Monday, 13 June 2011

Food for a long trip

When hiking there are 3 key factors in my view, one is your comfort as you walk here the pack is critical and good weather helps. Secondly your physical condition especially you feet and legs, if they feel okay then walking is pleasurable. The final component is food. It is great to get to camp at the end of a long day and look forward to dinner, similarly (for me) breakfast is equally important.

For my upcoming trip in Lapland I need to carry 20 days food (as there are no resupply options along the trail), so the less weight the better, but I need to ensure the kilojoule level is high enough. Now I could just take a bottle of Olive Oil and that would meet my energy needs, but ...  a mixture of foods would possibly be a better option.

In my planning I work on a need for about 13 000 kj per day.

To begin with I look for foods that offer 2000 kj per 100 gms, in this way 650 gms will give me 13000 kj.

For example;  breakfast I scoured the supermarkets until I found a muesli that gave me more than 2000 kj per 100 gms. To which added Full Cream Instant powdered Milk, ground Pecans and coconut, the 175 gms gives me 4156 kj.  For those in Denmark the base cereal was "Belsø's Multi Mysli med mix af frugt og nødder",  purchased in Føtex.

During the day, food is made up of Eat Natural Bars, 9Bars, Sesame Bars, Pringles, Tortilla Wraps and Chocolate.

Finally in the evening it is Fuizion Foods meals, they are lightweight, nutritous and tasty.

Of course I also carry coffee and tea. For coffee I would prefer Starbucks Via, but it is not available in Denmark so I use Nescafe Espresso sticks, for tea it has to be Twinings Green Tea and Lemon.

The total weight  of a days food is 695 gms and the energy value is 13900 kj. The weight of a days food may be a little high for the beginning of the trip, but I anticipate that there will be very little left at the end of the trip.

A days food:

And 20 days food fills 2 large shopping bags plus ...

A detailed food list for 20 days is given below

Weight in gms.Kj per 100 gmsProtein per 100 gms.Carbo per 100 gmsSugar per 100 gmsFat per 100 gmsTotal KJ for day.Total for 20 days
Belsin Cereal1002,15015590222,1502,000
Milk Powder252,06526381028516500
2 Sesame Bars602,329174532351,3971,200
2 EAT Natural bars902,05464734319241,800
Freeze Dried (Fuzion)1102,300686343202,5302,200
Coffee Tea18000000360

Note that my focus in preparing food for this trip has also been on minimising fuel usage (in this case gas) so for breakfast its hot water for coffee, and hot water for dinner and a cuppa. The planned amount of water heated in a day is 800 ml.

As a consequence of this minimisation I have decided to take the new Jetboil Sol Ti, its total weight  for pot, burner and pot lid is 245 gms.  Given the low fuel usage I should only need 2 100 gms gas canisters, for a total starting weight of 625 gms, as compared with my previous set up Snowpeak Ti, BPL 900 pot using about double the amount of gas would have a starting weight of 820 gms, the two set ups would have the same carry weight after 18 days. For me a lower starting weight is important.

Some will say why not use a wood stove, for me on trips such as this I prefer to use a gas stove as it means I can stop and eat when ever it suits me, as well, at the end of some days being able to light a stove boil water and eat is all I feel like doing.