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8 days primitive condtiions

post #1 of 15
Thread Starter 

My niece has requested some advice. She is an archeologist/anthropologist. She has taken a job in the middle of nowhere with a mining company in Nevada. They're going to prep a large area for a mine and have to do the necessary archeology first. She'll work 8 days on, 6 off.  They provide water and a camp kitchen of unknown quality.


She has to supply her own food and cooking for 8 days in primitive conditions Cooking for one complicates things and the heat will kill ice after day 2 probably. So shelf stable foods without a too much labor intensity. She's pretty handy, raises her own chickens, turkeys, cooks respectably,


She'll probably team up for meals with some of the others which simplifies things, but that first week she won't know anybody.


What would you all suggest.

post #2 of 15
Thread Starter 

I've  given her some of my recipes I like from canned goods only. But most of them are more than one person will eat. Still with the per deim, she can afford some waste. I'm more concerned about that being a nuisance from animals and insects though. Not sure about the sanitation conditions.


I gave her a link on waxing cheese.


couscous, quinoa are good quick meal bases.


Talked about shelf stable foods, super pasteurized milk foil pack tuna etc.


Specific dishes are needed at this point probably.


any hints on storing onions, garlic, carrots and such for days in the heat?

post #3 of 15

Onions (storage types, not sweet or green) and garlic should do ok. Keep out of the sun and in something breathable. In a hole is good too. Underground temps are surprisingly stable and cool. She's an archiologist on a mining expidition, there should be plenty holes, lol. Carrots might not make the full 8 days before getting too wilty.


Don't forget the dried/powdered versions of garlic and onion, even though they're a sin.


Pack her an extra can opener. No one wants a repeat of the Panorama City Boy Scout Expedition of '96.


Food waste is a problem with wildlife. Not sure what all it would attract in Neveda. Coyotes? Dunno if there are bears there.


Protein is the biggest issue. Dry/canned/dehydrated instant beans are all good. Shelf stable tofu. Textured vegetable protein. Old style dry cured bacon would last. The cowboys used it. Send some of the live chickens with her, lol. Cowboys slaughtered a cow whenever they needed one.


TBH, it depends on how much of a priority food is going to be. If she's going to be working all the time  and/or isn't into cooking, I'd point her towards the wide selection of freeze dried foods. They've come a long way.


I'll have to ask my dad if I see him this weekend. He's the big camper.

post #4 of 15

Pack a coolbox with frozen meat for the last couple of days. Beef is probably the best. Fill the coolbox with chunks of ice and keep out of the sun. Cover with hessian bags or towels or anything and keep them wet. Only open the coolbox after a couple of days. The meat should still be OK after about 5-7 days (that's from experience with day time temperatures around 40-45 oC).


The alternative of keeping food underground is a very good one!


Other than that: tinned food, dehydrated food etc. I don't know what's available in the USA. Must be a lot more than here!

Go visit an outdoor's camping place and there should be a fair amount of choice of dehydrated stuff.

Normal supermarkets should have lots of tinned food.

Cured meat should keep a long time as well.

We got something here that's called biltong. I believe beef jerky is pretty close to it. That keeps forever (if you don't eat all in one go).


One of the things we used to do was pack different coolboxes (as described above). The first one to open would have your more perishable meats like pork and chicken for the first couple of days.

If we would think the meat would not last that much longer, we would cook all and make sure we would reheat properly every day till finished.




Life is too short to drink bad wine


Life is too short to drink bad wine

post #5 of 15

Phil, I'm a little concerned for your niece, given the conditions as you ennumerated them.


What I understand is that she is being inserted into an existing team on a site that has to be prepped for mine development. But the company has not provided basic amenities such as portapotties, generators (I've never even heard of a major archeological site without them, not in the modern world), housing, etc. And on top of that she has to provide her own food and prepare it using who knows what equipment because they haven't specified. All that because they haven't provided a camp cook.


When this team is finished, and the actual construction gangs move in, do you think they'd tolerate such work conditions?


Something doesn't sound kosher.

They have taken the oath of the brother in blood, in leavened bread and salt. Rudyard Kipling
They have taken the oath of the brother in blood, in leavened bread and salt. Rudyard Kipling
post #6 of 15
Thread Starter 

portapotties are standard. generators are not. team is not an existing team, this is just coming together. Most archaeology out here is done only because of development. Usually, apartments are subsidized and living conditions are modern.  That's how it was for the golf course job and the dam job. They were close to modern life.


Her dig in Jordan was prety primitive too.


This is very different situation, But with a significant per diem to offset the lack of infrastucture and cover the extra gear. The mine doesn't exist yet, nor anything else there.   Fairly strict mine rules and OSHA requirements, down to no smoking or alcohol at camp.



Some sites are known, but they'll have to resurvey and inventory all the land with modern techniques to even start.

post #7 of 15


around these parts everyone goes on river trips, as in the mighty colorado, for a week, two or three at a time. they pack everything in coolers and insulated bags and eat pretty darn well i must say. they do get resupplied somewhere down the river,but my friends actually cook real food.  they also have back up meals in foil pouches that either they bought or made ahead of time...check out some serious  camping stores(not wal-mart) just to see what is available...you might be surprised, and it will certainly give you some ideas. one thing we always, always always have on river trips is canned smoked oysters..not sure if its suppose to ward the ju-jus off or what....tell you what, they are pretty darn tasty after a day or two on the river...actuallly, everything is pretty darn tasty...more importantly then the food, what kind of cooking equipment will she have available? a camp stove? grill? open pit cooking? i would think the company she is working for has some sort of basics set up or is it to each their own? survival of the fittest? seems in those kind of team situations, people look after one another and help show them the ropes...unless of course you're talking t.v. reality 'survivor' mentality! hydration is really really key....electrolyte drinks, water, water and more water...cookies or some sort of sweet, even if its a hard candy type...i will try and get some names of good meals from my river guide friend...hope this helps


food is like love...it should be entered into with abandon or not at all        Harriet Van Horne


food is like love...it should be entered into with abandon or not at all        Harriet Van Horne

post #8 of 15

If nothing else, she could always get some of the military ration packs, and use them on the days that she has little time to prepare a meal.

post #9 of 15
Thread Starter 

Some of those things just aren't known yet. How much space the transport has for example will certainly influence coolers and what is brought.  Also, those raft trips use expedition grade coolers like Yeti or Frigidrigid. I've linked her to those and the various reviews. I've had skunks raid my cooler before so you probably need more than just a friction seal. 


The schedule has been pushed back due to weather issues this spring so the initial meeting hasn't happened for some of the details.


The cultures range from archaic up to Ute and the known sites are small camps, storage spots, pithouse(collapsed) and other small things. Not a major dig, just what is required by law prior to commercial development of the BLM lease.

post #10 of 15
Thread Starter 

Yes, we discussed MREs and the similar commercially available shelf stable meals. Foil pack tuna too The quick/instant foods like hummus from the bulk section of Whole Foods, how pita tends to pack better and store better than other bread. Utah has a strong self-reliance emergency preparedness culture so there are bulk freeze-dried things like the major vegetables and fruits. Those can reconstitute with dried ingredients from other cultures to reasonable meals. www.dailybread.com www.beprepared.com

post #11 of 15

Having spent 9 years in the Army and much of it in the field where we could and did go longer than 8 days without a hot meal which I am sure will not be the case for her, you could do worse than MRE's.  While not always the tastiest things in the world they are nutritious (they can keep a combat soldier going a long time).  Dry staples like rice and beans are good.  Crackers etc for snacks will last quite awhile in dry conditions.  Powdered milk if necessary and I'm assuming that there will be potable water available.  I guess I could go on and on.  If she's working 8 on and 6 off I can assume that she will be able to come off site during the down time?  If so then she'll have the opportunity to adjust to a more varied diet.  Oh and don't forget the instant coffee, with a non dairy creamer and sugar.  :)

post #12 of 15

Oh and I forgot to mention that Nestle's Quick and non dairy creamer and hot water make a pretty decent hot chocolate drink also!  :)

post #13 of 15
Thread Starter 

They've got a couple more weeks on site, then shutting down for the year. Probably back again next year for some more specific  work as they begin some buildings.  She'll be off to Central Utah for a wind farm expansion. This is the area with some of the oldest known sites in the state, back to Clovis culture. She gets a hotel room for this one though.


I've asked for a food report and will let you all know.

post #14 of 15

I'm late in joining this conversation, but a couple ideas ...


Lavash bread can be dried and then reconstituted by spraying a little water on it and letting it sit a while.


Dry ice is great for keeping things frozen. I did a canoeing trip that was a week and a half and if I remember right, we had stuff that was frozen up to the end of that time. You can wrap the dry ice in newspaper to keep it from subliming too fast ... and it can still keep things frozen.

post #15 of 15

I did a 2 week backpacking trip through the Sierra Nevada Mountains and we had to carry our own food. We bought all freeze dried foods, spices, vegies, etc. It actually wasn't half bad for weighing 10lbs for 2 weeks worth.

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