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Thread: Long-duration camping - Food?

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    Default Long-duration camping - Food?

    Hi all. I'm new to the forum and hope you guys can give some advice here.

    I'm looking to back-country camp in Denali park this summer for about a month.

    One big question I have is about food. I have no personal transportation and am relying on the bus system within the park and public transport to get me in/out the park itself.

    I'll be stopping at Anchorage along the way and will stock up on supplies here, but can I really pack a month's worth of food when travelling with all my other gear by foot?

    Some have given advice of packing instant foods i.e. freeze-dried and supplementing with dehydrated fruit+veg.

    How can I figure out how much will be enough and will it be possible to pack a month's worth in one trip? How much would a month's worth of camping food cost at Alaska/Anchorage grocery prices?

    Just generally seeking advice on planning food logistics and intake for a long-duration camping trip in relative wilderness.

    Many thanks all!

  2. #2
    Member cdubbin's Avatar
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    Have you spoken to the park staff? Back when I used to camp in the park, you were required to store food in bear-proof containers, which they provided. Hard to fit a week's worth in one of those things, much less a month. Also, don't know if there's a time limit on the backcountry permits. You might be able to stash food somewhere in the park (lodges) if you make friends with employees. Anchorage prices ain't bad.
    " Gas boats are bad enough, autos are an invention of the devil, and airplanes are worse." ~Allen Hasselborg

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    Quote Originally Posted by cdubbin View Post
    Have you spoken to the park staff? Back when I used to camp in the park, you were required to store food in bear-proof containers, which they provided. Hard to fit a week's worth in one of those things, much less a month. Also, don't know if there's a time limit on the backcountry permits. You might be able to stash food somewhere in the park (lodges) if you make friends with employees. Anchorage prices ain't bad.
    I've spoken to the staff. We came to the conclusion that delivering food in bulk (enough for the month I guess) to the park might be the best idea, to then travel to and from wherever it is delivered, to various caches around the park. Know any good grocery suppliers that have a website?

    My only other concern is planning a food intake for a month... This will be the first back-country camping trip I've done for more a couple of weeks so I'm looking to learn as much as possible. So far calorie intake seems the best measure of how much food I need, and freeze-dried/dehydrated foods seem the lightest and most compact form of food which is ideal. I've reserved about $400 for food but I've no idea if this is enough or not.

    Back-country limit is 30 days so this is how long I will be out for.

    Thanks

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    Moderator LuJon's Avatar
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    I don't usually stay out that long and honestly if it were me I would just break the trip up into 10 day blocks. Keep a food store at one of the park lodges/hotels and just come back for an overnight stay and resupply a couple of times. 10 days is a manageable load as long as most of your gear is pretty light weight.

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    sneak a 22 pistol in and pop some marmots ok not seriously, I would look into dehydrating some of your own food, such as stews and meat and such things, some noodles and some dried meat is good. some dehydrated potatoes too.
    Eccleasties 8:11 Because the sentence against an evil deed is not executed quickly, There for the hearts of the sons of men among them are given fully to do evil.

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    Member cdubbin's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by FurFishGame View Post
    sneak a 22 pistol in and pop some marmots ok not seriously, I would look into dehydrating some of your own food, such as stews and meat and such things, some noodles and some dried meat is good. some dehydrated potatoes too.
    Yeah dehydrated taters are the bomb, I like the "Idaho" brand 'cause they come in nummy nummy flavors; put 'em in a ziploc, pour in the boiling water, chow down. Some of my other favorite store-bought foods are cup of noodles, jerky, tuna in foil pouch, instant oats, bagels with peanut butter, hard cheese and salami, my secret recipe gorp, instant coffee-tea-cocoa, minute rice, etc. Never had much use for Mountain House except for the freeze-dried ice cream sandwiches
    " Gas boats are bad enough, autos are an invention of the devil, and airplanes are worse." ~Allen Hasselborg

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    Quote Originally Posted by cdubbin View Post
    Yeah dehydrated taters are the bomb, I like the "Idaho" brand 'cause they come in nummy nummy flavors; put 'em in a ziploc, pour in the boiling water, chow down. Some of my other favorite store-bought foods are cup of noodles, jerky, tuna in foil pouch, instant oats, bagels with peanut butter, hard cheese and salami, my secret recipe gorp, instant coffee-tea-cocoa, minute rice, etc. Never had much use for Mountain House except for the freeze-dried ice cream sandwiches
    how do those ice-cream sandwiches work? I've always wondered....
    Eccleasties 8:11 Because the sentence against an evil deed is not executed quickly, There for the hearts of the sons of men among them are given fully to do evil.

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    Member cdubbin's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by FurFishGame View Post
    how do those ice-cream sandwiches work? I've always wondered....
    No ideer how they do it, and they don't taste like much, either; kind of rice-cakish. A little novelty goes a long way in the wilderness, though.....
    " Gas boats are bad enough, autos are an invention of the devil, and airplanes are worse." ~Allen Hasselborg

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    Quote Originally Posted by cdubbin View Post
    No ideer how they do it, and they don't taste like much, either; kind of rice-cakish. A little novelty goes a long way in the wilderness, though.....
    do you still do it with hot water or cold water? i might get one just to try it.....
    Eccleasties 8:11 Because the sentence against an evil deed is not executed quickly, There for the hearts of the sons of men among them are given fully to do evil.

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    Member 4merguide's Avatar
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    It really just depends on how particular you are about food. I remember meeting some native kids on a sheep hunt once. Those boys didn't pack any food at all, as they knew what to eat off the land. All they carried with them was their gun and a bedroll. Crazy eh? I used to think a guy could just live on a mass supply of gorp and jerky alone.....lol. Maybe throw in a couple mt. house dinners to break things up on those "special" nights....lol.

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    Moderator Daveinthebush's Avatar
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    I had a transporter up in the Brookes tell me he dropped of a father and son team that carried 20lbs of frosted flakes each for their week. Lots of options out there.

    Vietnam - June 70 - Feb. 72
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    Quote Originally Posted by FurFishGame View Post
    do you still do it with hot water or cold water? i might get one just to try it.....
    Don't try to rehydrate them, that's a mess. One of my daughters tried that.......once. Just open the pack and enjoy the ricecake/styrofoam texture. They do actually taste like bland ice cream. I usually take a couple along camping for the girls since they like them. I guess it's the novelty of freeze dried ice cream "astronaut food."

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    Quote Originally Posted by sibir View Post
    I guess it's the novelty of freeze dried ice cream "astronaut food."
    That's funny you say that, as we were just talking about astronaut food around the lunch table at work on Friday. It seems that NASA is now using some form of Spirulina Algae as astronaut food. They say it is the one thing on Earth that has everything in it that a person could eat alone and stay healthy. I take a green powdered "Super Food" supplement everyday in juice that has spirulina in it, and I have to say I haven't gotten the cold or flue in years. So this may be something to think about....???

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    I am sure they tast great if your in the field for a while away from everything....funny how that works

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    if all you had to eat was fat rare steaks from a bear or pig you would always have all the nutrients that you needed. any wild meat would work but bears and pigs have a more human like diet that do moose, that and a 2 or 3 table spoons of non cooked blood and you have everything you need.
    Eccleasties 8:11 Because the sentence against an evil deed is not executed quickly, There for the hearts of the sons of men among them are given fully to do evil.

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    I'd break it up into three "hikes".
    1. Four days- the learner hike. Go back to the lodge and do the three S's and spend the night.
    2. Six days- streching out our learning phase. Go back to the lodge and do the three S's and spend the night.
    3. Eight days- Do the easier long range hike and enjoy what you have learned. Go back to the lodge and do the three S's and spend the night.
    4. Ten days- do your longest hike, maybe re-visit some of the fun campsites you had. Go back to the lodge and do the three S's and spend the night.
    That should total your thirty days, and leave a day to rest between hikes.

    Have fun, don't try and cover the whole park in this trip. You would miss too much.

    As for food: the first couple of days of each trip, you can take a frozen meal and heat up. Then canned, freeze dried, dehydrated, or even try to catch a fish where it is legal.

    Always take at least two days more than you think you'll need. things happen--- weather, sprains, or you just get a little hungerier with all that fresh air.

    Another hint is to get you a real good air closed cell foam mattress- they ain't cheap, but sure worth it.

    Have fun, and let us know how you did.

    Chris

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    Quote Originally Posted by FurFishGame View Post
    if all you had to eat was fat rare steaks from a bear or pig you would always have all the nutrients that you needed. any wild meat would work but bears and pigs have a more human like diet that do moose, that and a 2 or 3 table spoons of non cooked blood and you have everything you need.
    Except that a large percentage of bears have trichonosis, so a rare bear stake could very likely be fatal.
    Those that are successful in Alaska are those who are flexible, and allow the reality of life in Alaska to shape their dreams, vs. trying to force their dreams on the reality of Alaska.

    If you have a tenuous grasp of reality, Alaska is not for you.

  18. #18

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    Thanks for all the info.

    Breaking the trip up seems like the best suggestion, and this is roughly what I had planned.

    Quote Originally Posted by akgun&ammo View Post
    Go back to the lodge and do the three S's and spend the night.
    What's the 3 S's? Also I'm not aware of any lodges within the park?

    My thoughts are also on where I'm going to get my food from. If I stock up on enough food for say 4-5 days in Anchorage, arrive at Denali, camp for a few days, head back to get food and/or stay in accommodation, then head back out to a camping unit, rinse and repeat - the only blanks for me are where to get food and if I decide to where to stay after each camping 'block'.

    I think firearms are illegal in the park and fishing is not something I have done before. So hunting and the likes will probably be for the next trip Baby steps, right?

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    Member pacific-23's Avatar
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    Hunting is def. not allowed in the park. Firearms are no longer prohibited in National parks - I'm sure everyone remembers the rhetoric flying on that two years ago. But don't take my word for it please I'm no expert.
    Denali National Park and Preserve - Frequently Asked Questions ...

    www.nps.gov/dena/frequently-asked-questions-regarding-bears.htm

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    Member Bullelkklr's Avatar
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    shower, shave, and a shat......

    You have more planning to do....lots.

    Base your food off of the calories. Be realistic in your intake needs. Dried food is not cheap if you go with mtn house or similiar. To save $ you can throw in stuff like mac & cheese, top ramen, dehyd mashed taters.

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