weight of food?

what’s a good average weight per day to carry for an extended trip? I am preparing to paddle the Au Sable next week, and am looking at 20 lbs of food for 6 days (enough to stretch to 7 days). That includes 3 hearty meals a day plus snacks, extras like coffee & hot chocolate, dessert for each evening, packaging and drybags.

thats plenty
More important than weight is calories per day. I figure what I want to eat in terms of calories/day, and go from there. Usually 4000 calories a day, and often I wont eat even that much.

Dehydrated your food?
On a no can, no bottle, 9 day trip with everything dehydrated - food works out to about 20 lbs per person for us and that’s with oatmeal breakfasts and sandwich / GORP for lunch. The only meal we splurge on is supper. Oatmeal will keep you going until late morning. I think you will find a lighter lunch and energy bars during the day the better way to go than a substantial lunch if you’ve got lots of miles left to cover after lunch. Then eat your fill at day’s end.

Thats kinda what I have found
Usually its coffee, and oatmeal in the AM, fill the thermos/ water bottles and head out. Clif bar and/or gorp once I am on the water, then evening I eat high protien and energy foods, with plenty of fat. I also pack soy-free protien powder, and an electrolyte drink with for evenings.

Typical menu will be:

Breakfast: Oatmeal, powdered milk, honey, raisins, coffee or tea

Snacks: Gorp or clif bar every 90 minutes or so

Lunch: Peanut butter,clif bar,coffee or tea

Supper: Rice or potato buds, with can tuna in oil or similar protien/fat source, electrolyte drink

I like canned tuna in oil because it is high in calories and protien,cheap, and reasonably filling.

I will always take peanut butter for the same reason.

Always take honey and candy for sugar. Can’t beat a bag of Jolly Ranchers for constant sugar, or honey in the tea.

water weight
For dried foods, isn’t there a water weight consideration too? For example, how much water is required to re-hydrate and cook 20lbs of freeze dried food, coffee and other hot drinks?

I guess this would not be an issue if you are carrying little water and filtering what you need from the river…

mmm honey ice tea
1 mason jar,2 teabags,1/2oz. honey and water. on a 12 day trip i brought a pint of honey box of bags and a water purifier. made about six gallons on that trip. be careful with those sport drink mixes. for example gatorade has 10x the sodium of powerade. oatmeal is a staple i like cook a banana and brown sugar with it. mountain house foods has very good dehydrated bananas. lunch? lunch is what ever is left over from suppah!

I dont ever carry water unless the
water I am paddling in is salt.

I have an eleven day trip coming up. I do use a water filter. What I am paddling on is probably drinkable without the use of a filter but its a good precaution not to assume water is safe as is. Nothing like finding a good dead moose in the water upstream.

My food comes out to 22 lbs. Its dehydrated and not in bottles or cans.

Oatmeal with dried berries and coffee for breakfast. I carry tea too. I carry flavorings to make water more interesting during the day.

Lunch is invariably on the go and eaten on a portage. Jerky, dried fruit, peanut butter and honey and raisins in a wrap (those things keep FOREVER!) and sometimes a Clif or Lara Bar etc.

I carry a GORP derivative too for a pickme up in the PM… That is probably the heaviest thing…all those nuts.

Dinner is something out of the grocery store aisle (like those rice and sauce things…now they have them with veggies too) plus some home dehydrated turkey or pork.

Unfortunately hooch is not in the packing plan. Too many portages.

dehydrated food

– Last Updated: Jul-27-09 10:59 PM EST –

Last year's trip on the Allagash we ate mostly dehydrated food. We packed minimally though and some of the meals were skimpy, so this year (Au Sable River) I'm going a bit extravagant. We got some free MRE's and commercial lasagna meals, I field-stripped them to remove unnecessary items and my dinner pack is 7 lbs. Each dinner includes a main course, side dish, and brownie/cake/or cookie plus a Koolaid single.

For breakfast I have flavored oatmeals, raisins, blueberry breakfast bars, coffee, Tang, and Carnation Instant Breakfast drink. Might throw in a couple bagels and cream cheese with precooked bacon. For lunch I packed a variety of things; a few of those single-serving cans of deviled ham and vienna sausages, foilpack chicken and salmon, tortillas and pita bread, spicy asian noodles, beef jerky, peanut butter, cheese and crackers, granola bars, pudding. Breakfast/Lunch pack comes to 10 lbs.

Then I have a 3-lb bag of snacks, such as trail mix, candy, dried apricots and cranberries.

For water I'm carrying a 2L water bladder and two 1L nalgenes, and a filter as well as an Aquamira treatment kit.

Sounds like 20 lbs for a week's worth of food is not too bad, thanks! it doesn't take up all that much space either.

Roughly half way between Grayling and Oscoda are the towns of Mio and McKinley. Mio has a portage over a hydroelectric damn with plenty of store within 1/4 mile to restock. A few miles downstream from here is McKinley, there’s a landing at the bridge. A decent store is @ 1/4 North. Hope this helps.

didn’t know about the one in McKinley so I’ll keep that in mind. we’re starting on the South Branch so we’ll portage Mio Dam about lunchtime on the 3rd day. we might hit the Au Sable River Restaurant then stop in at the grocery store in case we’re lacking anything.

I go 2lbsPPPD
With a mix of conventional, dried, and luxury items.

The thing with river trips is you dont have to skimp like you would while backpacking. Hell, Ive take 200lbs of food for a weekend gig before. and ive also taken 2-months of food(un resupplied) for an arctic solo that weighed a total of 70 lbs…all dehydrated type of food.

there is no “correct” answer.

the ausable is a good one to take a bunch of gear even theough you have some damns to portage (thats if your paddling the Michigan Ausable and not the New york ausable)

yes the Au Sable in Michigan – we’re starting on the South Branch near Roscommon and ending at Lake Huron, about 110 river miles and 6 portages. 3 of the 6 come on Day 5 so our load will be a bit lighter by then, and we plan to paddle less miles that day and extra miles on the day before.

total load
turned out to be 75 lbs. that includes all food, clothing, gear, bags, PFD, paddles, water, everything except the boat itself. about 12 lbs of that is shared camping gear like stove, fuel, pots & utensils, dining fly etc.

considering I carry a 40-45 lb pack for a 3-day backpacking weekend I don’t think that’s too bad.

You can get away with…
carrying very little food if you learn how to forage.

Here in Florida there’s a banquet around almost every bend, not to mention the seafood.

We’ve fruits, veggies, grains, tubers, sprouts, carbs & starches, sweeteners, spices, herbs, teas and drinks, a caffeine-rich shrub that makes a great substitute for Earl Grey tea or morning coffee, we even have a plant for stunning fish. I get my water supply from springs. I will carry daily multi-vitamins but only as a backup.

If you learn of foraging & wildcrafting (use of medicinal plants)techniques you can save a lot of weight (on both your canoe and your wallet), paddle a lot lighter and therefore feel less fatigued when the day’s paddle is over and you set up camp.

that can work
if you include the time for foraging/hunting/fishing into your trip.

be careful where you forage
If you get caught foraging in lands of the NPS the next meals you get could be tasty prison food.

I don’t think you really would get prison but yes its illegal.

Its also illegal in Ontario Provincial Parks.

Personally I think its a fine idea…

hunt and gather
just knowing which plants and animals you can eat is important in a survival situation anyway. I remember watching a “survivorman” episode where he was trying to spear sunfish in a pond ringed with nice tasty cattails. Should have ate the cattails and not bothered wasting time trying to spear a low calorie fish for dinner. When I was a kid we would eat the flowers like corn on the cob. mmmmm


Wow you all are hard core
For a 6-7 day trip, I like bacon & eggs for breakfast, a nice steak the first or second night, tacos, or enchiladas, Chilli with corn bread, etc. That dehy stuff looks like barely survival to me.