Food Packs

Any suggestion for a food pack for 5 days trips with 6 peopleinto the BWCA? I am considering one of the rectangular plastic boxes that fit into a nylon pack. ANother option that I have seen is the plastic barrel with sealing ring and straps for portaging.

Rubbermaid Box in #4 Duluth Pack
Fit is snug, but works for me. Have used it many times. Last few times, I must confess, I’ve gotten a bit lazy and procured a couple days food pack from an outfitter and “Supplemented” it. That way, I don’t have to worry about the fresh and frozen foods STAYING that way prior to the trip. WW

Food is usually a fairly light part of the outfit, especially if some or most of is dried. I have done this for solo, two people and four people. I use an end opening, strapless canvas military duffle. On the portages it rides on top of a Duluth Pack without having to hold on to it. Its easy to hang, easy to handle. As it gets smaller I roll the end and tie it with a cord. Cheap and simple

Food lightweight?
Maybe solo, or at the end of a trip maybe, but 5 days for 6 people, figuring 2.5# food per person per day is 75#s. Even at 2#s per person that’s 60#s.

I don’t know what you want for a food pack. There are probably as many right answers as people. Personally I use a barrel that holds about 50#s. The rest goes in a russack.

I like something with a little rigidity. Even a plastic waste basket in a pack is OK.

why pack all food as one?
why does all the food for 6 people need to be packed as one? IMHO it would make more sence to divide and pack food either per boat or per person, or BYOF …

i just think it would be easy’r

Multiple food packs
Multiple packs might be the way to go if you’re not in bear country. However, when you’re in the BWCA you need to provide some protection for your food. The Forest Service recommends hanging your food bag, while I know a number of folks who just hide their food packs somewhere and take their chances. I use a combination of both: I hang the “big” bag and I keep out a Garcia Bear Cannister with the morning coffee, breakfast, and the toiletries (toothpaste, etc).


It depends on what you take in. If wanting “fresh” food you need a pack with a foam lining. Personally, over the years (and that is a lot) I have used an internal frame backpack with a 5 gallon bucket ( for two people for 6 days), a Duluth pack with the bucket in it, a cardboard box in a pack, and am using a barrel with a frame from an old backpack I had. Here’s a site for barrels.

Here’s a site for food packs

I feel a number 4 Duluth is for bulky, lighter things like sleeping bags and not for the heavy weight of a first few days food pack.

Whatever you do you want something that will keep shape even if it is a cardboard box with a plastic bag (garbage bags work, but take extras) around it.

I would think for your number and days a 3.5 Duluth or its equal in size would work or a 15 gallon barrel would be fine. Depends on how much dried food you take and how much repackaging you do.