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I already asked if I had to change the food for winter.

Since freezing is a major concern in winter, which types of food are more suitable because they are less inclined to freeze ?

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4  
dried foods don't freeze. –  Kate Gregory Jan 4 '13 at 18:20
    
@KateGregory: good point, post a answer ? –  Amine Jan 4 '13 at 18:26
    
@Amine I like Kate's answer. Just another thought for you: we went igloo-camping last weekend and my trail mix was a big hit with the group. –  theJollySin Jan 7 '13 at 22:01
    
Since it is not an answer but related: when you carry water in your back pack, make sure it is horizontal and on top, so the movement when walking does not make it freeze. –  Michel Keijzers Jan 15 '13 at 15:10

2 Answers 2

up vote 7 down vote accepted

The big guideline for you will be water content. Dried food, with little or no water, won't freeze. Fresh fruit and vegetables, eggs, peanut butter and so on probably will. In most cases, freezing will hurt the quality (consider a raw egg, raw apple, or raw carrot) and certainly repeated freeze-thaw cycles will do so. Your dried meat, fruit and veg should be happy even if you store them very cold. You'll need to boil water to rehydrate your dried food, but you're probably quite willing to eat hot food so you may not consider this a negative. Rice, dried pasta, and flour also fall into the "don't freeze" group.

Some foods, btw, are more suitable simply because they do freeze. If you can afford the weight, foods like bacon, partly dried sausage (salami etc), cheese, even steaks can be carried without spoiling and cooked from frozen, or defrosted with tricks like sitting them on a ziploc of warm water. Bread products won't go moldy and are probably less likely to get squashed than they are in the summer.

Be sure to adjust your fuel needs to account for more rehydrating and cooking than you'd have on a summer trip.

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I agree water content is the key. But you mention peanut butter; isn't peanut butter oil-based and not water-based? –  theJollySin Jan 4 '13 at 21:16
    
It's going to get very hard to spread either way. Eggs are probably oil based too but they freeze –  Kate Gregory Jan 4 '13 at 21:22

I think Kate Gregory's answer has covered the most important issues.

Note that before a trip you can test how well some foods will work out by putting them into the freezer compartment of a refrigerator for a day, and then trying to eat them or prepare them straight out of the freezer.

For crackers and freeze-dried meals, temperature makes little difference. Note that frozen raisins or chocolate chips can make trail mix dangerous for your teeth; some frozen cookies and bars are hard to eat also, and may require warming. On winter camping trips I've had both cheese and apples freeze. I stopped taking apples on such trips, but the high energy density of cheese makes it still worthwhile.

On a summer trip on Lake One in the BWCA, I talked to Forest Service rangers who froze a gallon of milk for use after the first few days of their work trip. This preservation technique can be used for winter camping too but is less practical.

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1  
I like your idea of testing –  Amine Jan 14 '13 at 3:30

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