Solo La Cloche Silhouette Trip – Food

This menu was another product of my scrapped GDT planning. I have been refining my food planning over the years, and this is another evolution in that process. I have had issues in the past taking too much food, and food that I ended up not wanting to eat on the trail. With the GDT, which required shipping food boxes and long food carries, it was really important to get my food nailed down to only what I needed and what I would be able to tolerate on the trial, in addition to making sure it was calorie dense to bring the weight down. Since that trip and all of my test trips were scrapped, this was my first time trying out my new strategy.

In addition to the above factors, I tried to balance salty and sweet, limited cooking (and by that I mean boiling water) to once per day, and come in under 1.5lbs per day. This particular menu also happens to be gluten free for those to whom it matters.

All my food!

For this trip, I went with the following menu:

The food spreadsheet for this trip NOTE: math error, dinners weight total should be 18oz not 36oz

I really enjoyed the ‘coffee shake’, which was a new concoction. I don’t like eating breakfast on the trail, but I also need to get some calories in or I pay for it later in the morning, so this was my solution. All I need to do in the morning is pour the powder into my clean bottle, shake it up, and let it sit while I pack up camp. It was very easy to put together too, 60g of instant whole milk powder and 5g of instant coffee powder. It might be sacrilege to ‘real coffee people’, but it worked really well for me!

The variety was good too. Adding more salty things to my daytime snacks really helped getting me eating through the day. I prefer salty to sweet generally, and get very sick of granola bars very quickly. My only complaint here was a logistical issue with the chips: they were very hard to eat! I crushed them up to save space, but made a mess trying to shake them into my mouth. I ended up using my spoon to eat them. They were a solid addition to my menu, but I need to come up with an easier way to eat them.

I enjoy the system of ‘all snacks + dinner’. All of my food for the day fits into my hip belt pocket, so it is easy to access throughout the day without needing to take my pack off. This really encouraged me to eat regularly, before I crashed. I struggle with menus where I plan a lunch that needs prep work (a past typical one is dehydrated hummus and naan). I don’t really want to stop to prep and eat it, so snacks I can eat on the go work better for me.

All my food for the day fits in one hip belt pocket!

The pepperettes held up well, as I expected (I’ve had those out on longer trips than this), and while the cheese melted a bit on day 1, it was only a cosmetic issue. It was totally fine the rest of the trip, it just looked a bit funny. On a hotter trip, I would take parmesan or similar to avoid that issue.

Two of the dinners were new recipes for me. The mashed potatoes and beans and rice were both solid. The curry I mis-made in my haste to get out of the bugs and didn’t add quite enough water. It was not super great that way. I will be giving it another chance later this summer though, and will be re-adjusting my bagging amounts to have less sauce per bag. I enjoy the simplicity of meals that only need boiling water added. Even when the bugs are not bad, I don’t enjoy spending a ton of time making dinner when I get to camp, and I don’t like doing dishes. Boiling water, using half the water for my meal (in the ziplock bag) and half the water for my hot drink (drank out of the pot) works really well for me. On future summer solo trips I would look at going no-cook again, as you don’t get simpler than that! And in the summer it is so hot having a hot meal and drink is not terribly appealing to me. No-cook has a greater limit on how long the food stays good for, is heavier, and takes up more volume, so there are trade offs to that.

Overall, this is as close to an optimal menu as I have come so far. The amount of food was perfect. I was never hungry but still ate everything allotted to me for the day (ie not carrying a bunch of food I wasn’t eating).

6 thoughts on “Solo La Cloche Silhouette Trip – Food

  1. I have the same similar issues you have with food (take too much, don’t feel hungry so don’t eat enough then sorry later, etc.) so was really studying your list which looks good to me and I’ll copy. Just FYI if you didn’t realize your numbers for wt on dinners you multiplied by 6 not 3 dinners so really you took light weight of food if this I interpreted it right.
    The reason I found this is I’m considering the Seek Outside Flight backpack. I’m big busted and am concerned that other packs the shoulder straps are rotated and “tilt downward” toward my neck and outside edges lift off shoulders (when pulled together with sternum strap to get clearance to swing arms forward) as in the following screenshot of a backpacking light thread. It seems the shoulder straps need to be more “S” shaped. You said you liked the pack. Can you comment on this?
    Thanks. Shelley

    Screen Shot 2021-02-21 at 11.21.15 PM.png

    Liked by 1 person

  2. That is definitely a math error I didn’t catch, thanks for pointing it out! I forgot to remove the second person multiplier in the spreadsheet formula.

    Unfortunately, I don’t know that I have useful insight for you on the straps. While I have a really large ribcage, I’ve got a small bust. I went back and looked through all my photos from last season and the straps are laying flat on my shoulders in all of them, I never had discomfort with them (which is a first, with past packs I would get tender spots or bruises on my collarbones). That said, I have no idea if that would still be the case or not if I had a larger chest.


    1. Thanks. Appreciate the response. All my other packs give me sore collarbones also and so I think I’ll get this one to try. We’ll see


  3. How much food did you bring for your dog on this trip? Did your dog carry their own food? did you bring a doggie first aid kit?


    1. I didn’t take my dog(s) on this trip.

      Generally speaking, the dogs get their normal ration plus about 25%. For short trips I just take their normal food but for long ones where weight is a bigger issue I buy dehydrated or freeze dried. One of my dogs carries a pack and the other doesn’t. Perrin carries up to about 8lbs in his pack, but not necessarily his food. I usually pack things that can get wet in the dog pack in case of impromptu swims.

      I add some things to my first aid kit when I have the dogs with me. I touch on what I carry in it here:


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