Food Safety While Hiking, Camping & Boating
Food Safety While Hiking, Camping & Boating
Outdoor activities are popular with Americans nationwide. The fresh air and exercise revives the spirit and the mind. Hiking, camping, and boating are good activities for active people and families, and in some parts of the country you can enjoy the outdoors for 2 or 3 seasons. In many cases, these activities last all day and involve preparing at least one meal. If the food is not handled correctly, foodborne illness can be an unwelcome souvenir.
Food Safety While Hiking & Camping
Sometimes you just have to get out and walk around in the solitude and beauty of our country. You may want to hike for just a few hours, or you may want to camp for a few days. One meal and some snacks are all that's needed for a short hike. Planning meals for a longer hike or camping trip requires more thought. You have to choose foods that are light enough to carry in a backpack and that can be transported safely.
What Foods to Bring?
If you are backpacking for more than a day, the food situation gets a little more complicated. You can still bring cold foods for the first day, but you'll have to pack shelf-stable items for the next day. Canned goods are safe, but heavy, so plan your menu carefully. Advances in food technology have produced relatively lightweight staples that don't need refrigeration or careful packaging. For example:
•peanut butter in plastic jars;
•concentrated juice boxes;
•canned tuna, ham, chicken, and beef;
•dried noodles and soups;
•beef jerky and other dried meats;
•dried fruits and nuts; and
•powdered milk and fruit drinks.
Powdered mixes for biscuits or pancakes are easy to carry and prepare, as is dried pasta. There are plenty of powdered sauce mixes that can be used over pasta, but check the required ingredient list. Carry items like dried pasta, rice, and baking mixes in plastic bags and take only the amount you'll need.
Cooking at the Campsite
After you have decided on a menu, you need to plan how you will prepare the food. You'll want to take as few pots as possible (they're heavy!). Camping supply stores sell lightweight cooking gear that nest together, but you can also use aluminum foil wrap and pans for cooking.
You'll need to decide in advance how you will cook. Will you bring along a portable stove, or will you build a campfire? Many camping areas prohibit campfires, so check first or assume you will have to take a stove. Make sure to bring any equipment you will need. If you are bringing a camp stove, practice putting it together and lighting it before you pack. If you build a campfire, carefully extinguish the fire and dispose of the ashes before breaking camp. Likewise, leftover food should be burned, not dumped. Lastly, be sure to pack garbage bags to dispose of any other trash, and carry it out with you.
Food Safety While Boating
Keeping food safe for a day on the boat may not be quite as challenging as for a hike, but when you are out on the water, the direct sunlight can be an even bigger food safety problem. Remember the "Danger Zone"? It is true that bacteria multiply rapidly at warm temperatures, and food can become unsafe if held in the "Danger Zone" for over 2 hours. Above 90 °F, food can become dangerous after only 1 hour. In direct sunlight, temperatures can climb even higher than that. So bring along plenty of ice, and keep the cooler shaded or covered with a blanket.
General Rules for Outdoor Food Safety
Plan ahead: decide what you are going to eat and how you are going to cook it; then plan what equipment you will need.
•Pack safely: use a cooler if car-camping or boating, or pack foods in the frozen state with a cold source if hiking or backpacking.
•Keep raw foods separate from other foods.
•Never bring meat or poultry products without a cold source to keep them safe.
•Bring disposable wipes or biodegradable soap for hand- and dishwashing.
•Plan on carrying bottled water for drinking. Otherwise, boil water or use water purification tablets.
•Do not leave trash in the wild or throw it off your boat.
•If using a cooler, leftover food is safe only if the cooler still has ice in it. Otherwise, discard leftover food.
•Whether in the wild or on the high seas, protect yourself and your family by washing your hands before and after handling food.
Article from: http://www.fsis.usda.gov/factsheets/Food_Safety_While_Hiking_Camping_&_Boating/index.asp#16