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napinch
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12/18/2014 06:16AM   (Thread Older Than 3 Years)
Ok...I presume everybody would choose food. But my real question - how many of you eat much less on your solo tripping. Last year, I carefully planned out a menu to have something, although simple for each meal of the day. As it turned out, I had much less of an appitite than i usually do when tripping in a group. This left me carrying my food the entire trip and coming home with a fair amount of what i started with. So, was that just an isolated incicident or should I take note and plan accordingly on my next solo.
Thanks
NaPinch
 
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12/18/2014 07:44AM  
You are not alone. Others have mentioned it and I have experienced it myself. My theory is that without the "social aspect" it becomes more of a "eat to live" or "food is fuel" experience. I think there are other effects too, like an unusual amount of physical exertion and drinking more fluids. I'm a traveler, not a base camper, which may some influence.

I don't know how long your trip was, but sometimes my appetite picks up a little after the first few days, but still not as much. I have whittled mine down to the point where I eat enough to be satisfied, but don't have leftovers. I usually only carry out some of the nuts/gorp/trail mix that constitutes my lunch/snacks and that's no more than 1/2 lb., which is OK.

That's kind of a roundabout way of saying "yes, you should take note and plan accordingly". Mine has evolved over the course of several solos. Next time you might cut out half the food you brought back and see how that goes. If you still bring all that back, you can adjust again on the third trip and so on, until you reach your comfort level.

Everyone has his own style, but I've found that I prefer simplicity on canoe trips, especially solo. In a nutshell, I have prepackaged breakfasts and dinners that only require rehydration. I eat them out of the bag and there's really nothing to clean up. I have ProBars for lunch and nuts/gorp measured out in daily portions for snacks.

I have made a couple of extensive posts about it, as well as quite a bit of information in my last several trip reports. It's not a system that suits everybody, but I'm not the only one who does it that way either. Steve (inspector13) joined me on my last trip and decided to try something similar by vacuum packing some of his dehydrated foods at home after some experimentation. It worked well for him and he was generally happy with it, I believe (check his trip report also).

If you want more information or have questions, I'll be happy to answer them.
 
builditbetter22
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12/18/2014 08:40AM  
I noticed the same thing, I did my first solo last fall, and I packed the same food I normally eat. I usually like to have pancakes in the morning, but when I was solo, I had a clif bar, a handful of trail mix and I was ready to go, same thing for lunch, I had planned on stopping to eat but I never did, just some snacks along the way. I believe without other people around to stop and eat with I just didn't see the point. If I was hungry I would eat a handful of trail mix, drink some water and be ready to go again.
The only time I did eat like normal was when I was stopped for the night, then I cooked the meals I had brought for dinners.
I weighed out when I got home, and I had still had half of the poundage of food that I started with. I will be taking a lot less food on solo trips from now on.
 
12/18/2014 09:12AM  
My solo food
Mostly pack the same now. 1 (sometimes 2) cooked meal a day, tried vac packaged home assembled meals but the separate ingredients enabled tailored meals each time with less waste (empty bags and leftover scraps). If anything my food supply has gotten slight smaller.
If I ate at home like I do tripping, I'd be a lean mean lovin' machine (I can dream can't I).

butthead
 
hobbydog
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12/18/2014 09:30AM  
I am pretty much on the same page as Boonie. On solo trips food is fuel. I can tell when I am burning consumed calories vs reserve. It is hard to get a lot of calories out of dehydrated meals...about 550 on the average 2 man meal. My typical day is 2 oatmeal packets for breakfast with some tea. Bread or tortilla with some cheese/salami for lunch and a 2 man dehydrated meal for supper with some trail mix and cliff bars for snacks in between. That's less than 2000 calories. A layover day may include a big fish fry and few extra calories.

The good news is that you can take longer trips without the need to resupply or carry more food. It takes good planning based on past experience. I think there is also the impulse to plan in too much contingency. Planning a 14 day solo this year so meal planning is getting a lot of thought for this trip. Has anyone ever returned to the vehicle with no food left in the pack?

Funny how when you get back to a restaurant how the appetite for high calorie food comes back quickly.
 
inspector13
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12/18/2014 10:57AM  

Yes, I was very happy with most of the dehydrated no cook meals I came up with, and I will continue to use that technique for at least a few meals no matter who I’m with. Each of those meals were pre portioned before vacuum sealing, so I was either going to be in want of more, or I would have to choke down the remaining after being satisfied. I guess I know myself well since neither happened. As for a changing appetite, I doubt anything would be different for me, since for many years now most of my meals have been solo.

 
12/18/2014 12:34PM  
If I travel every day I eat less and if I get wind bound I make up for it, I always carry the same amount of food depending on the amount of days, for me base camping I eat more.
 
12/18/2014 01:18PM  
I eat plenty. I usually plan too much food because I don't want to go hungry. Most meals at home throughout the winter have me testing out different amounts. When on my 40 day I ate well and still lost over 20 lbs. If you do cut back, make sure you have some meals you can make a little bigger. I'll bring some extra deserts to help fill the void if I'm not sure. When traveling with people it's worse for me because the last thing I'd want is for someone to be hungry on my watch. So I pack a little heavier.
 
12/18/2014 01:51PM  
I definitely eat less when I am active and outdoors whether up north or in the yard. I keep cutting back, but still come home with things I wonder why I put in. Forbid I get weather bound and run out of food.
 
MacCamper
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12/18/2014 03:34PM  
Proper pre-packing prevents poor performance. That said, I tend to eat less when soloing because when grouping it, somebody else is carrying the food pack (I carry the canoe and tent/personal pack). As expedition leader I also want to be sure nobody goes hungry. Soloing is gourmet oatmeal for breakfast, a small lunch w/ gorp and a bigger dinner depending on, as others said, if I'm stuck in camp. I always bring one extra set of meals, just in case. My last solo trip I base camped and brought way to much food thinking I'd spend more time cooking. I didn't and it really bothered me to pack out as much as I did.
 
kanoes
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12/18/2014 04:46PM  
still happens to me on every trip...bring home way too much food.
 
FOG51
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12/19/2014 02:11AM  
I guess I'm in the same canoe as most everyone else when I solo, I eat a lot less, normally a big supper would be a pack of Ramen noodles and a bagel with a slice of ham and cheese on it, and that usually turns into one or the other rarely both. Last year I bought a pound bag of the snack sized candy bars to take along on my solos, took a slight 1/2 pound along on the first trip, took the same 1/2 pound along on the 2nd trip, took the same bag along on the 3rd trip, and finally ate the last of the original 1/2 pound on the the drive home from Canada on my last late fall trip. FRED TO Butthead: you can dream all you want about being a "a lean loveing machine" --- but my friend it aint going to happen, you and I are built for comfort not speed.
 
OldGreyGoose
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12/19/2014 05:39PM  
Usually bring too much thinking each trip my appetite will be bigger. Never happens. Maybe in 2015 I'll get it right. [Breakfasts: Via coffee and "oatmeal Plus"(instant packs plus fruit, what have you mixed in); Lunch: ramen soups or foil packed SPAM on tortillas; Supper: store bought freeze dried, or made at home dehydrated stuff.] --Goose
 
OBX2Kayak
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12/19/2014 11:07PM  
My appetite seems to decrease while I'm in the wilderness. In particular, I find that sweet stuff and GORP lose their appeal but I crave fresh veggies and fruit.
 
BearBrown
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12/27/2014 10:09AM  
I tend to eat less and more simply on solo trips. I don't spend much time with my meals or clean up. My jetboil for water is the only cooking gear I bring with.

Dinner is my main meal and I just snack the rest of the time. I always bring an extra dinner in case of needing an extra day or more due to weather or something. I've had to use it before and was glad I brought extra along.
 
paddlinjoe
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01/14/2015 09:13AM  
I have found the same thing, I don't eat as much. When in a group I would typically pack food separated by meal. Now, when going solo, I group things and reduce the variety. Example for a week long trip, two breakfast types, a bag of oatmeal and a bag of granola, each with 3-4 days worth. This has reduced the amount of extra that I bring and allows for making a bigger meal when my appetite does finally kick in.
 
wetcanoedog
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01/14/2015 01:03PM  
i always take more that i eat but i would rather do that and not go hungry.on my first trip in the 80's i came back from a two week solo with a few tea bags and a pack of dry soup.wind bound would of been no fun and fish is just not filling enough to get along on.
just as a example i take six 3/4 cup zip oocks of bisquik for bannock and come back with 2 most of the time.snacks and power bars the same deal,i bring back 3 or 4 out of 10.all the main meals are used,its the odds and ends i over do.
 
GraniteCliffs
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01/14/2015 10:02PM  
I have found I eat less on solos. I also tilt toward quick dehydrated meals. On other trips I like the larger regular meals shared with my traveling companions. Food does bring people together. When I am alone I just don't care as much about the quality.
 
Jeriatric
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01/14/2015 11:25PM  
I always had too much food, solo or group. It was especially aggravating when I was solo because I would take less food, knowing I would eat less, and I would STILL have too much.

I think the surplus is not as bad when we are in a group because of competition between individuals. When you throw a piece of food to a single piranha, the eating is not as violent as when you throw a piece to a school of piranhas. :-]

Additionally, we may feel fine limiting our own food but we don't like to limit other people's food when we are buying for a group.
 
01/14/2015 11:32PM  
I'm another that eats way less when soloing. I find myself almost forcing myself to eat by day 4. Still have to have my coffee in the morning and I also like another cup at night with my cigar.

 
Jeriatric
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01/14/2015 11:46PM  
quote KevinL: "I'm another that eats way less when soloing. I find myself almost forcing myself to eat by day 4. Still have to have my coffee in the morning and I also like another cup at night with my cigar. "
Gracious. You're just like me with the coffee and cigar.
 
01/15/2015 12:08AM  
on solo trips food becomes an afterthought. when i was a 14 yo. my buddy and i did a five day trip down the st croix. our parents dropped us off with a cooler with about fifteen pounds of steak. that was our food. even at fourteen that was a tough menu for our stomaches. on my first solo trip, a couple of years later, i brought a huge bag of roasted soy beans. i learned my lesson. now on solo trips it's pasta and cheese, garlic and onions, calories are the goal. on group trips i am totally into trying to do 'good' food.
 
wetcanoedog
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01/15/2015 07:07PM  
i eat the same food on trips as at home only freeze dried.
rice and pancake mix fill in the rest.i don't want untried meals away from home to find a dinner of some sort of "super food" is uneatable.
i'm having dinner at the moment,a boil-in-bag meal i got at a Asian market.it's a curry with chick peas,pineapple bits and some other odds and ends.with rice it's a tasty meal but as a camping test i would not not take it.the weights not bad but the curry is just hot enough to stay with you all evening.
 
01/15/2015 07:57PM  
I've found on solo trips I always think I am going to want to eat about 25% more than normal, but am content with about 25% less. Portion control has become a priority for planning so as not to carry too much. Having the dog with me has become a nice way to deal with all leftovers though.
 
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