Doing it yourself can save quite a bit in overall cost.
PRO and Canyon REO have been doing it for years. Both will work with you but portion control has always been a problem. My last 2 trips were both DIY food and they really turned out well. One where each boatmen brought 4 different complete days worth (Bkfst Lunch and Sup) and one where one couple did 90% andthe rest of us bought what we were directed to fill appropriate coolers and dry boxes. I have heard good things about the 2 new kid's on the block Moenkoepi River Works, and Cocanino del Rio (sp) Moenkoepi out of Flag and del Rio out of Taos or Santa Fe.
I say pack it yourself. We use a system that can pretty much be described as follows:
-Take the number of people and divide by 2 or 3 and that is the # of food groups you have.
- Take the number of days on the trip and divide by the number of food groups and that is the number of days each group has.
- Each group carries, prepares and cleans up after their meals, does kitchen set up and break down too. Groups go one after another. That way you only work when you are up and you do most of the work at home anyway. Also coolers stay shut till needed and then used till gone.
- Food groups always start at Dinner and end at lunch, that way when the kitchen is set up, you own it till it is down and you have done whatever prep lunch demands.
- Meals are prepacked, mostly in vac seal bags, and prepared or marinated, ready to go. Minimize prep time on the river.
- Each person is responsible for cleaning their own plate, bowl, utensils, cups.
So Say you have GC 21 days 10 people. it is really 20 days of food, 5 groups each with 4 days up. Have 1st dinner at Marble, breakfast and lunch on day one can be group one or whatever is left in the trucks.
If you go with a company, we went with Ceiba the 1st year. They did a good job, but the plan we took was cheaper and thus did not have any prep done, essentially you have the contents of grocery bags, jars, cans and all. This leads to much prep and potentially much leftover, lots of garbage.
Companies that do more prep charge more for the service and thus can sometimes not be an option.
My experience is the food costs about $10-15 per person per day (this is real meat and shit), perhaps plan to pay a little more for a basic prepack like I just described or double the for fully prepped meals.
In the end doing it ourselves seems like the least work, the least waste and the best food.
Thanks for all the personal view on doing it yourself.......
I get that, however, my question was which company is the best to work with? in regards to quality. portions and planning menues!
I've been TL on three grand trips already and have done my own food for 16 peps and 21 days, no problem. I've been invited on a trip this spring where TL is hiring out, and wanted some thoughts on such companys that others might have used.
Thanks again for any thoughts
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