Jun 21, 2010 at 3:22 pm #1260380
Ok, so I'm doing a 10 day trip on the CT starting July 31. My end point is wherever I end up after 10 days of walking. (Wish I could do the whole thing but I'm not interested in doing 40 mile days). I plan on carrying all of the food needed. According to certain calculations it is suggested that I take in almost 3000 calories a day. A MH breakfast, 3 Powerbars during the day, and a MH (the single serving Pro Pack) for dinner gets me around 1300. So any suggestions on where I can get the other 1700 calories from? I'm looking for prepackaged stuff.
Also another question for anyone who has tried MH foods before. I'm only 6', 150lbs yet I eat A LOT. Some say I have a hollow leg and that's where my food goes. Are the MH 2 serving dinners too much for one person to eat?
I appreciate any help.Jun 21, 2010 at 3:30 pm #1622051
I'm 5' 11" and 140 lbs.. a bit skinnier than you I guess. I'm going on the CT around July 30 as well but for the whole thing.
I've used the MH meals many times.. mainly the 2 serving Beef Stroganoff, Beef Stew and Spaghetti w Meat Sauce. I could certainly ALWAYS finish the whole pack myself and I dont consider myself a big eater. I may not be able to do it at home but can certainly eat it all on after a long hike. I usually eat something else in addition as well. I think the packs are around 500 – 600 cal.Jun 21, 2010 at 4:14 pm #1622068
terry a thompsonParticipant
You might want to look at Big Sur bars @ 659 cal. for a 142g bar instead of the power bars @ 230 cal. for a 65g bar.
It sounds like you need to take the 2 man MH instead of the single. I have used a lot of MH and could never get by with the single serveing.
I would also take some nuts (cashews) at 400 cal. per 1/2 cup.
You might also want to look at a alternative for the MH breakfast, just not enough calories. Granola would be a possibility.
hope this helps,
TerryJun 21, 2010 at 4:16 pm #1622070
If you only do 10 days on the CT, make sure to start from Durango, not Denver!Jun 21, 2010 at 4:21 pm #1622071
I was looking at them today and thought the 1 serving pro packs wouldn't be enough. I just wanted to make sure before I bought everything. Now all I have left to do is figure out the weight of my food and then finally make a decision on what pack to buy. Decisions, decisions.
I might be able to start on the 30th if you're looking for someone to hike with for a few days (depending on how many miles you're putting in per day). We're both starting right before the Waterton closure.Jun 21, 2010 at 4:24 pm #1622074
@ouzelLocale: Pacific Northwest/Sierra
"So any suggestions on where I can get the other 1700 calories from? I'm looking for prepackaged stuff."
If prepackaged is not mandatory, I'd suggest you consider adding chocolate, nuts, olive oil(or other vegetable oil, or ghee) to the mix. With the exception of oil, these are high calorie foods that contain a decent amount of protein in the bargain. You could add an ounce of olive oil to your MH dinner and gain 250 calories, for instance, and that is the maximum an ounce of food can contain in a very compact form. Nido powdered milk contains 150 calories/30 grams serving and woul make an excellent addition to any breakfast cereal. Again, it's high calorie with substantial protein.Jun 21, 2010 at 4:25 pm #1622076
Well the reason I'm starting in Denver is because I now live in Denver and I don't own a car. I recently moved here from Telluride (yeah shoot me). So it's easier for me to start here and then hitch hike back than to take a bus to Durango and then most likely have to take a bus from wherever back to Denver.Jun 21, 2010 at 5:58 pm #1622120
Without a car or friend to meet you with one, your convenient take-out points after 10 days are limited.
Depending on your pace, you'll probably reach Tennessee Pass (mile 143) at the south end of Segment 8 easily enough. From there, you could hitch into Leadville.
It is also possible you could reach Twin Lakes at mile 178, but I don't know how you'd ever get out of there unless someone met you there.
The halfway point, Salida, is probably out of reach for a ten day hike (25 mpd average).
I've used MH for years. I find that I have to force myself to eat for the first 3-4 days, so half of a 2-person dinner is about right. After that, I switch to the 16 oz Pro Packs. After several weeks, I can finish a standard 2-person 20 oz pouch. YMMV.
+1 on the addition of olive oil. Try it at home first as you can overpower the flavor of your meal easily with that stuff. You also have to pack it carefully because it tends to find its way out of whatever bottle you pack it in.
WBJun 21, 2010 at 6:20 pm #1622131
I was thinking I'd end up in Leadville. But if I have to end near Frisco (seg 6 I think) I'd be alright with that. Since I can't do the whole thing, I might as well take my time and enjoy it. Maybe go bag a peak here. Sleep late one day. Just going with the flow so to speak. I'll definitely post a trip report upon my return.Jun 21, 2010 at 6:29 pm #1622137
Rich, I agree on this one. Cheap, tasty, a bit salty and you can go sweet or spicy to mix it up a bit. No fuel needed, and you can snack as you walk, or in camp.
Olive oil probably needs a container with a flanged lid, although urine and blood sample jars work well if you have access. (Be sure to rinse these out real well :^) )Jun 21, 2010 at 6:39 pm #1622147
@ngatelLocale: Southern California
I am about your size and can easily eat a 2 person MH meal. Even on the first night, if I hike hard.
Instant oatmeal doesn't take up much space, and 2 packets (what I eat for breakfast) is about 350 calories.
Yes you need to get up to around 3,000 calories or more. I would take more snack type foods for eating during the day.
The MH meals take up a lot of space. I repackage them into freezer or microwave bags, and just add water to them. Also, when repacking the MH meals, the smell is obvious, so prepare for bears accordingly.Jun 21, 2010 at 6:39 pm #1622148
I am one of those who loves the taste of EVOO but not everyone likes it – for those who don't consider a plain oil such as canola or corn. It is pretty much tasteless and does the same thing – give you needed fat and calories.
On MH meals: most men with big appetites can eat a two man pouch due to the LOW calorie count. Really read commercial meals to get your highest calorie count. There are ones that are better than MH but it depends on what you like eating though.Jun 21, 2010 at 7:30 pm #1622168
note that the MH packaging weighs about 1 oz per pack. a lot in my opinion..
I'm surprised that the answer isn't more overwhelmingly that the "2 servings" are barely enough for a person. I eat so little and weigh 140 lbs and really, I need to pack other snacks for dinner.
But I agree with a poster above — maximize the cold snacks — things you can eat while hiking and without much fuss. To me, that's GORP (with peanuts sometimes replaced by cashews or something), Snickers and energy bars.. pre-sliced salami and bagels already prepped with salami and / or string cheese..
But yeah, if you have a strong stomach like me, nuts are the way to go. Gives a ratio of 5.5 – 6.5 calories / gram, just about the highest ratio you'll find in anything besides pure oil.
Looks like we'll be starting the CT between July 25 and July 30.. not sure of the date yet. We'll only have until Aug 26 or so and really want to go to Durango, so we might skip some early sections.
On the other hand, we are flying in from sea level (I see you live in Colorado) and you might very well catch up with us.. let's make a note of each others' username and keep in touch and maybe something will work out closer to the date.Jun 21, 2010 at 8:11 pm #1622192
The only reason I'm starting on July 31 is that my last class in on July 30 and I can't exactly skip the final exam. I start classes again on August 23 so technically, if I pushed it I could do the whole thing but I don't want to take any chances missing school. As for living at altitude, I lost altitude when I moved to Denver. Went from 8950 in Telluride to whatever Denver is.
What other suggestions are there for freeze dried food? MH seems like the major one.
So I don't have to keep the meals in that big, bulky, aluminum whatever packaging they come in? You can just put them in a ziplock or something?
And another thing….I was just comparing 2 of the same MH meals. The MH Lasagna for 2 and the MH Lasagna for 1 pro pack. The one for 2, if you eat it all (both servings) has less calories than the pro pack. I'm lost now. Finding freeze dried food shouldn't be this hard. Hahaha.Jun 21, 2010 at 8:17 pm #1622195
@b-g-2-2Locale: Silicon Valley
Freeze dried food keeps for about twenty years when sealed in a steel #10 can. It keeps for a couple of years when sealed in a foil and plastic pouch. Once you open the pouch to transfer it to a ziploc, it will slowly degrade in flavor and in ability to rehydrate right. I generally only transfer it when I am within a few days of departure. When you've left it exposed to air too much, it can develop an odd odor. It is probably still edible for a while, but you may not like it. If you haven't eaten it within a month or so, you may have to pitch it out.
–B.G.–Jun 21, 2010 at 8:53 pm #1622207
The Pro Paks are vac sealed which allow them to have a smaller packaging than the regular ones.
On repackaging – yes you can do it. Freezer bags are fine. DO keep the desiccant packets that come in them and transfer that to the freezer bag. With meat meals you have less time than veg ones but a couple weeks is fine in areas where humidity isn't a big issue (like where you are).Jun 21, 2010 at 9:13 pm #1622214
Oh and as for catching up to you…probably won't happen. I only see myself making it to Leadville during my 10 days. I'm definitely not out to set any speed records.Jun 21, 2010 at 9:14 pm #1622215
@b-g-2-2Locale: Silicon Valley
I've never seen freeze-dried food packages that have desiccant packets in them. Most that I've seen have oxygen absorber packets instead.
–B.G.–Jun 21, 2010 at 9:43 pm #1622231
Instead of regular ziplok bags, try the new Glad Simply Cooking Microwave Steamer bags. They have a gusseted bottom so they stand up flat with the ziplok opening at the top…..like the MH foil pouches do now. None of the local grocery stores carried them, but I was able to order them at Alice.com in boxes of ten each for about $1.70.
The stores did have another national brand of Microwave Steamer bags, but they lie down flat instead of standing up, so if the ziplok leaks or fails, you lose some or most of your dinner.Jun 22, 2010 at 3:04 pm #1622459
Just to be sure… am I correct in assuming those glad bags are big enough for pouring 2 cups of boiling water?Jun 22, 2010 at 3:06 pm #1622463
I will sometimes eat 2 packages of those supposed 2-serving MH dinners in one sitting. As with wildly exaggerated sleeping bag ratings, somebody needs to tighten up our "truth in advertising" laws!Jun 22, 2010 at 3:48 pm #1622481
An empty bag can hold 6 cups (48 fluid oz) of water and still get the zip top closed. Realistically speaking, I wouldn't want more than 5 cups (EDIT) in one, max.
Four ounces of water filled it a little over half way and left plenty of space above the water line. I'd consider this ideal.
I've not put boiling water in one yet, but they are designed to hold it. The zip seal has to be pretty strong to resist the pressure of the water that boils off as steam in the microwave.Jun 22, 2010 at 4:06 pm #1622491
Thanks, Bob. I think you meant "cups" instead of "ounces" up above?Jun 22, 2010 at 4:26 pm #1622497
@amrowincLocale: Southern California
In the past I have always used ziploc freezer bags but this year did a little research and changed to lighter weight generic 1qt bags with a zip closer. They weigh a little more than half of what ziploc's weigh. I was concerned about them leaking but tests at home and a recent 180 mile OHT hike showed them trail and boiling water worthy. Considering the amount of bags I use for meals and snacks the weight savings was not insignificant.
RE food. I've gotten away from pop tarts/breakfast bars and usually carry granola with a vanilla flavored protein powder. Mixed with a little water (worm or cold) it makes a high protein and calorie dense meal. As mentioned adding olive oil to your meals is a good way to increase calories. I stick a 1/2 olive oil pack from Minimus in all my dinners.Jun 22, 2010 at 7:56 pm #1622565
Ben…yep, they are much bigger than a quart freezer bag. The whole "bowl" thing is quite nice as well.
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