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Canned food v dehydrated & packed water

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i'm planning to canoe camp where there is no portage and no access to treatable water, and thinking about canned goods as an alternative to rehydrated meals. I'll have to pack in the water used for rehydration, so is it any advantage to pack dehydrated?

Cans are bulkier to pack and make for heavier waste. But, I don't have to protect canned food from getting wet or nibbled by small critters. And though the cans are bulkier, most of the bulk is water, so, theoretically, they cut down on the amount of water I need to pack. More theoretical yet, I'd save fuel, since I wouldn't need to bring water to a boil. Even flattened, the cans make heavier trash. So, pros and cons.

Those freeze dried envelopes sure are convenient.

Thoughts?
 
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I often bring lots of canned food in the Everglades. But if I don't like it canned I don't bring it.. So no canned veggies! Dehydrated yes.. I bring canned chicken as I do like chicken and many can attest to the jerky quality of dehydrated chicken. Freeze dried is quite expensive!

Canned beans like chickpeas and baked beans are fine..

Treading on thin ice.. I like SPAM camping . I have never tried to dehydrate it.

There are those new cooked rices on the market. I have a thing though about cooked rice. my preconception is it is rubber rice.

The downside is your garbage is as big volume wise at the end of the trip as it was before cooking if the cans are all the same size. and not squooshable..
We need an ode to the Army can opener.. Never leave home without it. If you do your contents are inaccessible.
 
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I almost always have weight concerns and dehydrate all my meals but than I have access to treatable water however. If I have a weekender where there’s no portaging I bring fresh water and fresh food on ice. I usually paddle a prospector and weight isn’t a problem.

My dad is going to the dry tortuegas in the fall and told me there’s no fresh water and so will carry in water. He’s up there in years though so weight is a big deal. He’s considering getting me to make him dehydrated meals so I may measure out the water per meal and see if dehydrated or canned makes more sense. I’m guessing about 1 1/2 cups per dinner and 1/2 cup for breakfast.

barry
 
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Hahaha...yes YC those little can openers came in every ration pack back then. We kept spare ones on our dog tag chains.

I use a lot of canned stuff but have dehydrated for later on and as backup meals. I dehydrate ground beef for chili and spaghetti and the like. Dried cubed beef makes a mean stew too without needing a lot of water.

Christy
 
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I almost always have weight concerns and dehydrate all my meals but than I have access to treatable water however. If I have a weekender where there’s no portaging I bring fresh water and fresh food on ice. I usually paddle a prospector and weight isn’t a problem.

My dad is going to the dry tortuegas in the fall and told me there’s no fresh water and so will carry in water. He’s up there in years though so weight is a big deal. He’s considering getting me to make him dehydrated meals so I may measure out the water per meal and see if dehydrated or canned makes more sense. I’m guessing about 1 1/2 cups per dinner and 1/2 cup for breakfast.

barry

One thing you might think of is spillage. It is hard to lose liquid out of a can.. It is incredibly easy to tip a water jug over. And water is water.. It weighs the same. He will need all the fresh water he can carry merely to stay hydrated. There is a rule there in the DT that one gallon a day for drinking and cleaning. I have seen the results of not carrying enough water or spilling it. It isn't pretty..
Just something to think about.
In that environment you dehydrate not for weight but for food preservation.. Hot weather and dehydrated food can be risky.. the humidity can seep in if not well vacuum sealed. I know from experience Zip locs do not cut it.
 
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Thoughts?

Chip, presume we are talking about the Green River, but on any no portage trips I bring a variety of easy to prepare foodstuffs.

I am not a good cook and do not enjoy backcountry kitchen patrol, so quick, easy to make and easy to clean up are important to me. At most boil water and eat, if I were doing real cookery with pots and pans it would be a different story.

Freeze-dried meals, although I only eat a half at a time, decanting the other half into a Zip-lock and rinsing out the boiling water bag for use the next evening and supplement that with something less salty on the side.

Non-rehydrate foods like peanut butter, hard bread, gorp or nuts, cheese, etc. Those are principally lunch, with some augmenting the half a Mt. House as an appetizer while it seeps in the Reflectix coozie.

And usually a few cans. Sardines (or, non-can, the foil sealed tuna or other fish)

There are some veggies I enjoy cold straight out of the can; shoepeg corn and sweetpeas are favorites. I can scarf a small can of those and the liquid in 60 seconds and prefer them to canned baked beans. If there is a campfire involved a can of whole new potatoes, heat ‘em in the fire, fork them out of the can one at a time and nibble away.

The weight of a couple rinsed clean and crushed flat cans is inconsequential to me and the occasional straight from the can bite to eat ease is worth it to me.

IIRC you don’t drink beer, so you are already ahead on the can game. Nor coffee, so no messy grounds or Starbucks Via packs in the trash. I am not a fan of drink mixes in water, but they are handy at times with off-taste water, and I expect on hot weather trips there is value having some electrolyte powder mix.

Everyone has their own style. A vegan friend is a regular on dried rice and beans (or Indian food, smell it a mile away) done in a small pressure cooker; my responsibility is to remind him “Soak your beans” every morning so they are ready for supper.

Of course our mutual friend EE eats from nothing but cans, and has to leave early when he can’t find his favorite can opener.
 
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Not wishing to pull a loose thread and start it unravelling here is an honest question, how exactly does one carry a sizable supply of potable water?
Hard sided containers, collapsible containers, dromedary bags etc?
I have nothing against canned anything but I have found the hard sided tins to be less amenable to efficient packing. I am far from being a gram weenie and am (hopefully) not a Poindexter at packing but do hate awkward angles sticking every which way from packs. Feels kinda like packing rocks. Slim (repackaged) dehydrated meals pack efficiently. Can't potable water container with spigot be kept in the canoe (pulled up on shore) to be accessed one cooking pot at a time? Saves hauling the motherlode back and forth twice a day. And I would hope an emergency secondary supply of water be kept separately, maybe a dromedary, I don't know. I'm just spitballing as I've never had to plan for this type of trip. Any canned goods that appeal to me are easily dehydrated anyway so I'd rather crush an empty Ziplock than an empty can. But if I had to pack canned I'd check the labels for low sodium or sodium free. I'd be interested to hear how things worked out on this trip. Who doesn't hanker for a tin of beans and a can of Spam by day four?
 
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We need an ode to the Army can opener.. Never leave home without it. If you do your contents are inaccessible.

A few p-commies are friends with the guy to who Mike alluded, that eats exclusively from cans while river tripping. He views cooking and cleaning up as a waste of time and effort. He does not pack a pot or a stove and just eats his spaghetti-o's and Dinty Moore cold out of the can. He mixes cold, instant coffee to get going in the morning. He is a BIG fan of the Army can opener.

On a Buffalo River trip, he'd forgotten his can opener and was getting by borrowing my Swiss army knife. Then one of our party of three suffered a trip-ending injury. I evacuated the injured paddler to the ER in Harrison, but offered to help Mr. canned food reset shuttle so he could continue, solo. He said, no, he couldn't do that, because "I got no can opener." Of course, I offered to loan him the army knife, so that was really just a lame excuse. But it cracks me up every time I think of it.
 
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Not wishing to pull a loose thread and start it unravelling here is an honest question, how exactly does one carry a sizable supply of potable water?
Hard sided containers, collapsible containers, dromedary bags etc?
I have nothing against canned anything but I have found the hard sided tins to be less amenable to efficient packing. I am far from being a gram weenie and am (hopefully) not a Poindexter at packing but do hate awkward angles sticking every which way from packs. Feels kinda like packing rocks. Slim (repackaged) dehydrated meals pack efficiently. Can't potable water container with spigot be kept in the canoe (pulled up on shore) to be accessed one cooking pot at a time? Saves hauling the motherlode back and forth twice a day. And I would hope an emergency secondary supply of water be kept separately, maybe a dromedary, I don't know. I'm just spitballing as I've never had to plan for this type of trip. Any canned goods that appeal to me are easily dehydrated anyway so I'd rather crush an empty Ziplock than an empty can. But if I had to pack canned I'd check the labels for low sodium or sodium free. I'd be interested to hear how things worked out on this trip. Who doesn't hanker for a tin of beans and a can of Spam by day four?

I've seen paddlers carrying those big jerry cans of water. And there are plenty of containers available on-line in almost any size. The problem I have with hard containers is they take up as much space when they are empty as they do full. I like dromedary bags because you can pack them away once the water is gone, but I do worry about punctures. I like to re-use the gallon jugs of Arizona brand ice tea. They are a tough plastic with a sturdy, screw-on lid and convenient to use around camp. But I don't want to carry a dozen of them.

What I'll do for this trip is buy some 2.5 gallon containers of water, the kind you can get at most grocery stores. That's about as much as I want to lift, and the containers are flimsy so once used they can be crushed for packing out. I'm a little worried about their closure system. Some have a little spigot that might get knocked off, so I am hoping to find better. Flimsy plastic might be susceptible to puncture, so will need to be careful how packed, but that's my current plan.
 
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Those cheap 2.5 gallon rectangles of water typically have you poke a vent hole in the top to let the water flow freely. If you don't want a puncture in your water container you might want to test operating one if them without puncturing a vent hole
 
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How does one carry potable water? Six gallon hardsided containers. If you relish water you can bet there is a critter that also does in camp that has more feet than you.
No sharp angles. No portaging either. When I gave water to a fellow paddler that had run out he had run out as raccoons had gnawed his two liter soda bottles he was using for storing fresh water.
https://www.walmart.com/ip/Reliance...hguid=304fbe13-e5e-16bcee8529d45b&athena=true
 
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Those cheap 2.5 gallon rectangles of water typically have you poke a vent hole in the top to let the water flow freely. If you don't want a puncture in your water container you might want to test operating one if them without puncturing a vent hole

Just give'r a little squeeze and the water will come out. After your done pouring the water, tip the container up and let the air get back in. It's a minor inconvenience. I would do as YC says though.... I have used the same blue container she has linked for years at hunting camp. That thing has been through hell and still holds water. And the spigot still works too.

Jason
 
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How does one carry potable water? Six gallon hardsided containers. If you relish water you can bet there is a critter that also does in camp that has more feet than you.
No sharp angles. No portaging either. When I gave water to a fellow paddler that had run out he had run out as raccoons had gnawed his two liter soda bottles he was using for storing fresh water.
https://www.walmart.com/ip/Reliance...hguid=304fbe13-e5e-16bcee8529d45b&athena=true

That container is what I have seen Maine Guides use along the Allagash and St. John. Plenty of fresh water in those rivers, of course, but they filter (or fill from springs) to avoid potential giardia and store the filtered/spring water for the group in one of these. Spout is on underside of cap so when traveling it won't get damaged.
 
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I used to have several of those hard sided water jugs with spigots. They were excellent for car camping though I only ever needed just one.
Chip's crushable-cuttable-disposable plastic water containers sounds like the answer for a saltwater canoe trip.
 
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I am not fond of the little puncture hole needed to release water from the spigot on those grocery store water containers. Tipping over or inadvertent weight squirting water out on top leakage, etc.

We have 5 gallon and 2.5 gallon hard plastic carboys with a dispensing spigot that are going on 30 years old (laboratory Nalgenes, good stuff). Never punctured, never leaked. The downside is that they are unreducible in size, and the 5 gallon one weights 40+ lbs when full.

We also have several 10 liter (2.6 gallon) dromedary bags with a dispensing spigot. Also never leaked, never punctured. 22 lbs each when full. The advantages with the dromedary bags in that they take up less room when empty (or even half empty), are more convenient than a hard side carboy when it is a mile hike to a water source and can be hung from a tree branch with the spigot at an easily accessible height.

Note that there are dispensing spigots on both the hard containers and dromedaries. A friend has dromedary bags with no spigot and they are a PITA; you go to dispense a couple cups of water by unscrewing the filler cap and tilting the bag and half of it sloshes out mis-aimed and wasted.

I do try to practice some water discipline, especially on salt water trips; don’t waste any and don’t pour any out needlessly. To that disciplined end I try to keep the two stainless steel canteens I bring topped off, so that at worst I have 3 liters of water held safe and sound.
 
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A thoughtful lovely daughter of ours gave each her parents a dromedary for hot and sweaty cycle rides in the dog days of summer. We've used them exactly...one time. My wife said "These would be excellent for ice cubes and white wine!" I said "I'd rather not shlep a bag of water on my back, no matter what's inside." On the dog days of summer we soak up the sun and find cool in the shade. I keep an eye on our multiple water bottles to make sure they'll last till journey's end. One 750ml on each bike and a 1L in a pannier. There's always additional bottles of tap water back at the car.
I've thought of taking these camel packs on canoe trips but that seems ridiculous given the ample supply all around us. We're never far from just dipping and sipping. We each try to have a 1L with us at all times, both in the canoe and on the trail. Short portages have us leaving a bottle at each end for sip breaks (we pretty much double carry all the time these days). Long portages sees us carry a bottle each. Sip breaks are nice in the trees when you can find a comfortable rock with a wonderful woodsy view.
But a saltwater trip would be another story. I have no idea how to strike that balance of hydration, nutrition and packing efficiency. If there is one.
A post trip breakdown would be beneficial.
 
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Our Dromedaries 2 l. go with us on every trip
They balance on the barrel or pack at the back of the neck on pack straps
They accept water directly from the MSR water filters
And they stay put on the edge of the canoe seat and do not roll around
A real
godsend when we had to collect water from
a bog punching through with a MiniWorks
The map indicated a lake. Last field check some 65 years earlier
Folks on the Green in kayaks had 10 liter bags. Sat right on the back deck weight low conforming to hull shape
i am a fan. I hate water bottles except on my bike where I love my steel insulated Thermos water bottle
 
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Having carried out more than my fair share of other folks garbage from backcountry sites over the years I'm not a fan of cans out there in the wilderness. Worth noting that most cans are plastic lined so burning releases a mix of toxic chemicals and cooking food in them is likely not a good idea.

I have water bags by MSR and Ortlieb, a German company. Great for storing water but can be difficult to decant small amount when full.
 
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A thoughtful lovely daughter of ours gave each her parents a dromedary for hot and sweaty cycle rides in the dog days of summer. We've used them exactly...one time.
I've thought of taking these camel packs on canoe trips but that seems ridiculous given the ample supply all around us.

If you are talking about the camelback-type hydration packs with a bite & sip tube I can see the value for sea kayakers, especially in open water with both hands on the paddle spray skirt tight conditions. Or for racers or any sort. Some PFD’s are designed to hold a dromedary.

You might be able to retrofit them as spigoted dromedary bags for camp use if they have enough volume.

For canoe tripping I somehow picture that hydration pack on my back eventually getting hot in the sun, and I am not a fan sipping of weak tea. Nor of that teat sucking tubular method of drinking water; I’ve seen what builds up inside float bag tubes.

I have been out in open water conditions where personal hydration took a backseat to staying upright and kinda wished I had one. Still a nope for me.

I hate water bottles except on my bike where I love my steel insulated Thermos water bottle

I hate most water bottles; from those damned convenience store throwaways that are too flimsy to reuse more than once and awful crinkly noisy (planned obsolescence to prevent re-use?) to the ubiquitous hard plastic water bottles with a sip nipple (and gimme-hat corporate logo) that eventually build up bacteria inside and become another piece of trash.

I am a fan of wide mouth Klean Kanteen water bottles (without the sip lid). The wide 27oz fits in most vehicle cup holders and into a standard size can coozie. Stainless steel, wide mouth easy to fill, rounded bottom on the inside, so no sharp corners easy to brush clean.

https://www.kleankanteen.com/products/wide-mouth-water-bottle-27oz

That one and a larger 64 oz come on every trip. 2.5 liters of water will usually take me a long ways. I can stick a huggie on the little one and it stays cool for a long time. Hmmm, a Reflectix Coozie for the big 64 oz would be dead simple to make.

Note for stainless steel water bottle users: Leave a little floatation headspace or they sink like a rock.
 
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Our only 2 bike bottles have an ingenious clear plastic hinged dome lid that flips on and off to better protect the sippy nipple from all manner of trail filth, and trust me there can be ample supply of that. Proud horse riders who see no reason to dismount and kick aside their manure, and dog walkers who for only reasons known to them refuse to pick up or kick aside their dog poo piles. Okay, end of rant #1, ha. I stopped taking along these bike bottles on canoe trips after I shopped online for possible replacements. Just for the curious, it's easy to unscrew the lid to gulp if you're averse to the aim and squirt style of drinking. I rinse them lids and all with boiling water every week. But nary a replacement lid could I find. So they stay at home with the bicycles, because I just knew I'd break one of them on a portage somewhere. I too love the wide mouth (Nalgenes), they're easy to fill, drink from, clean and reuse.
Today is your lucky day because I forget what my rant #2 was. Enjoy.
 
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