No refrigeration needed


I am interested in growing a good solid list of foods that don't require refrigeration for storage during overland travel. Travel temps could be 20º-120ºF, so freezing or melting points may become note worthy.

Smaller portions for maybe 1-2 people is my aim here. I don't want to deal with left overs, or much to throw out when done eating.

I do have a pretty good list myself, but thought I'd pick your experience as well.

Gotta head to work at the moment and wanted to start the thread while I was thinking about it, but will get back on here and add what I have come up with.



New member
Carrots, potatoes, rice, oatmeal, powdered milk and ice cold mountain water, cereals, some cheeses are good for a couple days, rice/noodle packages etc...

All I can thing of for now, Luc

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I'll leave out the obvious items like canned veggies, soup and chili

Here are some items that you may not think of...

  • canned evaporated milk for cooking
  • parmalet milk for drinking
  • packets of mayonnaise, relish, ketchup, mustard instead of jars (mayo is hard to find but it's out there)
  • butter powder instead of butter
  • tortillas instead of bread
  • Kraft singles cheese
  • hard salami/canned ham for sandwich meat
  • beef jerky and biltong instead of fresh meat
  • powdered eggs - or keep fresh eggs and learn to float them to test for freshness
  • smoked fish
  • canned bacon

You can extend the shelf life of vegetables by soaking them in water with about 4 tablespoons of bleach for about 30 minutes and then dry them and roll up in newspaper

Meat is always a tough item. There are a couple of methods you can use. They don't sound great, but they work.

You can cook hamburger until brown and then put it in a container and completely cover it over with lard. When you scoop some out later, just cover over the remaining hamburger completely with lard. This is the way it was done back before refrigerators. You can make your own lard by asking your butcher at the grocery store for "flare" fat to make "leaf lard" or just buy the packaged lard at the grocery store.

Another method is if you have a pot roast or steaks - cook them and whatever is left over put in a pot and heat the pot really hot to kill any bacteria and then keep that container closed up and don't open it. If you open up the pot the next day and take some meat out, then reheat the pot really hot and reseal it again. You can keep meat like this for at least a few days. Basically, you're keeping the meat sterilized and in a sterilized container.

If you want some good recipes that use non-refrigerated items look to the sailboat community - a google search on "sailboat recipes no refrigeration" will yield quite a bit.


Right on, this looks interesting so far.

So, now that I am back in front of the computer I can add some items that I've been gathering and trying/testing that should hold out during at least 2 weeks in hot/cold climates.

As I test more items at home, I'll add them to this list.

  • Meats:
  • Spam singles
  • Smoked clams
  • Sardines (Lemon Pepper, Kippered, Smoked, Tomato Basil)
  • Chicken of the Sea Tuna single serving pouch
  • Chicken of the Sea Pink Salmon single serving pouch
  • Chicken of the Crab single serving pouch
  • Starkist Tuna Single serving pouch
  • Starkist Tuna Creations two serving pouch (Herb Garlic, Hickory Smoked, Lemon Pepper, Sweet Spicy) These are AWESOME and need absolutely nothing added like mayo for moisture.
  • Icy Point Salmon (Red or Pink) Wild caught, just salmon and salt. Tasty right out of the can.
  • Canned Chunk Chicken
  • Jerky (Beef, Chicken, Turkey, etc.)
  • Pork Rinds (Several flavors available)

    Breads, Pastas, Mixes:
  • Tortilla (corn or flour)
  • Artisian breads
  • Pita breads
  • Bisquick Mix
  • Pancake Mix
  • Corn Bread Mix
  • Baking Mix (found a really good one at the Dollar Tree)
  • Ramen Noodles
  • Pasta Noodles
  • Instant Pasta (Lots of brands and flavors out there)
  • Macaroni and Cheese Delux (Cheese sauce, not powdered cheese)

  • Instant Potato flakes
  • Boxed Scalloped Potatoes (Too many flavors to add here)
  • Idahoan Instant Mashed Potatoes (Too many flavors to add here)

  • American Cheese Singles
  • Easy Cheese (Cheeze in the pressurized can)
  • Cheez Wiz (Still looking for smaller container for 1-2 servings)
  • BabyBel Cheese Round Singles in wax coating (An assortment of flavors) I tested one of these by placing in the window sill facing South for nearly 3 weeks. House is usually 67º-70ºF and the window sill saw upwards of 85ºF. After sitting there all that time, I tried it and found no issue with the flavor, texture, or usefulness in eating or cooking with.

  • Water
  • Fruit Juice boxes (Way too many brands and flavors to list here)
  • Hershey's milk boxes (Plain 2%, or Chocolate) Not a fan of the plain milk, tastes kinda chemically to me.
  • Horizon Organic lowfat milk. (Plain 1%, or Choc, Straw, Vanilla) Tried this one warm, and it's actually good. Tastes like warm milk, and not chemical at all.
  • Gatorade
  • Capri Sun drinks
  • Crystal Lite/Lipton drink mix singles for 8-16oz water bottles (Lots of flavors to choose from)
  • Instant Coffee (Starbuck's VIA, Nescafe flavors, etc.)

  • Dried Fruits
  • Freeze Dried Fruits
  • Nuts (Most anything dry roasted)
  • Canned Peaches (Yum!)
  • Canned Pinapple Rings (On the BBQ!)

  • Honey
  • Real butter (Sealed in individual servings) The Food Saver comes in handy here.
  • Various condiments from favorite fast food places (Taco Bell, McD's, etc..)
  • Canned anything! (Olives, mushrooms, peppers, green chiles, refried beans, fruits, veggies, etc. )
  • Pickles
  • Cookies
  • Chips
  • Crackers
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You might add canned corn beef and small cans of milk. Canned milk has a higher fat content. While not so great for drinking straight, it is good for sauces and gravies.

Captain K-man

Looks like a cool online goodie bag. Hows their shipping prices fair?
If you spend over $20.00 then its free shipping, less then that it goes by weight. How much do mayo packs weigh?

This was taken from their web page:

Ground Shipping:
Orders within the U.S. over $20 are shipped free via FedEx Ground (Hawaii and Alaska do not qualify for free shipping). Orders over $20 shipping to APO/FPO and Post Office Box addresses will be shipped vis USPS.

All Ground shipments go out within three business days of the order being placed. Business days are Monday through Friday and excluding holidays. There is a minimum shipping charge of $4.50 for all orders under $20.
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I'm really interested in hearing from those folks that have traveled for weeks or months on end through areas of minimal human contact (worldwide), and seeing what kind of sustainable foods they pack.

Anyone? :bowdown: