05 October 2013

Seven Days In December (The Food List)

I've been working on the list of gear and food that I'll be taking on the trip. I'm not new to winter camping or longer forays into the wilderness but this will be the first winter excursion for this duration. I've done extended stays in the Boundary Waters before but weather and temperatures were not a huge consideration for the time of year. In this case I'm looking at highs in the 20-28 Fahrenheit range with lows that are in the single digits.

According to NOAA historical data these are the averages.

The Normal, Monthly Average Temperature (degrees F) 14.8
The Normal, Monthly High Temperature (degrees F) 22.3
The Normal, Monthly Low Temperature (degrees F) 7.3

With that in mind and coupled with the physical activity I expect I'm figuring on between 2800 and 3300 calories per day. It's highly unlikely that I'll be eating lunches, perhaps some snack bar or fruit or something but not a full on lunch, so most of the caloric intake will need to be for breakfast and dinner.

I'm also not much for freeze-dried dehydrated meals, while I expect to have water I don't expect to have enough of it for meal re-hydration.


I raise chickens and have a fresh supply of eggs, we consume around seventy eggs a week as a family, and you can bet I'll be taking a rather large amount of these treasures with me. At an average of 60 to 70 calories per egg I'm planning on consuming at least five of them for breakfast each morning, along with a goodly sized portion of bacon or sliced thick country ham. I'll add some chopped peppers and tomatoes to this as well as some shredded cheese, making a crazy western omelet of sorts. Complete wild guess here but I'm thinking between 900 and 1300 calories for breakfast.


No surprises, I'm a fan of meat, and I don't like pastas. I'm a protein centrist and avoid carbs when I can for the most part. I'm figuring on 1200 to 1500 calories for dinner. Each night the main protein will be either steaks, venison, or thick sliced country ham. With this I'll have potatoes, baked or mashed, or steamed vegetables (broccoli, carrots, cauliflower), .

With the above in mind here's the tentative list.

30 eggs
2 pounds bacon
3 pound smoked ham
3 thick sliced venison backstrap cuts
2 t-bones

The above comes out to roughly 13,765 calories. Projected to need between 18,000 and 22,000 calories for the full seven days.

Also to be taken;

6 oz pepper jelly
6 oz honey
6 oz peanut butter
2 rolls medium summer sausage
2 rolls ritz crackers
1/2 box graham crackers
6 apples
6 sweet & salty almond granola bars (160 calories each)
4 Peppers (large bell)
3 Onions
1/2 pound celery
1/2 pound broccoli
1/2 pound carrots
1/2 pound cauliflower
1/2 pound beans
16 oz shredded cheese
1 pound coffee

I believe between the list of primary calories and the above ancillary calories I've more than reached the expected caloric needs for the seven days.

I know that's a lot but this ain't no lightweight backpacking trip, I've got plenty of time to review this list and adjust, looking for any and all suggestions.


  1. In case you want to double check your calorie count-- nutrientfacts.com has a 'recipe builder' function that lets you add ingredients and amounts to a list and gives a running tally of calories, etc. (as you'd find on a food label). I can't see any reason you couldn't use it to tabulate calories for meals, or for the whole trip's "groceries".

  2. AG, just a thought for your consideration, and it may already be a part of your menu, just unlisted, thinking you may want to add either butter or oil to your list, as caloric-heavy fats. I know your bacon & marbled steaks may take a part of that, as well as the p-b. With the exercise you're going to be getting. along with avg. temps, you may want a few longer-burning options in your diet for that time frame.

    Congrats on your adventure - really appreciating these updates!!


    P.S. are you bringing any cocoa or hot-chocolate for the evening drink?How's the stove looking?

  3. Reading this list was painful for me because I'm starving right now. :)

    Looks like an excellent way to feed yourself out in the wilderness!


  4. Maybe add a handfull of nuts & raisins to the list.
    Great for an inbetweensnack and energybooster.

  5. I can smell it cooking already! It looks like a great list to keep you going, well thought out.