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Old 01-30-2012   #1
flagstaff, Arizona
Paddling Since: 09
Join Date: Nov 2011
Posts: 155
River Culinary Arts

Got back a few days ago from my second trip thru GC. Trip went (mostly) as perfect as could be imagined. Low light of the trip was food pack. I hired a friend to take care of it. What he produced was delicious. There was simply not enough of it to support ten twenty something kayakers and a couple old goats. In fairness, watching these kids descend on meals like a swarm of destroying locust on a wheat field makes me wonder if it is possible to pack enough to satisfy. I am no stranger to outdoor adventure. In younger years I have gone on multi day pack trips. I have taken large groups (60 to 80 persons) on multi day camping adventures outfitted via truck. I am comfortable in the indoor or outdoor kitchen, BUT the idea of setting menu and quantity for a multi week jaunt that has no hope of restock in the event of miscalculation does cause me a little heartburn.
Having said all this…I am the proud owner of another late December cancellation permit. Would love to see GC in spring or fall one of these years…but I will take what I can get. In the interest of “starting early” I ask the following, How do you more experienced river chefs calculate chow? Do you have a formula that you plug in so many twenty something men, so many sweet young things, so many old farts?? Do you have any favorite tricks for getting enough calories into the cold weather menu ? Recipes? Those long chilly nights require a little richer fuel. I am a pack rat by nature, and I can see myself rowing a submarine on my next if left to myself. Of course the alternative of being filleted and roasted for supper by a bunch of ravenous boaters on my own trip has little appeal either.
So…I have been introduced to the boil bag meal program. I like it. One of the kids on the last trip brought a popcorn popper. I won’t leave home on a winter trip without one ever again. Any and all ideas beyond this would be greatly appreciated!

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Old 01-30-2012   #2
FoCo,NoCo, Colorado
Join Date: May 2004
Posts: 280
Since you paid some one to do an inadequate food pack on your last trip, you might not like the idea of doing it again. Instead I'd ask Canyon REO. Their food packs are generous.

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Old 01-30-2012   #3
flagstaff, Arizona
Paddling Since: 09
Join Date: Nov 2011
Posts: 155
Problem being... 1) I am a DIY kinda guy... 2) Poverty forces us into choices. I agree, PRO... Canyon Reo several others do a great pack... Just if I am not in full time employment, why not do what I can to keep costs low?
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Old 01-30-2012   #4
prescott, Arizona
Paddling Since: 1982
Join Date: Apr 2008
Posts: 276
one trick to use:

make sure the first meal is gigantic, tons of carbs, more that anyone could possibly eat and then some. i'm talking leftovers.

if the first meal is a little short there will be a psychological fear of not having enough food. folks will overeat that normally wouldn't. an every man for himself kind of thing.

also bring some desserts for meals. dutch oven stuff, those giant hershey bars, etc.
if a meal or two (or three) end up being a little short, you can bust those out and satisfy an angry (hungry) mob. the popcorn popper is a great idea also.

have fun,

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Old 01-30-2012   #5
FoCo,NoCo, Colorado
Join Date: May 2004
Posts: 280
Someone you know in Flagstaff has the cookbook/foodpack from a REO/PRO trip. Copy it. Do the math. With food, many times, you get what you pay for. If you try to go cheap, people will be unhappy. A couple of nice meals and everybody is really impressed.
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Old 01-30-2012   #6
Pugetopolis, Washington
Paddling Since: 96
Join Date: Mar 2008
Posts: 767
PM yakrafter. Or do a search for a thread by him,on the subject. DIY is the way to go,IMO. Save space and money
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Old 01-30-2012   #7
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Flagstaff, Arizona
Paddling Since: 1990
Join Date: Apr 2009
Posts: 520
Typically on a trip with lots of paddlers one should plan on about 1/3 more food than a trip with raft passengers. Glad you had a good trip and got to keep your girlish figure!!
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Old 01-30-2012   #8
zbaird's Avatar
Paddling Since: 1994
Join Date: Oct 2003
Posts: 884
i always do half pound food breakfast, half pound food lunch and a pound for dinner. I have never had people going hungry and have never had absurd leftovers either.

The numbers are for on plate food so if you know something cooks down add a little more. When buying the food i take into consideration the trip, ie kayakers,age and sex. If it is a bunch of dudes i get the bigger size of whatever and it usually comes out a little heavy for my specs. if it is a kid trip or a bunch of cute passengers i get the smaller size. As long as it totals up to at least 2 pounds a day per person or so you will be good to go.

The idea about the first meal being big is good. usually i go big the first day or two. the leftovers from the first couple days you keep rolling over into the next meals. If you come up a little short the leftovers sell, if not they roll over. If the leftovers arent selling, that means people are full and you should be fine the rest of the trip. If the leftovers sell hard right away you may have to get creative. I always pack an extra couple jars pb and j and raw materials for baking bread in the dutchie. If all hell breaks loose and you ruin a cooler, flood a drybox, lose a boat(it happens), or plan light the pb/j and fresh bread go a long way to keep peeps happy. I hardly ever remember breaking into the pb/j but i always know its there if we need it.
zach baird
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Old 01-30-2012   #9
Horserump, Colorado
Paddling Since: 1975
Join Date: Jan 2006
Posts: 458
I like the idea of a huge 1st meal. If you're going to have someone else do it consider Moenkopi in addition to Pro and REO. Also carry extra fast cooking carbs that you can cook up in about 15 mins after the water boils. Pasta, instant rice, raman noodles instant oatmeal. Don't forget the horse ovaries before dinner. Some thing to take the edge off. Instant humus, dried black bean dip, with some sort of crackers/bread, torts., If you can get them to keep from feeling ravenous things will last much longer. D.O. deserts are a big hit. Also look for those bags of dry soup mix the big ones like potatoes soup. It will help fill the edges and warm people up. Just wander around the grocery store and look for stuff that's high in carbs, easy and fast to cook, and figure out how to make it work with your menu. Also keep the leftovers handy. And don't keep cooking huge if you don't have to, dry stuff is a lot easier to haul than cooked stuff and garbage. Have a great trip.
(16 trips down the ditch)
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Old 01-30-2012   #10
Pugetopolis, Washington
Paddling Since: 96
Join Date: Mar 2008
Posts: 767
Originally Posted by yak1 View Post
Don't forget the horse ovaries before dinner.
Really? Or is that auto correct for hor d'oeuvres?

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