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Old 05-18-11, 06:01 PM   #1
dspaff088
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First short tour

The first week of June I am embarking on a three day two night tour that will cover about 200 miles. I have been making packing lists and what not for quite some weeks now. The only thing that really worries me is nutrition. I tried searching for a thread and I am sure there are dozens about this, so sorry lol.
I will be staying at state run campgrounds so an open fire as well as a homemade alcohol stove are what I will be working with. I plan on bringing trail mixes, oatmeal, gels, powders, maybe some peanut butter... but i am afraid that this will not meet my caloric intake needs.

I realize that i could stop and eat somewhere but i would rather keep this mini tour completely self supported. any tips on foods or strategies for buying certain foods that wont bake in my panniers?

If you all hook it up, i will be sure to publish a nice write up about my tour to the coast
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Old 05-18-11, 07:06 PM   #2
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Great post. I've had the same question but I couldn't put it in words. Getting adequate nutrition on a self-supported tour. I figured on a lot of oatmeal, tuna, smuckers [pbnj mix], rice, lentils, bread, pasta, etc. Gels and powders seem expensive. What might be an okay idea, I'm not sure though, is hard-boiling a dozen eggs and keeping them in a tupperware dish. Also, vitamin supplements. I saw a documentary on netflix called Food Matters. It was about vegetarian and vegan diets, organic food vs processed food, healthy nutrition, etc and I am absolutely convinced that hardly anyone is receiving adequate nutrition, even at home. The solution...healthier eating habits and hardcore vitamin supplements. Anyways...I'll be watching this thread closely.
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Old 05-18-11, 08:15 PM   #3
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Im not headed out for weeks on end and I've added ramen noodles to my shopping list. I am a carnivore tho and since I will be traveling to the Delaware coast I'm thinking about constructing a "Cuban fishing pole". Atleast that's what me and my old man call it. Basically just fishing line wrapped around a coke can. The can will double as a spare alcohol stove and anything I catch will be supplemental protein.

As I plan more and more of this out, my family and friends are starting to wonder about me. Sleeping in hammocks, cooking over a soda can filled with alcohol, and fishing for my food. Dear lord I'm excited lol.
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Old 05-18-11, 08:34 PM   #4
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A good thread I am hoping to see some good replies on. I am a bariatric surgery patient with a diet that necessitates me avoiding sugars, bread and pasta (cyclists' staples). So, getting carbs can be a challenge. Right now I am planning on packing the lean lower sugar protein bars. Actually Clif Bars seem to be an excellent source of sugars that release over time. I am also planning on packing tuna packed in water packets. At gas stations and convenience store I plan on buying Gatorade G2. With the amount of calories that I will rack up from cycling all day, it gives me more tolerance for more sugar. I know from experience that I still have to watch to not go overboard. Too little sugar and I'll bonk and too much and I will dump (that is a bariatric condition where your body sort of goes into a diabetic coma like state.). -- Tom
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Old 05-18-11, 09:41 PM   #5
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I use this one, but a google search will give you many more options.


http://www.trailcooking.com/
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Old 05-18-11, 09:59 PM   #6
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Don't be packing all that food!
Surely traveling the DelMarVa area coast there will be several towns with at least a supermarket every day.
Buy what you need for the next day then. Saves on packing too much stuff.
Keep your load to a minimum. 200 miles in that area sound quite doable.
We've done 200 mile loops like that near the south rim of the Grand Canyon (a bit more challenging at 7500' than by the coast!) on our tandem. The max we packed was 22 lbs of gear. Stores/facilities are 50 or miles apart in that neck of the woods. However we do not pack a tent and stay in motels.
Most folks tend to overload their bike.
Enjoy the tour!
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Old 05-18-11, 10:31 PM   #7
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Im not headed out for weeks on end and I've added ramen noodles to my shopping list. I am a carnivore tho and since I will be traveling to the Delaware coast I'm thinking about constructing a "Cuban fishing pole". Atleast that's what me and my old man call it. Basically just fishing line wrapped around a coke can. The can will double as a spare alcohol stove and anything I catch will be supplemental protein.

As I plan more and more of this out, my family and friends are starting to wonder about me. Sleeping in hammocks, cooking over a soda can filled with alcohol, and fishing for my food. Dear lord I'm excited lol.
I'm not a vegetarian or anything. I was more saying that good nutrition is as important out there as it is at home, at least for me.
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Old 05-19-11, 10:06 PM   #8
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Three days, 200 miles, does not require a particularly special diet. Just normal food, with a quick energy boost as needed. You can get the quick energy from Snicker bars. Ride slow and you'll burn fat and not need quick enery.

Hydration is more important. Drink more water than you think you need, and if hot, a btl of V-8/day will replace lost minerals and give you a good dose of vegetables.

FWIW, my staples are oatmeal, bagels, peanut butter, hard cheese, M&M trail mix, cookies, pasta mixes, tuna/chicken, and Snicker bars.

If you count calories, figure on about 3500 per 50 mile day.
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Old 05-20-11, 06:17 AM   #9
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Yeah your "fwiw" post is exactly what I'm thinking. And I'll stop at a grocer for some fresh meat or fruits/veggies

Thanks for the help, I made a crazyguyonabike journal I'll post a link to
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Old 05-20-11, 08:47 AM   #10
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A 1 lb. package of spaghetti will last you two dinners and is easy to pack. You can pick up additions for it before you hit your overnight locations. Even a can of chili on top works in a pinch.

BTW...Eating out would not mean you are not going self supported.
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Old 05-20-11, 09:11 AM   #11
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Yeah but traveling with only the gear on me is appealing for a first trip
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Old 05-20-11, 09:53 AM   #12
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Have a great trip!

I would second the buy as you go suggestion. You will have to do that later if you do longer tours and it will be good practice doing it now.

If you really want or need to carry everything... Boxed rice, noodle, or potato dishes are easy to pack and cook. Supplement with foil packed tuna or salmon.

If you buy near meal time... Almost anything you'd eat at home works for dinner. I kind of like to get frozen bag meals sometimes rather than actually cooking. Also bag salads are a good addition. A small bottle of wine is a nice plus.

For lunch bagels and peanut butter with honey or jelly are good. Wraps with foil packed tuna and some kind of durable veggies are good. Chips with hard salami and hard cheese and maybe an avocado can make a good lunch.

Snacks... Jerky, fig newtons, gorp, or baked goods in a jersey pocket or handlebar bag can be munched while riding or at stops.

Breakfast... My usual is to have a granola bar in camp or if I feel slightly more ambitious instant oatmeal. I am likely to stop later at a diner for second breakfast.

BTW, I find it much easier to shop and cook when traveling with someone than when alone. When alone I am much more likely to be lazy and either have a PBJ for dinner or stop at a restaurant.
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Old 05-20-11, 10:04 AM   #13
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If you count calories, figure on about 3500 per 50 mile day.
I'd suffer and lose weight like crazy at 3500 calories per day on most of my tours. Maybe it would be OK for 50 mile days where it is flat, but I would have never made it on that in the Sierras (averaged 50 mile days, but massive amounts of climbing), on the Santa Fe Trail (averaged 80 mile days), or on the TA (averaged 60 mile days). I was at about 5000 calories per day on those three tours and lost weight.

That said the DelMarVa peninsula is dead flat, so if the headwinds aren't too bad, caloric requirements may be less.
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Old 05-20-11, 01:41 PM   #14
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I'd suffer and lose weight like crazy at 3500 calories per day on most of my tours.

No doubt Staehpj1. That # was for a slightly overweight, much older, slow fellow. Me. Or, for those who like the idea of losing weight on tour. Me again.

You younger, more aggressive guys might need 5000 cals just to maintain weight. But, more likely 4000 would do it. Overestimating calorie needs is very common.
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Old 05-20-11, 01:52 PM   #15
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I would ditch the alcohol stove. it can take a long time to boil water with one and you'll need to carry a lot of alcohol.

Take a look at these:



http://www.campmor.com/outdoor/gear/Product___87758

http://www.campmor.com/outdoor/gear/Product___82408

http://www.campmor.com/outdoor/gear/Product___65114

Then, look over your packing list and ditch as much as you can.
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Old 05-20-11, 02:11 PM   #16
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I'd carry a small bag of dried lentils, a small bag of quick oats, a bit of peanut butter, a few tins of flaked ham or flaked chicken, salt, sugar and tea bags or coffee. I'd also include trail mix and apples or other fruit. Those foods all cook up easily and store without refrigeration and they all provide plenty of energy. Rice or pasta also cook easily and store easily, but lentils provide a little more protein and a little more nutritional value.
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Old 05-20-11, 02:52 PM   #17
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I would ditch the alcohol stove. it can take a long time to boil water with one and you'll need to carry a lot of alcohol.

...
Yea, four and a half minutes is a long time and 4oz of alcohol per day is way too much to carry.

I buy Knorr's side items (my favorites are Creamy Chicken and Red Beans and Rice) and split them into two ziplock bags. They are about a buck a piece.
While cooking, I put in a 3oz package of cooked chicken breast (made by Sweet Sue -- comes in single-serve foil pouch).
I usually slice up a fresh avocado on top.

I also use powdered potatoes that I prepare and eat right out of the ziplock bag.

Breakfast usually consists of apple cinnamon pancakes and a banana. I get Martha White Apple Cinnamon Muffin Mix and combine it with powdered whole milk, into freezer bags.
At camp, I mix in cold water to make the batter, cut off the corner of the bag and squirt it into the pan.

With some practice and a good simmer ring, an alcohol stove can cook almost anything you might want.
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Old 05-21-11, 07:51 AM   #18
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Yeah I looked into a real camp stove and it would be nice but my main reason for not getting one is the cost. I'm a broke ass college student so not spending money is imperative haha.

Thanks for all the good suggestions of foods to bring, I'm definitely in that category of rider who eats like 5k calories just to not have a rumbling stomach. Got another week of planning and I want to build Antonine different types of alcohol stoves. I've been using rubbing alcohol, does anything else burn better as a fuel?
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Old 05-21-11, 11:14 AM   #19
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I've been using rubbing alcohol, does anything else burn better as a fuel?
Yes, rubbing alcohol has too much water. Probably the easiest to find is Heet (in the yellow bottle, not the red). Other options are available in the hardware store, but I stick with yellow bottle Heet. Oh and some folks burn Everclear from the liquor store.
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Old 05-21-11, 01:13 PM   #20
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Yes, rubbing alcohol has too much water. Probably the easiest to find is Heet (in the yellow bottle, not the red). Other options are available in the hardware store, but I stick with yellow bottle Heet. Oh and some folks burn Everclear from the liquor store.
Heet like the gas tank cleaner/additive stuff??
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Old 05-21-11, 01:25 PM   #21
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Heet like the gas tank cleaner/additive stuff??
Yes, HEET is nearly pure methanol. It burns much cleaner than isobutyl alcohol.
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Old 05-21-11, 06:12 PM   #22
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Yes, HEET is nearly pure methanol. It burns much cleaner than isobutyl alcohol.
In addition it is very available, fairly cheap, and comes in an appropriate sized container with a nice long thin neck for easy pouring.

BTW, since it is readily available in 12 ounce bottles, you never need to carry much fuel. On the cook time... What difference does a couple minutes longer boil time make. It just isn't that big of a deal to me at least on a bike tour. On a mountaineering trip when melting snow for water maybe, but on a bike tour no. Some other stoves simmer better, but I can live with that.
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Old 05-22-11, 07:42 AM   #23
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Most people think they burn far more calories than they really do. At the same time, they underestimate the number of calories they consume. I would doubt that while loaded touring one uses more than 40-50 food calories per mile.

If one eats mostly non-simple-sugar carbs, a daily 100 grams of protein, and as many vegetables as one can find / consume, one's nutrition will be fine. Register and enter your touring meals as recipes here and get a complete nutritional analysis of your diet.
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Old 05-22-11, 03:18 PM   #24
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With all the good intentions, my week long tour last summer saw me cook twice. We ended up camping in towns along the route and ate at one local joint or another. The French Press for morning coffee did get lots of use though.
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Old 05-23-11, 03:57 AM   #25
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I'm heading out on my first multi-day trip the second week in June and I'm also staying at campgrounds. I've been backpacking for years so food prep is not much of a hassle. I do a lot of dehydrated whole foods from home but I do plan on picking up a lot of my food as I go. For me this is a part of bicycle touring. Plus a fresh steak and baked potato sounds good at the end of a day.

Hope to see a trip report from ya here. 8)
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