Food for multi-day trips

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Mike79
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Food for multi-day trips

Post by Mike79 » Tue Sep 16, 2014 5:32 pm

I'm looking for ideas for food for longish self support river trips in Nepal, particularly dinners.

Needs to be maximum calorie without being sugary, minimum weight and not disgusting. Ideally things should be easily cook-able, but also capable of being consumed if not cooked.

I know about the specialist meals you can buy, but I'm looking for alternatives that people might have come across in normal shops.

Any thoughts?

bib_bob_euroslap
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Re: Food for multi-day trips

Post by bib_bob_euroslap » Tue Sep 16, 2014 6:27 pm

The best meal of this type that I've had recently was a just add water and boil 5 bean chilli I found in Morrisons, along with a boil in the bag portion of rice.
I can't remember the manufacturer name I'm afraid, it came in a white packet and was endorsed by a famous chef and was part of a range of different meals...

Dan Yates.
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Re: Food for multi-day trips

Post by Dan Yates. » Tue Sep 16, 2014 7:16 pm

Buy local .
For dinner we do rice + jerky + spices + butter measured to one meal portions for up to 3 or 4 people and stuck in a zip lock bag. Breakfast is oats pre-mixed with milk powder and sugar again one meal portions for up to 3-4 people. More than 3 or 4 people is hard to cook in a pan small enough to fit in a kayak so we split into groups of that size with each group having 1 stove and 1 pan. Lunches are normally nuts + dried fruit + sweets / chocolate in individual 1 person / 1 day servings again in zip lock bags. Each member of the cooking group carries a share of the meals / fuel / pan / stove and everyone carries all their own lunches. This system is really light as the only packaging is one zip lock bag per meal between 3 or 4 and this can be packed out easily.

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Rory W
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Re: Food for multi-day trips

Post by Rory W » Tue Sep 16, 2014 8:45 pm

Plenty of other options available in Nepal too, pasta + soup mix isn't much bulkier than rice and makes a good change, the foil packed tuna in oily sauce is pretty good and noodles are cheap and available everywhere if not so filling.

Baby food is cheaper than oats over there. It's got loads of calories and works well for pudding as well as breakfast.

Back home, instant mash vanishes really well into dehydrated meals for a bit more bulk.

Dave Manby
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Re: Food for multi-day trips

Post by Dave Manby » Tue Sep 16, 2014 9:18 pm

Anything dehydrated and heated by adding boiling water is 'orrid at altitude 'cause the water doesn't boil at 100 degrees!

Mike79
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Re: Food for multi-day trips

Post by Mike79 » Tue Sep 16, 2014 10:52 pm

Jerky seems like a good idea - more in terms of taste than just nutrition. Do you mean the dried buff meat that you buy fried in roadside cafes? That would be a great evening snack.

It's been interesting looking up the calorie values of different foods by weight. Oats score high at 360/100g and they're the best kind of carbohydrates. Nuts are even more dense 600 but that's mainly fat which isn't such a good energy source, dried noodles give you up to 400 but rice comes in at just 130.

We're a small group so I was thinking we could each just take a small canteen/pot that you can both cook in and eat out of as that would skip bowls or cups.

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Re: Food for multi-day trips

Post by Dan Yates. » Tue Sep 16, 2014 11:15 pm

The dried meat is great because when you cook it in with the rice it kind of rehydrates, we put it in for protein.

Don't scrimp on the fat, we used to find we were all craving burgers, kebabs and associated dirty food as our bodies needed more fat. Putting a lump of butter in the meals really helped with that and stopped stuff sticking.

If you all take individual pans you might find you end up using more fuel (it isn't always possible or socially responsible to cook on a fire) as you all cook separately. Cooking together is also a really social thing to do at the end of a hard day so it helps keep the team tight. Packing separate portions would also mean carrying more packaging into and out of the river.

For drinking a wide neck nalgene is great for water and the neck is big enough to get tea bags in and out of aswell so no need for a mug.

Thats how the Mega Train does it but there are plenty of people who do it differently. Just got to find the system that works for you and refine / improve it on each trip.

Definitely trying the baby food for pudding Rory.

AlexC
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Re: Food for multi-day trips

Post by AlexC » Wed Sep 17, 2014 1:02 pm

If my Saturday cycle ride was anything to go by I don't think I could fit enough food in my kayak for a multi day trip :-) During the actual ride I managed to eat:

coffee
scone and jam
two cheese ham and picked onion sandwiches
2 chocolate pancakes
honey roast cashews/peanuts
jelly babies
toasted pitta bread
Baton de Berger Salami
tin of Soup
Squeezy fruit purees
1 litre Apple Juice
1 litre grape juice
4 cans of Pepsi
1 can of Irn Bru
8 bananas
Packet of fig rolls
2 Ambrosia rice pudding
couple of slices of smoked ham
packet of wine gums
lots of water
A cereal bar.
and a boiled egg


mmm eating. Love it.

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Simon
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Re: Food for multi-day trips

Post by Simon » Thu Sep 18, 2014 10:48 am

Mike79 wrote:snip . . . .. . It's been interesting looking up the calorie values of different foods by weight. Oats score high at 360/100g and they're the best kind of carbohydrates. Nuts are even more dense 600 but that's mainly fat which isn't such a good energy source, dried noodles give you up to 400 but rice comes in at just 130.
For instant release energy, during or just after a long run for example, carbs are what you need. But for slow release energy to fuel you during a long day on the water then fat is very much part of the mix.

We have evolved to utilise fat in our bodies as a long term energy store, probably because fat is the densest energy source in terms of calories per gram. If there is a sudden need for energy due to activity, the body uses carbs initially, but if/when the carbs runs out it mobilises stored fat to keep you fueled in the longer term.

There is a message here for feeding long multi-day trips. Fat is important. The body can use fat as energy, and fat is energy dense and so compact to store. Things like nuts and dried meat, which can provide fat and protein, are good.

I suspect the craving for burgers etc mentioned on a thread here is because your internal fat stores have been excessively depleted trying to fuel long term vigorous activity with a diet too high in just carbs and protein.

Simon

willow
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Re: Food for multi-day trips

Post by willow » Thu Sep 18, 2014 12:01 pm

Just to reiterate Simons points.

Fats are extremely important. Calorie for weight wise they are the best, and although they get a bad press in normal western life that is for different reasons. Our main problem with obesity here is due to people eating tons of sugar, refined carbohydrates and processed crap. It tends to give 'fat' a bad name. Back in the day we mostly ate fat and protein, both of which have substantial nutritional value. Refined carbs (like white rice, pasta etc) have little nutritional value, they only probide energy. Fat can provide this energy, it just needs to go through a metabolic process, one your body is good at, to convert fat to carbs. So eating dried meats and fats would get you through. Carbs are heavy and generally only provide energy, important of course but there are other options. Try eat varied stuff though for general morale. Local solutions are often best too, do what they do....

Good luck, just make sure you bring whisky to see the nights through.

Dan Yates.
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Re: Food for multi-day trips

Post by Dan Yates. » Thu Sep 18, 2014 4:10 pm

Talking of whiskey I think the recent invention of powdered alcohol (palchol) will revolutionize the way we pack for multidays, and the time we get going in the mornings.

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Simon
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Re: Food for multi-day trips

Post by Simon » Thu Sep 18, 2014 9:02 pm

Just one more point on fat, I am reminded of reading about Captain Scott's Anarctic Expedition. Whilst Scott was doing his heroic failure stuff another party had gone off round the coast exploring for the summer, but got stuck, and had an unplanned and unprepared winter in a cave in the Antarctic without stores or food supplies. They survived entirely on penguins - which were easy to catch. Fat and protein and hardly an ounce of carbs.

It is possible to survive long periods on a fat/protein diet, and get all of your energy from fat. Look at any Eskimo hunter, a diet consisting of seal meaty and seal blubber, and a population with some of the the lowest rates of heart disease in the world (although not so good for bowel cancer!)

Simon

AlexC
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Re: Food for multi-day trips

Post by AlexC » Thu Sep 18, 2014 9:11 pm

Fat does indeed contain much more energy per gramme than carbs but there is one key snag - the rate at which your body can turn it into energy. It's probably not so relevant for a typical paddling trip but if you are doing very high intensity exercise for a long period of time then your body simply won't be able to process fat fast enough to sustain you at that rate.

But like I say, it's debatable if kayaking reaches that rate and maintains it.

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Simon
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Re: Food for multi-day trips

Post by Simon » Fri Sep 19, 2014 8:33 am

Just one more thing, coming from mixing my my interests in nutrition and health, outdoor sport, and the history of exploration.

"Trail mix" has a long history

http://historia-de-victuals.blogspot.co ... snack.html

It is a superbly compact and portable complete nutritional package, and some version or other can be sourced locally in most areas in the world. But be aware that the stuff you buy in shops today is unhealthily over-packed with the tasty nuts and seeds. The original was the tasty stuff mixed into some form of carb staple like oats or corn or rice to provide a better balance.

Do the research and be inspired to create your own version to suit you, using the basic principles.

If you have typically have oats for breakfast then add seeds and nuts and possibly dried fruit to make a sort of muesli that can be eaten hot or cold, and has more calories, and more complete nutrition, and is tastier, than just oats and sugar.

The same goes for evening meals, but adding some form of dried meat for protein, fats and depth of flavour.

Simon

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