Around these parts most of us live to eat rather than eat to live, but what about those doing hard work in rugged situations? What about tree planters working on reforesting projects in Canada? What do they eat out there in the bush?

An interesting post on the blog Chopstick Beaten Eggs reveals all the details. Author Lindsay just returned from two months of reforesting work in the northern wilds of Ontario. Her tales of camp food and making it work include tidbits such as this:

Half sandwiches [halfers] are key: take one slice of bread, throw on the toppings, fold in half … My lunchbox was an extremely large tupperware container … On an average day, it held 3 apples or oranges … a sandwich bag full of veggie sticks (carrots, celery), my 4-6 halfers, and 1-2 lunch treats, if I’m in the mess tent early enough to snag some.

Lindsay explains that grazing on half sandwiches throughout the day was the key, because “eating all of your lunch at once would cause much discomfort when planting.” Her food intake was also considerably higher. “I was eating twice as much as usual (literally) and that still didn’t add up to the calories expended while treeplanting!”

As with most remote locations, providing quality food was a challenge, on a budget of $10 a day per person. “Food varies from camp to camp, and is highly dependent on the cooks,” writes Lindsay. “Though planters must be fed, and cooks are a must, reforestation companies do not place the highest priority on hiring cooks.” Lucky enough to be in a camp with an inventive cook, Lindsay had only good things to say about the bush tucker. But after two months, she was eager to get back in her own kitchen.

No word on how many sandwiches she’ll be cranking out for lunch these days.

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