Food Ration Plan

Ration planning and resupplies on the Colorado Trail have been a point of disagreement for me and Phil. Because of our short periods of time between each resupply, I wanted to plan meals for each night. Phil is worried that we won’t be able to approximate how much food we’ll need, so he wants to go with a pounds per person per day method. We did things mostly his way, so we’ll see how that goes – we might end up with a flavorless bowl of couscous one night, or a pesto-curry mix or something strange – but I suppose the calories will be there.

In general, we tried to minimize bulky items like oatmeal and take more dense items instead (i.e. polenta or cream of wheat).  We tried to balance this approach with our personal needs for variety.  We’re going with angel hair pasta because it cooks fastest; and candy-coated chocolate so that it won’t be as likely to melt.

Post-Trip Note: This ration turned out to be OK overall; however, we had slightly high percentage of dinners and breakfasts. We should have allocated more weight per ration to snacks and slightly less to dinners and breakfasts. We ended up stopping mid-hike a few times to cook a breakfast or dinner on the trail as a “snack” a few times. We would recommend a higher percentage of food weight in snacks than what we have below.

 
Ration 1: Denver to Breckenridge (6 days + 1 breakfast)
21 lbs food.  Our first ration period from Denver to Breckenridge is one of our longest at 6 days:

Breakfast (4.9 lb):
2 polenta
2 cream of wheat
1 oatmeal
Dinner (5.28 lb):
1 tortillas
1 instant rice
1 angel hair pasta
1 couscous
.75 soup
.5 instant black beans


Snacks (7.35 lb):
.35 hummus mix
3.5 bars (power, clif, etc)
.5 craisins
.5 granola
.5 fruit leathers
.5 seasame sticks
.5 banana chips
.5 m&ms
.5 reeses pieces
Fats (2 lb):
.5 olive oil
.5 peanut butter
1 cheese

Sugars (2 lb):
.5 white
.25 brown
.5 country time lemonade mix
.5 milk powder
.25 hot coco mix

 
Ration 2: Breckenridge to Twin Lakes (4 days)
14 lbs food.  We’ll be able to buy our second ration period’s food in Breckenridge.

Ration 3: Twin Lakes to Mt Princeton Hotsprings (3 days)
10.5 lbs food. Combination of picking up supplies in town and picking up a resupply box. Because this is only a 3-day ration, we did more of the meal-style planning:

Breakfast (2.1 lb):
1 polenta
1 cream of wheat
Dinner (2.64 lb):
.9 angel hair pasta
.9 couscous
.9 instant black beans


Snacks (7.35 lb):
1 bars (power, clif, etc)
.5 granola
.5 fruit leathers
.675 wild rice sticks
.25 m&ms
.25 reeses pieces
.5 cookies
Fats (2 lb):
.5 olive oil
.5 cheese

Sugars (2 lb):
.5 white
.25 country time lemonade mix
.25 milk powder

 
Ration 4: Mt Princeton Hot Springs to Creede or Lake City (7 days)
24.5 lbs food:

Breakfast (4.9 lb):
2 polenta
2 cream of wheat
1 oatmeal
Dinner (6.16 lb):
split btw pasta, couscous, soup, instant rice, bean flakes


Snacks (8.575 lb):
Split btw all the same snacks as described above.
Fats (2.38 lb):
.5 olive oil
.5 peanut butter
1 cheese

Sugars (2.38 lb):
.88 white
.25 brown
.5 country time lemonade mix
.5 milk powder
.25 hot coco mix

 
Ration 5: Creede to Little Molas Campground (4 days)

Post-Trip Note: We ended up hitch hiking to Lake City instead of Creede, on the suggestion of fellow thru-hikers. We found all the supplies we needed and friendly, hospitable folks in Lake City – we highly recommend it!

14 lbs food. We’ll be able to buy our second ration period’s food in Creede.

Ration 6: Little Molas Campground to Durango (3 days)
10.5 lbs food shipped to Little Molas Campground. See Ration 3 for breakdown. About Little Molas Campground:
There is no denatured alcohol or cheese at Molas.

Post-Trip Note: In fact, they really don’t have anything other than a few popsicles – so be sure to send everything you need via your resupply box.

There is a store, Outdoor World, and grocery store in Silverton (~4.5 miles away) that carries other things. The hours at Molas are from 8 or 9 am to whenever, but a night watchman stays up there.

You can have a package shipped to the campground with UPS. UPS Packages should be shipped to:

Molas Lake Campground
65560 US Hwy 550N
Molas Lake Pass Area
Silverton CO 81433

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