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Christopher Plesko
(Pivvay) - F

Locale: Rocky Mountains
Expeditioning Food/Stove Ideas on 10/19/2009 13:09:01 MDT Print View

Solo three week trip (~21 days). Zero resupply opportunity. Water only cooking. Long days of traveling necessitated by water source needs. Temperatures from over 100 deg F to 25 deg F.

Individually packaged meals or bulk?
What goodies can withstand the heat? Waxed chocolates?
Need some variety and good fat/protein heavy sources.
Compactness of food items is good though not 100% necessary for all things. Space is somewhat limited.
Something to mask taste of water with higher salt/mineral content?
Canister stove or other?
Calories per day goals? Weight loss is assured but would like to keep it to 5kg max.

Brainstorm away.

Hikin' Jim
(hikin_jim) - MLife

Locale: Los Angeles, CA, USA
Stove for 3 Week Solo Trip on 10/19/2009 13:57:37 MDT Print View

It sounds like an upright canister stove would be the way to go for a 3 week solo trip.

The trip is long enough that the weight of the amount of alcohol you'd have to carry would outweigh the advantage of the lightness of an alcohol stove. You'd carry so much less fuel with a canister stove that even though the stove itself is heavier, the total of stove + canister would be lighter.

Since the temps will stay 25F and above, you shouldn't have many cold related problems with the canister stove, so there's no reason really to bring a heavier inverted canister rig and certainly no reason to bring an even heavier white gas stove.

For one person, depending on your stove's efficiency and how much cooking you intend to do, you could probably get by on one 200ish gram sized canister.

Christopher Plesko
(Pivvay) - F

Locale: Rocky Mountains
Re: Stove for 3 Week Solo Trip on 10/19/2009 14:50:50 MDT Print View

This is generally what I was thinking. Cold is not an issue for cooking. For breakfast I could easily wait until it warmed up should I suffer an extra cold night or just sleep with my canister. I aim to have cook and non cook breakfasts. Dinnertime cooking will be in warm temperatures and I plan to do so every night. Hot drinks would be nice but experience tells me I'm unlikely to do so every day and it would only be for a cup of coffee, tea or cocoa if I did.

Also the canisters are easy, fast and tough and that is generally desirable in this environment. I will not be walking. Escape or bailing from the route is pretty darn difficult, perhaps I would say extremely difficult. Minimizing gear failure risk is a concern.

Fueling needs can be minimally offset with wood fire cooking if necessary so I can push it a little bit in that regard. I do need to think more about boiled water needs more before deciding on the number of canisters but I use less than most. Food choice will have the final say I think.

Hikin' Jim
(hikin_jim) - MLife

Locale: Los Angeles, CA, USA
Canisters needed. on 10/19/2009 15:15:49 MDT Print View

If it's any help, I recently did a 1 week trip with three people, and we did fine with a 220g Snow Peak canister. Our cooking style:
-A mix of hot and cold breakfasts, sometimes with tea
-Cold lunches
-Always a hot supper, frequently with hot cocoa or tea, sometimes pudding (requires hot water)
Our style sounds roughly similar to yours.

Not walking? Going by train? Bus? Motorcycle? Bicycle? Sounds interesting; do tell. Perhaps weight isn't as much a consideration then. I'd still probably bring a canister stove, but you'd have more options. I might consider a Jetboil since I have one and it's efficient without taking up too much space although definitely not as light as a regular upright canister stove.

So, how tight is space? For food for three weeks, if you go with a lot of individual serving packets, you'll have a lot of trash when empty and more bulk when full. You can always take everything out of the packaging and dump multiple single servings into one large zip lock. Of course, you then have to have some means of measuring it back out, but one Ti measuring cup is a lot less bulk and weight than wads of packaging I would think.

100F temps. Desert? How's water availability? Water availability would certainly have a big impact on what food you bring. If you're not walking and there isn't a lot of water, good old fashioned canned foods might be an option.

Christopher Plesko
(Pivvay) - F

Locale: Rocky Mountains
Re: Canisters needed. on 10/19/2009 15:55:08 MDT Print View

Going by bicycle. Weight is a big consideration overall though I'm not going to count grams on a stove when I will be potentially hauling 40 liters of water (yes...I know) at a time. I'll carry a little more bomber and secure gear due to the remoteness factor. Base weight under 10lbs even with a sat phone seems reasonable on the surface.

Desert indeed. Wide temp swings and no water. Got to love it.

My current estimated load near the beginning is 130 or 140lbs, not counting the bike/trailer or myself. Yikes. It's new territory for me. But it's very intriguing for some reason.

I don't totally have a handle on capacity of my bags. It's a flexible thing but it's not like I'm carrying a 100L pack on my back.

Edited by Pivvay on 10/19/2009 15:56:21 MDT.

Mark Verber
(verber) - MLife

Locale: San Francisco Bay Area
Re: Expeditioning Food/Stove Ideas on 10/19/2009 16:34:39 MDT Print View

Were are you going? Sounds interested.

> Individually packaged meals or bulk?

I would be inclined to go bulk to cut out the extra packaging. You just has to be sure you have a reliable way to measure your potions.

> What goodies can withstand the heat? Waxed chocolates?

The original tropical chocolates were kind of icky. I understand the desert bar was tastier... but I don't think it's in production. I would love to hear where to get one if they are avail still.

My hot weather goodies are dried fruits, cliff bars, hard sucking candy, candied lemon and ginger, and south beach cinnamon/raisin bars (which somewhere around 90F start to become more crumble than bar but don't get messy and are still tasty). In hot weather I don't like eating.. lemon and ginger seems to help.

> Need some variety and good fat/protein heavy sources.

I typically use a combo of hard meats, hard cheeses, and nuts. Look forward to what others suggest.

> Something to mask taste of water with higher salt/mineral content?

crystal light lemonaid mix. Takes less artificial sweetener than sugar for same taste.


> Canister stove or other?

iso butane is more efficient than alcohol or esbits. But I have found that if I am doing small amounts of boil (16oz/meal) that the alcohol ends being the same weight day one and less total accumulated weight over the trip because it's daily carry weight drops more quickly. If you wanted larger boils then I found the canister starts to pull ahead.

If there is sufficiently reliable wood supply something like the Ti-Tri Caldera would be the best option.

--Mark

Edited by verber on 10/19/2009 16:36:36 MDT.

Christopher Plesko
(Pivvay) - F

Locale: Rocky Mountains
expeditioning food on 10/19/2009 16:46:58 MDT Print View

I also don't like to eat in the super hot. I usually pack bulk maltodextrin to mix in those conditions. My baby bottle I call it. However carrying a large supply will take up some volume!

I've neglected to say where so far just because I want a little independent thinking. It's not a secret though and I'm not the first to do it though part of the trip would be a first I suppose.

I don't want to rely on wood burning because it's going to be inefficient time wise and not always ideal for the environment. There is enough material that I can use should I run out of fuel but I intend to bring enough fuel in general. Is alcohol going to be more bulky for that much supply? I always carry Esbit on short trips and haven't played with alcohol much although I have some stoves and fuel a buddy gave me since he loves to play with them.

Mark Verber
(verber) - MLife

Locale: San Francisco Bay Area
Re: expeditioning food on 10/19/2009 16:58:01 MDT Print View

> Is alcohol going to be more bulky for that much supply?

depends on the stoves efficiency and how much you cook. I plan my trips to get 16oz of water nicely warm (~170F) with .3oz and a good boil with .5oz using an ion stove. Some stoves will use more like 1oz which could really added up if you want that twice / day.

For me, one of the 16oz small platypus bottles would be plenty... but it sounds like I boil less than you do.

--Mark

Christopher Plesko
(Pivvay) - F

Locale: Rocky Mountains
Re: Re: expeditioning food on 10/19/2009 17:09:13 MDT Print View

Good to know Mark. Sounds like 16oz might not quite cut it for me but it's hard to say for sure quite yet. Still that's really not that bulky overall.

Roger Caffin
(rcaffin) - BPL Staff - MLife

Locale: Wollemi & Kosciusko NPs, Europe
Re: Expeditioning Food/Stove Ideas on 10/19/2009 18:05:11 MDT Print View

Canister stove would certainly work very well. I think it would be the lightest. A Snow Peak upright or the Vargo Jet-Ti 9sold by BPL) would be my choice.

I can go for 2 weeks on a 220 g canister with a similar amount of heating as you list. So I would suggest two canisters would be desirable.

Chocolate goes ... soft? at 100 F. But if buried deep in the kit you might get away with it. Less palatable foodwise at high temps though. Nuts and dried fruit always good.

Bulk food would be my strong recommendation. 3 weeks of wrappers ... sigh!

Most of your weight loss will be water loss. Bluntly, most people carry too much water in their bodies anyhow. I wouldn't worry about it.

Cheers

Christopher Plesko
(Pivvay) - F

Locale: Rocky Mountains
weight loss on 10/19/2009 18:12:52 MDT Print View

Thanks for the insights, good tips. I like chocolate. I don't need it but a little is good motivation!

I lost over 10lbs in an almost 2800 mile self supported race this summer when resupply and restaurant stops were available. I'm certain I would lose non water weight out there unless I carried quite a lot of food, more than I'm willing to carry. I may even go in a few pounds overweight on purpose as I'm normally slim. Extra body fat give a little more cushion to ration food should I be out there extra days.

Tom Kirchner
(ouzel) - MLife

Locale: Pacific Northwest/Sierra
Re: Expeditioning Food/Stove Ideas on 10/19/2009 20:46:57 MDT Print View

"Solo three week trip (~21 days). Zero resupply opportunity. Water only cooking. Long days of traveling necessitated by water source needs. Temperatures from over 100 deg F to 25 deg F.

Individually packaged meals or bulk?

Bulk, but maybe pack a couple of evening meals as individual for those days toward the end when you're going to be really tired and maybe don't want to screw around with measuring out stuff from bulk bags.


What goodies can withstand the heat? Waxed chocolates?

Hard candies, peanut brittle or toffee, brown sugar, maple sugar, chocolate if you bag it well(maybe vacuum seal?). Wait until morning after a 25 degree night to open it and it will be rock solid.


Need some variety and good fat/protein heavy sources.

Nuts, lots of varieties including Blue Diamond almonds which come in a variety of tasty flavors(Maui Onion, Chili Lime, Smokehouse Habanero, Honey Roasted, etc), Nido full fat dried milk(try mixing it up with some maple or brown sugar-yummmm), olive oil or other oil, ghee(Indian clarified butter-full flavor, stable at room temp and higher, 100% fat), dried coconut, maybe one 4 oz can of cooked crumbled bacon for a treat, whey protein powder, chocolate.


Compactness of food items is good though not 100% necessary for all things. Space is somewhat limited.

Crush the nuts and squash everything down very firmly when packing. Consolidate and squeeze air out reduces volume quite a bit, stick bars vertically along the perimeter of a bag. There's usually just enough space to slide them in.


Something to mask taste of water with higher salt/mineral content?

Crystal Lite, Koolaid(sweetened or unsweetened)
Canister stove or other?

Canister-well discussed by other posters.


Calories per day goals? Weight loss is assured but would like to keep it to 5kg max.

That depends a lot on your physiology, the terrain, total weight you have to propel, altitude. Do you have other trip data for a base line. Good place to start. Also, it might be worth while reading Ryan Jordan's discussion of the food for the Arctic1000 trip. Lots of good data. Salient points: They went in carrying a lot of extra body fat; Their meals for the first week weighed somewhere around 1.5 pounds as they burned body fat. By the third week, their food weighed ~3 pounds/day and contained ~7000 calories as they had burned all their body fat by then and had to depend on dietary calories. Worth pondering.

Another excellent brain to pick is Richard Nisley. You might try PM-ing him if he doesn't post to this thread. He has a wealth of info on the subject.

Brainstorm away."

Christopher Plesko
(Pivvay) - F

Locale: Rocky Mountains
Re: Re: Expeditioning Food/Stove Ideas on 10/20/2009 09:57:05 MDT Print View

What have people used for bulk packaging? I suppose freezer bags would work as long as you split it up a bit. I agree that 3 weeks of individual wrappers seems dumb and environmentally insensitive. Any cloth or paper based wrappings that could be burned?

The food planning will be interesting. I should read the Arctic 1000 stuff again, I'll have to renew my membership to do so. No way to test "week 3" beforehand really, just make the best guess and wing it. Lack of calories won't kill you, just slow you down. Luckily terrain and water pressures ease off as the route progresses.

I've done a 3 week trip but just never without being able to gorge at restaurants at times. I expect to be riding between 12 and 24+ hours at a stretch depending on weather, water needs and necessary pace based on food supply. I'll go down to sleep 6 hours at a time for the most part. I know 3 to 6 hours a night with maybe one or two 7-8 hour nights is sustainable for me with that kind of effort for 3 weeks.

Altitude will be insignificantly low.

Tom Kirchner
(ouzel) - MLife

Locale: Pacific Northwest/Sierra
Re: Re: Re: Expeditioning Food/Stove Ideas on 10/20/2009 12:02:34 MDT Print View

"Lack of calories won't kill you, just slow you down."

A note of caution: On longer trips, lack of calories can result in cannibalizing your muscle tissue to produce glucose. Depending on how long this goes on it can be very dangerous. At a minimum, water requirements go up to flush excess urea. Weakness can become a serious issue, and potentially life threatening physiological conditions can ensue over time. It's worth careful consideration, Christopher, especially if you are in a remote area where help is unavailable. I'm pretty sure that's why Ryan, Roman, and Jason increased their calorie count so radically for the last week of the Arctic1000. Hopefully Dean F., John S., or other medical professionals are watching this thread and will give you some knowledgeable advice.

Christopher Plesko
(Pivvay) - F

Locale: Rocky Mountains
Re: Re: Re: Re: Expeditioning Food/Stove Ideas on 10/20/2009 13:06:32 MDT Print View

I'm not considering a calorie level that is significantly dangerous in that regard so long as I didn't go in exceptionally slim. Being hungry sucks but plenty of explores have survived on minimal diets when there was no other choice.

For example: some did this trip on 1400kCal/day and made it. They lost 18kg of weight! I'll be aiming for much more minimal weight loss.

Roger Caffin
(rcaffin) - BPL Staff - MLife

Locale: Wollemi & Kosciusko NPs, Europe
Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Expeditioning Food/Stove Ideas on 10/20/2009 14:57:17 MDT Print View

> some did this trip on 1400kCal/day and made it. They lost 18kg of weight!

I know of one guy who claimed to be able to go for a fortnight on 400 g dry weight of food per day. That is way under the 750 g dry weight I would recommend. However, he always started over-weight, and usually burnt off about 350 g of fat per day! Well ... :-)

I knew another guy who used to fatten up like a porpoise before long trips in S America. Always came back looking very slim. But he was young.

BUT: such radical weight loss is not going to be good for your long-term health. Being that over-weight at the start isn't good either.

Cheers

Christopher Plesko
(Pivvay) - F

Locale: Rocky Mountains
Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Expeditioning Food/Stove Ideas on 10/20/2009 15:20:37 MDT Print View

>BUT: such radical weight loss is not going to be good for your long-term health. Being that over-weight at the start isn't good either.

Right. That's why I'm bringing far more food/day than that and no one is talking extreme weight gain. 5lbs of extra fat is significant extra calories in the sense of a 3 week trip. My point was only that people need not take the theoretical risks of calorie restriction too far, esp from the sense of if I have to start rationing food. I did appreciate the mention, if I hadn't know that I would have liked to. I would also argue that the whole trip is not really that healthy for me to begin with but I'm just not concerned about it. Something will kill me someday and trips like this enrich the time I spend on earth. It's not a diet phenomenon, it's a fairly extreme expedition.

Anyway not to get too serious! :) Mostly just fishing for ideas and brainstorming or maybe the chance that they few who have done more extreme trips will chime in with something I'm not thinking of. Besides I'm laid up with a broken ankle and I've got to do something while I stay in bed all day.