Jan 31, 2012 at 7:36 am #1284953
To other power-users of Excel, this post may not be informative. But for new backpackers and non-users of Excel, it could be helpful.
I plan for a trip in two stages:
1. The theory. On my computer, I develop, refine, and perfect every aspect of the trip, notably my gear, supplies, route, and logistics. To do so, I rely heavily on applications like Excel, Word, National Geographic TOPO!, and Google Maps.
2. The tangible. I obtain everything that is a prerequisite to start. For example, I order my gear, bottle my stove fuel, print my maps, and reserve my air flights. This stage can be intimidating because I am now committing my financial resources, not just my time.
In the remainder of this post, I want to explain how I theoretically plan my food for multi-day hikes and thru-hikes.Jan 31, 2012 at 8:10 am #1832166
Very nice. Thanks Andrew.Jan 31, 2012 at 8:54 am #1832182
spelt with a tParticipant
@speltLocale: SW/C PA
That was very helpful to compare against what I've been doing. Thank you.Jan 31, 2012 at 9:22 am #1832195
@sarbarLocale: In the shadow of Mt. Rainier
You mean you don't randomly cover your kitchen counters in piles and piles of food along with boxes of bags ;-)Jan 31, 2012 at 3:32 pm #1832394
@hikinggrannyLocale: Gateway to Columbia River Gorge
Sarah: "You mean you don't randomly cover your kitchen counters in piles and piles of food along with boxes of bags ;-)"
My food preparation (mostly dehydrating) is being done now, so I will have enough meals to last through the backpacking season. I don't want to be dehydrating when the outdoor temperature is 95*F (already tried that–if you must, run the dehydrator in the garage). I bag individual meals as I prepare them and store them in the freezer. I have planned most of my spring/summer/fall trips, so I know approximately how many meals I need. I'd rather have a dozen extra meals than be up all night just before a trip! (Yes, the latter has happened!) In the freezer, the extra meals will keep for the following year, or I can use them as emergency food.
I use my dining room table and the piles are not random! I divide the table into quarters: 1/4 breakfasts, 1/4 lunches/snacks and 1/2 dinners. I then stack each section by variety. (Obviously, I have more variety for dinners than for the others.) I then walk around the table with my OP sack picking up the appropriate number of meals for the trip. What I don't pick goes back back into the freezer. It helps that I live alone so I can eat somewhere besides the table!
A ping-pong table or a rented folding table would also do the job if you need the dining room table for eating.
I like Andrew's plan, although since I don't go on long expeditions, mine is a lot simpler!Feb 2, 2012 at 10:15 am #1833345
Wow, I understand making all the lists for an expedition. But for the usual backpacking I never thought about that. I just estimate the days I'll be out there, add one for emergency and go shopping.
I can't even do a lot of planning – my backpacking trips usually last 2 months so when I get into a town (where I've never been before) I just enter the supermarket (I don't now what they might have for me) and see what I can get…
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