Food Recommendations and Best Practices


Buying and transporting and pre-shipping food

It is hard to beat your local market or Costco for good prices and known products. Vacation time is better spent fishing and relaxing than buying food in unfamiliar markets. Buy and repackage the bulk of your products at home and purchase those small or perishable fresh items in Bethel only if you plan on staying overnight before your bush flight. Remove outer packages to save space. One oversized cooler usually holds the cold and frozen food while the dry items can be distributed among the group.

There are two Markets in Bethel Sammys and Swansons. Selection may be limited and the costs are relatively high. The services are improving every year and you can check ahead to see if items are in stock.

Blocks are better than cubes, plan your meals and pack the last ones on the bottom. Remove breakfast and lunch from the cooler in the morning and don’t open the cooler until dinner. Drinks can be cooled in the water. During sunny/ warm weather cover the cooler with a wet item.

Pre freeze everything that can be frozen (tecate is a good frozen beer-do you want a block of ice or a block of tecate on your trip)

Bethel is a dry town (no alcohol). BYO is a good option but be sure to double wrap items as the Cargo areas on the Airlines are not pressure controlled.

Any non-perishable Items may be pre shipped approximately 3+ weeks ahead. We will pick up those items for you and have them ready when you get here.


Various lists for various length trips

  • Bush flight weight/ volume considerations and freshness over a multi-day trip define good food products. Some products work for multiple meals (ie: tortillas, steak strips)
  • Do not skimp. If you want gourmet…go for it. This does not have to be a freeze dried festival. Go online for amazing resources and ideas. Fishermen on fast trips may benefit by keeping it simple while floaters with layovers days may uncork some bubbly!
  • Some foods will not last and should be eaten first. Frozen foods may be good for the middle of the trip while freeze dried or pasta type dishes will be good until the end of the trip.
  • “Minimalist food list” items are either lightweight or have a high fat content. Peanut butter, nuts, trail mix, chocolate, energy bars, pastas, rice, beans.

Typical rafting foods

Breakfast items

  • Dried milk or almond milk
  • Granola or oatmeal(uncooked) mixed with cinnamon and dried fruit nut medley (Costco)
  • Pancakes with fresh tundra blueberries
  • Pre frozen egg cartons and meat and freeze dried hash browns

Lunch items

  • PB & J in squeeze container or lunch meat and pre sliced cheese on flatbread/wrap/tortilla (light and non-compressible) buy the best PB and J you can find.
  • Trail mix, dried fruit, energy bars, fruit, pringles chips, hummus

Dinner items

  • Fish, Fish and more Fish. Lemon, seasoning
  • Frozen steak and Bratwurst
  • Potatoes, bell peppers, onions, with fish or steak strips (Costco)
  • Packaged Rice, Potatoes Au Gratin, Jambalaya, beans and rice tortillas
  • Bagged salad, frozen mixed veggies and noodles
  • Desert- chocolate covered Acai berries, cookies, s’mores

Menu with Early camp middle camp and late camp options

Coming soon!


Best practices

Although Bears are typically not a problem, leaving your cooler out of the raft with nylon strapping at night will eliminate unnecessary wear and tear on the raft as well as protect the food while the camp wakes up to make noise to move the bear off.

Putting food in trees is not typically necessary.