So how does the camp cook keep food cold without electricity, a fridge, or a freezer? She keeps three coolers stocked with ice.

So where does the camp cook get ice out in Bush Alaska? She picks it up off the beach, of course!



There are bits of icebergs washed up on shore after high tide and a perfect wind. It’s not always this abundant or close to camp, but the forces were with me. I filled three coolers and three extra tubs. The ice will last several days, and then I’ll have to go hunting again.


Categories: Alaska

3 replies »

  1. What fantastic stuff you’re doing! And it’s all old hat to you. How many folks are you cooking for? Does everyone pitch in for washing dishes, etc.? Are you merely given the supplies to do with what you want, or did you have to come up with the grocery list, do all the shopping and preparation and such?

    Questions, questions, questions.

  2. To think – you are using ten thousand year old ice to cool things and yet you are communicating via satelite – go figure! – and I remember holding that piece of ice berg when we were out on that boat trip – even that is still a vivid memory. I’m enjoying seeing things develop out there – you pioneers, you.

  3. Numbers change as crew members rotate in and out. I’ve had 7-10 people during this stint. The number will increase next month, but will never be Big. And I won’t be cooking then. I’m just here filling in for this time. The real summer cook comes next week.

    The crew expect to wash their own dishes after they eat if they’re in the cook tent (lunch is at the building site), but I wash all prep dishes, lunch dishes, and sometime crew dishes as well to give them a break and because it’s easy. I don’t mind; it’s the only way to get really clean hands!

    I “order” food from the Seward support folks, but it’s food that someone else bought. I have an inventory of what’s in the freezer in Seward, and I try to plan 3 days out while also having a 3-day emergency supply should weather get ugly and boats not be able to come out to resupply (emergency food: canned chili, pasta, tuna, etc.)

    It’s all easy-to-prepare food since we’ve only got camp stoves and a grill, but it’s good nutritious food because the crew is working hard, hard, hard–physical labor for 10 hours a day. They eat a ton! I would call them pigs except no one’s gaining weight; they burn off all they eat, keeping warm and working.

    I’m no professional cook. I order the basics and then let Dawn surprise me with whatever is in the freezer in Seward. I’ll use whatever she sends me, and these guys will eat whatever I prepare. It couldn’t be much easier. The order of the meals is determined by what thaws first.