Wilderness Food Planning for the unorganized (like I should talk)

I was in the grocery store for a couple hours (seemed like) with a cart load of camping food and my cart disappeared. It was just gone. I found it two isles over being pushed by a very small elderly women with a friend pushing a similar cart. They were shopping together. When I asked her when she was going camping and trying out the smores. her partner being quicker of mind started laughing. The look on my cart abductors face would have gone viral. I told her she could keep the cart if she liked my food choices. Minutes later they were still laughing in the next isle…made my day.BWCA food 2 eml
I am an expert in unorganized. (62) trips has as many stories and more suggestions about “next time”. This year will be (12) meals for (6) people in the wilderness by canoe, portaging from lake to lake and catching some (probably a lot of) fish.

A wagon load of groceries finally appeared on our screen porch. Not by accident mind you, but by semi-careful planning. I am not much of a planner or organizer type person. (62) BWCAW trips have taught me to get way outside of my comfort zone on the planning end of life.  Now I have a list of how to go about getting the food right.

    1. Menu. List each meal of food ingredients, what to drink and dessert if any.
    2. Master ingredient list. a number beside each ingredient for number of meals used.
    3. Cooking and campsite aids. Salt, pepper, ghost pepper, garlic, T.P., zip lock bags and so on.
    4. Buy the food
    5. Repackage the food in waterproof bags by the meal and put in cooking directions (anyone in camp can cook with the menu on hand and directions to each meal)
    6. Label meals. Put each meal in a grocery bag and label it (ie…#1 lunch), on label state meat added (if frozen stuff in collapsible cooler is an option).
    7. Shop again for all the stuff you forgot to put on the list and possibly are missing from the little ole lady putting stuff back (I’m missing (4) things…at least).
    8.  Pack all meal packages in food pack before leaving on the trip. Put in vehicle that you are taking (important. really important. triple check and stop at the 1st gas station enroute and check again).

Simple is good. Just follow the steps. Notice the progression…Focus Gary focus. You can do this (I’m already catching trophy walleye from my canoe on a pristine lake 16 portages and a mile of bushwhacking where few humans have ever seen).

BWCA food line eml
My assembly line for (2) trail lunch’s.  in a quart bag per person: mixed nuts, dried banana chips, dried mango, dried pineapple, dried blueberries, granola bar, nut bar, jerky sticks, and a couple cookies.
BWCA trail meal eml
Filling, fits in fanny pack or a pocket. munchies for noon and after. On the water, hiking or lost.

BWCA menu and meals eml

As you can see I have a loose structure but it usually works for me. This allows me to announce to the group “we eat to live not live to eat”. I usually hear “speak for yourself” comments  when I leave the cold stuff in the freezer (forgotten at home) as we are whittling out our spoons, forks and knives. Ah… bonding times in the camp site!

There are rewards to planning. you get to eat. Everyone can have a part in cooking if there are directions. we cook over open fire grates so learning fire building and heat control is important. A little stove is as well if there is a fire ban. Bringing the fuel for the stove helps.

BWCA june 07pork steaks on the grill
Ya, I’m looking for a spatula, fork or stick to flip these sunny side up steaks. planning ahead helps

River , no danger here email

I make fun of planning but I know it is off the charts important

Every year we talk in depth on our plans for the future, relationship stuff, hopes, dreams and tell stories. We sense the peaceful solitude helps us align life’s priorities. I want to stay madly in love with my wife of 41 years. We have not had a bad year relationally. Rich, poor, sickness and health. We have done all of it. We are growing, learning and facing the future together. It’s serious to say “til death do us part” and some day it will as it has done to parents on both sides. this is serious stuff for this free wheeling non-planner kind of guy. The fish are biting!

  On the most serious and personal note: Some day I will meet the author and giver of life and I aim to be prepared. I do not have (62) trips for a warm up to spend eternity with God. There will be no” do overs” on this life. I have sat on a rock on shore or around the fire in the deepest of conversation with many people on knowing God personally. Maybe we need to talk. I sure do. My plans are so poor. It’s a good thing God has made that plan for us (it’s a good thing to read the Bible. Read the book of John and understand John 3:16. yes that’s the verse so many make fun of, but God won’t let anyone steal that shopping cart! It holds the stuff of eternal life. Better then chocolate and marshmallows roasted over the fire. I asked God for smores in heaven. We will see on that one.


46 inch pike
46″ Pike, his head is bigger than mine. Released. We do not swim there anymore. Yes I was younger.

Published by Gary Fultz

Outdoors Man, Hunter, Fisherman, Guide, Writer / Author, Photographer, Public Speaker, Musician, Song Writer, Story Teller, Follower Of Jesus. Love God and family and total strangers

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