I have gained an interest in arranging a full week camping trip together with some friends(party of 4). We are looking to cut down on our packing by limiting ourselves to emergency rations(freeze-dried and power bars). The distance we will be travelling is not that great(30km with 3 stops) and have come up with several ways to feed our party while we're camped out.

  • Fishing, both active and passive(we have already got licenses for fishing).
  • Setting traps for small game.
  • Scavenging for roots and berries.
  • Bite the bullet and just pack more food, somewhat spoiling the purpose of the trip.

I have had some success on my own in fishing with cages, and this is what I consider to be the most promising method.

  • 1
    What is the purpose of the trip? I wouldn't consider carrying dried food for 4 days to be spoiling any purpose, and that would certainly be my personal choice.
    – gerrit
    Jun 23, 2014 at 14:21
  • I agree; unless the specific purpose is to test eating off the land I'd also suggest dehydrated food. (But not MREs or Power Bars if you can help it!) If it is about the easiest way to get calories off the land, just shoot a moose.
    – requiem
    Jun 24, 2014 at 1:57
  • @gerrit The purpose of the trip is to use as little brought food as possible, and carrying 4 days of freeze-dried is very much spoiling the idea.
    – Mwigs
    Jun 24, 2014 at 4:41
  • @requiem What's wrong with MRE? Shooting a moose will not be an option I am afraid.
    – Mwigs
    Jun 24, 2014 at 4:42
  • They usually have a poor reputation for taste (and a reputation for constipation), but also the packaging, utensils, and heating packets add extra weight. In the US many people will mix-and-match dehydrated meals from places like Mountain House and use their stove to heat water. Those who camp regularly often decide to make their own meals; a good site on that is here: trailcooking.com
    – requiem
    Jun 24, 2014 at 6:07

1 Answer 1


Up in the wilds of Sweden I'd go for reindeer rather than moose. Lot easier to drag back to camp.

Problem with living off the land is there are lots of things in the land that want to live off you. The reindeer will likely have worms, rodents are almost guaranteed to have some kind of parasites[1], occasionally rabies[2], and the smaller birds are simply not worth the effort. Even the fish you mentioned need proper cooking. Do you already know how to butcher small game? Cleaning fish is easy, skinning a beaver is not.

If your end goal is weight reduction you need to consider the balance of packaged food against fuel. Yes, you can get fuel off the land but not if it's been raining. Gas burners will quickly boil a litre of water for a packaged dinner without having to gather and build the campfire you would need to cook today's catch. Also consider the time spent hunting unless, again, that's the point.

Berry picking will also take a lot of time - are there edible berries in that area, are they in season, can you tell the difference between edible and inedible? Forget mushrooms unless you can positively identify each one that can survive a Scandinavian winter. And by identify I mean "here is a kilogram of mushrooms. Put all the edible ones in this pan, all the poisonous ones in that pan. You have one minute.

If you do go the wilderness route, book a doctor's appointment for when you return. Worms, parasites, tick-borne diseases, heavy-metal levels. A veterinarian might be better than a city doctor.

  1. stay far away from rabbits. Especially white ones living in caves.
  2. A wild animal with no apparent fear of humans likely has terminal rabies. Yes, Sweden is rabies-free but others might read this in the future.
  • 2
    Why should he stay away from rabbits? Myxomatosis?
    – Blackbear
    Jun 24, 2014 at 13:41
  • you can easily get fuel of the land, under any weather conditions, when you´re in an area with many trees... Jun 24, 2014 at 15:32
  • 1
    "If you do go the wilderness route, book a doctor's appointment for when you return. Worms, parasites, tick-borne diseases, heavy-metal levels. A veterinarian might be better than a city doctor." - Are you really suggesting to go preventively (even if no problems occur) to the veterinarian after each trip? This is definitely paranoid and scales the whole answer down.
    – Tomas
    Jun 25, 2014 at 8:44
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    Hahahaha - that's no orrrrdinary rabbit! Lovely +1
    – Rory Alsop
    Jun 25, 2014 at 13:18
  • 1
    @Tomas - Add some common-sense balance. If I went on a week-long wilderness trip where the majority of my food was wild, yes I would visit my doctor afterward. A couple of blood tests (and questions three) don't take long. Regular camping, established site, my own food: no. If you caught Tularemia would you rather treat it before, or after, the fever kicks in?
    – paul
    Jun 26, 2014 at 8:08

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