Shelled nuts pay well for their transportation. Peanut butter is more easily digested, and makes a good emergency food.
Take plenty, especially if you are short of other sweets. Men in the open soon get to craving sweets, because sugar is stored-up energy.
The "substitute" variously known as saccharin, saxin, crystallose, is no substitute at all, save in mere sweetening power, and even this has been grossly exaggerated. The catalogues say "one ounce equals in sweetening power one ton of sugar." The real ratio is one ounce to eighteen pounds of sugar. This drug, which is derived from coal tar, has decided medicinal qualities and injures normal health if persistently taken. It has none of the nutritive value of sugar.
The best coffee can only be made from freshly roasted berries. Have it roasted and ground the day before you start, and put up in air-tight canisters. Take plenty; it will lose strength rapidly in the moist air of the woods.
A much better pick-me-up than coffee or liquor, and more portable. English Breakfast suits most tastes.
Very sustaining, as well as a good beverage. A quarter-pound cake carried in the pocket will pull a man through a hard day's wandering.
The best way to carry vinegar is in one of the stone "pottles" that Holland gin comes in. If you carry pickles, let them be sour ones. Lemons are almost essential for hot-weather trips. A fair substitute is citric acid in crystals (any drugstore).
Salt is best carried in a wooden box. The amount used in cooking and at table is small, but if pelts are to be preserved or game shipped out, considerably more will be needed.
White pepper is better than black. Some cayenne or chili should also be taken.
Worcestershire sauce and tomato catchup (if genuine) are worth carrying when practicable; also mustard.
Pressed sage for stuffings, celery seed for soups, nutmeg and cloves (whole), perhaps ginger, cinnamon, and curry powder, will be needed.
Finally, a half pint of brandy, religiously reserved for brandy sauce, is worth its weight.
A ration list showing how much food of each kind is required, per man and per week, cannot be figured out satisfactorily unless one knows where the party is going, at what season of the year, how the stuff is to be carried, whether there is to be good chance of game or fish, and something about the men's personal tastes. However, the following table, based upon my own experience and allowing for many contingencies, may at least be useful as showing how to go about it.
The table gives four distinct estimates of food required by four men in two weeks, graded according as they travel light or heavy, in warm * weather or in cold. The quantities will suffice without counting on game or fish. The difference between "light" and "heavy" is chiefly due to fresh potatoes and canned goods.
It will be noticed that the cold-weather ration that I give is more liberal than that for warm weather, and that the addition is mostly in fatty and oily foods. A man who eats little fat meat when living in the city will find that when he travels hard in cold weather and sleeps in the open air his system will demand more fatty food. The experience of travelers in the far North bears out the results of scientific analysis, that foods containing fats and oils are more nutritious and heat-producing than any others. But a steady diet of bread and bacon is likely to breed scurvy; so a supply of vegetables and fruits should be added.1 Men living in the open also develop a craving for sweets that is out of all proportion to what they experience in town. This is a normal demand, for sugar is stored-up energy. I have allowed liberally for this, and also for the increased consumption of coffee and tea that is the rule (owing somewhat to the fact that they lose strength from exposure to the air).
The table is chiefly valuable as showing the proper ratios of the meat, the bread, and the vegetable and fruit components. Under each of these headings the items can be varied a great deal, according to taste, but the aggregate of each component should be about as stated.