Food Safety While Hiking, Camping & Boating
You may want to hike for just a few hours, or you may want to camp for a few days. Planning meals for a long hike or camping trip requires some thought. You have to choose foods that are light enough to carry in a backpack and that can be transported safely.
- For a cold source, bring frozen gel-packs or freeze some box drinks. The drinks will thaw as you hike and keep your meal cold at the same time.
- For a day hike, just about any foods will do as long as you can fit it in your backpack and keep it cold - sandwiches, fried chicken, bread and cheese, and even salads - or choose non-perishable foods.
- Soap and water are essential to cleanliness, so if you are going somewhere that will not have running water, bring it with you. Even disposable wipes will do.
- Bring bottled or tap water for drinking. Always start out with a full water bottle, and replenish your supply from tested public systems when possible. On long trips you can find water in streams, lakes, and springs, but be sure to purify any water from the wild, no matter how clean it appears.
More Tips (pdf) on United States Department of Agriculture Food Safety and Inspection Service