3-day gear list on Hikelite

Posted by: wandering_daisy

3-day gear list on Hikelite - 04/12/10 01:34 PM

I just took a look at the 3-day gear list on the Hikelite web site. The food list was 28 ounces. Even if you do not count breakfast on Day 1 and dinner on Day 3, (2.33 days in reality for a 3-day trip) that is only 12 ounces a day! The site fails to list the total calories in that ration. I doubt it is more than 1800 calories per day! I am a small person and loose weight on 1 pound a day- I usually take 1.3 to 1.5 pounds per day for about 2,500 calories per day. Any descent sized person who is going to rigorously hike for 3 days needs about 2,800 calories per day.

The Hikelite ration should be called the "3 Day Hunger Ration"

It is deceptive to present a ration list such as this and not include calories and nutritional content.
Posted by: Glenn

Re: 3-day gear list on Hikelite - 04/12/10 02:18 PM

I agree - his food list is skimpy (and I get by on about a pound a day.) In particular, I think his lunch is too light; all he has is two servings of soup mix. He also has no trail snacks at all.

I think this may be enough for him, though; he states early on that he's just taking enough to get by for 3 days - and his idea of "getting by" may mean a growling stomach for 3 days following by a loooong stop at the AYCE restaurant on the way home.

My own menu is probably sparse by most people's standards, but it works for me. I usually eat one of those Quaker oatmeal breakfast squares, or have a packet of instant oatmeal, for breakfast; it depends on whether I want a hot or cold meal. For lunch, I usually go with a whole wheat sandwich round (think English muffin somebody sat on) spread with peanut butter; I usually eat some dried fruit to go with it (a small snack-size box of raisins, or a couple pieces from a bag of mixed fruit.) Supper is usually a single-serving freeze-dried entree, often with a granola bar for dessert. I also carry two granola bars for a morning and afternoon snack (sometimes I'll substitute a packet of nuts for one of the granola bars.) That's how I get by with a somewhat skimpy breakfast and lunch - I eat again in a couple of hours. Not exciting, but it tastes good and keeps me moving.

I know I'd be hungry most of the time if I tried to eliminate those snacks.

Oh, and my summer pack weight, including a pound of food a day and a quart of water, is 19 pounds - using mainstream lightweight gear. In cold weather, with 4 days of food, I'm never over 26 pounds. (Caveat: that's in the more temperate weather of the Eastern US, not in the big mountains where you hike.)
Posted by: wandering_daisy

Re: 3-day gear list on Hikelite - 04/12/10 02:33 PM

I did a little calculating from my food spreadsheet.

How many calories/day (2.33 days) if you took 28 ounces of:
Mojo bars -- 1350
Freeze dried spaghetti -- 1440
Freeze dried apples --- 1680
Almonds -- 2160

Only a diet of all nuts would you get enough on 28 ounces for a 3-day trip of what I consider minimal calories. I think people over-rate the nutritional value of freeze dried meals.

I also know people who eat a huge breakfast and take a deli sandwhich on Day 1 - and do not count the sandwhich in their food weight - a bit cheating on your ration weight!

Here is another idea - no food at all! That eliminates the bear cannister, stove, spoon, cup, cookpot, gas, and probably could eliminate toilet paper too! Wow, what a weight savings. I have done a couple of these - it's called survival training.

Posted by: Glenn

Re: 3-day gear list on Hikelite - 04/12/10 03:21 PM

You're right about freeze-dried. There are no more (or less) calories in those than there are in the Lipton/Knorr side dishes from the grocery. For me, freeze-dried is about convnenience for the 2-3 day trips I usually take. If I were thru-hiking, that diet would change a whole bunch, and I'd have to learn real trail cooking.
Posted by: frediver

Re: 3-day gear list on Hikelite - 04/12/10 03:39 PM

IMO for any trip up to 4 days bulk is more important than total
calories. Most people pack a couple extra days worth under their
belt, I sure do. For trips longer than 3 days I start to pay attention to the actual nutritional value of the meals I select.
Posted by: OregonMouse

Re: 3-day gear list on Hikelite - 04/12/10 07:27 PM

For a three-day trip, it really doesn't matter. For longer trips, that's different. If you're the lean and hungry type, it makes more difference. For me (definitely not lean, and usually too tired at night to be hungry while backpacking) I take as much as I can manage to eat, which for me works out to a pound of food per day (if I'm using freeze-dried instead of dehydrated fruit for snacks, which I do only for trips over 5 days). I do nibble nuts and dried fruit at frequent intervals during the day (labeled as "lunch"), probably why I'm never very hungry at dinner. When I get hungry is after the trip when I unfortunately no longer need the excess calories!

I do like to take food that is palatable and nutritious, though, which is why I avoid commercial freeze-dried sawdust dinners like the plague. If I took those, I probably wouldn't eat anything at all at night! Your mileage (or at least your taste buds) may, of course, vary!
Posted by: wandering_daisy

Re: 3-day gear list on Hikelite - 04/12/10 08:32 PM

Yup. I am the lean and hungry type! I have a "mountain appatite" on Day 1 of any trip. I totally bonk if I do not get more than 2,200 calories per day. Do best on about 2,600. My take on food weight, is why not some luxury for 2-3 day trips- even at 1.5 or 2 pounds per day, that is not much weight. A 12-day trip is very tricky - must really keep weight and bulk down and calories up. And an entire summer of 12-day trips - even more calories needed.

Hey, OM - I noted that your dog is also the lean and hungry type - I was amazed at the weight per day of dog food needed. That was a very informative post!

Posted by: phat

Re: 3-day gear list on Hikelite - 04/12/10 10:05 PM

I've never worried too much about calories - I just take
what I like to eat that doesn't weigh a lot and I don't
feel hungry.

Breakfast: 2 packs of instant oatmeal or Egg and Taters + coffee. 400 calories

Snacks (very rough guess):
almonds (say about 40 grams) - 250 cal
clif bar - 250 cal
Dry Sausage - 250 cal
2 Tablespoon of peanut butter on rye crips- 250 cal

2 cup dehydrated dinner 800 to 1000 cal

For me that would be a lighter, but typical day, and is about
2000 -> 2200 calories.

Sometimes I eat more, add in a pop tart in the morning for extra zoom, or an extra snickers bar for a later day bonking.

So me I'd guess that on a typical week long jaunt I'm running between 2000 to 2800 calories depending on the day. and I'm
a big guy..

I don't come off the trail feeling like a famine victim.. heck most of the time all I end up really craving is a big Latte wink

Doens't mean I'll turn up my nose at a big slab of prime rib tho..

Posted by: aimless

Re: 3-day gear list on Hikelite - 04/12/10 10:44 PM

take a deli sandwhich on Day 1 - and do not count the sandwhich in their food weight

This sort of thing never fails to delight me! Who are they trying to impress? And why?! The number of people who might be impressed by someone bragging how light their pack is (and lying their head off, too) must be vanishingly small.

It would be interesting to compare how many ultralight backpackers there are vs. the number of hardcore star trek groupies. I bet the ULers would come out at less than a tenth the number! grin
Posted by: OregonMouse

Re: 3-day gear list on Hikelite - 04/13/10 12:49 AM

I also wonder--why not indulge a little on a 3-day trip!

I've read a number of "superultralight" (under 5 lbs. base weight) gear lists (looking for ideas, most of which didn't work out for me), and I've noticed that they inevitably omit a camera, even though the authors have provided photos of their trips. I guess that when you're at that level, a lot more things are excluded from "base weight?" laugh
Posted by: skippy

Re: 3-day gear list on Hikelite - 04/13/10 05:01 AM

I tend to require a good amount of food and could never get by on 1 lb of food and consider the trip fun. I like food and luckily food has been kind to me as I'm still skinny. laugh
Posted by: aimless

Re: 3-day gear list on Hikelite - 04/13/10 01:09 PM

when you're at that level

Yeah. I've concluded that the most common way to graduate from UL to Super-UL base weights is to just stop counting more of the weight you carry.
Posted by: OregonMouse

Re: 3-day gear list on Hikelite - 04/13/10 04:23 PM

Hysson actually eats about half as much food as is recommended for his weight on the dog food bag. Any more, and my-daughter-the-veterinarian gets on my case for his being too pudgy. What I need to do is work out an arrangement with Hysson that I prepare and control the amount of his food and he prepares and controls the amount of my food. Maybe I could develop that lean and hungry look, too! Unfortunately, that scenario wouldn't work because he'd just eat my food, too--and get sick from it, since he's allergic to dairy, wheat, corn and oats.
Posted by: taM

Re: 3-day gear list on Hikelite - 04/13/10 09:03 PM

I started by taking the "recommended" amount of food, by either weight or caloric content (generally a balance of both). I ALWAYS brought food back, and generally a good deal of food for a short trip (we're talking nearly a pound of food for 2-3 nights). I've developed what works for me, it's plenty of calories to keep me going strong, and plenty of bulk to keep me from feeling hungry, and it's generally below 2,000 kcal per day. Doesn't really make sense, I'm an average sized dude, 5' 11" 165#, but it works for me. I've never lost any real notable weight while on the trail either.

Just have to play with it til you find out what works best for you...
Posted by: oldranger

Re: 3-day gear list on Hikelite - 04/13/10 09:20 PM

I started backpacking when the original, iconic Kelty frame pack was cutting edge high tech, and horrendously expensive at $35 to $38. We typically carried pretty hefty weights then, wearing classic waffle stompers, but I can never recall not being impressed with anything that was lighter and just as satisfactory as a heavier item. As the technology and skills developed, it has been easy to adopt lighter and lighter items - not exactly complex reasoning is required.

What seems to have happened with the extreme ULers is that they have budded off an entirely new game where "minimum weight" is the principal objective, not simply traveling through the wilderness with just the right amount of gear.

I suppose my motto is "Right, not necessarily light."
Posted by: Redfacery

Re: 3-day gear list on Hikelite - 04/14/10 11:44 AM

Right, not necessarily light

sounds like you picked that out of my brain mad Well, more or less. Not being a throughhiker, I get confused by the people who seem more concerned with numbers of miles hiked than quality of miles hiked - and I don't mean discomfort, I mean that sometimes I get off schedule when I stop for an extra hour at a small stream just to sit.

For me, the right amount of food is similar to what Phat said, it's less about calories and more about eating enough so I'm not hungry and I enjoyed the meal. Again though, I've never been out for more than a fortnight, so I'll have to assume that Ryan Jordan knows his stuff.
Posted by: OregonMouse

Re: 3-day gear list on Hikelite - 04/14/10 02:14 PM

I've actually gotten quite a few ideas from the extreme UL'ers, even though my choice is for a few more creature comforts. There is the problem with those of us who are older that we can't carry even moderately heavy packs any more, so we have to cut the weight way back. Let's not diss the "SUL" folk too much; their innovations have made life more comfortable for the rest of us, even if we consider sub-5-lb. packs too extreme!

I agree about the quality of miles hiked; I'm out there for the beauty and peace, not for making it from (courtesy of the late Harvey Manning) Bug Bog to Blister Pass in 4 hours flat! I'd never make a throughhiker--there is just too much to enjoy along the way!
Posted by: Jimshaw

Re: 3-day gear list on Hikelite - 04/19/10 01:49 AM

Hi thanks giggle smile
Many world class experienced professional (outdoors+Persons) differ in their appraisal of any given situation. crazy Dr's or not, shocked they never agree on much of anything.

I have always had to carry about a pound and a half per day of highly dense energy and calories, including tubes of peanut butter and tubes of honey, packages of sweat-rolls for breakfast, tons of granola [doesn't "Granola Bar" sound like a San Francisco sort of thing? :)] I mean that would be so cool: a wood nymph smile would come pushing a cart to your camp with like 50 kinds of granola and creme and chocolate sprinkles. goodjob GRANOLA BAR

My glasses have to be carried in a protective case when I'm wearing sun-glasses and they weigh 5.4 ounces. Now I know half of us wear glasses but I guess that doesn't count since I never see it on any lists. Lets see my key ring weighs 3.5 ounces, not that it couldn't be lighter but that's what it weighs and never mind my wallet. tHE "BASE WEIGHT" GAME HAS GOTTEN OUT OF HAND. i'LL BET i CAN GO FURTHER WITH NOTHING THAN ANYONE HERE. smirk As far as I'm concerned. what matters is putting ALL of my gear that I am actually taking and putting it in my pack, not my pockets, and weighing it. Every pound lost represents a cost of over $10 per ounce or even $30. I just replaced a 30 year old LLBean down parka with a Montbell ultralight down parka weighing about one half as much as the old jacket and saving about 12 ounces, at a cost of $175.00. depending on which pack I take I have a 12 or 13 pounds base weight for a summer trip in the Cascades hoping the weather isn't too inclement. That doesn't include my glasses, camera, fuel, wallet, keys or food which includes chocolate and don't forget water, tent pegs, ropes and lines, etc etc when you add up the weight. And then lets not forget mission hardware - what it is that you need to accomplish your mission once you get out there? So anyway add maybe 6 pounds for a 3 day trip and its 18 to 19 pounds, maybe as much as 20 with the camera and stuff. It still weighs less the more I eat, thus I carry things like chocolate that start out heavy but actually lighten the pack more quickly, so given my option I would start hiking down into a canyon rather than climbing so when I climbed out the pack would be lighter. Thus the "going in weight" and the "coming out weight" become the real important statistical points. How much do you put on your back when you leave your truck, and how much do you carry out?. At any rate I need for at least one third or may 1/4 of the food to be chocolate, especially with peanuts or almonds. plus GORP

Posted by: OregonMouse

Re: 3-day gear list on Hikelite - 04/19/10 07:20 PM

According to the folks over at backpackinglight, you're supposed to leave your wallet in your car and your keys hidden somewhere nearby at the trailhead. They don't mention the fact that those items probably won't be around when you get back to your car! Of course the BPL folks are headquartered in Montana, where people still seem a bit more honest than the car-clouting crowd out here.

Of course how far do you want to carry this? I was reviewing my gear list yesterday (stuck at home with nasty cold) and noticed that I had omitted the following things:

Hysson's collar with ID tags, from his list

No, I did not add them to my list. To me these things are worn all the time, except the glasses, but I do need them for reading and for driving, so I won't get out of the house without them.

I did lose the denture once on the north side of Mt. Hood. I was in such a hurry to get started back to the trailhead before it got too hot at lower elevations (it was 95*F when I got back to the car at 1 pm) that I left it sitting on a stump after washing the rest of my teeth. I still don't know how I didn't notice its absence while munching on dried fruit and jerky! Thanks to one of the intrepid folks on portlandhikers.org, though, it was restored to me several days later. My dentist still thinks that's the funniest denture story he's ever heard!

I do read those ultralight lists looking for ideas and go over my own list once in a while (like yesterday) in hopes of finding a few ounces that will add up to a pound or two. Some of them have worked great; others I've ended up adding back. And then there's the fishing tackle I was given last Christmas, to which I of course have to add a frying pan, some cooking oil and extra stove fuel in case I catch anything with said gift. I've still managed to keep the base weight down to 15 lbs., though, which (per Bearpaw's hilarious essay a couple of years ago) puts me right in the middle of the "lightweight" category. And this is for conditions such as October in the high Cascades and "summer" in the high Rockies. For summer in the Cascades, I can scrape a pound off that because I don't need quite as much warm clothing.

To return from the thread hijack: As I pointed out, I don't need--in fact, just plain can't eat--a lot of food when I'm out. Of course I could probably go for several weeks without anything, living on my own stores. lol Slender people like Jim wouldn't dare try such a stunt!
Posted by: sabre11004

Re: 3-day gear list on Hikelite - 04/20/10 03:31 PM

I always carry too much food and it is a little heavier than I would like but my grandfather told me to never cut a board too short and that has always stuck with me for some reason..
Posted by: aimless

Re: 3-day gear list on Hikelite - 04/20/10 09:02 PM

I have a system where I prepackage all my meals. I assemble them at home, and I know ahead how many calories per day I am taking.

I normally take about 800 to 1,000 extra calories above and beyond the exact number of meals I expect to eat. Often in the form of granola bars, Clif bars or Bear Valley bars. Those extra calories generally weigh in the neighborhood of 8 oz. and I carry them out again at the end of the trip.

If I am on a long hike, above 120 miles, I compensate by increasing my calorie allotment toward the end of the hike, for after I've burned through some body fat and revved up my metabolism.