KAYAK COOKING – GENERAL

THE KAYAK CHEF.
A kayak expedition is an opportunity to prepare extraordinary food in a pristine wilderness. I believe that comfort is second only to safety. I love cooking outdoors-food just tastes so wonderful. It is possible to cook anything out of a kayak.
I prefer sharing dinners — making mealtime less onerous. The social part makes the meal and we love outdoing each other.
We all need to get out in nature more often, closer to mother earth, with our bare feet upon a kitchen floor of sand, to cook outrageous food when we are there, and share left overs with fellow paddlers who are still cooking macaroni from a can in a thrift shop aluminum pot.

Planning, packing and cooking on a kayaking trip differs from hiking. A sea kayak can hold as much grub and gear as 2 or 3 backpacks, so dried foods are only essential for longer trips. Kayaks are ‘commodious’ – you don’t need to skimp on beverages either. Tetra packed juice and long-life milk, wine in foil bags and canned beer are all on the menu. Juggle menus to accommodate seasonal and locally available foods, fresh fish or seafood and produce.
Although we may not admit it, we carefully consider who we might-or might not-like to invite on a recreational canoe or kayak trip. A host of factors influence our decisions but one key factor is food. This operates pretty much like a bank account in that it can go in the red, be, or in the black and rising. A high balance can cover other ineptitudes or habits you may have (such as crummy boat-handling or heavy snoring).
Think ahead to how hungry you and your fellow paddlers will be after a big day on the water (as soon as possible after landing, start water boiling for drinks and start a simple appetizer), how long something might take to cook, how many days into the trip your cooking duties occur, how many pots you’ll need, and what you can take along to fill in the empty corners if your meal isn’t quite up to capacity. Variety is the spice of kayak cookery for both nutrition and interest. Think of the menu as a basic plan upon which to make improvisations. Don’t do pasta 4 days in a row.
Intent is really the number one component of meal-preparation. If you bring a pre-dinner single malt scotch to settle everyone into camp, your good intention will likely override the fact that your meal duty on day 4, after 10 hours on the water, you pull out two bare boxes of Kraft Dinner, with no condiments or simple additions and no apologies. Take a solid dessert along like brownies – simple, pre-baked, compact, and packable (in dessert section).
There are plenty of unforseen things in camp cooking such as rain, maniac wind, carbonating stoves and too-small pots. All you can do is pick tasty foods that cook fairly easily, complement your meals with tasty tidbits (a bit of smoked gouda can go a long way).

COOK GEAR
POTS. Light, backpacking nesting pots with covers are the standby. Check your recipes to make sure you have enough. Reckon that a 600 mL (2 1/2 cups) of hot food is a reasonable serving. One pot needs to be 4 litres (16-cup) to cook pasta and prevent sticking.
Stainless steel is easy to clean and doesn’t dent as easily as lighter weight aluminum. Titanium pots are the lightest, they work well but are very expensive. For them, you’ll need a stove that simmers or a heat diffuser-adding more weight.
Teflon lined skillet 10-12 inches in diameter, good lid.
Cast Pots and Frypan. I have a very high end, thick bottom cook set and bring the 10” fry pan with a lid, and a 4 quart sauce pot with a lid. The pot sits inside the fry pan, a metal bowl fits in the pot, a small colander in the bowl and then things fill the void. Turn pot lid upside down. Heavy but quite compact for their cooking value. With an oven and a stove that simmers, can cook anything in the woods.
“The Rock” is a large, deep and sturdy cooking pan used to cook omelets, crepes, soups, stews, pasta dishes in sauce, frying fish or chicken, preparing risotto, fried rice, chili, roast vegetables or make a quick stir-fry. It comes in a 10 or 12 inch size and various shapes and capacity. and it is not that light, but it is just so amazing that it’s been replacing my cooking pots and pans even at home. Made of heavy anodized aluminum and a totally non-stick bottom, it cooks evenly and quickly and requires a minimum amount of fat. It takes up a lot of room but is well worth it. Create a menu that requires only the big pan – veggies, rice, pasta to cook together with the protein you’ve picked.
Open Fire Cooking. Campfires are becoming a thing of the past, but when allowed, carry a solid foldable cooking grill. Spare fuel. Make toast, panini sandwiches, grill vegetables, cook pizza, prepare fish or meat. The double-rim grates won’t sag, allow an endless variety of cooking options using rocks and is stored in own cloth bag.
Because they get so dirty, use two nesting stainless pots for over a fire. Coat with dish detergent before hand to make it easier to clean at the end of the trip. Store in own cloth bag to keep away from everything else.

STOVE. 1 burner and fuel supply.
If you don’t plan on camping often, cartridge stoves are the most user-friendly. The canisters can be recycled some places. They cost more per burning time, but are easy to light, simmer well and need no maintenance. I find them frustrating as I end up with many partially empty canisters.
Alcohol stoves have no moving parts and thus are very reliable.
I prefer liquid-fuel (white gas or naphtha or camping fuel) stoves that use refillable bottles for their reliability and fast heat. These stoves require pumping, priming and some regular maintenance. I often use fuel stored for long periods and never seem to have problems (anyway, where would you dispose of this stuff?). Most good stoves have cleaning needles so that the jets don’t clog often. My favorite stove is the MSR Dragonfly because of its simmer capability but it is very loud. The MSR Whisperlite is much more popular. I use scorch-buster (diffuser) plates with riser rings to disperse heat especially when using an Outback Oven (where I might use two stacked on each other) and prevent scorching.

DISHES AND UTENSILS.
Each paddler needs their own pocket knife, spoon and fork (or spork), bowl or plate and insulated mug. Highly recommended are a wide-mouth thermos for hot lunches and a small-mouth thermo s for coffee, tea or chocolate (prepared at breakfast).
With a small group I carry in a mesh OnSite bag and utensils most with collapsible handles – flipper, large spoon, rubber spatula, vegetable peeler, wood citrus juicer, zester and extra spoons, forks and knives. Give up prepping a four-course meal with your Swiss Army knife.
Grater. To prepare croquettes, salads, grated cheese, etc.
Tongs or Chop Sticks. Useful to turn delicate pieces of food, to mix things without spilling or splashing and to cook pasta in sauce. They replace tongs and you can also use them to eat,
Small Chef’s Knife (in sheath) or 2-3 small prep knives.
Cutting boards. Flexible thin plastic, small rigid plastic or the folding variety. Use 2 or 3, to allow your friends to help and simplify preparation time. With raw protein such as meat or fish, use a separate surface like a plate.
Small Whisk. Prepare canned soup, sauces like béchamel or wine sauce, beat eggs, make hot chocolate, butter or chocolate, and prepare vinaigrettes. Use one that is rubberized to prevent scratching surfaces.
Can Opener. Get a sturdy can opener, not the small, cheap camping version; they never last long.
With a large group, a flip top plastic box for cutlery about 10x5X5 inches in size and an 8-10” chefs knife would be nice. A large ladle-measuring cup is useful to pour liquids such as soup or chili and for measuring as it is a one cup content. It spares carrying a measuring cup.

OUTBACK OVEN. Combined with the above, this makes possible anything you could bake at home including casseroles. The tent can also be used as a “cozy”. The diffuser plate helps all food cook more evenly. Some people remove the temperature gauge and cook by experience. Go to Breads and Baking for everything you might want to know about an oven.

DUTCH OVEN COOKING
This is an all in one portable camp cooking utensil, that can function as a kettle, pot, oven or a frying pan. It roasts, braises, bakes or slow cooks. It especially works for groups of four or more. The classic Dutch oven is cast iron, heavy, thick and flat on the bottom, has 3 short legs to allow air to get to the coals below the oven, and a tight-fitting flat lid with a lip to hold coals on top of the pot for all-around baking heat. A metal bail lets you suspend the oven from a tripod for simmering. Aluminum ovens are about 1/3 of the weight, rustproof, require no seasoning, and easy to clean, don’t retain heat as long as cast iron, but heat up faster. GSI Outdoors makes a 10-inch model that nests inside a 12-inch oven with feet. A carrying case holds the ovens in one handy unit.
Charcoal briquettes are recommended over a wood heat source as they provide consistent, long-lasting heat. A single briquette is roughly equivalent to increasing the oven temperature by 20 degrees F. Figure on 18-20 briquettes to bring the oven to 350-375 degrees, a temperature sufficient to bake most any dish. Cold temperatures, wind, and altitude increase the number of briquettes. Practice is key to controlling the heat. One method uses the ‘rule of threes’: take the diameter of the oven in inches and subtract 3 for the number to place under the oven; add 3 to the diameter for the number to go on the lid – for a 12″ oven that would be 15 briquettes in a ring on the outer lip of the lid and 9 in a circle underneath. This creates a uniform temperature and less likelihood of burning the food. Keep some spare coals on the sidelines for meals with longer cooking times and replace briquettes as you cook. Timing takes practice. Instant light briquettes are infused with starter fluid eliminating the need for carrying it. Count out each meal’s worth of coals and store them in plastic freezer bags that are then placed in a 10 liter dry bag (a 10-pound bag of briquettes can provide 6 dinners for 5 campers.
Prepare the coals by stacking into a pyramidal shape, light them and allow to preheat. Once the coals have a line of gray ash, use tongs to transfer them to the oven. Avoid the temptation to remove the lid to avoid losing heat and depend on the aroma of the food to tell you when its done.
Additions: Long handled tongs distribute the charcoal, pliers to remove the lid, BBQ lighter, large serving spoon, small plastic scraper for cleanup, a wire tripod to use as a stand for the 10″ legless model. A fire pan can be made from lightweight aluminum roasting pans. Use 3 rocks to serve as a lid rest. To prevent sticking and for easier clean-up, use oil to coat the oven and parchment paper cut into rounds when baking breads and cakes. When baking cakes, breads or pastries, rotate the oven a quarter turn every 15 minutes to prevent hot spots. Use large zip-locks to mix ingredients in for baking. The lid, turned upside down on a bed of coals, can be used for frying or grilling. Vacuum sealed bags are good ways to carry ingredients.
Resources: 1. “The Outdoor Dutch Oven Cookbook” by Sheila Mills (225 tasty often gourmet recipes). 2. “A Fork in the Trail” by Laurie Ann March (uses dehydrated ingredients. 3. honeyvillegrain.com has discount, bulk items with hard-to-find foods. 4. gsioutdoors.com for ordering Dutch ovens and accessories.

STOVE TOP TOASTER. There are many of these available at any camping store or at Amazon. The Camp-A-Toaster is designed to work right over your campstove burner, grill or campfire. Toasts fast and evenly. Makes perfect toast. It looks a little bulky in the picture.

MISCELLANEOUS
IKEA nylon shopping bags are ideal tote bags to carry large volumes from your kayak to camp. Have two lengths of handles – the long one goes over your shoulder. Fold up compactly and are the last things in each hatch.
Plastic containers. Refillable plastic tubes for margarine, jam, peanut butter, tahini, honey, and curry paste. Empty plastic jars of various sizes are convenient for ground coffee, sugar or powdered milk especially with a group. Also make a great shaker for salad dressings, sauce mixes and puddings. 1-2 lock type plastic boxes are useful for storage and rehydrating meals.
Zip-locks, of various sizes, preferably freezer quality. The ‘extra large’ size cover charts and keeping clothes and lunches dry. The ‘snack’ size bags split easily but are fine for short trips and where the bag is protected inside larger bags. Grocery bags for garbage.
Egg carrier. Very efficient at preventing breakage.
Aluminum foil for cooking fish or potatoes or for an extra pot lid.
Parmesan Shaker
Folding table. Nice to have but only possible with a larger camping expedition and a double kayak with large center cockpit. The RolloTable is the classic. Chairs?
Colander for straining pasta and cleaning veggies and fruit
Teapot for boiling water only-no food flavours
Cosies for your pots when it is cold and windy
Disposable Lighters. Two fit into a ‘neck-safe’ which is a take-apart plastic tube with an O-ring and a string.
Pepper Grinder
Hand Crank Blender for making smoothies and lassies.

DISHWASHING
• Basic – small bottle of ‘marine suds’, a sponge backed with an abrasive scrubber, mini plate scraper and synthetic chamois towels for drying dishes and mopping up spills. Keep in a mesh drawstring bag. Collapsible Seattle Sports vinyl wash basin for dishwashing or serving salad, rolls, etc. Great for catching rainwater coming off your tarps. Paper towels (if you can keep them dry) are handy.
• Deluxe – set up 3 rectangular plastic basins in a folding metal stand to wash, sanitize and rinse your dishes.

FOOD
Calorie requirements of 2000 to 4000 per day requires bigger portions and more snacks between meals. Carry fruit, candy, gorp or granola bars in your cockpit. As a leader, watch to see if everyone is eating enough. This is especially important for cold and rainy trips where people may be tired and not interested in preparing fancy meals. Sometimes you get to camp later than you anticipate-around 5 or 6 pm. They want to eat now, not in 2 hours. Start them off with soup and bread. Try to have desserts too: cheesecake, dried fruits, chocolate.
Shop Beneath Your Boat. In season and with a license, harvest fish (cod, salmon, rock fish), crab, clams, mussels, oysters, limpets, sea urchins, sea weed, sea lettuce, glasswort. Don’t forget about wild blue berries, black berries and salmon berries. In many watery comers of the world the wily kayaker will buy from local fishers.
Set a Nice Table. People eat twice-first with their eyes. Bring parsley or cilantro (cut down) in a yogurt container with holes punched in the lid. Look around camp to see what you can add to your meals. Chop wild onions into main courses and add the onion flowers to salads. Sea asparagus or beach peas can be a surprise vegetable. Pick whatever berries are in season and a sprig of wild mint to dress up a cake.
Take nice dishes and cutlery, a table cloth or multi purpose sarong and make found object centerpieces. If you like wine, slip a real glass into a metal tennis ball container and bring it along.
Hygiene. Always maintain exquisitely clean kitchen, utensils, hands. Boil fresh/ salt water for a hot wash to ensure clean cooking and eating environment. Take tiny bottle of bleach and use judiciously.
Water. Stay welt hydrated so drink before you’re thirsty. Allow for 3 litres per person per day. This will be enough for drinking, cooking, coffee, etc. A water bladder in a nylon bag attached to your PFD is an ideal way to remain hydrated when paddling.
Cook where possible with some salt water. I have a collapsible nylon water bag that I fill with salt water when I still have my water shoes on and use for dishes and cooking.
The best methods to carry water are MSR Dromedary Bags. They are indestructible, take up as little room as possible, conform to any space and have 3 ways to pour. For convenience , I use two plastic 2-liter ex-juice bottles of water that are stored behind my seat. I refill from the dromedary bags.
Salads, fruits and vegetables help to hydrate and replace electrolytes.
There are many water filter or treatment systems. If humans or domesticated animals are not upstream, I rarely treat creek water in British Columbia where I live.
Music. An i-pod or phone and small water-proof speakers can enhance your experience when appropriate.

PANTRY STYLE PROVISIONING.
The ultimate cooking method is the pantry-style as outlined by NOLS. This includes a variety of fruits and veggies, soups, breads and mixes for muffins and scones. “Wing it” out there and don’t always eat what was planned. Bring lots of garlic, onions, ginger, coconut milk powder or chunks, poppadums to accompany a curry, extra protein (cheese, peanut butter and nuts) and packaged mixes (focaccia, brownies). Fantastic Foods is a great place to get staples for pantry cooking: all things powdered and dried. Useful products are ‘Quick Long Grain Rice from Soft Path Cuisine’, Canasoy Vege broth powder (salty drink to warm you up), Sea Change Wild Salmon Jerky from Saltspring, Bufflaoe Pemmican and diced Harvest Foodworks Diced Chicken, Knorr pouches of soup.
On trips where everyone brings their own rations, try to get them together for communal dinners – “kayak-luck”. This way you get everybody participating and if the meal bombs, it’s nobody’s fault!
For dinners, choose the heartier soups that require cooking-turkey and rice or clam chowder. Buy commercial soup mixes (20-30 servings) from liquidation stores and put the pouches in zip-locks. At dinnertime, you can add extra veggies to the soup, and make bannock or scones. If you’re hungry later on, cook something else. Use combinations of veggies-broccoli, cauliflower and peppers-in fondues or stir-fries. Bring a variety of cheeses-cheddar, marble, blue, Mozzarella. French bread can last a good week. You can thin the leftover cheese sauce to use on fish.
Use creative combinations i.e. Crab cakes with pesto sauce, cabernet risotto instead of rice surprise, mussels on sourdough toast points with caramelized shallots and warm cranberry lime sauce, hammered breast of chicken stuffed with gypsy salami, endive and gorgonzola (stretch this cheese with cream cheese).
Try foreign foods: Mexican, sushi, fondue, Indian, Thai. Use sauces – cranberry, chipotte, ginger, pesto, gorgonzola, etc. Stuff fish, boned mast, omelettes, pita, peppers, potatoes. Thai curry is a wonderful meal. Sauté an onion and red pepper, mix into the curry. Add a can of chicken if you desire.
Think of stuffing with: olives, croutons, capers, sauerkraut, feta, or sundried tomatoes.
Fried Rice: cook instant brown rice and add a fried rice seasonings packet and fry in sesame and canola oils with ham, mushroom, onions, fresh garlic, sun-dried tomato and peppers.
Risotto is much classier than instant rice. The secret is not adding too much water. Add sliced zucchini, red pepper and slivered almonds.
Experiment with whole grains (like amaranth, buckwheat groats, bulgur, quinoa, polenta and couscous) and packaged foods (like scalloped potatoes, tofu scrambler or pasta with sauce) that you might not eat at home.
Coleslaw or Greek salad with feta cheese are good for longer trips. Experiment with a stir-fry of different hard vegetables – broccoli, caluiflower, peppers, carrots, turnip, parsnips or jicama. Drizzle new potatoes with olive oil, wrap in foil and throw in the coals – check after 20 minutes.
Beans like pinto, soy, chickpeas and lentils are nutritional powerhouses.
Nuts are a great alternative to meat. I prefer almonds and cashews since peanuts and walnuts tend to go rancid in the heat. Bring along a variety of seeds (sesame, sunflower, pumpkin) to toss into salads and main dishes; and butters (peanut, almond, cashew, soy nut).
Choose high-fibre, rich, iron snack choices such as dates, figs, low-fat granola bars, trail mix and prunes. I don’t take many sports bars, but “Balance” is the best-to cut up and share around like fancy chocolates for a boost. I prefer nutritious snacks, not salty or sugary ones, and tell clients to bring along their own favourites. It’s easy for paddlers to dehydrate. Most packaged foods are salty enough, so I discourage salty snacks and encourage everyone to drink lots of water while we’re paddling and at snack time.
Soup. For a quick fix, choose an instant soup mix. Choose hearty soups like pea and ham, lentil, or chicken noodle to serve along with bread. This helps everyone warm up and boosts spirits.
Pack a quick bread mix or pancake that just needs water, and maybe dried eggs.
Choose whole grain flours and dark breads. Heavier breads can hold out for a week or so. Then think about baking quick breads.
On long trips it is necessary to rely much more on dehydrated meals. Add fresh vegetables to pre-packaged commercial meals and to your own dehydrated meals. Dehydrated coconut milk and hummus powder are useful.

PACKING FOODS
Discard outer packaging (keep the instructions) and repack into freezer-weight zip-lock plastic bags. Group foods together in a larger zip-lock. Pack cooking instructions with each meal so others can be the chef.
Use a colour-coding system that works for you, for example orange or yellow for breakfasts (sunrise), blue (like the sky) for lunch; red for sunsets and dinners; black for coffee, tea and hot chocolate.
Pack cans tightly together to save room in your boat.
Group things together in bags (if find the small siltarp bags strong, a great size and pack into all sorts of small places): -breakfast and snacks; lunch; cans; dinner; bread; fresh produce; emergency food and extra drink supplies (coffee ground for use, sugar, creamer, hot chocolate, tea). Also cluster each dinner’s ingredients in separate bags.
SOFT-SIDED COOLERS
1. Lunch cooler: mayo, mustard, lunch meat, humus, veggies, margarine, lettuce, cream cheese. The contents change over a trip as things are used.
2. Large cooler for non-lunch items. Holds several frozen items and anything you want to keep cool. Often have frozen meals from home on the first 2-3 days. Most sensitive produce on the top. Use dry ice to keep ice cream for a surprise 40th birthday strawberry sundae on day 3. Yogurt travels well if unopened
Plan the packing so you know where everything is or who has what. If people switch cockpits, have them pack the same boat as they started. In a large group, designate one boat for fruits and vegetables.

PLANNING and RECORDS.
First, develop your menu using a chart with a day-by-day ingredient list that turns into a shopping and packing plan. Put the ‘counts” beside each item. Calculate the number of servings you’ll need based on the number of paddlers. You’ll likely average two and a half slices of bread for each camper-so 20 slices for a group of 8. Or a dozen bagels.
Write in the amounts from your recipes. Expect a recipe for 6 to serve 4. Make a shopping list with columns for the fruit and vegetable aisles, the coolers, the bakery and packaged foods.
Bring extra crackers and snacks, with enough for an extra dinner in case of delays.
At Home: Dehydrate foods to make them quicker to cook and avoid taking cans and jars. Good choices-tomato sauce, other sauces, cooked beans, lentils, meats, vegetables, fruits. Make your own mixes-hot cereals, pancake mixes, scone mixes. This gives you control over the quality of the ingredients.
Check out recipes from your favourite cookbooks and consult all the recipes included in the Kayak and Hiking sections of the website. Kayak Cookery by Linda Daniel has field-tested recipes and food ideas as well as practical charts on “how long will it last?” and “dried ingredients-how much to use?” The greater the variety of food you eat, the better chance you’ll have of getting the more than 50 nutrients your body needs each day.
Record ‘what you took’ and how much to pack next time e.g. margarine, sugar, coffee, peanut butter, jam, tomatoes, onions, loaves of bread etc that you use for xx days. Also note longevity. Record what worked well.

LONGEVITY OF FOOD. 

I love good tasting food and eat a gourmet menu when kayaking. I have been conducting a simple personal uncontrolled study on how long food that we normally associate with fast spoiling will last and still be edible. The end point would be food poisoning that is usually short lived. It hasn’t happened yet. Obviously you are at your own risk.
Modern preservative methods are very good.
Mayonnaise and foods made from mayonnaise like salad dressings have the reputation as one of the most likely culprits for a good case of vomiting and sometimes diarrhea, but I don’t think this is true. In my experience as an international traveler for 9 years, most street food is safe and most food poisoning happens from restaurant food (usually chicken) not stored properly.
This common type of food poisoning is caused by an exotoxin produced by the bacteria, Staph aureus. Food stored without refrigeration is most at risk. This is not an infection per se, but due to the toxin. The toxin causes a self-limited episode of severe vomiting about 3-5 hours after eating the offending food. Depending on toxin load, diarrhea can also result. It is the common type of food poisoning that we have all experienced.
I have read and have come to believe from my personally conducted research that mayonnaise products almost never go bad even after open and not refrigerated for at least 3 weeks. When I get home these products go in my refrigerator and I finish them off. Why let perfectly good food go to waste? Homemade mayonnaise is not processed properly and would not be safe.

Other things normally kept refrigerated like cheese, sour cream (don’t open until ready to use), mustard, eggs, margarine or butter, and International Delight coffee creamer, seem to have great longevity (I haven’t been on a trip past 14 days). Cured meats like ham and sausages often last at least a week. Hard sausages like salami and jerky last forever.
I often have salads on day 12 or even later.
Cheese buns last about 9 days. Most fresh bread still makes good sandwiches on day 12.
Flat breads lasts forever.

FRUIT AND VEGETABLES
My philosophy is to eat fresh all the time. My boat becomes my garden. Take what’s in season. We’ve roasted corn on the cob (in its husk) two weeks into a trip and made carrot-onion coleslaw up to three weeks out. Here are some of my tips for enjoying fabulous fruits and vivacious vegetables on paddling trips.
When shopping, choose produce that is clean, dry and free of bruises. Buy fresh at farm markets.
Check dairy items for expiry date. On a trip, use milk, cottage and cream cheese within the first 2-3 days. Yogurt can last a week; cheese longer.
Rescue veggies from the sprinkler system. Water-logged leafy veggies spoil quickly-so you may need to bring a salad spinner or towels along for pre-trip ritual drying.
Air and dry soft veggies like tomatoes with paper towels every couple of days. They survive well without refrigeration and even taste better if kept at “room” temperature. You will be amazed at how well things keep-even at very warm temperatures.
Ripen en Route Carefully select fruit and vegetables with range of ripeness or firmness so they are perfect when needed. For example, both yellow and green bananas, hard and nearly-ripe avocados Keep track of their state as you may have to use them a day or two earlier. You will develop skill at this and also in shopping for proper proportions. Leave asparagus on the deck to let salt water wash over it. Hard avocados ripen 2-3 days in their mesh bag. Help fruits ripen in a mesh bag under a bungie on your deck. The brown paper bag method for ripening works well.
FRUIT
Outside of berries, which only last a day or two, you can take most fruit on paddling trips. Choose mostly dark orange fruits like apricots, cantaloupe, mango, oranges, red grapefruit and papaya; also apples, bananas, grapes, pears and plums.
Soft fruits (pears, bananas, apples, apricots, bananas, grapes, kiwi, melons, grapes, nectarines, peaches, and pears) and soft vegetables (lettuce, tomatoes, mushrooms, avocados) need protected from bruising with hard sided protection. 1. Use cardboard boxes to store breads and soft fruit. Fold or cut the boxes into sizes that will fit into your hatch. 2. collect a variety of rigid, resealable containers, and drill ’em full of small holes for ventilation. Plastic ice cream tubs work well for this. When empty they can be nested. I use larger Tupperware containers that become your salad or mixing bowls. Or use the gallon-size containers with large screw lids from protein powder. After you’ve eaten the produce you can use the containers for the compost or your dirty clothes. The tubs are easy to fit in to hatches or at your feet.
They do better if wrapped in paper towel to absorb moisture to protect freshness. Avoid death by suffocation. Don’t use plastic bags or dry bags to store fruit and vegetables. Allow them to breathe. Use various sizes of mesh or fabric shopping bags for breathability. Food lasts very well in a kayak.
need to be and require protection. Lemons, oranges, grapefruit and pineapples are standbys for longer trips.
VEGETABLES
For veggies-choose dark green and orange ones more often-asparagus, broccoli, carrots, dark leafy greens like kale, winter squash, pumpkin and yams. For variety, add celery, corn, cucumbers, onions and radishes.
For the first few days you can enjoy asparagus, broccoli, brussels sprouts, green peas, green onions, mushrooms and avocados. Leafy greens like kale need to be used up first. With care, after a week or so you can have artichokes, cauliflower, celery, cucumbers, green beans, peppers (green, red, orange, yellow), romaine lettuce hearts and zucchini. Unripe avocados stored in cold hatches can last up to a week occasionally but only if stored in hard containers.
Even later on the trip you can be eating beets, cabbage (green and purple), carrots, corn on the cob, garlic, ginger, potatoes, sweet potatoes, winter squash and round onions. Cabbage lasts forever.
Tomatoes and green peppers can stay fresh for 2 weeks with the following method. Add 2 tbsp of chlorine bleach to a sink full of drinking water. Soak veggies for several minutes. Dry and pack them away. The bleach kills surface bacteria that promote spoilage. Wrap each tomato/pepper in a paper or cotton bag and stow in a ventilated, crush-proof container. At camp, if the recipe calls for a portion of one tomato-cut off and rewash what you need.
Hard vegetables can fit into the hatches in nooks and crannies around the gear, even in your gumboots! They keep well and don’t take up the same amount of room as they would in a separate bag.

MEAT
Fresh meat, fish and poultry last a day or two; eggs a week. I often use dehydrated hamburger and chicken as meat sources.
Landjager sausage keeps up to 5 days in summer conditions. Heat up slivers of salami to put into fajitas.
Textured vegetable proteins (TVP) will fool lots of people in soups and curries, as it simulates ground beef or chunks of meat – look for in health food stores.

COFFEE.
There are many choices. 1. Lexan (Bodum Style) French press. Possibly the easiest. Rinse in ocean. Can double as a teapot and as reservoir for activating yeast to make cinnamon buns (when the yeast’s foam starts coming out the lid, it’s time to start mixing). 2. Nabob 12-cup gold mesh filter cone. This fits in the mouth of my Eddie Bauer one-litre thermos for Melitta style coffee without the bulky filter holder or disposable filters. Good for a group. 3. Aero Press Coffee Maker. A simple concept that allows for the perfect cup of espresso, cup after cup. Very easy to use. 4. Gourmet instant coffees – Starbucks is especially good.
Heat milk and use a battery-operated milk frother to turn it into a cappuccino or latte.

CONDIMENTS.
A compact spice/herb/condiment bag – nalgene bottles can carry spices and herbs (cinnamon, cumin, nutmeg, curry powder, chilli powder), the best olive oils, specialty vinegars, hot sauces, mustards, chutney, cilantro, sauces (Thai, salsa, soy, peanut) and curries. Pack tubes of pesto, tomato sauce and olive paste for adding zest to meals and appetizers with less mess. ADD: Salt, pepper, garlic flakes and an allspice mix – equal parts of seasoned salt, oregano and marjoram plus a pinch of thyme and a dash of onion powder, star anise, assorted quality nuts, dried cherries, cranberries and tomatoes, capers, Indian pickles, nutmeg, Jalapeno peppers and herbs from your garden {rosemary, thyme, oregano, fennel and arugula), garlic. Airline size mini liquor bottles of marsala, port, sherry, Madeira, brandy, ouzo can be nice.
Pick up several kinds of Pesto sauces in bags. They keep a long time and make great pasta with dried tortellini, parmesan, cheese, fresh garlic, and a can of chicken if you want meat with it.
Roasted Garlic. Everything tastes better with this. Put in heavy skillet on medium for 10-12 minutes.

COOLING FOOD.
Soft sided coolers work well when food is frozen early in a trip. By consolidating food that needs to be cooler, it is easier to keep it out of the sun or in a cold part of the kayak.
Some items like melons can be chilled by sinking them in deep water in a dunk bag weighted down with rocks or a bottle of wine and maybe some heavy cream to be whipped later as an addition to strawberry shortcake. In camp hang your produce up in the shade under a tree. Nestle your most perishable items below the waterline against the hull in your kayak and cover with insulating layers. This is a very cool dark place to keep your produce.

FOOD STORAGE IN CAMP
Plan to hang your food at least 12-15 feet off the ground. Try several karbiners knotted in place a few feet apart in the middle of a long rope. Throw one end weighted with a 5 lb fish weight over a sturdy branch and secure. Loop a length of rope through each carbiner before throwing the other end over an opposing tree. Stash light foods in drawstring bags (e.g. dried foods); perishables in an insulated bag; heavier cans or produce in light nylon backpack. Think of hoisting each bag up a tree so don’t make them too heavy.
There are many bear-proof drums usually used by backpackers, that hold about a week’s supply of food (for when there are no trees for hanging food).

About admin

I would like to think of myself as a full time traveler. I have been retired since 2006 and in that time have traveled every winter for four to seven months. The months that I am “home”, are often also spent on the road, hiking or kayaking.
I hope to present a website that describes my travel along with my hiking and sea kayaking experiences.

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