Multi-day hike: questions on tent/food?

Dirkules

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Mar 4, 2016
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15
Hey there,

my wife and I are planning to spend 3-4 nights in the backcountry (Salt Creek, Maze).

I´m interested to hear from your experiences on which food to bring along and which tent you are using to combine lightweight and comfort?

Thanks for your input!

Dirkules
 

pstm13

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Dec 27, 2012
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First off, Welcome!

I found this site a few years ago while researching a trip to Salt Creek. You will love Canyonlands. Salt Creek and the Maze are classic trips that many people on this site have done (I've never done the Maze).

Tents: this subject comes up a lot and most like the Tarptent Double Rainbow, the Big Agnes Copper Spur or the MSR Hubba Hubba NX. I have an older version of the Hubba Hubba and like it.

Food: I usually go freeze dried Backpackers Pantry or Mountain House meals for dinner with their dessert like the moose or one of the ice cream sandwiches or what ever. Avoid the apple cobbler unless you like to actually cook and burn extra fuel for 15 min. I would cook a few up with your stove before you go and make sure you like the flavor. A safe bet is the MH chicken noodle soup. My friend lived on it every night while we hiked the Teton Crest Trail.

Breakfast can just be oatmeal, brown sugar, and dried fruit. My personal favorite breakfast is the MH breakfast skillet. They make for great breakfast burritos in a tortilla.

I strongly suggest you avoid the Backpackers Pantry breakfasts that have eggs. You will need to do some real cooking for 15 min. with a stove that can simmer at low temp. or it will be vomit in a bag.

Lunch: Jerky, clif bars, granola bars, dried mango and pineapple, shelled sunflower seeds, trail mix, and so on...

Snacks are usually my lunch leftovers.

You Germans are experts at this sort of thing so I would love to see your take on food, gear and so on. Also, feel free to post a trip report.
 
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Dirkules

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Mar 4, 2016
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Thanks a lot, pstm13 for your message!

We haven´t done any backpacking trips yet (ok, one in Germany - but water and food supply was easy there) so we have no experience on optimal gear and food for multi-day trips...

We did camp a lot in the last couple of years but we had the convenience of having our car nearby.
The tent we are using right now is from High Peak and it weights around 8-9 pounds (it´s called differently in Germany but looks similar: http://www.amazon.com/dp/B00IFF27C6/?tag=backcountrypo-20). I don´t know if that might be too heavy and too space-consuming...

Food-wise we relied on nuts, dried fruits and bars as snacks. We were able to use canned foods or eggs which won´t be possible during a multi-day trip ;) We´ve never tried BP or MH foods so your recommendations come in handy!

We´ll let you know how it will work out!
 

regehr

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Mar 28, 2012
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Food: I usually go freeze dried Backpackers Pantry or Mountain House meals for dinner with their dessert like the moose or one of the ice cream sandwiches or what ever. Avoid the apple cobbler unless you like to actually cook and burn extra fuel for 15 min. I would cook a few up with your stove before you go and make sure you like the flavor. A safe bet is the MH chicken noodle soup. My friend lived on it every night while we hiked the Teton Crest Trail.

It's pretty hard to beat the convenience of Mountain House, I could eat the Chili Mac almost every night. Others I get kind of tired of after eating just one.

I've found that the fancier dried prepared meals often taste better but require more soaking time, so they tend to get cold especially if reheated at higher altitude.

Here's a good tip: you can find instant coffee that actually tastes pretty good in supermarkets in the USA if you look in the imported food sections. Nescafe Classico is definitely drinkable. I only bother with coffee grounds and filters when car camping.

And most definitely avoid those stupid dried eggs that need to be simmered, I've even ruined cookpots with those.
 
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gnwatts

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I like Maryjanes , it is organic and quite tasty, if you like that sort of thing. The curried lentil bisque is excellent.
 
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kimbur96

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Dec 30, 2015
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I like flavored coffee the Starbucks Via comes in single serving packets, not bad tasting either. Or I take some maxwell house vanilla latte mix and throw a couple spoonfuls in a ziplock. Again not bad, and it has the creamer and sugar in it if that's how you like you coffee, I do so it works great for me. Just add water. For breakfast and dinner I like Mountain House it's all personal taste. I like: biscuits and gravy, breakfast scramble, chicken and rice, chili mac. Not a fan of the lasagna although lots rave by it. Bars and snacks for lunch on the trail.
 

DrNed

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The following is my standard backpacking menu. While not the most delectable, it's easy, light and it doesn't require a lot of thought on my part. Also, it only requires a spoon and a mug.

Breakfast: 3 instant oatmeal packets. Rip top off of oatmeal packet and add hot water directly to packet. 1 Hot chocolate pack.
Not only is this light and easy it also requires very little clean up. Packets can either be burned (where appropriate or easily packed out)

Lunch: 2 protein bars. These can be easily carried with me as I explore and can be eaten when needed. Again wrappers can be easily packed out.

Dinner: 2 cups of Mountain House in a freezer bag that I pack. Instead of buying the meal size MH, I buy it in the #10 cans (some savings) and measure it into freezer bags. Hot water added to bag. My wife has made me a coozie that freezer bag is inserted into. The inside is some kind of reflective material and seems to speed up cooking time.

Snacks: .3 pounds of red licorice per day. Something sweet, additional calories, light, doesn't make a mess. Gatorade powder. I bring enough to have 1 liter a day. Usually with my dinner when I want something other than water.

The above menu gets me around 1800 calories which means I lose about 6-8 pounds over a week long trip.

For some reason when I'm out backpacking food just isn't as pressing to me. Whereas at home every 30 minutes I'm wondering where my next meal is coming from.

That's what I do. I have considered adding some dried fruit and nuts to my breakfast and lunch to increase my calories, but to date I haven't.
 

genez

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May 25, 2013
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Oatmeal, coffee (I use the starbucks VIA), energy bars, drink mixes to add to water, hot chocolate (with a bit of whisky at night), freeze dried meals.

I'm really impressed with the AlpineAire freeze dried foods - I pretty much look for the most calories I can get when it comes to freeze dried. This brand makes it easy too with listing the total calorie count on the front of the package.

I found Trader Joes has packaged freeze dried fruits. I usually repackage and portion my oatmeal and add a bunch of freeze dried fruits, maybe some protein powder and/or maltodextrin powder for extra carbs/calories.

Pro Bar meal replacement bars - taste pretty good for how dense they are. Chocolate Coconut!
But thats me - I have a super high metabolism and weigh 150lbs soaking wet.

I picked up some new shelters this year - a Black Diamond Beta light - weighs about 1lb - silnylon - uses trekking poles.
I have a Nemo Hornet 2p - kind of free standing. Weighs only 2lbs! Has 2 doors and 2 vestibules too. I got it for a roomier solo tent for wet/buggy conditions so I can put my gear inside.
And I just picked up a 9x9 silnylon tarp to try that out one of these days.
 

Outdoor_Fool

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Dec 11, 2015
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Lots of great ideas here. I prefer Cream of the West 7-grain for breakfast. It can be ordered on the Internet but is fairly pricey that way. It is packed with energy. When I cannot have that, I take a short-cooking Cream of Wheat. I spread brown sugar over either one. Lunch is dry salame and cheddar cheese. , I bring one 18.5 oz or 2-13 oz. chubs of Gallo Dry Salame that lasts me through an 8-day trek and beyond. I also bring a 2-pound block of cheese for a 7+ day trek. Between the 2, I load up on calories for lunch, usually followed by a short nap.

Dinner is mostly Mac’nCheese with a can of tuna. Four or 5 days of freeze-dried stuff leaves me dragging, but I know I am in the huge minority on that. I’ll have one or 2 dinners of MH along the way for variety but I’ll add some cheese to it for a little better energy load. I usually finish the day with a mug of hot chocolate and occasionally some bourbon mixed in. I also bring along a small bag of freeze-dried fruit to add some different taste to the menu. Throw in 1 or 2 Tiger’s Milk bars per day and I’m good to go.

As far as the tent goes, unless it cooks dinner for you, 8-9 pounds is really going to start irritating you. I would look for a tent that suits your needs but that only weighs 2 – 5 pounds. The more amenities you need, the heavier it becomes. It will make a huge difference. One option may be renting a tent if you do not want to lay out the euros for a new one. On their website, the Salt Lake City store lists tents as one item they rent.

https://www.rei.com/stores/rentals.html#utah

I am completely unfamiliar with the area you mentioned but from my limited time in the desert, you may want to become very proficient with your map, compass, and orienteering skills. Others on here will be able to give you all the answers you have regarding that.

Have a great trip!
 

Dirkules

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Mar 4, 2016
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Thank you so much for all your postings and ideas! Very helpful!

Concerning coffee: we Germans love our coffee so there´s no way going without it :smilecoffee:! For our last trips we bought Nescafé powder which tastes pretty decent and taste/strength can easily be adjusted depending on fondness.

One option may be renting a tent if you do not want to lay out the euros for a new one. On their website, the Salt Lake City store lists tents as one item they rent.
Unfortunately we´re coming from Vegas and REI isn´t renting any gear from that store...
So we still have to make up our minds if we invest some money in a new tent!
 

pstm13

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Eureka and Kelty have 2 person tents that are about $120. They weigh about 5-6 lbs. The Eureka Midori 2 is my "best buy" tent.
 

Outdoor_Fool

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FYI, there are several places that rent tents in Vegas, including the University. The U will rent you a tent for $19/week. nothing fancy, but should suffice.
 

Dustin Gent

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Jun 22, 2015
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I just bought an MSR Hubba NX2 after much debate! Heading out in 2 weeks to test it. It weighs a little over 3LBS.
For food, I use both backpackers pantry and mountain house food. I have heard good things about mary janes as well. There is another company that makes food that we have at work that is more money, but have heard nothing but excellent feedback on it.
 

Outdoor_Fool

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Prep the mac'ncheese as recommended on the box. Strain the water out. I buy tuna in oil so I do not have to add butter. Sprinkle some powdered milk over the noodles, pour in the cheese powder. Stir, add tuna. It's about 1100 - 1300 calories. Powers me through the next day.

I usually just packed it with the original box but have started packing each box into a ziploc to save on weight and especially space.
 

Jimmy

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Oct 7, 2014
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I almost exclusively use the Freezer Bag Method for cooking and make all of my own meals, which I can season to my taste. They're easy, light, portions are adjustable to my own appetite, and they are a lot less expensive than the pre-packaged stuff. It's fun doing test recipes with the family. For dinner, I usually have a grain/pasta + seasoning + freeze dried fruit/veggie + foil pack of meat (smoked salmon, tuna, chicken, or cured meat).

The Trail Cooking 101 Site has a ton of great freezer bag recipes.
http://www.trailcooking.com/fbc/

You should definitely invest in a lighter tent. The REI 2-person quarter or half domes are reasonably priced and relatively light weight, though probably not to the standards of the ultra-light folks.
 

Opi

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Oct 31, 2014
Messages
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I love my protein shakes in the mornings and sometimes in the afternoons. Have with a granola bar and cup of Via. Great for all day energy.

1/4 cup powder milk - Nido of coarse
1 scope protein powder - love the Jay Rob's whey protein isolate vanilla
1 pkg Carnation chocolate instant Breakfast
Prepackage in a small ziplok snack or sandwich bag
Add 10 to 16 oz cold water in pot
I use a little whisk to mix - weighs .2oz - Shaker cups are to heavy and water bottles to messy

It taste good too!
 

Jimmy Olsen

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Aug 13, 2012
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For me, breakfast while backpacking needs to be simple. So I do either MH or instant oatmeal. Dinner is always a freeze dried meal. MH beef stroganoff is my favorite. Lunch is where I try and experiment. I bring the tuna salad packets and sandwich flats, Nutella or Jason's chocolate cashew butter, a stick of salami or pepperoni and cheese, anything that will keep for a few days unrefrigerated.

I've started splitting and repackaging the freeze dried meals into zip lock baggies (and throw away the desiccants). The MH bags are just too bulky and 2 servings is too much for me for 1 meal, but I bring 1 or 2 folded down MH bags to rehydrate the meals in. Doing this saves so much room.

Lastly, I try and bring an orange or some sort of fresh fruit that I can eat a day or two into the trip. Makes a great pick me up mentally and physically.
 

blueeyes

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Jan 17, 2012
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Thank you so much for all your postings and ideas! Very helpful!

Concerning coffee: we Germans love our coffee so there´s no way going without it :smilecoffee:! For our last trips we bought Nescafé powder which tastes pretty decent and taste/strength can easily be adjusted depending on fondness.


Unfortunately we´re coming from Vegas and REI isn´t renting any gear from that store...
So we still have to make up our minds if we invest some money in a new tent!
Try local colleges or university recreation centers. Many of them rent gear.
 
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