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#116937 - 06/06/09 02:20 PM how many days in your bear can?
Paul Offline
member

Registered: 09/30/02
Posts: 778
Loc: California
I'm hoping folks could post how much food they are able to fit in their bear canisters. If you you would tell us:
1)which make and model of canister you have
2)how many days food you are able to fit
3)for how many people
4)if possible, how much the food weighs

Hopefully I'll get enough replies to come up with a reasonable average for person-days of food per unit of volume.

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#116940 - 06/06/09 04:01 PM Re: how many days in your bear can? [Re: Paul]
Pika Offline
member

Registered: 12/08/05
Posts: 1726
Loc: Rural Southeast Arizona
I have a BV 500. I can, if necessary, fit nearly 11 days worth of food for one person into it. This is on the basis of about 1.5 lb of food per day. Please note that my meal selection for the eleven days is planned for compactness and high calorie content rather than for flavor; for example, rice or couscous rather than ramen or macaroni. The full weight has ranged from 15 to 17 pounds. I cook in, and eat from, a pot rather than a bag; this helps save a little space since I use Baggies, trimmed after closing, rather than freezer bags. Freezer bags are heavy I have learned; 3-4 to an ounce. I also pre-compress a lot of stuff like granola to reduce the space it occupies.

When I pack the BV for a long hike, I generally spend a lot of time fitting things carefully into it, a full days food at a time, and I put things in according to my best estimate of when they will be coming out. This is important for the first few days. Mostly I will pack the BV before the trip but when I hiked the JMT last summer, I had to carry ten days worth from Muir Trail Ranch. This was mailed to MTR in a resupply bucket containing several vacuum-packed parcels. When I got to MTR, I had to unpack the resupply package, open the vacuum-sealed packages, and fit all of the stuff into the BV. Sadly, what fit at home did not quite fit at MTR. Fortunately, I anticipated this possibility and so included an Ursack with the resupply on the chance this would happen. I used the Ursack for about a day and a half south of MTR.


Edited by Pika (06/06/09 04:09 PM)
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#116996 - 06/08/09 01:09 AM Re: how many days in your bear can? [Re: Paul]
Wolfeye Offline
member

Registered: 01/11/07
Posts: 413
Loc: Seattle, WA
I use a Bearikade Weekender. I've never pushed the limits, but for solo trips I've had up to 6 days' worth of food in there. I've never felt the need to hike longer than that, but if I did, I'm sure more would fit with proper meal planning and packing. I can usually fit my cookware in there as well as food.

I've also had 3 days' worth of food in there when hiking with my wife, and 2 days' worth for 3 people. There's always food left over, maybe a meal's worth. I've never tried to cram it full.

I think bear can manufacturers & park services have already done some equations to figure out food capacity in terms of volume and # of days per person. I think they're based on "typical" food choices for hikers, though; the average person isn't going to try to get the most bang per ounce or cubic inch. It would be interesting to see how the lightweight crowd fares.

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#116997 - 06/08/09 01:25 AM Re: how many days in your bear can? [Re: Paul]
wandering_daisy Offline
member

Registered: 01/11/06
Posts: 2742
Loc: California
I have the Bear-i-Kade Weekender. As Pika said, if I select food strictly what packs tight, I can get 10 days in for myself. This is at 1.3 pounds per day, 2,400-2,600 calories per day. Everything is REALLY squished! I also have to re-pack everything in thin zip-lock baggies.

Remember, that on a 10-day trip, you can keep out lunch and dinner the first day and I only plan on breakfast for the last day. For the last day's lunch I just eat whatever is left over. So a 10-day trip is really 9 full days of food that has to go in the cannister.

There is no room for toothpaste, sunscreen etc until the second day. I have done 12 day trips where I stay at campsites with bear boxes the first two nights.

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#117005 - 06/08/09 08:57 AM Re: how many days in your bear can? [Re: wandering_daisy]
hikerduane Offline
member

Registered: 02/23/03
Posts: 2123
Loc: Meadow Valley, CA
I just got the Bearicade Weekender for Christmas, but when using my Garcia Machine canister, all my food for an eight day trip fit into it, so I could do a nine day solo trip. Just there is no room until the third day out in it for other stuff, for whatever reason.:)

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#117016 - 06/08/09 12:36 PM Re: how many days in your bear can? [Re: Wolfeye]
sarbar Offline
member

Registered: 07/15/05
Posts: 1453
Loc: WA
If you mastered Tetris you will be able to pack a canister with ease. grin
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#117024 - 06/08/09 04:19 PM Re: how many days in your bear can? [Re: sarbar]
Jeff Offline
member

Registered: 03/06/09
Posts: 41
Loc: Nevada
Last summer my wife and I packed two Bearacade expedition canisters with 12 days of food each. We planned 1.25 pounds per person per day. Most food was home dried and contained in zip locks. Prepackaged stuff was removed from original wrappers and packed in bulk in ziplocks. Food by weight was nuts, dried fruit, homemade jerky, corn nuts and Luna bars. Canisters weighed in at about 15 pounds at the start of the trip. We ended up with leftover food. This was the first half of a 265 mile PCT/John Muir trail hike

Jeff
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#117070 - 06/09/09 07:53 PM Re: how many days in your bear can? [Re: Pika]
300winmag Offline
member

Registered: 02/28/06
Posts: 1342
Loc: Nevada, USA
My Garcia black can will hold 10 days of FREEZER BAG meals W/ Trader Joe's oatmeal breakfasts and 10 Cliff bars. Good enuf fer me.

Eric
_________________________
"There are no comfortable backpacks. Some are just less uncomfortable than others."

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#117481 - 06/22/09 03:36 AM Re: how many days in your bear can? [Re: Paul]
Pat-trick Offline
member

Registered: 06/22/09
Posts: 175
Loc: Portland, OR
I was shocked to read that folks are getting anywhere from 5-12 days of food into a bear can! I'm planning a multi-month trip, with monthly resuppy, and until just a few minutes ago, I had been planning to use a Bear Vault 500. Now, after reading the thread about actual bear threats experienced by members here, i'm planning on using the PCT stuff sack method. But I figured that I could get a month's worth of food into it, 'cause it will be all dry grains and legumes and raisins. I plan to supplement my diet by foraging for natural food stuffs, and by sprouting a variety of the dry goods, like alfalfa seeds, mung beans, lentils, etc. I'll rough grind the beans that I'll cook, and I ought to have a fairly interesting and varied diet. I may have to learn how to track bears so I can find their berry bushes. Kidding! I'll be using some kind of woodgas stove for my primary, maybe the Bushbuddy Ultra, with a Vargo Triad as backup. This trip is going to be relaxed, possibly a meandering exploration of the earth, with no goal except to enjoy myself. I'm starting up here in NE New York, and I have no idea yet where I'm going. Maybe Maine first. It's not about the destination, it's about the going. Anyway, I thought I could feed a platoon for a week out of a bear can! But then, my meals are not prepared. I'll be carrying staples and making meals "out there". I made a pile of 9 pounds of brown rice, chick peas, mung beans, lentils, black beans, northern beans, alfalfa seeds, split peas, and French lentils on my coffee table, and measured the dimensions of the stacked pile, and it came to 270 cubic inches. I figured I could get at least 15 pounds in the can, plus my coffee, toothpaste, oatmeal, raisins, and meds, and that would be enough, with local augmentation, to feed the platoon for a week. If they don't come, I ought to be able to eat for the month on all those dry goods. Time will tell. I've never packed just staples before. I've always bought those expensive freeze-dried meals (which are awful, by the way). But I'm determined to become Mr. Natural, and stay out of the city. Plus I'd like to see the USA first hand. I'll have to go southward when it turns cold, to find veggies and fruits. And to not freeze. Adventure! Hey, I'm retired and widowed, I'm entitled to livin the sweet life. Luckily, I love sitting in front of a wood fire, and I love to cook. It's a great way to pass the time, isn't it? Maybe I'll make some wild friends in the process.
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#117486 - 06/22/09 10:01 AM Re: how many days in your bear can? [Re: Pat-trick]
Pika Offline
member

Registered: 12/08/05
Posts: 1726
Loc: Rural Southeast Arizona
I think you are being a little optimistic about the amount of food you will be able to carry or you are underestimating the amount you will need.

To maintain your body weight under conditions of moderate exercise, you will need roughly 18 calories per day per pound of body weight. Assuming you weigh 160 lb, that is about 2800 calories per day. Your 15 lb of food, as described as mostly grains, should furnish 100 to 110 calories per ounce. Your 15 pounds of food will be 240 oz times (say) 110 calories per oz or 26,400 calories total. Dividing this by your daily requirement of 2800 calories gives you a 9.5 day supply of food.

I also think you are overoptimistic about the amount of food you can forage. Remember, you need to spend a lot of time finding food in the wild. You need an awful large pile of foraged greens to supply any calorie content at all. Yes, you can pick berries, in season, but a full cup of blueberries or blackberries will provide about 100 calories; are you ready to eat 28 cups of berries to meet your day's requirement? Trout will provide roughly 30 calories per ounce of uncooked fish. Enough trout to avoid weight loss would amount to about 93 oz or nearly six pounds. Hunting won't help much since carrying a firearm through many different legal jurisdictions can be complicated. And, a hunting license is required even to hunt squirrels; out-of-state licenses are expensive.

The last thing I want to do here is to discourage you from making the trip you are planning; I envy you the freedom. But, please take the reality of calorie requirements and the number of calories you can carry and find into your planning before you set out. You can easily start the trip with a well developed "reserve tank" or belly. Midriff fat contains 3500 calories per pound and will nicely supplement otherwise sparse rations. Hiking can be an excellent weight loss regimen but if you are already lean, you don't want to loose weight.
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#117490 - 06/22/09 11:26 AM Re: how many days in your bear can? [Re: Pika]
Pat-trick Offline
member

Registered: 06/22/09
Posts: 175
Loc: Portland, OR
Originally Posted By Pika
I think you are being a little optimistic about the amount of food you will be able to carry or you are underestimating the amount you will need... The last thing I want to do here is to discourage you from making the trip you are planning; I envy you the freedom. But, please take the reality of calorie requirements and the number of calories you can carry and find into your planning before you set out. You can easily start the trip with a well developed "reserve tank" or belly. Midriff fat contains 3500 calories per pound and will nicely supplement otherwise sparse rations. Hiking can be an excellent weight loss regimen but if you are already lean, you don't want to loose weight.

Yipes! I think you are right! I researched your figures (calories per ounce) and checked your math, and by golly, you are right! Darn it! Well, there's youthful enthusiasm for ya, running again into that brick wall of reality. I do weigh 225 pounds, so maybe that 15 pounds of food would be enough for a week, or less. I had thought that because my foods would be in "staple" form, that I would get more calories per pound out of them. Where do I come up with these ideas? confused So I guess the usual rule of thumb for weight of food per day per person applies even to me?? Is that what you're saying? I hate that! Well thank you for the reality check. It's probably better to know this stuff before I head out. thanks Perhaps I ought to think this through a little. <applause> I'm glad I ran this idea by some experienced backpackers. Maybe I'll hang out on the forum for a while, make a spreadsheet, do some calculations, before heading off on my grand adventure. I imagined myself the day after eating the quantity of berries you mentioned, and it wasn't a pretty picture! That must be why wild bears sh!t in the woods. They can't wait! hahaha. Looks like I have LOTS to learn yet.
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#117494 - 06/22/09 11:33 AM Re: how many days in your bear can? [Re: Pat-trick]
Pika Offline
member

Registered: 12/08/05
Posts: 1726
Loc: Rural Southeast Arizona
Quote:
That must be why wild bears sh!t in the woods.


In berry season, bears kind of "spray" in the woods eek . A lot of the forest is temporarily painted purple.
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#117496 - 06/22/09 11:44 AM Re: how many days in your bear can? [Re: Pika]
Pat-trick Offline
member

Registered: 06/22/09
Posts: 175
Loc: Portland, OR

Purple spray... that would be different! eek
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#117574 - 06/24/09 11:41 AM Re: how many days in your bear can? [Re: Pat-trick]
finallyME Offline
member

Registered: 09/24/07
Posts: 2710
Loc: Utah
Originally Posted By Pat-trick
Originally Posted By Pika
I think you are being a little optimistic about the amount of food you will be able to carry or you are underestimating the amount you will need... The last thing I want to do here is to discourage you from making the trip you are planning; I envy you the freedom. But, please take the reality of calorie requirements and the number of calories you can carry and find into your planning before you set out. You can easily start the trip with a well developed "reserve tank" or belly. Midriff fat contains 3500 calories per pound and will nicely supplement otherwise sparse rations. Hiking can be an excellent weight loss regimen but if you are already lean, you don't want to loose weight.

Yipes! I think you are right! I researched your figures (calories per ounce) and checked your math, and by golly, you are right! Darn it! Well, there's youthful enthusiasm for ya, running again into that brick wall of reality. I do weigh 225 pounds, so maybe that 15 pounds of food would be enough for a week, or less. I had thought that because my foods would be in "staple" form, that I would get more calories per pound out of them. Where do I come up with these ideas? confused So I guess the usual rule of thumb for weight of food per day per person applies even to me?? Is that what you're saying? I hate that! Well thank you for the reality check. It's probably better to know this stuff before I head out. thanks Perhaps I ought to think this through a little. <applause> I'm glad I ran this idea by some experienced backpackers. Maybe I'll hang out on the forum for a while, make a spreadsheet, do some calculations, before heading off on my grand adventure. I imagined myself the day after eating the quantity of berries you mentioned, and it wasn't a pretty picture! That must be why wild bears sh!t in the woods. They can't wait! hahaha. Looks like I have LOTS to learn yet.


It looks like you are trying to stay vegetarian for the food intake. Instead of discouraging you, I recommend adding some olive oil. That is still vegetarian, healthy, and packs a lot of calories for the weight.
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#117582 - 06/24/09 01:52 PM Re: how many days in your bear can? [Re: finallyME]
Pat-trick Offline
member

Registered: 06/22/09
Posts: 175
Loc: Portland, OR
Doc says no oil, period. For people with heart disease, any oil is bad.
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#117587 - 06/24/09 04:44 PM Re: how many days in your bear can? [Re: Pat-trick]
BarryP Offline
member

Registered: 03/04/04
Posts: 1574
Loc: Eastern Idaho
“Doc says no oil, period. For people with heart disease, any oil is bad.”

This is very surprising. Some of your calories should come from fats. It is necessary for the body. Unsaturated fat is the best; Olive oil lowers bad cholesterol and raises good cholesterol. I can’t see why your doctor would disagree ????

-Barry

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#117598 - 06/24/09 07:03 PM Re: how many days in your bear can? [Re: BarryP]
Pat-trick Offline
member

Registered: 06/22/09
Posts: 175
Loc: Portland, OR
Originally Posted By BarryP
Some of your calories should come from fats. It is necessary for the body. Unsaturated fat is the best; Olive oil lowers bad cholesterol and raises good cholesterol. I can’t see why your doctor would disagree ????


Apparently fat naturally occurs in food. For example I don't eat avocados, and I limit peanut butter. The doc in question is Dean Ornish. I call him my doc 'cause I read his book "How to Reverse Heart Disease". He presents the major research on heart disease. In addition, he designed a 4-prong program based on major research, combining beneficial factors for a healthy heart. One of the factors is a no-added-fat vegetarian diet. He does talk at length about oils, how olive oil is low in saturated fat, and canola oil is even lower. He says there's enough fat in foods for the body's uses, and limiting saturated fats is imperative for heart patients. He set up a research study using the 4 factors (the diet, exercise, stress reduction, social support), and the results were presented in the AMA Journal of Medicine a long time ago. He used very precise and somewhat invasive techniques to measure artery lumens (size of the opening in an artery cross-section), and other measurements, to track progress in the participating patients. Apparently all participants showed improvement in their condition, and the more they adhered to the program, the more improvements were achieved. Cessation of angina was universally quick in participants, and all participants who followed the program returned to active life, including backpacking, biking, hiking, etc. I don't know, I just read the book, it made sense to me at the time, and I can't quote what you need to hear about the oil question, since I don't have the book. But the next time you're in a major bookstore, find his book and use the index to find the info. I'm pretty sure it's about limiting the saturated fat.
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#117602 - 06/24/09 08:31 PM Re: how many days in your bear can? [Re: BarryP]
Pat-trick Offline
member

Registered: 06/22/09
Posts: 175
Loc: Portland, OR
Here's a short, one-page interview of the doc by a dietician, and he mentions the oil thing. Apparently I'm on the reversal diet, rather than the prevention diet. It's very oil-restricted. Still, when I do buy processed foods, I check to be sure the saturated fat content is 10% or under. Don't tell anyone, but I do cheat sometimes.

http://www.todaysdietitian.com/newarchives/td_020909p48.shtml
wink
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#117605 - 06/24/09 09:20 PM Re: how many days in your bear can? [Re: Pat-trick]
Eric Offline
member

Registered: 09/23/02
Posts: 294
Loc: The State of Jefferson
Dean Ornish has some very compelling arguments. I would like to see someone do a study on "normal fat" vs no fat vs "good fat".

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#117624 - 06/25/09 10:52 AM Re: how many days in your bear can? [Re: Pat-trick]
sarbar Offline
member

Registered: 07/15/05
Posts: 1453
Loc: WA
The only issue with not adding healthy fat or oil to your diet is this:
When you are physically active (unlike hanging out in a cubicle all day at work) your body will at some point NEED the fat. Otherwise you will start consuming your muscles for needed calories.

Yes, oil does exist naturally in food. It also can go stale then rancid in long term storage. So if you are carrying brown rice or things with flax, wheat germ, etc - be sure to keep tightly sealed. The good thing is normally you can smell it when it goes stale, flat smelling.

As well, for long term hiking don't discount a little oil added to dinner to keep one "regular".

While one doesn't want to go on a fat fest something to consider is the average 20 something thru hiker of the PCT. By the time I see them in mid Washington in late August they all look the same: ultra thin, just wiry thin muscles and they eat all freaking day long. They literally cannot get enough food in by then - and fat tends to a big choice.

You just have to pick wisely what you use for fat and use it sparingly.

Most of all though with an all whole foods diet...don't forget the herbs and spices to make life taste better - and expect longer cooking times - the trade off on cooking time vs fuel would be a big reason to carry precooked versions. Your wood burning stove will remove that issue.

Btw, if you are planning on doing whole grains have you ever read the original green cover version of "Simple Foods For The Pack"? You have to get the 1970's version - it covers cooking lentils, brown rice and other staples.
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#117633 - 06/25/09 01:14 PM Re: how many days in your bear can? [Re: sarbar]
Pat-trick Offline
member

Registered: 06/22/09
Posts: 175
Loc: Portland, OR
"The only issue with not adding healthy fat or oil to your diet is this:
When you are physically active (unlike hanging out in a cubicle all day at work) your body will at some point NEED the fat. Otherwise you will start consuming your muscles for needed calories."

Assuming we have a healthy body here, with normal metabolic channels functioning, if there's not enough fat (or any kind of substance) available in the diet, then the body will dip into its reserves. There are cellular reserves, tissue reserves in the form of fatty tissue, aka adipose, as well as other reserves. In a time of shortage, the body would tap all those first. The body will only consume muscle tissue when there is nothing coming in, and ALL its reserves are exhausted. This only occurs when a person is emaciated and starving. In that case it would consume muscles first, then proceed to the organs, starting with those that are less essential to staying alive. Fat occurs naturally in foods. A serving of bananas or pears have about 1/10th the amount of fat as a serving of Oreo cookies, but they still have fat. Plant derived foods have lots less fat content than animal derived foods, and they are associated with heart health. Vegans have less heart disease than anyone. Their fat consumption is low, particularly of the saturated variety.

"As well, for long term hiking don't discount a little oil added to dinner to keep one "regular"."

Whole grains/legumes are super high in fiber, which results in regularity. Oil is not required. Oil may help if a person eats a low fiber diet, for example a diet high in animal products. In that scenario, oil may help compacted materials to slide out. In fact, taking a shot of oil used to be a treatment for constipation. Today, adding plant-based foods to a diet will increase all the elements needed for improved nutrition, digestion, and elimination.

"While one doesn't want to go on a fat fest something to consider is the average 20 something thru hiker of the PCT. By the time I see them in mid Washington in late August they all look the same: ultra thin, just wiry thin muscles and they eat all freaking day long. They literally cannot get enough food in by then - and fat tends to a big choice."

The Boston Red Sox shortstop, Nick Green, is so thin he looks a little cadaverish. We here in the US are so used to being husky, hefty, hunky, etc, that when we see a world class athlete like Nick Green or other elite athletes (like some thru hikers), we think they look gaunt, sick, unhealthy. They have few reserves of adipose tissue, and they do feel the need to eat plenty. People tend to associate a well-fed person with health, but scientific inquiry has shown that slightly underfed laboratory animals live longer, are more active, and are less likely to fall ill. My personal goal is to become thin again. When I weighed 165 pounds (at 6'0" height), I could run ten miles in 70 minutes without breathing hard or my pulse rising above 100. I was thin, but I was all muscle. My resting heart rate was 38. That didn't mean I was about to die, haha. It meant I was a stud. Don't worry about those thru hikers. If they have energy to hike and pack, they're probably getting enough to eat.

Being hungry is a natural and healthy thing. Most people in the US probably don't feel hungry very often, 'cause mealtimes are so regimented here. It's better to just eat when you're hungry, and eat as much as you want. The secret is to eat the right things - not junk. And NOT EATING (God forbid!!) is a centuries old technique to improve health, awareness, and self-control. Thin is not IN, but it ought to be! wink
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#117636 - 06/25/09 02:11 PM Re: how many days in your bear can? [Re: BarryP]
Pat-trick Offline
member

Registered: 06/22/09
Posts: 175
Loc: Portland, OR
Originally Posted By BarryP
“ Olive oil lowers bad cholesterol and raises good cholesterol. I can’t see why your doctor would disagree ????


I've never heard that before. I've heard that in the general population there is a statistical link between olive oil use and lower bad cholesterol, but I've not heard that the oil itself lowers the bad and raises the good. If I took olive oil supplementation, or used it regularly in cooking, my bad cholesterol would definitely go up. I don't use oil at all, except when cheating (I'll use a little if cooking for friends). The way I have heard it explained, that makes sense to me, is that olive oil has a smaller percentage of saturated fat than most other oils (14%) and therefore it would raise the bad cholesterol less than other oils would raise it. But it still raises it. That's why, on my restricted diet, I don't use oil.
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#117646 - 06/25/09 07:06 PM Re: how many days in your bear can? [Re: Pat-trick]
sarbar Offline
member

Registered: 07/15/05
Posts: 1453
Loc: WA
There is a difference between eating healthy, enjoying life and being healthy - and going overboard.

I would say this: if you are going to cut all added oil and fast out of your diet I would hope you are seeing a Doctor in person, preferably a heart specialist if you have heart issues. And not basing it on simply what is in a book. It isn't something to mess with! You need a balanced diet that will provide nutrients, protein and everything your body needs. Fat is something we DO need to survive. Just not in the portions of say a double cheeseburger and a large fry order. A dinner made with a Tablespoon of first press EVOO is not only tasty, it is good for you. Moderation is of course the key!

You go to low with fat you WILL have issues! It is a good way to have unhealthy skin, loss of hair and other issues crop up. Just thinking of my Aunt who was borderline anorexic who starved herself and also only ate around 10 grams of fat a day - brrrr. Those are some bad memories. I starved myself as well when I was college aged, it was neither pretty nor good for me. Frankly, there is a difference between being in shape and at a reasonable weight than just being skinny.
http://www.dietbites.com/article1097.html

As for my comment on being regular....sure, whole grains/vegetables and legumes have plenty of fiber - but fiber alone is not always enough.

As well, certain vegetables their nutrients are taken in better by the body with a tiny amount of oil added.

I don't buy the no oil added unless, and only unless, you are under direct orders by a doctor specializing in it.
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#117647 - 06/25/09 07:27 PM Re: how many days in your bear can? [Re: sarbar]
lori Offline
member

Registered: 01/22/08
Posts: 2801
I'm thinking now of someone I knew who put himself on a cyclical no carb diet - he would eat meat only and work out (weight training) for a week, then eat moderate amounts of carbs, then cycle through again. But the minute he pulled a muscle or tore something, he went off the diet until he healed because *injuries don't heal without carbs*.

I can't see that anyone could possibly maintain a healthy lifestyle without eating adequate amounts of all the things that they need, and I am always suspicious of diets that go to extremes. I certainly wouldn't do anything radical without talking to an actual medical professional or nutritionist. I really don't trust the word of some guy trying to sell books when it comes to my health. Guess I've seen too many fad diets come and go to really believe everything I read. Colon cleansing, anyone?
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#117656 - 06/26/09 12:03 AM Re: how many days in your bear can? [Re: sarbar]
Pat-trick Offline
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Registered: 06/22/09
Posts: 175
Loc: Portland, OR
Whoa, easy does it. I have excellent medical care and am being closely monitored by my doctor, 4 times a year. Thanks for your concern. I think I save 1.25 ounces by not having to tote a little bottlette of evoo with me.
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#117657 - 06/26/09 12:10 AM Re: how many days in your bear can? [Re: lori]
Pat-trick Offline
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Registered: 06/22/09
Posts: 175
Loc: Portland, OR
It's easy to say "I've got excellent medical coverage, blah blah blah..." so maybe this will sound more convincing: every 3 months I see my medical doctor who spends about 30 minutes with me. I have a complete blood workup. He physically exams and test me. I'm scheduled for an another echo cardiogram to see how much heart function there is, and where it is, and to compare the results to my last one, three years ago. Are you people doctors?
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#117658 - 06/26/09 12:41 AM Re: how many days in your bear can? [Re: Pat-trick]
lori Offline
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Registered: 01/22/08
Posts: 2801
Originally Posted By Pat-trick
It's easy to say "I've got excellent medical coverage, blah blah blah..." so maybe this will sound more convincing: every 3 months I see my medical doctor who spends about 30 minutes with me. I have a complete blood workup. He physically exams and test me. I'm scheduled for an another echo cardiogram to see how much heart function there is, and where it is, and to compare the results to my last one, three years ago. Are you people doctors?


Does your doctor know you are following advice from a book? Does he/she approve?

I am not a doctor but I do know that if I do not have adequate fats and calories and protein, I will need one very soon. Hiking has altered my metabolism - I do it every week. I eat more, drink more, and need more than I used to. And I do discuss everything with my doctor and she approves.

Look - no one is criticizing your choice. It's your choice to make. Call it concerned questioning, because I don't understand the reasoning behind your theories. I've often seen the harm it can do, trying to use some book written by some guy - anyone can write a book. Anyone can claim people with blood type O needs to eat more grains than proteins, or only eat grapefruit to lose a lot of weight fast - oh, there are some fascinating reads on the used bookshelves.

If the book you're living by meets your doctor's approval and it makes you healthier, more power to you. I'm all for being healthy. It just doesn't sound right to me to deprive a human body of the things we know it needs, especially when I've only needed MORE of those things, not less, since I've started this whole hiking adventure. Not to mention all the other more experienced hikers on whose experience I draw to inform my own endeavors - no one is focused on decreasing oils in the diet, they are instead focused on increasing caloric intake in the most compact fashion.
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#117660 - 06/26/09 08:30 AM Re: how many days in your bear can? [Re: lori]
Pat-trick Offline
member

Registered: 06/22/09
Posts: 175
Loc: Portland, OR
"Does your doctor know you are following advice from a book? Does he/she approve?"

Yes, I've told my doctors about Dr. Ornish, and the higher they are paid, the less they care. In other words, my surgeons have never heard of him. At least they wouldn't admit to it. I get my healthcare through the VA system. The problem with Ornish is, people get better without surgery, and that's a LOT of money being diverted from surgical teams and hospitals. He's not embraced generally by the medical community for this reason, I think. The VA in particular is about 20 years behind the times in terms of adjusting to what research shows, I thought. It's a bureacracy. Change takes time.

"I am not a doctor but I do know that if I do not have adequate fats and calories and protein, I will need one very soon."

What is your source for knowing that you need to eat fats, besides the ones found naturally in food? I would like to go to it myself.

"Look - no one is criticizing your choice."

Really. From this end, it feels like I'm being pounded. I thought about it, and decided it's not about the oil, it's about my stupid attempt at humour with my signature: "stop the world and half you people get off". It would probably be a funnier play on the original to say, "stop the world, and all you people get off".

"It's your choice to make. Call it concerned questioning, because I don't understand the reasoning behind your theories."

Now it's "my theories". The VA's official recommendation for oil is 20% of calories from fat/oil. Ornish's program found that limiting it to 10% resulted in cardiac arteries opening. Since I have CAD (Coronary Artery Disease), I decided to do the 10% thing. The VA doctors do not hold Dr. Ornish in high regard, and some have not even heard of him. Their "antennae" are not tuned to research that saves money, or that is not thoroughly "gold standard". The gold standard is bypass surgery and drugs. Diet is a minor component, almost an afterthought, of their care of me. Anyway, this is not supposed to be a medical forum, so let me make a few remarks to answer the genuine concern that is I hope is driving this whole conversation.

1. In a previous post I pasted a link to an interview of Ornish, but I failed to mention that in the interview he said he did not advocate not using oil. He said he did recommend some kind of fish oil for Omega-3's. He talks about different diets for different people, for example a prevention diet, or a reversal diet. Heart patients have other needs, to limit the consumption of cholesterol, for example, for exercise, for a peaceful home, good relations, etc.
2. I have not specifically told my doctors that I am not consuming olive oil.
3. To satisfy the concerns expressed here, I will buy a bottle of evoo tomorrow and start using to sautee my onions and garlic and herbs.
4. On my next visit to the doctor (it's coming up soon), I will ask him about the oil thing.
5. Between now and that visit, I will look into the oil thing. If you have knowledgeable sources of information concerning the need for oil in the diet, I'd like to hear it so I can read it, too.
6. I think reading books is a good way to get information. Did you know that doctors had to read a whole bunch of books in order to become doctors? I myself have taken the pre-med curriculum in college, and everything was in books. Big books. Expensive books. But books they were, and it's okay to read books and learn from them, in my opinion.

"I've often seen the harm it can do, trying to use some book written by some guy - anyone can write a book. Anyone can claim people with blood type O needs to eat more grains than proteins, or only eat grapefruit to lose a lot of weight fast - oh, there are some fascinating reads on the used bookshelves."

I know. I must come across as pretty dumb. I'm not sure how to change that.

"If the book you're living by meets your doctor's approval and it makes you healthier, more power to you."

I've always considered that I make my own decisions, even in health care. I don't blindly submit to anything a doctor recommends. I think about what he/she is saying, I read the research, and I make up my own mind. I do thoroughly discuss things with my doctors, and grille them until I am satisfied that I have the information I need to make an informed choice. That includes questioning their suggestions. To make you happy, I will ask his suggestion about oil, and I will re-read what Ornish is saying. I trust him because he bases his suggestions on what the research is saying, not what the capitalist medical industry is selling. Oh good, now we're going into politics.

"I'm all for being healthy. It just doesn't sound right to me to deprive a human body of the things we know it needs"

Is this still about oil? "The things it needs"??? Surely folks are not against being a vegetarian? Against daily exercise? Against stress management? Against social support? That's all that Ornish is saying in "that book", and I cannot imagine any doctor being against any one of those things. Do you want me to ask my doc next time, "Hey, doc, should I go for high stress or low stress? I read a book that quoted scientic research as saying that high stress is strongly linked to heart disease. Am I that much of an idiot that I have to ask him? Come on, give me some credit here. He probably hasn't even read about the study.

"Not to mention all the other more experienced hikers on whose experience I draw to inform my own endeavors - no one is focused on decreasing oils in the diet, they are instead focused on increasing caloric intake in the most compact fashion."

Are they heart patients? Is this a backpackers forum for heart patients? Are these more experienced hikers you mention heart patients or heart doctors? Everyone ought to limit their fat/oil intake to be healthy. Can anyone argue with that? Look at the incidence of obesity in American children. Vegetarians have less heart disease than anyone, vegans even less. These are facts. That's just the way it works. If ya smoke, you're more inclined to heart disease. It's a fact. Stressed out? Zap! (maybe)

So I'll use a little oil starting tommorrow, I'll do more reading because I believe in reading, and I'll get the facts. And I'll report them here. How's that sound? Can everyone relax now?

I would like to ask, are you sure that you yourself have all the facts about heart disease and oil consumption? Are you a cardiologist? Have ya read some books about it? I'm not sure I have all the facts, which is why I will do more research (reading books) and have discussion with my doctor. HOWEVER, I will be the one doing it in the end. I will decide on a course of action based on ALL the evidence, and it will be me who implements the decision. Truthfully, I don't think experienced hikers know about the biochemistry of metabolism. I think they know how to thrive in the woods. When I have questions about my diet in order to reverse heart disease, I won't be asking any of them, no matter how long they have hiked. Hiking is not medicine. I won't buy a hiking book to find out, either. I'll probably buy a book that is based on research that was published in the AMA Journal of Medicine, though. Research that is specific to the reversal and maintenance of heart disease through healthy living is exactly the book I want to read, because it is based on facts and I want to get better through healthy living . Why? Because I am responsible for myself. Scientific research tells us what the facts are. The people who do the research write books to tell other people what facts they discovered, through reproducible and verifiable means. It's called The Scientific Method. Other scientists can set up the experiment/study and check the facts themselves.

I don't do fad diets. I'm just a guy who eats whole, unprocessed foods as much as possible. Yesterday I had a huge salad for lunch: lettuce, mung bean sprouts, lentil sprouts, and ranch dressing. The dressing, a double serving, had 32 grams of fat in it, 5 grams of it was saturated (14%). A little high, but I cheat sometimes. So I got oil, but it wasn't out of an oil bottle. There is oil in other foods I eat. I still assert I am eating oil even though I don't buy it, but I will do what I said above, to make sure, and then report back. If I have to, I'll drink it right out of the bottle. But I would have to have verifiable facts that I need to do that first.

Are we good now?
Will a GoLite Lite-Speed large size hold a BV500?
If an MSR Pocket Rocket cannister (7.75oz) will bring 15 liters of water to a boil, how many liters will it bring to a boil and then simmer for 45 minutes?
Can we change the subject, in other words... i'm having too much fun.


Edited by Pat-trick (06/26/09 08:39 AM)
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#117692 - 06/26/09 10:15 PM Re: how many days in your bear can? [Re: Pat-trick]
finallyME Offline
member

Registered: 09/24/07
Posts: 2710
Loc: Utah
I think the issue lies with the amount of calories you need to hike, not the oil percent. People are looking at your hiking plans and see "thru-hiker" as the plan. But, you might fit a different mold. Thru-hikers generally are expending more energy than they can eat, because they are hiking long miles, and can only carry a limited amount. You will be carrying a limit amount, but maybe not hiking as long. We all don't really know how much energy you will need each day. That is for you to figure.

I think you will be good with 10% of calories from fat. I just would be worried that you get enough calories. If you are lean now, then you will notice sooner. If you are a little heavy, you won't notice for a while, which might be a good thing. Anyways, I would just plan to have a diet reassessment every so often to either change the amount of calories covered, or calorie binge for a few days (this could mean eating a lot more vegetables and whole wheat for a few days to calorie dump before heading out again). In other words, when you resupply, try being in a town where you can buy more food. If you feel like you are lower on energy, eat more quantity (same fat percentage) before loading up.

Moving on....thanks for the link to Ornish. I enjoyed it, and plan on using some of his ideas. Maybe not when weekend hiking, but definitely every other day. thanks
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#117828 - 06/30/09 04:51 AM Re: how many days in your bear can? [Re: finallyME]
Pat-trick Offline
member

Registered: 06/22/09
Posts: 175
Loc: Portland, OR
I think I'm getting TOO much oil, actually. My cholesterol #'s were up a bit last workup. I do aim for 10% fat content, or less.

I'm a big dufus. I had a little problem before joining the forum and thought living like a wild man would be the solution. I'm no way a thru hiker. I'm settled down now, and can say that I'm probably an occassional backpacker wannabee. I DO live just a couple miles from a local wilderness area, and I want to go to the top of the ridgeline behind my house. It's the tallest mountain in a 10 mile radius. (Jay Mountain, New York)
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#117887 - 07/01/09 09:16 AM Re: how many days in your bear can? [Re: Pat-trick]
BarryP Offline
member

Registered: 03/04/04
Posts: 1574
Loc: Eastern Idaho
Patrick. Sorry for the thread drift. This is interesting stuff.

You asked “I've never heard that before. I've heard that in the general population there is a statistical link between olive oil use and lower bad cholesterol, but I've not heard that the oil itself lowers the bad and raises the good.”

This is very common knowledge among your doctors and especially dieticians. After heart surgery your doctor will send you to a dietician where they really train you about diet---- practically becoming a vegetarian. My dad had to go through this so now I’m way more wary of my eating habits.

Here’s a typical summary of olive oil use: http://www.healthcentral.com/cholesterol/c/59/2543/fat-good-bad/
“The people of Crete eat a tremendous amount of olive oil, a monounsaturated fat. Monounsaturated fats such as olive or canola oil have a good effect on cholesterol by raising the good HDL and lowering the bad LDL.”

I hope you don’t think that I suggest drinking evoo. Just use it properly. Your exact calorie ratio of carbs, fats, and proteins cannot be given by anyone here. We’re just pointing out that you need all 3. The ratio can be determined by your doctor with a dietician.

-Barry

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#117898 - 07/01/09 03:12 PM Re: how many days in your bear can? [Re: Pat-trick]
Keith Offline
member

Registered: 01/04/02
Posts: 1664
Loc: Michigan's Upper Peninsula
Originally Posted By Pat-trick
Doc says no oil, period. For people with heart disease, any oil is bad.


No doubt generally good advice. However, I would counsel a healthy skepticism for any "one size fits all" medical/dietary recommendation. In this case you are doing something that the good doctor may never have considered as he contemplated the overweight cubicle denizens that comprise a large contingent of the folk he was targeting with his advice. Since you are doing someting different (and, BTW, extremely healthy), I'd suggest you consider how you need to modify his generic recommendations to fit your circumstances.
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#117906 - 07/01/09 05:03 PM Re: how many days in your bear can? [Re: BarryP]
Pat-trick Offline
member

Registered: 06/22/09
Posts: 175
Loc: Portland, OR
Originally Posted By BarryP
Patrick,... You asked “...I've not heard that the oil itself lowers the bad and raises the good.”

This is very common knowledge among your doctors and especially dieticians...

“The people of Crete eat a tremendous amount of olive oil, a monounsaturated fat...

-Barry

Thanks for pointing out that I need calories from fat. I know that. I currently and for the past 4 years, since my quadruple coronary artery bypass graft surgery, have been getting more than 10% of my calories from fat. None of my 4 times a year blood work-ups have shown any abnormalities. My total cholesterol had been at ~100 until this past year, and now it is creeping up.
It's probably not a coincidence that I've been hitting the ice cream during this time. NOt much, but I'm susceptible to high cholesterol. Cholesterol levels (the bad one) will rise as consumption of dietary cholesterol rises (eggs, shrimp, etc), and it will also rise as consumption of saturated fats rises. So I follow a diet that has been scientifically proven to lower the bad cholesterol. I also exercise, because that has been scientifically proven to raise the good cholesterol, which acts as a transportation system for the bad cholesterol to be processed in the body, and removed as needed.

I read the article by young Dr. Kang, and was alarmed to read that he calls olive oil a monounsaturated fat. It is not. It is absolutely, positively NOT a mono-unsaturated fat. It CONTAINS 55-83% monounsaturated fats, depending on the particular oil, but it also contains saturated fat and polyunsaturated fat, AS DO ALL OILS. To his credit, Dr. Kang notes that saturated fat raises LDL cholesterol (the bad one). However, he ought to know, as should anyone who eats food, that ALL OILS ARE A MIXTURE OF SATURATED, MONOUNSATURATED, AND POLYUNSATURATED FATS. And my impression of the article is that he was speaking to the general population, not to the specialized, specific population of recovering heart patients. I am ALL FOR THE USE OF OLIVE OIL BY THE GENERAL PUBLIC.

Canola oil has the lowest percentage of saturated fats of all the oils, beating olive oil in the contest. Canada has made canola oil its "national oil" for this reason. For regular healthy people, using canola oil or olive oil to cook (in reasonable quantities) is fine. However, I personally am a person who has: high cholesterol (I take Simvastatin, and I do not eat saturated fats of any kind - except when I cheat, which is probably too often). I eliminate cooking oils from my diet because they contain saturated fats. If they did not have saturated fats, I would probably use them, because I like the flavors. And Dr. Ornish would probably say it's okay, too.

Dr. Ornish states in his explanation of the scientifically-proven program to reverse heart disease, that the reason to refrain from the use of cooking oils, is to eliminate saturated fats, which are scientifically proven to raise cholesterol levels and contribute to heart disease and heart attacks.

I AM NOT TELLING ANYONE ON THIS FORUM TO NOT USE OIL. Please, keep on doing what you do. I just happened to (unwisely) mention it in a post.

I DO GET A HEALTHY PORTION OF CALORIES FROM FATS. Fats are found in foods. Avocadoes and nuts and seeds have LOTS of fat. So does anything dairy. Brown rice has fat in it. Beans have fat. It IS possible to have adequate fat content in the diet without adding cooking oil, even my diet, which is vegetarian. It would amount to getting 10% of your calories from fats if a person ate a vegetarian diet without adding cooking oils. Since this diet, combined with daily exercise of the aerobic variety, stress reduction, and social support, IS SCIENTIFICALLY PROVEN TO REVERSE HEART DISEASE, I am following it. If you or someone you know has heart disease, I would highly recommend this program, including all four facets of it (diet, exercise, stress reduction, social support).

I do respectfully request that you acknowledge that this no-added-fat diet is for me only, as a person trying to reverse heart disease, and is not intended for healthy people who walk around the world with a ultra-light house on their backs. DO NOT FOLLOW THIS DIET IF YOU ARE HEALTHY. IT IS AN EXTREMELY RESTRICTED DIET FOR MEDICAL PATIENTS ONLY, WITH A MEDICAL RESULT AS ITS GOAL.

I hope this clears up some of the confusion. I need to consider more carefully the things I say on this forum. Sorry!

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#117907 - 07/01/09 05:17 PM Re: how many days in your bear can? [Re: Keith]
Pat-trick Offline
member

Registered: 06/22/09
Posts: 175
Loc: Portland, OR
Originally Posted By Keith
In this case you are doing something that the good doctor may never have considered as he contemplated the overweight cubicle denizens that comprise a large contingent of the folk he was targeting with his advice. Since you are doing someting different (and, BTW, extremely healthy), I'd suggest you consider how you need to modify his generic recommendations to fit your circumstances.


Au contaire, Keith! The doctor wasn't speaking to the general overweight citizens when he said "no added oil". He was speaking to the heart patient with life-threatening, ongoing disease. Please read the post I just made in response to Barry. I made a mistake by mentioning my diet, and folks naturally assumed I was recommending it for backpackers. NOOOOOO!!!! I'm so sorry. I have to limit ALL SATURATED FAT, but you don't. Saturated fat is found even in olive and canola oils, although it is in minimum amounts. Thus they are considered "healthy" oils. But for someone with heart disease, ANY OIL IS UNHEALTHY, because it contains some saturated fat. Following my diet has been scientifically proven to reverse heart disease. But it's not for regular folks. Please, continue to use oil, and let me be the first to remind you, there is a definite link between heart health and the use of oils that have very low % of saturated fat (olive, canola, etc).
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#117909 - 07/01/09 05:37 PM Re: how many days in your bear can? [Re: Pat-trick]
phat Offline
Moderator

Registered: 06/24/07
Posts: 4107
Loc: Alberta, Canada
Originally Posted By Pat-trick

Canola oil has the lowest percentage of saturated fats of all the oils, beating olive oil in the contest. Canada has made canola oil its "national oil" for this reason.


Well, actually I think we've made canola our "national oil" because we grow tons and tons of it so it's *CHEAP* here. EVOO is pricy smile




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#117915 - 07/01/09 06:51 PM Re: how many days in your bear can? [Re: Pat-trick]
lori Offline
member

Registered: 01/22/08
Posts: 2801
Originally Posted By Pat-trick


I hope this clears up some of the confusion. I need to consider more carefully the things I say on this forum. Sorry!



One of the problems I had in this conversation, as I noted in my PM, was that I myself have a tendency when stressed or overtired (as only someone in a rapidly sinking company can be as we all careen merrily toward layoffs, not that this excuses anything) and to not error-trap my tendency to bluntness. I could have worded my own responses better.

My main concern was that you (and anyone else departing from the General Consensus Of Dietary Needs For Hikers(tm)) are doing so under supervision of qualified medical professionals. Maybe you mentioned that somewhere, I may not have noticed in my bleariness, but my own myopic sense was not thus.

EVOO is such a popular and generally good way to pump up calories and fats that it struck me as "new and unusual" for someone to avoid most oils, when the rest of us (well, some of us) are adding it into oatmeal on long hikes.

I applaud your efforts to get out there - a lot of people with health issues hike and do well. I have a few of them in my hiking group, one recovering from back surgery and trying to work his way into backpacking again, another trying to lose weight while addressing some other issues. It can be done, don't lose heart. One overnighter at a time.
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#117967 - 07/03/09 12:13 PM Re: how many days in your bear can? [Re: Pat-trick]
Keith Offline
member

Registered: 01/04/02
Posts: 1664
Loc: Michigan's Upper Peninsula
<quote>Au contaire, Keith! The doctor wasn't speaking to the general overweight citizens when he said "no added oil"</quote>

Pat-trick . . .
Clearly, I jumped to an unwarrented conclusion. This was in part from not understanding your situation and in part from interpreting your regimen as absolutely no fat. Thanks for explaining things.

--Keith
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#118001 - 07/04/09 12:43 PM Re: how many days in your bear can? [Re: lori]
Pat-trick Offline
member

Registered: 06/22/09
Posts: 175
Loc: Portland, OR
i get plenty of fat and calories... one look at my abdomen will convince ya! i'm 6'0" 225 pounds, and don't lack for much at all, ha ha. laugh grin laugh
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