Day 1: July 9

Late last night, upon realizing that my starting pack weight for this trip would exceed 50 pounds, I decided to keep my ultra comfy camp chair and jettison some food instead.

The great thing about trekking in an area known for its legendary alpine trout fishing, and carrying a very light tenkara rod, is that you have confidence (which is sometimes confused with reliability) of gourmet fish dinners every night.

Confidence is a great way to reduce pack weight.

I dropped my breakfast rations to 5 oz/day (oats/granola with freeze dried berries, nuts, seeds, and Nido), dinner rations (various homemade and packaged meals) to 6 oz/day, and snacks (nut butters, cured bison meat, waffle cookies, cheese, chips, and energy gel) to 11.5 oz/day. This gives me 22.5 oz of food at a caloric density of about 118 Cal/oz, for a total daily ration of about 2,700 Calories.

That’s pretty thin for a 12 day trip at high altitudes with cold weather expected.

So I hope to catch, and eat, many pounds of fish en route.

Stay tuned, we’ll see how it works out.

We hit the trail in about an hour.

Follow this live expedition blog as Backpacking Light’s Ryan Jordan, Eric Vann, and five others weave their way through glacial cirques, tundra meadows, and talus fields in Montana’s Absaroka-Beartooth Wilderness July 9-20. Dispatches will be posted to the Backpacking Light Facebook page, Instagram feed, and the home page.