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Food Storage

The Ultimate Guide to Food Storage for Your Next Wilderness Adventure!

The Ultimate Guide to Food Storage for Your Next Wilderness Adventure!


Going on a wilderness adventure requires a lot of preparation and planning to ensure that you have everything you need to survive and enjoy your trip. One of the most important aspects of any outdoor adventure is food storage. Proper food storage not only ensures that you have enough to eat throughout your trip, but it also protects you from foodborne illnesses and hungry wildlife.

In this guide, we will explore the best food storage practices for your next wilderness adventure. From bear-resistant containers to meal planning, we will cover everything you need to know to keep your food safe and enjoyable.

1. Bear-Resistant Containers

When venturing into bear country, it is essential to protect yourself and the wildlife by using bear-resistant containers. These containers are specially designed to prevent bears from accessing your food, which can be dangerous for both the bear and humans.

Bear-resistant containers come in different shapes and sizes, so you can choose one that best fits your needs. Some models are more portable than others, which is perfect for backpacking trips. Also, some containers are more durable, which is ideal for more extended adventures.

2. Meal Planning

Meal planning is an essential part of any outdoor adventure. It helps you ensure that you have enough food for every meal and that you don’t overpack unnecessarily. Also, it enables you to eat a variety of nutritious and tasty meals.

Start by calculating how many meals you need to prepare based on the length of your trip and the number of people you are feeding. Then, make a list of the ingredients you will need and purchase them before your trip. Finally, organize your meals by day and pack them into your bear-resistant containers.

3. Food Dehydration

Food dehydration is a process of removing the moisture from food, which helps extend its shelf life. Dehydrated foods have a much longer life span compared to fresh food, making them perfect for extended wilderness adventures.

You can dehydrate your own food by using a dehydrator, or you can purchase ready-made dehydrated meals from outdoor stores. When dehydrating your own food, make sure to slice them thinly and evenly for even drying. Also, store them in airtight containers to keep them fresh.

4. Packing Your Food

Packaging your food is essential for proper food storage during your wilderness adventure. Use airtight containers, zip lock bags, and vacuum-sealed bags to keep your food fresh and prevent moisture and odors from attracting wildlife.

When packing your food, make sure to pack heavy items at the bottom of your backpack and lighter items on top. Also, keep your bear-resistant containers away from your tent and out of sight from wildlife.

5. Leave No Trace Principles

Finally, it is essential to follow Leave No Trace principles when storing your food in the wilderness. Leave No Trace is a set of outdoor ethics that encourage outdoor enthusiasts to minimize their impact on the environment.

When storing your food, dispose of all waste in designated areas and pack out all trash. Also, avoid washing dishes, cooking utensils, and personal hygiene items in bodies of water to prevent pollution.


By following these food storage practices, you can ensure that you have enough food to eat during your wilderness adventure while protecting yourself and the environment. Remember, proper food storage is not only essential for your survival, but it also helps preserve the beauty and integrity of our natural spaces for generations to come.

The Ultimate Guide to Food Storage for Your Next Wilderness Adventure – FAQ

What foods are best for wilderness food storage?

Non-perishable foods that are high in protein and carbohydrates, such as canned meats, trail mix, dried fruits, peanut butter, energy bars, and oatmeal. Foods that require refrigeration should be avoided unless you have access to a cooler with ice packs.

How can I prevent my food from attracting animals?

Store your food in airtight containers and hang them at least 10 feet off the ground between two trees. Avoid cooking or eating near your sleeping area and dispose of any waste in a designated trash container or by carrying it out with you.

What is the best way to pack food for a multi-day backpacking trip?

Use lightweight, waterproof containers for each meal and snacks. Label each container with the date and mealtime and pack them in a waterproof, durable backpack. Pack only the amount of food you need and avoid overpacking to reduce the weight of your backpack.

Can I bring fresh fruits and vegetables on a wilderness trip?

It is not recommended to bring fresh fruits and vegetables on a wilderness trip due to their high perishability and risk of attracting animals. Dehydrated or freeze-dried fruits and vegetables are a better option.

What should I do if I run out of food on a wilderness trip?

If you run out of food, resist the urge to hunt or fish without proper permits and knowledge. Instead, ration your remaining food and focus on finding edible plants such as berries or nuts. Carry emergency food options such as high-calorie bars or MREs.

How can I clean my food containers in the wilderness?

Use biodegradable soap and hot water to clean your containers away from any water sources. Rinse them thoroughly and air dry them before storing them in a dry place.

What is the best way to store food in a cooler?

Use block ice instead of ice cubes to reduce the melting rate, and keep the cooler in a shaded area to decrease the temperature inside. Use separate containers for raw meats and pre-cooked meals, and avoid opening the cooler frequently to maintain the internal temperature.

Can I bring canned food on a wilderness trip?

Yes, canned food is a compact and convenient option for wilderness food storage. Make sure to pack a can opener and dispose of the cans properly after use.

How can I ensure the safety of my food when camping with a group?

Assign individual food containers to each group member and establish clear rules for storing and preparing food. Encourage everyone to wash their hands before handling food and dispose of waste properly. Instruct everyone on how to use a bear bag or bear canister.

How should I dispose of food waste in the wilderness?

Dispose of food waste in a designated trash container or by carrying it out with you. Do not bury food waste as it can attract animals and damage the environment.

What emergency food options should I carry on a wilderness trip?

Carry high-calorie bars, MREs, and other emergency food options that are non-perishable and easy to prepare. Make sure to check the expiration dates and pack enough for each day of your trip.

Related Products for Food Storage in Wilderness

  • Reusable Silicone Food Storage Bags – These bags are perfect for storing food in the wilderness as they are lightweight, durable and easy to clean. They are also eco-friendly and can be used over and over again, reducing waste and minimizing impact on the environment.
  • Camping Stove – A reliable camping stove is essential for cooking food while in the wilderness. Choose a stove that is lightweight and easy to carry, but also sturdy and durable enough to withstand the elements.
  • Dehydrated Food – Dehydrated food is a great option for wilderness food storage as it is lightweight, has a long shelf life and is easy to prepare. There are many options available, from freeze-dried meals to dehydrated fruits and vegetables.
  • Bear Canister – If you are camping in bear country, a bear canister is a must-have for food storage. These containers are designed to keep bears and other animals out of your food, preventing dangerous encounters and potential injury.
  • Cooler – If you are planning a longer trip or want to keep perishable items like meat or dairy products, a cooler is a necessary item for food storage. Look for one that is compact and lightweight, but still provides ample space and effective insulation.
  • Cookware Set – A good cookware set will make meal preparation in the wilderness much easier and more efficient. Look for a set that is lightweight and compact, with multiple pots and pans that can be used for a variety of dishes.
  • Bungee Cord – Bungee cords may seem like an odd item to include on this list, but they can be incredibly useful for securing food and other supplies while in the wilderness. Use them to attach your bear canister to a tree or secure your cooler to your pack.
  • Cotton Mesh Produce Bags – These bags are perfect for storing fruits and vegetables while on a wilderness trip. They are lightweight, breathable and can be reused multiple times, making them a more eco-friendly option than disposable plastic bags.
  • Water Filter or Purifier – Clean drinking water is crucial for any wilderness adventure, and a water filter or purifier is an essential tool for ensuring that your water is safe to drink. Look for a lightweight, compact option that can fit easily into your pack.
  • Spork – A spork (a combination spoon and fork) is a versatile and multi-functional utensil that is perfect for wilderness food storage. Look for a lightweight and durable option that can stand up to repeated use.

Pros & Cons of Food Storage in the Wilderness


  • Ensures safety from wildlife: Proper food storage guarantees that you remain safe from bears and other wildlife in the wilderness that could be attracted to the smell of food.
  • Preserves food quality: Storing your food properly ensures that it remains fresh and edible throughout your trip, keeping you well-fed and healthy.
  • Saves space: Food storage containers take up less space in your backpack than large, bulky bags of food, making it easier to pack light for your trip.
  • Offers convenience: Once you’ve stored your food, you can be rest assured that it’s safe and focused on enjoying your adventure without worrying about your food being tampered with.
  • Complies with park regulations: Proper food storage is necessary in some national parks and forests, so storing food properly will ensure that you are in compliance with park regulations and avoid any fines or penalties.


  • Extra cost: Proper food storage containers can add additional cost to your trip as you need to invest in specific gear that can keep your food safe and secure.
  • Inconvenience: Carrying an extra container for your food storage can prove to be inconvenient, especially if you want to pack light.
  • Time consuming: Putting in the additional effort and time to store food effectively can take away precious moments from your adventure that you could have spent relaxing or getting closer to nature.

In conclusion, while proper food storage may come with some cons, the pros significantly outweigh them. Not only does it promise you safety from wildlife and efficient use of space, but it also provides food that is fresh and edible throughout your trip. Thus, it is always better to take the necessary measures, invest in appropriate gear and work towards ensuring a safe and enjoyable adventure in the wilderness.

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