• Happy World Photography Day!

Canned food v dehydrated & packed water

Joined
Oct 22, 2014
Messages
428
Reaction score
154
Location
Maryland
Just wondering how the trip went Chip.

I’ll be starting a my trip on the Missouri Breaks in about a week. So, can’t answer about that. A couple other paddlers and I did make a “practice” trip about a month ago, on the upper Potomac. I loaded my boat with the gear load I plan for the Missouri, including 12 gallons of water and fleece layers even though it was over 90F (32C) with typical Maryland summer humidity. I had no trouble packing the load into Will’s Penobscot. Paddling was another question. The boat didn’t exactly jump on the first paddle stroke, but it did glide well.

We camped two nights along the river, sites that are in almost constant use by river paddlers and folks hiking/biking the C&O canal. I figured with the constant camper traffic, the sites would be patrolled by raccoons and other wildlife, and would provide some idea of how various containers would survive in the not-so-wild. We had no encounters with local wildlife, so didn’t gain any insights on that. Or, less likely, we are such neat campers the animals never knew we were there.
 
Last edited:
Joined
Jan 8, 2014
Messages
1,291
Reaction score
286
Location
Minden, NV
NO need to carry water on the Missouri River. Use a regular water filter. We found a remote BLM field station once to fill up water bottles.

I learned to paddle on the C&O Canal and Potomac River starting in 1960. I have been paddling western rivers for the last 50 years.
 
Joined
Oct 22, 2014
Messages
428
Reaction score
154
Location
Maryland
Post-trip feedback:

In 20 days, I twice ate Backpacker Pantry dehydrated meals. The other 18 days, I used canned and pouched foods, and I think I ate easily and well. I eat a lot of rice, so every evening meal started with a bag of pre-cooked rice. If pouch foods were on the menu, the pouch (e.g. Tasty Bites Indian dishes) and bag of rice were warmed up simultaneously in a pot of boiling river water (discard the water). If it was a can, I'd open the bag of rice and pour it into the pot, then open the can(s) and pour them in with the rice/grain, and heat it up together. My dinner was always ready before my mates dehydrated meals had rehydrated for the required 15-20 minutes, I never once forgot to remove the oxygen-absorption packet, many times over I saved 2 cups of potable water, and the meals tasted great (but most things do at the end of a river-tripping day).

It used to be you could open both ends of a can to easily flatten them. No more. Modern cans have an integral bottom that don't fit in can openers, so I brought an item I normally would not bring: a hatchet, solely for the purpose of pounding cans flat. My trash for a week fit into a zip lock storage bag.

I carried my cans in a nylon bag, which I called my "box of rocks," cuz that's what it felt like. The box of rocks was left unprotected in the boat and no animals messed with it.

So, I regard cans-in-lieu-of-dehydrated as a great option for those few trips were weight doesn't really matter and you need to pack in the water for rehydration.
 
Joined
Sep 2, 2011
Messages
6,942
Reaction score
920
Location
Raymond, ME
I take it you did not try to filter the river water . Which is good. That is the only river I have gone on where I carried all water. Agricultural pesticides are not removed by filtration. If a little Roundup is bad for your skin lots of Roundup cant be good for your digestive system
 
Joined
Oct 22, 2014
Messages
428
Reaction score
154
Location
Maryland
I take it you did not try to filter the river water . Which is good. That is the only river I have gone on where I carried all water. Agricultural pesticides are not removed by filtration. If a little Roundup is bad for your skin lots of Roundup cant be good for your digestive system

The lot of us all carried all the water we drank.

OTR, we encountered Judith and Max, from Grand Junction. Max guessed they'd paddled the Green about 20 times. They filtered, as they always do. So, that water may kill you, but it will take some time.

What I don't know, is from where they filtered. It turns out there is water coming down many of the canyons. I never realized this because on my springtime trips the bottoms of the canyons are filled up with river water. For example, in May, I have paddled a quarter mile or so up into Trin Alcove. In late September, you first have to climb up a 6 or 8 foot bank by the river to get to the dry, cracked, mud floor of the creek bed where, in May we paddled on water a few feet deep. If you follow that creek bed up canyon, it eventually becomes soft mud, and eventually, there is flowing, very clear water. Many of the canyons are like that. If you see tammy's and willows running up the canyon, there is water in there. So, it would be possible to filter spring water, and my guess is it would be chemical free. You'd have to carry the water back to camp and boats, and perhaps it is easier to just pack it, but you could avoid river water and filter from spring-fed sources.
 
Joined
Sep 2, 2011
Messages
6,942
Reaction score
920
Location
Raymond, ME
The Green had wonderful water coming from the side canyons in April. By the end of Sept those sources were dry. You had to get far enough up the canyon so river water was not an issue.. Tons of little waterfalls with cold water.

The Green does not suffer the ag sources of pollution that the Missouri is notorious for. And has been for years..
 
G

Guest

Guest
The Green had wonderful water coming from the side canyons in April. By the end of Sept those sources were dry. You had to get far enough up the canyon so river water was not an issue.. Tons of little waterfalls with cold water.

True, in springtime many of the side canyons have water, but other than a few, or after a recent rain, the dependable canyon sources can be a considerable hike away from camp. The little creek at Trin-Alcove and the deep pour over pool at the back of Horse Canyon are close enough to easily fetch water.

You'd have to carry the water back to camp and boats, and perhaps it is easier to just pack it, but you could avoid river water and filter from spring-fed sources.

Even in springtime the dependable water sources at Anderson Bottom or Water/Shot Canyon are further than lazy me wants to hike to, filter water and hike back carrying full dromedary bags, even if in a (heavy) daypack. On that gentle stretch of the Green unless you are paddling a diminutive canoe or kayak it is easier to carry in all or most of your water needs.

I paddled with two 10L dromedary bags, and replenished even the half empty one if there was a filterable side source near enough. If there was clear, filterable water a few hundred yards (or a half mile at the Horse pour over pool) away it was worth the effort to hike in and top off.

I had the shuttle guys drop off a container of water at Mineral Bottom before I expected to arrive at that half way point.

Good plan; a Tex’s 6.5 gallon container was in the outfitter storage box when I got there and I emptied that outfitter carboy into my dromedaries, canteens and belly before putting the empty container back in the box . I didn’t need their rigid carboy; two 10L dromedaries, a couple of canteens and a sloshing full belly used most of what they left. It was well worth the $5 “rental” fee to have them leave 6 gallons of replenishment water at the halfway point.

Good plan, but unnecessary; there was a large group at Mineral Bottom waiting for the take out trailer to arrive. They had bocoup gallon milk jugs of unused water and offered them to me before I even found the outfitter drop box. I wouldn’t count on that, but if passing by Mineral Bottom before noon it might be worth getting out and looking thirsty.

Maybe practice mournfully uttering “Boy I sure wish I had a cold beer right about now”

The Green does not suffer the ag sources of pollution that the Missouri is notorious for. And has been for years..

From everything I have heard and read I would not even consider trying to filter the river water on the Missouri. Too many cows and geese and who-know-what ag pollution runoff for my taste, or my filter cartridge.

The Missouri Breaks was, for a while, on my bucket list. The more trip reports I read and photos I look at the further down the list it falls. I like the low difficulty part about the Missouri Breaks, as a class nothing flowing river to cruise down without much effort (depending on the wind), but photos of the scenery and campsites don’t rock my world. Maybe once, but I doubt it is a trip I would do again.

Chip, I value your opinion and experiences; I’d like to hear more of your impressions about the Missouri Breaks, scenery, fall conditions, campsites and etc.

No pun intended but your recent experiences there could make or Missouri break that bucket list inclusion.
 
Joined
Sep 2, 2011
Messages
6,942
Reaction score
920
Location
Raymond, ME
Well I might suggest a combo trip as I did. We started with the Green in early to mid May. Wonderful cold trip with lots of hiking and desert flowers .. Just wonderful. ( I realize that you have lollygagged down that river before but as you know no two trips are alike). Then we came home via Montana to do the Upper Missouri between Coal Banks and Kipp Rec area.
We baked 100 degrees a couple of days.. The shuttle took almost a whole day to set up as we only had one car : with two you could do it easier but its still a dang long shuttle.
The scenery at the start was quite nice but the cacaphony of breeding geese never ceased during the whole trip and cattle sheeting in the water was not appetizing.. Some of the campsites were nice and others really thick with scrub and also prairie rattlers that hide in the scrub. No doubt there are snakes on the Green but you can see them. The river in May was high and there had been massive floods the year before and what remained was lots of mud. We spent five days on the river. Below Judith Landing there weren't very attractive campsites and the cows were blocking any access up the bank. Steep muddy banks. We did 46 miles the last day and spent four nights on the river. Got to Kipp and found a site there that was not muck though we had to hunt around.
However the history was very interesting and poking around old homesteads fun.
 
G

Guest

Guest
To parse:

The shuttle took almost a whole day
the cacaphony of breeding geese never ceased during the whole trip
cattle sheeting in the water
really thick with scrub and also prairie rattlers that hide in the scrub.
lots of mud
there weren't very attractive campsites
the cows were blocking any access up the bank.
Steep muddy banks.

Recognizing my penchant for making trips longer by lazing around in a nice campsite for a day or two, sitting quietly and letting the appreciation of a place come to me, that is not encouraging.
 
Top