Jan 30, 2012 at 4:42 pm #1284934
So looking to eat relatively healthy so I don't collapse on the HST to Mt. Whitney and back to Sequoia while being lightwieght.
Food list was looking to be
-dehydrated Mashed potatoes and Refried beans with cheese and tacobell salsa.
-Tuna packets and salmon packets
I also have two MH meals I will be sharing with my partner.
A bunch of dried bananas and apples
Multivitamin for healthy stuffs
Coffee and tea
Lots of protein bars made from protein powder, oatmeal, flax and water.
Snickers and other candy bars
This is the food list as of now for a ~ 10 day trip for two people. I want to keep the weight and costs down for the trip but I want to make sure I am still getting all the necessary vitamins and whatnots. I figure I am low on fat, so I would just eat more candy. First day would be sandwiches with a lot of veggies since I am missing those.
I also have access to a dehydrator but dont want to make something too complicated but I figure I could dehydrate some carrots and peas, rehydrate them and throw in with the bean tortillas for some veggies.
What do the experts have to say? I realize the food list is kind of…amaturish (word?) but I dont want to make it too complicated and still want all the stuff i need.Jan 30, 2012 at 4:47 pm #1831913
How many days will you be out, how many calories/day, and how much do you want your food to weigh/day?Jan 30, 2012 at 5:16 pm #1831926
Peas are one of the worst offenders for home drying – they take forever to rehydrate. But most other veggies dry well, I usually add 2 Tbsp of small diced dried veggies to ever savory dish I make – per serving.
One other thing….sharing a MH meal may well mean you don't have enough to eat. They are not filling so look at the calories – half a "2 man package" may only be 300-400 calories!Jan 30, 2012 at 5:34 pm #1831934
@ngatelLocale: Southern California
"One other thing….sharing a MH meal may well mean you don't have enough to eat. They are not filling so look at the calories – half a "2 man package" may only be 300-400 calories!"
Amen. I am not very big and the full package is just about right for me.
I just started playing around with dehydrating (well I read my wife operates the machinery), and as I understand it, you can re-hydrate fruits and such with about an equal volume of water. Sound like bananas, pineapple and similar things would make a pretty good breakfast taste-wise, although I haven't sat down and started calculating the nutritional values yet. But my wife made some kick-butt jerky with it already!! I am really starting to like this machine (even though I am not allowed to touch it :(Jan 30, 2012 at 5:59 pm #1831944
We are planning on doing the round trip in 9-10 days and ideally want enough food for 10.5 days each. I am not sure about calories per day, maybe 2500? I dont know I've never really calculated this stuff. (I am 5' 10'' 150lbs and pretty low in fat.) my partner is 5'2". I am not sure about the weight per day, but lighter is always better.
hmm I wasnt really planning on rehydrating fruits and was just going to eat them like chips. Ive done this with bananas and apples and like them a lot. I only have 2 MH meals that I got for christmas and dont want to spend the 6 bucks to buy more so maybe we'll just use those for one day each.
Veggies would be rehydrated in the evenings (veggies for breakfast, YUCK). I dont really like the idea of using the stove in the afternoon as I like napping when I stop, so that means eating breakfast at camp and snacking till i get to night camp where I would make dinner with the stove.
Oh also was planning on bringing those pepperoni and cheddar sticks for fat which my meals are missing.
My main concerns are the lack of variantly and I want to make sure I cover all my bases in terms of nutrition. Looks like as of now I am missing calories, since beans and tuna are both low in calories. (Would candy be a feasible way to make up for this?) Maybe I could dehydrate high fat ground beef that is seasoned with taco seasoning and utilize the tortillas?Jan 30, 2012 at 6:38 pm #1831965
"I am not sure about calories per day, maybe 2500? I dont know I've never really calculated this stuff. (I am 5' 10'' 150lbs and pretty low in fat.) my partner is 5'2"."
If you are on the lean side, 2500 calories is probably not enough. As an example, I am 5'7" and 137#, and I burn ~4200 calories/day. I have dialed this in over many, many trips by study and then experimentation, with me as the guinea pig. I carry a little over 19 oz of food/day that provides 2650-2700 calories. I make up the deficit by gaining 3-4 pounds of body fat in the month before a longish trip like yours. 4 pounds of body fat contain 14,000 calories distributed over my typical 8-9 day trip allows for ~1550 calories/day to supplement my food. In total this provides in the neighborhood of 4200 calories/day. The alternatives are to either carry more food, which can potentially force you to use a larger pack or to slowly cannibalize your own body by burning up all available body fat, including that which protects your organs, and also muscle tissue. I'd recommend you either carry more food, enough to provide at least 3000 calories, ideally more, or consider putting on some fat in the run up to your trip. Most folks just carry more food, but I wanted you to at least know that there is another workable alternative.Jan 30, 2012 at 6:47 pm #1831972
I agree completely with what Tom just stated.
If you are a very experienced backpacker, you will have a good idea of how much food you really need. If you are not experienced, then it would be a good idea to get out on the trails now and try some different foods to find out what works for you.
Further, when you plan your food, you have to figure worst case that something will fail in your stove system, and either you won't be able to cook very much, or else you won't be able to cook at all. Hopefully, that won't happen, but you have to prepare. As a result, you want to take a serious portion of your food as stuff that does not require cooking.
As an example, most people use boiling water to rehydrate freeze-dried meals. However, in many cases warm or hot water is good enough. With some foods, even cold water is good enough.
–B.G.–Jan 30, 2012 at 7:23 pm #1831991
Thank you tom and bob. I would rather not put on 4 lbs of body fat (need to keep the body for my lady tehehe) but I will definitely look more into high fat and caloric dense meals for during trip. Unfortunately I am in school and wont be able to get up to Serrias (in SoCal) until the end of next quarter so I cant really do any backpacking down here before I go.
Would you mind giving me an example of a typical meal plan that meets your 19oz and 2750 Cals? (you dont have to give me 9 days of food haha).
Thanks for all the help guys
Also Bob, I assumed that dehydrated meals could be eaten dry worst comes to worst, as the rehydration processes doesnt cook or add nutrition to the food. Plus, I am planning on bring tuna and now peanut butter and nutella (yum!) for high caloric snacks that can be eaten during lunch after my nap. Also, I will have plenty of baggies since i like to use them to stay organized to put the beans in and walk around with them so they can soak during the day (worst comes to worst)Jan 30, 2012 at 9:05 pm #1832053
On dehydrating meat: use as lean as you can. Fat can and does go rancid in storage. Better is to add a packet of olive oil per meal for the fat when rehydrating :-)
Anytime you need calories, just add oil!!
On the question about dried fruit – it can work both ways well. I LOVE putting dried fruit into my oatmeal or rice dishes – and it plumps right back up. Even "stewed" fruit is great for breakfast with honey and cinnamon added.
And on commercial meals? No need to buy 'em, make your own! Way cheaper, tastier and better for you :-) My website is trailcooking.com (I am the one behind freezer bag meals) and also visit Teresa's site, onepanwonders.com and Laurie's site wildernesscooking.com as well for even more ideas.Jan 30, 2012 at 9:06 pm #1832055
PS2: On beans? Just dry canned or home cooked beans. They are nearly instant after that and just need a quick soak to eat cold or add to any hot meal in dry stage. You can also powder them as well.Jan 30, 2012 at 9:29 pm #1832060
"Also Bob, I assumed that dehydrated meals could be eaten dry worst comes to worst, as the rehydration processes doesnt cook or add nutrition to the food."
Have you tried this?
You might be able to eat one dehydrated meal without any hydration, but I doubt that you will do that very long. It sure isn't going to do anything positive for digestion. And, if it isn't digested adequately, you won't get as much nutrition out of it.
There is a large amount of dehydrated and packaged food that you can buy at a grocery store, and it doesn't require a great deal of preparation. Yes, tuna and salmon come in foil packets. Now you can even get Spam singles. Peanut butter and nutella will go a long way, but you want bread or crackers to put them on.
You have a number of months before backpacking season. I suggest that you get on the hiking trails now and do some sampling of your backpacker food for the summer.
–B.G.–Jan 31, 2012 at 7:08 am #1832141
Do what we do – eat hiking food ideas for lunch!! That way you will know if you like it!Jan 31, 2012 at 7:58 am #1832160Jan 31, 2012 at 8:20 am #1832171
For what it's worth, tuna and salmon packets are relatively heavy for the calories they provide. And in my mind, MH isn't really food. If you've already got a dehydrator, you can make the best backpacking food you will ever eat. My absolutely favorite meal is:
4 oz dry pasta (I like quinoa angel hair)
1 cup homemade sauce (I cook one with san marzano tomatoes and extra crushed red pepper for some kick, but you can use jarred if you like)
Meat (the easiest choice is one of the freeze dried meats from packit gourmet. These rehydrate amazingly well and actually taste fresh. I can vouch for the chicken and sausage. Alternatively, just add browned meat to your sauce and dehydrate)
Cook the pasta, toss with sauce and throw on a dehydrator tray until dry. Add one oz of your dried meat of choice. In camp, dump equal parts hot water over pasta, douse heavily with olive, and devour. One portion is about 6 oz and 700 kcal (not including the oil). I could happily eat this every day on the trail.Jan 31, 2012 at 9:15 am #1832190
This is a topic I did years back and it really shows how you can eat better and for less (and yum…pasta is delicious!):
http://www.trailcooking.com/dehydrating101/diy-meal-vs-commercial-freeze-dried-mealJan 31, 2012 at 11:14 am #1832246
I love the tuna and salmon packets and could care less about the extra weight. It is more convenient for me to throw in a packet than waste my time dehydrating every morsel of food in my pack.Jan 31, 2012 at 11:41 am #1832256
Didn't mean to bash particular food choices. People should bring what they like to eat. I was just responding to the OP's question about how to get 2750 kcal in 19 oz. This would be hard to do with packaged meats like chicken or tuna. Tuna has a caloric density of about 35 kcal/oz. Dehydrated food can generally achieve 100-150 kcal/oz.
Sarah- your site and that particular article were extremely helpful when I started dehydrating. Thanks again :)Jan 31, 2012 at 4:50 pm #1832423
"Would you mind giving me an example of a typical meal plan that meets your 19oz and 2750 Cals?"
1. Granola 2.00 oz 238 cal
2. Nido milk 1.00 oz 141 cal
3. Pine nuts .75 oz 156 cal
4. Whey protein .25 oz 24 cal
5. Chocolate 1.00 oz 155 cal
1. Perpetuem 5.00 oz 569 cal
1. Sesame honey 1.00 oz 165 cal
2. Sesame honey 1.00 oz 166 cal
3. Lundberg 1.00 oz 139 cal
4. Diamond Nut 1.00 oz 136 cal
5. Trail mix 1.00 oz 140 cal
6. Ensure 2.00 oz 253 cal
7. Nido milk 1.00 oz 143 cal
8. Coconut oil 1.00 oz 240 cal
Totals 19.00 oz 2665 cal
I believe I said 2650-2700 calories in my previous post. If not, I apologize for the inaccuracy. It is hard to get over 2700 calories in 19 oz and maintain a proper balance of carbs/protein/fat. Believe me, I've tried.
This is a typical 19 oz day's worth of no cook food for me. I do not represent it as "balanced" or "gourmet", nor do I consider it necessary when backpacking for 8-9 days. I eat a very healthy diet of well prepared food at home and do not require it in the backcountry. When I am out there, I am looking for adequate calories properly balanced between carbs, protein, and fat to go with my 3-4 pounds of body fat. No cook saves the hassle of cooking and diminishes potential bear problems. Of late, I do carry a stove for hot water in the morning, but the fuel requirement is cut in about half. I hope this helps. BTW, Andrew Skurka has a current thread going on food planning for multiday trips, with a link to his website. I would highly recommend that you check it out. It is excellent info.
Here is the link to Skurka's article on his website.Jan 31, 2012 at 6:25 pm #1832478
One last point….it doesn't matter how great the food is for calories/fat/protein – if it isn't what a person likes to eat it is wasted weight. Often the choices for high density that get listed on BPL are not "common" foods to many. So IMO, never take foods you don't truly love…cause you won't love them anymore 30 miles out…..Jan 31, 2012 at 6:40 pm #1832489
I know of all sorts of backpacker foods that look good on paper, but after about two days of it on the trail, and it didn't seem so good.
That's why I suggested to the original poster to get out early on the trail and do some training and some sampling of the proposed foods.
Also, I like to carry some food that is my absolute favorite. It is food that is so much a favorite that I can eat it under any conditions and without cooking or heavy preparation. You never know when you are going to be in a difficult situation and your appetite fails, but if you have some of that favorite, you can gulp it down and keep going.
For me, it is air dehydrated Bartlett pear pieces.
Never let any members of your party know about your secret favorite, or they will beg to eat it first. That has happened to me.
–B.G.–Jan 31, 2012 at 6:54 pm #1832496
I am crazy about those pear pieces too.Jan 31, 2012 at 6:58 pm #1832499
"One last point….it doesn't matter how great the food is for calories/fat/protein – if it isn't what a person likes to eat it is wasted weight."
Good point, Sarah, up to a point. Like most of life it's a compromise. I don't think the carb/pro/fat ratio matters all that much on trips up to perhaps a week. Beyond that one needs to start considering that ratio for reasons of physical health, which have been discussed pretty thoroughly on other threads so I won't revisit them here. On longer trips the total number of calories becomes increasingly important as well, as a person exhausts their body fat. This in turn necessitates carrying more weight which ultimately bears on total weight carried and, at some point, pack size. This is where the compromising begins. The more calories you pack into an ounce of food, the higher the fat content and at some point palatability becomes an issue. It can be really tough to sort this out, even with a lot of knowledge of food ingredients and recipes. I have found out the hard way a number of times in the process of trying to get maximum calories in the proper ratio of carbs/protein/fat for trips up to 11 days. What I posted above is just the latest iteration of an ongoing process for me. For me it is tolerably palatable, by which I mean I can eat it all every day without gagging. Is it my preferred diet? Of course not, but it gets the job done and heightens my already well developed appreciation for really good food when I get back to civilization. In the end, it boils down to individual choice but, as trip length increases, the choices between palatability and adequate caloric intake become more difficult, IME.Feb 1, 2012 at 12:50 am #1832625
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