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Boundary Waters Quetico Forum
   Group Forum: Solo Tripping
      a soloist gripe     



02/25/2015 07:39AM   (Thread Older Than 3 Years)
During a time of living alone I experienced the problems of finding small portions at the grocery store. When I started soloing I found some of the same problems in gear. Wouldn't a 15L blue barrel be awesome! And I have been wanting a one quart aluminum dutch oven since I learned how great they cook.
What have you wanted but do not find in the soloist size?
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distinguished member(4205)distinguished memberdistinguished memberdistinguished memberdistinguished memberpower member
02/25/2015 07:59AM  

Cost savings. : )
02/25/2015 08:33AM  
An ursack is the perfect size for a solo. It's lighter than barrels and you can shrink it down in size (bulk) as the food gets used.

I wonder if Old Scout would custom make you a smaller dutch oven...
There might be a market for them.

02/25/2015 08:53AM  
You wind up (at least I do), with lots of customized stuff. Been using a Ursak for years, but they may not fit enough for your needs.
15L is the size of 2 BV450s , but then you get extra weight. Food portions are my bugaboo, addressed that by packing ingredients instead of pre made meals. That doesn't work for many folks though. I have and will continue to buy family meal packs, then divide and re-package. The most difficult thing for me has been to adjust to solo cookware, and now have a huge selection. A Dutch Oven substitute can be found in MSR Alpine Pot Set. Turn the lids over and you have a rimmed top for holding coals. I pick size suitable to trip planned 2L size in photos. 1L is a perfect size to make single biscuit, or solo stew.
You would be surprised how much you can cook with a few sheets of Reynolds Wrap® Non-Stick Foil, done breadsticks to fish and potato pancakes on the fire grates with just foil.
Currently searching for a solo pressure cooker, GSI has a 2.7L but want a more solo pack friendly style. May need to play with a Hawkins cooker. Might make dehydrated meals better. The search continues, the more I go, the more ideas pop up!

distinguished member (409)distinguished memberdistinguished memberdistinguished member
02/25/2015 11:45AM  
Great thread. Stuff I am trying to find out about
02/25/2015 12:21PM  
If I have a smaller amount of food I use a Garcia Bear Barrel. If I have a lot I use a 5 gallon pail with gamma seal lid (that should be about 20L).

distinguished member(4446)distinguished memberdistinguished memberdistinguished memberdistinguished memberpower member
02/25/2015 04:26PM  
my only hassle was with the #10 cans of freeze dry meat,beef and chicken.the left overs never seem to stay fresh over the year between trips.i did find a good vacuum sealer at a yard sale last year and bagged up the unused chicken.
i did find that one of the emergency food company's on the web sells
small cans,about the size of a big soup can,of freeze dry beef at 4OZ
i vacuum bag single serving of a bit more than half a cup to add to a dry soup base with extra dry vegetables i found at Target of all places.
along with dried wild rice it make a filling stew
even with that small can i still have some left over because i do the same with dry chicken that i add to rice sides
i have made a point over the years of test cooking things like pancakes and bannock and then putting the right amount in zip locks so i don't have to measure out at the campsite.
distinguished member(619)distinguished memberdistinguished memberdistinguished memberdistinguished member
02/25/2015 08:45PM  
For soloing I open Mountain House dinners for 2 and divide them into 2 servings at home before the trip. Put them into plastic bags and they travel very well in Bear Vault or Backpackers Cache canisters. About the right size dinners since I don't eat as much when soloing as with friends. Don't know why...
distinguished member(2535)distinguished memberdistinguished memberdistinguished memberdistinguished member
02/25/2015 08:54PM  
There is so much out there that I have ALMOST never had a problem finding what I need. When something isn't exactly what I want, I'll make my own.
distinguished member(24748)distinguished memberdistinguished memberdistinguished memberdistinguished membermaster membermaster member
02/25/2015 09:14PM  
quote gkimball: "For soloing I open Mountain House dinners for 2 and divide them into 2 servings at home before the trip. Put them into plastic bags and they travel very well in Bear Vault or Backpackers Cache canisters. About the right size dinners since I don't eat as much when soloing as with friends. Don't know why..."
that's what I do. I sift out the powder first and then divide using a scale. powder first, then the big chunks. I use coffee filters as receptacles for weighing.
distinguished member(4446)distinguished memberdistinguished memberdistinguished memberdistinguished memberpower member
02/26/2015 12:01AM  
i like the coffee filter idea Jan.this is something i want to try with the rice sides i add dry meat to.over the last few years i have noticed that i leave as much as a quarter cup at the end of the meal using a full pouch.this will make a good winter "test kitchen" project.
distinguished member(2314)distinguished memberdistinguished memberdistinguished memberdistinguished member
02/26/2015 12:22AM  
I've completely abandoned buying any prepared meals. Taken to building my own using dehydrated beans and veggies from Harmony House. Each dinner in it's own ziplock, portioned, spiced and salted. I'll add shelf stable sausage and fresh shallots or maybe hard cheese for extra goodness. Made the switch after coming home hungry one night and the only thing to eat was one of the pre-made dried meals from my last trip. It was horrible. Never again.
02/26/2015 07:06AM  
quote inspector13: "
Cost savings. : )

You're reading my mind :).

I am fortunate enough to have found enough satisfactory dehydrated meals that satisfy me and I can pack @ least 8 days in a BearVault.

How much bigger would a 15-liter barrel be than a BearVault?

Just eating the meals out of the bags eliminates my need for other kitchen stuff - plenty of solo pots out there (I have the JetBoil Sol).
02/26/2015 07:19AM  
An answer: The BearVault 500 is 11.5 liters, so about 30% bigger.
02/27/2015 08:10AM  
I also get the prepackaged rice/noodle/etc dinners and soups and break them down into individual servings. I have used single serving glass desert bowls and separated powders and solids. I am moving more towards making up my own mixes and reducing some of the chemicals whose names I cannot pronounce. Foil packed tuna, chicken, beef, and pork are available but often a little more than I need in each. Sue got a vacuum seal for her birthday and I might try sealing smaller portions. I have enjoyed beef crumbles in cheesy potato soup with added onion flakes for lunch then use the remaining beef that evening with dinner. One dish meals and eating out of the pan led me to the dutch oven idea.
Thanks, butthead for heads up on using the MSR set with nesting lid as a dutch oven. Your photo convinced me. In looking I notice they have a 3 pot solo with one graduated lid to fit all. Oh the decisions. And if old scout is looking for a project I still like the idea of a well made 1 qt aluminum dutch oven.
I sure can't gripe about the availability of solo canoes and tents/hammock options, but still wonder if there is any other gear or whatever that is not solo size.
02/27/2015 12:53PM  
Photo I posted used this Alpine pot and lid I also use parts of this set often. Done a lot of camp baking this way. Both sets purchased used off EBay.


PS: Check out this solo set. bh
02/27/2015 07:17PM  
I have used an Ursack for a couple years and I can get enough food for ten days in it for me. One of the things that I do different is I do not vacuum seal anything, as I can’t get everything in then. I do not buy any of the pre made dehydrated meals either. I dehydrate all of my own food.

On solo’s, breakfast is usually oatmeal and coffee every day, just about like my normal routine. Into a zip lock goes the oatmeal and packages of VIA coffee. I also use some small Ziplocs that I got from McMaster Carr that I put all of my medications into. Think that Woman’s Menards (Hobby Lobby) has the small Ziplocs as well.

My lunch portions are the largest Ziploc bags in the mix. Lunches are normally gorp made with tropical mix from Fleet Farm with peanut M&M’s, skittles, dry roasted peanuts, and some shelled sunflower seeds and a protein bar. I more less munch as I go throughout the day. But for a little variety in my lunches, I buy some small packages of cheese and summer sausage from World Market . I have never ordered as there is a store about a mile from one of my daughter’s apartments in West Des Moines. I see that many of the products online, you have to purchase many of each thing. They have more of a variety at the stores than what I see online. I have also found some small packages of food at the local Dollar Tree store.
Some of the sausage works great on pizza as well. They have a smoked cheddar cheese that is very good as well. They also have some very good dark chocolate that I usually get a couple bars -goes great with coffee and cigar at night.

My evening meal is made at home a dehydrated as well. Many times it left overs from our meals that I proportion out and dehydrate, put in Ziplocs and throw into the freezer until it’s time to pack.

Cook kit is very simple as well. I use a Snow Peak 700 mug with a homemade reflectix cozy, a Sea to Summit X mug, and an 8” Fry-Bake pan that I can use as a plate, fry pan, or oven. Another couple Ziploc's with some bannock mix, pizza dough, and a little cornmeal can be used for fish batter, or a little baking supplies.

I round this all out with some more VIA coffee, a bottle or two of MIO drink mixes, and a small Nalgene squirt bottle of cooking oil.
I may try a little more of Ken’s bulk packaging of meals this year if I get to do a solo.

First nights meal is still a steak and it doesn’t go into the Urasack. System works great for me. I usually find that I have to force myself to eat after a few days out. Wish that it was that way at home.

02/27/2015 07:26PM  
Forgot to add that I put the Urasack into a 13L Sea to Summit dry bag as well to make sure that everything stays dry.
02/27/2015 07:51PM  
I'm guess im glad I eat two-serving freeze dried meals. No leftovers. In fact, I pack two single serving mountain house meals for each night. In many respects I wish I ate less and my caloric requirements were less. Would be a lot less to pack and haul around.
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