Planning & Nutrition

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Food Planning Guide

BREAKFAST

THE MOST IMPORTANT MEAL OF THE DAY! ACTIVE BODIES NEED FUEL
Greet the morning with your favorite coffee or tea in instant single serve packs or fast brew bags. Crystal Light or similar flavored juice brands offer instant single serve packs and are very lightweight (mix two per quart sized water bottle). Remember to start your day well-hydrated! Oatmeal breakfasts are filling and slow-burning for extended energy into the afternoon. Eggs (dried or freeze dried) wrapped in tortillas make great breakfast burritos – don’t forget the salsa packets! Breakfast bars are suitable for a quick start or a mid-morning snack once you hit the trail.

LUNCH

ALTERNATE SHORT AND LONG LUNCH BREAKS BASED ON LENGTH AND DIFFICULTY OF ACTIVITY
Many adventurists rely on a quick lunch of snack foods including bars, jerky and trail mix. Instead, map out your lunches to take a longer break and enjoy the scenery. Quick cook noodles such as ramen are easy to prepare and help replenish energy. Peanut butter and jelly or hummus in squeeze tubes are delicious on pita, flat bread or bagels which travel well with good care. Hard cheeses, cured meats and tuna in foil packs are other great options. TIP: avoid high moisture items as they spoil more quickly. Drink plenty of water or enjoy an instant flavored juice pack with your lunch!

DINNER

IT’S TIME TO RELAX! YOU DESERVE IT
Replenish your mind and body after a full day of adventure. Dried and freeze-dried meals are highly recommended as they keep weight and cooking time down. Choose from a variety of meal flavors including vegetarian, vegan and gluten-free options. For the creative camp chef, there are plenty of grocery items you can use to build a meal. Dried and freeze-dried meals are easy to prepare simply by adding boiling water and letting sit for up to 15 minutes. Clean-up involves licking your spork, flattening the bag and tucking away in your trash/recycling pack. TIP: the longer the cooking time, the more fuel you will need to carry. Avoid bringing foods that require significant simmering times. More elaborate meals can mean more dishes to wash – minimize your environmental impact and spend more time exploring and relaxing!
 

DESSERT

STACK UP YOUR CALORIES FOR THE NEXT DAY.
Desserts are a great way to round out your dinner, satisfy your sweet tooth and make for a pleasant evening as you prepare to rest. Desserts should be kept simple and travel well. Pre-packaged desserts are lightweight and easy to prepare simply by adding water and letting sit for less than 10 minutes. Instant pudding is a quick and easy treat. Dessert burritos can be prepared by filling tortillas with chocolate, peanut butter and bananas – prepack in nonstick foil and melt over fire before enjoying. Get creative!

SNACKS

It is important to pack a good variety of snacks to help supplement meals and is particularly important between breakfast, lunch and dinner. Stick with energy-packed snacks that travel well. Bars, jerky, nuts and trail mix are great choices. Dried fruit is a great option and easy to do yourself (avoid buying cheap dried fruit). TIP: keep your snacks in a clothing pocket or a place in a location that is easy to access on the go.

DRINKS

STAY HYDRATED AND TREAT YOURSELF
Supplement plenty of water intake with additional drink options throughout the day. Instant single serve packs or fast brew bags of coffee and tea, as well as powdered energy drinks are a great way to start the day. Crystal Light or similar flavored juice brands offer single serve packs and are very lightweight (mix two per quart-sized water bottle). TIP: while drink mixes with real sugar can provide calories, it also adds significant weight. If you are of age – bringing a little scotch, bourbon or whatever your preference is can be rather nice in the evenings (and worth the weight)!!

 Tips and Tricks

  • Minimize dishes! Use cook-in-the-bag prepackaged meals or freezer weight zipper bags to pack meals prepared at home. TIP: plastic zipper bags can puncture or break – bring a few spares!

  • Many prepacked meals are designed to serve two. Share your meals in the bag to avoid using bowls or plates and minimize trash.

  • Repackage trail mix, dried fruit and other snacks into freezer weight zipper bags portioned for each individual traveler.

  • Be mindful of high moisture foods sealed in zipper bags which tend to mold more rapidly.

  • Keep foods out of the sun to avoid premature spoilage particularly for breads, cheeses and cured meats.

  • Detract bears from getting into your food supply by using canisters, bins and rope – but keep in mind you are much more likely to be bothered by mice, raccoons, porcupines and other rodents.

  • Be prepared! Don’t forget cooking fuel for your stove. Boil-only meals require less fuel, while multi-step meals require more fuel.

  • Calculate how much stove fuel you will need and add 10% for short trips and 20% for long trips. TIP: colder weather requires more fuel (40-50% in very cold conditions).

  • One 100g fuel canister for a Jetboil will typically yield 10 liters or about 40 cups of boiling water.

  • One 20 ounce tank of white gas for the Whisper Light stove will typically yields 26 liters or 110 cups of boiling water.

  • Pack out all trash! Leave no trace and leave your space cleaner than you found it. Pick up trash even if it’s not yours!

     

 Altitude Guide

Remember that cooking at higher altitudes requires additional cooking time since water boils at a lower temperate. At 10,000 ft, cooking times can double or triple if the outside temperature is low as well.

Boiling point of water at elevation

Altitude (ft) (m) Water Temp ℉ (℃)
Sea Level 212 (100)
1000 (305) 210.1 (98.9)
2000 (610) 208.1 (97.9)
3000 (914) 206.2 (96.8)
4000 (1219) 204.3 (95.7)
5000 (1524) 202.4 (94.7)
6000 (1829) 200.6 (93.7)
7000 (2134) 198.7 (92.6)
8000 (2438) 196.9 (91.6)
9000 (2743) 195 (90.5)
10000 (3048) 193.2 (89.5)