How much food?

What do you eat and drink on the playa? Share ideas, recipes and advice here.
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LeonardPotato
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How much food?

Post by LeonardPotato » Thu Jun 15, 2017 7:43 pm

So I am struggling in my prep a bit, trying to determine how much food/drink to bring.

Perusing the ePlaya it looks like there are a lot of places that serve food, lots of bars, and lots of tea houses.

So how much should I bring?

I don't want to over pack food. The waste is mainly why, but added expense and room in my car is also a concern.

So how does one become radically self reliant while not over packing/wasting?

What do you do oh wise sages of the ePlaya?
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some seeing eye
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Re: How much food?

Post by some seeing eye » Thu Jun 15, 2017 8:07 pm

Welcome to eplaya and welcome to the burn.

The playa is 4000 feet above sea level. Some people loose appetite by the altitude adjustment or altitude cycles airline flying to get to the event. It is a physiological response. It can also cause constipation.

So some people will be hungry and some people will eat much less.

DO NOT COUNT ON FOOD CAMPS TO EAT!

Yes they are a lovely unexpected gift! Thanks to them!

I have found I eat less. Other elayans eat more.

So I bring a no-cooler food setup. All those items can go unconsumed shelf stable. Others bring cooler, dry ice, generator-cooled food, propane barbecues, stoves, kitchen setup and kitchen/utensil cleaning. The minimum would be 2000 Calories a day and about 50 grams of protein per day. Easy to cover at minimum space and cost with commercial PlayaBarsTM.

Many burners pig out after the burn at Nevada casino buffets, including chilling at the Barbie Death Village hotel spot. If you did not eat a calorie for the week, you would not die. (Unless you have special medical needs! Consult a medical professional. ePlaya is not a medical professional)

Bring water and electrolytes and don't die by other experiences.

So many ePlaya threads on food.
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burner von braun
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Re: How much food?

Post by burner von braun » Fri Jun 16, 2017 12:27 am

Yep, I second the notion that you shouldn't count on finding meals being gifted, as part of your prep. It may happen, but consider that to be an unexpected bonus unless pre-arranged. Instead, bring enough food, water and drinks with you to keep yourself in good shape for the duration, and a little more to spare (especially water). You also might consider bringing a little extra to serve as treats for others.

Never lose sight of the fact that all it would take is a heavy rain storm system arriving for a couple of days at the end of the week and guess what, we're all stuck big time. There was a system that rolled through on the last Sunday of 2013, and people were encouraged to leave ahead of it, but tens of thousands stayed. Fortunately the storm took a different path a couple miles away. You never know, but it is wise to make a bit of an allowance for that possibility. Oh, and bring a bucket with a lid.

I'm one of the ones that tends to eat less while I'm out there, and it seems it's fairly common for some people to lose about 5 lbs. while there.

All that said, I totally understand the concern about space in your vehicle. My big objective while prepping and packing on my second burn was to leave enough room to at least be able to see out through a little tunnel in the the rear view mirror, haha!

All in all, good on ya LeonardPotato for making the effort to carefully think all of this through! It serves as its own reward.

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Re: How much food?

Post by ChanceFlashLightning » Fri Jun 16, 2017 3:32 am

I have generally brought one cooler and one tub (sorry, not sure on dimensions!) of foodstuff for 1-2 people for 1ish week on playa. Drinks are a different matter entirely.

The cooler gets the veggies and other perishables; I believe in fresh vegetables out there and there are other threads that address how to make 'em last all week. Personally I haven't gone the dry ice route.

The tub gets the things like shelf stable Indian food, canned dolmas, instant hummus, oils, spices, cutting board, cast iron. Some people swear by soup, I think it's heavy and find the cans annoying to deal with. Before you get to the Playa, depackage as much as possible to make pack-out and recycling easier. (Remove things from boxes, take paper off of cans and sharpie on contents, etc.)

I've done several Burns while on food stamps, and treat the prep process as emergency preparedness as well. I always have a tub of emergency food in my basement/garage, and that essentially goes to the Playa. After the Burn I assess what needs to be eaten soon/restocked.

Also, be aware of Collexodus on your way out: DPW takes donations of non-perishable food (and of course beer) so you don't have to haul it home. Camp Comfort and Joy also runs a food drive for the nearby Paiutes.
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Re: How much food?

Post by Sham » Fri Jun 16, 2017 4:03 am

Remember that that you can do all your shopping as you get closer to the desert. All the usual big box stores are in Reno or other major cities you're passing through.

I always go to my local stores near home and make lists of things I intend to buy once my plane lands in NV.
Now just count the meals and food you want. Breakfast things, lunch things and dinner food based on your number of days attending. After this rough list is done, start adjusting. Where you are driving, any extra food can feed you on your trip home.

Another thing is to add energy/snack bars, fruit cups, tuna cups as well as a can or two of canned ravioli. All this stuff can be transported home, but serve as a back up should you get stranded on the playa. Plan for contingencies.

You can plan on bringing 1.5 gallons of water per person per day (I bring 2.5, which includes drinking and showering). Drinks such as Gatorade will recharge your electrolytes. Booze and beer are totally up to how much you want to drink.

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Re: How much food?

Post by Savannah » Fri Jun 16, 2017 10:31 am

Calculate how many days you'll be there -- that's a good place to start, figure 3 meals a day. Then add maybe 2 days just in case. Realize that you will probably overpack no matter what. As folks have mentioned, the appetite tends to be reduced for many out there. Gifted meals do happen, perhaps 2-3 times in a week if you're not looking for them, and possibly more times if you seek it out on purpose.

Identify (realistically) what kind of camping cook you are. Historically, do you enjoy cooking while at home? While camping? Do you enjoy the challenge during power outages? Grilling? How patient are you? How knowledgeable of a camp stove are you? Do you really wanna learn, or nah? (No shame in not being interested). Do you eat much in the morning? What meal is most important to you? Are you bringing a cooler?

(The answers to these questions will help you get started.)

I like to cook in the default world, but not on the playa, and I don't like to fret about the state of food that can turn, so I don't bring fresh food besides bread, which I air out daily to squash condensation. I rely a lot on canned entrees, vacuum-sealed salmon, canned devilled chicken, tinned seafood & smoked salmon, crackers, jerky, pickles, peanut butter, bread, nuts, Clif bars, tortilla chips and salsa or shelf-stable jarred/tubed hummus, shelf-stable milk in boxes, fruit cups, dried fruit, breakfast cereal, canned & instant coffee. I emphasize protein in my meals because if I can only make myself eat a few bites, I want them to count. I also make sure that some of my food is portable so I can throw a meal bar and a canned coffee in a backpack, fill my canteen and head out all day. I don't like to wash things on the playa either, so I use paper plates and plastic or compostable utensils. (Don't forget trash bags, seasonings and a can opener.)

Pack multiple snacks and a ton of water where you can reach them for Exodus.
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Re: How much food?

Post by torrey.smith » Fri Jun 16, 2017 10:40 am

Bring less food than you think you need.

Bring more drink than you think you need.
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Chowski
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Re: How much food?

Post by Chowski » Fri Jun 16, 2017 10:54 am

Here's my best advice. Bring one box of food and one cooler for drinks only. Leave at home any vegetables, fresh meat or milk, fruits, etc. Bring only shelf stable foods. Less than you think. Bring lots of beverages and use your cooler to keep them cold, re-packing and re-icing it as the week goes on. Great foods are:

-cans of soup or chili (with a pop-top lid) - leave them in the sun outside your tent or on your dashboard and they are warm to eat - they also are a full serving. Bring enough for one each day that way you KNOW you won't starve
-a can of good nuts
-a jar of pickles (cold in the ice, mmmmm)
-canned fruit or fruit cups (again, cold from the cooler, mmmmmaaaaghh)
- a can of pringles ( the resealable can lets you eat a few at a time, but keeps the rest fresh)
-cans or foil packets of tuna - not so tasty but great protein
-crackers in small servings or ziplocks (bread is hard to keep fresh, but a few crackers and a can of soup will keep you going)

Beverages:
water (pre-freeze gallon jugs and use them in your cooler instead of ice)
Gatorade (again, you can pre-freeze one or two)
Beer
hard liquor
2-liters of mixers (soda, shelf-stable juice - cans are hard because you have to finish the whole can or you have leftovers to deal with)
coconut water
iced coffee in cans or small bottles
fruit juice or sparkling water in cans

Start with a cooler frozen almost solid, packed in with the few beers you will want your first day, then manage it throughout the week by re-filling it with warm things. Buy and bring only shelf-stable foods and you will not have to deal wit any spoilage or filthy coolers or keeping rotted lettuce in a garbage bag in your tent.

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Re: How much food?

Post by Token » Fri Jun 16, 2017 11:24 am

I'm one of those 10,000 calorie guys that loses 10% weight for the 9 days on Playa .

Back in the day when I went ... ~ 6000 of the calories were food, and the rest in strong ale and whiskey.

Best thing I ever did one year when I lived in LA and had a fantastic burrito place down the road from my house ...

Chatted up the owner and had him make two dozen big-ass carne asada burritos, fixed up my way with lots of hot peppers and mega spicy. Froze them solid, then thawed as needed.

I'd pound down two of those each day - breakfast and lunch, then still have a sunset grill of meats and veggies for dinner.

Where you live in the real world makes a big difference. I'm a desert dweller to begin with so the climate has little impact but I do get bit on altitude on the first day. Usually a headache that is soothed by strong espresso.

Also consider getting foods that aid in hydration. Stuff high in Omega 3 6 etc. This is cellular hydration I speak of, not just chugging the water.

Really weird things taste great up there and you can develop strange cravings;

For example: In real world I hate salmon, but up on the Playa it is fantastic. Smoked oysters in olive oil - On Playa it is devine, back home - gag response. Olive brine - at home it is a throw away item, on Playa it is nectar, sipped often straight up.

You will have fun.

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Re: How much food?

Post by cranberries » Fri Jun 16, 2017 1:08 pm

ChanceFlashLightning wrote: The cooler gets the veggies and other perishables; I believe in fresh vegetables out there and there are other threads that address how to make 'em last all week. Personally I haven't gone the dry ice route.
I can't speak to the intricacies of managing a wide variety of friut and veg on-playa, but I have found that a hard crunchy things like carrots and apples (the small ones that come 10-12 in a bag rather than large ones) last fine in a plain old cooler with fresh ice every couple of days. Did your ancestors store it for the entire winter in a wooden box in the root cellar? Then it will still be edible after 9 days in a cold cooler. Same with individually wrapped cheeses (string cheese or similar), good cooler management and they will last for the whole event.

I also think pita pockets are way more stable than bread, and will hold a lot more peanut butter and honey.

I like the individual cups of instant oatmeal, and you can make a really tasty and filling breakfast by adding nuts, honey, and dried fruit. Triscuits come in lots of flavors and are more durable than other kinds of crackers.

Definitely agree re: fruit cups. And I never, ever drink soda in the default world, but really love my Coke Zero in the afternoons during the Burn.

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Re: How much food?

Post by Wigwam » Fri Jun 16, 2017 2:09 pm

If you didn't bring enough for everybody...

Honestly, make a menu. Be realistic. You know what you eat for breakfast now. I always bring enough that if I have too much, I can share with a new friend. Someone may be passing by and crackers may be just the thing. A gallon of water a day. If you put your ice directly into large zip lock bags, you can drink that when it melts. Radical self reliance still means you can share.
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Re: How much food?

Post by asr9754 » Fri Jun 16, 2017 4:20 pm

Yeah don't rely on "food" camps, lines are long and they often serve at strange hours and locations...not enough to base your food planning on them. Get food that is easy, appetizing, and that you'll actually want to eat in the hot dessert: Bars, jerky, hard fruit that you can throw in your backpack. Treats like candy or pre-packaged cookies if you're into that. I don't eat many sweets in real life but a sweet treat can turn a bad day around IMO, and it's fun to share w/ strangers. Mountain-house camper meals (just add hot water). Canned soup. PB and J on a bagel. Crackers and hard cheese. Lunch meat. Easy, hi-calorie stuff. Bring multivitamins if you're worried about nutrition quality.

As for room in your car, de-package your products as much as you can.

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Re: How much food?

Post by BBadger » Sat Jun 17, 2017 1:31 am

I like having some long-endurance fruit and/or vegetables available just to eat something "fresh." A container of grapes, some oranges, maybe some carrots and other stuff. They won't spoil. For the first few days you can bring foods that might spoil too, so get some fruit.

For drinks I like having flavored drinks out there, and so I have a lot of canned drinks that I can keep cold and pop open and drink.

Lots of snack and tasty foods you can just throw on a plate and munch on without much prep. Hard cheeses, and salami and stuff, and tasty crackers, etc. Some pickled foods are really good too, like pickled asparagus, olives, um, pickles. Tortillas are also a nice way to just keep a bunch of foods in a wrap and wolf down. Gonna bring some jerky this year.

Also grab some bottles of Gatorade so that you can use the bottles as your "cup" while travelling around. It has a nice lid and you can cram ice into it. Good as a piss jug too, but don't mix them up!

For breakfast I usually just choke down some Carnation Instant breakfast with some milk that doesn't need refrigeration and a scoop of that whey protein. I might munch of something as well. I just don't want to eat much and I want a decent amount of calories.

Oh yeah, and get some food with ruffage (fiber) in it. It'll help you shit. You'll feel a lot better.
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Re: How much food?

Post by badscr » Tue Aug 01, 2017 3:27 pm

what im planning on is:
build a solar stove to boil water for the Freeze Dried food and plastic silverware Then Just add water.

1: it tastes good. (You can request a free sample but this close to the burn no time for free sample then order)
2: no pots, pans, plates, bowls to be dirty or needed -> Alot less gray water generated
3: less trash / moop , comes with its own trash can.
4: Don't need to keep cool - No Power needed
5: shelf life is 25 years
6: light weight ( 8 lbs for 13400 calories of food & Bucket) (about 220 calories per serving)
7: easy, add water (pref bring water to a boiling then add) wait 15 minutes stir, eat, trash.
Note: Need 8-oz water per serving and its 4 servings per pouch, tobe safe with water boiling off im calc for 9-oz per serving.
Also recommend a bottle of texas pete hot sauce.


Im going to get Two of these (26400 calories) for each person with me, that will give 2100 calories per day for 12 days at a very reasonable price. (actually this is what i will order giving its me +1 and save a few dollars)
Maybe get one extra for added gifting.


OR

a cheaper option,
two of these per person will do for 12 days at 2100 calories per day with heater packs (just add a little water into the heater and slide the food pack into heater and it will boil)
( fyi: if you find a Milkshake pack, dont, its like a liquid milkshake mixed with sand)
Also recommend a bottle of texas pete hot sauce.

Copy/Past: One Full Case of 12 Meals. Each 12 MRE Case includes 12 Meals contains 8 ounce entree, 2-3 sides, a drink mix, and an accessory pack, a total of 13,200-15,600 calories per case. Each MRE meal in itself will provide you with 1100-1300 calories, each pack also includes spoon, napkin, coffee, non-dairy creamer, sugar, salt, pepper and a wet nap.

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LeonardPotato
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Re: How much food?

Post by LeonardPotato » Wed Aug 02, 2017 8:11 am

badscr wrote:what im planning on is:
build a solar stove to boil water for the Freeze Dried food and plastic silverware Then Just add water.

1: it tastes good. (You can request a free sample but this close to the burn no time for free sample then order)
2: no pots, pans, plates, bowls to be dirty or needed -> Alot less gray water generated
3: less trash / moop , comes with its own trash can.
4: Don't need to keep cool - No Power needed
5: shelf life is 25 years
6: light weight ( 8 lbs for 13400 calories of food & Bucket) (about 220 calories per serving)
7: easy, add water (pref bring water to a boiling then add) wait 15 minutes stir, eat, trash.
Note: Need 8-oz water per serving and its 4 servings per pouch, tobe safe with water boiling off im calc for 9-oz per serving.
Also recommend a bottle of texas pete hot sauce.
This is awesome!
I am looking into these now, but it seems like a great way to go.
Way less cooler space and ice needed!

One of my big concerns was food waste and this would be 0 food waste.

Tanks a lot!
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some seeing eye
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Re: How much food?

Post by some seeing eye » Wed Aug 02, 2017 8:26 am

badscr wrote:what im planning on is:
build a solar stove to boil water
The Alternative Energy Zone village loves to demonstrate solar cooking. One year for their tour they had solar baked chocolate chip cookies.*

(Statements of past playa events are not a guarantee of future playa events.)

There are new shelf stable (no refrigeration) food in packets. The packaging machine that does it is from Japan. A local business in my area is packaging fish with sauces and fish soups. They are pre-cooked. To keep the commodification low you can research on your own. There are likely other companies throughout the US using the same tech.
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Re: How much food?

Post by tahiti_treat » Wed Aug 02, 2017 12:49 pm

I'll make it a point to stop by the Alternative Energy Zone then. I keep wanting to make a start in solar cooking but overwhelmed by all the info out there and don't know where to begin. Thanks for the heads up!

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Token
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Re: How much food?

Post by Token » Wed Aug 02, 2017 2:40 pm

Y'all are grossing me out.

When I spend thousands $$$ on a vacation, I eat like a king.

Even before I got the travel trailer, Honda generators, chest freezers, etc. I had multiple coolers with ice, dry ice, and all the fixings for better eats than I get in the real world. It ain't that hard.

But hey, its your body, right? Just think how satisfying it is going to be on MREs.

Maybe I'm getting old ;)

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Re: How much food?

Post by badscr » Wed Aug 02, 2017 6:39 pm

like Sham, Chowski and BBadger said and a lot of good info in threads. i would still stop at a grocry store and pickup things like canned soups, cookies, chips, pb crakers, junk food, good healthy canned food. I've got the Plan A food But cookies are nice and Plan A does not have that. pb crakers / pop-tarts are good walking food.
LeonardPotato wrote:Way less cooler space and ice needed!
Yep more room for keeping Water and Drinks cold/frozen.
And if the freezer breaks/cant run, its not a complete disaster.


the way i feel is, im not going to the playa to eat, so what ever will keep me alive. and what is the most fail proof.
A: Freeze dry Requires water.
B: MRE does not need water, can just eat (nice to have a little water for the heater to work).
both do not require electricity or keeping cold. So, it will not spoil.
badscr wrote:2: no pots, pans, plates, bowls to be dirty or needed -> No gray water generated
well you do need something to boil water in, and a measuring cup. Its always clean water so dont have to wash it.
badscr wrote:easy, add water (pref bring water to a boiling then add) wait 15 minutes stir, eat, trash.
Correction: add water, stir, wait 15 minutes, maybe stir, eat, trash

i do keep a 1 month supply of wisefood and water in my closet. I have eaten one free sample pack and it was Very Good.
im not too shore about there breakfast, that just scares me, Even though i have 0 experience with that breakfast product.

I lived on Military issued MREs and they were good, and the mini bottle of hot sauce was so cute.

I do keep 7days of SOS Food Bars (2500 cal per bar) in my Bug-Out-Bag, they keep my asz alive if i need them, but dont recommend willingly eating them. coconut flavored cardboard but not water or heat needed, and there cheap.

Token wrote: When I spend thousands $$$ on a vacation, I eat like a king
I feel you.
some seeing eye wrote:The packaging machine that does it
harvestright.com do sell a freeze drying machine that can make the same food type as wisefood. But that machine cost starts at $3000 and im just not going to spend that much on it, atm. (may one day build my own)
heres a good How it works. Funny that you have to heat the food to freeze dry it.


PS: Take atlest a gallon of Vinegar for Treating Playa foot? i do not feel i will get such a thing but Just in case.
so its something like this: dilute Vinegar in water and soke feet in it. the playa dust is a Base PH and the Vinegar is a acid and it nutrulize the dust.

oh, and its good to note. I have never stepped foot on the playa (yet) and am at the moment a virgin burnner. platting and planning, to take over the playa and then the world. (pinky and the brain :) )

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Re: How much food?

Post by LeonardPotato » Thu Aug 03, 2017 9:16 am

badscr wrote:what im planning on is:
build a solar stove to boil water for the Freeze Dried food and plastic silverware Then Just add water.

If you haven't already ordered.... when you are on their site, talk to them on the chat box. I got 10% off and free shipping. $169 down to $112!
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Re: How much food?

Post by badscr » Fri Aug 04, 2017 7:49 am

I was just thinking about physical activity and the calories that would Burn (pun)? Walking, bike riding, and partying all burn calories.

So it would probably be a good idea to bump that 2000 calories per day to say 3000 calories per day???


2000 would be a diet on a normal default day. I don't Keon my calorie intake.

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Token
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Re: How much food?

Post by Token » Fri Aug 04, 2017 8:11 am

badscr wrote:I was just thinking about physical activity and the calories that would Burn (pun)? Walking, bike riding, and partying all burn calories.

So it would probably be a good idea to bump that 2000 calories per day to say 3000 calories per day???


2000 would be a diet on a normal default day. I don't Keon my calorie intake.
You won't know till you get there and see what YOUR body does.

I said earlier in the thread, some folks eat less out there, have no appetite, get calories from drinks and whatnot. This is very common.

Others like myself are perpetually ravenous and need fuel all the time. ''Tis more rare but happens to folks that usually live similar environments to the Playa.

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