May 15, 2020

Backpacking food

This may seem a strange introduction, but here we go. I am reading a book written in 1898 entitled "The Great Salt Lake Trail". On page 113, it describes the journey of the Mormons to Utah in 1847. They travelled for 3 months (90 days, more or less). A group of 10 took the following supplies:
1000 pounds of flour.
50 pounds of rice, sugar, and bacons.
30 pounds of beans.
20 pounds of dried apples or peaches.
25 pounds of salt.
5 pounds of tea.
1 gallon of vinegar.
10 bars of soap.
So each person had one bar of soap to last them 3 months. It seems like a lot of salt. And they may have been able to hunt or fish from time to time.

Ignoring the salt, vinegar, tea, and of course soap, this leaves 1100 pounds of food for 10 people. 110 pounds per person. 110/90 = 1.22 pounds per day.

I find this curious because the amount of food that I carry per day is 1.3 pounds per day, which I have arrived at after several years of experimentation. The simplicity of it is what catches my attention (the monotony of it is what some might say). Remember though that this was no pleasure cruise. They simply wanted to survive and reach their destination without starving.

What exactly did they do every day with their pound of flour? Perhaps they carried sourdough as a ball in the flour sack, but who knows.

Note that a cup of flour weighs 4.25 ounces, so this pound of flour is nearly 4 cups of flour a day, which now starts to sound like a lot. I can make a batch of pancakes using 1 cup of flour and feel pretty well fed.

Go vegan!

I have not yet done so, but I keep angling in that direction, and it makes lots of sense health-wise. It makes lots of sense environment wise (eating animals is an inefficient way to fuel yourself). It also makes sense in terms of not killing animals, but regardless of any of this, the following had a lot of great ideas for backpacking food.
Have any comments? Questions? Drop me a line!

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