It's Almost Time To Bring Out That Camp Food For Your Hunting Trip

Let's Give Thanks For Our Three Food Groups…Tang, Spam & Pilot Crackers    TANG Almost As Good As Orange Juice Tang was very ...

Let's Give Thanks For Our Three Food Groups…Tang, Spam & Pilot Crackers  

Traditional Alaska junk foods eaten throughout the state and used in camping


Almost As Good As Orange Juice
Tang was very popular all over rural Alaska during the 1970's. It still is – you can buy it from the rural "Bush Mailer" on the front page.

Mixed with water, Tang provides 100% of the government-recommended amount of Vitamin C. Tang  was pioneered as a beverage on manned space shuttles. In Alaska, where fruits were hard to import (and to carry in winter without freezing) Tang became a common solution to the problem of providing a source of Vitamin C.

The lack of Vitamin C in rural Alaska was a serious health issue, and local people's interest in using Tang grew from the Gold Rush, when miners -- unaware of the need to pick and preserve berries during the summer months -- died of scurvy, a terrible Vitamin C deficiency disease.

In the 1970's, almost 100 years after the Gold Rush, Alaskans were encouraged to drink their Tang heated up.

Ray Genet, shown here, was a well-known Talkeetna mountaineer. Genet -- and an equally famed dog musher, Joe Redington Sr. (known today as "The Father of The Iditarod") -- both promoted Hot Tang throughout the state of Alaska. Redington even went so far as to name one of his sled dogs "Tang."



The Cracker That Will Not Die
Some of the foods that were used a hundred years ago have an enduring appeal in faraway places, like Alaska. For many, the word "hardtack" means a tough, flat sea biscuit that was eaten on ships and in the army. Soldiers in the Civil War, World War I and even World War II ate hardtack.

In Alaska, hardtack is considerably fresher than that. It's called Sailor Boy Pilot Bread ("the cracker that will not die") and it's beloved all over the state.

They say that 98% of all of Sailor Boy's big, round, hard crackers are sold in Alaska. People eat them everywhere: On hunting trips, in peanut butter and jelly cracker sandwiches -- and with soups and moose stews in the fall and winter. Unlike other crackers, Sailor Boy Pilot Crackers are far more durable and hearty. When you run out of "real" bread, it's emergency food, sitting and waiting for you on a back shelf, or in a plastic baggie where you left it last fall, tucked in your hunting knapsack.


As Loved In Alaska As It Is In Hawaii
Spam was a World War II food used by the military, and after the war gained popularity throughout America when the soldiers came home. It's still commonly eaten along the Pacific rim in Korea, China, Japan, Hawaii and Alaska.

In rural Alaska in the fall and winter – when you're snowed in, can't get to town, and are generally feeling low – then it's time to break out a can of Spam for supper. It's also really popular on hunting trips, when the moose and caribou just aren't showing up to offer themselves as part of your camp menu.


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