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Maple Flag
04-22-2004, 12:24
I’m looking for some fresh ideas on lightweight meal planning for extended travel on foot with no re-supply.

The objective is to come up with sufficient food for 14 days minimum of 5000-7000 calorie days of both on trail and cross country movement with a ruck within the following parameters:

-You will be moving on foot at all times with a ruck for up to 7 hours each 24 hour period.

-No living off the land, even to a limited extent. Everything you consume other than water must be carried with you the whole way.

-Cooking fires are out, but lightweight stoves are OK.

-You will not be sleeping in the same spot twice, and will not return to any point (ie: you can not cache any supplies).

-There will be no civilization or help at any point other than the beginning and end of the distance traveled (except for emergency medical evacuation).

-The environment will be hilly temperate forested region with daily temp ranges of 15-25C, and elevations of < 2000’ feet.

- Your load will consist of personal gear, team gear, and food supplies. Personal and team gear combined will weigh about 30 lbs per person.

-Food planning should be aimed at meeting nutrition needs for the above activity with minimal weight AND minimal bulk.

-The food should be uncomplicated and quick to prepare, should not have any negative digestive tract implications over two weeks, and should ideally keep some interest in food (ie: 200 powers bars in each ruck will not really enhance team morale…)

This exercise is for discussion purposes, but will likely be used in planning my a meal plan for a cross-country trip with the above parameters a few months from now.

Links, references, and insight from people experienced in self sustained distance foot travel, as well as those with nutrition and/or medical backgrounds would be especially appreciated.

Discusion is open. Fire away.

Surgicalcric
04-22-2004, 12:32
MRE's

Ambush Master
04-22-2004, 12:45
As long as H2O isn't in short supply, Freeze Dried would be the Lightest and Least Bulky. MREs on the otherhand, would be like carrying all of the H2O that you would need for the Freeze Dried Chow in addition to the Weight of the Food.

The Reaper
04-22-2004, 13:08
Originally posted by Surgicalcric
MRE's

Too heavy.

Parameters defined would require 42 MREs each or 3 and 1/2 cases, which you would not want to hump.

Why such a high caloric requirement, though? Eat less (3-5kC per day) and burn body fat. You can do that for 14 days.

LRRPs, Freeze dried, rice, beans, Ramen, lots of high carb-high fat like trail mix, nuts, candy, peanut butter, etc.

Plenty of time to cook though, and sounds non-tactical.

Stay away from canned goods, too heavy and contain a lot of water.

You will still be travelling somewhat heavy. Any chance of pre po caches or just stopping at local towns at least once for shopping or a pick-up at the Post Office you have sent yourself?

TR

Maple Flag
04-22-2004, 16:02
Clarifications:

The 5000-7000 calories per day is not a consumption goal, but rather is what I calculated would be burned daily based on the participants and activity parameters set. Some weight loss is acknowledged and expected. Solutions resulting in people returning emaciated however are not within our meal plan goals...

The excercise is non-tactical, although the meal plans should also be useful in an unsupported tactical setting. I see this as a distance vs. time vs. fuel weight/bulk equation that we are working. Pre-positioned caches would be contrary to the self imposed goals here. Solutions that are totaly non-workable in a tactical setting would not be as desirable to me or everyone else (this is a tactical field craft thread afterall).

MRE's, canned goods, and any goods packaged with water were pretty well written off by me from the start due to the water weight. Fresh produce in great quanties was also out in my mind for the same reasons.

Dehydrated meals are certainly part of my own vision for this, but I wanted to go beyond just planning for 42 dehydrated prepackaged meals as a solution and perhaps identify base meal elements that were light, nutritious, calorie rich, low bulk, reasonably non-perishable and resilient when packed, and applicable to different prepared meals, (rice, pasta, others?). Critical vitamin and other supplements were also a thing to be considered (particualry immune system boosters while in the bush for an extended period under conditions that will be otherwise taxing the immuno system).

The parameters are meant (in part) to push outside the scope of mainstream military and civilian meal solutions somewhat.

Good discussion. Keep it going.

Razor
04-22-2004, 16:23
I'd try to include some foil-packaged fish (tuna, salmon) and meat (chicken & turkey), several cans of sardines and maybe a few cans of Vienna sausages or SPAM. Yes, they're heavier than freeze-dried selections, but they provide the fats and proteins you may not get from the dried stuff, and they provide some of the variety you wanted in your menus. Every meal shouldn't include these foods, but every few days would work without all the extra weight.

Para
04-22-2004, 16:50
Have you considered supplementing meals with some of the high calorie powders? I have seen many endurance / adventure racers do this.

Maple Flag
04-23-2004, 09:56
I've looked at meat and other protein options, and have considered the high cal drink powders. I've got to speak to some people about the powders to see what they recommend, and compare the cals per oz. of weight with other options (the cals per oz. is not the only factor being taken into consideration, but given the excercise of building the lightest to carry calorie rich meal plan I can, it's certainly a factor).

At this point, I'm looking at pyramiding the meal plan as follows (from lightest weight component to heaviest weight component, as a percentage of total food load):

-Multi-Vitamin supplements (28) and Vitamin C supplement (14)

-Soup cubes (28) (good for fluid and salt intake)

-Protein powders (? quantity)

-Simple carbs - chocolate (14 bars of pure chocolate)

-Food mixes and seasonings - soup mix packs (28), tabasco (1), seasoning shaker (1)

-Proteins and fats, including nuts, meats, fish, etc with low perishability (another new word for Oxford). These would be put over rice or pasta (? quantity)

-Prepackaged dehydrated meals (14)

-Complex carbs - 1.5 L Nalgene bottles full of rice and pasta (These are nice as you pack a lot of food into a small space. Just one 1.5L Nalgene bottle full of spaghettini packs dense, cooks fast, and can make enough base food to make about 4 meals, depending on how much you eat.) (7 bottles).

Comments?

Ambush Master
04-23-2004, 10:07
Just a comment based on my past experience with Starches and H2O that has been purified with Iodine Tabs. Put the H2O into the plastic bag containing Rice early in the AM and secured it in my Ruck to have for lunch. At Lunch Break, opened Ruck to find this stuff that was Psychadelic PURPLE !!! I thought at first that it was my eyes then it hit me Iodine + Starch = PURPLE !!! :D

DunbarFC
04-23-2004, 13:58
If you're looking for something light, small and easy to "eat" on the go I'd recommend PowerGel or Gu

Maple Flag
04-23-2004, 16:34
Originally posted by Ambush Master
...opened Ruck to find this stuff that was Psychadelic PURPLE !!! I thought at first that it was my eyes then it hit me Iodine + Starch = PURPLE !!! :D

Well, I did say I wanted the food to stay interesting...

Actually, I use chlorine for water purification. Once you get used to drinking pool water, it's not so bad. I am also led to believe that it's better for your liver in the long term for those that spend a lot of time in the bush drinking treated water.

DunbarFC, I haven't run into PowerGel or Gu before. Any details on those? Iif you've got any handy, a transcript of what the nutrition label says would be great.

DunbarFC
04-23-2004, 17:00
PowerGel and the like are 'liquid' power bars if you will

Great for cyclists, adventure racers , triathletes etc

They are small and light and produce little trash to carry

http://www.powerbar.com/Products/PowerGel/

110-120 cal
28g carb

bikewrench8541
04-25-2004, 15:48
This could be right up your alley if you haven't seen it.

http://www.nols.edu/publications/cookery/index.shtml

It has good guidelines for meal and ration planning for groups using dry bulk items.
It has recipes as well.

pulque
04-25-2004, 23:56
dried ground beef (not freeze dried):
basically, LEAN ground beef cooked on a cookie sheet in the oven all night until no moisture remains. Can be reconstituted for chili or tacos.

disclaimer: I haven't tried this idea but I've seen it a few places and it sounds intriguing, please dont try without confirming

Desert Fox
05-08-2004, 16:50
A word in relation to LRPs.

I thing I learned from the famous Bravo two-zero book: put a lot of meals not in your ruck, but in your BDU pockets.

The Reaper
05-08-2004, 16:57
Originally posted by Desert Fox
A word in relation to LRPs.

I thing I learned from the famous Bravo two-zero book: put a lot of meals not in your ruck, but in your BDU pockets.

I wouldn't put too much credence in that book, except as a lesson learned on how NOT to do things.

TR

Ghostrider
05-08-2004, 18:51
I've used these gels and found them to be less sweet, not too bulky, and excellent electrolyte composition.

http://www.cranksports.com/ :lifter

DunbarFC
05-10-2004, 09:49
Originally posted by Ghostrider
I've used these gels and found them to be less sweet, not too bulky, and excellent electrolyte composition.

http://www.cranksports.com/ :lifter

I'll try those out Ghostrider

I agree PowerGels are really sweet

They do have ones with caffeine added in , so if you are an addict to the daily cup of joe and don't think you will have it on the trail this might be a good option to keep the withdrawl symptoms away

I like them for their size and ease of opening and "eating" while cycling

You can carry a bunch of them in the pouches of a cycling jersey

And when you are done the empty packages roll up nice and small

Razor
05-10-2004, 12:34
My understanding is that carbohydrate gels are good for short-term 'refueling' of muscles, but I don't know if I'd want to rely upon them very heavily for long-term nutritional requirements.

Ghostrider
05-10-2004, 12:53
Originally posted by Razor
My understanding is that carbohydrate gels are good for short-term 'refueling' of muscles, but I don't know if I'd want to rely upon them very heavily for long-term nutritional requirements.

Most definitely a short-term, quick boost. But because they are small, easy to digest, and provide some electrolyte replacement they are good options for "snacks". Pretty "cost effecient" in terms of space/weight to benefit ratio.....as an added benefit the packages though small are pretty sturdy. So in an emergency/survival situation they could be utilized for something (rationing water/drinking "cup", used as a patch, etc.) It's all about the multi-tasking!

DunbarFC
05-10-2004, 12:58
Originally posted by Ghostrider
Most definitely a short-term, quick boost. But because they are small, easy to digest, and provide some electrolyte replacement they are good options for "snacks". Pretty "cost effecient" in terms of space/weight to benefit ratio.....as an added benefit the packages though small are pretty sturdy. So in an emergency/survival situation they could be utilized for something (rationing water/drinking "cup", used as a patch, etc.) It's all about the multi-tasking!

Exactly

I suggested them only as an addition to real meals as they are small and easy to deal with on the move

lrd
07-03-2004, 21:35
I came across something in the commissary today that might work here: foil wrapped fully cooked ground beef in two seasonings -- lightly or Mexican. It's equivalent to what you would get from cooking 1 lb fresh ground beef. I bought one to check it out, and I have until 03/29/2005 to eat it. It weighs 10.6 oz -- which might be more than you want -- but it would pack well (approx 5" X 7" X 1/4 ").

Jack Link, himself, tells us: "My new full coooked ground beef is fully drained and ready to eat, with no messy clean up. I guarantee the same goodness and flavor as ground beef prepared in your own kitchen. Just pour it into your favorite meal and heat. Premium quality, great taste & convenience -- you have my word on it." What more could you ask? :D