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Discussion Starter #1 (Edited)
Thought I would try and start a thread on provisioning for gunkholing and voyaging on small light displacement sailboats. I am mostly thinking of boats under 3000 pounds or so light displacement, with no refrigeration going on voyages longer than an ice block will last in a cooler. So maybe 3 days or more.

What are your tricks and tips?

How do you deal with challenges such as;

Nutrition?
Spoilage?
Stowage Space?
Hydration?
Treats?
Weight?
Preperation?

I do a bit of off grid gunkholing with my wife and 2 kids on a 900 pound boat. Trips of 2-3 weeks are the norm.

Below I offer a strategy I use in each above category;

Nutrition: Lentils! Oats and Barley. Of course, traveling with kids, treats are a must, so we like dual purpose treats that provide some sugar and a bit of nutrition, such as raisins.

Spoilage; dry goods, stored in ziplocs in dry bags. Small boats are wet environments.

Stowage space; dehydrated meals, just add water. I figure roughly 1.5 liters of food per person per day. So 4 people for 2 weeks is roughly 84 liters of stowage space or 3 cubic feet of food. I usually carry about double that though, since my boat has about 7 cubic feet of food storage. I also get rid of excess packaging. Boxes are ridiculous.

Hydration. I sail mostly fresh water and filter my water with a Katadyn. However, I have found even gunkholing in Saltwater, shore sources are often easy to find for filtering. Obviously more reserve is required in salt water.

Treats: Popping corn (not the microwave stuff). Raisins. Tang. Cliffs Bars. Granola Bars. Various dry spices.

Weight. Dehydrated food. Minimal canned goods. Excess weight on my boat makes it sail terribly. I figure food for 4 for 2 weeks should be under 200 pounds. Obviously the weight gets less and the boat sails better as time passes.

Preperation. I am personally a fan of foods that just require adding hot water. My fuel of choice is non pressurised Alcohol. I have both an Origo and a Trangia. Trangia for solo trips, Origo for family trips. I know cannister type stoves are popular with open boat/dinghy sailors as well. I do most cooking in the cockpit or ashore when possible.
 

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Neat idea for a thread. I have to run to an appointment, so I can’t build out a full reply. Essentially, the answer is the same as focusing on a long backpacking trip, with less concern for weight. Done all the time.
 

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Brinkman Farms https://brinkmanfarms.com/

Have excellent cans of meat... without fillers. Plain meat.

It appears expensive beef $8.05 and chicken $5.75 but they are huge cans and when you balance the price against no soy/TVP etc its a bargain.

I have them in my emergency ration supply and they are great eating.


Or use the kids as bait and fish up a whopper :)
 

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Discussion Starter #5
We use canned meat too. Some of it is pretty good.

Our favoutites are Hereford Corned Beef which is a product of Brazil and Swift Canned Ham which is a product of Canada.

Haven't tried Brinkman Farms. We are going out for a week or so next week and I haven't shopped yet. Will see if I can find some and give it a try.
 

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One trick I learned when sailing w/o refrigeration was that I could keep a fresh fish several days by wrapping it in a towel, in the sun and keeping it wet. The evaporation would keep the fish cooler than the ambient temperature.
 
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I guess it depends how worried you are about weight.

I’ve had more experience with backpacking provisioning than canoe / small boat, but there’s a lot of overlap.

When weight is your enemy you don’t want to carry water. Dehydrated everything.

The problem with a lot of dehydrated foods is that they have low to no fat, and not only does fat taste good, but considering weight it gives you the most calories per pound.

So I’ll dehydrate lean ground beef and drain off any excess fat. When reconstituting it (for chili or stew) add olive oil. The olive oil gives you the flavor back and will store at room temp for a long time.

Salted butter will also stay good at room temp for a couple weeks.

Well cooked bacon is shelf stable for a week or so.
 

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I have doubled the insulation in my ice box and can go five days without needing ice. We also keep canned chunky soups,potatoes, and veggies. I sometimes get luck and catch a fish or 2. We are on the Chesapeake so there are several places to restock and get ice. I always have to be back at work before the ice is gone. Most of the top of the line coolers are good for 5 days
 

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Discussion Starter #9
I have doubled the insulation in my ice box and can go five days without needing ice. We also keep canned chunky soups,potatoes, and veggies. I sometimes get luck and catch a fish or 2. We are on the Chesapeake so there are several places to restock and get ice. I always have to be back at work before the ice is gone. Most of the top of the line coolers are good for 5 days
5 days is fantastic.

We thought about getting one of those 12 volt coolers a couple years back. Can't remember why we decided against it.
 

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In the past, I think you’ve mentioned you often camp ashore on your travels. If I didn’t have to carry the tent on my back, I’d get a bloody standup palace and a real household air mattress. I’d also bring folding lounge chairs. A comfortable chair is the first thing everyone misses, when backpacking. Often the same on smaller boats too. I’ve always liked the Kelly sunshaders too. If you camp where there is little shade, these are awesome. Being in a tent or down below can be brutal.
 
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5 days is fantastic.

We thought about getting one of those 12 volt coolers a couple years back. Can't remember why we decided against it.
Thermoelectric coolers, or Peltier coolers, are extremely inefficient. Most of them tell you to pre-cool anything you want to put in them and then will only keep stuff 35-40°f cooler than ambient. I looked in to them for car-camping with the family and ended up going with an old Norcold ac/dc refrigerator.

When motorcycle camping I've forgone everyrhing that needs to be cold. Water sources are never an issue in the Cascades so I took a Sawyer Squeeze filter. A lot of Mountain House and Packit Gourmet dehydrated meals. My favorite quick, high calorie meal is Idohoan instant mashed potatoes with Spam cut in to chunks and fried in butter.

I use a Trangia 27 series alcohol cooker. It has a kettle, 2 bowls, and a frying pan.
 

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My favorite quick, high calorie meal is Idohoan instant mashed potatoes with Spam cut in to chunks and fried in butter.
Gee, have you had your arteries checked lately? My doctor would go nuts if I told him I ate that! lol
 

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Discussion Starter #13
In the past, I think you’ve mentioned you often camp ashore on your travels. If I didn’t have to carry the tent on my back, I’d get a bloody standup palace and a real household air mattress. I’d also bring folding lounge chairs. A comfortable chair is the first thing everyone misses, when backpacking. Often the same on smaller boats too. I’ve always liked the Kelly sunshaders too.
All good tips. When we have the sailboat, its like camping with a pick up truck you can pack in so much gear.

We do use a stand up palace. Its a 12x12 gazebo with rain roof, bug netting and wind/sun shades on two sides. Very comfortable and goes up in about 20 minutes. Plus each of us has our own folding chair. We even have a folding high chair for the baby. Camping is no excuse to be uncomfortable :) we have had situations where we have been weather bound for days on an island. I am pretty cautious about weather when the kids are with me.

For mattresses, we actially use the mattresses off the boat. We just carry them up to our tent. (Marmot Halo 4P).

When I am on my sailing kayak or beach cat, things are a bit more spartan. Hammock strung between two trees with a tarp over it.
 

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Discussion Starter #14
Thermoelectric coolers, or Peltier coolers, are extremely inefficient. Most of them tell you to pre-cool anything you want to put in them and then will only keep stuff 35-40°f cooler than ambient. I looked in to them for car-camping with the family and ended up going with an old Norcold ac/dc refrigerator.
I think that was the reason. No way to power it. Our outboard doesn't charge. Only 20 watts of solar.
 

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Mosquito or bug netting so you can sleep without being chewed up
 
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A 1kw Honda is an amazing luxury, when camping. Much lighter, smaller and even quieter than the more common 2kw.

My son and I brought one, when we used to camp at fly-ins. It would power a purcolator, a couple of small fans, charge phones and other devices. If you still put ice into an electric travel fridge/cooler, you wouldn't have to run it all day, just enough to avoid heat loss, during sunlight. At these fly-ins, you camp next to the runway and there are no shade trees. I'll have to think about that for next time.

Even in a good cooler, ice does not always keep everything inside quite at the right temp for long term storage. Ice melts, open and closing introduces warm air. Any temp is fine (or safe) for beer. Milk or burger can get finicky. Every year, we would try to see how long we could get burger to last. Buy last minute. Don't open, but make patties at the camp. Our last best method was to buy irradiated burger meat, make the patties at home, par-freeze, then vacuum pack the patties and finish freezing solid and put in the ice in the cooler. 5 days.
 

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One thing I am still experimenting with is using dry ice. Place a slab at the bottom of the cooler, frozen sundries, another slab, refrigerated goods on the top.

I'm just extremely hesitant to put it on a boat unkess there was some form of active ventilation to keep the bilge from filling with carbon dioxide.
 

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One thing I am still experimenting with is using dry ice. Place a slab at the bottom of the cooler, frozen sundries, another slab, refrigerated goods on the top.

I'm just extremely hesitant to put it on a boat unkess there was some form of active ventilation to keep the bilge from filling with carbon dioxide.
I’ve used dry ice on charters. In normal use the amount of CO2 given off by dry ice is less than what is given off by the crew breathing, so unless you’re in a hermetically sealed chamber I can’t see how it could be a problem.

There was a thread about this on CF a little while ago. Some people were too nervous to use it, but those who have used dry ice had no problems.

BONUS: Dry ice is really fun to play with.
 

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I have used dry ice in my cooler on the boat many times on long trips.
 
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