4 Days Camping - No Cooler

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Introduction: 4 Days Camping - No Cooler

About: Oh Canada!

Me and my family of four went back country camping for four days and five nights. Backpacked and canoed to an island where we stayed for the entire time with no cooler.
We purchased no food that would spoil without a cooler. We pumped our water from the lake and lived cooler free. This saved so much weight and space in our packs and canoe we could take less trips and saved time and money.

I missed the camping food contest. Help me win something from the survival contest.

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Comments welcome.

Step 1: Dehydrate Vegetables Using 5 Tray Dehydrator - Day One

Tomatoes, onions, red peppers, green peppers and mushrooms.

TIP: Place a piece of parchment paper on tray for easy clean up.

Step 2: Dehydrate Fruit and Vegetables in a 5 Tray Dehydrator - Day 2

Vegetables:
Red onions, garlic, caned potatoes, and celery

Fruit:
Frozen berry mix, strawberries, mango

Step 3: Dehydrate Fruit and Vegetables in a 5 Tray Dehydrator - Day 3

Not pictured

Fry a couple pounds of ground beef.
Place on parchment paper in dehydrator. Dehydrate until light and crispy.
This was one of the best surprises of the trip. The ground beef once placed in water came back to life very very well and tasted great.

TIP: crumble fry beef and rinse off fat prior to dehydrating, this will give you a better longer lasting product. Some people but bread crumbs in it as well.

Step 4: Diner Package One - Spaghetti and Meat Sauce

Ingredients:
Dehydrated vegetables:
Tomatoes, peppers, opinions garlic, and mushrooms
Dehydrated cooked ground beef (TIP: crumble fry beef and rinse off fat prior to dehydrating, this will give you a better longer lasting product)
Spaghetti pasta
Sauce sold in a resealable soft package (found @ Walmart)

Step 5: Rice Paper Wraps - Asian Night

Rice paper wraps travel well and come to life with just water.
Ingredients:
Rice paper
Avocado - buy a little raw and they ripen while you travel.
Carrots - pre-sliced in a ziplock
Cilantro paste (found in a non-perishable tube from Walmart)
Mr. Noodles. Cook noodles and save soup mix for a hot drink in a rain storm.
Peanut butter satay sauce saved in a small plastic jar.

Sweet chilli stir fri
Ingredients:
Dehydrated
Peppers
Onions
Garlic
Soft package of sweet chilli sauce.

Trick - per cook chicken and freeze inside a large thermos. This will keep you chicken safe for days.

Once ready to cook soak dehydrated veg in water all day drain once ready to cook.

Step 6: Taco Night

Using flat bread wraps,
Re-fried beans

Dehydrated cooked ground beef (TIP: crumble fry beef and rinse off fat prior to dehydrating, this will give you a better longer lasting product)

Peppers
Cheese form cheese strings.
avocado

Step 7: Pancakes

Just add water.

Step 8: Other Meals

Tuna casserole
KD
Tuna
Can mushrooms
Peas

Beef stroganoff
Dehydrated beef
Hamburger helper

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    69 Comments

    THIS IS AWESOME! I have been looking for solutions for food on Motorcycle camping trips (no room for a heavy cooler) so this is perfect for making my own MREs. Any solutions for cheese? I know that is a vexing issue for anyone making cooler free food.

    1 reply

    We use cheese strings, Gouda (wrapped in Wax) and baby bell cheese (wrapped in wax). These kind of cheese don't seem to mind being out of the fridge for a week or so.
    You can then use the wax as fuel to help keep your fire going in bad weather.

    beef jerky is always a good go-to for protein

    You can also cut cheese into chunks and wrap with cheesecloth then dip in melted parrafin wax. It will keep without refrigeration and you can make smaller portion sized chunks to make it last. Even leave a string hanging out for easy opening.

    1 reply

    Personally I find it easier to just amke the sauche at home and then dehydrate the whole thing at once. It'll come out like fruit leather, then just break it into pieces and add to some water and simmer in camp.

    1 reply

    Thanks Evil - I plan on trying that this summer. thanks for the comment.

    KD is macironi and cheese named Kraft Dinner in Canada

    This came at the right time since I am planning on camping in the Rockies this summer and was planning on looking into how to go without a cooler. Great guide

    1 reply

    Dream trip. Enjoy. I am glad I could help in some way.

    you have my vote!

    you have my vote!

    you have my vote!

    you have my vote!

    you have my vote!

    how cool is this... thats great thinking...

    At home I use the air conditioner (air out) to dry root vegetables. They curl up in 24 hours.

    this is freakin' genius! thanks for this guide, it'll be nice to go camping without a heavy cooler for once