As I am preparing to get into sailing, the problem of having food with me that does not spoil, is lightweight, sufficiently energetic and well balanced becomes relevant for me. Personal satisfaction is of course also important. Water is available, but occasionally something without water may be called for.

If you had to arrange food with these characteristics in mind, what would you pick ?

  • Is this a question about how to preserve foods so that they'll last longer outdoors, or are you looking for a list of snacks? I'm a little uncertain as to whether or not this is actually cooking-related... – Aaronut Jan 26 '11 at 0:21
  • It's about food that does not spoil easily and can be preserved for a long time, and how to prepare it. @Aaronut – Stefano Borini Jan 26 '11 at 0:42
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    Are we talking about sailing for a week, or sailing for multiple months straight? – Joe Jan 26 '11 at 1:18
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    You also might want to see my answer re: food for camping : cooking.stackexchange.com/questions/11087/… – Joe Jan 26 '11 at 1:21
  • It's too broad a question to be answered here. Search for "provisioning" along with sailboat or yacht or cruising and you'll get a lot of links to cruising sites and fora. Food that works well on a sailboat is more the area of expertise of sailors than cooks. – Ward - Reinstate Monica Jan 26 '11 at 3:07

You have asked a huge question; bigger than one can reasonable answer on a site like this.

I suggest you look into "Crusing Guide" type books. One such is Sail Away - I have no involvement with this book other than having met the authors; there are many others.

Books like this will take sailing-specific exigencies into account such as limited water/power/etc. as well as accounting for storage issues.

Sailing, like many other travel endeavours can vary widely between people as well. My version of spartan may well be your luxury. Power budgets lead to refrigeration issues, and the like.

Good luck and fair winds! (from a sailboat owner)

  • I'm so looking forward for the sailing SE to start ! :) – Stefano Borini Jan 26 '11 at 23:56
  • by the way... off topic: what boat model do you have ? I am looking around for a future thing to dream about. – Stefano Borini Jan 26 '11 at 23:58
  • @Stefano - a Bayfield 29. Full-keel cruiser. Is/was a good solid starting boat, may trade up as the kids get bigger. – sdg Jan 27 '11 at 13:34

My neighbor when I was growing up used an edition of the Joy of Cooking from 1943 because many of the baked recipes where designed to be durable enough to send cookies and things to soldiers in Europe during WW2. It looks like Amazon has a couple copies available.

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    Well on that note, there's always fruitcake. – Joe Jan 26 '11 at 19:59
  • @Joe - I remember tongue-in-cheek article close to Y2K about fruitcake being the perfect survival food. And they can be used for boat ballast as well! :-) – sdg Jan 27 '11 at 13:33

Eggs. They keep like crazy if you turn them over once a day, are delicious, cheap and can be found anywhere.

They're fragile, but that's about the only significant drawback I know.

Likewise, hard cured meats--sausage, raw ham, etc. will keep well and can be eaten raw.

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    Eggs go off quite rapidly compared to anything preserved, tinned, or in fact a lot of things. I consider them something to keep an eye on from a "going off" perspective. – Orbling Jan 26 '11 at 0:37

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