How long food keeps

Have a favorite trail recipe or technique you'd like to share? Please do! We also like reviews of various trail food products out there. The Backcountry Food Topix forum is the place to discuss all things related to food and nourishment while in the Sierra wilderness (as well as favorite trail head eateries).
quentinc
Topix Expert
Posts: 890
Joined: Tue Nov 01, 2005 10:28 pm
Experience: N/A
Location: Los Angeles

Re: How long food keeps

Post by quentinc » Wed Apr 20, 2011 2:10 pm

Yeah, but it's kind of tough to keep Twinkies from being squished. :)

Peanut butter and almond butter last forever (I've read about aflatoxins in PB, so I switched to almond butter), and bread almost does (I always insist on bringing real bread -- I have a special side pouch in which to carry it). I find most food lasts longer than any guidelines will tell you, particularly if you go to some effort to keep it cool, like WD has described. My litmus test is how long I can keep Trader Joe's eggplant hummus alive. I used to think 2 days max, but I've found it will last up to 5 days if treated nicely. Of course, I'm not preparing food for anyone else, so I'm not putting anyone else at risk.

In terms of processed food and preservatives -- you can't possibly eat at healthily backpacking as you do at home, unless you're willing to carry a large cooler loaded with fresh vegetables. Making some compromises for a few days/weeks seems OK.








User avatar
rlown
Topix Docent
Posts: 7699
Joined: Thu Oct 25, 2007 5:00 pm
Experience: Level 4 Explorer
Location: Wilton, CA

Re: How long food keeps

Post by rlown » Mon May 02, 2011 10:02 pm

These are my favorite "sausage bullets" now:
stuff 5-2011 001.JPG
They are 7 oz. They are sealed, so they don't rot on long trips. I can bring as many or few as I need. A little spray cheese or fresh if I have it, a sourdough roll (yeah, kind of old school, but we still do it), and a lunch fit for a king.
You must be registered and logged in to view the files/photos attached to this post.

User avatar
Oubliet
Topix Acquainted
Posts: 68
Joined: Fri Nov 04, 2005 2:10 am
Experience: N/A

Re: How long food keeps

Post by Oubliet » Tue May 03, 2011 6:18 am

I've started carrying a few eggs on long bp trips. I'll wrap them in a paper towel and pack them into a Rubbermaid container and pack it carefully into my bearcan with a mind to insulation around it. Once in camp, I keep my bearcan in a shady spot. I also try to take them on high-altitude trips, so they'll stay relatively cool in the evenings when the temperature drops. Every time i unpack the bearcan, I try to not rattle them around too much. If I use an egg for a meal, I'll try to pack some more paper or package wrapping from another food item I've used into the space in the plastic container for padding.

Before, eggs at the grocery store didn't used to be refrigerated. They can keep okay for a week.

Not sure when that convention started. At home, I keep he eggs in the 'fridge, but I like to bring an egg, or three along on a week-long trip for an extra protein boost to a meal. Typically, I'll add it to an egg-drop vegetable soup and maybe some noodles.
Last edited by Oubliet on Tue May 03, 2011 9:59 am, edited 1 time in total.

User avatar
oldranger
Topix Addict
Posts: 2759
Joined: Fri Jan 19, 2007 9:18 pm
Experience: N/A
Location: Bend, Oregon

Re: How long food keeps

Post by oldranger » Tue May 03, 2011 7:12 am

By the way the higher elevation not only provides cooler temps but less oxygen so things oxidize a little slower. You would be surprised at the fresh stuff bc rangers keep for long periods.

Mike
Mike

Who can't do everything he used to and what he can do takes a hell of a lot longer!

User avatar
Mike M.
Topix Expert
Posts: 607
Joined: Fri May 25, 2007 10:50 pm
Experience: Level 4 Explorer
Location: Portland, Oregon

Re: How long food keeps

Post by Mike M. » Tue Jun 07, 2011 9:09 pm

Extra sharp cheddar cheese will last for 3+ weeks at Alpine elevations. Buried in your pack, in the heat of the day, it still stays cool. And, of course, at night when temps dip close to or below freezing, it enjoys a refrigerator-like environment.

I am a big fan of Gallo dry salami -- it too will keep for 3+ weeks in the backcountry. I only bring the kind that is packaged in its own rind -- not the pre-sliced variety. I don't care for summer sausage -- too high a water content and too little taste.

Fig bars are a good staple for breakfast -- they pack a lot of energy and don't ever seem to go bad. Rather than cook in the morning, I pair four fig bars (like Newman's Own) with a packet of instant Carnation breakfast (mixed together with water and dried milk). It's tasty, provides a lot of energy, and does not leave you too stuffed (like pancakes might).

Tuna and chicken are both available now in resealable foil packaging, which don't need any special storage until opened -- they have a long shelf life. Brother Van likes to hike with these; I don't like the smelly waste and potential to attract bears (especially the used tuna packages). But his dinners definitely have more variety than mine.

Mike

User avatar
fishmonger
Topix Fanatic
Posts: 1202
Joined: Fri Jun 13, 2008 10:27 am
Experience: Level 4 Explorer
Location: Madison, WI
Contact:

Re: How long food keeps

Post by fishmonger » Sun Jun 12, 2011 6:34 am

quentinc wrote:Yeah, but it's kind of tough to keep Twinkies from being squished. :)
top of the bear can - we shipped a few to the Muir Trail Ranch in our canisters inside a bucket - didn't seem to hurt them. We ate them right away, so we didn't go far beyond the "shelf life." I suppose there's more life that follows the shelf life before they turn into a diarrhetic :D

User avatar
fishmonger
Topix Fanatic
Posts: 1202
Joined: Fri Jun 13, 2008 10:27 am
Experience: Level 4 Explorer
Location: Madison, WI
Contact:

Re: How long food keeps

Post by fishmonger » Sun Jun 12, 2011 6:43 am

rlown wrote:These are my favorite "sausage bullets" now:
stuff 5-2011 001.JPG
They are 7 oz. They are sealed, so they don't rot on long trips. I can bring as many or few as I need. A little spray cheese or fresh if I have it, a sourdough roll (yeah, kind of old school, but we still do it), and a lunch fit for a king.

These are fantastic for longer trips

http://www.zubersmeats.com/landjaeger.html" onclick="window.open(this.href);return false;

- eat with bread or crackers, cut into whatever you're cooking. Dried, so you aren't carrying too much needless h2o along, and never turned bad on me, even after months on the shelf, or weeks sitting in a resupply location. They are small per piece, so easily to separate for each meal or person in the team.

Around here, they sit right next to your usual high salt beef sticks on the shelf at the super market

Add a few Laughing Cow Cheese triangles (been eating that stuff since the early 80s when I started mountaineering in France) and you have "real food" with real calories in your pack.

http://www.thelaughingcow.com/products/ ... amy-swiss/" onclick="window.open(this.href);return false;

I stay away from their "Light" versions - pointless.

User avatar
fishmonger
Topix Fanatic
Posts: 1202
Joined: Fri Jun 13, 2008 10:27 am
Experience: Level 4 Explorer
Location: Madison, WI
Contact:

Re: How long food keeps

Post by fishmonger » Sun Jun 12, 2011 6:47 am

one of my all-time favorites that keeps multiple seasons until you feel you need to eat it:

http://www.germandeli.com/4001743034013.html" onclick="window.open(this.href);return false;

"Scho-Ka-Kola was created by the firm Hildebrand, Kakao- und Schokoladenfabrik GmbH in 1935 and was introduced at the 1936 Summer Olympics as a "Sport Chocolate." During World War II, it was referred to as the "Flyer-Chocolate" as it was provided with Luftwaffe rations."

"Scho-Ka-Kola is a brand of German chocolate that contains additional caffeine from cocoa, roasted coffee, and cola nut. The chocolate is divided into triangle-shaped pieces held inside of a round metal canister. The design and recipe have changed very little since the original creation."

and I just found out that this has become the "red bull" of the chocolate industry due to youtube:

http://vimeo.com/1265007" onclick="window.open(this.href);return false;

User avatar
paul
Topix Expert
Posts: 592
Joined: Thu Mar 15, 2007 3:35 pm
Experience: N/A

Re: How long food keeps

Post by paul » Sun Jun 12, 2011 11:21 am

I've had good luck with salami in general. For snow trips, I take the good stuff - no preservatives, herb crusted, so much flavor you can smell it outside the pack. Lasts 8 or 9 days no problem in April or May at 10,000 feet. In the summer I don't bring that stuff as I'm afraid every bear for ten miles would be attracted by the smell, and in the warmer temps it wouldn't last as long. Instead I go for something drier and with some preservatives - I figure that little bit of Sodium Nitrate won't kill me. That sort of salami, especially when stored intact in its original plastic packaging, has lasted me over three weeks no problem.
White flour tortillas will last pretty well, but whole wheat only a couple days. Gives you an idea how much more potency the whole grain has.

Post Reply

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: austex and 2 guests