I have this trip coming up, in the Sequoia King Canyon National Park. I am planning 10-12 days depending on the miles, over 250km (155 miles). I need to carry a bear canister which is a whopping 41oz (1.16kg) and definitely not conducive to ultra light:
This bear can has been the bane of my existence lately, see that small grocery bag, some of that also needs to fit in the can along with all my toiletries/smellies. Though the shopping bag powders are huge jars and I only need a fraction of it, it’s still going to be a royal pain in my butt.
To make matters worse, I need to drive to the United States from Canada before boarding a flight and flying to Fresno. So I need to keep everything in it’s original packaging until the night before so I can cross the border appropriately and not look suspicious when my dehydrated potato flakes, fibre powder, protein powder, electrolyte powder all in zip locks show up at the border. Then spend the evening looking like a weird drug dealer portioning out all my ziplock bags in the hotel room of Spokane! I might bring a mallet to powderize everything as a last resort 😛
To make the most of my weight, I decided to channel my inner college student and go back to the days of eating very simply. I can eat and prepare high end gourmet meals like pistachio encrusted frenched rack of lamb with truffle oil mashed potatoes *OR* I can eat ramen every day for a week! Both are fantastic in their completely separate set of ways.
I calculated how many calories I burn a day. I am 5’6 and when I am doing absolutely nothing and channel my inner sloth, I burn a whopping 1600 calories a day, which is basically one slice of chocolate cake. I estimate I will be burning 3000-4000 calories a day, but can stand to lose a couple pounds (a pound is about 3500 calories). I estimated I should bring around 3000 calories a day in food for a 10-12 day trip.
I broke down each of my food choices into calories per ounce/gram. This ruled out a lot of things and kept me choosing higher fat items. Of course we cannot eat a diet purely of fat (my poor digestive system isn’t as strong as college me). So I decided to add in a daily ration of fibre powder to my breakfast to keep everything, in place…
To limit the amount of fuel for the trip, I am going with boil only meals (no cooking). Not included here are packets of different spices for different mashed potato nights (red pepper flakes, parsley, garlic, pepper, onion) and I did buy 3 different kinds of Idahoan mashed potatoes for variety. Also the pepperoni has different kinds including very spicy, honey garlic etc; If I have room I will be carrying some baby bel cheeses as well (will cram them in the night of, if I can).
Everything from this photo will be repackaged into thin ziplocks. I feel guilty with the all the plastic but I need to carry this for 12 days and it all needs to be inside that can.
Day 1 does not have to be in the bear can, I might treat myself to some fresh sandwiches, or splurge on a mountain house meal.
If you would like to see the full calorie break down and the weight, here is my spreadsheet: https://docs.google.com/spreadsheets/d/1kCFPreTrCBBynJ4eCIxIVeICfkl42Qkgse1Tqk9xiSw/
I will do a follow-up post trip to see how much I never want to eat mashed potatos again. Though I have been eating these meals all summer on various weekend excursions and am still enjoying it.