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Canned food v dehydrated & packed water

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A tale of dromedary caution
A friend has some decades old dromedary bags, MSR’s I believe, the black ones without a spigot. He paddles a lot of salt and tidal waters and uses them all the time. The good news is that they are very well built and still going strong.

The bad news is that black = hot water on sunny summer trips. The worse news if that many years ago on a Baja trip the dromedaries were filled from a questionable water source. No one in his party had a filter, but they did have a little bottle of supersaturated iodine crystals and added a few drops of that.

That was probably close to 20 years ago, and those dromedaries have been filled, emptied and refilled thousands of times since.

The water still tastes of iodine. Hot iodine water, yummy.

I really like our 10 year old Kelty Isotainer 10L dromedaries, rinse them after every trip and store them caps off and spigot open so any moisture can dry out. Those had an insulated cover over the inner bag and were easily filter adaptable.

I wish Kelty still made those. When they were discontinued REI Outlet had them as a Deal of the Day. Those bags were $35 apiece. REI apparently misplaced a digit and had them on sale for $3.50. I bought 10 of them and gave them to friends.

REI provided a “You paid”/“You Saved” receipt. “You paid $35”. . . . .“You saved $300”. I wish I’d bought 20.
 
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Backpackers usually dont hike in the ocean though! Desalination is heavy and expensive!
take it you've never been on a salt water kayak trip?

No one mentioned salt water, I assumed he was talking about a river because it was mentioned, whatever

fresh food will keep in a cooler for 2 to 3 days and if the trip is longer than that then, dehydrated packaged and canned food can be used too, It's all personal choice, most 16-18ft canoes carry close to a thousand pounds, again it's all about how much you want to pack & portage

I had a 30-foot sailboat so I know about packing water too.

Salt water survival would be a solar still but we're not talking survival are we?

Now we know why I don't write on this forum very much, soon as I post I get a smartass answer!
 
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take it you've never been on a salt water kayak trip?

No one mentioned salt water, I assumed he was talking about a river because it was mentioned, whatever

fresh food will keep in a cooler for 2 to 3 days and if the trip is longer than that then, dehydrated packaged and canned food can be used too, It's all personal choice, most 16-18ft canoes carry close to a thousand pounds, again it's all about how much you want to pack & portage

I had a 30-foot sailboat so I know about packing water too.

Salt water survival would be a solar still but we're not talking survival are we?

Now we know why I don't write on this forum very much, soon as I post I get a smartass answer!

Sorry Denise... wasnt intentionally being a smartass...just stating that a water filter that backpackers use wont work, as you know from sailing, in the ocean

.. and as far as "this forum" goes, please don't judge this place based off of my ONE response. Virtually no one here nears I'll will towards anyone.

and nice edit to your post
 
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I think he is paddling the Green in Utah
Its a desert silt river that requires alum before filtering. It is still very hard on filters
Dromedaries being black do absorb heat but also cool down fast so all you have to do is keep them out of the sun or cover them
Other areas on rivers where bringing fresh water is useful is in agricultural areas like the Missouri and in glacial runoff rivers like parts of the Yukon. Glacial silt is highly abrasive and you can hear it as it sands your hull
 
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Ditto what YC said for on the Yukon. it sounds like mis-tuned AM radio static noise or sandpaper on the bottom of the canoe. Upstream of the Teslin River at hootalinqua the Yukon water is relatively clear, bluish and transparent. Below the Teslin it becomes dark and opaque. Then, especially at the mouth of the White River it becomes milky gray. You cannot see even a millimeter into it. I have no idea how fish can survive in that. I've had locals say that if you fall in, there is little hope for recovery as your clothing becomes weighted down with the silt. Of course the water is always frigid cold and one can assume that most locals don't have the opportunity to learn how to swim in the first place.

At one unnamed location where we stopped for a rare land bio-break, we gathered fresh clean water from a stream descending a rocky slope. After returning to the canoe, one paddler noticed a flake of gold in her Nalgene bottle as she turned it over. I quickly hit the save location on my GPS for later reference. :rolleyes:

We used a water flocculant powder (which is what alum does) made by Pur. It settled out silt to a slimy mess in the bottom of a 5 gallon bucket and also purified the water to be safe for drinking. Tasted terrible but it worked well and kept us hydrated during the 1000 mile race.

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I think he is paddling the Green in Utah
Its a desert silt river that requires alum before filtering. It is still very hard on filters
Other areas on rivers where bringing fresh water is useful is in agricultural areas like the Missouri and in glacial runoff rivers like parts of the Yukon. Glacial silt is highly abrasive and you can hear it as it sands your hull

I bring water on some non-tidal trips, even if that is just a single dromedary on freshwater trips to get me through the first day and then filter replenish the dromedary when needed. I have run out of water twice, once on a tidal paddling trip, once on a desert backpack. I don’t ever want to do that again.

Water from a pump or faucet in some swampy/coastal areas, while potable, can be none too tasty. “Soft” water, the sort that leaves your skin feeling slimy after bathing or swimming, is kinda yucky tasting, and makes terrible coffee. Freshwater rivers that pass by hog or chicken farms? Thanks but no thanks.

Travelling I carry a full 5 gallon water carboy in the truck. Not just for desert environs; sometimes water sources 30 miles apart can vary from “Bleeech” to tasty. In Big Bend the water up in Panther Junction is very good, 30 miles away in Rio Grande Village it is gawd awful.
 
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When I did solo trips always had flexible water jugs if nothing else just to trim out the boat! On a no portage, one way trip, I'd carrying be chairs and everything else!

Left; my one off 15ft x 29 (I refit & re-canvassed last year, 18yrs old)

right; my strip Prospector, (gave it to my daughter and she promptly put it in the backyard and it's been rotting in the sun for almost 15 years)

I miss all the outdoor activities trips even the camping! I'll be 71 this month, I probably won't be leav8ng in my air-conditioned house very much at all.
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Denise those are beautiful boats
I am just a little older than you but I hope I can get sone sort of trip in this year but it wont be solo
I would rather spend my summer getting my hip replaced
Well not rather but have to
Wearing out parts just plain sucks!!!
 
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another option is opening those cans at home and vacuum sealing them so they store flat in your pack. most you can cook in the bag and the boiled water is still good for other uses like drinking
 
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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?

We ARE talking about 'CANOE TRIPPING'?

IN water?
 
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We ARE talking about 'CANOE TRIPPING'?

IN water?

Green River Utah through Labyrinth and Stillwater canyons down to the Colorado. The proverbial “Too thin to plow, to thick to drink” heavily slit laden western desert river.

Water from the Green can be flocculated with alum to settle the slit and then filtered. It will be potable, but not all that tasty. Water from potholes and pourover pools likewise, but I believe Chip is going on a fall trip and those potholes may be dry.

Most people on the Green carry a water supply. I wasn’t carrying enough to last 3 weeks and topped off my water bags any time I found a decently clean source. I also had an outfitter drop off 5 gallons at a halfway point, and still ended up flocculating and filtering pothole water towards the end.

I also flocculated a collapsible 5 gallon bucket of Green River water several times. Not to drink; I was occasionally sharing canyon campsites and offered an un-silty bucket to folks for sponge bath use. No one said no.

For lack of treatable water, I have/use a variety of hard-sides, 4, 5, and 6 gallon, similar to the aqua-tainers. The next replacement will be a couple of these in easier-to-carry/pack 10L size:

https://www.lexingtoncontainercompany.com/Military-Water-Cans.html

Not cheap, but definitely robust.

Oarsman, I really like the size and shape of those. For weight distribution I usually put the dromedaries directly behind my seat and those would fit beautifully.
 
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I really hate dehydrated pouch food. On big western rivers, we take turns cooking dinner and sometimes it turns into a contest to see who makes the most delicious meal. I usuallly bring a small cooler. On longer trips we sometimes can find a town for resupply.

I have paddled the Green from near the town of Green River, UT to Mineral Bottom above the confulence with the Colorado R. I have a friend Jerry Nyre, that was the first to paddle the Colorado River upstream to Moab and a take out.

We used the water of the Green as potable supply. First we let it settle overnight. Then poured through a t shirt, then pumped it through a water filter. There is a lot of fine sediment and the filters needed to be cleaned. But we got through a 6 day trip without carrying much water. It is possible to find a flocculant to make the sediment drop out.

I was backpacking in the desert of Big Bend one winter. It was mostly a trip from spring to spring across country. I broke some rules and brought things like salad and raw carrots. I have never enjoyed vegetables more than in the desert.
 
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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?
Perfectly good question. In the Everglades there are these critters called raccoons who will bite through anything but a metal can. They hate brackish water too. When we went we had nothing but disposable gallon jugs. We piled them all under one canoe and dug the gunwales down into the marl and were safe. This worked on the bayside beach sites. Maybe the raccoons are less a problem on the chickees. Or you can stay up all night guarding your water...
 
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raccoons aren't bad eating roasted over an open fire so the fat can drip out, esp when doused liberally with hot everglades seasoning and chased with a cold beer or aged whiskey. Carcass parts make for good shark and jewfish bait soaked over night on a hand line tied off on a mangrove branch over deep enough water. Checking the line(s) provide great entertainment while the coffee's perking in the AM...

If you have a soft spot for the masked bandits a low powered sling shot with those hard clay pellets that disintegrate on contact are a non-lethal way to train them to look for their spoils elsewhere too. They are so habituated and bold you can wait until they are close enough for a can't miss rump shot to run them off. The ones you spank won't be back until after your camping permit expires...
 
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