=SA3EMNZNMSHNNWZWJ66Q

I have 2 of them and just ordered more to give away as gifts. I refill them at local Glacier Water or Primo Water dispensers (along with my 3- and 5-gallon jugs).

Edit: Actually these are cheaper and look like they're pretty much the same thing. I just ordered a couple of them. Shipping appears to be free
https://primowater.com/dispensers-list/1-gallon-pouch-refill/
Thanks! These look good. I have a 10L water container but it is not collapsible. 10L lasts us around 2 days. So I need solutions for our longer trips and I think this is it. I have a small car so I don't have a lot of space to spare, hence collapsible is perfect :)
 
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betiPT

betiPT

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I went on our camping trip (actually 2 camping trips). Thanks for all your help everyone! Food was a success.

I went to the Lebanese bakery in the morning and bought some super fresh flat bread, a whole lot of it (Ingredients: Wheat flour, yeast, salt). I prepared salads to add to the food and the rest was canned food and other food that doesn't really need refrigeration.

Breakfast
  1. Oat cookies - with ground flax and other seeds and no refined sugar
  2. Baked beans
Lunch/Dinners
  1. Burritos [Refried beans and beans were easy bc of cans, salsa easy as it was in a sealed jar. I had prepared salad to add]
  2. Hummus Wraps [Hummus in a can, all I did was add fresh lemon juice and then topped with salad]
Snacks
  1. Trail mix - Dried Chickpeas, Almonds, Sultanas, Dried Apricots
  2. Oat cookies
  3. Apples
  4. Carrots

IMG_1857.jpeg IMG_1931.jpeg
 

Veganite

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Time for my two cents worth: I have been hiking, camping, and cooking for many many years. So owning things like a smoker or food dehydrator are normal for me. Those two appliances, along with a reasonable vacuum sealer will help greatly for living without a fridge.

I smoke my own tofu and seitan, and once vacuum sealed, I would think could last a week at least without a fridge. Now before you go trying that, you have to remember there's always a risk in food safety. I have experience in kitchens, and know what I'd risk, myself. I am only making a guess here at my own expiry date of a week. I feel my own products would last that long, but it depends on your brine, smoke, and moisture levels, etc. It also depends on what foods you're drying. Some fruits can retain lots of moisture, where other things may need to be dried thoroughly.

Generally, smoking foods acts as a preservative, as does dehydrating. So the idea is to get just the right amount of moisture from the item you're drying, thus concentrating flavour, and providing a pleasing texture. Despite the vacuum sealer preserving in plastic, it is such an awesome tool, especially for camping. You can vacuum seal many useful things for backpacking and camping.

I'll be honest, I am not a huge fan of plastic anymore. I've had the vacuum sealer a long time, and as much as I've loved mine, I probably won't replace it. No question a vacuum sealer would help buy you time without refrigeration though.

If you really want to get into hardcore food preservation, there's also pickling, fermenting, drying, and dry salting, curing, and as mentioned above, smoking. People also used root cellars back in the day. Look up cellaring and see what you find. Anyhow, that's my 2¢
 

TofuRobot

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Thanks! These look good. I have a 10L water container but it is not collapsible. 10L lasts us around 2 days. So I need solutions for our longer trips and I think this is it. I have a small car so I don't have a lot of space to spare, hence collapsible is perfect :)
Sounds like you had a nice trip!

I just wanted to chime in on the collapsable water pouches again... I just got the ones I ordered (which are a *great* price at $3 each) that while I will use them, I do prefer the one I bought on Amazon better because there is an actual handle that is more comfortable to hold when full:
https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B00WHQSVRO/ref=oh_aui_search_asin_title?ie=UTF8&psc=1

But if you're looking to stock up or for an inexpensive solution, the other ones seem just fine.
 
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