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# 2 lbs of food per person per day?

Created May 05, 2010 at 1:26 PM

I did a NOLS course last summer and, amongst other things, we were taught that the equation used to calculate how much food we should be carrying was "two lbs per person per day."

My first question is does anyone have any idea where that number might come from? Granted, some people ate more, and some ate less, but that was the average.

My second question is does anyone have a good idea about a poundage requirement for food that isn't carbs? The kind of food we were carrying on NOLS was pasta, flour, sugar heavy. If I decided (for the sake of argument) to eat nothing but pemmican for an extended period of time, what would be a good amount to shoot for per day? I'm not looking for a number specific to my height/weight/age etc, but just some ideas of where to start.

(587)

on May 05, 2010
at 10:39 PM

Nice, I like it.

(587)

on May 05, 2010
at 10:36 PM

I try to stay away from dried fruit these days. I'm one of these people with a serious sweet tooth, so if I give myself an inch, I take a mile. Like I will legitimately eat entire bars of 75% chocolate in a day if I let myself have any. So yeah, all fresh and veggies and fresh, low calorie density fruit

(2633)

on May 05, 2010
at 10:15 PM

Fresh or dried? Water makes a big difference in the calorie density of fresh fruits and vegetables.

(10)

on May 05, 2010
at 02:38 PM

I read this blog the other day: http://astrogirl.com/2010/04/24/what-i-eat/ (at home/backpacking)

(1676)

on May 05, 2010
at 01:40 PM

This a great question. What do we take hiking and how much? Looking forward to informed answers for this one.

(439)
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3

(2633)

on May 05, 2010
at 10:12 PM

I think the 2 lbs/day number is from doing arithmetic on the calorie density of macro nutrients.

Carbs & Proteins: (1 gram / 4 cals) * (1 lb / 450 grams) * (2000 cal/ 1 day) = 1.11 lbs/day

Round it to 2lbs to make it easier to remember and account for higher activity levels while hiking and indigestible fiber. It might also include a safety factor in case one gets hurt, lost, or is slower than planned and is out in the field longer than anticipated.

Fats: (1 gram / 9 cals) * (1 lb / 450 grams) * (2000 cal/ 1 day) = 0.5 lbs/day

(587)

on May 05, 2010
at 10:39 PM

Nice, I like it.

2

(587)

on May 05, 2010
at 01:43 PM

I've been building a meal application in excel that kind of tracks this. The total poundage of what you're eating each day will depend a lot on what your macro breakdown is. If your diet is very high in fat, you'll be consuming less food overall.

From what I can tell, 1 pound of pemmican will give you about 1900 calories, depending on the amount of fat in your meat. For comparison, 1 pound of cooked chicken breast will yield about 850 calories and 80% lean ground beef will give you 1350 calories.

It's an interesting question though. When I think about it, it may end up that on a given day on my relatively low carb paleo, the amount of veggies and fruit I eat by weight is nearly equal to the amount of protein and fat I eat.

(2633)

on May 05, 2010
at 10:15 PM

Fresh or dried? Water makes a big difference in the calorie density of fresh fruits and vegetables.

(587)

on May 05, 2010
at 10:36 PM

I try to stay away from dried fruit these days. I'm one of these people with a serious sweet tooth, so if I give myself an inch, I take a mile. Like I will legitimately eat entire bars of 75% chocolate in a day if I let myself have any. So yeah, all fresh and veggies and fresh, low calorie density fruit

1

(4583)

on May 06, 2010
at 03:34 AM

US Wellness Meats has plain pemmican, dried meat and tallow (w/ added salt):

http://www.grasslandbeef.com/Detail.bok?no=600

One pound of that has 2,000 calories; 400 cal from protein, 1600 from fat. And that is very complete nutrition. A great way to provision an extended trip. There is no "junk" component to pemmican, and none of the weight carried would be in any way wasted nutrition. Zero need for cookware and the freedom from carrying a stove and fuel with a pemmican fueled expedition is enticing. Dehydrated food is light, but requires fuel and preparation for suspect food quality.

Making your own pemmican is a snap:

http://www.carnivorehealth.com/main/2009/5/10/upping-production-or-how-i-have-become-a-one-man-pemmican-fa.html