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Grand Illinois Tail Bicycle Ride Key Equipment


Equip Food

Fuel $1

You can buy MSR fuel for $6 a quart when you can find it but Coleman camping fuel works just as good and with minimal soot. Coleman camping fuel is only about $6 a gallon.

Food- MRE ($6x10) $60

MRE’s (Military Meal Ready-to-Eat) are a delicacy on the trail. They’re also a little heavier since they are not completely dehydrated. 1 MRE will give you about 1200-1300 calories and the menus are varied. They’re about $6 each, but you have to buy a case of 12 to get that price. Look on the internet to find a good source. Normally you should only be paying $60-$90 per case delivered. If you were really concerned with weight you’ll need to go with completely dehydrated freeze dried food. This is usually much more expensive but you won’t be carrying around 10 spoons, 10 packets of toilet tissue, the boxes that the meals are in, etc. …Don’t care if you were in the military or not, after 6-10 hours of pedaling a bicycle, these things area really, really good! An MRE case is good for eight years storage or more in the right conditions. I keep mine in an air conditioned basement. They’ll last for ever! The date on the MRE case is the “first inspection date” which is three years after it is manufactured. It follows then, that 2007 MRE's should be good for eight years, or until 2012 if they are stored properly. It’s always best to buy the most up-to-date inspection date, but sometimes the price difference does not justify it.

Oatmeal Packages $12

Quaker Oats and probably some generic brands have prepackaged instant oatmeal in small one serving bags. They’re more expensive this way, but carrying individual bags makes it easier to build your daily menu and you have less risk of losing all your food in one accidental spill or rain soaking. If possible, shy away from the flavored stuff. Three days of super sweet apple cinnamon oatmeal in the morning (It used to be my favorite) will make you never want to eat the stuff again.

Chocolate Milk $12

This is also a love hate. It is hard to find small packages of powdered milk, so the next best thing is the small packages of Swiss Miss or some other generic. These packets offer the same advantage as before; you can manage the caloric intake and individual packaging offers less risk of losing your whole batch of food in once accidental spill or soaking.

Clif Bars ($1x30) $30

I’ve done a lot of climbing, hiking, and camp food eating. These are by far the best energy bars available on the market. When you are moving you tend to move your food around a bit. Those stiff granola bars turn into cereal after about 3 minutes of jostling. Power bars do not stand up to the heat too well. They get sticky and half of your nourishment stays on the wrapper. They don’t stop the hunger pangs anyway. Clif bars are stable in either hot or cold weather and maintain the same chewy consistency. There’s no melting or crumbling. They’re about a dollar and account for around 250 calories each. Two to four of them make a good lunch and can be eaten on-the-go.


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