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Re: [John Muir Trail] Departing tomorrow 8/12

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  • John Ladd
    I also clarify butter. Several things I have found 1) if you use regular butter, which has a lot of salt, the salt may all settle in the bottom of whatever you
    Message 1 of 5 , Aug 29, 2009
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      I also clarify butter. Several things I have found

      1) if you use regular butter, which has a lot of salt, the salt may all
      settle in the bottom of whatever you package it in. The salt on your last
      day can be overwhelming. If you start with unsalted butter, you eliminate
      this problem.

      2) It's easy to tell when all the water is out. It will stop bubbling.
      However, once it stops bubbling, turn off the heat or you may burn the
      butter.

      3) I package in 4 or 8-oz nalgene bottles. They pretty much eliminate the
      risk of leakage, which can be nasty.

      4) If its cold, it can be hard to get the butter out of the bottom of the
      bottle. Just warm the bottle in your hot water before adding hot cereal.

      I use clarified butter occasionally on pasta (with grated cheese) on the
      first night of a trip. (Some of the Japanese soba noodles cok very
      quickly) I use it daily with my cooked breakfast cereal. I've had it on
      trail for 11 days without problems, and I suspect it would last longer. It
      seems very stable once you get the water out (by simmering it out) and the
      protein out (by skimming off the foam at the top).

      It adds a lot of calories, 250 calories per oz. I find I can tolerate up to
      2 oz. per day in breakfast cereal -- and that's 500 calories all by itself.
      More often, tho, I use 1 to 1.5 oz. per day.

      1 lb of butter probably makes something in the range of 12 fluid oz. of
      clarified butter, less if you lose some of the butter oil as you skim the
      foam off the top.

      A fine mesh screen works well for skimming the foam. Cooking stores that
      have Chinese cooking implements will often have these -- looks like a very
      shallow spoon with the bottom made of a fine mesh.

      At resupply points, you can often buy butter. You can clarify it in a
      jetboil. Uses a fair amount of fuel, though, s you may want to use the
      dregs of your old fuel cannister rather than starting to drain your new
      one..

      John Curran Ladd
      1616 Castro Street
      San Francisco, CA 94114-3707
      415-648-9279


      On Sat, Aug 29, 2009 at 8:56 AM, Steve Schauer <clairehiker@...>wrote:

      >
      >
      > Just got back from the trail, so I've missed a lot of the threads. One
      > thing I would like to add about butter is that you can clarify it by heating
      > it to liquid, then skimming the solids off the top. It will last months that
      > way. (At one time Trader Joes was selling it, if you don't want to do it
      > yourself.) I pour it into muffin paper cups, cool it, then package it in a
      > vacuum sealer, as air can also make fats rancid. I know it sounds like a lot
      > of work, but it is sure yummy to have real butter to mix with cinnamon sugar
      > and dried apples for breakfast.
      > We also bring olive oil in small bottles to add to pasta for extra
      > calories. A new bread we found is by Orowheat, a small flatbread like a
      > squished hamburger bun. It doesn't have a lot of calories, but we were able
      > to use it for sandwiches for the first 5 days of our trip. Tastes good, but
      > must have a lot of preservatives because the ones I left on our counter are
      > still okay!Claire
      >
      > --- On Tue, 8/11/09, John Ladd <johnladd@... <johnladd%40gmail.com>>
      > wrote:
      >
      > From: John Ladd <johnladd@... <johnladd%40gmail.com>>
      > Subject: Re: [John Muir Trail] Departing tomorrow 8/12
      > To: johnmuirtrail@yahoogroups.com <johnmuirtrail%40yahoogroups.com>
      > Date: Tuesday, August 11, 2009, 8:05 AM
      >
      >
      >
      >
      > Quick way to add calories with little added weight/volume is to add fat
      >
      > (twice the calories per oz. of pur sugar).
      >
      > You can buy butter or olive oil at any of your resupply points other than
      >
      > MTR. Add the butter to any hot cereal and the olive oil to any dinner.
      >
      > Hardest issue is packaging - you don't want it leading all over your
      >
      > backpack. I use 8-oz nalgene bottles because I'm confident they don't leak
      >
      > (of you melt the butter and simmer off all the water content first it will
      >
      > be easier to get into your container and you'll reduce the weight by about
      >
      > 10-15%).
      >
      > Another option is to fry up a lb of bacon. It's often available at resupply
      >
      > points. I cut it up into small pieces and cook it in my JetBoil at the
      >
      > resupply point until the meat part looks appetizing and then pour all the
      >
      > mat and as much fat as fits into a 8-oz plastic jar with a tight-fitting
      >
      > lid. Then I add the bacon and fat to my dinner. Goes with anything IMHO.
      >
      > For butter/bacon containers, try an empty peanut butter jar or a Nutella
      > jar
      >
      > if you don't have anything better. Small mayonaise jars may also work.
      >
      > Butter at the bottom of your container (if you poured it in melted) will
      >
      > have a lot of salt in it. You might try to dig down into the container even
      >
      > at the start fo the trip to avoid getting over-salted hot cereal at the end
      >
      > of the trip.
      >
      > The butter and bacon suggestions use a fair amount of fuel but if you are
      >
      > replacing fuel anyway, it won't be a problem.
      >
      > Olive oil lasts forever on trail. Butter and bacon fat will last a week or
      >
      > more. If you are nervous about safety issues, make sure that the food
      >
      > containing butter or bacon fat are at 85 degrees C. or more for at leat 5
      >
      > minues before you start eating them. Since water boils at over 85 degrees
      >
      > C. at altitudes up to 20k ft, it' not hard to maintain that temperature -
      >
      > usually you can just bring it to a simmer and then turn the stove off and
      >
      > let it steep. 5 minutes at 85 degrees C wil kill most or all of the bad
      >
      > stuff.
      >
      > One other suggestion is that you will need more calories per day on the
      > last
      >
      > half of your trip than the first. If you felt over-supplied with food to
      >
      > MTR, don't necessarily assume that the same amount of food will be
      >
      > sufficient from MTR to Whitney. I think I need about 500-750 extra calories
      >
      > per day on day 14 of a trip compared to day 7, for the same hunger level.
      >
      > (Others on this group have had different experiences, so my observation is
      >
      > clearly not universally applicable. But it may apply to you.)
      >
      > Sorry to intrude if you are already maxed out on fats.
      >
      > John Curran Ladd
      >
      > 1616 Castro Street
      >
      > San Francisco, CA 94114-3707
      >
      > 415-648-9279
      >
      > On Tue, Aug 11, 2009 at 6:46 AM, mm03g <mgmarabeti@yahoo. com> wrote:
      >
      > >
      >
      > >
      >
      > > Leaving early tomorrow hoping to get a permit at HI for next day, 8/13.
      >
      > > Possibly leaving car at TM so that it's easier to retrieve when I detour
      > off
      >
      > > trail into Mammoth lakes for a week. Resuming JMT on 8/27, expect to
      > arrive
      >
      > > at WP on 9/11, and will hitch back to Mammoth. With all the planning,
      >
      > > deciding, un-deciding, gear bought/returned, someone would think I was
      > doing
      >
      > > an Everest expedition. So much variation on weather reports - should be
      >
      > > prepared for both extremes. Resupplying at TM, RM, VVR, and MTR to
      > minimize
      >
      > > pack weight.
      >
      > >
      >
      > > Biggest question is how hungry will I be after MTR and will I have enough
      >
      > > food. Expecting to fill my big BearVault until I have to push the lid
      > down
      >
      > > and carry extra bag for another 2 days of food. Hope to have better sense
      > of
      >
      > > what I need calorically- speaking by then. Hauling all of that added
      > weight
      >
      > > over higher passes will be the real test.
      >
      > >
      >
      > > Many thanks for all of the advice and have a great, safe journey.
      >
      > > Makr
      >
      > >
      >
      > >
      >
      > >
      >
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