In cave meals?

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In cave meals?

Postby hoosiercaver1 » Aug 17, 2008 5:35 pm

I dont know it this is the best forum for this topic, but I was wondering what everyone brings with them when they go on a longer trip. I am planning on a 10+ hour trip here soon, so I want to bring something that will provide alot of energy, taste decent, and still be small and light to carry. On short trips i usually bring a baby bottle full of trail mix and slim jims, with a snickers bar for emeregency energy, but I would like to know if anyone has any suggestions for anything else to bring to help gain energy on a tough trip. I wont be a real wet trip, so I should stay warm, I will just need losts of energy for climbing breakdown and crawling.

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Re: In cave meals?

Postby mgmills » Aug 17, 2008 8:00 pm

hoosiercaver1 wrote:I dont know it this is the best forum for this topic, but I was wondering what everyone brings with them when they go on a longer trip. I am planning on a 10+ hour trip here soon, so I want to bring something that will provide alot of energy, taste decent, and still be small and light to carry. On short trips i usually bring a baby bottle full of trail mix and slim jims, with a snickers bar for emeregency energy, but I would like to know if anyone has any suggestions for anything else to bring to help gain energy on a tough trip. I wont be a real wet trip, so I should stay warm, I will just need losts of energy for climbing breakdown and crawling.

On long trips I often take a sandwich made on a sliced plain bagel instead of bread. I usually use either ham or turkey, cheese and mustard in between the two pieces of bagel. I ziplock it and put in a semi-rigid disposable sandwich container. Stays together better than a sandwich on bread when you bang it around. You could probably slice it in half and bag each half separately and pack it inside a wide mouth nalgene bottle but I've had good luck with the disposable boxes. If you think your pack may get dunked you might want to double bag it as those disposable boxes aren't water tight.
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Re: In cave meals?

Postby pacaver » Aug 17, 2008 8:14 pm

Breakfast bars + Peanut butter cups in a small tupperware container work for me. The breakfast bars last forever, but the peanut butter cups have a limited lifespan, especially if water gets inside the tupperware container. I offered some peanut butter cups during a break and my friends' niece said "Something looks wrong with this!" I checked and there was nasty mold all over it. Good thing she looked before scarfing it down! Breakfast bars have carbs for sustained energy while the non-moldy form of peanut butter cups have fat and sugar for a quick burst of energy.
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Re: In cave meals?

Postby Wayne Harrison » Aug 17, 2008 9:15 pm

For long trips, I take any or all of the following: beef jerky (home-made, if possible) or tuna or chicken in the foil envelopes, a single serving of fruit cocktail or similar, power bars, gorp, and snickers bars. I have been known to pour Cheetos into a plastic bottle and bring them along on a long trip.
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Re: In cave meals?

Postby Cheryl Jones » Aug 17, 2008 10:13 pm

Egg McMuffins are nearly indestructible -- surviving better than normal sandwiches -- and taste great cold when you're far underground. A welcome from the continuing sweetness of gorp, energy bars, candy, etc.

Use a Swaygo pack and you won't have to worry about ways to keep food dry! :kewl:

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Re: In cave meals?

Postby Illinois Caver » Aug 17, 2008 10:16 pm

Hi All,

8 hours seems to be my magic number in determing what food I'll bring on a trip.

Less than 8 hours I tend to bring fruit snacks, beef jerky (homemade preferable), chocolate chip granola bars, and double-mint gum.

I know this may make some people wince, but I'm a believer in the MRE's for trips longer than 8 hours. A nice warm meal, with lots of energy. The original package is actually small enough for my cave pack, but I can pick a choose parts of the meal if I don't want to bring it all. Plus I can stick the warming pack in my suit to keep me warm (I tend to be in wet and muddy caves in the midwest).

My personal favorite meal is the beef and noodles with apple sauce. :kewl:

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Re: In cave meals?

Postby fuzzy-hair-man » Aug 17, 2008 10:53 pm

I don't think you guys have them (if this is the case I feel sorry for you :cry: ) vitawheats are a hard cracker type biscuit (cracked pepper is best) that are just brilliant for caving or camping because they take some pretty rough treatment before they break and taste great and thier healthy too :woohoo:, I'll usually take along some cheese (or occasionally peanut butter or jam) to put on them, other things I take are a pack of jelly snakes or similar for snacks and a couple of snickers bars for quick bit of energy. This generally does for up to ~12-14hrs of caving although I'm going to be hungry when I get out but by the same token probably haven't eaten everything I took.
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Re: In cave meals?

Postby Steven Johnson » Aug 17, 2008 11:50 pm

For years, I've taken Clif Bars almost exclusively (with occasional jerky or dried fruit thrown in for longer trips)... not the most exciting flavor-wise but nearly indestructible and get the job done. I recently discovered Lara Bars, but same same concept, different execution: prewrapped digestible energy.

Oh, and for the really grueling trips, there is no substitute for chocolate-covered espresso beans...!
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Re: In cave meals?

Postby Amocholes » Aug 18, 2008 4:09 am

I usualluy take a bagel with either cream cheese or peanut butter, a couple of beef sticks, some cheese cubes, dried fruit (apricots, prunes, pineapple) and some type of chewy granola bar.
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Re: In cave meals?

Postby Mike Hood » Aug 18, 2008 5:34 am

I take peanut butter sandwiches, trail mix, and wash it down with Gatoraid.

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Re: In cave meals?

Postby Andy Shoun » Aug 18, 2008 9:35 am

Here is a synopsis of answers received for an earlier question about cave food. It was not directly related to long cave trips. My personal experience is that for longer trips I just bring more food. I love to eat and never go more than 2-3 hours without munching on something.

What Cave Food do you like?
copied from the NSS discussion board website

1. cheese-it

2. trail mix of peanuts, M&Ms raisins

3. Individually wrapped string chesses with beef jerky in tortillas. mini Nalgene bottle with mix of 6 different dried fruits, honey nut cheerios and grapenuts

4. Ham or turkey and cheese on a plain bagel sandwich – no mayo- just dry, pack in a ziplock bag inside a plastic sandwich box. Hold it in the ziplock while eating to minimize the risk of dropping crumbs. for short trips pack granola bars inside a ziplock and in the sandwich box to prevent crushing and crumbling

5. Squashed PBJ, little fruit cans, individual size chicken or tuna, peanut or almond M&Ms, jawbreakers (normal ones to the little ones in boxes if I can find them.) Don’t drink anything but water.

6. Tasty Bite Kashmir Spinach in a retort package

7. Balance Bars. Much tastier than granola bars and proportioned 40% carbs, 30% protein, 30% fat, with 23 vitamins and minerals and anti-oxidants. Follow with plenty of water.

8. Hershey bars, energy bars, protein bars, more Hershey bars (I seem to have a problem staying away from bars.)

9. Esbit stove and packets of chicken broth for emergency warmth. Used to carry a large, flat can of salisbury steak for long trips. I just heated it up in the can and ate from it.

10. MRE (meals ready to eat) beef stew

11. For real long trips I take these things called "pemmican bars". No pemmican in them -- nuts, soy, oats, stuff like that. They have 17 grams of protein in each bar, 420 calories, 60 g carbs. Pretty small for that amount of fuel. You can get them at health food stores. Can't say I'd choose to eat them just for enjoyment.
For short trips, I take peanut butter and jelly sandwiches, nuts, raisins, cheese, and stuff like that. I'm practical to the new Balance Bars, they actually taste pretty good and have a good ratio of carbs/protein/fat. A friend of mine used to take an Esbit stove and we'd make hot chocolate and soup. Mmmmm..... Didn't heat stuff up as well as real camping stoves.

12. On those long cave survey trips I use the Esbit pocket stove. It has three fold out legs and fits in the palm of your hand. It heats up a cup of Lipton soup, nice warm intake for the long wet trip. I also carry "gorp" mixed with M&M's, yogurt covered raisins, and pecans. I put that in a Nalgene bottle. I also carry Granola bars. I do like the beef jerky in the tortilla as well. A nice treat is the peanut butter in the squeeze tube.

13. Slim Jims. Pre packaged, and cave mud does little to diminish the flavor.

14. I'm field testing some of those self-heating lattes this weekend as we hit Groaning Cave here in Colorado (39 degrees). They were four to a pack and $8.99. At first glance, I see a couple of problems: weight (seem to be pretty hefty) and you can't crush them after use, so you are stuck with that size in your pack (they are pretty large). Still, it will be nice to get something warm and tasty into my stomach, and a pep-me-up to boot, on the way out of the cave.

Well, bad news on the self-heating lattes. They suck in cold caves. I tried them out in Groaning (cave temp: 39 degrees) here in Colorado and the drinks were slightly warm. Apparently they work best starting at room temperature. They are also bulky and non-flattenable (is that a word?). On the plus side, I discovered Bumblebee crackers and "salads" that were the tastiest thing I've ever eaten in a cave. They have chicken salad and tuna salad and seafood salad. The "kits" come with a small can of the meat, some crackers and a little plastic spoon to heap the meat on the crackers. Groaning is at 10,000 feet and winter is slow to loosen its grip.

15. As a Carolina boy I eat: bagel sandwich (meat/cheese/mustard or peanut butter and honey), Little Debbie snack bars, dried fruit, Gator aid or water. But the best part is York peppermint patties for dessert!

16. A nice cold Egg McMuffin, packed when warm in a plastic bag. It is compact, travels well being tossed and dragged around in a pack, and if I have two, I can even sit on them to keep my buns warm.

17. I prefer a small can of Dinty Moore beef stew, or a small can of spaghetti, and I keep the plastic spoon in a Nalgene with my batteries. I don’t have to warm up the food, since it tastes great cold. I also carry a small bag of fun size snickers. My friend carries a tortilla with turkey, cheese, and mustard, just like a sandwich, and it doesn’t get all squashed like a regular sandwich. I had part of it on the last trip, and it tastes pretty good.

18. I carry a Mars bar in a breast pocket for long trips underground

19. I usually take a bagel or two with some cheese or hard salami, in addition to the usual chocolate nuggets, Starbursts, and dried apricots. A Powerbar serves as emergency food. I try not to eat it unless I have to! Bagels and cheese make me feel like I've eaten a real meal instead of only snacks, for some reason, and so I think they are worth the extra space they take up. Also, you can sit on a bagel and it will survive the treatment.

20. Three Musketeers, Beef and Cheese snack sticks, breadstick handysnacks, mini pecan pies. Longer trips get the potted meat, canned chicken, and cheese it twists. Marshmallows always keep things interesting on survey trips...

21. Boy things have sure changed since the 70s. I remember reading "The Longest Cave" and the part about the caver who always took a can of Eagle Brand condensed milk on Kentucky cave trips and so I just HAD to try that. It was horribly sweet and I had an upset stomach for the rest of the cave trip.

22. Honey, in those plastic bottles. Great stuff. I bring it when winter backpacking too. Sausage sticks, sometimes cheese (smoked cheddar, yummmm) and squeezable peanut butter. Also the usual chocolate, nuts, dried fruit, energy bars. I've tried the soft-pack tuna fish and liked it. A small stainless steel cup, small stove and dehydrated soup/food works for long trips or for an emergency kit in case of accident/flooding in particular caves.

23. I do often take dried fruits so I can have something sweet tasting on the trip.

24. For years, I have told 'new to me' cavers (someone had never caved with before) that I had cupcakes in my pack and to please be careful with it while passing it down a climb or thru a pinch, so the frosting doesn't get smudged. Some took me seriously. Some thought it was hilarious. Some smudged on purpose. Either way, it's a great way to lighten the mood. Tonight, my little joke was rendered obsolete.
Behold—The Cup-A-Cake $15 for 4 What could be better than a fully intact cupcake deep in the bowels of the underground? Now, if I can just figure out a way to keep my watermelon from squishing my marshmallows.

25. I use those plastic powdered drink containers to carry stuff that I don't want squished. The ones with the big white lids that are almost the size of the container? I think they are Countrytime, but I'm not sure. Anyway, we use those to carry cheetos & fried chicken or, better yet, chicken fingers (no bones).

26. Summer sausage, cheese, raisins, not much candy anymore as I have hypoglycemia attacks, sometimes peanut butter and always I have instant soup, hot chocolate and coffee singles. One never knows when a 4 hr trip might become a 12-24 because of the unmentionable. I keep the soup, HC and coffee in a stainless steel cup with folding handle along with a can of sterno, (it all fits in the cup) not high tech I know and a little slow but it ALWAYS works, no matter how wet and muddy stuff might get.

27. Banana bunker $5 +ship for one, $25.70 for 5
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Re: In cave meals?

Postby hunter » Aug 18, 2008 9:46 am

Might have missed it in that last post but the one thing I didn't see is tortillas. I can fit one or two in my camera case or survey folder and they usually survive with no issues.
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Re: In cave meals?

Postby aubicon » Aug 18, 2008 2:49 pm

for me its all about the original power bars, they conform to any shape, taste ok and are good for long term energy. a good trick for fast energy is glucose tablets, when i was young i had a friend who was diabetic and he would use them to up his blood sugar in a hurry, you should be able to get them at any local pharmacy.
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Re: In cave meals?

Postby Carl Amundson » Aug 18, 2008 3:34 pm

For me it's trail mix (with lots of almonds), beef jerky and Paydays (the candy bar).
No matter how badly you beat up your pack, a Payday always comes out tasting good (sometimes in weird shapes).
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Re: In cave meals?

Postby hoosiercaver1 » Aug 18, 2008 5:11 pm

Wow, thanks for all of the suggestions. I was really interested in seeing how many people bring food to warm up in the cave. There are not as many as I thought there might be. I was not planning on this anyway, but I might consider it if something really sounds good. I think I will stick with the trusty trail mix and jerky, but I will look over the list again and see what 3rd thing really sounds good.

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