Sunday, July 06, 2008

When in bear country ...

Innovative camp kitchen ideas come from the most unlikely sources. A Google blog search led me to a picture and blog article by a camp cook in Aialik Bay, Alaska.

Children's author and literacy advocate Jen Funk Weber recently served as camp cook for 10-days at Kenai Fjords Glacier Lodge while husband and photographer Mike Weber and others build a new lodge. The regular camp cook was scheduled to replace Jen around the first of the month.

What's unique about this remote Alaskan camp kitchen is its selection of storage furniture. Bear country cooking demands sturdy bear-proof storage.

The lodge employs a heavy-duty Knaack jobsite storage cabinet to secure food and personal items from hungry bears. A cabinet designed to foil construction-site thieves should deprive bears of an easy catch.

"Because this is bear country, all food, toiletries, and smelly items are stored in a variety of secure lockers. My apron, the hotpads, unwashed coffee cups, etc. are all stashed in here. The doors are kept closed unless someone is in the tent," said Jen.

You can read more about Jen's complete camp kitchen set up on her blog. Since drinking water must be shipped in from Seward, the camp uses sea water for dish washing in a triple-sink set-up. Another unique feature is the use of glacier ice in the coolers.

Click here for a complete description of the kitchen.


  1. That locker sure looks like a bear proof piece of metal! They must leave the tent open so a bear won't tear a hole in it, yes? Is this setup for the smaller Ursus americanus, or does it work for grizzlies too?

  2. You know, I didn't think to ask her. Check her blog -- she may have identified the bears.