Provisions for four men for one month, 1906

Discussion in 'Food' started by GKiT, Jul 11, 2018.

  1. GKiT

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    Here is one for the ultra light crowd to ponder ;)

    Here is an interesting grocery list from this lovely little book from 1906:
    4B6F2FE1-4B3E-4C8A-8F1A-EB5894ACF9B7.jpeg
    ECF01F15-BEDF-4EF8-A70C-27BF58A99369.jpeg
    Now keep in mind that this list is to supplement a steady supply of game and fish. I haven’t added it all up exactly but I reckon it’s in the neighborhood of 300 pounds.

    “The total luggage then is fifteen sacks weighing six hundred and fifty eight pounds, a box of canned goods weighing fifty eight pounds, a case of eggs weighing twenty five pounds, a jug of molasses, three pails of lard, three lanterns, the guides luggage, the guns, an axe, and two canoes.”

    I need three volunteers to join me and see if we can consume all the food listed in a month...any takers? :D
     
  2. PaPa K

    PaPa K Supporter Supporter

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    Holy moly!
     
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  3. designtom

    designtom Scout

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    hhhmmmmm, hhhmmmmm. Who's doing the cooking?
     
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  4. GKiT

    GKiT Supporter Supporter

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    Depends on whether you are one of the guides...
     
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  5. crewhead05

    crewhead05 caffeine, nicotine, knives and nature. Supporter Bushcraft Friend

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    And six mules to carry it
     
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  6. FIELDCRAFTLTC

    FIELDCRAFTLTC Supporter Supporter Bushcraft Friend Bushclass I

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    I'm game, I'll be the cook too!
     
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  7. slysir

    slysir Guide

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    120 packs of Ramon Noodle Soup
    10gal Jim Beam
    5gal of the famous Pickled Eggs I've been reading about on the forum
    50 rolls of toilet paper
    2 cans of air freshner

    -John
     
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  8. GKiT

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    You’re gonna need more toilet paper...
     
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  9. GKiT

    GKiT Supporter Supporter

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    As a side note if you aren’t familiar with spermaceti candles, that ones worth a google search.
     
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  10. Haggis

    Haggis Guide

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    That’s a lot of eating, and cooking...

    Today’s dehydrated meals weigh about a pound for 2,000 calories. Figuring outdoors and active at at least 4,000 per day per man X 4 men, that’s about 240 pounds of grub today for a month...
     
  11. Winterhorse

    Winterhorse Supporter Supporter Bushcraft Friend

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    Oh yeah!
    You might want to double the coffee rations though.
     
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  12. GKiT

    GKiT Supporter Supporter

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    Agreed, Bacon seems a little light too at an 1/8 pound per man a day. Might have to swap out some of that succotash.
     
  13. central joe

    central joe Supporter Supporter Bushcraft Friend

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    They ate pretty well didn't they? I think I would like to be on a trip like that, I'll cook if you do the dishes. In all seriousness there was a lot of work involved there. joe
     
  14. Moondog55

    Moondog55 Guide

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    No salt? I though a bag [ 100pounds] of salt was mandatory to preserve the bear/deer / moose you shot on day one
     
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  15. GKiT

    GKiT Supporter Supporter

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    Update! There’s more.

    The next page after the list reads:

    “At the place where you leave the train get two bushels of potatoes, fifteen pounds of salt pork, half a bushel of onions, a fifteen-dozen case of eggs...”

    This is a canoe trip expecting portages. Sixty pounds per man and several trips to haul it.
     
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  16. RavenLoon

    RavenLoon axology student

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    A quarter gross of matches is 36. That's one match per day for the group plus a few extra. Probably enough if you are cooking 16 hours a day.
     
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  17. riverrunner

    riverrunner Scout

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    Just wow! That's some serious grub!
     
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  18. Pinelogcreek

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    What do you do with 15 gallons of lard in a month...... no I’m not interested in their camp.
     
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  19. DomC

    DomC Retired Old Scrub Stomper Supporter

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    Spermaceti is a waxy substance found in the head cavities of the sperm whale. Spermaceti is created in the spermaceti organ inside the whale's head. [Courtesy of Wikipedia].
    Dominick..........
     
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  20. NevadaBlue

    NevadaBlue Graybeard Supporter Bushcraft Friend Bushclass I

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  21. MartyJ

    MartyJ Scout

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    That’s not enough bacon for a week! I come from a long line of pork eaters.
     
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  22. GKiT

    GKiT Supporter Supporter

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    I hadn’t thought about that but you are likely right. Each man would have also had his own personal supply for his pipe in addition to the kitchen stash.
     
    Last edited: Jul 12, 2018
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  23. GKiT

    GKiT Supporter Supporter

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    Not listed is it. I’m still reading so will update. Not technically a food item in terms of use so maybe that would have gone under general supply. Could have also been simply an antlers and meat trip.
     
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  24. haunted

    haunted Guide

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    so whats for dinner?
     
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  25. Seacapt.

    Seacapt. Supporter Supporter

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    I'd like to see what that would cost into todays dollars.
     
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  26. Haggis

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    I’d wager the tea and oatmeal listed wouldn’t be sufficient for my needs for a month in the bush. My usual cup (dry measurement) of oatmeal morning and lunch would require above 10 pounds... The list allows 6 pounds for a crew of 4...

    As to flour, self-rising flour, I use a cup each day to make 3 pancake sized pones of frybread, or to batter fish, when I catch fish... A cup each day works out to 9 pounds of flour in a month... The nigh 20 pound portion per person on the list above seems very ambitious...

    I’ll use 30 to 40 tea bags each day, that would have me needing upwards of 3 pounds of tea... The list has 2 one pound cans split 4-ways!!!!

    I will admit, my usual bush menu allotment is half rations at best, but I always think I’ll make up the deficit in fish and game,,,
     
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  27. Young Blacksmith

    Young Blacksmith Supporter Supporter

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    I always love seeing these lists, and comparing it to what we take today.
     
  28. Muleman77

    Muleman77 Hobbyist Hobbyist

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    That's a lot like the old guide lists I've seen from pack trips as well. If it's 300 pounds that's just two mule loads.
    Seems pretty reasonable for a months good eating with four.
     
  29. vdeal

    vdeal Scout

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    Holy moley!!! 30 to 40 tea bags per day? Are you bathing in the stuff? I'm a big tea drinker but I can't imagine how much tea that would make. I would be eliminating more than drinking.:)
     
  30. darodalaf

    darodalaf Guide

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    Just give me a rum ham, and I'll be good.
     
  31. GKiT

    GKiT Supporter Supporter

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    The book notes that all of that should cost under $50 (1906)...
     
  32. Seacapt.

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    Thanks with inflation rate since then it would be about $1,300.00 today.
     
  33. GKiT

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    I’m with you, Seems fine for a pack trip.

    The example in the book is a canoe trip. I’d want a couple boats for mules to ride in on this canoe trip. All this plus the canoes would be carried over portages each man carrying 60 pounds and making a couple trips. I guess it would make you eat a lot so you wouldn’t have to carry it as the trip progressed.
     
  34. Bitterroot Native

    Bitterroot Native Indigenous Skills Junkie Supporter

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    I'll be one of the 3 volunteers :D!

    The heck is "indian meal"? A gallon of molasses!?

    Never been on a 4 man, month long canoe journey but that seems like an excessive amount of food for just 4 people. Especially when you factor in hunting/fishing as supplements to the rations.
     
  35. TrespassersWilliam

    TrespassersWilliam Supporter Supporter Bushcraft Friend

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    Might they be consuming extra calories for warmth?
     
  36. Haggis

    Haggis Guide

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    Indian Meal is corn meal,,,
     
  37. Haggis

    Haggis Guide

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    I don’t drink plain water, ever! And I like strong flavored black tea, so I use 2 bags per cup. I get up at 5, and breakfast at 8,,, drinking 12 cups of tea before breakfast is no real struggle.
     
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  38. OMRebel

    OMRebel He who piddles Supporter Hardwoodsman Bushclass I Bushclass II

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    Not to mention the calories needed to haul it all.
     
  39. oddjob35

    oddjob35 Scout

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    There is salt in the list (under candles, above pepper) though only 3lbs. So I would guess that is purely for cooking & table. Preserving probably wasn't done as they could eat fresh each day, or the preserving salt was not on the grocery list but in the general supplies.

    Couple of points here. The first is that, from your previous posts @Haggis, you have the oatmeal alone for breakfast, but these guys look to be having a small portion of oatmeal (with dried fruit or prunes) and then a couple of slices of bacon and eggs and probably bread (or yesterday's leftover bread toasted). So less oatmeal per person needed than for 1 hungry Haggis!!

    Next I would suggest that the amount of flour is so large because they probably made loaves of bread on a daily basis, but also made game/savory pies for the meals and perhaps fruit pies with the canned fruit for dessert.

    Finally 30-40 tea bags per day seems to be quite a large volume to me, unless of course you use about 4 teabags per cup and can stand a spoon in it! I would probably drown in 40 cups of tea per day LOL. The other thing is that this was loose tea and would have been made in a big pot which is a more economic way of doing it (from a use of tea viewpoint). Plus the fact that if this was a canoe trip they would probably only make tea whilst at camp for evening and morning meals and I guess just drink water during the day.

    My GUESS at Indian meal would be Corn meal … just seems logical to me!! But I cannot be certain, so if anyone else can confirm or deny feel free to chip in.

    As far as molasses is concerned, I quote from Wikipedia …..

    Cane molasses is an ingredient used in baking and cooking.[6] It was popular in the Americas prior to the 20th century, when it used to be a common sweetener.[7]

    To make molasses, sugar cane is harvested and stripped of leaves. Its juice is extracted, usually by cutting, crushing, or mashing. The juice is boiled to concentrate it, promoting sugar crystallization. The result of this first boiling is called first syrup, and it has the highest sugar content. First syrup is usually referred to in the Southern states of the United States as cane syrup, as opposed to molasses. Second molasses is created from a second boiling and sugar extraction, and has a slightly bitter taste.

    The third boiling of the sugar syrup yields dark, viscous blackstrap molasses, known for its robust flavor. The majority of sucrose from the original juice has crystallized and been removed. The caloric content of blackstrap molasses is mostly due to the small remaining sugar content.

    Unlike highly refined sugars, it contains significant amounts of vitamin B6 and minerals, including calcium, magnesium, iron, and manganese; one tablespoon provides up to 20% of the recommended daily value of each of those nutrients. Blackstrap is also a good source of potassium.[8] Blackstrap molasses has long been sold as a dietary supplement.

    Hope that helps.

    OJ
     
  40. GKiT

    GKiT Supporter Supporter

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    The question regarding salt was for the preservation of hides/trophies not food, if they were bringing home hides they would need more salt
     
  41. Young Blacksmith

    Young Blacksmith Supporter Supporter

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    It was common for a family in the East Texas area to consume 30-50 gallons of cane syrup a year. It was one of the most portable, high calorie foods available in the 19th century, and fairly easy to make.
     
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  42. backwoodstrails

    backwoodstrails anatidaephobic Supporter Bushcraft Friend

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    Thanks for the Heads up.
     
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  43. H. neanderthalensis

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    3lbs of salt and 15lbs of lard...jeez!

    Men must have been made of heartier stock back then.
     
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  44. chickasaw_hunter

    chickasaw_hunter Scout

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    About the same time frame, I think it was 1906, Lt. Townsend Whelen took a trip into British Columbia for six months. He wrote an article about it titled "Red Letter Days in British Columbia". I found it in an anthology from Outdoor Life or Field and Stream. Great article. It was Lt. Townsend and a friend. In the article he details a supply list and it is very interesting. I get the book from the shelf every couple of years and read it. It's always a great read. The trip was financed by someone they don't identify and the purpose is to map some uncharted areas of BC. They travel by horse and Lt. Whelen load all the ammo for himself and his buddy.
    As best I can tell, Lt. Whelen was killing sometime while awaiting his permanent appointment into the Army. He has prevailed upon Teddy Roosevelt to help him move from the National Guard into the regular army. That was done, but he did have to wait a bit. I'm not sure if this trip and his wait to get into the regular army were one in the same, but that was my best guess after reading about Townsend Whelen.
     
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  45. Moondog55

    Moondog55 Guide

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    Re Oatmeal
    If this was Scots type fine oats and not rolled oats then it goes a bit further, the old army tables [ Australian army] for oatmeal porridge was an ounce of oatmeal to a pint of water. I worked under US Air Force cooking tables for a while ; similar ratio; and the resulting porridge was very thin gruel compared to the thick stuff I was used to eating as prepared by my mum when growing up
     
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  46. Haggis

    Haggis Guide

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    I make it at 1/2 cup of steel cut oats, or a full cup rolled oats to a pint of water; eaten from a bowl. Grandma MacNeil and my Mother had it thick enough to eat on a plate... Make a hollow in the top, add an egg sized chunk of butter, and bury it all in brown sugar,,, now I skip the butter, and use Stevia. My porridge isn’t as happy as it once was,,,
     
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  47. Moondog55

    Moondog55 Guide

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    Never eat sad porridge.
    As a kid we always used to fight over "the top of the milk" to put on our porridge. No way I can eat a full pint of oat porridge but I use a somewhat similar ration for my own breakfast, but only 100ml of water.
    As a precursor to a full cooked breakfast a thin gruel makes good sense nutritionally.
    I wonder what somebody from 1906 would make of Pop-Tarts and MacDonalds?
     
    Last edited: Jul 14, 2018 at 8:24 PM
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  48. GKiT

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    As soon as new and exciting things like instant coffee and more processed foods were introduced they were quickly adopted by campers. I imagine Pop tarts would have been all the rage. Sometimes the novelty and the time saving excitement of it all trumped the taste. There was a heck of a lot of chores and cooking to be done back then so anything to help reduce that time was probably very welcome.

    It's interesting that things have in some ways gone back the other way. There isn't much romance about dumping hot water into a bag of dehydrated mush. Some of those nostalgic chores like actually washing dishes instead of using disposable things doesn't seem quite so bad. People are grinding and roasting their gourmet coffee beans and slow cooking baked beans again instead of just popping a can.

    As for oatmeal, I like it, but as Warren Miller pointed out, it's one of the worst camp foods to clean out of dishes and pans. If you get to it quickly it is not too bad but it sets up like concrete...
     
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  49. dads2vette

    dads2vette Supporter Supporter Bushcraft Friend Bushclass I

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    WHERE'S THE GARLIC??!! PAGANS!
     
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  50. Moondog55

    Moondog55 Guide

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    Isn't wild garlic everywhere?
     
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