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Old 02-10-2015, 14:29   #1
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What are essential foods to bring?

The other day I was reading about some remote island cruising. I think it was someone's blog. Long story short it was thanksgiving and they had met with their cruiser friends and ordered food flown in. They said it was the first of a lot of things they had had in a year.

I was sitting there eating something good and had just shopped at a nice grocery store and was reminded of how so many things I eat and take completely for granted, I would not get them anymore.

Of course there is only so much you can store and only certain foods that stay good for extended periods of time. So what are your best suggestions for must have foods to bring along?
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Old 02-10-2015, 14:46   #2
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Re: What are essential foods to bring?

Something for thanksgiving dinner.
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Old 02-10-2015, 14:57   #3
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Re: What are essential foods to bring?

To a great degree it will depend on exactly where you're cruising.

Obviously fresh foods are not on the list for long term storage. For fresh stuff the best option is to buy and eat local.

Since we eat "health food" we usually pack a lot of brown rice, grains and such that are not available in most parts of the Caribbean. For long passages a few goodies stowed away to break out on a rough day or for an occasional treat are nice. Your favorite cookie is good for this.

Bottom line, if you are long term cruising you will run out of anything you bring sooner or later so just adapt to and enjoy the local stuff. After all, isn't that a big part of why one goes cruising?
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Old 02-10-2015, 15:25   #4
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Re: What are essential foods to bring?

Oh yeah, that fom definitely why one goes cruising. To enjoy the local stuff. But some places don't have local stuff. They just have bananas and coconuts and nothing. Whatever fish they can catch. And the grocery store just has cans of rice and spam.

If you were in Mexico or something you'll have choices and Mexican food. But if you're on in Papua New Guinea there probanly isn't much.
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Old 02-10-2015, 15:54   #5
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Re: What are essential foods to bring?

Peanut butter, popcorn, and hot sauce
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Old 02-10-2015, 16:02   #6
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Re: What are essential foods to bring?

Lots of water, full tank, bottled and if your lucky enough to have a water maker use it. What ever dried goods you like. Things like rice, pasta, flour, spices, sugar, baking powder, olive oil are items that will keep for a long time and can used even if past dates and not harm you, just lose flavor. Keep in very tight containers, tin or glass and that will keep most unwanted pests out. Keep some canned goods that also have long experation dates. Canned baked beans, tomato based sauces and fruits. Not a lot but enough to carry you over a few weeks until you could provision if needed. Lots of beer, wine, liquor and mixes. If your lost and alone you can at least drown your sorrows. Also can be traded for stuff you want.

I provision for my trip with as much fresh stuff as keepable plus 20% and have enough of those above items to cover crew for an extra week or two on restricted rations. MRE's are good to have if you can get them also.
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Old 02-10-2015, 16:03   #7
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Re: What are essential foods to bring?

My stores spreadsheet has about 200 items on it. Pretty much all of them can be bought anywhere. Even major population centres in places like PNG will have most of what you want.
However I know there is some stuff that will be hard to find in some places. Hence for Chile frinstance lots of curry powder and chutney, baked beans, tinned peas ( the best canned peas in S America could be be pressure cooked for half a day and still used as buckshot),my favourite pickles such as Branstons, and any tinned fruit apart from peaches.... oh and decent sweet biscuits although they have brilliant cakes and stuff like Pan de Pascua.
Longest I have ever been away from a decent shopping event is probably 6 weeks or so.
Variety I have come across is better than what I have where I live in Oz.
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Old 02-10-2015, 16:09   #8
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Re: What are essential foods to bring?

SPAM, SPAM, SPAM, and MORE SPAM.

If not eaten, it can be traded. Killing two birds with one can.

This is also in reference to your earlier thread asking about what trading goods to take.

I am curious. Are you planning to go to Papua New Guinea in your Cape Dory 28? Or, why all the questions about trading and eating in some far off remote location, if you are in San Francisco? Of course San Jose or Livermore seemed remote to me when I lived in SF.




If you do happen to get to one of those remote islands and seek some groceries in the local shop, you might find it hard to find some cheesy comestibles and so I would take some cheese too. A little fermented curd is appreciated when you are on a boat. Fats are good. Fresh Leicester? Tilsit? Camembert? Ah!

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Old 02-10-2015, 16:18   #9
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Re: What are essential foods to bring?

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Of course San Jose or Livermore seemed remote to me when I lived in SF.
Hell, Livermore seemed kinda remote when I lived in... Livermore! Until, that is, it became absorbed by the Bay Area megalopolis.

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Old 02-10-2015, 16:52   #10
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Re: What are essential foods to bring?

Back on track..... if sailing from the US to the South Pacific you only need enough tucker to get you to Tahiti.... apart from speciality items such as my short list ( that list doesn't apply in Tahiti... you can get anything you want in tahiti pretty much) that you really really need to live.
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Old 02-10-2015, 17:01   #11
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Re: What are essential foods to bring?

Wherever there are people there is food. Kind of goes with the territory. Just what kind of food is part of the adventure, to me at least.

BUT, if you have to have one particular food product, or several, better bring plenty along with you if you're leaving your familiar part of the planet. We Americans expect to find peanut butter and oreo cookies in any store in America. But until recently neither were widely available anywhere else. So if you have a yen for something you can't live without, pack the bilges with it. Everything else you can find anywhere.

A long time ago I read about an American cruising couple in Europe who quit and came home because they couldn't find their favorite snack food there. Cheez Wiz.
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Old 02-10-2015, 17:20   #12
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Re: What are essential foods to bring?

Vegemite and real coffee. Anything else I can make do with whatever is to hand.
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Old 02-10-2015, 18:48   #13
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Re: What are essential foods to bring?

Lol, no, not Papua New Guinea. I have long term plans to go out into the pacific though. It takes time to get ready so I am trying to learn as much as possible now, so when the time comes to leave, I won't not know what to do.

It's not even necessarily that I will go to the biggest backwaters of humanity! But when I went up into Canada, outside of the major population centers, I couldn't figure out what to eat. Maybe it's that I really don't like cooking on the boat. So I'm pretty specific about my food. Most of the grocery stores that weren't a name brand, like Safeway, the smaller ones, that are more markets, they only have the staples, what do I do then?

If it's a midsize do market it probably has older produce, canned goods, refrigerated stuff and I have no refrigerator, and then staples like rice and beans. There isn't anything I can do with that.

A typical day for me is eating cereal in soy milk or canned or powdered milk and some dried fruit in the morning. A cool energy bar for a snack. Dried mangoes, cheese and crackers, ....geez, ok, I just came to a loss and I'm only at day one, I can't figure out what to eat.

It's something I need to work on, I didn't do well in the past, was unable to stock up for foods for extended cruising,, was too tied to resupplying. So I really need ideas. I have no ideas what you guys eat.

If anyone want to PM me a spreadsheet of what the stock up on, I am happy to have it.
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Old 02-10-2015, 19:31   #14
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Re: What are essential foods to bring?

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Originally Posted by northoceanbeach View Post
Lol,



A typical day for me is eating cereal in soy milk or canned or powdered milk and some dried fruit in the morning. A cool energy bar for a snack. Dried mangoes, cheese and crackers, ....geez, ok, I just came to a loss and I'm only at day one, I can't figure out what to eat.
If anyone want to PM me a spreadsheet of what the stock up on, I am happy to have it.
That's the kind of stuff you need to carry. You can get powdered or bht milk anywhere but not good cereal. Be carefull with some granola as the oil will go bad.
For example they sell a big ball of pretty dry cheese in Belize that lasts for months with no refer in the tropics. You can do much with cheese!, way better than Spam.
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Old 02-10-2015, 20:13   #15
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Re: What are essential foods to bring?

I second Steady's comment, except not spam, I carry canned Hartfordshire Corned Beef from Brazil. It's delicious when carefully prepared, its good for breakfast or dinner (my lunches are normally cold and you want to cook this stuff well).


Lots of Lentils, chick peas and rice, plus, a selection of teas. Instant coffee, is great for when you don't have the time or fortitude to percolate. A good store of olive oil is worth while too. Oats for breakfast with brown sugar or maple syrup. I make my own maple syrup so carry multiple weights, obviously the thickest keeps best due to high sugar content, but I like lighter stuff too. Jam and peanut butter are musts. For flavouring you want a well stocked spice rack- its dry goods, so will keep for a long time.


I have a weakness for Kimchi Noodles too, pre packaged (similar in style to "Mister Noodles"). They are kind of a comfort food for me. Whether its hot or cold out, I love a bowl of spicey noodles.
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