Wilderness Food Storage Tips for Safe Trips
© 2012 by Jenna L. Smith
One of the most important considerations when venturing into the wild on any trip, be it long-term camping and exploration, or just a brief day hike, is food storage . Depending on where you find yourself for these trips, different processes of storage should be considered and used. If you're in a forest that plays host to bears and other large mammalian wildlife, you'll need to take greater food storage precautions than if you're in an environment without these animals. Here are four solid food storage practices that should help keep you safe and healthy in any outdoor situation.
Keep Perishable Items Fresh
If you have access to a cooler, make sure you have enough ice and a good, solid and secure top to last however long you plan on using these items. If you run out of ice, or don't plan on bringing any, mountain springs and streams are usually cold enough to keep food temperatures low. Just place perishable items in a waterproof bag, anchor the bag to the shoreline by rope or other secure means, and place the bag in a nice cool portion of the water.
Bring Dried Food
Bringing prepackaged dried foods or home-dried foods is a good way to pack plenty of meals without the additional weight of standard foods. Dried food is much lighter generally, and still offers all the nutrition your body needs for hiking or camping trips.
If exploring a habitat that's home to the bears, you'll definitely want to bring bear-safe containers to store any food products and trash that could lure bears to your campsite. There are plenty of different sizes and types of bear safe containers available at camping stores or online retailers. Do your research and figure out what type of container is suitable for your particular needs.
I know many folks like to be on the safe-side when it comes to camping in particular. While you may be out in the wilderness for days at a time, it's important to remember that whatever you lug in, you have to bring out. This is where dried foods can certainly help. With lightweight dried foods you can bring extra rations without sacrificing the comfort of packing light. Don't bring unnecessary items; make sure you do a solid job of planning and thinking about exactly what you will and wont need before you pack for your trip. Getting to a campsite after a three day hike, only to realize that you didn't need to bring that heavy cooking device because there are permanent grills, can be a real blow to the spirit.
No matter where you plan to be exploring or for how long, practicing sustainable, good food storage practices is an essential part of staying safe. Being prepared for the worst can often be the difference between a fun, safe trip, and a harrowing, potentially fatal disaster. Be smart and do some research be embarking on any great journey