We are excited to report that Leo and I are now at the stage of preparing dehydrated food for our kayaking expedition! We have 2 ½ months to go until we launch from Salt Spring Island. Between the two of us (and some help from Rebecca’s mom) we are planning to make 200 dehydrated meals, package them up and divide them into resupply packages. Most of these packages will be sent ahead, a few others will be given to friends, who are going to join us for a leg of the trip. We will be launching with two weeks worth of food in our boats, which will be a mix of dehydrated meals and fresh produce.
There are numerous reasons to dehydrate your own food for a long expedition: no added chemicals, preservatives or sulfites, which are often found in other pre-packaged meals. Dehydrating food is cheap! Our extra large servings cost $2.00-$4.50 each depending on the ingredients. We make sure to bring very nutritious and healthy food on the trip. Leo and I both eat a plant-based diet (no meat or animal by-products) so it can be challenging at times to find the appropriate food for resupply, especially in small towns.
One disadvantage – and maybe the only one – of preparing your own meals is that dehydrating food is very time-consuming. We will be devoting a large amount of our remaining two months to researching recipes, buying food in bulk, cooking, dehydrating and packaging all these meals.
You can read more about dehydrating camp food here.
We are very aware of the high amount of calories we will burn during our expedition. In addition to exerting a lot of energy to long days paddling, the cooler temperatures will contribute to burning many calories each day. We have estimated we will need to be consuming more than 4,500 calories/day. Below you can find an example of what our daily meals will look like while en route:
- Coffee and almond milk
- Oatmeal with hemp hearts, chia seeds, dried fruit, maple syrup, nuts, coconut oil
- 2x Cliff bar
- Handful of nuts
- Tea / coffee
- Butternut squash soup
- Cliff bar
- Dried fruit leather
- Corn nuts
- Vegetarian chilli
- Flat bread and coconut oil
- Chocolate bar
Although the majority of our meals will be homemade and dehydrated, we will supplement with simple store bought foods, such as pasta and sauce. In addition to Cliff, we have been lucky to receive several meals from Natur Compagnie. They sent a huge box full of goodies, which include flavoured quinoa boxes, soup bases and hot drinks. We are over the moon, because it means more time on the water and less time over the stove!
Our next steps are to continue preparing meals, purchasing a large quantity of dried fruit, nuts, protein bars, oil, spices and other essential foods. Afterwards we will start packaging them into boxes, so they are ready to either ship ahead to our resupply locations or to give to friends, who will be meeting us along the way. Note: Sending packages to the US can be quite expensive and/or risky (especially dehydrated food might not get through). Hence, we are planning on buying food items once in Ketchikan, then sending them up to places where we will pick them up.
Do you have any ideas for recipes for us to dehydrate? Shoot us a comment below or send us an email, we would love to hear from you!