Stocking a Hunting Cabin
- pinehurst Oct 6, 2011 10:06 AM
So my bachelor uncle (for whom I gladly fulfill a daughterly role) is going hunting for the first time in about 40 years with a group of hunters from his bowling league. He is in charge of stocking the cabin with provisions, and I believe is too shy to ask them what to bring, so it got delegated to me. They'll be gone a week, and they're a group of four guys, ages 50-68.
There is no electricity. There is an outhouse. Someone is bringing a grill, a campstove, a cooler.
Here's my list so far.
Hard cheeses (parmesan, romano)
Potatoes, Onions, Garlic
Condiments (Worcestershire, Salt, Pepper, Mustards)
Flour (for pancakes)
Dried Beef (for SOS)
Non-phosphate dish soap
Okay, I need help.
Since there is a cooler involved I would add bacon and eggs to the list (even for the first night and for pancakes the next day). Speaking of pancakes, I think a mix would be be best. Perhaps some butter, too, for cooking and to spread on the bread (or toast). Don't forget ingredients for pasta sauce (or jarred spaghetti sauce would probably be more appropriate in this situation).
Sugar, coffee and tea. Milk if the cooler remains cold enough. Perhaps juice crystals?
More meat such as steaks, burgers (and condiments and buns) or sausages to utilize the grill and campstove.
My husband is a hunter and he also enjoys his granola bars as a snack.
Uuummm, no offense, but that sounds a little elegant and light for a bunch of guys in a cabin with no services, a grill, and a camp stove. If there is no running water, then you have to take that into account (maybe there's a sink, but no potty?). Where are they getting pasta water? The guys in my family would want meat (steaks, burgers, sausage), maybe potatoes depending on the cooking setup, bacon and eggs, butter, bread, packaged cookies, maybe some fruit like apples, coffee. If they are really hunting, not just hanging out, they will probably not want to spend a lot of time cooking. And the more smells you give off, the further you have to go away from camp to hunt. If they are really just hanging out, then more booze and maybe fancier food.
Deli meats are a good call. They are going to want to take packed lunches if they are going to be sitting in a tree stand for some hours. We also like to keep a variety of pickles: stuffed peppers in oil, spicy okra, roasted eggplant, to add some variety.
I'd stay away from bacon or anything too pungent to avoid stinking of food.
Coffee and box cereal. Peanut butter and jelly. Snacks of some sort - chips, peanuts, etc.
I'd probably approach this challenge by creating a simple meal plan in Excel so that you're sure to include ingredients for the requisite number of breakfasts, lunches, dinners, and snacks.
I am told that they are hunting and fishing for their main dishes (crazy plentiful fish if not meat), and none drink beer (!!?!!). Water is not an issue (they have a source for potable water and one guy is bringing 5 zillion multi-gallon containers to fill, plus a camp shower, tho it's mighty cold for that) but scent is, so I'm getting neutral dish detergent and they're packing unscented soap and deodorant and wet wipes. Peanut butter and foil I forgot, and I will get protein/granola bars. I think bacon and sausage are great ideas, deli, too. Super ideas, all. Thank you!
Sausages! Bratwurst, weisswurst, even hot dogs are great on a campfire and can keep without a lot of chill...chopped onions, buns and baked beans in cans heated in the campfire can't be beat. And, I'm sorry, but I think anybody 8 =90 would LOVE s'mores --graham crackers, chocolate and marshmallows. :Hope they have a blast.
ah, but you need to have stuff on hand because there will be at least one meal, I promise, where the expected meat or fish will not materialize before everyone is hungry enough to start munching on tree branches.
This is a protein and carb trip -- meat, beans, potatoes, and cheese. And beer.
Imagine these guys after a day of hunting or fishing. They are going to be starving.
I know they plan to catch all they eat, but a couple of meals of steak/pork chops/sausages might be welcome (and even necessary).
Vegetables (why not some simple fresh veggies? Unless they are hiking into this camp, they should be okay) e.g. Lettuce, Cucumber, Green pepper, Carrots, tomatos
CORKSCREW! (the most important part of all!)
Cereal and parmalat.
Thats all they will need.
Make sure they bring butane single burners with plenty of extra canisters for cooking inside the cabin something like this:
Propane campstoves are a no-no for indoor cooking.
When I camp I usually like to step it up, but a week long adventure without a fridge makes pork and chicken risky IMHO. I can tell you its always better to bring MUCH more than you think you will need.
Coffee and tea and a sure fire way to prepare it. Lots of canned and non-perishable goods, like soup, chili, hash, beans, pasta sauce, boxed rice, siracha (makes everything taste better), instant spuds, pancake mix (dont forget the syrup), peanuts, crackers with cheese (think pre-packaged ritz or keebler) and plenty of rolls or bread and dried pasta-that kind of stuff-as back up in case the fish aint biting, it rains, or the deer dont show themselves. Maybe eggs, potatoes, chorizo, limes, cilantro and some corn tortillas-with limes, hot sauce and cilantro you can make a taco out of anything!
It might be helpful to sit down and plan a back up menu. You can make stuff ahead of time and freeze it.
Dont forget a deck of cards and poker chips from the dollar store along with a battery operated radio/music player!
Where and at what elevation will they be? Ice in a cooler could last from 3 days to the whole week, depending, and this shapes your meal planning. You should plan the menu for each meal for the entire week, and shop for the menu. Week long river trips with no opportunity to re-provision are always done that way, and this sounds similar but with fewer space and weight limitations.
Be sure to include garnishes and ingredients for fish preparation, however they like the local catch. Have a backup in case the fish aren't biting.
I'm going to come at this from a little different angle. There are a lot of variables that you haven't given us much info on, such as what they're hunting and how. But I'll focus on how and what I hunt. Mornings usually come so early that a lot of folks aren't even hungry, and virtually none want to cook or waste time over a prepared meal. Frankly a couple flats of assorted muffins (think the oily ones like Costco sells) and lots of hot coffee or tea usually takes care of breakfast or at least the pre-breakfast for the whole trip. A little jerky, an apple and some water, maybe some chocolate bars and hard candy suffices for out-of-camp snacks (be a heroine and buy a few big bags of Halloween mini-bar candy); add a thermos of soup or coffee if they're not on the move. If they hunt just mornings and evenings, you can have a more grand brunchy thing when everyone gets back to camp mid-day. There, I favor bacon, sausage or ham and eggs with some form of fried spuds and some fruit. If they're away from camp all day, sandwiches are the way to go for lunch.
After the late/evening hunt or after stumbling back to camp from being out all day, you have time (and appetite) for the big 'ol pot of stew washed down with beer. Some meat and onions stewed with beans, rice, noodles, potatoes or all of the above for carb loading for the next day. Whiskey or two before bed to wash down the Advil.
It's also nice to surprise hunters with a carefully pre-made and frozen fancier dish or two that serves as coolant in the cooler until thawed, then pulled out with a flourish. I once did a kung pao chicken on a high country elk hunt this way, and it was a hit. Hunters are also easily impressed out of all proportion with baking an upside-down cake (pineapple?) in a dutch oven around the campfire, or Crocques Monseiur done in pie irons while shooting the shit.
Oh, and even if *you* like beer, triple what you would consider a lot.
Your uncle is lucky to have such a kind and thoughtful niece.
scratch the parm AND romano - one or the other. and replace with a colby or pepper jack and saltines for snacking.
pre-make a pot of portable chili for re-heating.
way too easy to over think this, consider - grubby surroundings, minimal facilities. food is cooked in a stewpot, a frying pan, the grill or it's cold. any more effort and it sucks the fun out (former boy scout)
As someone who keeps a hunting cabin stocked and ready all year, I have to say that you need fewer europian imports and more canned viddles! Also if a man cooks it in a cast iron pan in the wild (or better yet over an open fire), it's going to taste good to him.
If water is in abundance then lots of dried things like rice, beans, cornmeal, dehydrated food(optional, some people really enjoy it however). No matter what, as long as they're getting enough calories (and coffee) they'll be content with anything from crackers to twinkles. That reminds me- don't forget the junk food ;-)
P.s. Bacon- enough said.
Replying to myself because chow won't let me edit.
All of that being said, I eat pretty much the same food at the cabin as I do at the house. It's only about an hour away and reachable by four wheeler. So weight and spoilage are not really factors. My only restriction is the wood burning stove and lack of running water to wash pans.
Since they are hunters, they're defacto meat eaters,
with the culinary corollary of love for the 'taters.
So just freeze up some steaks, and plop as ice in the cooler.
To heck with the ice: just pack full with frozen meat
Big bag of russets.... big bag of onions.
Multiple cans of varieties of Bush's canned beans.
Poll them, and you'll find this is all that they need.
They'll need some butter to fry up their 'taters,
and also many cartons of eggs for their breakfast.
The butter and eggs will keep fine on the counter.
They'll return from their trip feeling Manly,
having eaten the meat, the taters, and beans.
No matter their stories, no matter their hunt trophies,
they are sure to bring home some good flatulence.
You can make a good chowder by using canned cream-style corn as the base. Add milk to make it more liquid then a little instant mashed potato to get consistency then add anything you want---sliced sausage (any kind), canned potatoes, canned French-fried onions, etc.
Hunters, no matter what items were in that day's diet
are prone, in the wee hours, to be resoundingly flatulent.
My above-prescribed diet does little to lessen that phenomenon.
Indeed, it fosters some intestinal fermentation.
One with insomnia in that cabin
would hear sleeping boys in their satisfied flattin',
accompanied by good grunts and a chorus of snores.
It's just part of the experience.
Thus I shall not withdraw my original prescription, which, simplified, means:
Feed 'em heavy, feed 'em beef, feed 'em 'taters and onions and beans.
Though perhaps now in retrospect I would further entender
a few stacks of supple and soft corn tortillas
which will serve as a modulator
and a gentle fart extender.
Done this for years and there's no other way. You have to plan meals for every day.
breakfasts: always coffee, milknand juices. One day, bacon and eggs, another day, pancakes, etc
Lunches: everybody on their own every day. have lunch meats and breads, mustard, mayo, etc., and canned soups, and soft drinks.
dinner: A different dinner every night. First night, a huge pot of chili. Enough for leftovers all during the week, when people get hungry late in the night, and/or to warm up for lunch. (a crock pot would work for lots of other things too. Salad and/ or veggies every night.
Grilled steaks, baked or mashed potatoes, veggies another night.
Fish they catch at least one night, hopefully. Etc.
Munchies: pretzels, potato chips, pop corn, dips. Especially for cocktail hour, but also for poker playing, etc.
Lots of freezer baggies for multiple purposes. A first aid kit. Flashlights, a battery operated radio, plenty of batteries. Etc.
Don't forget paper towels and garbage bags and lots of toilet paper!
My hunters have a wood stove, running water (piped in from the creek), hot showers (combo sun heated and stove water) and an open air outhouse. Everything but electricity!
Anyway, meals. Bacon, eggs, toast/hot cereal, pancakes (not bisquick. I think he uses the CI mix recipe now) for breakfast. Hard cheddar, salami (or other non-refrigerated cured meat), rolls, mustard for lunch. Dinners vary. My uncle does most of the cooking -- stews, chili, pork & beans. Occasionally he makes cornbread or drop biscuits too. He packs the ingredients, including dried fats/milks so he only needs to add water.
These are good suggestions, but I would add a bunch of ramen. It cooks up quick and can serve as a snack or any meal. A nice warm up if they have been out in the cold.
4 men for a week the days starts off with 8 eggs and 8 slices of bacon maybe a tube of sausage 2 or three times.. Lunch is a sandwich so at least a loaf of bread is good. mayo, lettuce, mustard. meats everyday for lunch. Dinner is 4 hamburgers one night, steaks frozen (ribeye) is great for two nights. Soup or stew from a can ! night. Then 4 hamburgers again. Taters wrapped in foil 2-3 nights with sour creme and cheese/ left over bacon. Some can vegies would also be good.
Snacks would be cheese & crackers and chips and dip.
7 bottles of wine minimum, two bottles of bourbon, 3 liters of coke. (for those who mix) 4-10 cigars also.
Lots of Coffee and a way to brew it.
Old post, I know, but since I am usually in charge of food annually for our deer camp I'll chime in for those that pick up on this thread in the future.
We don't eat breakfast before the morning hunt. We have muffins and doughnuts that people eat as they're getting dressed and have a cup of coffee before going out. We do have a lot of candy and stuff that can be brought along in our packs.
So, sometime at mid-morning one of my brothers will do a big breakfast. Fried potatoes, bacon, and eggs. Or fried potatoes, biscuits and gravy, and eggs. On another day, it might be bacon/sausage, and pancakes.
Lunch: If the big, late breakfast is not done and there are people in camp that are hungry we'll do hotdogs/brats/polish sausage, or hamburgers on the grill with chips.
Supper: Here's the easy part. Most of the evening meals are prepared in advance. Nobody really want's to do actual cooking after the evening deer hunt. If we did we wouldn't eat until close to 8pm. (Which sometimes happens if the guys at the neighboring camp come over and everyone is standing around the campfire exchanging bullshit or if we go over there for the same). The evening meal is stuff like:
pasta with meat sauce
BBQ pork ribs
french dip sandwiches
pork chile verde
grilled thin pork chops