Hauling Eggs to Moose Camp or the Cabin
They’re incredible, and incredibly fragile. But don’t go without eggs just because of a bumpy trail.
This post will teach you how to haul in dozens of eggs, no matter how rough the trail is, without so much as a crack or broken egg.
How rough of a trail can you haul eggs on? Well as rough as it gets, believe me, I personally have had machines tip and roll with eggs on them without a single egg breaking.
I’ve also had ratchet straps holding the totes onto the atv catch on trees. When the straps broke, the tote carrying a month’s supply of eggs went flying across the tundra. Not a single egg broke!
These are the keys to safely haul eggs:
• Properly pack them so there is absolutely no rattling or shifting
• Always keep them upright with the fat end down
• Tape the carton closed
• Wrap the carton in a towel or clothing before placing in tote
• Place the eggs in a tote with lighter items, towards the top of the load with cushioning below, above, and between any other items
• Never place anything other than cushions or clothing above the eggs.
• Make sure that every single “hole” or empty space in the tote is stuffed with clothing or packing material so that nothing can bounce, shift, or move in any way.
• In the winter it is helpful to wrap the cartons with thicker towels or even a pair of long-johns to protect them from freezing. If extremely cold out, haul eggs in a warm cooler with your perishables.
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While I occasionally haul in regular cardboard egg cartons for my neighbors, I personally use two of these Coghlan’s Egg Holder, 12 Egg plastic egg cartons to haul in my eggs.
These work so well because of small little shock absorbers on the top of each compartment that cradles each egg. The other big advantage of this style holder over a cardboard carton is that being plastic if you do manage to break an egg it won’t soak through and make a mess of everything in the tote.
To start, all the eggs need to be approximately the same size so that when the lid is closed it will apply pressure evenly to each egg. If you buy your eggs from the grocery store, then they will all be the same size.
I am fortunate enough to get my eggs from my buddy’s farm. Farm fresh eggs come in all different sizes. Luckily for me, they usually have 6-10 dozens on hand in the fridge so I can sort through and get large even eggs.
Regardless of whether you use plastic or cardboard egg cartons, you can’t let the eggs rattle or move at all, period! If they can shake or bounce they will eventually break, even if the carton is safely wrapped.
The easiest way to fix this is to take a small square of paper towel around 1 ½” to 2” square and place one in the bottom of each egg compartment before you put the egg in. Now you can place each egg into the container with the fat side down.
After all the eggs are in place, lay a folded paper towel or two on top of the eggs so that the top closes very tightly. Before you tape the lid shut, shake the carton so you can listen for any rattling. Don’t be shy to shake it. It’s better to repack now than to clean up a mess later.
Not only does the paper towels keep the eggs from rattling, they also act as a mini shock absorber which lessens the chances of breakage.
If there are no rattlers then tape the lid shut. I use electrical tape for taping the lid closed because it’s pretty cheap and it’s easy to take off without leaving a sticky residue. I always have a roll in my pocket as it’s priceless in the bush for things like this, for making repairs, and as a makeshift bandage in a bind.
Now that your eggs have passed the shake test and the container is taped shut decide which tote they will be traveling in. I use either an 18 gallon Rubbermaid Roughneck Storage Tote full of laundry or a Rubbermaid ActionPacker Tote, unless it is very cold out.
If the temperature is extremely cold then I haul my eggs in a warm cooler with the rest of the perishables. In that instance the cooler stays in the running vehicle with the heat on and is the last tote to be loaded on the sled & the first to be unloaded and brought inside the cabin.
Now that you know where the eggs are going, wrap the carton in a towel or some clothing. A pair of long johns in the winter will help keep them warm for a long time.
I like to place the eggs somewhere between the middle to ¾ of the way from the top of the tote. Leave plenty of room for more cushioning between the cartons and the lid of the tote.
Basically your goal is to place the eggs in the center of a highly cushioned area so that there is nothing that can bounce into them and all of the bumps will be able to be absorbed.
Before you place the wrapped cartons into the tote, fill in any loose areas in the bottom with random clothing, old towels or blankets, or any packing material.
Everything MUST be packed in tight so that there is no bouncing or shifting of items in the tote. Then place a layer of cushion on top of the bottom stuff.
Now you can place the eggs into the tote. If you are hauling multiple cartons of eggs, make sure there is plenty of cushions in between them. Do not stack the cartons directly on top of each other without placing cushioning in between.
Make sure there is plenty of cushions between the cartons and the sides of the totes. If the tote strikes anything the cushion will absorb the impact.
Now you can fill in the top of the tote with clothing, cushioning, old blankets, or pillows. I mentioned in the beginning not to ever haul anything above the eggs to keep from crushing them. The one exception to this is bags of chips.
Chips don’t weigh enough to crush the eggs and they benefit from the extra cushioning themselves. Bags of chips should always be placed towards the top of a tote, the same as eggs. You can haul chips on eggs but not the other way around as the eggs might pop the bags of chips.
You will know you have enough packing material on the top of the tote, when there is no empty space left in the tote and you have to press down and compress the packing to snap the lid shut.
Here you may want to tape the lid shut if it doesn’t snap shut and stay closed on its own. If done properly, the eggs are cushioned inside the carton, which is cushioned inside the tote. You could now roll the tote down a flight of stairs and they should emerge unscathed.
As far as placement when hauling, in the summer I always haul the eggs on one of the racks on the four-wheeler. Never haul them in the small tow-behind meat-wagon cart because the cart bounces and slams up and down a lot more violently than the atv does.
In the winter I place the tote or cooler in my freight sled that I tow behind my snow-machine. You want to place it in the middle or rear of the sled because the nose of the sled takes a little more shock from hitting the bumps.
This should get you to just about the most inaccessible areas in Alaska. If for some strange reason you’re still breaking eggs, before you leave home you can crack all your eggs into a Tupperware or Ziplock freezer bag. Then you can pour out however much egg you need each morning and cook them up scrambled or in omelets.
This is actually the easiest way to pack in eggs while hunting. You can even add chopped up veggies, or chopped-up, pre-cooked, bacon, ham, or sausage to the scrambled eggs for a fast easy breakfast.
As a legal disclaimer it should be noted that eggs are dangerous, they come out of a chicken’s butt. Chicken poo also exits the bird through the same orifice. That being said you should always wash your hands after handling eggs as they can harbor harmful bacteria.
AlaskanBlogCabin.com is not liable for any egg related injuries or deaths, proceed at your own risk!!!
Watch out for moose & always steer clear of over-flow on the river and unsafe ice.
We’ll see you a little further down the trail!