Canoe Trip Food

     We were talking about canoe trips the other day and the subject of food came up. Some folks like to plan elaborate meals while others prefer not to cook at all.  Some people buy all specialty outfitting foods, others dehydrate their own and yet others just shop from the shelves of the grocery store.  Here’s something I had to say about canoe trip food in a past blog entry.

      Is mealtime your favorite time when you’re camping in the Boundary Waters Canoe Area Wilderness?  If so, then I bet you have some sort of method of madness for what you put into your BWCA food pack.  I have a method of my own when I’m on a solo BWCA canoe trip just as everyone has their own including the Voyageurs from many moons ago.

     A scientist named Kennicott had this to say about the Voyageurs’ food after traveling with them.  "Pemmican is supposed by the outside world to consist only of pounded meat and grease; an egregious error, for from experience on the subject I am authorized to state that hair, sticks, bark, spruce leaves, stones, sand, etc. enter into its composition. It is very rarely that the Voyageurs reject anything in the shape of fish or bird…I think they would eat eggs so nearly hatched that the chick could almost peep."

     Most BWCA canoe trip enthusiasts aren’t packing Pemmican or purposefully eating hair, sticks or bark.  I do know some folks who will kill and eat a grouse and I have even heard of a modern day Voyageur eating a birds’ egg but this is seldom done in today’s world.   

    However there are many people who take canoe trips into the Boundary Waters who bring along items to prepare fish for a meal.  Whether it is shortening & fish breading for frying or butter & garlic for grilling some folks plan to eat fish while in the woods.

     Then there are those people who want to eat in the Boundary Waters like they eat when they are at home.  This doesn’t work well for me but if you don’t mind carrying a ton of weight then pack in the potatoes, carrots, whole onions and fresh fruit.  You may as well bring along a cooler for all of the meat and other fresh food you plan to bring along as well.

     Maybe at home you eat lots of pre-packaged foods so in the BWCA you don’t have to adjust your diet much from the pasta, rice-a-roni, hamburger helper and lipton noodles.  Carbohydrates from a box or pouch can easily be found and lately you can find meat in a pouch too.  Tuna and Spam come in pouches and I’m guessing chicken won’t be far behind.

     In other people’s food packs for their BWCA trip you might find everything dehydrated.  From the strawberries for their just add water shortcake to their astronaut ice cream if it’s hydrated then it’s not going into their food pack.

     Somewhere in between all of these Boundary Waters food pack options is a happy-medium.  That’s what we like to supply at Voyageur Canoe Outfitters.  Just the right mix of fresh foods, dehydrated items and things off of the grocery store shelf.  We’ve been packing for BWCA canoe trips for 20 years and we know what tastes good because we’ve tried it all.

     You may not eat just like you’re at home while on your Boundary Waters canoe trip but believe me, nothing tastes bad when you’re sitting beneath the stars and listening to the call of the loon.