At home, milks pretty easy to come by. We usually buy about 5 litres a week for a family of 4, and it lasts just fine. However, when you tour Australia, shops can be a bit harder to come by, and you might need a new system for milk when camping away from the shops!
Long life vs powdered vs fresh milk
Our preference is to buy fresh milk, and since getting our upright fridge this seems to be more commonly done for us. However, we spend most of our time well away from towns, and don’t always get an opportunity to pick up milk.
If we do, we’ll usually get some to keep us going, but the bulk of our milk needs to be something that lasts longer, which leaves long life and powdered options.
I recall loading our 80 series Land Cruiser up for 5 weeks in the Kimberley several years ago, and we had a huge number of 1L long life milk cartons inside a sealed tub. That’s one way to take camping milk, but its not one we’d recommend anymore.
We had limited fridge space, and it was the most suitable way for us to do it. However, it was also heavy, took up lots of room and was a bit annoying.
Today, we’ve gone to fresh milk, with a couple of long life cartons as backup, and mainly powdered milk. Yes, it tastes a bit different (and so does long life vs normal milk), but when you have 320L of water on board, its almost a no brainer. Why carry more fluid than you need to?
Mixing powdered milk
The biggest bane for us is mixing the milk, and making sure that we have enough available when you need it. With two young kids having them wait around for you on a cold morning to make up powdered milk usually doesn’t work out too well.
We’ve got a wide throat 1L drink bottle, with two methods for opening the lid that works pretty well. Simply add the milk powder, add a small amount of water and shake it around until its dissolved, then add the rest of the water. It lives in our upright fridge and fits in the same location as a 2L milk bottle does in our upright fridge, and it all functions pretty well.
Washing the bottle is a pain, and we could do with having a second one available as milk that has stuck to the seal, or dried up is probably not something you want to reuse without a thorough wash.
It smells, looks disgusting and needs a bit of care to keep clean, but its the best way of dealing with milk for us at this stage.
What do you do for long term milk storage when camping? Is there a better way to deal with milk?