Colorado Food Prep

I had planned on having this post completed prior to leaving for my Colorado hunt, but as what tends to happen, I got busy and wasn't able to complete it before I left.  Now that I'm back and the hunt has concluded, I'll be adding in my post hunt synopsis of my food preparation as well.  

My total food weight for Colorado was 12.75 lbs.  I averaged 22 oz of food/day and 2180 calories/day.  My food came in at 99 calories/oz.  I try to hit 100 calories/oz in order to pack the most calorie dense foods possible.  Now that I've completed the trip I can say that I think I brought the minimum amount of food for the 8 days I was out.  Chris and I hiked in Saturday late afternoon after driving to the trailhead, so we brought a dinner for Saturday night, and we had originally planned on hiking out the following Sunday, but changed that to hike out Saturday and get back to the truck Saturday evening/night and then camp out and drive home on Sunday, so I ended up carrying Saturday night's dinner and Sunday's breakfast and am snack which was 'extra'.

Overall, I feel like I did a good job of hitting pretty close to a perfect menu for an 8 day trip.  Not knowing exactly what my activity level would be like each day, it was hard to have a perfect menu.  If anything, I was a bit light in my food.  Breakfast was eaten early before light after we got up, then a morning snack (around 8 or 9am), and lunch was usually eaten by 11:30am.  That only left me a half cup of trail mix and a package of jerky for the afternoon.  I'd usually throw in some energy chews or gels with that before I got back to camp and had dinner sometime around 8pm.  From lunch to dinner was usually about 8 hours.  I usually had my afternoon snacks around 4-5pm, so I was often showing up in camp pretty hungry.  An extra 1/4 to half a cup of trail mix or an extra bar every other day would have been nice to have.  I ended up losing 6 lbs after the hunt, so I was definitely running a calorie deficit.

For cooking, we used my MSR Superfly stove and we brought in an 8 oz (net wt) fuel canister and as a last minute addition, I also threw in a 4 oz (net wt) fuel canister as extra/backup.  I had brought 3 non-cook breakfasts of granola and powdered milk, but only ended up eating 2 of them on the hunt.  The third was Sunday's breakfast, which wasn't ultimately needed.  We used my 1.3L titanium pot to boil water in, and usually did 2 boils (1 L +.5 L) in the evening for mountain house dinners and drinks, and one 1 L boil in the mornings for oatmeal and drinks.  A couple of evenings we didn't have hot drinks, so a rough estimate is that we got about 14 one liter boils out of my pot and stove combo at 12000 feet in temps that probably averaged 45-50 degrees F.  We finished the large fuel canister on the last night (while trying to see if we could get another boil out of it after our dinner and drinks were prepared), and never had to touch the smaller canister.  The Saturday morning we broke camp and started hiking out, Chris and I both had cold breakfasts and so we didn't boil any water that morning.

In regards to my food and planned meals, I was pretty happy.  I enjoyed all my breakfast foods, and thought that the oatmeal had me getting hungry faster than my MH eggs and bacon or the granola, powdered milk, and blueberries.  I really enjoyed my peanut butter, honey, and bacon sandwiches on english muffins.  I brought my peanut butter and honey in a squeeze tube and assembled the sandwiches in the field, which I thought was good.  (One tube of peanut butter and honey would last approximately 4 sandwiches.)  I packaged the bacon in individual vacuum sealed packages.  The tuna fish packets I brought I had to mix in the field, and that was somewhat of a pain, but very good.  My Mountain House dinners, were good as always.  I had brought both a few packets of hot cocoa and tea for warm drinks, but found I preferred the tea.  It wasn't as messy and easier to clean up, as well as lighter.

I felt I had a lot of packaging as trash, and upon weighing my trash when I got home, I confirmed I had just under 2.5 lbs of trash and empty packaging.  I felt that was pretty significant and will work on reducing that in the future.

Here is my 2013 CO food list.  If the below doesn't show up, here is the link to the spreadsheet.


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