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  FOOD: Canoe Trip Menu Planning

This page is for everyone interested in planning a menu for a wilderness canoeing trip. You may not think that this is very important, buy you will find that a little bit of work before the trip can make the all important meal go much smoother.

  • Don't take cans, glass jars or perishables because they are heavy, and in some places, not allowed (ie. provincial parks)
  • There are many places to buy food for camping trips. Lots of this food can be found in a regular supermarket. Some good places to look are bulk food stores, specialty food stores, and camping stores for the special things like freeze dried or dehydrated foods.
  • Buying or making your own dehydrator is a good way to save money on dehydrated food. It works well for sauces, fruits, vegetables, etc.
  • Remove all excess packaging from the food once you get it home. Put food in durable containers or bags. Keep instructions for cooking with each item.

    This table should help you calculate the amount of food you need for a trip. Simply fill in the columns and multiply them together to get the total.
    Item # of times used Quantity Used per Person # of PeopleTotal
    3 meals
    3 slices

    Here are some ideas for breakfasts. Some people enjoy a hot breakfast, while others would rather not start up the stove, or light the fire, so I have included both hot and cold breakfasts in this list. Here are some suggestions:

    Cereal: Instant Oatmeal, Cold Cereal, Granola

    Breads: Toast, Bagels, Pancakes

    Eggs: French Toast with Syrup, Scrambled Eggs, Omelettes

    Fruit: Dried Fruit, Fruit Cocktail, Applesauce

    Other: Cake, Hash Browns, Cheese, Bacon, Muffins


    Breads: Rye Bread, Pumpernickle Bread, Bagels, Pita bread, Bisquick, Crackers, Stoned Wheats, Crackers

    Meat: Dried Salami, Summer Sausage, Peperettes, Beef Jerky, Turkey Jerky

    Other: Trail mix, Granola Bars, Cheese, PB& J, Cookies, Dried Fruit, Fruit Jerky, Apples, Oranges, Soup (only if you want to start a fire, or get the stove out. Great for windy, rainy, cold days.)


    Meat: Hamburgers (take frozen, wrapped in newspaper, and eat the first night), Dehydrated meat sauces

    Vegetables: Corn (take frozen), Mashed Potatoes (Dehydrated), Baked Potatoes (heavy, but oh so good. Wrap in foil before the trip. You need a nice bed of coals and a little time for these), Beans, Rice (great with almost anything, easy to make, filling, cheap)

    Fruit: Fresh apples, Fresh Oranges, Mixed stewed fruit, Mixed dried fruit

    Bread: Garlic bread, Pancakes, Tortillas, Fruitcake, Banana bread, Bannock

    Pasta: Any Kind if pasta is great on the trail. Easy to cook, filling, and delicious. Take along some dehydrated meat sauce, and you can have spaghetti just like at home! Or you can go the low tech route, and get the prepackaged stuff, like Kraft Dinner or any other mix type things available

    Other: Tomato Sauce Mix, Parmesan Cheese, Maple Syrup, Soup (dehydrated mix)

    Dessert: Rice Krispie Squares, Instant pudding (use powdered milk), Cheesecake (mixes)


    Peanut butter, Jam, Margarine, Salt, Pepper, Sugar (white and brown if you like), vegetable oil, Instant milk powder, Bisquick, Breadsticks, Spices, Parmesan Cheese, Garlic Powder (a must!!)


    Coffee, Tea, Hot chocolate, Gatorade crystals, Jello (mixed with hot water - 2 tsp. per mug), Ice Tea Mix, any other powdered juice


    Marshmallows, Trail mix, Candy Bars, Energy Bars, and of course GORP!

    GORP stands for Good Old Raisins and Peanuts, but of course you can call it whatever you want. GORP is the mainstay of our noshing on canoe trips. After every 10 minutes paddling (well, almost) is a GORP and water break. GORP can contain whatever you want. Just start with raisins and peanuts as the base, then go nuts (sorry...). Add cashews, dried fruit, hard candies, mints, M&M's, and anything else that looks good. A trip to the local bulk store will reveal a wonderful supply of GORP products. Be careful though, GORP is quite expensive when you start buying the exotic stuff like dried cranberries, aka Craisins (although they're worth it), dried papaya, and things like that.


  • Another good menu planning/recipe page is: The Backcountry Recipe Book, Version 3.1
      This page was last updated on August 15, 2011 at 01:00 AM