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Ryan Krause
(rmkrause)

Locale: Pacific Northwest
Realistic Number of Days Food in Bearikade Weekender/Expedition on 03/02/2012 22:31:22 MST Print View

Bearikade site says 6 days in the Weekender and 9 for the Expedition - how accurate does everyone find this in practice? Are these numbers assuming you repacked everything and chose dense items or are they assuming MH meals in original packaging and less strict on item density? I do plan on buying one which will afford me time to practice packing it properly rather than renting one and finding out a day or two prior to the trip I can't get everything I hoped to fit in.

Looking at the Bearikades for the JMT late July/early August of this year and also trips over to ONP. For my trips over to the ONP and choice is fairly clear - the Weekender, the only real wrench is the JMT. I plan to resupply at Red's and MTR. The longest stretch without resupplies is MTR to Whitney and I plan on 20 mile days. Given this I think the Weekender plus 1 days food that will be consumed day of resupply I think I'm just about right in the Weekender, but again it's unclear to me what they factored into their calculations to get 6 days of food.

Bob Gross
(--B.G.--) - F

Locale: Silicon Valley
Re: Realistic Number of Days Food in Bearikade Weekender/Expedition on 03/02/2012 22:44:11 MST Print View

You know the volume capacity of each bear canister. Now grab some of your intended daily meals and see how much you can put into a 100 cubic inch box. If you know how many days of food you need to carry, you can figure out which bear canister to purchase.

I built myself a 100 cubic inch box out of cardboard so that I could test my food fit. It doesn't have to be 100 cubic inches, but that was just a nice round number for testing.

I managed to get eight days of food into an ancient Garcia canister one time.

As soon as you try to use Mountain House food in their original packages, forget it.

Basically, what you end up with are lots and lots of Ziploc bags.

--B.G.--

First Last
(snusmumriken) - F

Locale: SF Bay Area
6 days on 03/03/2012 15:13:18 MST Print View

They call it the weekender because it is the perfect size for two people to share on a weekend trip. That doesn't exactly translate to six days of food, more like four days.

If a weekend trip is what you are doing then you can bring some freeze dried meals, include a bit of packaging and even have space for a few extras.

However if you really want to squeeze six days of food in the can then you need to keep the daily amount down to about a pound and a half, use compact food such as gorp, oatmeal, rice etc, and throw out any packaging. It can be done but it takes some careful planning.

Bob's idea of practicing is a good one. Take two quart size zip lock bags and see if you can squeeze one day's worth of food into them.
Two quarts per day times six days = 12 quarts = 3 gallons. The weekender is 2.75 gallons.

PS. With 20 mile per day pace you'll be just fine with a Weekender from MTR to Whitney Portal.

Jim W.
(jimqpublic) - MLife

Locale: So-Cal
Food in a bear can. on 03/03/2012 15:39:40 MST Print View

There's a guy who claims to put 12 days' worth in a Garcia. He uses as little packaging as possible and fills all free space with loose rice. Personally I have to work very hard to get 6 full days' into a Garcia (600 cubic inches). 9 days for the Expedition sounds about right. Remember you don't need to put the first day food into the can as it will be consumed before bed time. You should make room for soap, toothpaste, sunscreen, first aid cream, etc.

If I were buying a Bearikade it would be the Expedition. For short trips I would use the excess space for lovely things like bread and cheetos.

Tom Kirchner
(ouzel) - MLife

Locale: Pacific Northwest/Sierra
Re: 6 days on 03/03/2012 15:56:46 MST Print View

"Take two quart size zip lock bags and see if you can squeeze one day's worth of food into them."

That is a good place to start, but don't stop there. IME, with practice you should be able to fit a day's worth of food, up to 22 oz of carefully chosen, carefully compressed food, in a quart zip loc baggy. Another, more efficient method is to pack things like soup, oatmeal, trail mix, etc in one large bag and measure out daily rations from it. Larger bags not stuffed to the max like a quart baggy offer more opportunity to make them conform to available space. The downside of this method is that it is not as neat and tidy as one quart zip loc per day, but you will be able to get more food in your Weekender.

Scott S
(sschloss1) - F

Locale: New England
Bearikade Expedition on 03/03/2012 16:13:17 MST Print View

On the PCT, I was able to get about 6 1/2 days of food into my Expedition. Of course, that was on a thru-hiker's schedule/diet, so I was eating 3500-4000 calories each day. If you're planning to eat less, you could squeeze a few more days in there.

Also, it's not the end of the world if you have a bit of food outside the canister. Your first day's food, including that night's dinner, never have to go into the can.

jeffrey armbruster
(book) - M

Locale: Northern California
Realistic Number of Days Food in Bearikade Weekender/Expedition on 03/03/2012 20:25:55 MST Print View

I can easily get six days worth of food in a Bearikade weekender--for one person. Yes, you might have to carry your first dinner--or your coffee and toothpaste--outside of the can. Actually,I don't even repackage to accomplish this, as long as my dinners are those vacuum sealed singles that Bob's beloved Mountain House makes.

Mark Verber
(verber) - MLife

Locale: San Francisco Bay Area
Re: Realistic Number of Days Food in Bearikade Weekender/Expedition on 03/03/2012 20:42:17 MST Print View

I get "6 days" of my standard food into the weekender, actually now that I think about it, it's really 5 because day 1 breakfast is eaten on the way to the trail and lunch is in the side pocket, and for day 6 I don't pack dinner because I am planning to be off the trail and heading home. I am not particularly careful with packing, but there isn't a lot of those oversize freeze-dried packages either (1-2 desserts might sneak in). I have gotten 10 days into the canister when I specifically was going for maximum density food and didn't break it into individual contains, for example, just one bag with cous cous rather than each meal being in it's own bag which is what I normally do.

Bob Gross
(--B.G.--) - F

Locale: Silicon Valley
Re: Realistic Number of Days Food in Bearikade Weekender/Expedition on 03/03/2012 20:42:20 MST Print View

"those vacuum sealed singles that Bob's beloved Mountain House makes"

I used to use those kinds of meals. The night before I leave for my trip, I would take the original package and drop a ten-pound sledge onto it a few times. Then I open the package and dump it into ziploc baggies. Then I would take the rolling pin to those to reduce the bulk a bit more, and it looks like sawdust. Then it goes into a bear canister nicely.

--B.G.--

Bob Gross
(--B.G.--) - F

Locale: Silicon Valley
Re: Re: Realistic Number of Days Food in Bearikade Weekender/Expedition on 03/03/2012 20:47:11 MST Print View

"cous cous"

Couscous works pretty good, but it gets boring if that's all you have for dinners. I carry one bag of it, plus one bag of minute rice, plus one bag of dehydrated quinoa. Then there is olive oil, either in a plastic bottle for a long trip, or else individual serving packets for a shorter trip. A few packets of instant soup to use as flavoring, and it all packs nicely.

--B.G.--

jeffrey armbruster
(book) - M

Locale: Northern California
Realistic Number of Days Food in Bearikade Weekender/Expedition on 03/03/2012 21:10:29 MST Print View

Touche, Bob. And after you finished with your pounding, your hammering, your pin rolling, you sent a nice review to Gourmet magazine...

Edited by book on 03/03/2012 21:12:47 MST.

Robert Perkins
(rp3957) - M

Locale: The Sierras
Realistic Number of Days Food in Bearikade Weekender/Expedition on 03/03/2012 21:18:22 MST Print View

I get 5 days worth of food in my weekender without too much trouble. I do transfer my MH meals into freezerbags without smashing them. I could probably fit more, but I haven't needed to yet. The few times I have gone out for longer than 5 nights, I just pack my first days food outside of the can and I am good-to-go for the other 5 days.

Bob Gross
(--B.G.--) - F

Locale: Silicon Valley
Re: Realistic Number of Days Food in Bearikade Weekender/Expedition on 03/03/2012 21:22:00 MST Print View

I doubt that even BPL would publish the review.

Twenty or thirty years ago, lots of us used Mountain House simply because we didn't know any better and it was available. Now, more of us understand how simple meals can be, and we are a little more tuned into trail nutrition (i.e. reducing salt and some other things).

--B.G.--

Erik Dietz
(erikdtz)

Locale: Los Angeles
... on 03/03/2012 21:51:03 MST Print View

You can get more than 6 days of food into the bearikade weekender if you repackage your food and really stuff it in. It's not too hard.

jeffrey armbruster
(book) - M

Locale: Northern California
Realistic Number of Days Food in Bearikade Weekender/Expedition on 03/03/2012 21:55:32 MST Print View

Bob: Good points about nutrition and salt. Freeze dried dinners are empty calories, carbohydrates (that's something!) plus salt, period. I'm pretty conscientious about my everyday diet. Because of this, I've found that I can slag off for five or six days as long as I have some actual foods--nuts, whole oats for breakfast, jerky (actualish food?), dried fruit--for makeshift nutrition. Oh and of course Powerbars.

I know it sounds awful but I decided years ago that backpacking was not about the meals.

Also, this is the kind of food that fits into a Bearikadee. I agree with Eric that if you repackage, you could get another days' food into the weekender

Finally, I haven't quite solved the whole cooking decent food/minimal fuel requirement thing. I like to boil in the morning and evening, end of story.

Edited by book on 03/04/2012 10:38:21 MST.

Sumi Wada
(DetroitTigerFan) - F

Locale: Ann Arbor
Re: Realistic Number of Days Food in Bearikade Weekender/Expedition on 03/04/2012 06:33:58 MST Print View

We were able to fit 3 full days worth of food for two people inside the canister but it was filled to the brim.

All of our dinners are FBC, nothing in commercial packaging. We tend to take mostly dry or dense items (nuts, cheese, sausage, m&m's, etc.) and not so much high-volume items like crackers. Both of us average 1-lb per day.

At the end of the first day, we'd consumed just enough to squeeze in our smellable toiletries inside for the night. ALL of our toiletries fit in a small sandwich ziplock bag and loosely at that.

We rented ours. I let them know that I was a little concerned about getting everything in and I think they sent it at least a week before leaving; I know I had enough time to try it and get another/different one if necessary.

Walter Carrington
(Snowleopard) - M

Locale: Mass.
'Care and feeding of your bear canister.' on 03/04/2012 10:20:45 MST Print View

I've never had to carry enough at one time to use all this advice, but here's an article on stuffing lots of food into a bear canister:
www.pcta.org/planning/before_trip/health/canistercare.doc

Ryan C
(radio_guy) - MLife

Locale: OH & AK
Re: Realistic Number of Days Food in Bearikade Weekender/Expedition on 03/04/2012 14:53:24 MST Print View

You may want to contact Wild Ideas by email. They offer a 12" tall model that is right between the Weekender and Expedition. It is a custom order and not listed on the website. I know a guy that did the JMT last year and he thought it was the perfect size.

Lyan Jordan
(redmonk)

Locale: Greater Yellowstone Ecosystem
Realistic Number of Days Food in Bearikade Weekender/Expedition on 03/04/2012 15:03:56 MST Print View

15 people days is reasonable For the expedition.

Unless you expect to eat to full as you want.

Edited by redmonk on 03/04/2012 15:04:57 MST.

Paul McLaughlin
(paul) - MLife
Re: Realistic Number of Days Food in Bearikade Weekender/Expedition on 03/05/2012 21:37:27 MST Print View

My experience with my Bearikades: I got food for 9 days for 2 people in a weekender and an expedition - so a total of 18 person-days. Had to repackage most of the FD food into ziplocs to get there, and re-pack several times before I made it go.
So for me, that would translate to 7.5 person-days in a weekender and 10.5 in an Expedition.
I did not choose my food for compactability, just went with my usual stuff. So I'm sure you could do better if you selected foods with the canister in mind.