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  1. #1

    Default Suggestions for non-perishable food

    Does anyone have suggestions for non-perishable food items to take on an 18 day road trip in August? We're bringing two coolers (one large, one small), but I don't want to have to depend on them to keep food from going bad/melting/etc. in case we can't find ice. So no dairy products or meat or chocolate.

    I'm looking mostly for breakfast, lunch, and snack items that don't require cooking or a lot of preparation. We'll eat dinner out most nights.

    Here is my list so far:
    -peanut butter
    -granola bars/fruit & nut bars
    -trail mix
    -100 calorie packs
    -dry cereal
    -pre-packaged cups of fruit

    And that's it. I imagine we may tire of eating these items after a few days, so I'm looking for some additional suggestions.


  2. Default

    Buy a Coleman one burner propane stove for about $30. It will greatly add to the variety of breakfasts and lunches available.

    Pack along some microwave Hormel, Dinty-Moore or other meals. They need NO refrigeration.

    They have delicious beef stew, turkey and mashed potatoes, and many other selections. Although intended for the microwave, you can place the plastic trays in boiling water according to directions. It comes out wonderful! And you eat right from the bowl. No clean up except for your fork! Pick up a six-pack of Hawaiian sweetrolls and you're in for a real treat!

    If you go this route, take along the lightest, thinnest wall pot you can find so that the water heats up quickly. Try it at home first.

    Other quickie meals are the Star-Kist tuna lunches. They come with tuna, relish, crackers. The CHUNK WHITE is much tastier than the chunk light (and more expensive). You might also find some chicken meals available. Add some fruit, cheese, or nuts and you have a very nice and light lunch.

    For breakfast, you can buy instant oatmeal. I normally hate oatmeal with a passion; but it really tastes great when you mix in a single-size serving of fruit-flavored apple sauce. Almost tastes like a dessert, and is great on a cool morning. I like the mixed berry the best.

    Of course, try out these suggestions at home, before you head out.

    These have worked for me on countless roadtrips and kayak trips.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    May 2003
    Green County, Wisconsin

    Default faulty premise

    Quote Originally Posted by morgail View Post
    I don't want to have to depend on them to keep food from going bad/melting/etc. in case we can't find ice.
    There's nothing wrong with bringing some non-perishable items along, but I think your reasoning really is faulty. I simply can't imagine any situation where you "can't find ice." Pretty much every grocery store and gas station in the country will have bags of ice, and that's just the starting point, many campground, state parks, bars and liquor stores, even larger drugstores (Walgreens, CVS, etc), and some fast food stops, will have bags of ice for sale. Basically, if you can't find ice, you're probably going to have a lot of trouble finding gasoline or really any other basic item for a roadtrip.

    It also should be noted that a lot of people seem to think they need to pack all of their items in advance, and that's really not the case. Remember, there are grocery stores in nearly every community, and stopping at them is one of the best ways to really interact with locals, plus many times you'll find foods you wouldn't find at home or wouldn't think of.

    That said, bringing along some non-perishable items certainly is a good idea, and the ideas suggested by Travelingman are all good ones. The propane stove is very much an essential in my book, although, instead of a one burner, often I'll use a tabletop gas grill which can also be found for about $30 many times.

    Also don't forget to bring a can opener! Any canned food item will work well and usually can be warmed up right in the can. I also find that spam is one of those foods that just goes good with a roadtrip, and it can be eaten cold (although seared over a grill does taste better).

  4. #4


    Thanks for the great suggestions! The propane stove and tabletop grill sound useful. I'll look into getting one of those. I suppose I'm more worried about the ice melting in the coolers in the hot car while we're off hiking and sightseeing.

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Oct 2008
    Joplin MO


    One problem with the Hormel/Dinty Moore meals - the sodium content is sky high. If you are looking to eat healthy they may not be that good an option.

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