Food

Below is a sample of the food preparation tasks I have performed.  This was the most time consuming task, but a fundamental component in making this walk as efficient as possible.

In an effort to reduce the weight of carry, almost all food items were dehydrated. This decreased my pack weight significantly, and increased the number of days worth of food I can carry at one time.  Dehydrating food and the creation of road/trail ready meals is a creative exercise; however, after some browsing of the inter-web and a little trial and error, some very light meals were created for a relatively low price.

Dehydration

If you have enough time and ask enough questions, a decent food dehydrator can be had for a reasonable price.  For example: my dehydrator was purchased for a relatively low price after peppering the sales associate with questions, and asking if this item is expected to go on sale in the near future.  After some humming and hawing, the sales associate presented me with a card for an upcoming sale in a couple of weeks.  After a short period of time, I purchased the dehydrator for a great price!  Although this is a large dehydrator, it was the perfect size for all my dehydrating needs.

12 Tray Food Dehydrator and Tray (apple slices)

Dehydrated Food Items

Below are a number of dehydrated food items, including, but not limited to Beef Chilli, Ham, Oatmeal Bark (blended oatmeal, raisin, almond, cinnamon, and maple syrup), Peppers, and Mixed Vegetables.  Other dehydrated items included: Yam, Corn, Chicken (canned), Turkey (canned), Orange slices, Mushrooms, etc.

20161120_151418
Initial round of food dehydration (Apple, Beef Chili, Peppers, Melon, Fruit Leather, Pineapple, and Banana Chips

Staple Food Items

To balance between cost, effort, and reality; a majority of the dehydrated food items were combined with store bought staples. Some of these staple items included: instant rice, pastas, textured vegetable protein (TVP), raisins, almonds, and instant oatmeal.

staples
Macaroni, Couscous, Instant Rice, Egg Noddles, Cheddar Cheese Powder, Instant Oatmeal

 Spices and Additives

Even though I am living small, it doesn’t mean I have to eat small!  After looking around, some spice mixes and additives were used, which made these meals quite respectable.  Items such as coconut milk powder, taco seasoning mix, or even simple items like powdered milk, add that extra richness and caloric input!

spices
Cajun Spice Mix, Coconut Milk, Near East Spice Mix, Powdered Milk

Hot and Cold(ish) Drinks

Personally, it is nice to take a break and have a tea, instant coffee, hot chocolate, or drink once in a while, since I have no schedule.  I packaged about 10 days worth of instant drinks into a sealable plastic bag.  My vice is tea and coffee, so I ensured a good quantity was packed!

drink
Tea, Hot Chocolate, etc.

Meal Packets

After trying out each meal and mulling over the taste, texture, and ease of re-hydration; the winning meals were duplicated and packaged in sealable plastic bags.  All meals were stored outside in plastic totes, my car carrier, or in the freezer.  A week or so before my departure day, all meals were combined to create packages of 10 or so days worth of meals that will be shipped to me along my route.

It is worth noting that rice meals like Zataran’s and Uncle Ben’s Rice meals are relatively weighty, so I only pack 1 or 2 of those meals in with each 10 day meal pack.

20170224_1301251
Rice and Chicken, Beef Chili, Turkey and Couscous, TVP and Couscous, Zataran’s and Ham, Macaroni/Ham/Cheddar Corn

Food Shipments

After all the meal packets were packed into 12″ x 10″ x 10″ boxes, they will be shipped to me a predetermined locations using Canada Post’s FlexDelivery service.  The total weight of 10 days worth of food is between 13.8 lbs to 14.2 lbs, which fits nicely into an old compression sack for hanging.

 

 

5 thoughts on “Food

  1. I’m not sure the place you are getting your information, however good topic. I needs to spend some time finding out more or figuring out more. Thank you for fantastic information I used to be on the lookout for this information for my mission.

    1. Alex, the information is only a taste of the whole process for creating light, backpack ready meals. However, for what it is worth, the meals I created were able to propel me 2 500 km without any sickness. If you are making your own meals, which I suspect you are, I would focus on safe food handling procedures: keeping all racks, cutting devices, cooking utensils, hands, etc. very clean. Cleanliness is the most important, aside from ensuring the food is adequately dried.

      The drying of food is not rocket science, but there are some basic tenets you eventually figure out during this whole process, such as cutting food to the correct thickness, pre-cooking processes, and drying times.

      Maybe, after other writing projects are complete, I will post something more, with appropriate references of course.

      Good luck on your mission!

  2. Wow, fantastic weblog layout! How lengthy have you been blogging for? you made blogging glance easy. The full glance of your site is wonderful, let alone the content material!

    1. Thank you Margery. I have been at this blog since May 2017 — the beginning of my walk. I hope to author a few more posts in the coming months, but will be posting on a more regular basis (every week) when I resume walking in May 2018. There have been some very exciting new developments in the last few months, which will add substance and material to my upcoming blog posts and this walk of mine.

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