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Old 12-10-2017, 01:11 AM
a bear named smokey a bear named smokey is offline
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Looking to setup a winter camp for trapping in the wilderness. This would be a 30 day venture on public lands in the northern parts of the U.S. I have all of the licenses for trapping, taking small game and fishing. I am putting together this packing list below. Some of the things I already have, others still need to be acquired. I'm working on a budget here... The idea is to setup and run a trapline for a month. I'll be bringing pemican, rice and beans with me for sustenance, supplementing my diet with whatever I can hunt, fish, or pull from the trapline. For shelter, I'll have a hot ten + wood stove combo, with a few tarps as backup. I'm hoping someone on this forum has done something like this before, a long term winter camp for trapping purposes. Trapping isn't what it was in the last century, or the one before it, so most of the literature I've found on setting up a camp and trapline was written in the 1800's... Any advice or insight is greatly appreciated.

Here's my packing list (doesn't include clothing or guns):
-Molle II Rucksack
-Duffle bag (for hanging food)
-M-1950 Tent
-Pulk Sled
-TMS Portable Camp Stove
-Water tank (attaches to stove flue)
-Extreme coldweather sleeping bag
-1 quart canteen w/ steel cup
-2 quart canteen w/ strap
-Traps (conibears & footholds)
-Snares
-Pogo Stakes
-Trapping Tools (Trap setter, pliers, shovel, stake driver, etc.)
-Scent / Lures
-Tannin
-Headlamp
-Maglight
-Extra batteries (lithium)
-550 cord
-Twine
-PLB (ACR)
-First aid kit
-Ferro rod (plus matches and an extra ferro)
-Magnesium shavings + vaseline-coated cotton balls
-Knives (for different purposes)
-Axe
-hobo tarps (3)
-Yoga mats (2)
-Wool blankets
-Dutch Oven
-Cast Iron Skillet
-Cutlery & Utensils
-Fishing Gear (extra line, hooks, fake bait, etc.)
-Hand Auger
-Tip ups
-Pemican
-30 lbs rice + beans
-35 lbs dog food
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Old 12-10-2017, 08:46 AM
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You will want a cot. Sleeping on the ground in the cold sucks. Maybe some sort broad/flood light, like a coleman lantern. A single burner coleman stove would be nice too. Plus fuel.
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Old 12-11-2017, 12:21 AM
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Originally Posted by Offrink View Post
You will want a cot. Sleeping on the ground in the cold sucks. Maybe some sort broad/flood light, like a coleman lantern. A single burner coleman stove would be nice too. Plus fuel.
Iíve seen pieces the fit to the end of a maglite to spread the light into a lantern pattern. I might even have one somewhere around here. I have a sweet little trinket o got from gander mountain right before they closed doors. Itís made by goal zero, itís a mini lantern about the size of a car charger for a cell phone. But, itís a lantern that puts out a pretty decent amount of light. USB rechargeable. Definitely might be something worth looking in to.
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Old 12-10-2017, 09:08 AM
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A lot will depend on logistics. How you will get your gear and grub, in and out of the Bush.
Can you can reliably get a loaded 4WD pickup to your site? Are you planning on a snow machine?

Here is a prior post where I linked to the story of an eighteen yr old kid, trapping the first time in Alaska.
It's a great read for anyone planning on a long term wilderness trip.
https://www.survivalistboards.com/sho...945&highlight=

Ps, I would bring enough food to last the entire winter, just in case you get stuck there.
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Old 12-10-2017, 11:53 AM
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I do have a cot, but wasn't sure if it'd be worth the extra space. I suppose I could attach it to the outside of my ruck. It wouldn't definitely beat sleeping on the ground. Lantern isn't a bad idea either, although I've been trying to avoid items that require fuel.
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Old 12-10-2017, 12:03 PM
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I do have a cot, but wasn't sure if it'd be worth the extra space. I suppose I could attach it to the outside of my ruck. It wouldn't definitely beat sleeping on the ground. Lantern isn't a bad idea either, although I've been trying to avoid items that require fuel.
A modern Coleman lantern will run 16 hours on a single tank of fuel(about a quart) If you filled the tank and brought a gallon of fuel about 2 hours of bright light per night(bring along extra mantels)

In addition to light it also produces heat. And if you are in an emergency situation and need a fire you can pour some fuel from the lantern onto your wood and get a good fire started when you otherwise would have a hard time.
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Old 12-10-2017, 01:16 PM
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Originally Posted by Hick Industries View Post
Here is a prior post where I linked to the story of an eighteen yr old kid, trapping the first time in Alaska.
It's a great read for anyone planning on a long term wilderness trip.
https://www.survivalistboards.com/sho...945&highlight=
That's actually one of the first threads I viewed on these forums when I first registered. Now was a great time to go back and review it again! Thanks for posting.
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Old 12-10-2017, 03:38 PM
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If you don't have your tent yet. Check out this guys youtube channel. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=oPzvwf1VNtE He has videos showing how to make a tent and stove on the cheap(probably less than $75 for everything) I have camped in something similar in the winter and my only revomendation would be to have a larger stove.

I would also recommend having someone check on you more-often, if nothing else a radio check in every night. If they don't hear from you every evening they come out to look for you.

I would also plan to resupply after a few days. That way once you are set up you can learn what works and what doesn't and can have other items/food brought in to make the rest of your stay better.

I am assuming you plan to make several trips in to get everything into camp and several/many trips out when you are done depending on how many furs you have to pull out.
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Old 12-10-2017, 04:00 PM
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Do you have any experience with cold weather?
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Old 12-10-2017, 11:27 PM
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Do you have any experience with cold weather?
I grew up in the north, so I'm used to cold weather in general. Also been exposed to extreme cold weather conditions in Manas, Kazakhstan for three weeks, which is like freaking Siberia. But the coldest I've been was on the Great Plains in North Dakota. It gets cold where I'm from, but those winds that blow across the plains are something else... I did a three day trip last year camping out there and on the second day a blizzard hit. We had a tough time keeping the tent flaps down. The tent next to ours actually collapsed, but that's mostly because they were missing a cross beam (big Army tent). If we would have been caught out in that blizzard without shelter, people would have died for sure, especially because there were a couple elderly folks in our party. That was really an eye opener for me.
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Old 12-10-2017, 04:38 PM
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I don't think I saw any type of crosscut saw on your list for cutting fire wood. Something like a folding bow saw is what I would want.
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Old 12-10-2017, 11:15 PM
a bear named smokey a bear named smokey is offline
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If you don't have your tent yet. Check out this guys youtube channel. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=oPzvwf1VNtE He has videos showing how to make a tent and stove on the cheap(probably less than $75 for everything) I have camped in something similar in the winter and my only revomendation would be to have a larger stove.
Here's the video where he shows you how to convert tarp into hot tent:
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=HfiUgGhTe1k

I've been thinking about it, and I could really use the money I was planning on spending for a tent elsewhere, so I'm going to give it a go. I'll get the materials stitched and cut and set up in the backyard with my stove and post a pic!

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I would also recommend having someone check on you more-often, if nothing else a radio check in every night. If they don't hear from you every evening they come out to look for you.

I would also plan to resupply after a few days. That way once you are set up you can learn what works and what doesn't and can have other items/food brought in to make the rest of your stay better.

I am assuming you plan to make several trips in to get everything into camp and several/many trips out when you are done depending on how many furs you have to pull out.
I could have someone stop by after two weeks (when I move campsites) for resupply, I did consider it. I'll also have that PLB in case of emergency. And I can fit a lot in my rucksack and sled, but might have to stash the duffle and doubleback for it.
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Old 12-11-2017, 05:22 PM
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Originally Posted by a bear named smokey View Post
Here's the video where he shows you how to convert tarp into hot tent:
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=HfiUgGhTe1k

I've been thinking about it, and I could really use the money I was planning on spending for a tent elsewhere, so I'm going to give it a go. I'll get the materials stitched and cut and set up in the backyard with my stove and post a pic!



I could have someone stop by after two weeks (when I move campsites) for resupply, I did consider it. I'll also have that PLB in case of emergency. And I can fit a lot in my rucksack and sled, but might have to stash the duffle and doubleback for it.
If you make a tent like in the video do NOT cut the bottom in a half circle like he shows in the video. Instead draw the half circle and every foot and a half or so put in some type of tie down,tarp clip or grommet. That way when you set up your tent you can stake it down and fold the extra to the inside giving you nearly a full floor. Or you can fold the extra to the outside to help with water run off or as an anchor when you bank it with snow or to cover your gear that doesn't fit inside.

You can also hang it from a sturdy tree branch rather than use a center pole. If you want a warmer tent you can wrap a second tarp around the first with a couple small pine branches in between to maintain an airspace.

I was thought of using a similar set up this for deer hunting(only for about 4 nights though) and if I was going to do it I would go out much earlier in the season with a chainsaw to cut and stack a bunch of firewood and probably bring the stove out as well. That way the day before season I would have much less to bring out.


If you bring a Coleman lantern keep in mind they do NOT want to light when they are cold. Often in the cold I can't get mine to light until the gas is dripping out of the mantels and when it finally does light it flares up with flames coming a foot out of the top of the lantern( it usually burns back down within a minute). A handy thing to have with a lantern is a wooden box, made from 1/8" plywood about a 12" front to back 14" side to side and 3-4" inches taller than the lantern. The top and bottom should be 1/2 plywood and there should be an opening in the top/front large enough to fit the lantern in and a couple 1" holes drilled in the sides near the bottom. The box can be used to carry the lantern and what ever else you need(I usually carry my lunch and fishing poles) and a wool blanket. If you get cold or are sitting still fishing you can light the lantern, put it in the box, sit on the box and wrap the blanket around your shoulders and down to the ground. In a couple minutes the lantern will warm up the air inside the blanket and make you very comfortable.

You can also put webbing on the back of the box like shoulder straps so you can carry it like a back pack or a trappers pack basket.
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Old 12-12-2017, 01:51 PM
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Originally Posted by a bear named smokey View Post
Here's the video where he shows you how to convert tarp into hot tent:
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=HfiUgGhTe1k

I've been thinking about it, and I could really use the money I was planning on spending for a tent elsewhere, so I'm going to give it a go. I'll get the materials stitched and cut and set up in the backyard with my stove and post a pic!



I could have someone stop by after two weeks (when I move campsites) for resupply, I did consider it. I'll also have that PLB in case of emergency. And I can fit a lot in my rucksack and sled, but might have to stash the duffle and doubleback for it.
I just re watched the video on showing how the guy makes his tent. He used a 12x 16 tarp. I used a 10 x 20 with the hanging point right in the middle of the longest side right on the edge. It made the tent 8 feet tall and 10 feet in diameter. Using the same set up you can make the center taller and the diameter a bit smaller and they you have a larger over lap for the door. I also put another tarp above the door hanging down to keep wind out.

Also don't get the cheapest tarp. Use at least a medium duty tarp best would be a heavy duty pvc tarp but they are more expensive, heavier and don't want to fold up as nice in cold weather(although I have never had one crack from cold)

I would also bring a second tarp so you can set up an emergency shelter encase something happens to your main tent(collapse from snow, high wind, ripping, fire, etc) Having a second tarp/shelter could save your life.
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Old 12-11-2017, 01:56 PM
Lugh MacArawn Lugh MacArawn is offline
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Call me paranoid, but I think your food list is grossly inadequate.

Walking everywhere in the winter burns through calories, fast.

Add salt pork, ham, bacon, sugar, corn meal, oatmeal, syrup, pancake mix (sourdough would be better, but a stack of pancakes slathered in maple syrup - even just karo - is so good when working like that). Dried foods are super easy to put into a pot and cover in a bean hole or boil over a fire (campfire as you do not want to take fuel if can be avoided). Potato flakes, split peas, onions, noodles, sauces, spices etc (check your local bulk foods sources, a dry cup of spice mix can really enhance your eating pleasure). Hot coco, tea, bullion (salty broth rocks!) etc.

Research what fish and game you anticipate catching. Are the fish fatty, bony, meaty? How about the the small game? Mostly rabbit?

Research existing trap lines. There may be someone else with a line(s) already there.

One month is not a long time to provision, but an eternity if not provisioned well enough. It is surprising how much you eat when living like that, most under estimate. 6K calories a day is not unreasonable. Could even be more.

And as mentioned by Hick, take more food than you need, the whole winter might be overkill, but definitely better than being killed by the winter. I have had spent some time on riverbanks wondering when the boat will arrive . Storms and mechanical malfunctions can upset your plans all too easily. A comfortably stocked camp is a delight to return to after tracking game or running the trap line. A spartan meal just does not do justice.

Enjoy the run.
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Old 12-11-2017, 09:53 PM
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Call me paranoid, but I think your food list is grossly inadequate.

Walking everywhere in the winter burns through calories, fast.
I don't think you're paranoid as others have pointed out the same thing. Instead of spending the money on a tent, I'm going to make one out of tarps, which opens up room in the budget for additional food, supplies and equipment.

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Research what fish and game you anticipate catching. Are the fish fatty, bony, meaty? How about the the small game? Mostly rabbit?
I'm not going to want to spend too much time on the ice, so probably will just drill a couple holes for tip ups and do my best to keep them from freezing over. Hopefully, I'll be catching northern. The good thing about remote areas is the lakes aren't over fished, so I could get lucky with some decent sized pike. Otherwise I might try for some smaller fish, like crappie, or sunnies.

I don't expect much more than rabbits and squirrels for small game. I'll set some snares, shoot 'em if I see them while checking traps. I do have a hound I could probably get to flush out some rabbits from the brush if I see fresh tracks, but haven't tried that with him. Also I've found the 110 conibears work well for squirrels if you put them in the trees. Might bring along a bag of marshmallows for just that reason.
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Old 12-12-2017, 03:08 AM
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+1000 on the bear precautions. You may also want a can of bear spray. Check before you go on the legality/necessity in that area.

+1000 on the snowshoes. Spare bindings and tools for repairs. The round fat type are more stable/spread your weight out better, and the longer thinner type you can move faster, but you are more likely to fall.

A good multivitamin. Looks like limited fruits/veggies. Such a limited variety of foods will invariably short you on something(s) important. Also, that time of year that far north there is limited sunlight, plus you will likely be bundled up, so make sure there is a lot of Vitamin D in your multivitamin.

Hot Tang is nice when it's cold and the powder is easy to pack. Tea bags or loose tea are lighter, though.

Wild rice is a nutritious, low-glycemic, complex carb.

Even if you sleep on a cot, you want a good sleeping pad. Some people forego the cot in favor of 2 sleeping pads (oversized is best so you don't end up partially off). Make sure the two pads don't slip/slide apart, and your bag doesn't slip/slide off the pad(s), even if on a cot.

35 pounds of dog food isn't enough. My retired 70 lb GSD K9s eat more than that and they are not overweight. The active GSD K9s eat even more and they are not overweight. Depending on activity level and temperature, your dog will eat a lot more than usual... plan 3-4 times as much as usual if he's usually a house dog, especially since he has a short coat. Try to feed frequently instead of only 1-2 times a day so his system can absorb the calories/nutrients better (instead of it just passing through because his system isn't used to the greater food intake). Make sure you have necessities for your dog, including a copy of vet/shot records, photos with dog and you together (help prove ownership), spare leash, harness, collar, tags, muzzle, booties, paw/pad protector stuff, FAK, etc.) Bowls (stainless is better than plastic). Whatever else you normally have in dog BOB/EDC.

Do you have something for your dog to sleep on?

Teach your dog to leave the traps and pelts alone before you go. Also be prepared for your dog to react to strange/new noises and smells.

Do you anticipate having your dog pull the sled? If so, train before you go.

A cheap rubber bath mat to put your boots on so they don't absorb moisture/cold from the ground (floorless tent) or drip/make a mess on a tent floor.

If you have a floorless tent, pitch it on frozen ground (with or without snow), and then heat, you will have mud. Everywhere. And your dog will get it everywhere else. If you heat and allow everything to thaw and then dry before using, so long as you don't let it freeze again, it'll be OK. If not, even a tarp used as a floor will make a big difference. Canvas will suck up moisture and allow mud to bleed through unless it is treated. Check with an outfitter/tent maker for advice on what to treat with and how to do it if you go this route (or get pre-treated). If the tent has a floor (improvised or otherwise), a footprint or another layer under it will help insulate from moisture/clamminess and you'll be more comfortable. If you're not sleeping on a cot, pine boughs are nice insulation, but the branch part(s) can be uncomfortable until you get used to it.

After you get there, a pine bough to keep the floor clean.
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Old 12-13-2017, 12:36 AM
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+1000 on the bear precautions. You may also want a can of bear spray. Check before you go on the legality/necessity in that area.
I have a decent rifle (7.62) with 30 round mag, so should be good with that? No grizzly population to worry about, just black bear. I worry more about wolves, there are a lot up there, mostly because if they see the dog I expect they'll follow us. No cougars either.

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+1000 on the snowshoes. Spare bindings and tools for repairs. The round fat type are more stable/spread your weight out better, and the longer thinner type you can move faster, but you are more likely to fall.
Thanks for the tip! Snowshoes are a must.


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Make sure you have necessities for your dog, including a copy of vet/shot records, photos with dog and you together (help prove ownership).
He's got his rabbies tags on him and I have a binder with lamanated pages which include his shot records. Also have some topo maps, a park map, pictures of tracks to help with identification, and DNR rules and regs.
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Old 12-11-2017, 11:42 AM
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That's actually one of the first threads I viewed on these forums when I first registered. Now was a great time to go back and review it again! Thanks for posting.
One of the lessons learned was about food security. I would plan to carry 120lbs of food (including dry food and fresh meat) for 30 days.

One method I've used while hunting in the Sierra mtns, is to establish an emergency cache of food and gear next to where I park my vehicle, or near your egress point.

A steel tool box (Job Box), or large ammo cans, chained to a tree and covered by a tarp would work nicely. I suggest you should cache another 120lbs of food (Mostly grain and freeze dried food) for emergencies.
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Old 12-10-2017, 10:31 AM
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If it's cold enough that food will stay frozen, I would just take some cheap meat rather than pemmican or expecting to forage or fish in the dead of winter. Pemmical is survival food and gets ... old ... after awhile. Useful in summer when food preservation is an issue, but in winter? Nah.

True story: I just spent a week stomping around the woods in an area close to my house, elk hunting. I know the area like the back of my hand, including where the elk like to bed down during the day. I had a cow tag, so it should have been super easy. 99% of the time I could find you an elk within a few minutes. Could probably hop on a quad right now and go find elk.

I got ONE shot off in that entire time and killed a tree at 30 feet as the at-a-dead-run elk passed behind it. Whoops. My gun jammed on another elk that was just standing there, at a should-have-been-a-sure-thing shot at about fifty yards. Other than that, I saw all bulls, which is unusual, because the ratio of bulls to cows up here is about twenty to one. Also saw just about every other critter in the woods. No cow elk.

The night after the hunt ended, I pulled into my front yard and there were elk in it. The day after the hunt was over, I saw 24 elk cow along the road.

Sometimes, life just doesn't cooperate with your plans ...

Anyway, I would take sufficient food with you to cover yourself in case things don't turn out as planned.

OTOH, veggies and cans of food WILL freeze unless you have a way to keep them warm, so you need to factor that in. Since it will presumably remain below freezing, that's easy enough and cheap enough to do.

My menu would probably look something like:

Sufficient cheap meat for a month: Pork loins, chicken, hamburger, etc. Some packs of bacon. You may elect to supplement your meat with what you trap, depending on what you're after, but I wouldn't count on that.

Freeze dried or frozen potato shreds and sliced potatoes
Freeze dried or frozen onions
Freeze dried or frozen corn
... You get the drift. Go raid the frozen veggie section of the local grocery store and pick out some of your favorites, or send an order to Honeyville or another company that has freeze dried stuff.

Corn meal, flour, baking powder, baking soda, sugar, salt, maybe some bread crumbs. That way you can bread your meat before pain frying it, you can make lard bisquits, and you can make cornbread in a dutch oven.

I would also have some hamburger helper, ramen noodle, regular noodles, rice, instant oatmeal (and brown sugar and dried apples or raisins).

You'll need fats for cooking and for keeping your energy levels up in the cold. Butter and lard are your best bets. It's a bit hard to pour congealed cooking oil out of a bottle if it gets that cold, but you can always chip a bit of lard out of the bucket and throw it in your frying pan.

Roma tomatoes freeze well enough; the texture is about like a stewed tomato when they thaw -- leave the skins on and they'll stick together less. I'd probably take a gallon bag of romas along and use them for cooking.

Don't forget salt, pepper, garlic, etc -- whatever spices you like. I personally would probably take a bag of frozen roasted chili peppers too. They can be diced up while still frozen and thrown in with stuff.

I might also some bricks of cheese (they're edible if frozen, though freezing doesn't always help the texture -- but still okay to grate and throw in chili or over your eggs or whatever), some plastic tubs of salsa from the deli section of the grocery store (Canned/bottled salsa will burst, but these would be okay frozen and then later thawed), etc.

Most of this is fairly cheap. You could probably put together a month's worth of food for under $200, depending on how much meat you include.

Oh, protip -- if you want beans, you can get precooked and freeze dried beans from Honeyville or similar vendors and they cook MUCH faster (like in minutes) rather than all day for dry pintos. Saves on having to sit around camp tending a fire to keep the pot of beans bubbling, or hauling in propane for a camp stove. Otherwise, consider lentils rather than beans as they'll cook much faster than beans and taste about the same.

Here is a very easy recipe for pork and beans, however, that you can also use lentils or precooked beans in, which is filling and high in calories because of the salt pork. In cold weather you need that fat.

1 pound beans
2 gallons of water in a large stock pot
1 lb of salt pork, soaked and rinsed and diced into cubes
Couple of onions
Couple roasted chili peppers, to taste
Garlic, to taste
A pound of roma tomatoes

Cook the beans until soft, throw the rest in and cook until the salt pork is done to your preference.
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